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.)Read More
Merry Christmas and Happy Everything! Wherever you are and whatever you're celebrating, I hope you're having a great holiday week. This is the final post of the 2011 Annual Review series. Looking back over the year, here's what we've covered thus far ...Read More
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.Read More
Greetings, everyone. I'm finishing up my latest trip to Africa, and I hope you're well wherever you are. This is the first part of the 2011 Annual Review. Two notes on this year's series: first, at the end of each post over the next few weeks, you're invited to leave your own response.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Greetings, friends and readers. I'm on the road as usual, and today I'm also excited to announce the release of a new manifesto, The Tower. As with my two earlier works, A Brief Guide to World Domination and 279 Days to Overnight Success, this report is completely free, with nothing for sale and no email opt-in required.Read More
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.”Read More
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.Read More
Last weekend, I finally made it to Cuba! It was a significant trip for me, since Cuba was my final country in all of the Americas. I now have only 19 total countries remaining, and this was an especially fun one. During my time on the island, I ran a half-marathon with a friend, spent another couple days walking around Havana, and made sure to sample mojitos from as many restaurants as possible. Keep reading for the full report ...Read More
Greetings from my corner of the world in Portland, Oregon. It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., a time when the internet shuts down and we all eat pie. Everyone else, feel free to enjoy the internet to yourself and eat pie along with us. Earlier this week I was in Cuba, my 174th country and final country in all of the Americas. I'll have more to say about my adventure there next week, but in short, I had a fantastic visit.Read More
Greetings from AA flight 693, on my way homeward after a big adventure that I’ll explain next Monday. For now, we’re gearing up for Thanksgiving in the U.S. tomorrow, a good time for gratitude, pumpkin pie, and fall sales. A sale? Yes … just one. Every year we have only one sale at Unconventional Guides.…Read More
The first time I was busted as a juvenile delinquent, I wasn't actually arrested—apparently I was too young. I was eleven years old in a small town in rural Montana, and the way it was explained to me at the time, the laws in my state did not allow for juveniles to be charged with a crime before the age of thirteen.
My non-crime was burning down an abandoned house. I'd love to say it's a long story, but it's actually pretty short. I used to hang out in this abandoned house for fun, it had a lot of old mattresses lying around, and one day I decided to see what would happen if I lit one of the mattresses on fire. Surprise! When you light a mattress on fire and walk away, the whole house burns down. Homeschoolers, take note of this potential object lesson.Read More