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Candlelit Notes from a Dismal Hotel Room

I’m sitting in what may be the most dreary hotel room I have ever stayed in, which is saying a lot. My room is the size of a large closet, and no, this isn’t Japan with its neat cubicle hotels. In fact, it really doesn’t matter what country I’m in at the moment. I could…

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Art and Sacrifice: Interview with Robert Bruce

Robert Bruce says that the most difficult thing about his chosen art form is having the title poet attached to him. Yes, Robert says, he is a real-life poet, but without all the stereotypes. If you’re turned off by poetry readings and literary journals that nobody reads, don’t worry—Robert doesn’t like them either. Instead, he…

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The Land of Too Much

Two years ago I was working in Liberia, West Africa and came to Chicago for a three-day conference. Coming out of West Africa to Europe and then North America is always a huge culture shock, and when I went all that way for just a weekend conference, I felt more disoriented than ever. I stayed…

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The Road to Damascus

Sometimes it seems that wherever I go in the world, I’m always too early or too late to the party. One week ago today I was hanging out in Beirut, Lebanon, walking all over what I found to be a beautiful city, stopping for cappuccino along the waterfront and then having 40-cent falafel for lunch.…

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From Easter Island to Beirut, Lebanon

Trip Update: I haven’t had a lot of time to post reports from my trip to South America and the Middle East, so while I’m hanging out in transit today, I thought I’d post this report instead of the usual Wednesday work essay. We’ll go back to regularly scheduled programming next week. If you are…

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Site Update: April 2008

Live from Syria This month’s Site Update takes place from Damascus, Syria, where I’ve just arrived after traveling overland from Lebanon. Yes, I think that sentence is pretty cool. All is well over here, and I’ll write about the trip soon. Each month I look back at what’s happened with ChrisGuillebeau.com in the previous month.…

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Selling Service and Shoes: Interview with Tony Hsieh of Zappos.com

As a new feature on The Art of Nonc-Conformity site, I’ll be posting profiles of individuals, companies, and non-profit organizations that have chosen alternative paths in pursuit of their goals. We’ll have at least one of these interview features a month, and the first profile is with Tony Hsieh, CEO of online retailer Zappos.com. I…

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How To Fall Down and Get Back Up Again

This is a lesson on how to look absolutely ridiculous in front of a crowd of strangers, and how to recover as gracefully as possible. Well, let’s clarify that a bit: the first part is easy, since I am constantly making stupid mistakes all over the world and trying to minimize the embarrassment. I have…

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On Being Homeless for 35 Minutes in Central London

A couple of years ago, I was in London on a three-day layover after flying in from Africa. I had been in Sierra Leone for several months and was looking forward to walking the streets, hanging out in coffee shops, and seeing friends before heading on. On my first night in the city, I had…

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So, about that social networking thing…

I finally broke down and joined part of the social networking revolution. I’m officially no longer behind the rest of the world, at least in one aspect: I’ve been using Twitter on a trial basis for a while now, and I’ve decided I really like it. See, I’ve never used Myspace… or Facebook… and hardware-wise,…

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Nothing Beside Remains…

I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.

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Next Stop, Easter Island

I’m headed out on my next adventure early Monday morning. This is the continuation of the OneWorld Round-the-World trip that I began in Japan last month. I use Round-the-World tickets to travel to far away places that are otherwise difficult to get to. On this trip, my first stop is… Photo: Sonia Carolina This is…

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How and Why I Travel (Part II of II)

Part I Is Here People often ask me how I am able to travel so often and to so many places. For a long time I didn’t know how to answer the question, because for me travel is as natural as any other part of life. Over time I’ve gradually learned that someone asking me…

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