I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who needs only four or five hours of sleep a night. Unfortunately, I’m not—without a consistent minimum of 6-8 hours, and usually on the high side of that range, I don’t perform very well.
I... Read More
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Advent... Read More
This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)
Sharon Gourlay didn't want to stop traveling as her family grew—so she gathered up her two kids and husband, then figured out how to work less and have more time with the people ... Read More
This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)
For almost two decades, Bruno Caumette has made his home in a Toyota Land Cruiser. He's been around the world once and is currently working on his second voyage. His stories are to... Read More
What if there was one thing you could do to be a better friend, partner, or spouse?
It's actually pretty easy: to improve any relationship, honor the other person’s dreams.
Figure out what they want to do, to become, or achieve, and then... Read More
I'm fortunate to work with great partners, including a wonderful design studio right in Southeast Portland called Jolby & Friends.
I was recently with the Jolby crew on a site visit, and one of them mentioned something about how they delibera... Read More
When I went to Burma several years ago I stayed in a nice guest house for about $35 a night. The rate included free Wifi and a large banana pancake for breakfast. Mmmmmm.
After I came home, I talked with someone who had also been there. "How m... Read More
This post is a "greatest hits" mashup of travel hacking tips, travel stories and features. Take a look and see if anything might be helpful to you.
Tips and Tricks
Round-the-World Tickets, Revisited
Round-the-World tickets are highl... Read More
The best and most honest answer is that I wasn’t good at anything else.
For better or worse, I learned that I was a terrible employee. I was unreliable and unskilled.
I’ve written before about my last official job, lugging boxes onto FedEx tr... Read More
I appreciated this illustration on unconventional storytelling from Tom Gauld:
When talking about adventures, I often relate the plot outlining of blockbuster movies and video games.
What if the synopsis of a big summer movie was "So and s... Read More
As regular readers know, I’m all about setting goals and working toward big projects over time. When you have a big goal, especially one with a clear end point, it’s easy to know when you’ve achieved it. But most big goals take time, ... Read More
Imagine your life as an epic, three-hour movie. In this saga there are numerous high points and low points, and both drama and comedy. There are coming-of-age moments and passages of growing older.
There will likely be some real challenges, a... Read More
From my own 193-country journey to the stories of many other people who were kindly willing to share, The Happiness of Pursuit attempts to extract and convey the lessons of modern-day quests. This series explores some of these lessons.
Lesson:... Read More
I’ve mentioned a few times that going to every country in the world wasn’t as expensive as most people initially think. But how much did it really cost?
The short answer is that I’m not 100% sure of the precise figure. I didn’t tally up ev... Read More
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I love airline lounges and regularly spend four or more hours at a time working from them. This series explores some of my favorites from around the world.
Way back in 2007, one of my very favorite lounges was Virgin Atlantic’s “Clubhouse” a... Read More
If you want to be more courageous, you have to make brave choices. Sounds simple enough—but how do you know which of those choices to make next?
When I first thought about the question for myself—what’s the bravest choice I can make right now?—I didn’t have an obvious answer. And that felt a little discouraging!
It was like being in a room with inspiring people, all talking about the big important projects they’re working on, and when my turn comes I say something like “Oh, I don’t know … I’m pretty much doing the same stuff as always.”
I received a flurry of responses to my initial post on time anxiety, and it's been interesting to hear lots of stories from readers. To recap:
Time anxiety is the fear of running out of time. You feel like there's something you should be doing, but you're not sure what it is.
I believe that time anxiety is the most pressing problem of the modern world. Once you work your way through Maslow’s hierarchy and your basic needs are taken care of, you start worrying about time—and you never stop.
You worry that time is passing you by
You worry you’re too late or you missed your chance for something important
You worry there’s something you should be doing right now, but you’re not sure what it is
It's a simple question: what have you done that few other people have? Think about it.
Naturally you might start to list your accomplishments or achievements. Some of those might make the list, but many would fit in a different category. A lot of things you accomplish are things that other people have done as well. In addition, perhaps you've done something that isn't quite an accomplishment per se, but it's rare to meet someone else who's had the same experience.
If you don't like your job, what would happen if you walked away?
I've been asking this question off and on for over a decade. Unless you plan on living forever, why in the world should you devote the majority of your productive hours each week to something you don't enjoy?
All that time, I haven't exactly been speaking into a void. I hear from people almost every day who have followed through on some sort of exit plan.
It's clear, however, that something is different now. Very different. What's different is that millions of people are actually quitting their jobs! Four million Americans just in April 2021, according to government statistics, and many millions since.
“People think that only the future can be changed, but in fact, the future is continually changing the past. The past can and does change. It’s exquisitely sensitive and delicately balanced.” -Keiichiro Hirano, At the End of the Matinee
When we think about time, we tend to divide it into three dimensions: past, present, future. We also tend to accept certain beliefs about each dimension without much questioning.
The present time is the "here and now." It's what's currently happening. The future, alternatively, is what will happen. It's what will come to be.
Unlike the present and the future, the past is locked in ... right? Short of inventing the elusive time machine, there's not much we can do to change the past. We simply have to accept it and move on. Or do we?Read More
On yesterday morning’s podcast episode I announced the launch of Idea to Income: a 21-day text and audio-based micro course to help you identify your most profitable idea … all in the palm of your hand.
It's pretty simple: you can enroll in less than a minute. Then, over the next three weeks you’ll receive directions, advice, and practical tips via audio and text message right to your phone, helping you find your best idea.
Time is running out, and you should be doing something about it … but you don't know what it is.
That's what this post is about: something called time anxiety. I've been dealing with it for years, and maybe you have, too—even if you've never heard the name.
I believe that time anxiety is the most pressing problem of the modern world. Once you work your way through Maslow's hierarchy and your basic needs are taken care of, you start worrying about time—and you never stop.
You worry that time is passing you by
You worry you're too late for something—you missed your chance
You worry there's something you should be doing right now, but you're not sure what it is
From time to time, it's good to be reminded of your insignificance. Last week provided an opportunity in the form of a Chinese rocket that was falling to the earth.
Perhaps you heard about it. Thankfully, all was well in the end, but until it landed, no one knew where the rocket would touch down. It could have been anywhere on earth! Just think about it: for all the advances of science and technology, we had no idea where on the entire planet a rocket would decide to return.
Last week I went to Utah to run an unusual marathon. My time was well over two hours slower than any marathon I've done, but that was by design—I was running with someone who was doing a series of extreme events back-to-back, every day for 100 days in a row.
Most of us can think of times in our lives that we'd like to relive.
When these moments occur in the first place—the original events that become memories—we don't always realize realize how significant they'll become in our internal story.
That's only natural, because sometimes ordinary moments can take on much more meaning after the fact.
I have long believed that thinking about regret is a powerful motivator for action. When you're feeling indecisive, trying to figure out if a particular step is a good one, consider how you'll feel if you don't take the step. Often this leads you to what seems like the right direction.
But while mental models can be helpful, most of them also have limits. Lately I've realized there's a flaw in the logic of focusing your attention on the avoidance of regrets. Simply put, regret is an unreliable emotion.
Think about that for a moment—what does it mean?
It means, in short, that regret is both difficult to anticipate and even harder to characterize in retrospect. If you feel certain about your choices in either direction—either looking back or looking forward—you may be basing your interpretations on selectively chosen information.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how money mistakes are temporary. My main argument was that unlike other kinds of mistakes, money mistakes rarely have permanent consequences.
I'll return to that in this post, but first let's consider a few things that have happened this month:
We've all been hearing about NFTs, also known as "non-fungible tokens," also known as digital art that can be reproduced over and over but sells for a ton of money. The NBA has sold $230 million on these intangible "items." An artist sold one for $69 million the other day, and I'm sure that record will be broken soon.
The price of a single Bitcoin, another modern invention, has risen to more than $60,000. Like NFTs, Bitcoin is also completely digital. There is no such thing as "a Bitcoin" you can carry in your pocket or store in your safe deposit box at the bank. Everyone who trades Bitcoin or other digital currencies simply accepts that it exists.
The U.S. government has passed a law enacting a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. Put another way, the U.S. government has printed $1.9 trillion more dollars. This was on top of another $2 trillion they printed last March. And presumably there's more where that came from!
A common TV trope features someone who's down on their luck and forced to borrow from someone with questionable moral scruples: a loan shark, the Mafia, a representative from Wells Fargo.
As fate would have it, they fall further and further behind, until they're in an even greater bind. Soon they're being pursued by the loan shark, who threatens to break their legs, or by Wells Fargo, which forces them to remain on hold for hours. The rest of the story unfolds as the protagonist desperately tries to resolve their dilemma. What will they do? How will they get the money?
"Getting the money" makes for a good plot foundation, since money is something that everyone wants. And when you don't have it, it becomes all that you think about.
But what if you didn't have to "get the money"? What if you just decided to not care?
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.