You managed to track me down.
I bet you’re just dying to know who this handsome and mysterious man is…
I’m Ben Valentino, a solo world traveler.
And like many, world travel had always been something I’ve longed to do ever since I stumbled across my first atlas and began daydreaming of those faraway lands. As a kid growing up, I was always intrigued with the thought of spontaneously packing up my bag, leaving home far away from the familiar and landing somewhere distant and exotic.
Where everything would feel new and strange to me.
Where I could be completely out of my element and be surrounded by new sights and sounds and cultures and smells and tastes. To explore the new feelings and thoughts that I would have after experiencing such places and of course, to discover myself and grow from it.
Throwing myself out into the world and facing my fears would be like a rebirth of sorts for me and with that, I would finally have the key to unlock the rest of the world that had always been so far and out of my reach.
So, in 2010 I decided to take my first solo trip. I bought a cheap rucksack, packed my underwear and a toothbrush, and left my hometown of Miami for Greece, where I ended up in Santorini.
From there my trip took me to Mykonos, the beautiful Athens and the mysterious Istanbul. Experiencing those marvelous places had made such a profound impact on me, that I knew right then and there that world travel would make up a big part of my life.
And since that first voyage, my travels have taken me to South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Asia. In these places I’ve seen the awe-inspiring and powerful waterfalls of Iguazu and I’ve traversed the majestic Atlas mountains.
I’ve slept under the stars in the Sahara with Berber natives and I’ve ran with the bulls during San Fermin. I’ve lived in Istanbul learning Turkish and have criss-crossed many places in between.
I’ve been scammed, gotten into fights, had scary accidents and have been helplessly lost everywhere.
But of course, these are some of the things that sometimes come with solo world travel.
During my travels I’ve always kept personal journals. Logging in all of the places I went to, the beautiful experiences I had and all of the people involved.
But with much encouragement from my close friends and family, and with my deep love for travel, journaling and people, I’ve decided not to keep my stories to myself this time and instead share them with all of you here.
I’ve left Miami on a ship crossing the Atlantic going to Europe, where I’ll head east after.
I would love to share this new journey with you and show you all the different places in our marvelous and curious world. Some familiar and some definitely unfamiliar.
Come with me and follow me into Asia.
I hope that with all the stories and photos that we’ll be sharing together, that it’ll stir up the inner adventurer in you and inspire you to either make your first big step into the world or to keep on traveling and explore even more.
“However Sheltered This Port and however calm these waters, we must not anchor here”.