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. Read More
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.Read More
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?” Read More
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. Read More
"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."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. Read More
There are fewer than 100 days until my new book, Born for This, goes out into the world. This probably sounds like a long time for some people, but as an author it feels like it's right around the corner.The purpose of the book is to help people find the work they were meant to do. To reach a worldwide, engaged audience during the launch period, I'll need a lot of help! That's why I’m starting a private group for a special group of readers who’d like to be part of the launch planning. Join me and let's do something fun! Read More
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? Read More