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On the Road Again: Austin to Turkmenistan

Greetings from Austin, Texas. Later today I'll be presenting the first public debut of The $100 Startup here at the SXSW Interactive Festival. If you're around, drop by Convention Center Ballroom G at 5pm local time. Afterwards, I'll be signing my first book and giving away a few galleys of the new one. First thing tomorrow, I'm heading back to Dallas and beyond for my last overseas trip of the spring. I'll be going to Turkmenistan (definitely) and Sudan (hopefully).

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Runway Running

When I boarded the flight to Nauru, I felt like I was going into exile. The airline that flies to Nauru is called “Our Airline,” which could go down as the most comical airline name I've ever heard. (Runner up: "Jubbah Airways" in Somalia.) I had previously been informed by my visa service that no visa is required to visit Nauru. Unfortunately, that fact turned out to be untrue—pretty much everyone going to Nauru needs a visa. After an earlier failure, I regrouped and made another attempt last week. This time, the visit was successful.

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Range of Motion: Getting to Tajikistan

After a product launch and a few frantic days copyediting a book manuscript, I got on a plane and left to see the world. It began with a 4:30am alarm and a taxi to the airport. I hopped the early Alaska Air flight down to LAX, took an afternoon American Airlines departure to Kennedy, and another late-night AA flight to Barcelona. Non-stop travel with a lot of stops. In BCN I wandered the empty concourse at 5:45am. Boarding to Madrid was an hour later, but I had to switch to the Euro zone flight area, which means going through immigration and getting an entry stamp.

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Adventures in Somaliland

On my last trip, I made it to a country I'd been wondering about ever since beginning my quest more than five years ago: Somalia. Technically, I went to Somaliland, also known as the safe part of Somalia. Somalia itself is a mess, arguably the world's most dangerous country, and with hardly a functioning government of any kind. (One of its recent prime ministers now works at the New York State Department of Transportation.)

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2011 Annual Review: Travel Roundup

As part of the Annual Review series, I look back at everywhere I went in 2011. As usual, it’s a long list! Despite a lull when I spent several months at home writing a book and preparing for WDS, I still made it to a decent amount of places. All told, I made it to at least thirty countries, including twenty that were new to me. Highlights included a visit to a gorilla reserve in the Eastern Congo and running a half-marathon in Cuba, my final country in the Americas. I also traveled to every province in Canada for the conclusion of my first book tour, and lots of U.S. cities for various meetings, talks, transit stops, and adventures.

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The Havana Half-Marathon: Adventures on a Small Island

Last weekend, I finally made it to Cuba! It was a significant trip for me, since Cuba was my final country in all of the Americas. I now have only 19 total countries remaining, and this was an especially fun one. During my time on the island, I ran a half-marathon with a friend, spent another couple days walking around Havana, and made sure to sample mojitos from as many restaurants as possible. Keep reading for the full report ...

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Detour to Australia

It was all going so well. I had made it to three island countries in the Pacific: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau. All of them were interesting in their own way, if a bit small. OK, small isn’t the word: they were tiny. There is literally one road in Majuru, the capital of the Marshall…

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Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda and the Congo

Note: This post contains videos. If you can't see them, you can view the collection over here. After flying through the day and night via Hong Kong, Johannesburg, and Nairobi (yes, I'm perpetually tired), I made it to Kigali, Rwanda—the starting point for my latest trip. This was a special adventure: a visit to several countries in Central-East Africa, and my first time to trek into the forest of Virunga National Park in Eastern Congo.

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The Feeling of Landing on a Remote Airstrip

You appreciate the big cities. Tokyo, Hong Kong, London—all of these you visit often and love well. But sometimes, your adventures take you further afield. You fly to a big city, then to a smaller city, and eventually on to an airstrip that could be anywhere. Stepping off the rickety commuter-jet stairs into the void, you're tempted to shout in expectation of an echo.

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Running in Frankfurt

It’s always a sunny day when you arrive in Frankfurt. You might think this is impossible, but Frankfurt is like Seattle: apparently it rains all the time, but never on your first day. (It helps to arrive in the summer months.) I’ve been here on a dozen stopovers, nearly half of them last year when…

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