Greetings, friends and readers. I'm on the road as usual, and today I'm also excited to announce the release of a new manifesto, The Tower. As with my two earlier works, A Brief Guide to World Domination and 279 Days to Overnight Success, this report is completely free, with nothing for sale and no email opt-in required.Read More
Coming back on my final flight from the South Pacific last night, I sat next to a business traveler. In between Blackberrying and reading legal files, she gave me her brief attention.
She asked: "Do you travel for work?"
I said: "Not really. I travel for life."
"That's interesting," she said as she returned to her files.Read More
Several times on the never-ending book tour, people came up to me with multiple copies of my book for signing. “My family doesn't understand me,” they said, “So I'm giving them your book.”
"Thanks," I always said ... although I worried a little about signing books for people who didn't necessarily want them. I learned to invent a specific inscription for these copies:
"To Barbara: I'm not sure you'll like this book, but your daughter isn't crazy."Read More
Once upon a time, there was a traveler. He began traveling because it helped him feel alive. Gradually, he became more and more comfortable with traveling, and therefore more motivated to see the world. The more he wandered, the more he wanted to wander. He memorized flight schedules, lists of the world's capital cities, and random airline trivia. He didn't have much material wealth, but he was a millionaire in Frequent Flyer Miles ...Read More
Last week I hosted a fun contest to give away my Frequent Flyer Miles to one reader. I expected a few hundred comments, and I got a few thousand. In this post I'll share the winner's name and story (it was a very tough choice for my biased judges and cat), but I also want to look at a broader issue ...Read More
It's a good idea to be yourself, not only because everybody else is taken, but because trying to be anything else doesn't usually get you very far.
But how do you do it?
First, you have to understand what you have unlearned about yourself. This process can be disheartening, as you remember past decisions where you had the chance to be yourself but instead chose to be something different.
Since trying to be anyone other than yourself is usually ineffective, why not begin by deciding to do only what is true to your own inner compass? If you did it for just one day, what would that day look like?Read More
One of the questions I'm repeatedly asked in interviews is, “Aren't you afraid of all the dangerous countries?" It's usually followed by questions like "What's the worst thing that has happened to you?"
Despite 100 interviews over the past three months on book tour, I'm still not very good at the soundbyte. I have countries that try to deport me upon arrival and countries that write an official government response to my frustration at their bureaucracy. In a decade full of active traveling, I've also had a few more serious problems as well ...Read More
A few weeks ago in Miami I only had a $5 bill when it came time to get out of the airport shuttle.
I'd love to tell you I gave the driver five bucks instead of the usual $1-2, but I kept it in my pocket and just said "Thanks." Generosity fail.
When it comes to generosity, the general rule with me is: Win some, lose some. It's funny how I don't often regret being generous, but when I choose to be stingy, it comes back to me later.Read More
If you're trying to figure out how you'll leave your imprint on the world, start by thinking about what bothers you.
What do you not like about the world? What is irritating? What is unfair?
Keep calm and carry on was the message for people in Britain during World War II. I like get excited and change things better.Read More
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.Read More
I’m a big fan of Jim Collins’ work, especially the modern day classic Good to Great. Even if you’re not interested in business, the book is inspiring and practical. Nine years after publication, it’s still kicking ass, and deservedly so. I recently re-read my favorite passages, and I especially liked the introduction Jim used to convey how much the book meant to him before publication.Read More
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.Read More
February is Black History Month in the United States, where we recognize the achievements of African Americans and honor our culture of diversity. A lot of attention during this time is focused on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and rightfully so. Above my desk is one of his most famous quotations: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is this: what are you doing for others?”Read More
Greetings from home base in the great Portland, Oregon. Yesterday I ran 10 miles, a fact I was happy about until I went to a dinner party and met an ultrarunner who runs 80 miles a week. She also has two young children and a full-time job. I felt suitably shamed. Ultrarunners and any other endurance athletes out there, you have my respect ... but not my company for training runs.Read More
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of author and change agent Seth Godin. I’ve been reading his books since my years in West Africa (2002-2006), and he continues to produce excellent work almost every day on his great blog. I had the chance to speak to Seth’s “Alternative MBA” group last year, and when the invitation came, I rearranged my schedule and dropped everything to fly to New York. (Never pass up a major opportunity for personal growth.)Read More