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Trailblazer Interviews: John Cain | Ex-Covert Operative

Posted by Edward Wang on
Trailblazer Interviews: John Cain | Ex-Covert Operative

Trailblazer Interviews

In this segment, we interview people from different walks of life. Some may travel every day, others may work 9 - 5. Whatever they do, we want to see what and why they do what they do. Would you like to be included or someone you know would be a great fit? Contact us for an opportunity to be featured.

John Cain is the founder of Vinjatek, a website that offers perspective and knowledge from the viewpoint of a former covert operative living a nomadic lifestyle. He focuses on a more decisive state of mind and being with the deliberate application of tacticalism, nomadism, minimalism, survivalism, and adventurism to everyday life. 

To live deliberately with strategy and purpose, precision and preparedness, with mind and body. 

Unlike the goal of other urban survival guides, Vinjatek covers less on catastrophic (SHTF) scenarios / long-term cache prepping and more on the process of living and working on the daily.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, I’m John V Cain, founder of Vinjatek and a New York City native.

I’m a former covert operative that now lives nomadically around the world as an operations consulting contractor.

Why are you doing what you do?
Although I retired from that career some time ago, I’m still relatively in it but with much more freedom. I do this so I can go anywhere and live anywhere at any time. To be self-sufficient while being location independent.

What do you want to achieve in the future?
I have no interest in merely stepping foot in every country but I do want to experience as much of it as I can, in a more in-depth lifestyle way. Perhaps to become a world citizen, whatever that means.

What advice would you give yourself 20 years ago?
Be humble. Surround yourself with people smarter and wiser than you. Don’t be too proud to ask for help and know when you’ve won.

What’s your favorite destination?
My favorite destination changes frequently but is rarely influenced by its physical location, it’s the people I meet that makes the place remarkable. However, Amsterdam, Bali and my hometown of Manhattan are my constant favorites.

Where would you like to explore next?
My next big trip may be taking the full extent of the near 6,000 miles Trans-Siberian Railway and finish off my nomadic life in a few years by slowly driving through all of North America, again.

Do you have a travel or commuting hack?
All you need is what you can put in your pockets or at most what you carry on your back, regardless of what you’re doing, where you’re going and for however long.

Do you have a motto?
You can’t change the world, but you can change the world around you.


Follow him @vinjatek on Instagram and Facebook. Check out for more of his in-depth analysis of Covert Operation Tactics, Urban Survivalists, and the Tradecraft Lifestyle.

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