In January of this year, I heard from Emily Rudow in Toronto. Emily had just finished running 10k (6.1 miles) every day for 31 consecutive days. I thought that was pretty cool!But it turns out she was just getting started. Emily is now undertaking a much bigger quest: to set a Guinness World Record by running a half-marathon for more consecutive days than anyone else. Read More
One of the best things about embarking on a quest is that it forces you to change your routine. Or sometimes, it forces you into a new routine. For 31 days, Mark Webster went from "ordinary tech guy" to "following in The Rock's fitness regime guy."
At the end of 2015, I read Jesse Itzler’s Living with a Seal. Itzler wrote: "I felt like I was drifting on autopilot in my life. Wake up, go to work, go to the gym — repeat. I wanted to shake things up. I wanted to get better." And that resonated with me.Read More
It's natural to want to give back when someone saves your life. Ethan Maurice thought he was going to be a doctor in order to return the life-saving favor—but then he had another idea.
A brush with death changed my life. At sixteen, I was bitten by the wrong mosquito. I went from being a totally healthy kid to a full on grand mal seizure brought on by a rare viral infection of my brain and spinal fluid. After suffering a stroke, three days in a coma, many more seizures, and nine days in the intensive care unit, I emerged with significant brain damage.
Matthew Bailey left the opportunities of the booming oil town that he grew up in to live a more authentic life. Ten years later, and with over 100 bucket items checked off, a new, bolder Matthew is still dreaming up more audacious quests to accomplish.
I'm a small town guy who grew up in Northern Alberta. Although it seemed normal to me at the time, the town I grew up in is anything but - it’s an oil town where almost anyone can make six figures a year, regardless of education or age. Instead of cashing in, I escaped.Read More
Sometimes the best part of a quest is when you wind up somewhere you never would have expected. For Jared Stone, he didn’t even think he’d be on top of Mt. Whitney because he bought a cow to feed his family.
One Saturday afternoon, I was watching a food show on TV. Being a television professional (I’m a producer), I have a pretty nice setup — 1080p, high refresh rate, lots of HDMI-ins. I know a fair bit about both television as an industry, and televisions in particular as specific pieces of technology. That afternoon, it occurred to me that I knew more about the television on my wall than the food that goes into my body – the stuff that actually becomes “me.”Read More
Congratulations to Jennifer Idol, who just accomplished a huge mission: becoming the first woman to SCUBA dive in all 50 states.
Jen spoke briefly in the lightning round at WDS 2014 and we profiled her back when she was well on her way to accomplishing her quest.
"I did it! It's a relief, and I am tired. In a way, the journey is ongoing with articles, the book, news, and social media. I won't be diving all 7 continents, the U.S. territories, or all countries as a new quest. Instead, I'll be undertaking assignments, still working on sharing the meaning behind this current journey, and working on something new. As I suspect you also know, journeys are long, cost more than we plan in more ways than we can anticipate, and yet help us define who we want to be, where we want to go, and what we want to do. They can be platforms from which we launch our true aspirations, or just end when they're completed."Read More
I am an ordinary mom who went on an extraordinary journey. Some say I was outrageously foolish, others say I was ludicrously dumb. I don't think I'm either—I'm just a normal mom who wanted a life outside the box. In 2008, I flew to Alaska with my family. Loaded into the belly of the plane were bicycles for the four of us, and all the gear we needed to begin pedaling toward the southern tip of South America, more than 17,000 miles away. We spent the next three years on our quest for the end of the world and finally—after cycling through 15 countries—we arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina on the island of Tierra del Fuego, where the road ended.Read More
Adam spent 13 years making an indie video game. If you grew up gaming (I did), you’ll like this video and appreciate several of the references. Even if you don’t care for video games, it’s still a great story. Of his 6 lessons (cleverly disguised as reasons for failure), my favorite is the one…Read More
This is a quest case study. (Read others or nominate yourself.) I met Alyssa and Heath Padgett when they joined our media team for WDS 2014. They arrived with an interesting story—as part of an unconventional honeymoon, they were visiting all 50 states in a used RV, working an hourly job in each one. Tell us…Read More
I got an interesting question from Allan about the nature of quests: I really enjoyed “The Happiness of Pursuit.” It appealed to the adventurer in me. I understand that you are encouraging others to pursue whatever quest they are passionate about, but my question is, “Do you notice that people who pursue quests that give…Read More
This is a “quest” case study, a new feature focusing on quests and adventures of all kinds. (Read others or nominate yourself.) I met Matt in Istanbul last year, at the end of an epic journey for both of us. I had just finished visiting every country, and he’d just finished walking across all of Turkey.…Read More
The best part of The $100 Startup was telling the stories of all kinds of people who started successful businesses without spending a lot of money. Happily, the book has been a big success, with more than 100,000 copies sold in the first few months and at least 15 foreign translations in progress. I'm now beginning the research process for my next book, which we expect to reach even more people. This book is about quests—a project of measurable challenge that you work toward over a long period of time.Read More
Late Saturday afternoon, I set out to run 20 miles. I'd love to say it was a beautiful run, filled with energy and good thoughts, but in reality it was terrible. After mile one I was in pain. After mile three it was worse. This was an important training run for the Chicago Marathon I've signed up for in October, and I almost quit. I thought about turning around or walking home, or even calling a cab and paying for it with the cash I had put in the bottom of my shoe.Read More
I started AONC in 2008 when I had been to only 65 countries. Thanks to consistent effort, dedicated travel hacking, and significant amounts of coffee, I've now been to 173.
In fact, we're now down to the final twenty countries. Only twenty!
Of course, twenty countries is no small endeavor, especially when there are no more backup plans: I simply have to make it to these particular stops, one way or another. Some of these places aren't easy, and I could still run into difficulty with an especially obstinate country.Read More
When I met the young and ambitious Nate Damm in Portland, Maine (AKA "East Coast Portland") in September 2010, he told me about his plan to walk across America.
Wow. Really? The whole country?
It sounded incredible ... so incredible that I couldn't really get my head around it. At the time, I was just beginning my own cross-country journey, visiting all 50 states during the Unconventional Book Tour. I thought that trip was an adventurous one, but at least I didn't have to WALK everywhere.Read More