Adventures in Somaliland

On my last trip, I made it to a country I'd been wondering about ever since beginning my quest more than five years ago: Somalia. Technically, I went to Somaliland, also known as the safe part of Somalia. Somalia itself is a mess, arguably the world's most dangerous country, and with hardly a functioning government of any kind. (One of its recent prime ministers now works at the New York State Department of Transportation.)

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2011 Annual Review: Travel Roundup

As part of the Annual Review series, I look back at everywhere I went in 2011. As usual, it’s a long list! Despite a lull when I spent several months at home writing a book and preparing for WDS, I still made it to a decent amount of places. All told, I made it to at least thirty countries, including twenty that were new to me. Highlights included a visit to a gorilla reserve in the Eastern Congo and running a half-marathon in Cuba, my final country in the Americas. I also traveled to every province in Canada for the conclusion of my first book tour, and lots of U.S. cities for various meetings, talks, transit stops, and adventures.

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2011 Annual Review: The Beginning

Every year since 2006, I've set aside an entire week in December to review the year that has almost passed and look ahead to the next one. I certainly haven't got everything in my life figured out, but I can honestly say that this exercise has been the most helpful exercise in all that has happened in the past six years.

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Life In the Tower, Somaliland Edition

Many thanks to everyone who has been reading or supporting the launch of The Tower, my new manifesto. If you missed it on Tuesday, you can pick up your free copy in a range of formats. I also want to thank my long-time friend and colleague Reese Spykerman, specialist in branding and magic, for her great work on the design. Reese truly raised her game on this one as we worked on telling a story through words and images.

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“There’s plenty of time.” (But what if there’s not?)

I've been working on a new, non-profit writing project that I'll share tomorrow. Here's a preview of the concept—for more on the project itself, see the note at the end or check back tomorrow.

A specter is haunting the internet. Everywhere you go, you hear about how you should slow down. First it was slow food (a good thing). Then there was slow living (not so good) and the rejection of striving and effort (even worse). The central part of this message is: “There's plenty of time. Stop hurrying and take it easy. Bake cakes, play in the forest, do what you want.”

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“What Should I Do With My Life?”

When I started AONC, part of the message I hoped to share was that it's OK to pursue an independent dream or idea. You don't need permission from anyone to do so. I'm not interested in criticizing anyone who wants a traditional life, but I also strongly believe in supporting those who want something different. The reality is that when you pursue your own agenda instead of someone else's, it's quite likely that some people won't understand. Yet, when you truly "wake up" from a life with terms dictated by someone else, the possibilities are endless.

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