A Quiet Dinner on the Beach By Yourself

Quiet Dinner

Last year for my birthday I went to Norway with 200 of my closest friends. Fun times!

This year I went to Bali… by myself. It was a very different experience, but also good.

Being alone is good for you—or at least, it’s good for me. I needed some time away to reflect and recharge.

I don’t have 36 lessons for turning 36. (Those posts are easier to write when you’re 25, I think—though I did try one a couple years ago.)

But even without the 36 lessons, I’m excited about the future. Pioneer Nation was great. As much work as it is to put on a big event, once it begins I’m always reminded of why we do it—and of course, the answer comes back to community. People matter!

In a few short months we’ll be welcoming several thousand people to Portland for the fourth WDS, and this is no small project. Even though the event is still 90 days away, in less than a month it will become almost a full-time endeavor to produce.

A lot of people have been asking if it’s too late to get a WDS ticket. It’s not! We’ll have one final round of ticket sales toward the end of April. Join the waiting list for early notice.

After Bali I went to Tokyo and saw a bunch of people at several events and interviews, ending with an all-Japanese crowd at a meetup arranged by my friend mehori.

Japan Meetup!





Soon I’ll be home and working on more projects, including a big change to the original AONC blog that I’ve now been writing for more than five years.

This fall I’ll be back on tour with a new book, seeing friends and readers all over the world.

And I’ll probably do some other things too, because that’s how I work. But whatever I do, I hope it advances the interests of everyone who reads the blog or otherwise participates in our little world.

The best is yet to come! Thanks for being around.


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    • Luke says:

      Well done on the milestone Chris, I find birthdays a great time for reflection and looking forward. I’ve got my ticket for WDS and am very excited for July!

    • Lucy Chen says:

      Happy Birthday, Chris! Congratulations on turning 36! You make me start thinking where I will be when I turn 36. It’s only 4 years away 🙂

      So you’ve been planning and writing for the big change of this blog for 5 years? Sounds like a huge change is coming!

      And 200 close friends! Whoa! I don’t even have 20…

    • Matt Peyton says:

      Happy Birthday! Time for quiet reflection is a gift to yourself. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have in store.

    • Sergio Sala says:

      Happy birthday, Chris! I just turned 25 but I didn’t the 25 tips, whoops!

      It’s true, what I do, my blog, is for my people, mexican people.

      That’s all that matters.

      You are truly a inspiration, bro. See you on WDS!

    • Nancy says:

      I recently turned a higher number and I still love my birthday. I could not, as I usually do, travel this year, but I decided to spend the day on my own for some reflection time. Coffee in the morning, spa in the afternoon and dinner for one in the evening. It was a lovely day.

      No one who knows me would by any stretch call me a loner. My life/work by its nature involves multitudes. I do, however, immensely enjoy my own company and am a true believer in the power of solitude.

      So looking forward to Portland.

      Happy Birthday to you!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for your blog as it keeps me young!
      Dave age 44

    • Lillian Duggan says:

      Happy birthday, Chris! Mine was yesterday. Taking astrology with a grain of salt, I’m wondering how many world-dominators in training are Aries?

    • Speed says:

      I have an extra ticket for WDS 2014 and looking for someone that’s interested in going. Let me know.

    • Suzanne says:

      Happy Birthday Chris! I recently spent my birthday alone in Sydney having a fabulous dinner with views of the Opera House – while some found that sad and lonely, I also, like you use it as a time to reflect on my life -how I am living, how I want to live and what I need to change to make me happy. Your blog is such an inspiration to reflect on life – I look forward to what the next year of fun and fabulous changes

    • Scott Asai says:

      It depends how you like to celebrate. In the US people make a bigger deal about their birthdays now than ever before. Personally, I like to spend some time with my family, eat some good food and be thankful for what I have.

    • Laila Atallah says:

      Happy birthday, Chris! Love that you take what you need. I’m a huge solitude fan, and sometimes take as many as 10-15 short trips away each year for my solitude, retreat and creativity time.

      You have given and continue to give the world so much! Thanks for being a leader, guide and inspiration to us all in creating our unconventional happiness and contributions to the world!! Looking forward to seeing you and communing with this great community at WDS this July.

      May your coming year be rich beyond imagining.

    • iktomi says:

      Happy Birthday, Chris…and congratulations on your successful writing career and world travels. I look forward to what you have planned for the future. I will be 80 years old April 28. I am happy to have worked at raising a family, of getting an education and working in offices for many years. I now enjoying retirement. I am so glad I did what I did when if could. Time is passing…make it count. Best wishes…

    • Estee says:

      Selamat Ulang Tahun, Chris! That’s Happy Birthday in Bahasa Indonesia:) Glad to hear you had a lovely time in Bali. If I’d known you were here, I would have treated you to a traditional Indonesian birthday meal and desserts:) Actually, I’d probably leave you to enjoy your own exquisite aloneness. Maybe someday when you’re here next time, I get to treat you and thank you for your blog:)

      Salam hangat,

    • John Fotheringham says:

      Happy happy boing boing birthday, Chris. Or in honor of your recent time in Japan, お誕生日おめでとう!(otanjoubi omedetou, “Happy Birthday”). I noticed in the pictures that there is a Japanese version of The $100 Startup (1万円起業, lit. “10,000 Yen Startup”). Very cool! Will have to get a copy via Amazon Japan or on my next lap through Japan. Keep on rocking it, Chris, and good luck preparing for WDS. I really hope to attend if I can scrape together some fundage.

    • Anna says:

      Happy Birthday, Chris! Best wishes and many more great projects. Are you planning to be in LA anytime soon?

    • Stephanie Rogers says:

      Chris, I’m wishing you a very happy birthday! Looking forward to seeing what your new site will look like. I loved WDS last year and wish I could come again this year. I know it will be amazing for everyone involved!! Wishing you all the best!

    • Kat Bowers says:

      Hey Chris, so glad you got some down time! You are a wonderful person and have done so much for all us. ‘Life is what we make it, we just need to do it.” Happy Fabulous 36! a great age. Feliz Cumpleanos de Los Angeles.

      best, Kat

    • Tom Sramek, Jr. says:

      Chris: I would encourage you and the WDS web team to add an area where one could easily sell and buy WDS tickets. I know on the FB page last year there were dozens of people looking to buy tickets after they were sold out, and dozens of people looking to sell, and somehow they could never connect. A WDS-sanctioned page, with perhaps Google and/or Paypal payments, would help immenely. That would also allow you to restrict the sale price to the face value (with or without transaction fee) or less. Just a suggestion!

    • Chris says:


      We offer the transfer option as a courtesy (available for 9 full months) but we don’t facilitate the process of finding buyers for those who change their minds. We still have one more round of ticket sales coming up, so hopefully everyone who wants to attend will be able to. 🙂

    • Amreta says:

      Oh, I did EXACTLY the same thing for my birthday in April 2013! Don’t know if it’s an Aries thing 🙂 but I went there just for my birthday and had birthday dinner by myself. I still think it’s one of the best decision I ever made for myself.

    • Kanchipuram sarees says:

      we don’t facilitate the process of finding buyers for those who change their minds.

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    • Samyak Manandhar says:

      It was great reading your blog Chris. Keep it up.

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      Happy Birthday Chris Guillebeau. I like your idea on dinner on beach. I would like to try this idea on my birthday.

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