Help Me Create An Epic Quest of Awesome

This is a picture of me contemplating my life and the future, taken three days after quitting my job back in June.

Since finding my feet after launching Nerd Fitness as an online business, I think it’s time to start leveling up my life in other ways. For example: I’ve never been outside of North America!

I eat the same things, follow the same routine, and do the same stuff every day.  I’m literally scared to try new foods, will never go near a motorcycle, and will generally take the familiar and safe path over the exciting and new.

I need to start doing more things that are outside of my comfort zone, and I could really use your help.

How I Got Here

All through college, I figured I’d become a consultant or investment banker, wear a suit and tie, work 80 hours a week, and make truckloads of money – that’s what you’re supposed to do with an Econ/Business degree, right?  After graduating in 2006, I decided to not do the NYC/consulting thing and take a “big risk” by moving to San Diego with my brother instead.  I spent all of my time working in an unsatisfying sales job, counting down the days to each weekend until I could surf for a few hours while worrying about the upcoming work week.

I continually asked myself, “Is this what life is like after college?  Crap.”

One day, I wandered into a book store and was intrigued by a book called “The 4-Hour Work Week.”  Although it read like an infomercial for a get-rich-quick scheme in some sections, it completely redefined the “real world” for me and what was possible.  I read it cover-to-cover twice in a 48-hour period.

I immediately purchased the domain name to create a niche for nerds and desk jockeys interested in fitness, and then did absolutely nothing with it.

I spent another year working at that job before finally convincing myself a change was necessary.  After moving to Atlanta and taking a dream job with Sixthman, I was put in charge of the company blog and discovered my passion for writing.  I stumbled across Chris Guillebeau’s “279 Days to Overnight Success” and once again my world was turned upside down.

At the end of 2008, Nerd Fitness finally became something: a fitness blog that I ran in my free time.

This past June, after running Nerd Fitness on the side for eighteen months, I decided to roll the dice, quit my day job, and start a business.  Three months in, so far so good!

In November, my life will completely change once again – I’m moving out of my apartment, selling my car, and getting rid of all of my crap.

Thanks to running an online business, I can work from anywhere with an internet connection.  Thanks to some lucrative credit card deals and frequent flyer offers (all learned from Chris Guillebeau’s Frequent Flyer Master), I have over 325,000 airline miles (not an exaggeration).

This January, I plan on traveling to Australia and New Zealand for an extended period of time.

It scares the absolutely sh** out of me, which is precisely why I feel like I need to go.

As a single 26-year old with no wife, kids, or mortgage, this is something I can afford to do.  In fact, it will be cheaper for me to live abroad for a few months than it would be for me to continue “playing it safe” here in Atlanta!

I need to take this trip because:

  • I need to step out of my shell.
  • There’s so much out there to see and I don’t feel like waiting any longer.
  • It will make for some hilarious stories for you and unforgettable memories for me.
  • I want to see if I can actually run my company from anywhere.
  • I want to show people what world travel is like from the perspective from a complete newbie.
  • I want to change the world, and seeing it with my own eyes is step one.
  • I know that if I can do it, anybody can.

Steve’s Epic Quest of Awesome

Earlier this year, I was cleaning out my closet and found “Steve Kamb’s Goals for Life,” a bucket list of sorts that I had created over a decade ago.  Reading through it, I realized that I haven’t taken many steps towards accomplishing anything in that book (except for starting a business and watching the Red Sox win the World Series).  Now that I have complete freedom, some money, and an online business, the time for action is NOW.

In true Nerd Fitness fashion, I’m turning my list of things to do into a giant video game quest. I’m still working out the logistics of how it’ll work, but I plan on creating a level-up system – every time I cross something off the list I will improve my “life” by 1/5th of a level.

Every time I complete five things on my list, I will level up my life (get it? zing!).

Now, what I need your help with is coming up with my list of things to do while on my Epic Quest.  Remember, I’m a dude who’s never been out of the country, so I need to know where to go and what to do.  A lot of the things on the list will have a fitness angle, but others are just cool stuff that I want to do.

A quick note: I want to take risks, but I have no plans to live in a tent without water or electricity and eat bugs – just not gonna happen.  Oh, and I hate the cold, so I’ll probably sticking to warm weather whenever possible.  Maybe after I get comfortable traveling I’ll expand my location destinations, but I’d like to keep it warm, relatively civilized, and safe.

Here are the things I hope to accomplish:

North America (The Starting Zone)

  • Swim in the Atlantic and Pacific in the same day
  • Surf on my own handmade board in Hawaii
  • Be an extra in a Hollywood movie
  • Fix up an old boat and take it out on the ocean (like Andy in the Shawshank Redemption)
  • Play in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, NV
  • What to do in Canada?
  • What to do in Central America?
  • Drive cross-country – completed August 2006, Cape Cod, MA to San Diego, CA.
  • ???

South America (The Jungle/Forest Level)

  • Do a handstand (push ups? breakdance?) in front of the statues on Easter Island
  • Hang out with giant turtles in the Galapagos Islands
  • Participate in a Capoeira rhoda in Brazil
  • Visit the Incan ruins in Peru
  • ???

Europe (The Ancient City/Mountain Level ?)

  • Play golf at St. Andrews in Scotland
  • Attend an English Premiere League match, singing cheers and drinking with the hooligans
  • Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • Visit the Coliseum in Rome
  • Gamble while wearing a tuxedo in Monte Carlo (Hey James Bond)
  • Run with the bulls in Spain (?)
  • Germany – Oktoberfest?  Drive on the Autobahn?
  • Visit the Parthenon in Greece
  • Para-glide in Finland/Norway/Sweden
  • ???

Africa (the Desert Level)

  • Visit the Pyramids in Egypt
  • Go on an animal Safari in South Africa
  • Dubai – something ridiculous (is this part of Africa technically? I’ll say yes)
  • ???
  • ???

Far East (the Hidden Temple Level)

  • Attempt the Ninja Warrior course in Japan
  • Sing Karaoke in Tokyo
  • Visit the Great Wall of China
  • See the Taj Mahal in India
  • Meditate in a Tibetan monastery
  • ???

South Pacific (the Water/Beach level)

  • Snowboard and surf in the same day in New Zealand
  • Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • Visit Ayer’s Rock
  • Something related to the Lord of the Rings (they filmed it in NZ, come on).
  • ???

Antarctica (the Snow Level)

  • Don’t die
  • High-five a penguin?
  • ???

Personal Level Up Goals

  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Get interviewed by Conan O’Brien
  • Fly around the world
  • Have at least 3 conversations with native speakers in their own language (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, German, French?)
  • Become a published author
  • Help build a house
  • Catch a really big fish
  • Get in the Guinness Book of World Records for something
  • Jump out of an airplane…preferably with a parachute
  • Be in a Parkour video
  • Perform on stage in front of at least 1,000 people (tracking down the video for this now).
  • Pay off all of my student loans – $13,300 to go
  • Participate in an epic break dance battle
  • Write and record a song
  • Start a business (completed)
  • Swim with sharks (where?)
  • Get married
  • Have a kid
  • Create a video on YouTube that has 1,000,000 views
  • ???

Personal Fitness Goals

  • Bench press 225 pounds at least 10 times
  • Do 10 pull ups with 45 pounds hanging on me
  • Squat 300 pounds
  • Deadlift 350 pounds
  • Climb a big mountain
  • ???


So, what am I missing? What are some of the places I need to see or things I need to do that aren’t on this list?  If you live in a place I plan on visiting and you want to meet up, please let me know – right now it’s looking like Australia/New Zealand for January/February, and then off to Europe for the Spring (April/May).  Don’t worry, you’ll be able to read all about where I’m at and where I’m headed here on NF.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the Shawshank Redemption that expresses how I feel:

I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.

I can’t wait to hear your suggestions on what to add to the Epic Quest. (Just don’t get me killed, okay?  My mom would be PISSED).



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