See also: In the Press
Fan Comments (solicited)…
As I hit the 1 year anniversary of the ZDXP, I asked people to send me their thoughts & feedback about the ZDXP, here’s a sampling of what they had to say:
“I can’t explain what’s so compelling about ZDXP. Yeah, it’s entertaining– here’s this guy kicking around the country exploring the stuff I might never get a chance to see. (Or maybe I’ll MAKE the chance, now that he’s pointed some of it out.)
And he’s funny and takes great photos. And there are all these awesome (yep, awesome) people on the virtual journey, and everyone has been amazingly forthcoming and welcoming. So it’s a social phenomenon. But it’s somehow more than that.
This is about a human being who’s giving up a lot of his shell, in both a literal and a figurative way. Someone who’s shed a lot of material crap, relinquished a lot of privacy… but has, I think, gained some unquantifiable benefits from doing so.
As an observer, I find it inspiring and perhaps a little scary. It gives me hope. Not that I have to do what he’s doing, but that it’s possible to do it, and that it’s possible to create my own reality in the ways that suit me. All I have to do is figure out what those ways are.
Thanks, Zero Dean. You’re awesome. You make the rest of us a little more awesome, too.”
“I think this journey has been, for me, more a fascination, as well as an opportunity and some entertainment! The opportunity to watch, from a safe distance, while another person lives out their dream. Not many people dare to let go of their material possessions and security of their home. Give it all up and just live day to day. So when another person sees someone do that, they are naturally drawn to it.
Your photography is gorgeous and if that were all there were to this journey for the audience, it would be well worth their time. But there is so much more you offer to your viewers.
You have a depth of understanding and an ability to put that understanding into words, so that others can understand, too. You teach us all about LIFE, that even “old” people like me have to learn.”
(I worked with David at Big Huge Games in Baltimore)
“When I’m trapped in my cube doing mindless dreg work, ZDXP gives me an escape to experience somewhere else through the eyes of my good friend. In a way, it lets me feel like there’s a small part of me that is out there, going on an adventure! Along for the ride is a gaggle of good folk!”
“Thus far, the biggest thing I’ve gotten from the ZDXP is a close knit group of friends spread across the nation and beyond. I also love the collective sense of ‘we can do anything.'”
“I ran across your blog through a friend’s page at a pivotal point in my life. I thought, “How awesome that that dude is chasing after whatever it is he wants in his life and is taking a risk to figure that out.”
It reminded me that complacency is the ruin of the human spirit. Also, I was reminded that I (and everyone) needed to get out and grab life by the balls (he he, so me) and I maybe hadn’t been doing that for a while. Your journey reminded me a lot about humans and our own fear of failure.
Also, I reminisce about my own travels, memories that I long for, but also a reminder of what I hope will be future travels to come. ;) So, that’s why I began to follow your journey. I wanted to support people chasing their dreams. ;)”
“I found ZDXP through a friend of friend of a friend on Facebook and was immediately drawn in to see what was going to happen when this guy started off on his adventure. I caught this vibe that just felt right. The mix of self deprecating humor, optimism, and excitement all spoke to me. Then there was this great opportunity to participate. To me, it was the Amazing Race, but on a personal scale, that shows, anyone can really do this if he (or she) wants.
My brother did something similar when he (one 2 different occasions) stopped working to train and try to qualify for Ironman Hawaii. If he was able to do that and find a sponsor, then Zero (and, c’mon, did you read his page about his name?) has a shot of making this work.
The unexpected benefit, making real friends (that I may never meet in person) was, as Zero says, awesomesauce.
Yes, it can often seem over the top on motivation and optimism (yes, I said awesomesauce), but there are dark moments too when you really get to feel the experience. (Granted it’s easy to choose not to read those blog posts if you don’t want and even sometime hard to do so when you do want). These insightful moments made me realize that Zero Dean could be my best friend. I get him. He would get me. I know how hard it is to show the dark, when you want your fans to really like you (as in more than just hitting that little button). All I can say there is, without the dark, there can be no light (or something like that, right?).
My only real regret about following Zero Dean to date is that I haven’t said this to him before and haven’t really been there for him on his down days.
Following Zero on Facebook is the first (and only) time I’ve really experienced what social media can do. I hope the inside jokes that I love about ZCrew don’t scare others off, but that’s one of the best parts of actually being part of this adventure, once you decide that you’re in, you’re family. There’s room for more. Here, bigger IS better.
I ZDXP. Do you?
Caution: ZDXP may lead to the following adverse side affects: uncontrollable fits of laughter, loss of productivy at work, $200+ expense to upgrade your moble device so you can follow Zero anywhere.”
“Being a recent fan, Zero Dean’s a Hero to me for living his life his way. Too many of us are tied down by our self limiting beliefs and fears – one day we’re all gonna be stardust but till then, we each have a purpose to shine our stars bright like this adventurer of souls is!”
“You’re the type I’ve aspired to be, but let responsibilities take over vice having the nerve to challenge myself to do what I love. Congratulations for being successful at what you love.”
“You have no idea how many times in a day you & your friends make me smile & laugh. I’m grateful for you. Truly. :) ”
“So I have to tell you that after I spent a few minutes (51 and counting, actually) exploring your website, Facebook page, Twitter locator thingy, and YouTube channel, I am feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland! I am amazed at your creativity, touched by your writing, yet also struck by the thought, “How far down does this rabbit hole go?” I am beyond impressed with your adventures…I feel like I can completely relate to your desire to challenge yourself, refine yourself and have a little fun along the way. So, kudos to you!”
“Hello Zero. I just came across your blog and absolutely love what you’re doing. It’s a dream of mine that I hope to someday take in with all of my soul.”
“Hey Zero Dean. I’m soooo excited. I have been requested to join the team at rat rod magazine for my photography. They are only on issue 9 but I think it could be great! I’m finally getting traction. Just so u know you helped me get this far. Reading your posts and knowing how u chase your dreams help me continue on my voyage! Thank u sir.”
“I have to say that you have the courage of a lion to embark on such a life-changing mission. I’m very much inspired by what you are doing and here is why…[personal info removed]…Good on ya for igniting people’s passion for adventure and helping like thinkers get over the hump that might have been gnawing at their soul!”
“I felt very touched by your story, I hope all the good spirits of the universe will be your best partners in this adventure… I am the editor of an online magazine in my country, so if some of your travels takes you to my Chile, I’ll love to make you an interview.”
“Omigosh, I’ve read (and love) your blog. Your travels and experiences inspire me to continue living a thoughtful life.”
“You are the absolute definition of “OUT OF THE BOX” and I think that it is fabulous!!!!”
“For a lack of better words, what I think you’re doing is pretty freaking awesome. Just *wow*. You have definitely inspired me. :)”
“I just want to say you’re an inspiration and I hope to someday do something similar when I get out of college. Fight the good fight!!”
“I am SO excited for this wonderful adventure to begin! I have not been able to travel so this is a great way to see the world and new experiences thru your eye’s….that’s really cool!! good luck on all your challenges and If I can think of a good one, I’ll let you know. HUGS”
“YOU are a true inspiration!!! I love those laugh lines….”
“You’re my hero!”
“You an inspiration to us all. Thank YOU!”
“You’re awesome, cant believe you drop all for a dream but then again we all need to learn it take balls to follow a dream! hope you make it my friend!!!!”
“Zero Dean… You’re F@## ing Amazing! Unreal! YOU inspire me… And…That.. takes a lot! Thanks for the friendship…you were my treat today. Creatively Rock On!”
“You are not alone! It’s a GREAT adventure…Best wishes to you on your journey; enjoy the small moments, they will be the memories that last a lifetime!”
“If you come by Buffalo, NY I would love to meet you, you take great photos. I can’t wait to follow you and see adventures you come across! hope to see you this summer.”
“I think what your doing is really awesome. Have fun Zero Dean! :-)”
“DUDE!! YOU are AWESOME!! This is going to be GREAT!!!”
“HI I just found out about this and this is pretty awesome!”
“I’m officially challenging YOU to get matching awesome tattoos with me at our tattoo shop The Ink Emporium located here in Kennett Missouri!…We would be thrilled to meet you and to be part of your life journey! You are truly an inspiration! Go Zero Dean!”
“Many beautiful and happy wishes to you on your journey. Very rare that someone has the backbone to let it all go and pursue their true happiness. Amazing what happens when you strip it all away. Many respects.”
Zero Dean, you are awesome!! Good luck to you!! Besos and Hugs.”
“More people should dare look at their lives as you have! Enjoy your travels Zero Dean!”
“Zero Dean you are awesome! Maybe you will want this song from spose as your theme song.”
“Hey Zero Dean, Love what you’re doing!! We are on the same page! I quit [my job] to become a full time artist! It’s the best feeling in the world!! Wish you all the best on your journey!”
“You’ve got a really interesting story!…From what I can tell about you…you are awesome. So I’ll be suggesting your page to all of my friends. =)”
“I saw you’re planning to hit up Vancouver, but I think the province of Alberta (especially Calgary) would welcome you here too if you decided to come! :)”
“You’re doing what I’ve always dreamed of! Maybe some day I’ll follow pursuit! For now, I’ll live vicariously through you. Good luck!”
“Good luck my friend, this sounds like the adventure of a lifetime and quite possibly the path to a whole ‘nother world…”
“Godspeed my old friend, I hope that your bliss leads you to Maine…I know we would all love to see you there!” –
“Wow, great one man. You will embark on great change and great wisdom during your experience. I read your site and find it very interesting. I can relate. I got rid of all, except my Toyota Matrix, which I love, and moved my life to Spain. I wont be there to host you, but I would love to help by sending my wishes, thoughts, inspirations and love. You’re never alone, especially as a traveler. I have met many my time here in Europe and it’s a high i can’t explain…Keep smiling, its gets you far.”
“I think YOU’RE Awesome! Best of luck! I will be following and spreading the word! Rock, rock on!”
“Good for you! This is something I’d love to do but do not have the ambition… God be with you!”
“It sounds like an absolute blast! I wish you all the best! You have a fan in Phoenix.” –
“Good luck, what an awesome idea!”
“How cool are you? Follow your heart & your dreams.”
“This is exciting! I can’t wait to see what happens, and possibly contribute to the story!”