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Runway Running

When I boarded the flight to Nauru, I felt like I was going into exile. The airline that flies to Nauru is called “Our Airline,” which could go down as the most comical airline name I've ever heard. (Runner up: "Jubbah Airways" in Somalia.) I had previously been informed by my visa service that no visa is required to visit Nauru. Unfortunately, that fact turned out to be untrue—pretty much everyone going to Nauru needs a visa. After an earlier failure, I regrouped and made another attempt last week. This time, the visit was successful.

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How to Write a Book

Most important: to write a good book, you need a good idea. No one wants to read a book without an idea, no matter how well written it may be. Always start with something to say.

But let's look at the practical aspect—how do you actually write a book?

It turns out it's not that difficult. You basically work with the time-and-money concept, where you break down exactly what you need to accomplish the desired goal. How much is required?

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First Steps to Working for Yourself (Follow-Up)

Last week I presented a scenario from one of our readers. Anna was recently laid off from a middle management job, and rather than look for work, she was hoping to become self-employed for the first time. What are the first steps? she wanted to know. I said that I would share my answer, but first I wanted to hear from the rest of our community. If you're in a similar situation or are just curious, you can read some of the answers and see if any advice serves your needs. I've copied a few of my favorite responses ...

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It’s Time To See the World

I said I was heading to the airport, and someone said they hate flying because of the TSA. "I just can't stand to travel anymore!"

I said I was passing through LAX, and someone else said, "Ugh, LAX. What a mess."

It's OK, I told them, I have a one-night layover in the city before moving on to Asia.

"My sister lives there," I heard, "and I don't know how she stands it. The traffic is terrible!"

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Everyday Decisions: Getting Started with Working for Yourself

Anna wrote in with a common question: how to get started working on your own?

I hear these questions a lot, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Despite the variations, most of them have a common theme. Here's how Anna put it in her message, which I'm sharing with her permission:

I was recently laid off after working in a middle management position for the past four years. The layoff was sad, but not completely unexpected. The company has been losing money, and while I'd like to think I was irreplaceable, I know the truth is that they simply had to eliminate some positions ...

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What to Do About Those People Who Sidetracked Your Life

This article doesn’t have much to do with travel hacking or unconventional work. And in fact, it will only apply to a minority of the people who read it. If you’ve always had a great life and nothing truly unfair has ever happened to you, feel free to skip this one. There’s lots of other great reading out there elsewhere. But for the rest of you—this one goes out to everyone who has had terrible things happen to them that weren’t their fault.

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The Feeling of the Entire Day Unfolding Around You

In JFK I got on the 16-hour Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. It was 3pm in the New York afternoon, and 3am in HKG—exactly halfway around the world. The Boeing 777 took off, I had lunch, and I took a short nap. I always set my watch to the destination time when boarding a flight, so it was now sunrise in Hong Kong ... with 13 hours to go. What's next?

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Questions and Answers on Travel Hacking

A few weeks ago I mentioned I had created a page on the site that lists current airline mileage credit card bonuses. With just a couple of new cards, you can earn 100,000 miles or more—and then book round-trip plane tickets all over the world. Much to my surprise, card bonuses have continued to get better and better over the past couple of years. It's never been easier to earn a large stash of points or miles that you can quickly convert to plane tickets and hotel stays.

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World Domination Summit: Final Wave of Tickets

*World Domination Summit: Final Ticket Sales* Earlier this morning we opened the final wave of ticket sales for WDS 2012. We sold out all 400 remaining tickets immediately (well, in 9 minutes), but due to various transaction errors, about 80 tickets were put back in the queue.

These tickets are now available on a first-come, first served basis here --> #WDS2012 Registration UPDATE: All tickets are now gone.

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Intentions, Decisions, and Outcomes

I recently posted a question to readers about what to do in an uncertain airport situation. This was the scenario:

You arrive very late at an airport you haven’t been to before. Security takes forever, but the flight is on time—which means you’re even more rushed. You walk into the terminal and look for your gate: A70. Damn … you’re currently at A18. Above you is an “Express Train” that runs between A1 and A75 with an unknown number of intermediate stops.

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1,000 Days After Overnight Success

More than two years ago, I wrote a free manifesto on becoming a professional writer in less than a year. It was called 279 Days to Overnight Success, and the purpose was to outline the roadmap I had followed in crafting a new career after moving back to the U.S. from overseas and finishing grad school. Somewhere around 15% of the total AONC readership can be traced to the worldwide interest in this manifesto, so I thought I'd take a quick look back at the lessons from it.

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An Academic Confession

A long time ago, I sent a thick packet of information to Yale, explaining in considerable detail how awesome I was and why they should accept the honor of my giving them tens of thousands of dollars a year. They sent me back a short, polite letter, saying that while they were happy to accept my initial contribution of $75, they had plenty of other applicants, even more qualified and more awesome than me, all willing to pony up the tens of thousands of dollars for the next few years.

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Range of Motion: Getting to Tajikistan

After a product launch and a few frantic days copyediting a book manuscript, I got on a plane and left to see the world. It began with a 4:30am alarm and a taxi to the airport. I hopped the early Alaska Air flight down to LAX, took an afternoon American Airlines departure to Kennedy, and another late-night AA flight to Barcelona. Non-stop travel with a lot of stops. In BCN I wandered the empty concourse at 5:45am. Boarding to Madrid was an hour later, but I had to switch to the Euro zone flight area, which means going through immigration and getting an entry stamp.

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