Inspired by the Great Wall, the streets of India, and the possibilities of new friends and destinations as a young child, @neanyoe made a pact to see it all for himself.
Meet Niño Joseph Lorenzo or @neanyoe, a native of the Bay Area in California who celebrated his recent 27th birthday with a camel safari in the Tahar Desert. Before embarking on a yearlong trip around the world, Niño left the life of a surgical technologist at Stanford University.
Inspired by the Great Wall, the streets of India, and the possibilities of new friends and destinations as a young child, he made a pact to see it all for himself. For a year, Niño saved 20% of every paycheck and vowed he wouldn’t see or touch the money until he was ready. When that moment came, he walked into the bank, withdrew the funds, quit his job, and booked a one way ticket. He’s been on the road for seven months thus far.
Having always been an explorer at heart, Niño loves kayaking, cycling, rock climbing, and photography. A quick glance at his Instagram page will reveal National Geographic grade photos, characterized through smart angles and perspectives, in-the-moment snapshots, and heart warming and precious images of children and adults. Traveling and sharing then, to Nino, was something that has “been a destined part of me.”
A post from his Facebook in 2010 sums up his inspiration up nicely:
If I had the means… I want to view the world far from this cracked pebble of a city… I want to trek the lands closest the sun, paddle rivers without names, gaze over vast ocean shorelines…close my eyes and just, breath…mountaineer at peak altitudes of ranges only the pros have triumphed…and one day, hopefully far from now… close my experience filled eyes and take the last thought of, I’m glad I did.
That was four years go.
Now he’s in India, where he is constantly touched by the diversity of religions and culture within the country. In one word, he describes the country as “raw.” “If you could put Japan’s advanced society at one end of a spectrum, India would be at the other. It’s almost untouched and unbothered by the rest of the world. Everything is how you get it. Karma and being nice is played in every role and conversation.” In a nutshell, “it’s intense. It’s colorful. Loud. Smelly…It isn’t for a lot of people but I vibe with it quite well.”
When asked about his favorite destination, Niño replies, “some close their eyes and see beaches in that darkness. Some feel winds on mountains. Some even walk big city streets. But for my most anticipated destination of travel, India has been it. And it, has been really good!”
And while he has been thoroughly exploring India, his future destinations include Australia, Nepal, Istanbul, and Peru—and that’s not even a third of the list. These aren’t just dream destinations though. Niño says “I won’t go back to San Francisco until I finish this itinerary.”
When considering his goals down the line, he says that “after all of life’s success and children raising, I want to own a coffee shop on a beach where I could surf all day, return to have an espresso then drive my open top Jeep around on adventures.”
Sounds like a wonderful future to us.
Follow @neanyoe on Instagram to follow his incredible journey and to experience more awesome photography!
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