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Kind of a Big Deal

In Austin yesterday I met Jodi, who was attending the panel I co-presented with Jonathan Fields. Jodi talked about recently taking her first trip abroad, to Europe. Some active travelers might say a trip like that is “no big deal”—but I understood exactly why she was excited. When you've never left home, your first destination is most definitely a big deal.

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Not Realistic

Realistic is the adjective of cynics. Wherever you encounter skeptics, naysayers, and charlatans, you will always encounter this word. I'm not saying it's a bad word, that there's no logic to it, or that it's completely irrelevant. I'm just saying... who cares whether something is realistic or not? You might as well leave this word to the cynics—let them have it. Let them own it. It won't do you any good anyway. Realistic is used to do two things simultaneously: one, to criticize. Two, to justify.

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Homecoming and the Adventure Detox

After your big adventure, you're looking forward to the homecoming. The adventure was fun and challenging, but toward the end you're ready for something familiar. You find yourself daydreaming of friends, family, and the comforts of home. Then the big day finally arrives, when you say farewell to _____, your base of foreign surroundings for some time.When you return, people are happy to see you, and you're happy to see them ...

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For the Love of Airports

There are those who say that airports are all the same; that travel has become standardized and sterilized. This view holds that airports exist merely to take passengers from one place to another, and that “real” travel begins only when you leave the terminal. That's one way to think of it. Another way is to embrace airports as a travel experience all on their own. An airport begins, continues, or ends a journey.

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On Revolutions

On my first overseas trip in several months, I made it to Libya, Afghanistan, and even (briefly) Kish Island, Iran. It was a tiring trip, as one might expect, but also a timely one. When I booked my flights, I didn't exactly plan on revolution breaking out across the region; apparently revolutions are not scheduled in advance.

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Useful Travel Skills

If you'd like to be a traveler, you could learn about history and geography, focusing on what is similar and what is different on this strange, beautiful planet. You could learn languages, in an attempt to ingratiate yourself and show respect for the culture you've dropped in on as an outsider. You could learn about photography or videography, and find a way to document your memories for others to enjoy from afar. All these things are fine and useful pursuits. But as you move from aspiring vagabond to global explorer, here are a few suggestions that might help even more.

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Are Goals Necessary?

our Facebook page recently, and got a lot of great responses. Technically, I asked “Are goals necessary to achieve success?” – a lot of people accurately said that it depends on how you define success. I agree. But let's say that success includes working toward something other time, whether a career goal, a relational goal, or strictly a personal project. Are goals necessary in the crafting of a meaningful life?

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The Traveler and His Work

Once upon a time, there was a traveler. He began traveling because it helped him feel alive. Gradually, he became more and more comfortable with traveling, and therefore more motivated to see the world. The more he wandered, the more he wanted to wander. He memorized flight schedules, lists of the world's capital cities, and random airline trivia. He didn't have much material wealth, but he was a millionaire in Frequent Flyer Miles ...

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