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The Year in Review 2018

2018 was an emotional roller-coaster and a year of personal growth with major moves in my life. Similar to last year, it was all about building my future and taking advantage of opportunities here in the Mediterranean.

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

2018 in review


The start of the year was bleak.

I watched my crypto portfolio take a giant shit and lost a small fortune. Thank the stars I took out some profits last year.

This was followed by a weekend in Brussels where I received news on the sudden death of a best friend. He had a heart attack at 31. I flew back for the wake in Ireland with a heavy heart.

Slowly I recovered with the help of some distractions. I finally placed in a BJJ competition, spent a lad’s weekend in Berlin, and joined a small reggae group.


After a weekend in Lisbon with my Colombiana, I took off for a Rite of Passage to train MMA with my two younger brothers in Phuket, Thailand. It was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done, but was one of the most rewarding.

At the end of the trip, I fought in the ring in a Muay Thai fight, got mushed in Phi Phi, and got to visit two new countries on my way home: Kuwait and Qatar..


After Thailand my interest in blogging waned. I take the longest break from Naughty Nomad ever. I loose readers and page-views, but I don’t mind. I found more meaning in the real-world and try to be more present in my life.

I return home to the sunny Med to jam and enjoy the world cup. I even got flown to Lithuania to play a gig, and also find time to pop over to Madrid.


I make the biggest commitments on my life, take massive risks, and decide to deepen my roots.

After massive delays with my real estate deal and savings dwindling, I took a gamble and invested everything I had to become a partner in a start-up…

After another trip to Spain for a family wedding, I opened a bricks and mortar business in early October.

The launch was a huge success and the risk was worth it! I quickly built a business that turns over five figures a month. So far, so good! I got lucky with great staff and great people. I suspect this will be the first of many such ventures. Diversity in the name of the game.

After much delays. I also finally finished copyediting my new book. It is long, long overdue. I can’t wait to publish.

With my real estate deal also finally getting back on track, 2019 should be the year all my chickens come home to roast. It’s been a 3 year slog since I moved here from NYC.

I flew home and ring in the new year with optimism and gratitude.

2018 Stats:

Total Countries visited: 9

New Countries visited: 2 

That puts my goal for travelling to every country in the world at 106/196 or 54%. 

2019 Preview

I’ve already booked flight to Hungary, Kazakhstan, and Colombia for the first three months of the year. I also plan a visiting my mate Dan in the Middle East in June. God knows where I’ll be after that.

My new book is finally copy-edited, so there’s no excuse for not releasing it very soon.

Here’s to 2019, lads!

4 Responses to The Year in Review 2018

  1. Irish January 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm #

    Looks like a very solid year mate. Here’s to 2019

    When are you going to be in Khazakstan? As I’m planning on going to Alamty for a week snowboarding (& sesh) end Feb

    • Mark Zolo January 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm #

      I also intend on skiing there in at the same time! I’ll PM you on Twitter.

  2. Sam January 11, 2019 at 5:32 am #

    Why did you pick malta.
    I have family there.
    You opened a bar and uts already doing 5 figures a month turn over?
    Thats a lot.
    I might go do the same i do like valleta.

    • Mark Zolo January 25, 2019 at 10:50 am #

      I like Malta. Lots of opportunity. 300 days of sunshine. Everybody speaks English. Lots of different Europeans. The lifestyle her can’t be beat in Europe to be honest!

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