Searching for Guinea Bissau in Midtown Manhattan

On a crisp morning in November, you find yourself waking up in the center of the universe. You look out your window and see 5th Avenue and the New York Public Library.

You step out of bed and feel the impact of three hours' time change from the west coast. It's 4:30am back there, your body informs you. But you have a mission ahead of you, and you can't be late.

The previous evening you had ordered breakfast for delivery and hesitated over the selection. At first you were thinking french toast, but then you remembered that Gary Leff recommends the lemon poppyseed pancakes. You're not usually a fan of lemon poppyseed, but you decide to trust Gary and give it a try.

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Around Here: Notes from Thursday Afternoon

Whenever things are going well, it's always good to ask yourself “How could I improve? What could I do better?” Never rest on your laurels! Always be thinking: OK, great. What's next? Yesterday I woke up early and went for a quick run around the park. Then I went for a morning biscuit at Pine State, where I visit a couple of times a week whenever I'm home in Portland. Then I came back and got ready, and then we sold 1,000 WDS 2013 tickets to fun people all over the world. I looked back at the screen and thought, wow, that was exciting. Then I went for sushi.

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On the Road Again: Next Stop, Republic of Congo

Greetings, friends and readers. For the past few months I've been confined to a short leash. I visited twenty cities in North America for the first leg of The $100 Startup tour, and I managed to hop over to London for the U.K. launch as well. Last week, I also went on a post-WDS vacation to Alaska. Aside from those trips, however, I've been homebound and my passport has been sorely underused. I'm now heading back out to see the world, with only eight countries remaining ...

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How to Go Everywhere

“I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list.” - Susan Sontag

Over the past seven years, I've been traveling to everywhere: all 193 countries, and plenty of other places along the way. The journey has been even more amazing than I expected. Over the next couple of months I'll be on book tour in the U.S. and Canada, and I'm actually glad to be taking a break from seeing the world ... because I'm not ready for it to end.

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Getting to Ashgabat

I often think in airport codes, and I know at least a couple hundred of them by memory. Name an airport, even a fairly obscure one, and there's a good chance I know its shorthand.

But even I was stumped when it came to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Until a few years ago when I had racked up my first hundred countries, I wasn't even sure where Turkmenistan was.

Answers: Turkmenistan is in Central Asia, bordered by Iran, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and the Caspian Sea. The airport code is ASB, for the two people out there who are curious.

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Runway Running

When I boarded the flight to Nauru, I felt like I was going into exile. The airline that flies to Nauru is called “Our Airline,” which could go down as the most comical airline name I've ever heard. (Runner up: "Jubbah Airways" in Somalia.) I had previously been informed by my visa service that no visa is required to visit Nauru. Unfortunately, that fact turned out to be untrue—pretty much everyone going to Nauru needs a visa. After an earlier failure, I regrouped and made another attempt last week. This time, the visit was successful.

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The Feeling of Landing on a Remote Airstrip

You appreciate the big cities. Tokyo, Hong Kong, London—all of these you visit often and love well. But sometimes, your adventures take you further afield. You fly to a big city, then to a smaller city, and eventually on to an airstrip that could be anywhere. Stepping off the rickety commuter-jet stairs into the void, you're tempted to shout in expectation of an echo.

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Running in Frankfurt

It’s always a sunny day when you arrive in Frankfurt. You might think this is impossible, but Frankfurt is like Seattle: apparently it rains all the time, but never on your first day. (It helps to arrive in the summer months.) I’ve been here on a dozen stopovers, nearly half of them last year when…

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When You Travel, You Find Yourself Alone

Greetings from St. John's, Newfoundland—the "east east" coast of North America, and the first stop of my book tour to every province in Canada. I'll be on the road for the next two weeks. Articles will continue to be posted as always, but email and the rest of my work may be delayed as I explore the frozen north. For my trip eastward and your life wherever you are, here's a poem from John O'Donohue that I especially liked ...

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The Journey to Ithaca

Many of us are on quests, either real or representative. Since my quest is real, I like the metaphor of journeying.

Going on a journey involves unexpected surprises, challenges, setbacks, and rewards. And I tend to think that any good journey is as much about the process as the destination ...

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The Journey

Part of what I like about adventures is the challenge for the sake of the challenge. I like the logistics. I like trying to figure out flight schedules to Papua New Guinea. I don't always like getting stuck in random places, but I like finding my way out. Those of you out there with big goals of your own—think about the journey. If you know you can enjoy it for what it is, without any other reward, you know you're on the right track.

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