I’m Flattop Mike. I started this blog in 2009 as a personal journal when I took a 12 month sabbatical to travel around the world on an around the world airline ticket. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it the 12 months as I was injured in a severe accident while traveling though Africa, which required an international medical evacuation. During the subsequent year of recovery, I set the personal goal to visit all 324 countries & territories in the world as defined by The Travelers Century Club.
Like many people, I wasn’t actively pursuing this dream. Why? I was caught up in the noise of making a living, pursuing money. I owned a successful recruiting company and to give up a successful career I love which pays for a very comfortable lifestyle, seemed like business insanity. Fast forward a couple of years and in 2013 I ended up in the ER with 5 coronary artery blockages due to an inherited genetic disorder. I’m lucky to have survived a widow maker blockage and a 10 hour open heart bypass surgery.
I’ve had complications ever since surgery and will probably never be what I used to be. While there are no guarantees in life, many consults and test have concluded the odds of me ever becoming old are low. Barring any medical breakthroughs it’s likely my coronary artery bypass will last approximately 15 years with a small chance I’ll outlive the odds genetically stacked against me.
The mere fact of having a potential timeline put to ones life, when in fact I could die today, created a lot of soul-searching for what I really want. And I keep coming back to visiting, exploring, connecting, & seeing the world. It’s my passion, my joy, and my life quest.
In 2015, I began closing down my company and have set off on the quest to visit all 324 countries this world has to offer before I die. I’m funding my travels through cashing out retirement savings and traveling on a backpacker budget. While I’m fortunate to have more than most, I do not have enough to make it everywhere on the savings I have. Therefore, I’m actively pursuing turning this blog which I started as a personal journal into an income stream. I don’t yet know how I’ll accomplish my goal and will be sharing the journey with the world as I go. I intend to travel 4-8 weeks at a time with 4-8 week intervals at home where I can work on this blog, and spend time with family and friends while planning the next adventure.
Heart disease has taught me, I’m not afraid to die, but I’m afraid to not live my life while I have the chance.
I hope you choose to follow along as I share my experiences first hand. I will need your and every readers support to accomplish this dream.
Lastly, What’s your dream? Are you pursuing it? Or are you pushing it off for various reasons as I had been.
Use this link for the start of my adventures.
If you have any questions, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to fill in anything else.