Niall Doherty is slowly making his way around the world, teaching others how to live a rabble-free lifestyle full of addiction. He’s not your normal junkie.
Niall leads a wretched & irresponsible lifestyle full of despair — inspiring other lost-souls on how to do the same. His addictions are so legendary that random kids will approach him in supermarkets to ask for an autograph.
But they soon flee after discovering he refuses to wash with soap or shampoo.
Niall is currently learning how to street-fight in Hong Kong, sharing details on his blog Disrupting the Rabblement.
Now Niall, I know this subject may be difficult to talk about. But you’re amongst friends here. Nothing that you say today will ever leave this room.
Share your darkest secrets with us, and let the healing begin…
When did you shoot-up with your first dose of wanderlust?
“I left Ireland and went to live in the US for a few years in my mid-twenties, but I feel I didn’t really start traveling until 2011, when I went to live in Spain for a summer, hitchhiked back to Ireland, and then started my around the world trip without flying a few weeks later. So I was almost thirty years old before I really got into it.”
What made you run away from home?
“I see travel as an epic opportunity for self discovery. I love putting myself in new situations, having new adventures, meeting new people. I can’t help but do those things while I travel.”
How did your family & friends respond to your unconventional lifestyle?
“I’m lucky in that my family is pretty supportive of what I do, even though I’m clearly the black sheep! My transition to such an unconventional lifestyle didn’t happen overnight though, which I think helped a lot. If anyone out there has a tough time with family resisting their dreams (travel or otherwise), this article I wrote a few years back may help.”
Has your travel addiction changed you?
“The biggest change has been the realization of just how privileged I am. I was born white to good parents in the Western World, which is akin to being born holding a winning lottery ticket. So I’m a lot more grateful now for the opportunities I have and how easy it is for me to live my dreams. Most people aren’t so lucky.”
What’s your seediest travel vice?
“I tend to eat Western food quite a lot wherever I am. I’m not really a big foodie so I don’t tend to go out and try all the local dishes. So I guess my guilty travel pleasure would be finding a nice air-conditioned restaurant and stuffing my face with delicious Western food.”
Can you tell me about your biggest travel regret?
“No regrets, though I have realized over the last year how nice it can be to stay in one place for a while and have that core group of friends that you hang out with regularly. For me, one of the downsides of long-term travel is the challenge of developing deep relationships.”
How do you fund your addiction? Armed robberies? Prostitution? Stealing copper wire?
“I used to do quite a lot of prostitution, was quite popular with elderly Asian ladies. I gave that up though for web design, which was much easier on the knees.
Nowadays I’m a bit of an entrepreneur, running a few online business and learning lots as I go along, trying to figure out the business world.”
Have you ever overdosed?
“I don’t like to travel fast for long periods of time. I’d much rather move slowly and stay in each place for several weeks. I’ve been in Thailand now for six months, and I like knowing my way around the city and having regular hangouts and such. When I hear of people doing whirlwind tours of places, I don’t envy them at all. I’d rather spend two good weeks in one place than try squeeze five different destinations into that time.”
Do you find it hard relating to normal people who are clean & sober?
“Not so much. I used to be one of them. They usually have a hard time relating to me though. :) ”
Has your addiction got you into any trouble?
“My biggest mis-adventure was getting stuck in Iran for ten days with no money. I didn’t realize going in that my bank cards wouldn’t work in the local ATMs, so I had to rely heavily on the kindness of strangers to see me through. Turned out to be one of my best travel experiences though. Everyone was so nice and helpful and I’m really grateful everything happened as it did. As they say, you can’t really have an adventure if everything goes to plan.”
If someone wanted to get a little taste of your addiction, which of your blog posts do you recommend they check out?
“Here are a few that should scratch that travel itch:”
- 10 Days in Iran
- Goodbye Nepal: 5 Months, 17 Stories
- Meeting Myself At Thivim Station
- Leaving Cambodia
Do you ever think you’ll be able to kick the habit?
“Travel will always be part of my life. I can see myself having two or three favorite places around the world that I return to regularly, a handful of homebases. But I think I’ll always be eager to visit new places as well. Life is long and the world is large!”
How do we find you to stage an intervention?
“I’m pretty active on Facebook and anyone can contact me via this page on my blog. Your readers might also be interested in subscribing to my mailing list. I send out a report each month detailing how much I earn and spend as I travel around the world. And anyone can just hit reply to those emails and get in touch that way.”
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Niall. I sincerely hope your powerful story can help others