Site Update: May 2008

Live from British Columbia

This month’s Site Update takes place from the Amtrak Cascades train heading south to Seattle after a quick trip up to Vancouver, Canada. I had to go to the Vancouver airport to pick up my next Round-the-World plane ticket, and the quick trip that began at 6:30 this morning is almost over.

Vancouver is a cool city with a great airport. Once in a while, someone asks me for my favorite U.S. / Canadian airport, and at first I don’t know what to say since most of them are awful. But then I remember YVR up in Vancouver, a peaceful oasis in the desert of crowded and stressful places elsewhere on this continent.

One time a couple years ago, however, I came in to Vancouver from Asia on the way back to Seattle, and something had obviously gone wrong. That’s the only explanation I can think of, because everyone in the airport was incredibly rude to me, from Canadian immigration to the Air Canada check-in agent on down to the gate agent.

I remember thinking, oh my God, what’s happened here? Did I fly past British Columbia and land in New Jersey by mistake?

Thankfully, that day was the exception that proved the rule of Canada being a fun and friendly place to hang out. Today, everyone in Vancouver and in YVR was as amazingly helpful as always, so my confidence is restored. Thank you, dear Canucks.

(By the way, I’m not actually traveling with this ticket for a while, so I’ll write more about it when the time comes… but I had to get the ticket before next week due to an upcoming restriction on Round-the-World tickets.)


And here is the site update –

Each month I look back at what’s happened with in the previous month. If you’ve missed some articles, you can catch up here.


LIFE – I wrote about Questions To Ask When the World Isn’t Going Your Way, The Land of Too Much, and Everyone Loves to Hate a Winner.

WORK – I wrote about The Normalization of Mediocrity and How To Retire the Day After Tomorrow.

TRAVEL – I wrote about 28 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Traveling, From Easter Island to Beirut, The Road to Damascus, Candlelit Notes from a Dismal Hotel Room, a blogger round-up called 10 MORE Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling, and Five Journeys to Cotonou.

PROFILES – We continued our Profiles in Nonconformity series with an interview with online wordsmith Robert Bruce.

I also asked everyone to give me feedback, and many of you did through comments and emails. Thanks! It is good to see more discussions taking place on this site and around the blogosphere.


In early May I finished up a whirlwind trip that took me to several amazing places, such as Easter Island, Syria, and Tunisia. I also visited Argentina, Uruguay, Jordan, and Italy en route to other stops.

Also, most people won’t care about this, but for the travel purists out there, I’ve adjusted a few places in my crazy goal of visiting every country in the world. I am now working with a list of 198 countries, having taken off some of the places in the Russian caucuses that don’t have much chance of becoming sovereign countries. Again, most people aren’t that interested in the details, but I include them here for those who are.


  • The site received its first major media mention in the form of coverage from a New York Times blog, Shifting Careers. I also appreciate all the bloggers who have been linking here and writing about the project. That really helps; please keep it up!
  • I have enjoyed hanging out in Seattle for an extended time with no school commitments. In a few days my family is coming for a vacation we’ll be taking together, and I’m looking forward to that too.
  • I finished writing the upcoming manifesto (see below) and life is good.

What’s Coming Next

Manifesto – I’ve mentioned this a couple times before, but now it’s complete—a manifesto that is far more important than my thesis for grad school or pretty much anything else I’ve ever written. The manifesto is called A Brief Guide to World Domination: How To Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World.

The manifesto is a summary of a few things I’ve been thinking about for the last four years. If you enjoy any of the writing on this site, I think you’ll enjoy this report.

The manifesto is 29 pages in PDF format and is 100% non-commercial—it will be a free download and nothing is for sale inside.

The launch date is Tuesday, June 24 at 9am PST. Stay tuned for more details.

Marathon – Before the manifesto launch, I’ll be running a self-designed marathon (26.2 miles) from a unique location. I don’t want to give away the details yet, but I’ll fill you in as soon as it’s over. (Wish me luck?)

Travel – Aside from the family trip, I won’t be doing much travel until the end of June. When I do head out, though, I’ll be going all the way around the world and making a lot of great stopovers, including Estonia, Pakistan, Mongolia, and more. It’s going to be exciting, and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Essays – The thrice-weekly essays will continue to be posted each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This month I’ll write about the following topics, among others:

  • You Are Incredibly Rich
  • Building a Command Center for Your World Takeover Plans
  • What I Learned in My First 90 Days of Writing
  • Trip Reports from Dubai (UAE), Amman (Jordan), and elsewhere
  • The Hidden Messages of Passport Stamps

I hope you enjoy my writing, and I always welcome your feedback.

Audience Participation

You can participate in the development of this project in several ways:

Leave a comment at the bottom of any essay. We have recently upgraded our comments engine to where it can be accessed more easily. Feel free to share your comments and include a link back to your own site if you have one.

Join my newsletter announcement list or add me to your RSS reader.

Follow my real-time updates on Twitter.

Send other feedback. Use my contact form here to tell me what you think so far.

Tell your friends, or tell the world by submitting my essays to StumbleUpon, Digg, or other social networking sites.

I appreciate the time you spend here. Don’t forget to change the world the way you think it needs to be changed.



Previous Updates:

April 2008
March 2008
February 2008

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  • Cheng says:

    The manifesto sounds interesting. I see it as being a Cliff Notes version of all your tips and anecdotes. I might just have to steal that idea too. Lately, I find myself searching the net (blogs, websites, etc) for the best and brightest ideas, and then tweaking them to match my needs. I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been borrowing liberally from your blog.

  • Benny Lewis says:

    I’m definitely looking forward to that manifesto and your article on what you’ve learned about writing! I’m only starting off in that world and I really appreciate your writing style so I’ll be learning a lot from you! You have an RSS and twitter fan from wee auld Ireland 😛

  • Chris says:

    @ Cheng and @ Benny –

    Thanks guys; I am excited about it too. I’m glad to know you are enjoying the site.

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    Thank you for the true stories. You always tell the truth, without any preconceptions or fabrications.

  • کارخانجات کاشی و سرامیک پردیس‌ سرام آباده says:

    یکی از پرکاربردترین مصالحی که در ساختمان‌سازی از آن استفاده می‌شود کاشی و سرامیک است که خود انواع متعددی دارد و در قسمت‌های مختلف یک ساختمان ازجمله آشپزخانه، حمام و سرویس بهداشتی، حیاط، پارکینگ و حتی نمای ساختمان، گلخانه و حوض‌های
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