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“Make Your Dream Trip a Reality”: Week 1 Recap (With Photos + Prizes!)

_MG_7268 copy Every day for six weeks, we’re teaching people how to “Make Their Dream Trip a Reality.” You can watch each lesson for free on the day it’s broadcast, or you can purchase the whole course and have access anytime.

This was our first week with the in-studio audience and the thousands of people who participated online.

Whew! We’re wiped out … but we got a lot accomplished, and we’ll be back next week with much more.

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Limited Offer: 50,000 Points Bonus for United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Link: 50,000 Miles for United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Over the past four days I've been filming (and preparing...) non-stop for our new "Make Your Dream Trip a Reality" course. We kicked off on Tuesday morning with a live broadcast that many of you watched.

_MG_6842 copy More news on that including a full recap of Week 1 is coming tomorrow! I'm behind on posts but will catch up soon. :)

In the meantime, here's a special deal that just came out. If you're jumping into the world of miles and points this week, here's a way to get a bunch of extra points that aren't usually available.

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Live from Seattle: Today’s “Dream Trip” Kickoff Was Awesome!

Greetings from Seattle! This morning we kicked off the live broadcast for "Make Your Dream Trip a Reality"... and a ton of you were watching!

Creative Live is rebroadcasting the session throughout the day, so tune in over here and you can still catch the whole thing.

(If you’re reading this another day, we may be on to another session—but we have six weeks of them, so there's still plenty to go.)

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“Dream Trip” Course Starts Tomorrow: Join Us Live Online at 9am Pacific!

Hey everyone, just a quick reminder: tomorrow morning we kick off our new “Make Your Dream Trip a Reality” course on Creative Live. You can watch for free starting at 9am Pacific time.

Link: RSVP (It’s Free) and Join In Here

Yesterday we went to the studio for a production meeting with the whole team. This is a big undertaking, and a bunch of people have been working on it for weeks (okay, months).

IMG_20150426_142817 Oh, and we even got a sneak-peek of our awesome set featuring a “travel hacking hot seat” with First Class seats borrowed from the Seattle Museum of Flight. We're so excited!

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XLII

Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

Writing a Three-Line Poem Every Day for a Year: Yvonne Whitelaw’s Quest

As I wrote in The Happiness of Pursuit, a quest need not be an athletic struggle or travel adventure. I loved this story of how this former medical resident wrote a haiku every day for a year.

I'm Yvonne Whitelaw. I was born in Britain, but raised in Nigeria and the United States. I’m a stay at home mom and former physician. I decided to tweet a haiku a day for 365 days, even though I barely knew what a haiku was and had never actually written one.

Interestingly, the practice of daily haiku writing has helped my ADD. Haikus have trained me to focus and express myself succinctly.

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“Most Ambitions Belong to the Past”: Reflections on A Neurosurgeon’s Final Year of Life

I recently stumbled upon an essay from Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon who died earlier this year at the age of 37.

I read the whole thing several times and was struck by several passages, including this one:

"Everyone succumbs to finitude. I suspect I am not the only one who reaches this pluperfect state. Most ambitions are either achieved or abandoned; either way, they belong to the past.

The future, instead of the ladder toward the goals of life, flattens out into a perpetual present. Money, status, all the vanities the preacher of Ecclesiastes described, hold so little interest: a chasing after wind, indeed."

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“Happiness Depends on You”: On the Road with Scott Bold and Michelle Eshleman

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

Dreams can change, as was the case of Scott Bold's childhood dream. The younger Scott wanted a good job and decent salary, but his adult self wanted something else. So along with his girlfriend Michelle Eshleman, they set out on a different course.

"After I achieved everything I had dreamed of as a child - a nice car, high-paying job, good friends, fancy meals, and gadgets - I still wasn’t happy. I looked at everyone higher up than me at my job and didn’t see my happiness reflected there (not to mention they didn’t seem happy, either).

So I questioned what made me happy, and realized what I wanted was freedom, new experiences, and exploration."


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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XLI

Things I found on long walks in foreign cities, or perhaps when someone posted them on Twitter.

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Big in Japan: The $100 Startup Is Now in Manga!

I haven’t spent nearly enough time in Japan, but we have a great community there and I hope to visit more often in the future. When the local version of The $100 Startup came out two years ago, it was a mega-bestseller, selling 100,000 copies in a short period of time.

I went over for a 36-hour visit that consisted of meeting journalists and talking to business magazines. In the evening we had a small meetup with friends (hosted by M.E. Hori, a popular blogger) and I left thinking: “I should have stayed longer.”

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Giveaway: Win a “Boarding Tote Bag”

Win a Boarding tote from Airportag, an online business started by "Captain Greg"—a flight lover and designer who got creative with the world of airport codes and made a fun shop.

You can find a ton of airports represented on totes, coffee mugs, and pillows over at Airporttag. Naturally, I have a lot of favorite airports, so it would be hard for me to choose a single one... but on the tote bag page, I especially like the styles of MEX, BKK, LHR, and LAX.

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30 Peaks Before Age 30: Ashley Gossen’s Quest

This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

In The Sound of Music, Mother Reverend sang "Climb every mountain." We're not suggesting that was Ashley Gossen's inspiration for tackling 30 peaks before her 30th birthday—but it came to mind when we heard her story.

I've been fascinated by mountains and the outdoors since I was a little girl growing up in rural Pennsylvania. As I got older, I dreamed about moving west and spending time in the beautiful places I only ever saw on television. When my dream became a reality, and my then-boyfriend (now husband) and I moved to Seattle, I became hooked on hiking. Spinning on that love, I decided to hike 30 peaks before I turned 30, the last peak being on my actual birthday.

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Hate Paying Taxes? It Could Be a Lot Worse: You Might Not Have to Pay Them

I do wish it were simpler. I was surprised last year to learn that I agreed with Donald Rumsfeld on something.

Part of it is my own fault: I keep starting new businesses and entities. I have a tax return for my career as an author, another for my entrepreneurial work, another for WDS, another for the WDS Foundation (a separate organization), and now another for Pioneer Nation. Who knows what else I’ll have next year!

Why can’t Amazon or Zappos or Apple figure this out for the federal government? Imagine the possibilities.

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No Money, But a Rich Life: On the Road with Nate Maingard

This is a traveler case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.)

What's it like to live and work as a nomadic, traveling musician who relies on crowd-sourced support? We found a guy doing exactly that. Here are his stories from three continents and counting.

I was raised barefoot and wild on the tip of South Africa, in a little village called Scarborough. My early days were spent in my father’s guitar making workshop as he crafted some of the world's top custom guitars.

My boundaries were the ocean and the mountain, and my whole life has been shaped by those first years of raw nature and unfettered adventure.

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To Cross the Railroad Tracks, Go Against Everything You’ve Been Told

One time, long ago, I had a hard year while living in Memphis, Tennessee.

Ever since then, especially when I’ve been at events throughout the south, I’ve met a lot of people who also lived in Memphis for a time. When the subject comes up, once in a while I mention something about my hard year there, and I always add a disclaimer: “Probably it was just me.”

There are good people everywhere, and you never want to insult someone’s city. More than once, though, they’ve said “I had a hard year in Memphis too!”

As the song says, maybe it was Memphis, but maybe it was just me. Whatever it was, it wasn’t only a hard year: it was actually a terrible year where I felt very alone and afraid.

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