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Beware Becoming Imprisioned By A Persona

When I first came with the name Naughty Nomad, I thought is was perfect. It was succinct, easy to remember, and congruent with my ‘men’s travel’ niche.

Over the years I told my stories, wrote 100 city guides, and my web traffic grew. Soon my brand was relatively well-known, and millions had visited my site for information on how to get laid in foreign cities.

All of this came with a certain amount of pressure. When readers read my guides, they’d scroll down to the bottom of the page and read about my experience. Guys wondered: Did he do it? Did he get laid and claim the flag?

After all, you can’t write about how to get in a city if you don’t actually get laid, right?

Image result for james bondAnd more often than not, I did. The external pressure made me work on overdrive to bed foreign hotties, and as a result my skill level sky-rocketed. It started to feel like my trips were secret missions, and with each kill I’d get virtual high fives from every corner of the globe.

It was the same thing with danger. After the stories of drug smuggling, border-jumping, and entering conflict zones in my first book, there were certain expectations of me, and things only got more ridiculous.

I started to go to war-zones dressed in costume dressed as a Mexican Pirate. Places like Cote d’Ivoire, Syria, and Somalia.

This is not what sane people do.

I also purposely got myself into stupid situations, too, thinking, “Hey, if shit goes tits up, at least I’ll have a story out of it.” This thinking led me to being robbed, chased, and held hostage. (Not to mention that whole suicide bomber situation.)

The more exotic women I bedded and dangerous places I visited, the more my notoriety grew. I’d get recognized in bars. Guys would take pictures with me and buy me drinks. Even a few girls I went on dates with would later reveal they knew who I was beforehand. I became something of a Z-list celebrity.

However, while my personal brand grew, my personal satisfaction did not. With each new woman and ‘flag’ I enjoyed the brief happiness I felt was ever more fleeting. I had to ask myself the question: is sex for sport healthy?

I still get a kick out of conflict zones, but something about seeing somebody’s brains come out of their head makes you re-assess your priorities, too.

Mark Zolo

Me trying to look all deep and shit over the Jordan Valley.

Between the women, sombreros, and war-zones, I realized something.  I had become a victim of my own persona.  I had boxed myself into a manufactured identity. People wanted to see the monkey dance, and I got on stage like a Riverdancer on MDMA.

mask-1306181_960_720It was then I slowed down and settled in New York to smell the roses for once. I stopped flagging and started to build a life for myself, stacked cash, and developed meaningful relationships with women. I stopped forcing a label on myself. Great adventures are still on the horizon, but first I must get my house in order. Right now I’m not the Naughty Nomad, I’m the saving settler, and I’m investing in my future. Then I can really be free, in whatever way I see fit.

I hope this acts a lesson for those going down the same road I did.

Beware of becoming caged by a persona. Don’t be afraid to evolve and re-invent yourself.

We are not our avatars.

11 Responses to Beware Becoming Imprisioned By A Persona

  1. Nikolai Vladivostok September 6, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Well, it’s that or die so the choice makes itself. Lucky you lived long enough to realize what had happened. I’d like to know more about your future plans for freedom.
    In the meantime I’ll take your advice. It seems like a glamorous life up here but cosmonauts often come to a sticky end.

  2. Just a Guy September 6, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Ah ah, I’m not surprised by this quite human post.

    These last weeks, I’ve been browsing several “game” blogs, mostly for the titillating and “what if” factors, wondering how things would be for me if I followed their path. I wrote a bit more details about my life and how it wouldn’t be for me at all despite some pondering but let’s not get sentimental or too open, shall we?

    Anyway, I keep coming back to that website. While I’ve been visiting the Roosh V Forums, Single Man’s Paradise or Swoop the World as well, thanks to this post, I realized what makes you different when the others are actually repulsive after a few minutes: you actually care about the countries you visit and you respect the women you are with. You don’t call them fucktoys 3 times per line or give yourself the utterly degrading challenge to get 50 girls in a month.

    Maybe you didn’t do so at first, but at the very least, you evolved quite fast.
    So to read this post, well it is not a surprise. A good middle ground between SJW and PUA.

    • Brian Mark September 21, 2016 at 5:12 am #

      Great post Nomad. I had discussed with a friend that Nomad has a life now, that’s why we’re not hearing much from him. He’s grown up, I think many PUAs have not grown up and are desperate so they attention whore their lives to the world. Many don’t have healthy relationship with women. I have to agree with “Just A Guy” that many of the other PUA writers get old with their bragging bullshit. 90% of the time you’ll see they are selling their consulting services or some other product. Looking forward to more interesting stories from you in the future.

      • Mark Zolo September 21, 2016 at 5:11 pm #

        Thanks man. It’s nice to get feedback like this.

  3. Son September 7, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    I too have seen brains splattered across pavement. Seen more dead bodies than I care to remember. Both at home and abroad. Been in some pretty hair situations too. Yes you do re-evaluate your priorities. The world can be a shitty place sometimes.

  4. Prepz September 8, 2016 at 8:08 am #

    A personal has to be maintained like a suit, which you put on to dress up and do your thing, but take off to chill at home. It’s just another element of the way of men.

  5. Someone September 10, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    I think the writer wrote “We are not are avatars.” but meant to write “We are not our avatars.”

    • Mark Zolo September 10, 2016 at 11:32 am #

      Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Tim September 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm #

    I feel you on this…Persona (identity) can also extend to careers. I used to have my entire “facade” look like I was killer DJ in Tokyo…but then I realized I didn’t really like doing it (in Tokyo at least, and the music I had to play to the crowds I didn’t like) anymore. Was a weird identity crisis.

    Very personal post, glad you wrote it Mark.


  7. cereal killer September 27, 2016 at 5:34 am #

    Your modesty moment my man. Good for you, when we are too proud of ourself, and you have reasons to be with millions of views here on the site, the danger is to stop your personal evolution, beying a “star”. Also quantities not mean necessarly quality. Could be, could be not. Sometimes even a bestseller is a shit (Sandra Brown books for example). But your site is useful for people who want to travel in a adventure style.
    It is also impossible to want at all ages the same thing from your life. Before 30 my priorities were some thing now at 40th want something else.
    Also somehow boring to want all the time same thing – “flags”.
    some informations about countries here on this site was very useful to me. Hope to arrive soon in a completely new place to me – West Africa. Can’t wait 😉

  8. Walu October 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

    Way to go man, way to go. I really enjoyed reading your article. It’s inspirational.

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