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Sometimes It Doesn’t Work, But You Still Have to Try Anyway

You always hear about the people who took a chance that paid off. You always hear the try, try again stories—those case studies of overcoming what seems to be an insurmountable challenge.

You know how the story goes: so-and-so encountered failure a dozen times, but on the thirteenth attempt, they made it!

Then so-and-so says, “Thanks, everyone. I’m so glad I kept going. Victory was never guaranteed, but look at me now."

Sometimes, though, you head into a situation knowing that there’s a high likelihood of failure. I'm not talking about the possibility of failure, I'm talking about odds that would make a free-wheeling Las Vegas roulette player back away from the table and head straight for the buffet.

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“There’s Nothing You Could Have Done … But What If There Was?”

15812627982_fe477f8cce_z Last week I wrote about the unexpected loss of my brother, Ken. I mentioned that when terrible things happen, people tend to say, “It will all be okay,” but unfortunately this isn’t always true. What’s okay about a premature death? There’s no way to bring back a loved one, and that’s just not okay.

Another thing people say is “There’s nothing you could have done.” But just like saying, “It will be okay,” this isn’t necessarily true either.

When you come to a situation you can’t change, it’s only natural to look back and think, “What if?”

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Limited Time: New 80,000 Points Signup Bonus for Marriott Card

Link: 80,000 Points for Marriott Card

While I was on blog hiatus and then hosting WDS, a big new offer landed that I haven't had a chance to write about. Fortunately, there's still time!

Marriott isn’t my favorite hotel program (that would be Starwood and Hyatt), but this new offer is worth a look for the free nights you’ll earn right away. They used to provide 50,000 points upon signup, but for a limited time—we don’t know for how long—you can earn 30,000 additional points for a total of 80,000.

80,000 points can put you in one of their nicer hotels or resorts worldwide for up to two nights. Marriott partners with Ritz Carlton, where awards can also be booked.

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A Story of Friendship and Values

Two friends were walking through the desert. During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.

After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone: TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.

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Where I’ve Been Over the Past Few Weeks

Hi, everyone. Thanks for your patience and concern during the first blogging + social media hiatus I’ve taken in seven years.

I know a lot of people have been wondering what happened, so I’ll tell you.

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Man Takes More than 1,000 flights Without Leaving the Airport

For more than twenty years, he flew to a different European city — every Wednesday. He never missed a week. Mr Mul (born in 1932) made more than 1,000 flights over a period of 20 years.

Travel is what you make it. In the early days of my travel quest to visit every country, I would get defensive when people asked why I only stayed in most countries for a relatively brief period of time. Unlike this guy, I left the airport and usually spent several days in a place—but still, I totally get why someone would love flying for the sake of flying.

It was all about an experience, about losing himself in the window seat and venturing to a different place. No matter that the place was "air world." Some of us like air world just fine.

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WDS 2015: Initial Batch of 1,200 Photos Now Online

Hi, everyone! I’m still on blogging hiatus but am looking forward to getting back to daily writing very soon. Thanks for your understanding.

Here in Portland, WDS week has come to an end and you can view more than 1,200 photos in the official media albums.

I'll be sharing more about WDS in the weeks to come, and I'll be linking to posts written by our attendees. For now, here are just a few highlights.

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A Short Note to My Amazing Readers

Hey everyone,

First, if you read the blog: you really are amazing. Thank you.

Second, I’ve written here for more than seven years without a break—and I'm not anywhere close to being burned out. Why put a pause on something you love and find meaningful? Breaks are boring.

This week, though, my family experienced an unexpected loss that has left us all shaken. While I would like to keep publishing posts without missing a beat, the reality is that I need to step away from the blog for a bit.

How long is a bit? I’m not entirely sure right now. It will probably be at least 2-3 weeks, and possibly longer.

I promise to be back as soon as I can. I love this work and will miss it while I’m gone.

In the meantime, WDS is coming up in full force in Portland. We’re extremely excited to welcome thousands of people to town for our fifth annual celebration. If you’re coming, know that we have a highly capable team ready to welcome you. (And I’ll be there every moment too, of course.)

Until we meet again, grace and peace be with you all.

Chris Guillebeau

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The Five-Year Road Trip: Two Adults and Two Teenagers Live Full-Time in an RV

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

Dissatisfied with the typical suburban lifestyle, the Boyinks packed up their teenagers and hit the road. For the past five years, they've lived together in an RV, traveling America, meeting like-minded families and having adventures.

Originally, we traveled based on what we wanted to see. Now, we focus on who we want to be with. We’ve made friends with other traveling families and route planning is more collaborative.

Admittedly, there’s been some talk of finding land where we could all park our RV’s, let our kids hang out, grow a garden together, and just come and go as the need arises. The more we talk about it the more it starts to sound like a hippie commune...but maybe that isn’t so bad.

Boyink33

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Creative Ways to Succeed in the Knowledge Economy

Reading:

***

I enjoyed each of these stories that have been floating around.

If you want to be negative, there’s at least one major point you could critique about each of them. The woman making tons of money on Etsy isn’t actually handcrafting most of her items, which is the guiding value of Etsy. The Rideshare Guy is essentially trading time for money. The poets, well, I guess you could say it’s more of a party trick than real poetry.

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6 Discoveries from Near and Far: Volume XLVII

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

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Join Us for Sunset Yoga in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Saturday, July 11

14637915291_ab2213567f_z Link: Sunset Yoga in PCS

Pioneer Courthouse Square is the main city square of Portland, located right in the heart of downtown. It's a crazy thing to rent out an entire city block, but that's how we roll.

WDS is teaming up with our friends YogiNation and Jill Knouse Yoga for this unique Portland experience—and your presence will make it even better. Come say farewell to the setting sun, breathe, and meet all your future best friends.

Bring your own mat!

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Ending Soon: Earn $200 or 20,000 Points with No-Fee Offer Before June 24

Link: Double Signup Bonus for Chase Freedom

While I’ve been writing a book and preparing to welcome a few people to town, I’ve been greatly neglectful in mentioning several great travel offers as of late.

At any rate, there’s still time for this one: for the next few days, you can earn TWICE the usual signup bonus for one of the best no-fee offers out there, the Chase Freedom card.

Technically, it’s described as $200 cash back after a low $500 minimum spend, and you can certainly get the card and put $200 in your pocket. There’s no annual fee, ever.

However, the better use of the card for many people is to convert the $200 into 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Those points can then be used to transfer to any number of airline and hotel partners directly, and in many cases you’ll get a much better valuation than $200.

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All-Female Film Crew Hikes 338 Miles of the California Aqueduct

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

Drought is on the minds of every Californian these days, but Samantha Bode took the water shortage a step further. First, she began to think about the water of Los Angeles itself—where it comes from, and why. This thinking led her on an exciting journey.

My name is Samantha. This summer, I'm backpacking all 338 miles of the Los Angeles aqueduct, from Owens Valley in Inyo County to Upper Van Norman Lake in Granada Hills.

The city of LA gets most of its water from hundreds of miles away, often leaving ecological destruction in its wake. On top of that, California is experiencing its worst drought on record, and people are not conserving water at the rate they need to in order to preserve this resource they need to live.

We’re taking the journey and making a documentary, The Longest Straw, to raise awareness of water importation and management. We hope to encourage people to form a personal connection with their water by seeing where it comes from.
Sam8

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