Self-employment has gave Paul Laska the ability of traveling around the world while getting a nice income. Read how he does it on our last on the road interview.
- Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started to travel. Do you remember your 1st travel experience? Why are you (if that’s so…) passionate about traveling?
I’m an accountant by trade but I am a traveler by heart. I’ve always had a love for airplanes & airports and layovers. I’m fascinated by the airplane. I consider it one of the greatest inventions of our time. For something to fly that high, carrying people and cargo from point A to B has fascinated me.
I had a gap in air travel from 1980 to 1998 due to focusing on my career and financial limitations. But in the early fall of 1998, my mom, my brother, and I went back to Greece to see my mother’s relatives. That gap in air travel time created my hunger for travel. Ever since that trip, I have made it a point to travel at least twice a year.
My first travel experience that I remembered was Greece in 1980. I was nine years old. My mom was born in Greece and we visited her family that summer. My passion for travel has been strong since 1998. That passion is not only visiting new places but to experience the scenery, cultures, and the vibe of the city or town that I am visiting.
- Now that we know where do you come from… could you tell us where are you heading to? Which are your plans for the future in terms of traveling?
My wife and I are going Spain & Portugal soon. We’ll be in Barcelona, Mallorca, Seville, and Lisbon. We’re also going to Bar Harbor, Maine for my wife’s cousin’s wedding. After that, we’re driving to a bed and breakfast in upstate New York owned by actor Richard Gere and his wife. Later, we are contemplating a return trip to San Francisco to re-visit wine county; Sonoma County in particular and to watch the America’s Cup races. We’re planning a trip to Maui in Spring 2014.
- What do you think of traveling with a purpose or meaning in mind? What do you look for when traveling long term?
I believe traveling is not just time away from home but an experience. It’s relaxing but educational. It’s a learning experience in many facets of everyday life. The way I see it, the journey begins once I pass through the security line at the airport. It is literally and figuratively the doorway to get to your destination. Make the most of it and enjoy!
Long term, as I get older, I look for getting to my destinations with ease and efficiency. I want to enjoy my older years with my wife and savor the time anywhere we go to.
- How do you fund your travels? Have you found a job or income source that allows you to be on the road fulltime? Tell us what you do for a living.
I’m a self-employed Accounting & IT Consultant. This allows me the ability to save money to travel and the flexibility to take extended time off from work. I’m also a freelance writer. I have self-published 3 novels and a few years back I published 2 travel articles. My goal is to have my Travel & Novel writing to be my full time job and my primary source of income.
- Did your job, studies, volunteering experiences or other projects help you to travel the world? Where have you been thanks to those? If so, tell us a bit about those experiences.
I didn’t work, study, volunteer, or do anything to help me with world traveling. I’m a learn-as-you go type of person. Life is a continuous learning curve. Each trip I’ve taken since 1998 I take away something new to improve my travel habits. What helped me the most was seeing my relatives in Greece. Each time I was there, my relatives would take me to the off the beaten path places. They showed me that there’s so much to see in the world aside from the touristy spots. Those trips can be the best ones.
- What would you recommend to someone who wants to follow your steps? Which kind of training or studies is necessary? Would an investment be needed in the first place? Please, give 3 pieces of advice (you wish to have known before starting) of what to do and what to avoid in order succeeding.
Listen and learn as much as possible in your field of work. Studying is important but hands-on training is very important as you get older. When you graduate college, it’s what you know. Each year after you graduate, it’s your work experience and who you know.
3 pieces of advice on what to do:
- Be confident in what you do.
- Listen to people who are knowledgeable in their respective fields. You can learn a lot from them.
3 pieces of advice on what not to do:
- Don’t quit
- Don’t listen to someone say “You can’t do it” and accept it.
- Don’t think you’re perfect and you know everything. That will be your downfall.
- What does a perfect day in your life looks like? Do you follow any particular routine?
A perfect day for me would be to wake up early in the morning, go for a run, have a good breakfast, and write all day. But since it’s not perfect, a particular routine would be to wake up, work out if I have time, go to work, and try to write or do something to get closer to my writing goals.
- Where do you come from originally and where you call home now? Can you give us some local tips we cannot find in a guidebook but you highly recommend about your hometown?
I grew up in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. It’s a suburb outside of Philadelphia. I currently reside in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with my wife and cat.
Philadelphia has great restaurants. Stay away from the big names restaurants as they can be tourist traps. In particular, focus on trying BYOB restaurants. There’s plenty of them are they are really good!
- Do you read, write, draw, listen to music, sing, watch movies or do something else while traveling? How do you interact with technology these days and which gadgets you definitely take with you everywhere? What is your favorite book? And movie?
I love listening to music when I travel. Music brings out the vibe and the aura of where you are. I can play Massive Attack while on the plane or at an airport to Pink Floyd if I’m sitting on a balcony looking out to a European city. I always keep a pen and writing pad everytime I travel. I keep a log of my day to day travels. Traveling inspires me to write whether it’s a travel article or ideas for my next novel.
- Do you keep a bucket list? Which are your (craziest) dreams? Where are your favorite destinations on earth?
My bucket list currently includes Australia & New Zealand, Germany, and Costa Rica. A crazy dream of mine is to start a trip in Hawaii and then stop at as many Pacific islands as possible until I reach New Zealand.
My favorite destinations are Paris, Santorini, Hawaii, and Sonoma County, CA (Wine Country).
Thanks for your time, Paul. I loved to play Massive Attack while flying too! 🙂
If you want to learn more about him, head to his Facebook page!