I’m a twenty-something taking a career break from Information Systems to travel the world. Traveling alone has been part of my life since 2010, and I decided to leave my job (for a bit - I plan to go return) in early 2014 with a one-way ticket to Bangkok. Since then I've traveled through over ten countries. People I meet wonder how I was able to just quit my job and hit the road. I’d argue the fact that this question exists is systemic of a larger issue Americans have about vacation and work-life balance.Read More
In just a few weeks, we’ll release the first round of tickets for WDS 2016, a global gathering like no other!But first, we’re rolling out a series of speaker videos from the 2015 event. Jon Acuff, bestselling author of Do Over, Start, and several other books, spoke to us about having courage and finding our voice. He's also a very funny guy. Check out the video! Read More
A few days ago I went to San Francisco to attend a memorial service for Scott Luckey Dinsmore, who recently died in a tragic accident on Mount Kilimanjaro.The speakers were all family members and close friends who shared stories of Scott’s life. My favorite story was about a treasure hunt. Before Scott and his wife Chelsea left on the year-long Round-the-World trip that led them to Kilimanjaro, Scott and one of his friends had planned to go on a treasure hunt. Apparently, it was rumored that somewhere in the United States, some sort of treasure was still buried and just waiting to be found. Scott said that his biggest regret in going on the year-long trip was that he’d miss the treasure hunt. Everyone laughed when the speaker mentioned this. If your biggest regret in traveling the world for a year is that you’ll miss a treasure hunt back home, you’re doing pretty well. But that was Scott: according to the other stories we heard, he always said yes to every invitation, and he was always pursuing another crazy adventure. Read More
I'm Jane, and my husband Stephen and I have fallen into a pattern of ditching all the responsibilities of a normal life. It started on our first trip together almost 20 years ago. We backpacked around Europe, fought the entire time, and finally broke up when we ran out of money and patience. Stephen moved to Chamonix to work the ski season and I moved to Geneva to learn French (he ended up breaking his collarbone and my French is hopeless, as it turns out). We reunited in London, got back together, and got married.Read More
"Do human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?” -Emily, from Our Town by Thomas WilderThis past weekend I went back to the city where my brother and I both lived for a while. In fact, I stayed in the small hotel where I saw him for the last time. That visit was a year or so ago, and when we said goodbye he was returning to his home in Washington, D.C. and I to Portland. Ken had an appreciation for good whiskey, but on our last evening together I discovered that he had never heard of bourbon and ginger ale, a very basic and common drink. Following my lead, he had his first one that night at the hotel restaurant where we were staying. Then, the next morning, we had breakfast together in the same restaurant before going our separate ways. It’s funny how experiences like those seem so trivial at the time. Imagine writing a story composed of such details: two characters meet in a bar for a drink and talk about nothing terribly important. The next morning they have breakfast together and then fly back home. There’s no plot, no conflict, no life-altering decision to be made. What a boring story! Read More
I always love a good quest. While flying Southwest Airlines recently (it’s a long story) I happened to pick up the in-flight magazine and read about a guy who’s trying to become a professional golfer.
The whole article is interesting but isn’t the easiest to read in online format. The short version is that Dan, an ordinary guy from my hometown of Portland, Oregon, is trying to become a professional golfer despite never having much of an aptitude for playing golf before.
Dan pursues the quest partly because he wants to see if it's possible. Does talent come about entirely through "putting in the hours"? Here's a real-life case study to find out.Read More
We did it!Last weekend I worked with a small and dedicated team to produce our second-ever Pioneer Nation, a gathering of independent entrepreneurs. For the first time in any big event we’ve done, we took everyone onsite for the entire experience. The event was held at The Resort at the Mountain, a scenic setting near Mount Hood, an hour’s drive from Portland. Events are a ton of work, but they can also be hugely rewarding. Once again I felt honored and inspired to be surrounded by great people. Read More
Someone else or some other external events determine how you schedule and spend your time. Sure, you eventually jump into something, but your priorities are not your own.
You are pre-occupied with tactics and short-term opportunities.
Instead of seeing the long-term goal, you see only 2-3 steps ahead. You are a tactician instead of a strategist, in other words.
You are disillusioned with the things that used to bring you joy.
What once made you happy is no longer sufficient. You do the same things you used to, but without the same feelings of anticipation and enjoyment.
You don’t know what to do at the start of the day.
I believe the hero’s journey is possible for anyone; that we all get a "call to adventure,” and have the innate desire and responsibility to do something great. I call myself a writer, adventurer, and change-maker. I work with people one-on-one and in workshops to help them find the “thing” that makes them feel most alive and happy because I believe the best thing we can do for ourselves, those around us, and the world is to be the most authentic version of ourselves at any time—and I want to contribute to this.Read More
I write about travel hacking a lot on the blog (and much more in the Cartel), and I always try to point people to the best available deals and opportunities. Some of these opportunities are for credit card signup bonuses, something I’ve been experimenting with for years, ever since first applying for 13 cards of my own on the same day way back in 2009.Of course, not everyone is able or eligible to get these bonuses—so what else is out there? There’s actually a ton. Credit cards are an easy way to earn a big boost of miles and points in many different programs, but they aren’t the only way. Read More
That’s what dentists tell you. You don’t need to floss all your teeth—just the ones you need to keep.When it comes to your business, your life, or your relationships, a similar principle applies. You don’t have to pay attention to everything and everyone. But you do have to pay attention to what matters most. It may help to identify some priorities. In my business I track only two metrics on a consistent basis:
1. Email subscribers 2. Product salesMy thinking is that if these things are going along okay, everything else will fall into place. I don't check other statistics or track anything else. Checking my bank accounts will not make more money. This year I added a "relationship metric":
Every day I will write or call at least one friend.It’s simple, but effective (at least for me). So far this year, I haven’t missed a day. Read More
Well into her third year of continuous travel, Serena Star Leonard and her husband John spend their days exploring the world and documenting stories of people who make a difference.
I’m Serena, a half-Kiwi, half-Malaysian born in Hong Kong. My husband is John, an Irishman. We were both living in Australia when we met, fell in love, and got married in the space of 16 weeks. I’d worked in corporate environments for a number of years, but I wanted to change things up. My goal was to work for money one day a week and spend the rest of my time doing work I was passionate about but wouldn’t necessarily make a cent.Read More
On the road is where a traveler feels most at home. Sure, you can take it slow for a while, staying in one place to save up funds or work on a project or do whatever you need to do.But secretly you’re like a junkie, thinking ahead to the next hit. There’s always somewhere else to go and another way to get there. You find yourself getting to the airport several hours early. You go to the airport and look at the departure signs, reminiscing about previous trips and daydreaming of destinations you’ve never seen. You can live in the moment, but that moment exists in another place. And you have to get there! Read More
"I think the message in the book is that we all have flaws we can’t resolve." -Amazon reviewerI recently read Mrs. Bridge, a lesser-known novel from 1959 in which nothing really happens. A boring and largely unsympathetic character ambles though normal life events, rarely seeing her equally boring husband. Their three children have normal childhood problems, and eventually grow up. Sounds thrilling, right? But underneath the surface, there’s a lot more going on. The novel is essentially about discontent and regret, or about encountering the panic and quiet desperation of an ordinary life. Read More