The travels of Daniel Baylis: One fascinating page at a time It's been more than two years (and a bit) since I first encountered Daniel Baylis, just as the Montrealer was preparing to leave Canada and spend a year travelling around the world. Daniel's self-appointed challenge in 2011, in his own words, was to “tackle the biggest project that I’ve ever attempted: a year of solo, international travel where I exchange my skills and abilities for food and accommodation.” His digital updates and online travel diary were fascinating reads, inviting readers (including me) to join him as he travelled the world, encountering a wild mix of characters along the way. At times, Daniel seemed a magnet for hilarious adventures, and at other times, a soft reflective side came through. All of his musings, comedic, serious and somewhere in between, provided the fodder for his newly-released book: The Traveller: Notes from an Imperfect Journey Around the World. The Imperfect Traveller Canadian Living: Were there any obstacles or concerns that made you hesitate before taking a year off to travel? Daniel: "I had a couple of concerns. First and foremost was that I would not be available for an entire year as a son, brother, uncle, friend, etc. I was worried about the implications in my relationships. In the end, I think I offset my physical absence by being extremely present on social media. I also Skyped frequently with family and close friends. The other concern was my career. I had a fantastic job as a blogger with Tourisme Montreal, and I'd had the opportunity to assume a managerial role. But I gave that up to tackle this journey. In some ways it was a detractive career move. Incidentally, I currently continue to work with Tourisme Montreal (on the Meetings and Conventions blog), so that fear was unwarranted. And now I have a book! I hope this will provide future career and networking opportunities. Canadian Living: In retrospect, what's the one thing you learned that you didn't need to worry about when heading off solo for that length of time? Daniel: "Being terribly lonely. Perhaps this is a barrier to other people who dream of long-term travel. But I structured my trip to have enough time in each destination to form relationships. Certainly there were moments where I wanted to be in the company of a close friend. Overall, I was content meeting new people." Fascinating people along the way Canadian Living: "What's the hardest part of coming home?" Daniel: "At the end of twelve months of travel I was eager to come home. There was a deep sense of relief as I saw the mountains of Vancouver through my airplane window. I took a few months to stay with family, to start writing my book, and to simply get my feet on secure ground. This was helpful. Perhaps the toughest part now is not knowing when I'll next see the incredible people I met on the journey. My heart is now sprinkled across the globe." An imperfect journey = a near-perfect read! The beginning of a new year lends itself to renewal and change. Travel is often a key element to that change in ourselves. You could do yourself a grand favour by picking up (or downloading) Daniel Baylis' book. He's candid, occasionally blunt, whimsical, thoughtful, funny, and honest. He doesn't gloss over the rough bits and doesn't shy away from sharing his bloopers. Put it this way, some guy you've never met writes a personal journal and hands it to you. How cool is that. Daniel Baylis' book is available on various platforms. "The Traveller" could be just the inspiration you need to launch your own journey.