Focus On What You Need To Know

I lived in Seattle for a year before I went to my first professional sports game last summer. I’m not usually a big fan of watching sports, but it was fun to go down to Safeco Field and hang out with friends at the Mariners’ game. Getting to the game could have been difficult for…

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Leaving Hong Kong

After I leave India and go to Tokyo, I pick up my OneWorld Round-the-World ticket at the American Airlines counter in Narita airport. This ticket has 20 flight segments, which is the maximum you’re allowed under OneWorld rules. Like most tickets these days, any Round-the-World ticket under 17 segments is issued as an e-ticket. When…

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Three Days in Amazing Calcutta

Part I – Getting to India Part II – India Travel Journal I After traveling around by land during my first week in India, I arrive in Calcutta on a late-night Kingfisher Airlines flight from Hyderabad. The flight is great, and serves as a good model for what U.S. airlines could learn from if they…

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Do You Want a Business or a Job?

Here’s a proposal for you: raise a quarter of million dollars through withdrawing your life savings, borrowing from family members, and maxing out your credit cards. Pay that to a company that will “give you a business.” Operate that business precisely how they tell you– no exceptions are allowed. Every decision from whom you hire…

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India Travel Journal Part I

I’m having an Indian coffee in the Churchgate section of Mumbai, roughly 15 hours after my arrival here. Since then, I’ve come in from the airport, crashed at a sad hotel, changed hotels, changed money, and tried to begin the process of acclimation to a culture that is new to me. Mumbai is not a…

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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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