Site Update: May 2009


This overdue monthly update comes to you from the Dominican Republic – I’m actually not there now, but that’s where I wrote most of this update, so we’ll call it good.


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 26 People I Highly Respect, Do all Real Jobs Suck?, and Motivations and $32,000.

WORK – I wrote about Unconventional Business Ideas, How to Process 2,021 Emails in One Day and, of course, 279 Days to Overnight Success.

TRAVEL – I wrote about 1,670,000 Frequent Flyer Miles, my visit to Haiti, Expectations Management and Hotels in Guyana, and my packing list that a bunch of people asked about.

SITE AND STORE UPDATES – I wrote about Easter here in 97214, and welcomed new readers from The Oregonian and The New York Times.

(P.S. Thanks to everyone who has been participating in the comments section. You guys are incredibly smart.)


I went on a journey to Haiti, the three mysterious countries of South America (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana), and the Dominican Republic. It was a relatively challenging trip for me, but since I know there are aid workers in Darfur, Pakistan, the Congo, and several other hardship areas who read this site, I try not to complain too much. Really, I have a great life.


I had some nice coverage in a Frequent Flyer Profile from the New York Times, which was also published all over the world in the Herald Tribune. I enjoyed hearing from fellow travelers in about 15 different countries who came into the site through the article.

I started writing a travel column for the Oregonian, my hometown paper here in Portland, Oregon. The column comes out in the paper roughly once a month, with a few blog posts on in between.

The great Huffington Post also began posting up some of my travel writing. The HuffPost gig is mostly syndicated content, meaning that the articles I post there will come from the AONC archives and upcoming trip reports.

I’m very grateful to the journalists and media outlets who are helping me spread the word. If you fit in that category and we haven’t connected yet, feel free to say hi. I always appreciate coverage, and I’m also happy to help anytime without being quoted.

The Frequent Flyer Challenge

A while back I wrote about my experience applying for 13 credit cards in pursuit of 300,000 Frequent Flyer miles. The original post outlined exactly how I did it, the (negligible) impact on my credit score, and showed how other people could also earn free travel with the creative use of credit cards.

According to the Google Document composed entirely of voluntary submissions, the total amount earned by readers is now upwards of 2,425,000 miles. I originally set a goal of helping people earn 5 Million Miles, so we’re almost halfway there.

Here are the links if you haven’t seen them before:

The Original Post
Update #1
Update #2
Update #3
Update #4

What’s Coming Next

Travel – I just found out I’m taking my first airline-sponsored trip…. which leaves tonight! The full story, including the airline and faraway destination, will be published tomorrow. Otherwise, I have a family trip coming up in early June, and after that I’ll be preparing for a monster, four-continent journey for the end of June and early July.

Articles – This month I’ll write about the following topics, among others:

* Why People Hate Marketers
* 279 Days to Overnight Success – Outcomes and Results
* Learning from Everyone
* The Insider’s Guide to the XXXX XXXXXXX (this is where I’m headed off to tonigh; I can’t give it away yet)

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

The Unconventional Guide to Art and Money

My first new product in several months is nearly complete. The Unconventional Guide to Art and Money is all about the link between making art and making money. How can artists make money without “selling out”? What separates financially successful artists from starving ones?

The project was created together with Zoë Westhof, a freelance writer and fellow non-conformist living her own unconventional life in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

After a short delay for copy-editing and design, it looks like we can launch it next week, as soon as I get back from my unexpected trip. Of course, I’ll tell you more about it a couple of days before the launch, and I’ll also explain more about how I sell things here for those who are new.

Audience Participation

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

Leave a comment at the bottom of any article. Feel free to add to the discussion at any time, and include a link back to your own site if you have one. (Note that the link goes in the “web site” field, not the big text box where you write your comment.)

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

Follow my real-time updates on Twitter. I regularly solicit input on the articles published here, as well as send out links to other people’s great content. A “Daily Ass-Kicking” is included at no additional charge.

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 articles to StumbleUpon 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.


Catch up on Previous Updates Here:

April 2009 (Portland)
March 2009 (Portland)
January-February 2009 (Tokyo)
November-December 2008 (Seattle)
October 2008 (Seattle)
September 2008 (Seattle)
August 2008 (Seattle)
July 2008 (Karachi)
June 2008 (Amsterdam)
May 2008 (Vancouver)
April 2008 (Syria)
March 2008 (Los Angeles)
February 2008 (Seattle)


Zona Colonial Image by AntonioA

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