Who Am I Anyway?

In 2011 I quit my job, sold my car, and purchased a one-way ticket to Africa. This is what happened next:

Photo by TomΓ‘Ε‘ MalΓ­k

I have been gifted with a passion for adventure, teaching, and most importantly, a feverish love of writing. And so it goes that this is a passion project, to seek out the farthest corners of our world, from the strangest and most curious animals fluttering about our diverse regions to the foods that inspire, and the folklore that give us humans that special dash of spice which connects every last one of us to a heritage as great as the universe itself.

With a passion for anthropology, ecology, food, and folklore this blog is meant to inspire, awe, and encourage.

Thank you for joining me as we uncover the nature that make us human, what makes us animal, and most importantly what make us US!

Like what you’re reading? Feeling suddenly compelled to throw donations wildly into the ether? Consider aiming your support towards my Patreon! and become a champion for the democratization of science journalism and free speech.

Poet:

Journalist:

Archaeologist:

Game writer and Narrative Designer: video games, board games, and Role-playing storylines. I ensure your stories play out harmoniously, leading to player comfort and cognitive consonance. Your player deserves a world worth fighting for. I will help you design such a universe with storylines, mythologies, mechanics, and physics that lead to a fully fleshed out experience with a high level of replay.

Instructional Designer: having orchestrated courses online and in person, I discovered an interest in Instructional Design and learning/teaching strategies through various media. As of 2023 I am studying Instructional Design and Learning Technology at the University of Missouri Columbia in the School of Information Science. Special topics of interest include serious games, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and virtual field trips. Not to mention the various systems possible through simulated environments.

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Comments

223 responses to “Who Am I Anyway?”

  1. seeker_of_fun Avatar

    Thanks for liking my post. Your site looks amazing!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Thanks for the support! I love the work you’re doing; across the globe and for the animal kingdom. It would seem that you’ve found the answer to living a sustainable lifestyle. A very balanced relationship with the world and self πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. seeker_of_fun Avatar

        Thanks, glad I gave that impression. It’s not always quite so neatly tied up in reality. I feel like I swing wildly in different directions rather than being balanced. πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. mary garoutte Avatar

    Hello Nicholas,

    I appreciate you liking my blog. I know there is so much out there on the world wide web, and on wordpress, in general – many great blogs out there. I’m happy you stumbled upon mine and enjoyed it.

    Taking a look at yours, all I can say it keep on being an inspiration. Many people aren’t brave enough or dare to leave their mundane, routine lives to to scout out their dreams – hence, buy a one-way ticket to a foreign country, (especially where they don’t even know the language). That is commendable.

    Lots of good stories, pictures – keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your exciting journey!

    Salaamu Alaykum (Peace be with you)

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      wa alaykum-salaam. Ah, thank you deeply for the encouragement! What I assumed would be a fling became a healthy obsession with the Middle East. I’ve been pursuing Arabic for three years now and even though I had originally intended to return and set my eyes elsewhere I keep them trained on MENA. So I feel a duty towards preserving the true and lovely aspects of the Middle East that are picked through by observers who only choose to see the faults (which are few.)
      I really enjoy your work, particularly the series ‘Into the Wild’

      Like

  3. larainbriggs Avatar

    Fascinating and intriguing. Can’t wait to read more. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Thank you for the support!
      Curry and Botox; what more could you want πŸ˜‰ I truly dig your work.

      Like

  4. Yoanna Novakova Avatar

    Hello there, fellow traveller! :))
    I had a busy day today but I saw you liked my latest blog and I became curious. So I started from the about page, and I’m planning to go through the main part of your blog asap. It sounds fascinating!
    And thanks for the “like”. It’s a little thing but for my little blog it matters πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. Lori L MacLaughlin Avatar

    Thanks for liking my post. You have some great stories here. I’ll be back to read more!

    Like

  6. Between the Contours Avatar

    My first experience abroad was joining an archaeological field school outside Jerusalem, I was hooked after that. I was fascinated by all the facets of the Middle East and I’ve been dying to get back into the region. Your wanderings through that part of the world are an inspiration for me to go back. Cheers and happy travels!

    Like

  7. Jojie Alcantara | Scene Stealer Avatar

    Respect! And a little hug from across my side of the world. πŸ™‚ Thank you for following my blog as I will do yours. πŸ™‚

    Like

  8. Victor Uriz Avatar
    Victor Uriz

    thanks for the like Brah, I’ll be checking out your stuff too. Victor

    Like

  9. trdastidar Avatar

    Hi Nicholas,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and liking it. Was curious – do you read Bengali (since my blog is in Bengali)? Or did you just like the snaps?

    Thanks again.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Absolutely. I have a friend who is teaching me a little Bengali and she had used your article for an example. I’m sure we’ll be reading more of your work as my understanding of the language grows.

      Like

      1. trdastidar Avatar

        Nice to know that. Keep it up!

        Like

  10. Jim in IA Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by my blog post on KC today. Your About Me reminds me of the journey by Paul Salopek of National Geographic. http://outofedenwalk.nationalgeographic.com/
    I’ve been enjoying his posts along the way toward South America. I thought you might like it, too.

    I will look over your site more now.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      You got it! Ah, Paul Salopek is a huge inspiration for me. The Eden Project is something which I’ve always wanted to enact, he beat me to it! πŸ™‚ I’ve spent far too many hours on his website. Thank you for checking out my site.

      Like

  11. cardamone5 Avatar
    cardamone5

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. I like your writing, and philosophy so I’ll be following you.

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth

    Like

  12. Crysta Icore Avatar

    Congratulations, you have been selected as this week’s Blogger of the Week. Our blog is a blog for creative people and we found your blog to be a feast of creativity and delights. Thank you for being an inspiration.

    Crysta
    Dancing with Fireflies

    http://fireflydance.net/2014/02/17/blogger-of-the-week-nicholas-andriani-of-yallah-bye/

    Like

  13. MiaMusings Avatar

    Thanks for reading and liking my posts. Appreciate you stopping by πŸ™‚ takes great courage to do what you are doing….buying a one way ticket and exploring the world! A lot of us may want to do the same…but onky a few of us have the strength. Wish you all the best with your book…and I love your sketches.

    Like

  14. margotoele Avatar

    You have some awesome pics on this blog… The stories are nice as well… I will follow your blog! πŸ™‚

    Like

  15. laurastraveltales Avatar

    Hey Nicholas,
    First of all thank you for stopping by my little world of travel rants :)) And, secondly…I am wondering how long it will take before you hit the road again?? eheh this travel bug is a pesky little number I tell you. Just when you think you’re all settled and comfy again BAM! those feet start to itch again.
    Have fun with your writing, I am very much looking forward to reading your tales from the trip. I left Syria after a 3 month sojourn just before the conflict started there. I recently saw before and after pics of the souks in Aleppo, Palmyra and of course, Damascus. The heart literally aches. It is beyond devastating. Anyway, best of luck with your book, I’ll be seeing you around. Ciao

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Oh, that itch! It’s been hovering since I returned home and carries with it the insistence that Iran will be my next victim. Maybe with a twist of India and Burma?

      Ah, i’m bloody envious of your time in syria ;). It really must have been enchanting. The conflict actually cut my trip into many pieces. I had planned on spending more time in Egypt, and hoped to hike through Syria… Yet, we all know how the Middle East reacted to 2012. I’m so curious as to what truly acted to pivot the civil war… I’m not entirely familiar with modern politics in the ME but I was always under the impression that Syria was the more secular nation. The more passive and tolerant republic… clearly not.

      I will say that in the time I spent in Libya, post-Gaddafi, I found many-many-many locals who were pro-Gaddafi… and I know you will always find two or more factions but there seemed to be a massive population of Libyans that weren’t hoping for the results that came…

      Thank you so much for stopping by. It’s because of people like you and Chris that i’m able to manifest these dreams and find comfort in seeing your success.

      Perhaps we’ll cross paths one day? Until then I’ll be admiring your work from internet cafe’s and global hotspots.

      Like

  16. bchadda Avatar

    I found your Instagram and I love it! I would love nothing more than to be a travel writer- my ultimate career- and do exactly what you do! Keep it up, love the blog!

    Like

  17. Susanne Leist Avatar

    Your journey sounds exciting. The only place I’ve been on your list was Israel and the Sinai Desert. I camped out in the Sinai in the seventies with my tour group. It had still belonged to Israel at that time. I’ll never forget that trip,

    Like

  18. Kirsten Luckins Avatar
    Kirsten Luckins

    Thanks so much for liking my blog post, on The Moon Cannot Be Stolen, your journey makes me most envious! Mine was a long time ago, and I am still ‘getting to the bottom of who I am’ – this time by writing a poetry show about it πŸ™‚

    Like

  19. Olga Souslova McDowall Avatar

    Sounds fun, except you literally went all around our little island of Cyprus! πŸ™‚ Your journey was amazing!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Gah! I can’t believe I missed Cyprus! Your island is at the top of the list for me. Particularly to get my hands on some fresh halloumi πŸ˜‰

      Like

  20. niken Avatar
    niken

    Hi Nicholas! Thank you for stopping by and following my blog! Just went quickly through your blog and it’s awesome! I am a newbie in traveling so it’s always delightful for me to read other people’s stories about their travels. Will be following your adventures πŸ™‚
    Cheers,

    Like

  21. Andrea Avatar

    Hey Nicholas! I have nominated you for an Inventive Blogger Award:

    http://ilikethesmellofnewthings.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/inventive-blogger-award-my-5-nominees/

    Congratulations!

    Can’t wait to read about more of your travels πŸ™‚ Thanks for following my travel blog http://www.sonofgam.com too.

    Andrea x

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Andrea, this is too cool πŸ˜‰ thanks for the nomination and good vibes! I hope you’re having a great weekend and I too look forward to reading more about your world!

      Like

  22. Inventive Blogger Award: My 5 Nominees | I like the smell of new things Avatar

    […] “In 2012 I bought a one-way ticket to Casablanca, Morocco, sold my car, picked up an Arabic dictionary and enrolled in an archaeological field school in the Middle East…” READ MORE HERE […]

    Like

  23. Follow Lauren Avatar

    Thanks for dropping by my blog! Looking forward to reading more of your adventures.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Ditto! I hope to pay my respects to the Camino some day, until then i’m following you πŸ˜‰

      Like

  24. msadetunji Avatar

    Thank you for liking my post (ayamstuffed)! Good luck on your memoir! I would love to have the opportunity to travel like you have.

    Like

  25. anulettingitbe Avatar

    Thanks for liking my post! It led me here, and it’s good to see an example of where I want to be in a couple of years – I can’t wait to read about all your adventures!

    Like

  26. mariannedecher Avatar

    Wow – what an adventure!! Can’t wait to read your posts!!

    Like

  27. Jouena Avatar

    Thnx for stopping by at my blog – glad my writings (on Morocco, I’m sure!) got you interested πŸ™‚ Enjoyed your posts – nice, easy-flowing narrative! The places you pay attention to pleased me especially. Road less traveled – as you put it yourself. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

    Like

  28. Ahila Avatar

    Marhaba, Nicholas, I have enjoyed your travel writing, particularly your sketches and accompanying narratives. As a subscriber of your blog, I have nominated you for the Shine on award (http://wp.me/p3Nc97-l0) and participation is optional.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Salaam. Gah, this is a wonderful surprise πŸ˜‰ I truly appreciate that you considered my blog for this award. Now, off to follow your link!

      Like

  29. chakaoc Avatar

    Hi Nicholas – thanks for the follow. Reading this page, i am (again) a little envious of how much easier it is for men to travel solo, esp around the middle east – yet, still glad that so many women travel solo, despite the issues. and I wish I had started sooner! as Freya Stark said – one life is an absurdly small allowance –
    look forward to your posts! cheers, chaka

    Like

  30. vijayshreekurumilla Avatar

    Hello Nicholas, It was a surprise to find a visitor to my blog as I am slightly wandering into the blogging world, without really knowing a thing about blogosphere..Its good to see yours done so well and would look forward to reading your book. Thanks for wandering into my blog and liking it. Strange that I wanted to name mine as ‘Road less travelled’ too, but found it was already in use. I hope to read all that you have written, when I have time.Good luck for your book.

    Like

  31. TCalle - Oil Painter, Artist Avatar
    TCalle – Oil Painter, Artist

    Brave and the best way to use precious your precious time…I hope you can enjoy my paintings as you trek the world. I can think of no two better ways to use what we have…travel and painting..:)

    Like

  32. Angie Avatar

    Hi Nicholas, thanks for stopping by my blog and leading me back here. You’ve got a really interesting and fun life story here. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures. πŸ™‚

    Like

  33. veronicalucia Avatar

    Interesting life story πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Right back you! Through WordPress we’re making clear the story of humanity. I love it!

      Like

  34. Lindy Lee Avatar

    Hello, thank you so much for liking my poetry…

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      You have a great voice and it would have been a crime to not hit that “like” button! πŸ˜‰

      Like

  35. saira777 Avatar

    This has got to be the most interesting ‘about me’ section I’ve read so far!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Thank you, Angie. This means a lot, especially considering how the same can be said for your ‘about me’ section. Teaching English abroad, traveling through mysterious Southeast Asia. Great photography partnered with captivating writing. Blogging at its finest.

      Like

      1. saira777 Avatar

        that’s probably the nicest thing someone’s said to me on here – thank you so so much! πŸ™‚

        Like

  36. gemmaloveschocolate Avatar

    ‘The Road less Travelled” is my favourite poem and something that I live by, too. Untrodden paths are a great way to go. I admire your gumption for life and desire to keep searching. Looking forward to reading your book!

    Like

  37. Erick Avatar
    Erick

    I bet you’ll have a few stories to tell in your book…the ones on your blog are pretty interesting. Thanks for dropping by This Sojourner’s Path…”the journey’s the thing…”

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Just a few stories. πŸ˜‰ As I am not currently sojourning these stories are beginning to emerge from the pages of my manuscript in the form of art across my blog. This is where Sketching Sights comes in. So as not to reveal the written word i’ve taken up painting… Seems to be a useful outlet for the time being.

      I’ve just decided to utilize all of the recipes from your blog throughout this next week. To a pleasant journey!

      Like

      1. Erick Avatar
        Erick

        Thanks so much…hope you enjoy!

        Like

  38. highland hind Avatar

    What a pleasure to discover such rich words and images. Look forward to reading more, Nancy

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Nancy, thank you. People like you, exploring the horizon, make this world an interesting place. And thanks to people like you i’ve been able to break away from the mundane by way of blazing my own trail.
      Thanks for sharing your experiences with the world.

      Like

  39. Behogan Avatar

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. Loved reading about your travels! It’s been awhile since I have been able to explore the world, so I am living vicariously through your blog.

    Like

  40. marthaspencil Avatar

    You’ve had a great trip! I have a suggestion: Your title should be “Yallah,’Bye” You need the apostrophe on ‘Bye to indicate it’s an abbreviated form of “Goodbye” and the apostrophe indicates the missing syllable. The word “Bye” without the apostrophe is a sports term and means something else. I’m a compulsive proofreader and can’t restrain myself. Sorry.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Haha, I completely overlooked this. I’ve found that when translating Arabic I have a tendency to overlook the most basic grammatical errors, quite frequently. I really appreciate your feedback.

      Like

  41. qwertywriter502012 Avatar

    Also thanks for visiting &reading my blog. I certainly believe you’ve an obsession with travel. But then again, you’ve transposed this into entertaining writing & that’s impressive.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Haha, well this ‘obsession’ should be the fuel I need to complete my manuscript and I truly hope the rest of the world can enjoy my material as you have.
      I hope all is well and here’s to a good week!

      Like

  42. Virginia Nygard Avatar

    Fantastic! You are living my dream. Life ‘out there’ is pretty risky these days for a woman alone. Have at it. Enjoy! Thanks for stopping by http://dialolondialogue.wordpress.com!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      I’m happy you enjoyed my blog! Indeed, i’m very fortunate to have had these opportunities and whatever more remain to come, but I will say that I have met, especially in the Middle East, more solo female backpackers than male… Odd, eh? I couldn’t find any common denominator save that the majority of the women I met were Australian or Canadian (which really means American most of the time). I found it surprising at first then came to witness many opportunities expand before these women I would befriend that never came up for myself. People were extremely accommodating. To an extreme that can only be supported by generations of hospitality, the likes i’ve yet to experience outside Arabia, and thus my idea of exposing the “true” Middle East became something of an obsession… A healthy one!
      I hope this finds you well and look forward to following your journey as well.

      Like

  43. Carol Balawyder Avatar

    Can’t wait to read your memoir…with your experience and adventurous spirit it should be an exciting read! Thanks for reading my blog post.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      That’s very kind! I tend to procrastinate in my writing so feedback like this really keeps me on track. I truly admire your ability to seamlessly merge multiple genres and mediums. Great writing, gorgeous photography.

      Like

      1. Carol Balawyder Avatar

        Thank you. You’re very generous in your compliments.

        Like

  44. aldussault Avatar

    I am liking you…i will continue to follow

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Thank you for the support!

      Like

  45. christopherlharvey Avatar

    Awesome, inspiring stories! If you’re interested, would love to have you guest post for my site! Please let me know: christopher@christopherlharvey.com . Thanks, and look forward to reading more!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Right on, thank you. I love to hear that. Inspiring those who come across Yallah, Bye is by far the most satisfying response I can receive. WordPress has been crucial in the developement and growth of my writing/inspiration that I must return the favor.
      Absolutely! It would be my pleasure to work with you. Feel free to email me at andriani1208@gmail.com with details. I look forward to it!

      Like

  46. inkspeare Avatar
    inkspeare

    Thank you for visiting my blog. Best wishes and blessings on your journey πŸ™‚

    Like

  47. 10000movies Avatar

    First of all, thanks for stopping by 10000movies. What you describe, i.e. moving from one country to another, walking on foot, getting in touch with different people and cultures is one of my dreams. Glad someone is on the same wavelength with me, more glad it made it a reality. May you always be in a position to follow your dreams!

    Like

  48. Ink and Papyrus Avatar

    Thanks for liking my post. Looking through a few of your own posts and your about page, I am intrigued. Can’t wait for more.

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Ah, thank you! I’ll be watching closely as your WIPs develop, enjoying your blog all the while πŸ˜‰

      Like

  49. Jessica Korteman Avatar

    Wow, fascinating background, Nicholas! Looking forward to following your journey – and thanks so much for following ours! Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Happy New Year! Thanks for tagging along and I can’t wait to see how this your unfolds for you two. You really have a gorgeous site.

      Like

      1. Jessica Korteman - Notes of Nomads Avatar

        Thanks so much, Nicholas! Was excited to read your most recent post about Istanbul. Beautiful! We can’t wait to visit for the first time in March. If you have any recommendations for us, we’d love to get your advice! Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

        Like

  50. cmperna6710 Avatar

    Hi! I saw you had stopped by my page (thanks) and I love stories like yours! It sounds like you had/will have awesome stories and experiences to share I look forward to reading about!

    Like

    1. Nicholas Andriani Avatar

      Cheers! Haha, right back at you. I’m loving all this networking to be done on WordPress. Meeting bloggers, writers, photographers, expats and nomads, crazy zoologists and archaeologists. This is a good place to be.
      Hope all is well!

      Like

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