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Travel Hacking in Early 2013

Every year when the calendar rolls around to January 1, it's time for me to get back out on the road. I love travel and I love doing events—I've been in eight cities in the past ten days—but I also have to get back to work on requalifying my elite status with all my favorite airlines and hotels.

Last year I hit the mark for the highest status with American Airlines, Hyatt, and Hilton hotels. This year I'm hoping to requalify for each, with the addition of more Starwood stays to earn the highest status with them as well.

Why bother? Because it makes my traveling life easier, and also because it's fun.

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Changing the System

I'm back on the road, talking with interesting people every night. Many of them ask questions about "changing the system.” Everyone agrees it's broken and frustration is expressed all around. But what is this system, why isn't it working, and how can we change it?

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Tuvalu to California

A few weeks ago, your humble correspondent was sitting on a modest balcony in a guest house in Tuvalu, a tiny nation in the South Pacific that is now known as country #192 in his mind. The island itself was somewhat depressing, at least for a modern traveler. He walked the entire island—and then back around the other way—in less than one morning.

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A Tale of 9 Startups

Jon was inspired by a blog post that told him to quit his job and start a business. He dutifully did so, firing off a farewell message to his boss and former colleagues. Having heard about becoming “location independent,” he bought a backpack and went off to the world. What was it about that business thing? How would he actually make a living? He would figure it out along the way, he assured himself ...

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A Year in the Life of You

I came back from Tuvalu and my gym was packed with dozens of people I had never seen before—an influx of New Year's Resolutions. "How many of them will still be here in February?" I wondered. Whether you're pro- or anti-resolution, there's nothing inherently special about a new calendar year. If you don't like the western calendar, there are plenty of others.

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2012 Annual Review: Looking Forward

I did it. I made it to Tuvalu, the penultimate country! It took a while to get here, but that's to be expected.

Someone said they spent 20 minutes reading the Tuvalu Wikipedia page the other day. I said I was surprised it took 20 minutes—that's the same amount of time it took me to run the length of the entire island of Funafuti last night.

Anyway, 192 countries down. File under your choice of: Wow, WTF, tired, or awesome.

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