Reset

How an Investment Banker Quit Her Job to Travel the World Solo

Kristin Addis seemingly had it all: lucrative banking job in sunny Southern California, and all the things that go with that life. Yet something was missing. The money and apparent professional success weren’t as fulfilling as they were supposed to be. So she saved up some money, quit her job, and bought a one-way ticket out of the country.

I was by myself on the side of the road, in the snow, in the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of China with my thumb up. I was there because I wanted to trek the surrounding mountains. They were rumored to be beautiful and didn't disappoint. I'd had a continuous run of luck prior to that getting around the country by taking rides, and decided to try hitchhiking from there back to Chengdu.

After about 20 bone-chilling minutes, a couple of guys picked me up and drove like mad men through the mountain passes. When we stopped for lunch, they ordered a feast that even six people couldn't finish, let alone three. One item was a famous steamed fish in the area—a fish with a strange bone in its head.

Read More

Ultimate 30 Day Challenge: One Man’s Quest to Eat and Train Like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

One of the best things about embarking on a quest is that it forces you to change your routine. Or sometimes, it forces you into a new routine. For 31 days, Mark Webster went from "ordinary tech guy" to "following in The Rock's fitness regime guy."

At the end of 2015, I read Jesse Itzler’s Living with a Seal. Itzler wrote: "I felt like I was drifting on autopilot in my life. Wake up, go to work, go to the gym — repeat. I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to get better." And that resonated with me.
MWTweet2

Read More

“If you’re going to spend the money anyway, you might as well get something out of it.”

Ediza Ferris is serious about travel hacking, and it pays off. A recent trip took her and her husband from the States through Sydney to Dubai—where they were whisked from the presidential hotel suite to the First Class lounge via private chauffeur. Ediza is truly hacking her way to incredible experiences thanks to the world of miles and points.

I started traveling when I was young, around age 5 or 6. My parents immigrated to the States from the Philippines and we've always made steady trips back and forth to go back and see family.

I took the opportunity when I was 16 to study abroad for the summer in a theater program. It wasn't until then where I realized the world was so much bigger than myself, and so much older than how it's described in the history books.

Since then, I've wanted to see more, eat differently, and discover anything new so that I can piece together for myself what this world is actually made of.

Read More

Student Drops Out of College & Buys a One-Way Flight to Guatemala

looking-out After trying and failing to lead a conventional life, Jake Heilbrunn decided to follow his intuition by backpacking and volunteering through Central America. This trip changed the course of his life. I distinctly remember climbing atop La Danta and looking out across vast amounts of jungle expanding as far as the eye could see in all directions. It was humbling to realize how big this world is and how small I really was. Oddly enough, this new perspective gave me the confidence to continue pursuing my dreams and passions. The vastness of the jungle reminded me that if I was really so small, I had nothing to lose.

That night, the twelve of us volunteers cooked up a campfire dinner. There was no service or wifi in the jungle, so everyone sat around and talked, face to face. Nobody was distracted by their phones or technology. There was a powerful energy among us as we shared this intense, jungle experience devoid of distractions.

Read More

Epic Bike Quest & Failed Mountain Summit Leads Student to “Do More Than Exist”

It's natural to want to give back when someone saves your life. Ethan Maurice thought he was going to be a doctor in order to return the life-saving favor—but then he had another idea.

A brush with death changed my life. At sixteen, I was bitten by the wrong mosquito. I went from being a totally healthy kid to a full on grand mal seizure brought on by a rare viral infection of my brain and spinal fluid. After suffering a stroke, three days in a coma, many more seizures, and nine days in the intensive care unit, I emerged with significant brain damage.

Ethan8

Read More

How A Wilderness Adventurer Wrote His Way To A Location-Independent Lifestyle

Kevin Casey has wanted to explore the most remote parts of the world ever since he was a little kid watching nature documentaries. Now, as a location-independent freelance writer - that went from $0/month to $7000/month in six months - he’s able to fully fund his adventurous, nomadic lifestyle.

Since I was a boy living in California, I’ve wanted to explore the world's wildest and most isolated rivers. Now based out of Brisbane, Australia, I live that dream and my one-man copywriting business has been paying for all my overseas adventures since 2013!

Read More

Five Weeks with Syrian Refugees: One Man’s Quest to Promote Cultural Intelligence

IMG_0054

Having lived abroad both growing up and as an adult, David Durham has dedicated his life to promoting cultural curiosity. Most recently his adventures took him to Greece, where he and his wife, Becky, observed the refugee crisis in Europe first hand. Though they were already veteran travelers, they were profoundly impacted by this experience.

I am a lover of culture. I write, speak, and podcast about crossing cultural bridges with a goal of promoting cultural curiosity. I teach French, Spanish, and Global Studies; my wife teaches World Geography. Between the two of us, our students have little hope of remaining indifferent to international cultures!

Ever since the trips back and forth to Australia, where I lived with my family for five years as a child, I have been infected with an insatiable curiosity about other cultures and languages. I spent 12 years in Europe and continue to travel there on a regular basis which includes leading cultural tours with my wife, Becky.

Read More

From Bad News to Whole Foods: One Woman’s Path to Entrepreneurship

A stay-at-home mom turned foodpreneur, Sundara Clark called on years of experience in the industry to fill a hole in the dessert aisle. After getting a lactose intolerance diagnosis for her daughter, Sundara set to work creating an organic, vegan, paleo gelato that her daughter could enjoy, without any of the mom-guilt.

After five years as a stay at home mom, I was ready to jump back into the economy. Only problem was, in Humboldt, California where I was living, jobs were few and far between. Since I wasn’t inclined to be a lumberjack or marijuana farmer, I knew I was going to have to strike out on my own. I just wasn’t quite sure what that was yet. I’ve worked in all parts of the food industry - served in restaurants, made fancy desserts, and done sales and purchasing for a food distributor. While I was growing up, my mom worked as a distributor for a then-fledgling company called Odwalla. In retrospect, it makes sense that I got into the food business, but it actually started with a bit of bad news.

Read More

Teaching by Example: A Father’s Take on Adventure and Giving Back

Thailand 03 Michael McManus tries to live his life as an example for his daughters. He chooses to fill it with family, adventure, creativity, and giving back.

I am first and foremost a husband and father. I'm also a photographer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist that has started M2 Photography, Gethrr and Poser Photobooth Co. I love creating portraits where my subjects interact with the chalk drawings. When I'm not photographing weddings, rocking the photo booth, or helping others, I'm with my family.

We believe in intentional living and spending our time purposefully. Whether we're playing tag in our backyard or hiking in Norway, all that matters is that we're together. We constantly talk to our children about fear—about not being afraid to try new things, seeing failure as a stepping stone to success, and living life beyond our limits.

Read More

“Traveling Taught Me How to Be a Parent”: On the Road with Christine Gilbert

DSC00393 Several years ago, Christine Gilbert packed up the kids and hit the road. She and her family have been roaming the world ever since.

I’m a writer and photographer who was trapped for years in the Ann Taylor-clad body of a corporate manager, until one day I did something completely ordinary but unexpected. I quit a very nice job and convinced my husband that we were moving overseas.

Since then we’ve reinvented our careers and lives as something between wandering creatives and ill-equipped adventurers. We have two very American kids who have never lived in the US. Instead, they’ve grown up speaking Spanish and English (plus many other languages along the way) and sincerely believe that “America” is the place we go to get new iPads when they break (which is true, actually).

Read More

How an Excel Spreadsheet Led One Woman to Change Careers

When even the unconventional life isn’t working out as you planned, how do you course correct to get on a more fulfilling track? Bethany Butzer broke out a spreadsheet and charted her way to a life more aligned with her values.

I’ve never really followed a linear path. I graduated with a Ph.D. in Psychology, turned down a job in academia to work in the corporate world, but very quickly realized that the 9-to-5 cubicle life wasn't for me. After a year and a half, I quit.

A job opened up at Harvard Medical School for someone to help research school-based yoga interventions. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to combine my passion for research with my interest in well-being, so my husband and I sold our house and we moved to Boston.

To my surprise, Harvard didn’t end up being what I’d hoped for. The work environment was extremely competitive and exhausting. The cost of living was through the roof. I spent most of my time at work or recovering from work. After two years of this lifestyle, I realized that something needed to change. Four guidelines helped guide my husband and me through some major lifestyle changes to get us where we are today.

Read More

“Turning 50 Is Extremely Liberating”: One Woman’s Path to Her Dream Job

I love second act stories! It's never too late (or too early, for that matter) to create a new life for yourself and change the world while you're at it. Tonya Hobbs took a big risk, and she couldn't be happier.

Here’s her story:
Finding the work I was born to do was the result of a full-blown, midlife-crisis. I had changed careers and returned to school for a master’s degree in social work at age 40, but as 50 approached I was plagued by the question “Is this all there is?”

I worked in a field I loved. My job was never done. Yet I longed for something more... I just had no idea what “more” really meant.

Read More

“Busy Is a Bullshit Word”: How 16 Days Rafting the Grand Canyon Changed a Life

Angie2 How do you escape the disorienting world of always being busy yet never appreciating your life? For Angie Stegall and her husband Nelson, they took a forced vacation that turned into an epic adventure.

We weren’t happy, Nelson and me. With each other, yes—but with our lives, not so much. Our busy lives were lived in a city we felt very “meh” about. So when we had the chance to check off an item on Nelson’s bucket list—rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon—for 16 days, we decided to do whatever it took to go.

As it turns out, that white-water journey changed the trajectory of our lives.

Read More

Live a Remarkable Life in a Conventional World: Nominations Wanted!

I tend to ask a lot of questions. Why jump off the bridge just because everyone else does? What are "the rules" and who made them?

If your life is a movie and you’re the director, why did you add this scene to it?

Today, I have a question for you that might be even easier than those: Can you introduce me to an awesome person who's doing something really special?

Read More

One Man’s Quest to Draw 900,000 Buildings in New York City

It’s difficult to pin down the exact number of buildings in New York City. One source estimates 860,000, another source pins the number at 1,053,713. Whatever the number, we’ll know eventually, thanks to Australian-born James Gulliver Hancock, who has made it his mission to draw every single one of them.

When I moved to New York City, I really wanted to get to know Manhattan better, beyond a traditional tourist experience. New York was my new home, and I needed a way to understand it. Drawing every building is my version of a diary of my experience in the city—and it doubles as my own personal map. When I walk by the buildings I’ve drawn, it’s like seeing old friends.
James8

Read More