Pandemic life has taught many of us to appreciate moments in life that might otherwise pass us by. I've been trying to pause and take note of how I feel at the end of the day, often as I walk in the park or one of my nearby neighborhoods.With that in mind, here's a tip inspired by The Art of Stopping Time, a book by Pedram Shojai: whenever you visit a place that's new to you, consider the sense that you might never be there again. Just imagine: this might be it! Your only opportunity in one lifetime to visit this particular place. How might this make you feel? What, you say you aren't traveling much now? That's okay. This "new place" could be anywhere: a part of the woods you've never seen on your next nature hike, for example, or even a street in your neighborhood you've never driven before. The point is to create awareness and appreciation. Read More
When you’re just starting to learn about free travel or travel hacking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed in a deluge of information and recommendations.But fear not! Here’s a current and highly practical list of things you can do right now to kickstart your way to the trip of your dream. Bonus: most of these actions are very simple to complete, and almost all of them are FREE. Read More
I’m unusual in that I love airports. I'll regularly arrive 2-3 hours in advance of my flight, sometimes even at a small airport without a lounge. There’s just something about being around the bustle of people in motion and aircraft on the tarmac that I find reassuring.But let’s say that you’re a normal person. Assuming you don’t want to live as I do, when should you arrive at the airport before a flight? Two simple guidelines will help. Read More
I’ve been attempting to find “true north” in a lot of things lately. This new series explores what I believe in different areas of work and life. Your answers may differ; the point is to find what’s true for you.
Today’s topic is writing books. Here are three things I know are true.
1. The basic process is easier than most people think.
As I’ve explained before, it’s not that hard to write a book. A book is composed of a number of chapters and words. If you break down the process in a logical manner, you can see approximately how many words are required on a daily or weekly basis to achieve the goal in whatever time period you set.Read More
You’ve heard the conventional wisdom: never check email in the morning.That sounds great, unless your job involves communicating with people, or if you happen to care about what people have to say to you. In either of those cases, you very well might want (or need!) to see what's happened overnight just as you sit down to work. It's also true, though, that it's easy to get sucked into replies and never end up creating or building or just working on something that requires long-term focus, all because you can't get your nose out of the inbox. Years ago I found a better way that I still use most days of the week. Here's how it works. Read More
This post is a "greatest hits" mashup of travel hacking tips, stories and features. Take a look and see if anything might be helpful to you!Read More
It doesn’t take me long to pack for most trips. I typically bring the same clothes and “stuff” with me no matter my destination or purpose of travel. Sure, there’s some variance—a warmer scarf depending on season, or a nicer jacket depending on what kind of meetings I have on the other side.On average, it takes me twenty minutes. No more, no less. If I’m doing laundry and sorting through the mail while packing, the whole process might take up to an hour, but that's the cost of multitasking. The greatest challenge is indecision. Do I want two pairs of jeans? (Usually just one, but I waver.) Do I need to bring my bathing suit? (I don’t swim often, and when I do I can wear my running shorts.) Read More
Some inspiring insight from Laura Vanderkam:
"I have never believed that book writing needs to be all-consuming. It wasn’t for Toni Morrison writing The Bluest Eye at night after her kids went to bed and let’s face it, we’re not likely to produce anything like The Bluest Eye no matter how much time we spend writing. Books are projects like any other. Incidentally, you can make time for the rest of your life too. I’m always amused by the lines in book acknowledgements in which authors (generally, male authors) thank their families for putting up with all their missed dinners. Not only am I not missing dinner, I’m generally cooking it."Read More
Getting the gumption to make travel part of your life is hard enough when it's just you, let alone adding three other people. Jacqueline Jannotta did just that, though—she brought her husband kids into a year-long adventure. Here's how this family of four did it:
I worked for both sitcoms and dotcoms in Chicago, L.A. and Florida before becoming a freelance writer and moving to Portland, Oregon. I’ve always cherished the connections I made as I zig-zagged around the country, and have been curious about the ever growing social constellations we find ourselves in. This ultimately became the impetus for an unforgettable journey: moving my family of four to live in Genoa, Italy for a year.Read More
Link: Register for $30 AmEx Credits If you’re in the U.S., don’t forget to register for free money “Small Business Saturday.” A few years ago, American Express created a new fake holiday to honor small business owners. As fake holidays go, it sure beats President’s Day—I like supporting small businesses, and whenever Small Business Saturday…Read More
I’m not very good at all the things you’re supposed to do to be more productive. I check email first thing in the morning and then continually throughout the day. I jump from task to task and I read the news five times a day. But I do try to be outcome-focused, and I appreciated…Read More
“That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it. Writing needn’t be a formal enterprise to have this effect.…Read More
Q: What are your tricks for time management? “The simple answer is to attempt to avoid, at all costs, situations that waste people’s time.” “Regarding my personal time management, I also try to live by the philosophy that focuses on: ‘What did I do that was productive and beneficial in the last 40 minutes?’ I…Read More
I eat at restaurants by myself all over the world. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me—in fact, I often enjoy it. A few tips: Bring something to do. I usually have my Tom Bihn laptop bag, so I have plenty of choices: actual laptop, New Yorker or Economist magazine, my paper notebook, reference…Read More