Welcome, New Readers! (And old readers too …)


We’ve had a lot of new readers join recently, so I wanted to say hello (hi, everyone!) and explain more of what it’s about.

This blog (AONC) started in 2008 along with my goal to visit every country in the world by my 35th birthday earlier this year.

Throughout the past five years it’s grown to much more than a travelogue. Our core mission is to support and encourage non-conformity or unconventional thinking, as defined by this mission statement:

You don’t have to live your life the way others expect. You can do good things for yourself and for others.

More than 75,000 amazing people now read AONC, with many of them are working on inspiring projects of their own. We have entrepreneurs, freelancers, artists, students, and many others in our midst. We even have people working “regular” jobs—that’s OK too.

Every Monday and Thursday (for five years and counting), the posts on this blog consist of topics related to life, work, and travel, often on the themes of reinvention and independence.

Below are a few projects that came out of the original blog.

The $100 Startup

The $100 Startup

My second book, The $100 Startup, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. I’m very proud that more than 200,000 copies have been sold worldwide, with translations in more than 15 languages so far. I’m even prouder that the book has served as both a rallying cry and helpful resource for all kinds of people hoping to create their own freedom and strike out on their own.

This isn’t a book to help you be a better employee or a better manager. It’s a book to help you take control of your life! You can buy it on Amazon or ask for it from your favorite local bookstore.

If you’ve read the book, I’d be grateful if you’d post a short review on the Amazon listing or

Before publishing The $100 Startup, I wrote another book called The Art of Non-Conformity. To get the party started, I went on a 63-city book tour to meet readers in every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada.

Since then I’ve toured 40 more cities around the world and will be planning another major tour in 2014.

World Domination Summit

WDS Party

Every year, I host a gathering of creative, enthusiastic people in Portland, Oregon. We started with 500 two years ago and now welcome more than 2,500 people every July. This year we broke a world record on the Willamette River, rented out the Oregon Zoo, and took over Pioneer Courthouse Square for a Bollywood dance party.

What will we do next year? Wait and see.

Or even better, get a ticket when they go on sale in the fall.

Unconventional Guides


The original small business side of AONC, I started Unconventional Guides to help people seeking specific info on travel and self-employment.

Bestsellers include:

Next up: new guides are coming soon! After a long drought, we’re busy producing more products in the UnGuides shop for the fall.

Travel Hacking Cartel: Get Miles, See the World

Travel Hacking Cartel

In 2011 I founded the Travel Hacking Cartel, a service to help aspiring travelers earn Frequent Flyer Miles and put them to good use by seeing the world. Since then I’ve regularly heard from members who have earned hundreds of thousands of miles and traveled for free.

Next up: new improvements coming soon! After serving more than 15,000 members, we’re planning a comprehensive relaunch this fall, with more options for our international members and a new focus on case studies.

Annual Review


Every year in December I go away for a week and plan my life for the next year. Since 2008, many AONC readers have completed a detailed self-interview process in their own way, from wherever they are in the world.

This year we’ll be doing it bigger and better, and with a twist. (How’s that for mixed metaphors?)


But wait, there’s more! We’re working on a lot of things this fall as part of my new goal to improve operations and better serve the community.

I feel extremely fortunate to be able to write, travel, and connect with great people everywhere I go. Much more is on the way, and I’m glad to have you around.

Feel free to introduce yourself as well. You can follow me on Twitter, like us on Facebook, write in from the contact form, or say hi from your choice of airline lounge.

Despite no longer going to every country in the world (that’s a wrap), I’m still traveling at least 150,000 miles a year and meeting people on every continent.

Whether you’re new or have been around for a while, thanks for reading! See you again next week.

– Chris


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