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The Year in Review 2017

What a great year.

2017 was a year of building foundations for my future. After a turbulent 2016 starting my new life in the Mediterranean, I’ve set myself up for an extremely prosperous 2018.

Today I look back and share some highlights, pics, videos, and learnings from the year.

2017 in review


I get more focused on cash and started writing about passive income. Aside from helping readers profit from matched betting, I encouraged them to get into Bitcoin…and those who followed my advice made 1000%+ their money!

I bought in at $630 a coin. At the time of writing it’s 13.5k.

I also started the year with a long overdue trip to South America, touching down in Colombia for carnival. It became on my favourite countries, and inspired many videos, blog posts, and a podcast.

I wrote city guides for Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota.

Below are some of the most popular videos I produced.


Self Publishing - Books and Ebooks distribution | What ...I finished the first draft of my new Mexican Pirate book ahead of my June deadline, and began working with a hard editor.

At the time of publishing this article, we are working on the last three chapters. Next phase is copy editing, which will hopefully take 6-8 months.

Considering a potential move to Canada, I booked a flight to check out Quebec and Ontario. I visited and wrote about Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto.

I got lucky with the weather and was left with a very favourable impression. On the trip I also met with my NYC wing Dom Torres and several RVF members and had a blast.

More vids here.


After some hard work saving, a little luck, and crushing it in cryptos, I was able to accelerate my financial plans by a whole year and put on a deposit on my first real estate investment!

Construction should be finished summer 2018 (I hope!). I got a good deal and handsome returns will follow.

I also did a bit more travelling, taking side trips to Czechia, Sicily, and the Greek Islands.

Check out this killer drone shot near Prague.

In September, I also placed in the finals of a singer/songwriter competition.


I competed in my second BJJ competition in Belgrade, Serbia. I once again got my ass kicked, but at least this time I lasted a full round and put up a good fight! It was a great weekend regardless and got to update the Belgrade city guide. Every time I go back to Belgrade I like it more and more.

In December I competed in my third BJJ competition and finally secured my first wins. Despite it being a small comp, it felt fucking amazing!

Later in the month I travelled to Iran (luckily before the protests started). We visited Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran. Despite being a dry country, I didn’t spend a single night sober and got into the underground scene! No doubt there will be a few article published soon on the country.

I ended the year by returning to Ireland for Christmas to see my family, and reflect and what was a great year.

2017 Stats:

Total Countries visited: 10

New Countries visited: 3 

That puts my ultimate goal for travelling to every country in the world at 104/196 or 53%. 

2018 Preview

I’ve already booked 4 short trips around Europe. I will be revisiting Berlin, Brussels, Valencia and checking out Lisbon for the first time. As for big trips, I’m keeping my options open. I’m waiting on construction to finish on a real estate investment so I need to be flexible.

There I may well be taking a month to train BJJ/MMA in Thailand. North Korea is  potentially on the cards, but the timing may be an issue. As I learned some basic Farsi for my Iran trip, so Afghanistan also beckons.

I also plan on finally realizing the long awaiting sequel to my first book, Naughty Nomad, this time featuring my crazy adventures in war zones dressed as a Mexican Pirate.

5 Responses to The Year in Review 2017

  1. Ehv January 4, 2018 at 6:21 am #

    Great year man,

    Too bad just started getting interested in the crypto’s haha.

    Did u like Iran? I think uzbekistan can be a really interesting country for you. I have never been there but after seeing this video it intrigued me:

    Looking forward reading your blogs in 2018.

  2. Tim January 5, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Nice update Mark! Inspiring to hear your success in financial, musical, and athletic pursuits. Keep it up in 2018 and hopefully we’ll hear more about what this real estate investment is (better be a rave warehouse, just my two cents).


    • Mark Zolo January 8, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

      Thanks man! It was basically a two-bed apt near the sea in the med. Central location. Great deal!

  3. JJ January 6, 2018 at 1:43 pm #


    Really want to hear more about the Iran trip

    • Mark Zolo January 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm #

      I’m sure how much I can say online! lol

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