Happy Birthday to the Art of Non-Conformity


That’s right, AONC turns two years old today! Wow. They grow up so fast …


Sometimes people ask why I accept donations for our charity project but not for myself like other popular blogs do. I do have a store, but 95% of people read for free without buying anything … for which I am thrilled.

My answer is that instead of being paid for my writing, I should pay people to read. The fact that I can publish something that people from all over the world care about and seem to appreciate is incredible.

Another way to look at it is that I get paid in nice email messages, in Tweets, in links from those of you who write other blogs, and so on. By those standards, I am very rich.

During the two years before February 2008, I thought long and hard about what this project would ultimately look like. It’s still a work in progress, but I think we’re getting there.

Thanks to Jolie for putting up with me at home and letting me travel. Thanks to Reese for putting so much work into design and branding. Thanks to everyone else who pitches in for various projects — David #1, Sean, Nicky, Tsilli, David #2, J.D., and Liberia the cat, among others.

And thanks to all of you for reading and caring! The journey is far from over. Stick around for much, much more.

Wishing you well from Manila and beyond,



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  • Maria says:


    Congratulations! I have been reading your blog practically since its inception and enjoy it more and more each month. You inspire so many of us to live our lives in a way that matters to us and others, and that is fun to boot. Best wishes for your and all of our continued success on the journey.

  • Heather Rae says:

    Congratulations on two great years with AONC! I love the blog, your mission, the whole thing! Your writing is awesome – and I look forward to reading it for years to come. πŸ™‚

  • RJ Weiss says:

    Happy Birthday AONC!

    Thanks for making a positive contribution to mine, and I’m sure, many others lives.

  • Nick Rae says:

    Congrats!!! Happy Birthday!!! May many more to follow.

  • Tyler Tervooren says:

    Happy birthday AONC! You’re but a formidable toddler with an incredible life ahead of you.

    I feel so lucky to be here getting to watch such an awesome project “grow up.”

  • Kristen McMurphy says:

    Happy Birthday, AONC–and Congratulations, Chris!

  • Stacie says:

    Happy Happy! You have come a long way and I am looking forward to the journey in front of you…thanks for giving non-conformity a great image…and me inspiration!

  • Jim says:

    Congrats! I enjoy reading through the AONC and have been inspired by many of the articles you have written.

    Here’s to many more years to come! *cheers*

  • Neil Jaehnert says:

    Congratulations. It certainly doesn’t sound like you’re experiencing the “terrible two’s.” Keep traveling. Keep writing.

  • Darrell Davis says:

    Congrats Chris!! You have certainly been someone I have learned from and respect. I also don’t mind saying I own a couple of your products and am happy to say you really deliver! looking forward to your upcoming stuff!

  • Stephanie Krahl says:

    Happy birthday! Keep of the great work. I look forward what’s to come.

  • Devin says:

    Congratulations on the AONC success, Happy Birthday, and more importantly continued work toward a more remarkable planet. I am with you. Now if I could just kick-start my own sites.

  • David Wang says:

    Hey Chris, congrats on your blog’s 2-year anniversary. Appreciate the shout out and the link. I was really inspired by your world domination guide that I’m happy to have played a small part in helping to build up the small army. Keep kicking butt!

  • Kevin Kane says:


    Congratulations and best wishes for many more years of travel and writing success. You are blessed with an ability communicate with, inspire and motivate others across the world. Thanks for sharing your gift with us.

    Have a grateful day,

  • Naomi Niles says:

    Happy Birthday!!

  • PS Pirro says:

    Congratulations on two great years, Chris. Best wishes for your continued Unconventional World Domination.

  • ymm says:

    happy birthday to AONC, been here only shortly, however inspiring thou…hope to seem more and enough inspiration so that I could finally dare to live NC as I wish…

  • Eduard says:

    Well Happy Birthday! I can’t wait for my blog to reach 2 years. Patience is not one of my virtues.

  • Mendy says:

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on your “baby” turning 2! I’ve only been reading your blog since Oct. 2009. Since then it has been a must read, and given me much inspiration, motivation, and no excuses to live the life I want to live. I love this blog, I love the services you provide, and I wish you well during the rest of 2010 and beyond.


  • Ceil DeYoung says:

    You are totally awesome. What an inspiration to me. May you keep growing.
    I love what you are doing.

  • soultravelers3 says:

    How exciting! Congrats & Happy Birthday! Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?

  • Chris says:

    Yes it does! Thanks, Jeanne.

    And thanks to everyone else as well! I’m in Asia and going to bed now (3am local time).


  • Emily-Sarah says:

    Just adding my happy-birthday wishes to the bunch!

  • Heather McF says:

    Congratulations and as many others have said, here’s to many more years! I couldn’t be happier that AONC is here and going strong. What you do means a lot to those of us in the freeloading 95%!

  • Jenna says:

    Congratulations Chris! I love your writing, Thank you for all the inspirations! Keep up the great work!

  • Jayde says:

    Happy Birthday! Keep up the good material, I love to read your stuff! It gives me encouragement to work on my own ‘business’.

  • Jim Greenwood says:

    Happy Birthday to AONC! Yea! (picture confetti, delicious cake, and the sound of glasses clinking in toast to your efforts). Your writing is clear, inspiring and opens me to new ideas and potentials. Thanks for sharing your energy.

    Have funlovemovementhappinesssuccesshealth, Jim

  • Etsuko says:


    Happy Birthday!! Finding you and your blog was one of the highlights of last year for me. It’s amazing how far you’ve come in short period of time. For all of your fans including myself, hope AONC will have many many more birthdays!!


  • ami says:

    What a precocious child! I’m amazed at everything you’ve managed to accomplish in 2 years – you should be proud. Looking forward to what the future brings.

  • Luc Andria says:

    Joyeux Anniversaire Chris!

    I’ve just recently started following you and I love your journey in life and around the world. Thanks for sharing it all with us πŸ™‚


  • Brian Garbisch says:

    Happy Birthday. Found you in December, just wanted to say “thanks” to you for two years of hard work.

  • Laura Lee Bloor of Tenacious Me says:

    Happy Birthday, AONC! You’ve done such an amazing job with it, Chris! You’re a huge inspiration and excellent resource for my work. Thanks for all you do.

  • Nicola says:

    Congratulations! It hasn’t been long since I found AONC but it has been fun to watch the evolution of the site. I really admire everything that you do – best of luck with the next year and beyond.

  • brooke thomas says:

    Happy Birthday Chris and AONC! I look forward to many more years!

  • Miss Guimba says:

    Happy 2nd birthday, AONC! I’ve been reading your blog two months ago and it’s now part of my daily reading. I’m psyched that you’re here in the Philippines. Enjoy your stay in Manila!

  • anand says:

    Happy birthday Chris – here’s wishing AONC many many more glorious years – thanks for helping us πŸ™‚ with your blog……anand

  • Prime says:

    Congrats Chris! I’m one of your big fans from Manila. I hope you enjoy staying here, even briefly. Will buy you a coffee if you have time.

  • Sanford says:

    Happy Birthday AONC! We’ll see ya though many more.

  • Mercy says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY. This blog totally inspires me to go forward with a writing career. Keep up the good work!

  • Christopher Kabamba says:

    Many congratulations Chris and many thanks for your inspiration.

  • Phil says:

    Chris – Happy Birthday to you and the AONC team. Keep on increasing the peace.


  • Adrian Munday says:

    Happy 2nd birthday! As a relative newbie to AoNC I really appreciate what you are doing here Chris.

  • bchase says:

    Happy birthday to ANOC. I love the name of your blog and I think that it is an excellent goal… non-conformity. I also love the fact that you have chosen to be a contributing non-conformist rather that a non-participating, rebellious non-conformist.

    To help you celebrate, I want to let you know that your manifesto was one of the things that pushed me into starting my own wee blog, now 3 weeks old, about Nature Education. You and others gave me “ideas”.

    Happy Birthday.

  • Marc says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am pretty new to your blog but really enjoy it and the premise behind it. Congratulations on year 2!


  • Patrenia says:

    Happy Birthday AONC!!! I am so glad that you were born. You have the best father in the entire world:-).

    Thanks Chris! Definitely keep inspirig us to great action. As I’ve stated to you before, I’m going to find a way to pay you for all that you have instilled into me as I’ve been reading your work over the last year!!!

  • Hulbert says:

    I’ve heard so much about this blog and happy to finally feel the courage to comment here. Congratulations on the 2 years Chris!

  • Alex says:

    Joyeux Anniversaire! Thanks for sticking around, providing so much inspiration and bringing so many smiles to so many faces!

  • Jes says:

    Hey Chris! Congrats on 2 years of AONC! I can’t believe it’s been that long already, seems like just yesterday I found your blog and downloaded “a brief guide to world domination.” You have been such an inspiration – keep up the awesome work!

  • Peter Mis says:


    Happy Birthday. Usually on your birthday you receive gifts, but it’s been you that has been giving your gift to us instead. I am much appreciative of you sharing your journey as you do, expecting nothing in return.

    Here’s to an awesome third year!



  • Joe Oviedo says:

    Congratulations Chris to you and your team. And jeep bring it on! Im here to listen and learn. Thank you fro. Your effort and commitment. And next time you are in Mexico let me know. Is there a AONC group around here? LOL If not I’m declaring myself the # 1 member. πŸ™‚

  • Didier says:

    Happy Birthday! And oh, it is also my birthday today!

  • marta says:

    CONGRATS to u and all the team! great work chris!

  • Luce says:

    Congratulations on birthday #2 AONC!!! Great work done in a very short period of time. Looking forward to even greater posts in the future.

  • Martin says:

    Hi Chris! I have been reading your blog for one and a half year now. It’s been a great and very inspirational ride. Thanks a lot!

    My own blog is merely two days old and goes in the same non-conformist vein. I’ll hope I can celebrate my first two years in 2012!

  • Charles Valerio says:

    Happy Happy Birthday! Definitely a celebration for AONC. Glad I got to meet you in LA last year at the AONC army meetup. Continue on with your great journey. I’m glad we have you in our generation.

  • Jennifer Moore says:

    Happy birthday, AONC! Thank YOU for bringing such an amazing blog to my attention.

    I hope to pick up some of your books one day. I’m sure they are full of more excellent stuff!

    Good luck going forward, and as always, safe travels!

  • emma says:

    Happy Birthday AONC! So happy you are here, and you just keep getting better with age.

  • Patrick Welch says:

    Congratulations Chris!

    I’ve been reading your blog for most of the last two years and will finally be able to put all your tips into practice when I fly to Europe for an extended vacation this summer.

    Thanks for all your help-Patrick

  • Clara Mathews says:

    Happy Anniversary, Chris. I have enjoyed reading your adventures and I look forward to many more years of AONC.

  • Ray says:

    Congratulation Chris!

    You’re an inspirational leader who leads by example. I look forward to your post every week. Keep up the good work.


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