Marion Martinez (yes, named after John Wayne) was a successful, and we mean successful, investment banker working from his Phoenix, Arizona basement until he quit seven years ago.
Single, without commitments Martinez wrote a check. $18.3 million. Payable to the Sisters of Eritrea Orphanage. And left home. Penniless.
He stuck out a thumb and quite simply took the road trip of a lifetime and is still going. He has now written his second book The Long and Winding, following on from his Phoenix Bugler bestseller The Short the Long and the Incredibly Unexpected (available at our online store www.travelopediyak.com/store).
BS Travel Guide caught up with Martinez by chance as we were shooting our latest documentary BS is Best (available at our online store www.travelopediyak.com/store).
Oh. We were in Kyoto, Japan at the time.
BS Travel Guide: If you are hitching rides, how did you make it across the water to Japan?
Marion Martinez: I am in no way a religious man but I firmly believe charity begets charity. As I began traveling I would help people – sure there were bits of financial advice, but I’d offer to help famers at harvest time or work as a volunteer in homeless shelters and guess what? Eventually, people would tip me for my time or offer me meals and lodging, or rides to the next destination. I never knew what the next destination would be or how I would get there but sailing on an anti-tuna-fishing vessel brought me here to Japan.
BS: Where are you headed in life?
MM: To be honest I don’t care. Years back I had material goals and little else mattered. I am no hedonist but I am living for each day. As a 43-year old, I am still young enough to party hard and put effort into sporting activities but at the same time I’ve accrued sufficient wisdom and life experience to not burn out but rather pace myself.
BS: Do you regret the path you’ve chosen?
MM: If you live for the moment, for the day, you never have regrets. If you make a mistake it’s over by the time you close your eyes at night.
BS: Is Marion Martinez the only person who could do this?
MM: I am not such a dreamer that I would say everyone should do this. We still need the wheels of the economy to turn – manufacturing and so on. I’d also say it’s not for everyone. But if you are sick of everyday life, if you’ve had enough of materialism, the rat race and you are a dreamer, this is for you. If I can, so can you.