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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."

ScottBold10

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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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5,000 Word Travel Hacking Resources Page Now Available

Solomons Over the past ten years I’ve used millions of Frequent Flyer Miles & Points to go everywhere—literally, everywhere.

I write a lot about travel hacking in the archives and also through our paid service, the Travel Hacking Cartel, which has served more than 16,000 members and counting.

I'm also co-teaching a brand-new bootcamp called Make Your Dream Trip a Reality, which you can watch for free every weekday morning for six weeks starting on April 26.

If that's not enough, we recently published a new page on the blog that includes 100+ links and a general overview of getting started in this world.

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The Amazing Marriage Adventure: Liz and Ryan Bower’s Quest

Liz and Ryan Bower are wedding photographers who believe in the marriages they document—and not just that first special day. They noticed that champions who might share the realities of life-long partnerships seemed to be few and far between.

They decided to hop in an RV and find true stories of loving marriages to share from every state of America.

We are millennials, story-tellers, wedding photographers, and dream believers. Most of all, we believe in helping to create amazing marriages that stand the test of time.

Our love of love dates back to our teenage years. We were high school sweethearts with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion to live a more meaningful life. So we started a photography business, Liz and Ryan. Six years later, and after 100 weddings captured, we realized there is a lot of hype surrounding weddings, but not a lot of hype surrounding marriages.

This eventually led to our quest: The Amazing Marriage Adventure. For 2015, we are living in an RV and traveling the U.S. to document at least one married couple’s story in all 50 states. Along the way, we’ll host couples' coffee-shop meetups to encourage community and truly open the lines of communication in celebration of marriage.
Katie and Andrew.

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Paradise by the Runway Lights: Notes from Childhood and 25 Hours of Flying to Melbourne

It was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today.

I had an eclectic taste in music when I was a kid. Much of it came from my dad, who introduced me to Bob Dylan before I became more of a fan than he was. There was also Tom Petty (early years), Warren Zevon, and Bruce Springsteen at some point.

I was growing up at least ten or fifteen years late, in other words.

But our generation had an edge on the previous one when it came to technology, or so it seemed at the time. I'd saved for a Sony Walkman, a prized possession acquired at age eight, and over the next few years I recorded songs off the radio for later listening. Late at night, I’d play myself to sleep on many of those songs.

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Win the Way You Won Before

When you encounter a setback and need to regroup, think back to a time when you won. You mastered a skill, navigated a tricky negotiation, or otherwise came out on top.

Can you use the same skill or strategy now? Can you adapt that skill or strategy to a new situation?

Sure, circumstances may have changed. But you haven’t always lost or struggled, so think about that time when you got it right.

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