I left medicine in 2010 to pursue other dreams and this blog is a collection of stories and photographs associated with that journey. The journey includes hiking 1800 miles along the Appalachian Trail, touring America by bicycle, crisscrossing the US in an old Honda CRV and settling down for a few weeks to months in places that became hard to leave or were on that list of “places I want to live someday”. In 2013 I spent six months backpacking around Europe, walked across northern Spain on the Camino and sailed from England to Puerto Rico. All my travels have been fueled by curiosity not bravado and none were record breakers or “extreme adventures”, but all were fulfilling beyond expectations.

The stats tell me my most popular post is Camino-What To Pack but my personal favorites are A War Story and Generations of Inspiration, The Beach and Good Body Self Image and Tourist, Traveler, “enough”.

The “Appalachian Trail Journal” located in the column on the right is a collection of thoughts, adventures, misadventures and photographs associated with my eight months on the AT.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you find my writings and photographs entertaining and worth following but if not, no worries. The web is huge, in time you’ll find what you’re looking for.




The other day I found one of my photos at a dodgy website being sold for wall paper. That was a tacky move and the website was creepy. It kept pulling me in like quicksand, but never took me to where I wanted to go. I think Putin was behind it. So here’s the legal bit:

© Thomas N. Chapin and brickthomasblog.wordpress.com , 2012 through present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Thomas N. Chapin and brickthomasblog.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


43 replies

  1. Hi Brick,
    Thanks for liking and commenting on my report of reaching the 1/2 way mark on my trek around the world: http://atridim.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/captain-rick-passes-12-way-mark-in-his-walkingbiking-trek-around-the-world/
    You have a great blog. I shall be keeping an eye on it.
    Captain Rick

  2. Love your blog, your aspirations, your implementation. Cool! Lots of inspiration here. Thanks for stopping by, too.

  3. Thanks for liking my post. Your blog looks like it captures a great time for you. Enjoy retirement.

  4. Thank you for liking my post, Brick. While it doesn’t sound like you need much encouragement, I hope my blog gives you a few more ideas where you might find a great walking adventure. Keep reporting your achievements. 🙂

  5. See I told you are not too shabby yourself ! as I mention.. I hope to have half the experience like you I would be happy ! keep living the life.


  6. This is very inspirational to read . You have shown me that it’s okay to consider leaving medicine and take on a new adventure in life. I am so glad that you have stopped by and said hello on my blog. Have you found a way to sustain this new lifestyle or are you still working out a plan ?

  7. Tom
    I nominated you for the super sweet blogging award ( sorry i know you watch calories )

  8. Hi Brick . . . I like what I have read so far. Quite a few similarities to me. In short, I am now following you. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  9. Great blog. We are looking for people to guest post on our new retirement site retirementandgoodliving.com If you are interested drop us a line via the contact page.

  10. Hello uncle!
    I’m writing you from Stillwater, MN where I’m visiting with my dad (buzz) & sister Lisa. We have seen Lots of childhood pics of you too!
    I live in Yosemite national park, where I have a couple of guest rooms if you are ever traveling thru please stop in. We met John’s wife who will be traveling where you are now & gave her your blog to follow as well. Safe travels & I hope our paths cross again someday soon,

    • Hi Laura,

      It’s great to hear you are all together in Stillwater. Thank you so much for the invitation and passing along my blog site. It’s been too long since our last get together and I can’t think of a better site than Yosemite. Sue would love to meet you as well so when we get in your area I promise you will hear from us. Have fun in Stillwater.

  11. thank you for following my blog! happy that you like it 🙂 what an interesting blog you have 🙂 for sure will be back here 🙂

  12. Hey there, Brick, how are you? Just hopping around the blogosphere as I digest my Thanksgiving dinner and found you. If you like, come visit me at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com and hang out for awhile, especially if you see something you like. Have a good one!

  13. Just enjoying reading your blog with my late night mug of tea, it’s so interesting I’ll definitely be returning to read more!

  14. Thanks for the visit and
    ‘Ivy was here’. I’m glad you’re still part of wordpress communitie if you’ve stopped traveling. I only ever had the means to get to Las Vegas from Minnesota, but what ah adventure! You’re a great writer, as if I was there.

  15. Thank you for your visit to my site, and for all the ‘likes’ … I truly appreciate them. The reason you are seeing so many posts coming through is that I am amalgamating two blogs to keep my future costs down, so apologies if you’re feeling ‘swamped’. I am truly humbled by your site, and that is not a glib, throw-away remark. The things you have done and seen, your beautiful writing and your expertise in collating everything together just leaves me (nearly) speechless. I have just skimmed the surface this morning, but I’ll be back at various times to dip in to your stories.

  16. You have such a great blog, and this section is specially inspiring! You’re basically fulfilling today what Verne and I imagine our future years may be. Thank you so much for sharing!

  17. What a great and inspiring blog! Your writing just flows and it’s such a pleasure to read it. We will be back regularly. Thank you for following us and all the best to you! Adrianna and Robbie

  18. A wonderful blog filled with amazing experiences. Looking forward to enjoying more! 🙂

  19. What I find interesting is that you left medicine to try something else! I have the same thoughts more and more, need just more wind in my back to move on :-)… Who knows…

    • I found leaving medicine very difficult to do emotionally; I enjoyed working with patients. Initially I thought I would return after a year of travel. But once I tasted freedom I could not imagine going back into American medicine where doctors spend too much of their time and energy dealing with insurance companies, government bureaucrats and computers and too little talking to patients. I hope your country has a better balance. 🙂

      • I work in Pharma Company! I love my job at the moment, but I would like to travel, write, and do bit of something else … bcs life is one, and why not to experience other things as well 🙂

  20. Chrome Paramount! And to think I thought I had the only one. It’s voyages are done & final resting place is on the library wall at Adventure Cycling Assoc in Missoula.

    • I will always have a sweet spot in my heart for chrome Paramounts. I bought a 1973 Paramount a few years ago,chromed it and plan to take a tour on it this summer. Thanks for the comment. tom

  21. Thanks for dropping in on your travels and the likes look forward to reading your Appalachian Trail Journal, at present it tells me the feed is down. Chris.

  22. So glad I found your blog! Here’s hoping my first Camino will kick off a lifetime of adventures like yours.

  23. So many of my images are stolen by someone in an Asian country 😦 just demand the site remove and through in that you will prosecute. 🙂 Zazzle and Amazon I think breed dishonesty 😦

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