May 21, 2008

Dear Silent Majority, I Need Your Feedback…

portland-library-silent-majorityI had dinner with a couple of friends on Saturday night. While we were sitting outside on a warm Seattle evening, we spent some time talking about this writing project.

One of the things we discussed was how every day I write about my own stories, but I know very little about most of the people who read them. It’s all a little awkward, and I’m dying to know…

What questions do you have so far? What can I do better?

Here is my attempt to write to you, dear Firefox user or RSS reader over there on the other side of the screen. Are you ready? Here we go…

***

A short letter to all of you nice readers out there:

Dear Silent Majority,

First, thank you for coming to my site and reading my articles. Wow! There are so many of you after just a couple of months of writing. I am amazed.

Some of you have sent nice emails, telling me how something here has helped you think or do something differently. That feedback is truly great to hear.

A few of you have disagreed with something I’ve said, and that’s cool too. I won’t moderate out any critical comments as long as you have something of value to bring to the discussion.

But most of you have said nothing at all, and that’s kind of sad.

You don’t call, you don’t write…

OK, you don’t need to call me, even though I do have my real phone number on the site.

But here is the thing… since we got picked up by the New York Times and a few nice bloggers who have been linking this way, a lot more people have been reading.

According to my traffic logs, at least 3,000 of you have been hanging out every day this month, which is pretty good for a new, non-commercial site. Some of the visitors are just passing through or checking it out, and that’s fine. The good thing about this style of writing is that I can post something up and you can read it whenever you want—immediately, the next day, the next month, or whenever.

I also know all about the 80/20 rule, which implies that the vast majority of readers will remain in the silent majority without taking part in the discussion. When it comes to blogging, it’s more like the 99/1 rule, and that’s OK with me too.

But so few of you participate that it all causes me to wonder: are we a good fit?

I know that my writing is not a good match for everyone… and the last thing in the world that I want is to write something that is so watered-down that it becomes relevant to everyone. Without a doubt, that would be a giant leap towards mediocrity.

So if we’re not a good fit, no hard feelings. Check out the LifeRemix network for other great reading. LifeRemix is kind of like the Match.com of personal development writers, so if you get tired of my style, you can probably find something better over there. Hopefully one day they will ask me to join forces with them.

But wait! If you DO like what you read, I need your help to make it better

My goal is to write for a group of passionate change agents who are committed to changing the world in a way that only they can.

I’ll tell you more about that with next month’s manifesto on World Domination, but before that comes out, it will be important to strengthen our community by building up the user base. I don’t want traffic for the sake of traffic—I want more of the passionate world changers, and I’m wondering if you are one of them.

So here’s the thing. I would really love to hear from you through the comments section for each post.

Sorry if I’ve given the wrong impression before, because…

I Do Not Have all the Answers about Anything…

If that is not clear from some of the mistakes I’ve written about so far, it will not be difficult to tell you about more of them. Trust me. There’s actually no shortage of mistakes, so I won’t be experiencing writer’s block on that subject for a while.

I have learned about life, work, and travel through sheer persistence. If I have done anything right, it’s because I have continually questioned the expectations that other people have had for me, and then I kept going even after making a lot of mistakes. That’s it. The rest is trial and error.

…So Here’s How You Can Help

  1. Read anything you like on this site. It’s for you.
  2. Click the little comment link at the top of any article, or just scroll to the bottom where it says “Leave a Reply.”
  3. Tell me what you think about the post, provide your own perspective, or ask any questions you have
  4. Write your name and email address (the email isn’t published, and you can just use your first name if you want).
  5. Include a link to your own blog if you have one, because lots of other people will visit it

Questions and Answers

To kick off this new celebration of participation, I’ve decided to open up a freestyle Question and Answer section.

You ask the Q, and I’ll provide the A—with the same disclaimer as above, that I don’t pretend to know it all.

You can ask anything you’d like in the comments section for this post, and I will answer as many questions as possible in a follow-up to everyone next week. Don’t be shy.

Alright, that’s all. Sorry for writing so much. It’s just that we haven’t talked in such a long time!

Please post your questions below.

Thanks, take care, all the best,

Chris

P.S. Oh, one more thing… You can also get these updates through your RSS feed (410 of you did that yesterday, thanks), or sign up for reminders when new posts come out.

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Comment on this article

44 Responses to “Dear Silent Majority, I Need Your Feedback…”

  1. Chris,

    I’m one of your readers (subscriber too) and I’ve stumbled you a few times too. But I hang my head in shame because I’ve only ever commented once on “The Art of Non Conformity.” Baffling, I know, as I love your writing and ideas.

    I realize that it’s better to show my appreciation for your writing by participating within the blog itself. I hope others will now join me after this.

    About me: I’m Scottish, from near Glasgow, a freelance writer, with an interest in both traditional and online media (former newspaper columnist & government website contributing editor). I’ve got a crazy notion that words can change lives, and enjoy fresh approaches that apply self improvement to real life challenges. But enough about me…

    What are you up to today? :-)

  2. @ Scott –

    No worries, thanks for mentioning the site through StumbleUpon; that certainly helps too. It’s nice to “meet” you and I respect your crazy notion that words can change lives. Keep up the good work and writing over there.

    OK, where is everyone else?

  3. May 21, 2008

    Jessica

    I like your blog. Sadly, I’m more likely to comment if I don’t like something, if I get mad or offended. What I enjoy most is vicariously enjoying your travels. Keep it going, and I’ll try to remember to comment from time to time; least I can do.

  4. Hey Chris,

    I’ve commented before, and will try to continue to do so in the future. I know it can be rough wondering if anyone is REALLY reading your work ;).

    I have never been “normal” or followed the most traveled path and I’m trying my best to raise three boys that follow suit (in their own direction of course)! My husband is finally on board (kicking and screaming for the 15 years we’ve been married), but he’s loving the peculiar life as much as the rest of us now!

    We homeschool, live without debt, and work without having jobs. How’s that for non-conforming! :D

  5. May 21, 2008

    Michael

    I am in Dallas, TX (if you every make it here maybe we could have dinner/drinks) and bogged down in the minutiae of life – my doing and I blame no one. I like to escape to the places you visit and often use your posts to jumpstart my dreams/aspirations. Guess in many ways I am that voyeur that has not “gone for the brass ring.” I do enjoy the writing and thanks for having the gumption to do what you feel is right and letting us all tag along. I have not had an issue with any of the posts. I personally would enjoy a few more concerning the non-traditional work outlets and opportunities – just my personal preference. Keep up the good work and I will make it a point to comment on the posts. Thanks again!

  6. May 21, 2008

    Suzanne

    Hi Chris,

    I also apologize for not commenting sooner. I love your writing but have a little trouble believing anyone would care about my slightly spirally point of view.

    (Yeah – i know – i made up that word – but i do that all the time.)

    I really appreciate not only your content but your style. But mostly when I read your stuff I just feel a real sense that I’m not alone in the world.

    About me – from Dallas, TX up until recently I spent the last 47 years dancing and teaching but have recently had to learn (at the age of 50) how to be an officegirl/business person. Talk about a 180.

    The one thing I learned about myself in the process is that I’m not just good at what I know – I’m not sure about this but I think that everyone thinks they have an area of expertise- that they would say after 5-45 years they are good at it – whatever it is. I think that until you try something totally outside of your field of expertise you’ll never know how really good you are – just in general -as a person – as an asset – as a friend,mentor – ANYTHING!

    So – people go for it – take this guy’s ideas and jump. You might find out that not only will you land in all likelihood you’ll fly.

    Have a happy day!

  7. @ Jessica,

    Yeah, that makes sense. Someone else said the same thing via email. But of course it’s nice to know that people are paying attention, so maybe I’ll try to cause more controversy going forward. :)

    @ Kathryn @ Michael and @ Suzanne,

    Thanks to you three as well. Michael and Suzanne, I don’t get to Texas very often but it is great to know that food and drinks are waiting when I come.

    Anyone else, please feel free to say hi or ask any questions.

  8. Dear Chris, although I have never made a comment on your blog, and I’ve only recently subscribed though I have been reading you for some time, I would just like to let you know what a profound impact your writing has had on me.

    The topics you have chosen to talk about, recruiting a small army to do something worthwhile, traveling the world, are things I have dreamed about for years. However, I have also let other people talk me out of them out of fear. I currently live in Spain but wanted to go to university in the UK. I let my then boyfriend talk me out of it. I also wanted to take a gap year to work and travel the world, and then I let my family talk me out of that. This keeps happening because, mostly, I´m scared to take the road less traveled only to crash and burn.

    I guess I just want to thank you for sharing what seems like an amazing life. You have helped me kickstart my own, even though some of the places I plan to go and the things I want to do are without a safety net. It is nice to know someone is out there doing the most daring things as though he had no other choice.

  9. Hello Chris! I’m new here, I subscribed about a week ago; so we’re still in the honeymoon phase, you and I. I really like what I’ve read so far though. I find your travel writing interesting, and I’m hoping to be inspired to step out of my own mediocrity. The amount of push I get from your articles is just what I need. Like the nudge a friend should give when we need to be challenged.

    Can you add links to Delicious, Digg, Stumble, etc to your RSS feed items so we can add them easily if we feel so inclined?

    Thanks for writing!

  10. Seemed to have worked well Chris! Good work.

    I am a follower, and comment from time to time – however not enough.

    I am in Midland, TX – known for the current president (like it or not). If for some reason you come to our lonesome town for whatever reason, you’re welcome to meet us at the bar. ;)

  11. Hi Chris,

    I have commented once, but I should engage more. I am young, graduating from college in 4 days, and I have managed to take the road less traveled all through college (three institutions, two countries) and plan to continue. I have sailed tall ships, spent a summer on an organic farm in Italy, learned traditional blacksmithing and I am now off to spend the next year or two in Vietnam and traveling in South East Asia. I am glad that I learned early just to do the things that you want to do, regardless of the rules, it makes such a difference in overall happiness. My friends have come to accept the fact that I am always off to some weird new adventure and even my parents have come to accept the fact.

    Thanks for the great blog, and encouragement, and I would love to see more travel tips in the future as well as more about your work in Africa, since I am hoping to do international development work in the future.

    P.S. I’m not from Texas, in the last few years I have lived in Montreal, Siena (Italy), and Connecticut, but I am originally from Boston (but no accent).

  12. RSS reader, never commented. I tend to comment more when posts ask a question. When they are presented in more of an essay format, it does not strike me to comment.

    I do respect what you are doing, and have been moving my life more towards the nonconformist approach. I would rather see the world than have a newer car, or a pool, or many other things.

    I sacrifice little and big things in order to have a chance at a “different life”. I am becoming more bold in my travels, which I do about once a year. The rest of the free cash gets invested into real estate that I hope will provide the means to see the world at my leisure sooner than later.

    Your writing provides a light to the path, and tips passed back along the way. This provides inspiration as well as practicality. I see it can be done, and has been done. I have the long term plan of meshing my career with my travels and humanitarianism to be able to someday help others.

  13. May 21, 2008

    Rachael

    Hey Chris!

    I think it would be really interesting if you incorporated more of the experiences/challenges you had working in Africa into your posts.

    I’m really enjoying all of your entries. :)

  14. May 21, 2008

    Colleen

    I live in Melbourne, Australia, and am a mother, shop assistant, gardener, stitcher, reader, walker, talker and ponderer… and a student in applied pyschology.

    I love your writing, the style and the subject…good, simple ideas expressed clearly and sensibly. Nonconformity has long been a passion of mine. And something to read while procrastinating/thinking about what school work to do next is most enjoyable.

    Thanks for the reminder to leave you some feedback. Now, get back to work.

  15. Hi Chris,

    I’ve been subscribed to your blog for awhile now, but I don’t think I’ve ever commented before. I enjoy everything about your blog. I like that I never know what you might write about next. Or where you’ll be writing from next.

    Just a little background on me so you’ll have more of an idea of who’s reading on the other end. I’m 43, live in Los Angeles, married to a Kiwi, and have an 18 year old son from a former marriage. I’m a legal secretary with a normal 9-5 job, but I am putting together my “plan of attack” for moving into a freelance writing career. I’m hoping to do something one day that will be helpful to more people and maybe inspire others to follow their dreams.

    I read your blog (and a few others) to find my own inspiration to do the same. Thanks for sharing your vision of the world with us all. It’s a joy to be a part of, and I look forward to reading about your adventures for as long as you’ll let us.

    I’ll try to remember to post from time to time to give you some feedback, if for no other reason than to say, “Thanks for sharing.”

  16. @ Wendy –

    Hi, and thanks for the idea about adding RSS links for the social networking sites. I’ll look into that.

    @ Kat –

    The SE Asia travel sounds great! I really enjoyed Vietnam and the whole region.

    @ Ryan @ Colleen and @ Cheryl –

    Thanks so much for saying hi and sharing your background. Glad to know you are all reading from L.A., Melbourne, and beyond.

    @ Rachael –

    Thanks; I will do that. For some reason I have been waiting to write about all the Africa stuff– I guess it is more personal to me than other places since I lived there for so long– but your note is a good reminder that I need to include more about it in the upcoming content.

    Anyone else? Any other questions? Thanks again for reading and chiming in. :)

  17. Hi Chris, I’m Emma, an Irish expat in Toronto and I’ve been reading via RSS, so hadn’t noticed you weren’t getting too many comments. :(

    My question is whether you’re still planning to head back to my favourite country Bangladesh?

  18. @ Emma from Dublin in T.O. –

    Nice to meet you… you’re right, I forget that many people read RSS and therefore don’t come directly to the site.

    About Bangladesh, well, I am definitely planning to head there at some point because I wasn’t able to get there from India in March. At this point I think I may be in Dhaka sometime late in the fall.

  19. Hi Chris,

    I’ve been reading you in my Bloglines subscriptions for a little while now (couple of months). I actually found your blog right after finishing “A Sense of the World” and thought it was serendipitous to find a modern day (sighted) surrogate of the blind traveler.

    I’ve been interested in your writing for the travelogue aspect, but I I am alienated by the personal development material. You seem very martial, combative… when I read your writing, I sense that you must be a very harsh critic of yourself. Perhaps I am projecting my own issues. I worry when you write about how we should not accept mediocrity because I am from the “embrace failure” school of thought. :)

    Nevertheless, you are right up there with other blog heroes of mine such as Steve Pavlina and Tim Ferriss. I hope you will continue your work and continue to inspire the rest of us nonconformists!

    Thanks for the great blog,
    Jennifer

  20. @ Jennifer –

    Wow, thanks a lot. I read “A Sense of the World” too and was very impressed. I don’t think I could ever be like that guy.

    About the personal development stuff, I appreciate that feedback too. It is kind of difficult to respond to those issues in the comments section here, but I think I understand what you mean and where you are coming from.

    The comparison to SP and TF is much appreciated– I respect both of those guys a lot, among others.

  21. Hi Chris, Bert here, from Portland, OR. I’ve now been enjoying reading your blog for a bit over a month. For me, I have to say that I enjoy your travel writing the most. And, like some of the previous readers have written, it’s fun to travel vicariously through someone else. I really admire your goal of traveling to so many countries and find this inspiring. Because of your blog, I booked a trip to Rio this fall and will also be doing more domestic travel this year than I normally would. You seem mature for your years, and I’m impressed with the wisdom that you have at this age compared to your peer age group.

    Do you always travel alone? And please share more travel pics as able; those are great!

    Stay humble. Keep up the excellent writing. Let me know if you’re ever in Portland and I’ll treat you to dinner.

  22. Chris,

    I’ve been reading since you were mentioned at the Get Rich Slowly blog. I’m very interested in travel, non-conformity, and personal development, so we seem like a good fit.

    I’m a 23-year-old recent college grad currently teaching English in Spain…at least for one more week. I’m moving on to Guatemala for the summer and then to South Korea. Just short-term stuff, no more than a year in one place.

    I enjoy reading your blog because it offers a different perspective on many of the things I think about…the perspective of someone who, even though still very much on his journey, has already been there and done that. I’m also always looking for personal development sites that place emphasis on making the world a better place and improving other’s lives…not just thinking about yourself.

    Basically, so long as you keep blogging, I’ll keep reading.

    Thanks,
    Jenny

  23. @ Bert and @ Jenny,

    Great to meet both of you guys, and thanks for the kind words. It is humbling to hear that the site is inspiring other people to travel and focus more on their goals while helping others.

    I have been thinking about a way to post more photos, perhaps through a Flickr plug-in or something. I am an awful photographer, though.

    Jenny, I will be in Guatemala City at some point late in the summer (not sure exactly when). South Korea will be a lot different from Spain, but you probably know that already.

  24. Hey Chris! I’m Brad from Virginia. I am guilty of lurking on several blogs (typically read through RSS), and you have inspired me to make my first comment. I love to travel vicariously through you while I attack the tasks of raising children, working, marathon training, and completing college. Your work has been an inspiration, and each day I find myself closer to un-tethering.

    As others have noted, I enjoy your perspective. I’ve been teasing with the idea of blogging myself, and find the personal level of communication here fascinating and inspiring. Thanks for your great work!

  25. May 22, 2008

    Debbie M

    I am not a passionate change agent committed to changing the world in a way that only I can. But even if I’m not your intended audience, I still like your site because I like how your theme of nonconformity shows that people often have more choices than they think they have.

    For most situations, there’s an obvious, conforming thing to do. People often stumble from one of these to the next, not even realizing that they have choices, let alone just how many and varied their choices are. Or they may know in the back of their heads that there are choices, for other people, but not realize that some of these could be realistic for them.

    Blogs like yours, with enough details to show how things can be done, what kinds of things can go wrong, etc., can help people realize that they really do have lots of interesting realistic options.

    I’m not unconventional in my travel or my work like you are. My areas of diversion are more in the areas of finance and hobbies.

    Finance: My car was already over ten years old when I bought it for cash (now it’s 17 years old and still doing fine), I take a bus to work, I buy my clothes mostly from thrift stores, and I live in a small house in an iffy part of town all so I can afford to live close in, travel, and retire early.

    Hobbies: I have more than one. So many people have one job and one hobby. I prefer lots of hobbies. So I read, hike, play guitar, go ballroom dancing, knit, write, do puzzles, cook, play ultimate frisbee, travel, and learn. I’m not great at any of these things, especially compared to people who have one of these hobbies as their only hobby, so I spend a lot of time looking like an idiot, but it’s still fun.

    I’m most likely to comment when people start comparing their own related experiences to what you’ve written about.

  26. After reading your comment about not being much of a photographer, I thought I’d refer you to a site that I’ve been checking out:

    http://digital-photography-school.com/blog/digital-photography-tips-for-beginners/

    I’m a *very* beginner photographer myself, and I’ve already learned quite a bit from this blog. I started with the article, “13 Lessons to Teach your Child about Photography” in the beginner’s tutorials. I’m still working on those myself. :)

    Another blog that is very cool is strobist.com. Even though a lot of it is beyond my personal knowledge, after reading his blog, even *I* feel like I could someday take good photographs.

    One thing I read (don’t remember where) is to not be afraid to show a little more than what you’re aiming at. For instance, if you’re taking a picture of a building in a crowded (read: buildings built next to each other, no gap) area, consider cropping the photo a little to the right and left to show the building is touching the buildings next door.

    Hope this helps, and hope I didn’t break any rules by posting a link.

    Happy shooting!

  27. Chris,

    While I don’t have a question, per se, I have been subscribing for about a month now. I have not been disappointed with any of what I have found.

    I was going to phone you, but you did say explicitly that we didn’t have to, even though I found the number (go me).

    There is a bit of fantasy fulfillment for me in reading your blog. While I won’t say that I won’t or can’t ever travel in the manner which you do, it definitely keeps the fire alive in me to go out and see more of the world we live in, as well as the different people that live in it. It’s a little bit that pushes me further to work towards my fullest potential, and I can’t ever see that as a detriment.

    Of course, when the day comes where I will take some of those steps, this blog will have helped me tremendously already in providing me with knowledge that I might have never even thought I would need.

    The world domination aspect is good as well, in a “Pinky and the Brain” sort of way (although in a bit more polished way). I have megalomaniacal desires as well, and while it’s good to see information from other people on how to pursue them. Of course, being a megalomaniac, well, in the end, there can only be one, so there is a tinge of sadness in that I’ll eventually find competition in all the other megalomaniacs in the world which I will eventually have to subdue to my will.

    =)

    - Nick

  28. May 22, 2008

    Danny G

    Hi Chris. I’m from province Québec in Canada. I began to read your blog two months ago. Well, I discovered blogs two months ago, too. I don’t remember writing any commentary on your blogs during that time. I do write less online lately. I become tired of posting, somehow.

    But I do like your writing style. I feel the passion behind the words. My favorite topic is World Domination. It’s the topic that made the most impact on myself.

    Your blog inspire me on my own personal research. Although traveling around the world isn’t my thing, I do travel a lot inside the Québec. By car. And I’m exploring ways to help me enjoy all the 10 hours ride I have to do. And help my wallet enjoy it too. Maybe I’ll write about it, but it’s not in my priority right now.

    Finally, I don’t really care about the place you’ve visited. I don’t wish to travel around the world. However, I’m interested about the why and how you make it possible (I really like the comparison between the cost of traveling and of an SUV).

    Keep up the good work, Chris.

  29. Chris–

    Luv your writing. Luv luv luv it. (I like spelling love that way; it seems more intimate. Is it? I don’t know. Or as my 11-year-old daughter would say, IDK.)

    I also love your links. Keep up the good work. I’d love to write something insightful and fresh, but my brain is mush today.

    Ciao and be the change–

    “Truth is not fulfilled by mere abstinence from telling or practicing an untruth …. But Truth is God, the one and only Reality. All other observances take their rise from the quest for and the worship of Truth. Worshipers of Truth must not resort to untruth, even for what they believe to be the good of the country, and they may be required … civilly to disobey even the orders of parents and elders in virtue of their paramount loyalty to Truth.” -M. Gandhi, from Mahatma Gandhi, The Essential Writings, at 114.

    Jananda

  30. Hi Chris,

    Sorry for not responding sooner. I followed you over here from Flyertalk quite a while ago and enjoy reading you daily. I admire your commitment to living as much an original life as is possible.

    I have lived a long and interesting life that at times was original as well. I have been in the Army and the Navy, worked for Bank of America, Pepsi-Cola, John Hancock, Coors, and am now with a very large telecom multinational. I have belonged to the Teamsters, Carpenters, Mine Workers and Electrical Workers unions. I have also been a cook, a commercial fisherman, a farm worker, a delivery boy (and man), a house painter, a telemarketer and a maintenance man.

    I can operate a motorcycle, a forklift, a sailboat, a destroyer, a tank, a truck, a tractor and a horse.

    I love travel (especially SE Asia), music, photography and sailing. I learned to juggle at age 55 to prove to myself that I could still learn to do anything. I will never retire, because I never had a “career” in the conventional sense.

    Somehow I have ended up in a beautiful house on a canyon in a great city, with a wonderful life partner and a stimulating, creative job. All the things I spontaneously did in my life brought me to this point, and I really can’t complain. I have grown kids in three states and we get along fine. I did pick up 13 broken bones (not counting fingers and toes) and have had 7 trauma surgeries, so it hasn’t been dull.

    Chris, keep living that original life and thanks for writing about it. You might want to take an occasional break from examining and reporting about it and just really wing it once in awhile, too.

    Best regards,

    Jim T

  31. @ Cheryl –

    Thanks for the photography tips! I believe that is Darren Rowse’s blog, who also owns and writes for Problogger. I am doing a guest post over there sometime in the next week or so.

    Yes, non-commercial links are fine as long as they are appropriate for general viewing.

    @ Everyone Else –

    Thanks so much for saying hello and sharing your stories. I am reading all of the comments in detail and really appreciate it.

    Feel free to ask any questions as well– and remember, there are other posts here you can comment on as well.

    I’m off to run 5 miles or so; will check in later.

  32. Great, looking forward to seeing your guest post. I’m subscribed over there as well.

  33. Chris,

    I’ve never spent as much time on any site I’ve Stumbled as I’ve spent here the past 2 days. Thanks!

    I’ve done some travelling, and intend on doing more. I’ve been to every province and territory (save Nunavut) in my home country of Canada, just over half of the United States, several countries in Europe (I lived in the U.K. for a year), and Mexico.

    Whenever I meet someone who is travelling abroad, I always ask them the same question: Have you seen your own country? Many people’s answer is no. I always feel a little sad that people might miss something amazing in their own back yard. And, in such expansive countries such as ours, there is much to see. (Somehow I get the feeling this doesn’t apply to you. ;)

    Thanks again, and I look forward to reading about your future adventures!

    (soon to be subscribed) Rick

  34. More of a lurker than a commenter… but it’s fantastic reading your articles about taking your ideas into reality. Very inspiring, fascinating stuff. Much thanks. Living in Japan right now, so the idea of continuing around the world, one way or another, is an interesting idea… Looking forward to your world domination post. Question? Um… Not really. Keep up the great work.

  35. Hey Chris – Nice work with the ProBlogger post! I have been reading your site for a while and have also been a non-conformist for a LONG time (e.g. Peace Corps, living overseas, extended travel…)

    Keep up the GREAT work! Also, I just signed up for your feed and if you would like to subscribe to mine you can do so on my site.

    All the best,
    MH

  36. May 23, 2008

    Jonathan

    Great website. I just stumbled upon it from problogger. I normally don’t comment, but I’ve just read the two most recent articles (not including this one) and wow. Great writing and very thought provoking!

    I look forward to more of your writing!

  37. Hello all –

    Wow, so many comments. I am truly humbled.

    Yes, I have a guest post up on ProBlogger. I’ll be writing more about it next week, but to those who are interested now, here is the link:

    http://www.problogger.net/archives/2008/05/24/blogging-and-insecurity-conquering-the-fear-of-presenting-your-big-ideas

    If that link is cut off, just go to http://problogger.net/blog

  38. Chris,

    Hi from the Netherlands – I just stumbled upon your site and read some of your pieces – I really enjoy your way of looking at things and I’ll be back for more.

    Keep up the good work.

    Robin

  39. PLEASE no more “top x” lists! The web is full of them and they are so annoying.

  40. @ Robin –

    Nice to hear from you. I have spent a lot of time in the Netherlands– Rotterdam mostly, but also Scheveningen, Amsterdam, Leiden, and Utrecht. I have really good memories of those visits.

    @Andrew –

    Well, I agree that having a “top x” list just for the sake of itself isn’t helpful, but if I think it categorizes the information better I will still do it. I have noticed that numbered lists tend to get more response from the readers than when the information is just listed in bulleted form.

  41. Hi, I am from India, I was Googling for some travel blogs and found yours. It is nice and I also have started blogging and it is just two months. I also volunteer for a group called Simple Thoughts. We a bunch of young engineers want to change my India. It is a wild goose chase and we have started it. I am interested in finances and money stuff. I write about it.

    What I like about blog is you have been to places and describe it, I feel after reading I was just witnessing it. It is so damn neat. I am not that good in English, but for me your writing is really good. I was so happy when you wrote about Mumbai, Kolkatta. I wish you had come to Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai. I am sure you would have heard of these places. Hope to see you around some time.

    Keep up the good work,

    Saravanan

  42. Hello! I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of months and just commented on your post about mediocrity. A couple of things about me: People really do call me Slinky, and that’s how I think of myself in my head. I hate umbrellas, wearing shoes, and bridal showers. I live in Southeast Wisconsin and have just graduated college with a degree in Computer Science. I now work for a company that creates online travel software. I enjoy your posts on both travel and what someone above termed personal development, like the mediocrity post. I’m more likely to post in response to something I’m either knowledgeable or passionate about.

    I have a couple of travel related questions for you: How do you manage (financially) to travel so often and extensively, and I’m a RSS subscriber who has no idea if or what you do for work, so how do you manage that aspect (time off of work, or income if you don’t have a ‘traditional’ job)?

    Thanks for posting great articles and refusing to ‘water down’ the content for the masses. I believe that if people stopped catering to the average or below, there would be a lot less mediocrity.

  43. Greetings from Sweden! I came over here just some day ago from Study Hacks and immediately subscribed. The blog is a good fit for me. For many years now I always seem to make choices different than the majority around me. Ever since High School I customized my education, negotiating to be able swap courses while I also taught myself about whatever interested me outside of school. Now I’m 21 and an undergrad who’s also doing things differently, like getting myself a customized degree. I have a lot more nonconformist ideas for the upcoming years. They seem to be getting more “out there”. I think that’s a good thing.

    A year ago I joined the world’s largest international student organization, which has as goals to promote cultural exchange and create change agents. Doing things like traveling to Ukraine for an international conference where people from 20 countries met really made me interested in the world. (There are some alumni who do interesting things to make a positive impact in the world by the way. I can definitely help you out finding some of those if you want.)

    I must have read more on personal development than most. Recently I’ve been thinking that perhaps it made me too self-focused. Your blog avoids this. You also come with new perspectives and the trio personal development, entrepreneurship and travel couldn’t fit me better.

    And thanks for the invitation to comment. I have seldom commented on blogs before, but you make me feel like continuing doing so here.

  44. June 12, 2010

    DigitalAngel

    I’m currently reading through all your old articles in order and loving them all :) I agree with the people who’ve said that they’re more likely to comment if they disagree with something you write. However, it’s definitely a goal of mind to share my perspective through comments more often, since I learn so much from the comments of other readers. Thanks for the awesome posts!

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