Hi.  If you’re looking for Nathan Shipley the freelance animator / VFX guy, you’re close but you want this page:  www.nathanshipley.com

Or if you came here for the travel blog written by the same guy, welcome!

New here?

Basic story is that I quit my job and traveled around the world without a plan for a year starting in June, 2008. I went through South America, Eastern Europe, Turkey, India, and Thailand. If I got to a place I liked, I just rented an apartment and stayed there for a month, which meant that I wasn’t rushed, I saved money on flights, I got to know a city better on a non-tourist basis, and I actually had a chance to make real, lasting friendships with locals.

I lived for longer periods of time in:

  • Lima, Peru
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Krakow, Poland
  • Budapest, Hungary (3 weeks — thanks, train strike)
  • Istanbul, Turkey (two months-ish)
  • Mumbai, India

It was basically awesome. Colombia and Istanbul were my two favorite places, though Mumbai is definitely close to my heart.

The “About Nathan” page should give the you the basics.  The trip is organized chronologically by country in the categories on the right. 

Want some cream of the crop reading without having to wade through all the posts?  Check out these stories, which have been the most popular and are also personal favorites:

Most Popular Stories

Tooth Checking Close UpDoctor Shipley Visits Peru
Lima, Peru: I don doctors clothes and pretend to be a dentist.  I go to classrooms and lie to children about my credentials while I give them lectures in Spanish about oral hygiene.

Highway Robbery at Fantom Bar: Istanbul Pavyon (& Whorehouse?)
Istanbul, Turkey: How I drank the most expensive beer of my life and pissed off a Turkish prostitute. Excerpt: “The prostitute threw her leg up on some sort of platform behind the bar in a huff, perhaps to suggest one last opportunity at the goods before she summarily kicked us out of the bar. “Go,” she ordered. Her English is absolutely awful, but it was the most comprehensible thing she said the entire night. “No drink, you go.”

The Guy that Sold me the BhangWhen the White Rabbit Peaks: Color Fights and Drugs at Holi
Mumbai, India: Color fights with strangers and drinking bhang on the day I fall in love with India.

How I met the CEO of an Indian media empire and might be the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Mumbai, India:  I respond to a Craigslist ad which leads to an interview with the CEO of a massive Indian media empire and tryouts to be the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog in India.

In Search of Bottle Girl
Bogota, Colombia: I ended up with two transsexuals at a multi-level gay bar at about 4:00 in the morning on Saturday night when common sense broke out and I got the hell out of Dodge. Naturally, however, that’s not exactly how I planned the evening to end. The point was to find either Bottle Girl, mayhem, or both.

Bribing Cops and the Strange World of Pablo Escobar’s Estate
Colombia: I went to Pablo Escobar’s now-defunct estate and had to bribe some cops on the way over.

Map of where I actually went:

Starting in Chicago, heading south and east, eventually back to Chicago.


View Larger Map

Been there, read that?

But if you have been here before and you wonder where the hell I went, read on.

I flew home from Bangkok on May 8th, 2009 to Chicago.  My sister picked me up, we went to Indiana, and I was freaked out by all the white people at the Mexican restaurant we went to.  (Friday night after finals week at Purdue in the midwest.  Go figure.)

It’s been quite amazing since then.  I wonder if I should have kept the blog going since I got back?  I’ve done the number one thing I missed while I was traveling:  spent time with friends and family. Oh, I and started working.

And I went to Puerto Rico, drove across the country stopping through Colorado, New Mexico, and Southern California before ultimately moving to San Francisco, where I’m now working as a freelance motion-graphics/3D artist and compositor.

And I miss traveling.  And the people I met.  And a bunch of sentimental stuff that I have only vaguely organized in a bunch of incoherent text files in my Documents > Random folder.  I would say I’ll organize my thoughts into some nice, pensive wrap-up post, but considering it’s taken me 12 months to post this, I’m not making any promises.

I’ll be back on the road in July and August.

3 Responses to “The trip is over. Long live the trip.”

  1. Gillianon 31 May 2010 at 9:37 pm

    My vote is that you definitely keep the blog going! Your stories and tales are by far the most interesting out there – even if you’re not traveling!! I miss the belly laughs and Oh My Gods that your posts would elicit – have a fabulous trip!! Cheers, G.

  2. Ralphon 23 Jul 2010 at 11:19 am

    Very interesting articles. Even if you’re new to the blog world and all, in my opinion you are doing great! Join other bloggers all over the world at World Wide Travel Blog Party if you know other bloggers, let them in on the loop as well. Kudos to you and good luck on your travels!:)

  3. Direct Line Holidayson 24 Mar 2011 at 6:42 am

    What an amazing and inspiring story. Well done for doing what many of us only dream of!

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