(Never) Save It for Later

Here's a simple, powerful tip for blogging, creating, storytelling, or whatever your art form may be: Always share the best work you currently have. Never save it for later. Earlier this year at SXSW I told a story about driving home late at night ten years ago and coming across a set of train tracks. It was a good story that I could have used for a few different purposes, and I wanted to save it for another talk happening two months later. I couldn't think of a better one that would work as well ... so I told the story. Then I had the problem of needing a different story for the other talk, but that was a future problem—plenty of time to figure it out.

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The Quest

At first, you weren't sure you had it in you. Fear, doubt, naysayers, and what-ifs threatened to hold you back. You left anyway, determined to see it out. The people around you talked about consequences and the risk of uncertainty. Wouldn't it be safer not to go? Wouldn't you be better off homebound, shut off from the world in the comfortable setting you knew so well? You smiled and went anyway, knowing the real truth: consequences can just as well be positive. Unexpected surprises can be good. But if you don't go, you'll never know for sure.

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Twenty-Three Year-Old Nate Damm Walks Across America

When I met the young and ambitious Nate Damm in Portland, Maine (AKA "East Coast Portland") in September 2010, he told me about his plan to walk across America.

Wow. Really? The whole country?

It sounded incredible ... so incredible that I couldn't really get my head around it. At the time, I was just beginning my own cross-country journey, visiting all 50 states during the Unconventional Book Tour. I thought that trip was an adventurous one, but at least I didn't have to WALK everywhere.

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The Sense of Loss in a Big Adventure

An unexpected thing happened on the streets of Seoul, Korea. I’ve been to Seoul several times, and don’t really feel anything special about it. It’s not a bad place in any way, and perhaps I’d like it more if I spent more time there. I just don’t think of Seoul in a special way, as…

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Sometimes people ask about my qualifications.

It's a fair question with a simple answer: I have none.

There's absolutely no reason I should be doing pretty much anything I'm doing these days.

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Detour to Australia

It was all going so well. I had made it to three island countries in the Pacific: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. All of them were interesting in their own way, if a bit small. OK, small isn’t the word: they were tiny. There is literally one road in Majuru, the capital of the Marshall…

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