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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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Superpowers

In an interview, Warren Buffett was asked what superpower he would like to be granted. His response: “I'd like to have the ability to read faster.” I loved this answer, but when I shared it on Twitter, a few people said something like, “That's dumb. If you read faster, you won't retain the information.” Ah yes, but it’s not about speedreading per se—since he’s a fairly smart guy, I’m pretty sure that Mr. Buffett understands the concept that we don’t retain everything we read. It’s not usually nice to assume, but in this case it’s a safe assumption that he’s talking about actually learning faster—the ability to consume and apply more information in a shorter period of time.

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Always Get Back Up: Lessons from
Muhammad Ali

Tomorrow is the beginning of Black History Month in the U.S., where we celebrate the achievements of African Americans and honor our country's culture of diversity. Last year I wrote about Malcolm X, one of my personal heroes and a great example of non-conformity in the face of relentless pressure to back down. This time, I wanted to look at the life of Muhammad Ali, born as Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky.

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Business Goals for the Travel Hacking Cartel

I was all set to go on national TV Friday morning to discuss travel hacking, but then I got a frantic message from the producer: “Have you been to Egypt?” Why yes, I said, I have—not checking the news, since I was thinking ahead to the segment for which they were interviewing me. The next message came three minutes later, saying they were dropping travel hacking in favor of Egyptian riots. Since bringing democracy to a country that has lived with a dictator for three decades is probably more important than earning a free plane ticket, I decided that decision was fair. I went back inside and changed into a t-shirt ...

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