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If You Lost Everything, Would You Look Back or Look Forward?

I went to the hotel gym one morning while I was traveling. When I finished on the treadmill, I went back to the elevator to head down to my room... except there was just one problem. Yep, once again I’d forgotten my room number.

I spend 100+ nights a year in hotels and still haven’t perfected a system for remembering where I “live” on any given night. Sometimes I carry the little check-in envelope around in my pocket, and sometimes I take a photo of the door, but at least once every dozen nights, I start to walk back toward my room before realizing I have no idea where it is.

This time, I tried to retrace the steps that took me out of the room and to the gym. Was it 1406? I thought it was. It sounded like the right number.

I went back to floor 14 and everything felt familiar. I turned down the hall and came to the room, which looked like the right one. The door was slightly ajar, and I assumed I’d mistakenly forgotten to close it all the way when I left. Not ideal, I thought, but it happens.

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Take the “Born for This” Free Quiz: What Kind of Work Style Suits You Best?

Quiz Link: Take the “Born for This” Free Quiz

Hey, everyone!

My new book, Born for This, goes out into the world in less than 70 days. I’m very excited about sharing the message of “how to find the work you were meant to do” with lots of people all over the world.

You can now take a FREE quiz to learn more about what kind of work style suits you best.

I developed this quiz with my star editor, Talia Krohn, and we worked with our great team of ninjas to put it together.

The process is pretty simple: you’ll answer just 14 easy questions about your preferences. Questions range from what kind of collaboration you prefer, as well as what kind of people drive you crazy in the office.

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Adventures in Envelope Stuffing Update: There’s Still Time to Earn 9 Free Hotel Nights

17202588426_41210e313f_z Last fall I mentioned a special travel hacking adventure available to pretty much everyone capable of handwriting their name and address over and over on an index card:

If your hand hasn't fallen off yet, there’s still time to do this. The deadline is February 15 and it will probably take some time to get organized, so if you’re up for it, don’t leave it until the last minute.

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Inspired by Strangers: How to Talk with People While Traveling

We all meet people on the road—it's part of the fun of traveling. But for Marc Smith, his meetings on the road are especially intertwined with the trip itself.

Every success and failure of the last 46 years has brought me to today.

Restless, in 2004 I quit my job and opened my own business as an event producer, with no clients and only enough financial backing for three months. Fast forward 200+ events to 2012 where I again felt stuck. I closed my company’s doors and started looking for the “next” thing.

While I looked, I decided to be a tourist in my own city for 30 days. And that project became my “next” thing. I currently travel, go on adventures, and blog full-time.

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Born For This: Join Me on the Spring 2016 Tour!

1601_chris_guillebeau-8521 Link: Register for the "Born for This" Spring Tour

One of the things I love about writing books is the chance to connect directly with readers. I always include my email address in each manuscript, and every day I hear from readers all over the world.

I also love going on tour. Ever since I published my first book, where I went to every U.S. state and every Canadian province, I’ve headed out on the road every year for a series of conversations in bookstores, co-working spaces, and many other locations.

My new book, Born for This, comes out in April... and of course I’ll be going to as many places as possible!

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My New Travel Hacking Goal: Book an Apartment at 30,000 Feet

16256196535_84d50ed2e1_z It’s a brand new year, and that means it’s time for change—both in life (because why not?) and in travel.

Every year I earn more than one million miles and points, which I then use for free travel all over the world. For a long time, travel hacking was my primary tool for going everywhere.

These days, I don’t jet off to Kinshasa or Katmandu very often, but I’m still in the game. Even without paying attention all the time or doing crazy things like making a hair-loss appointment to earn miles, I’m still able to get more than enough miles and points to have experiences that would otherwise be inaccessible.

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Learning, Connecting, and Asking : On the Road with Derek Loudermilk

A scientist turned world traveler, Derek Loudermilk has put research on hold, and discovered he loves waking up and going to work every day in a completely different country and field.

I love that travel allows you to have a "New Years Resolution" moment whenever you want it. Simply start the new habits you hope to cultivate anytime you arrive in a new place!

I also love immersing myself in a culture by staying somewhere for 3-12 months. It’s so cool when you get to the point when your local café knows your "usual," when you don't have to pull out a map, and when you can show new people around.

One of the main reasons I travel is that it gives me a beginner’s mindset. When I get to a new destination and notice all kinds of little things that are different than back at home—maybe it’s the color of mailboxes or the crazy amount of exposed telephone cables—I get to see the world differently, and new situations force me to creatively problem solve.

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“I Can’t Be Jealous of the Past. I Can Only be Jealous of the Future.”

I recently went to see Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict, a curious film in the sense that it focuses much more on the subject’s love life than it does her love of art. Still, it was good overall and I’m glad I went.

The film showcases the development of several abstract and other non-traditional artists, including Jackson Pollack. I've always liked Pollack’s work, but I don’t think I understood the audacity of it until seeing this new film.

I often feel inspired when I hear about larger-than-life figures who pursued big ambitions. People like Pollack, and Peggy Guggenheim, did big things.

Then I went home and I thought: “What big thing am I doing?”

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Free Report on 30 Successful Online Business Ideas

Link: 30 Successful Business Ideas (Free Report)

I’ve been an online entrepreneur for more than 15 years. I know, I’m old—but I do know a thing or two about this industry. People often think that entrepreneurship is about having grand ideas and building a huge team, but some of the best little businesses I’ve found have been totally random and operated entirely by one person.

Sometimes the new business owner continues to keep her job and just does it on the side. Sometimes it grows into something big and mighty, but sometimes it stays small and mighty—and of course, that's great too.

I profiled many of these businesses in The $100 Startup, and continue to write about them on the blog from time to time.

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Vampire Living in Jakarta

It’s a new day in Jakarta, Indonesia. The sun rises at 2pm—or rather, that’s when I manage to get out of bed. No, it wasn’t a crazy night drinking green tea at the local mosque. It’s just that I arrived at 4:30am this morning, after a 15-hour flight from New York to Hong Kong, followed by five more hours of flying further south.

Thankfully my hotel raised no concerns with the super-early check-in, and I was in bed an hour later. As I closed my eyes the sun was beginning to rise. Earlier today, at least according to the calendar, I watched it set as I landed in Hong Kong after that long transpacific flight. Each time I remembered thinking: is that the sunrise or sunset? Each time required a few seconds of thought before I had the answer.

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“Level Up Your Life” with a Great New Book (Not Mine!)

LevelUp1 Link: Level Up Your Life (Awesome New Book!)

A couple months ago, I was flying through Doha and spending the night before going on to London. I got an email from Steve Kamb just as I was settling into a light meal before bed.

I’ve known Steve for years. He introduced me at a book event in San Francisco once. One time he went around the world using miles he earned after reading something from Unconventional Guides. He led a popular Academy (twice!) at WDS. And well beyond the professional stuff, we’ve also been friends on a similar journey.

Anyway, there I was in Qatar, enjoying my hummus, and Steve’s note popped up. He wanted me to review his new book for a possible endorsement.

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Adventure Is Worthwhile In Itself

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"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward. Adventure is worthwhile in itself."
-Amelia Earhart

You often hear about how we regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do. Looking back at the experience of traveling the world, this belief shines through whatever hardship I encountered.

Sure, I can remember the struggles. I can remember sleeping on the ground, running out of money, missing my flights. I remember not being sure if I’d make it, if I’d have to give up somewhere.

If I think about it, I can remember sweating it out in Eritrea, detained by the police overnight before I was put on a plane to Cairo. I remember flying to Angola and Pakistan without the required visa, wondering what would happen on the other side.

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A New Year’s Wish for the Wanderer

Every evening the sun sets, then rises again a few hours later.

Yet something feels different about this particular sunset and sunrise. Oh, that’s right ... it only happens once a year.

Yep. It's time to stop writing the old year’s name whenever you fill out the date for something. For the next 365 days, the world has a new number.

If you wander out and about today, you may receive wishes of happiness from your barista or whoever else you encounter. You may notice the gym is especially full today. A new crop of well-meaning people with good-intentioned “resolutions” are off to the races.

Online, people are talking about “new year, new you” and you’re like … okay. How does this new year somehow make a "new me"?

And yet. It is a New Year, after all. Something is different. So why not use it as a catalyst for something positive?

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