Welcome to The Willing Road
The Willing Road is a site that aims at spontaneity and saying “yes” whenever possible. It aims at living wildly, loving fiercely, and discovering new cultures along the way because life is happening now, and it only happens once. Meet new people, have deep conversations, understand the way others live, and find the beauty in the world-- that’s what this site strives for. In life, we must challenge ourselves, love ourselves, push our limits, and find our strengths.
To travel fulfills these goals.
My name is Tuliyani, and travel isn’t something I’m good at, it’s something I enjoy doing so that life doesn’t escape me.
I want to know how the world ticks, get lost, discover love in other languages, and tell a story that my grandchildren will brag about to their friends in years to come.
As a traveler, I aim to show you a real life perspective of travel, the nitty-gritty details, rather than the highlights. I show you a life of adventure without the money, because adventure doesn’t only happen as you zipline through the jungle, but can also be found in riding in the bed of a truck for three hours, no seatbelts provided. It can be found in hitching a ride and ending up at a strangers house, only to be fed the best meal you’ve eaten on the road, sleeping beneath the stars.
My life of travel doesn’t involve champagne brunches (even though I wouldn’t mind if it did) nor does it involve dropping big money to safely be led by a guide. It involves life lessons, and interacting with people that I never would have met had I stayed in my hometown.
I’ve bartended on an island in Cambodia, climbed Mount Fuji, rode a motorbike in 21 days from south to North of Vietnam, walked 10 hours to Machu Picchu, hitchhiked in Vietnam, and have talked to more strangers than my mother would be comfortable with. It’s a life that I've created for myself and one full of stories that I hope will inspire you to take that step out the door.
“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it's bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.”-- Jack Kerouac, On The Road
So who is Tuliyani and how do you pronounce her name?
Too-Lee-YAWN-Ee-- everyone I meet seems to think it originates from their culture (i.e. Italian, Indian, Hawaiian, etc). My mom found it in a book, but she swears she never read A Boy Named Ishi.
I wish I could say I was just a normal girl and that I had a high paying corporate job that I quit when I realized I wasn’t satisfied with life, but that’s not me. I don’t like bacon or Nutella, and dancing in my kitchen topless while singing Frank Sinatra offkey before starting my night shift at the bar is more like it. I’ve always worked in the hospitality industry, and that’s how I’ve been able to travel the world. But that’s not where it started...
Like many confused teenagers, I was lost and didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up so I stumbled through community college before heading to San Diego State University and graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in the Arts, majoring in English Literature and Writing. No, I didn’t want to be a teacher, but I loved to read and write. Take it from me, if you’re going to torture yourself with being inside all day, you might as well do what you love most.
Rather than moving back to my hometown, Santa Cruz, after graduation I stayed in San Diego to work in the restaurant/bar industry. I loved my life: partying all the time, close friends, handsome boys, sun kissed skin and the beach whenever I wanted. I stayed in San Diego for 6 years.
Over the years I had dreams of travel and countless promises from lovers, ex’s, and friends that we would travel the world together. No one pulled through with their promises though and I got sick of waiting. I loved San Diego. It was a lifestyle that everyone dreamed about, and really where I wanted my life to end, but it was time to break free of my California girl innocence and see what else was in the world-- alone.
2015 comes along and lo and behold I end up being a teacher-- in Japan. I had a one year contract and during that time I really got to know myself and the culture of Japan. When that one year was up I wasn’t ready to go back home, so I booked a cheap flight to travel around Asia for as far as my money would take me. I lasted six months and could have gone longer, but because my plan was to only live in Japan for a year I had left some unfinished business in the states, so I returned home in 2017.
But I was addicted. There was no way I was going to continue living in the states. Every time that I visited an apartment for rent my only thought was “That’s worth a roundtrip ticket to anywhere.” So instead of settling I bought the cheapest ticket I could find outside of the U.S. and I left again. Now I’m on the road and I’m not stopping unless it’s to tend bar, save up some money, and go again.
Why The Willing Road?
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life-- Jack Kerouac, On the Road
Jack Kerouac traveled through America and Mexico with his friend Neal Cassady and documented the events in his book, On the Road. He lived life fast and without much thought of where to go next, but all the while he took in his surroundings, strived to meet people from everywhere and learned a few lessons in life along the way. His description of people and places is beautifully well done and evokes a passion for travel in the reader.
I created this site as a variation of On the Road. Sometimes I have a plan, sometimes I don’t. No matter what, I follow whatever in that moment seems right, I go wherever the road is willing to take me and I jump on the opportunities.