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How to See the World as a Full-Time House Sitter

After experiencing the loss of both a marriage and a business, Vanessa Anderson left the UK in June 2013 to visit Ian Usher in Panama... and never returned! Through house-sitting and teaching English online, they’ve been able to fund their nomadic lifestyle and become part of a larger sharing economy.

It actually begins with Ian's side of things back in 2006. Blindsided by the breakup of his own marriage, he devised a genius marketing idea to sell ALL his stuff on eBay—house and job (subject to acceptance) included! He then set off on a two-year journey to complete 100 bucket list goals in 100 weeks.

His unique method of dealing with a life crisis sparked the interest of Disney and before long he found himself with a Hollywood agent, resulting in a lucrative movie deal for his book, "A Life Sold". This funded his next noteworthy project: to buy a small mangrove island and build an off-the-grid property in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

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WDS 2016 Begins Next Week in Portland (And You Can Still Join In!)

Link: Join Us in Portland for WDS Connect!

If you’ve been following along for a while, you're probably familiar with WDS, also known as the modestly titled World Domination Summit. For the past five years, I've been fortunate to produce this awesome summer gathering in Portland, Oregon with the help of a small-but-mighty team in Portland, Oregon. Since we began, more than 10,000 people have participated in WDS from all over the world.

Last year we celebrated our five-year anniversary and decided to try something new for 2016. Over the years we've learned that two big reasons people come to WDS are to meet people with shared interests and experience some of what the great city of Portland has to offer. Since we can only hold a limited number of people in the main theatre during the big weekend, we've come up with something new: WDS Connect.

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The 12 Most Common Questions I Get About Traveling the World (Part I)

I’m no longer going to every country in the world (mission accomplished), but I’m still traveling at least 200,000 miles a year.

As such, I get a lot of questions over and over, both from people who want to travel far and wide and those who just want to learn a few things to make their lives easier.

This series of three posts provides some attempted As to the Qs.

How did you get the idea to go everywhere?

I remember it very clearly: I was on a ferry from Hong Kong to Macau, during my first big independent trip after ending a four-year volunteer commitment in West Africa. I had two weeks until my graduate program started in Seattle, so I went to Asia.

I’d been working on my initial goal of visiting 100 countries for a while. But on that ferry, I suddenly started thinking about a much bigger goal: every country in the world, no exceptions.

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Three Simple Actions to Increase Your Available Options

Even if you’re perfectly happy where you are, anything you can do to add security and increase your options will help you.

What if you had a different source of income than your paycheck? Then, even if you have a great job and no desire to quit, you’re also earning money on the side. Put it in savings, pay off debt, or put it toward meaningful experiences.

What if you had the ability to travel anywhere? That’s why you should accumulate miles & points, so that you can have a ready-made bank account to get you on a plane and into the immigration line.

Here are three simple actions you can take right now to increase your available options.

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When to Compromise and When to Hold Your Ground

8581789342_d849c00856_z At some point, most of us end up settling in a major part of our life. We compromise and make tradeoffs.

We can’t always get everything we want, of course. We can’t always be in total control. But we can certainly get a lot of what we want, and if we prioritize what's most important to us, we can probably get the top things on the list. Just because we can’t always be in control doesn’t mean that we're never in control.

This truth presents a natural question: when should we compromise, and when should we hold our ground and keep fighting for what we really want?

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“It Felt Impossible, Until I Did It”: One Year in South Korea

Lauren Meeks believes that there is immense value in learning other people’s stories. It all started with an unlikely year of teaching English in South Korea.

I'm a writer currently living in Atlanta, although I'm reluctant to call any place "home." I spent several years abroad as a child, and over the past 7 years I've traveled to every continent except Antarctica (it's on the list!) and over two dozen countries. I travel to experience new cultures and to hear new stories. I firmly believe that everyone has a story worth sharing, and I want to hear as many of them as possible.

I stumbled across my love of traveling almost by accident. I traveled some in college, but I still hadn’t been bitten by the wanderlust bug yet. I was perfectly happy to stick to the tourist trails and then go home to my safe bubble after the trip was over. But at the beginning of my senior year in college, my advisor encouraged me to apply for a Fulbright grant teaching English. Being the good little student that I was, I acquiesced. Since Fulbright only allows you to apply to the program in a single country, I had a decision to make.

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3 Keys to Building a Successful Writing Career

Habit. If you want to be a writer, you first have to write. You can sit down and free write. You can write first and edit later (or "write drunk, edit sober" as the saying goes). You can use a timer and write for 50 minutes every morning or you can plan to write 500 words before going to bed. Whatever works for you is what matters.

Focus. This doesn’t mean “only write about one specific topic” as some people say. If you want to be the world’s leading expert on marsupials in Macedonia, go right ahead. You’ll be a hero to all five people interested in that.

Persistence. You’ve just got to do it! And you’ve got to keep doing it. Over and over. When you find yourself not writing, you have to find your way back. Continuing to work on something for a long period of time is often a strong predictor of success (except when it's not).

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Limited Time: Get a Free Guide to Online Business

Link: Ramit’s “Ultimate Guide to Online Business” (Free)

Every day I hear from new readers who pick up The $100 Startup, especially around the world as it continues to be published in more and more languages (22 at last count).

The world of people interested in creating personal freedom through entrepreneurship continues to grow. And as it does, many of these people have questions about the best next steps to take.

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A Quest to Visit (and Illustrate!) Every U.S. National Park

Technical mapper turned visual storyteller Karla Sanders met restless Colombian web designer Andres in Italy and fell in love. Now, they’re back in America and on a quest to visit all 59 national parks in the U.S.—with a twist.

About a year into having an Etsy store, I was also working as an in-house graphic designer in Cleveland. To sustain our outdoorsy natures, Andres and I would go hiking in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Our online shop was doing fairly well, but something was missing.

While on one of those hikes, the idea just came to us: why not combine our love of the our local national park and our illustration skills? Our first masterpiece for Hike & Draw was our illustrated map of all 59 natural national parks.
Karla3

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How to Live in Fear

Are you tired of being courageous and fed up with bravery? Seeking an alternative to risk-taking?

Not to worry. Choosing to live in fear is both easy and safe. Simply follow a few simple guidelines, and you'll live comfortably ever after.

Keep calm and carry on. Beware of danger, true love, and real life.

Play it safe. Never charge down a mountain. Don't run, don't leap, don't go too fast. Be wary of opportunities and new perspectives. Above all: stay the course.

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Just Because It’s Supposed to Work Doesn’t Mean It Will

Dan finished his education degree without ever stepping into a classroom.

After he graduated, he realized he didn’t like teaching and wasn’t good at it. The very first day of student teaching, where the goal was to serve as an intern before accepting a full-time position, he knew that this was not the career for him.

You’re probably thinking: hey, that’s life! He just had to stick it out, and then he’d be fine. And it’s true, sometimes there’s a learning curve on the road of purpose. We’re supposed to challenge ourselves, and it takes time to gain real-world skills.

This was different, though. Dan really didn’t like teaching. It felt uncomfortable and unnatural. He knew he could probably soldier on through the internship, but he didn’t want to go any further.

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Teaching by Example: A Father’s Take on Adventure and Giving Back

Thailand 03 Michael McManus tries to live his life as an example for his daughters. He chooses to fill it with family, adventure, creativity, and giving back.

I am first and foremost a husband and father. I'm also a photographer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist that has started M2 Photography, Gethrr and Poser Photobooth Co. I love creating portraits where my subjects interact with the chalk drawings. When I'm not photographing weddings, rocking the photo booth, or helping others, I'm with my family.

We believe in intentional living and spending our time purposefully. Whether we're playing tag in our backyard or hiking in Norway, all that matters is that we're together. We constantly talk to our children about fear—about not being afraid to try new things, seeing failure as a stepping stone to success, and living life beyond our limits.

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Huge Deal: Get Up to 75,000 JetBlue Points (No Credit Card Required!)

This is a really great deal that will help a lot of people. Here’s the one-minute, short version:

  1. JetBlue will GIVE YOU up to 75,000 points, just for sending them a screenshot and taking a single round-trip flight before the end of August
  2. If you have any number of Virgin America points, you’ll get them matched simply for completing the above (up to 75,000 points in total; more on that in a moment)
  3. If you don’t have any Virgin America points, it’s not that hard to get them—and then you can get all those free JetBlue points
  4. The 75,000 JetBlue points are easily worth $900, so it’s definitely worth doing if you can. And even if you can’t get the maximum, well, it’s free points!

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“The Success I’m Having Now Is What I Planned for Three Years Ago”

The other day I met with a small business owner. Her business is going well, she recently had a successful product launch that brought in a lot of funds and new customers. Awesome!

But what interested me the most is what she said about it: “The success that I’m having now is what I planned for three years ago.”

Three years ago, she set out to build the kind of business she has now. She settled on an area of focus and said no to other opportunities. Then, she took the actions she’d determined were most likely to lead to successes like her recent launch.

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