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Getting To India

First, a brief warning: this trip report, and the forthcoming ones about this trip and others, may be more detailed than some readers prefer. My regular essays on Life, Work, and Travel will continue to be posted on the usual schedule, so you can choose to read what you enjoy and skip what you don’t.…

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On Returning to Wal-Mart after a 4-Year Absence

Until a few months ago, the last time I visited a Wal-Mart store was more than four years ago. There are no Wal-Marts in Africa (yet), nor are there any in central Seattle where I live now. Last Christmas, however, I received a gift that I didn’t really have a use for. Attached to the…

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The 14,600 Hours to Virtuosity

“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…” -Alexander Pope, 1709 *** Thanks to the use of Frequent Flyer Miles, I flew back to New York City from Bucharest last year in Delta’s nice BusinessElite cabin. Hanging out in the airline lounge before the flight, I met up with another traveler, a professional musician from New…

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100 Countries or an S.U.V.?

Traveling between Budapest and Prague in the summer of 2004, I suddenly realized how comfortable I felt with the process of moving from place to place. I was 26 years old and beginning to travel independently. It no longer felt strange to fly between continents or change currencies three times in a week. Adding up…

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Two Weeks in India

“The traveler, if he comes from a place of comfort, travels, in part, to be stood on his head; to lose track of tenses, or at least to be back to essentials, free of the details of home. ‘Teach me,’ as Thomas Merton wrote in his journal, ‘to give to a country names and words…

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Creating and Living by Your Own List of Values

Everyone lives their life by some sort of internalized moral code, but many people don’t take the time to sort out what they really believe in. Because of this disparity, we often feel conflicted when deciding how to make regular choices about time, money, and personal decisions.

One definition of integrity is how closely your life aligns with your values. In other words, do you do what you say you do? Do you live your life according to what you believe in?

This definition is somewhat incomplete, because it allows for you to do pretty much anything you want to do (even harm other people, which most of us would not consider to be a good thing). But there is still some truth to the idea that integrity relates to how you live by the standards you have set. If you don’t do what you say you do, how can you say you practice integrity?

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Airport Adventures from Bucharest to JFK

I arrive at Bucharest’s Otopeni International Airport (OTP) and follow the exit signs that lead to the tourist bureau. I haven’t booked a room for my stay in advance, so I need to check on available budget hotels. Sadly, the tourist office is nowhere to be found. I finally locate an information counter to determine…

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The Decision to Be Remarkable

re•mark•able [adjective]: worthy of being noticed, especially as being uncommon or extraordinary *** If you want to break out of the mold of average, the first thing you need to do is to make a decision to be radically different. Most remarkable people are people of action, and for a good reason: if you don’t…

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Site Update: February 2008

Every month I look back at what’s happened with ChrisGuillebeau.com in the previous month. If you’ve missed some articles, you can catch up here. This month, I’ve been busy getting the site online for my small group of beta readers before I branch out in April. I’ve pre-written the first two months’ worth of content,…

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How to Stand Out in Any Job

Regardless of what kind of work you do, it’s usually not difficult to set yourself apart by going beyond the status quo of being average. All too many working environments are filled with all kinds of people who are just ambling through their jobs. Many don’t want to be there at all, and never miss…

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Defining the Outcome of ChrisGuillebeau.com

A couple of months from now, I’ll go live with a more public launch, but until then I’ll be adding content, tweaking the design, and getting the site together. Right from the beginning, I thought it would be good to state for the record what I hope to accomplish here. A goal is good, a measurable goal is better, and a publicly measurable goal is best of all.

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A Short Narration of My Travels So Far

In September 2006 I first considered the idea of trying to visit every country in the world, and I decided to write a short essay about everywhere I’ve been so far. Over the next year I’ll be posting one of the essays each week until I catch up. The compilation below is a short summary…

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