Before They Were Famous: Rob Lloyd
Travel blogger, Rob Lloyd, is living proof that quitting your job during an economic crisis may not be such a stupid idea. In 2009, he left a great career and a home in Ottawa, Canada in search of adventure, and now Rob travels full-time, instigating others with his blog, Stop Having a Boring Life. His new life is anything but boring — winters in Central America, and a new headquarters based in Nicaragua. Learn more about how Rob uprooted his life and made it work in this week’s Before They Were Famous interview.
Name: Rob Lloyd
What’s new? Rob is spending the winter touring around Central America. Afterward he plans on returning to Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua to finalize plans for the construction of his Caribbean HQ.
I had an awesome childhood and grew up in Ottawa, Canada with my parents, sister and a dog. We spent summers and most weekends at the cottage and went on an international trip almost every March Break. When I was seven or eight my father brought home a computer. It changed my life forever.
As a teenager…
I was a preppy computer geek who loved extreme sports. When I wasn´t out with friends, which was most of the time, I was online and surfed the net for the first time in 1994. I also worked tech-support at a major Internet company for a few years, wish I had gotten into buying domains!
My earliest memory of being intrigued by travel is…
I remember finding my father’s old passport that was filled with immigration stamps. In the spare pages I wrote a book about how he was an international man of mystery and wanted in many countries. That said, my parents immigrated to Canada after meeting on a beach in Bermuda and I took my first flight as an infant so travel has always been part of my life.
What was the worst job you had before becoming a travel blogger/world traveler?
I used to do odd jobs, that kid in the neighborhood who raked leaves, shoveled snow and delivered your paper. I remember cleaning this massive yard which took nearly two days for a total of $2. Apart from that, I also had the pleasure of being a dishwasher, shoe salesman, gas station attendant, cashier etc…
What was the weirdest thing you ever did to pay the bills?
It´s considered normal now but I used t make some cash online in the late 1990´s, everyone found that strange.
I worked in a cubicle…
For a few years when I did tech support and it was pretty lame. Other than that I got a great executive job right out of university and had this massive office to myself. I found that experience very soul-destroying as I´m an extreme extrovert. I´d spend my lonely days under a dark cloud wondering what was going on in Bangkok?!
I´ve never lived in an apartment…
But in university six gents and I rented a huge duplex that connected in the middle and had a third floor. We turned the top floor into the ultimate after-hours lounge complete with DJ booth, dance floor, chill out area, black lights and of course a shiny disco ball. Not to brag or boast but it was seriously awesome, I loved that place until it sadly burnt down.
Was there a significant event from your past that caused you to hit the road?
Traveling the world was something I always wanted to do. It was more of a grueling process wrapping my head around the idea of leaving this life I was lucky to have for a chance at something cooler. Let´s just say that life is now much cooler and I´m glad I took that risk but also glad I waited as long as I did. I now know what life is like working a job you don´t love and it pales in comparison to pursuing a passion.
What was the turning point when you realized that you could actually make travel a career rather than a hobby or extra side income?
I’ve had several moments where I’ve realized my blog has turned into something bigger. One of them was this summer while I was working on a month-long campaign with Tourism British Columbia. While on tour, I got invited to Israel, Alaska, Mexico and Quebec City; that was one of those “wow, my passion has turned into a profession” moments.
If I were not a professional roamer…
I have no idea what I’d be, but I’d probably be on a prescription pill called Prozac to deal with my plight. I’m a busybody who loves to try new things, meet new people and be free to pursue my passions. That said, I used to want to be a marine biologist for the longest time. Now I just stick to snorkeling.
What was the first blog post you ever wrote? When was it? On a scale of 1-10 – how well written was it?
My first blog post on my blog is “Stop Having a Boring Life Already!” It’s not that great but it’s definitely real and what I turn to when I lose direction, which happens occasionally. I’d give it a 6.2 on 10 and that is being generous!
What’s the biggest thing you have learned on the road?
I’ve learned that positive thinking trumps everything and “what you believe you can achieve”.
Was there a teacher, friend or family member who pushed you to follow your dream of becoming a professional roamer?
My parents have always been my biggest supporters and they taught me to be independent and live within my means. If you’re not an independent spirit and don’t know how to manage your financial affairs, you’ll never last on the road. That said, my dad did the same sort of thing only in a pre-internet era so he worked in hotels as a chef. He traveled the world, met the girl of his dreams and lives a happy life so I’ve always looked up to him. His advice was “go for it”.
If you could nab one person and take them along on your adventures, who would that be and why?
I’d never bring anyone along as that takes the fun out of things. The places I visit have always been a distant second to the people with peculiar and pleasant personalities that I meet. That said, I do love connecting with likeminded individuals and traveling together for a few days or weeks until we go our separate ways.