Consume & Update: #1, Frequent Flyer and New News

Hope this makes for excellent coffee shop reading material this Sunday morning. Gooooo travel!

We're #1! No, really!

Even though our tourism numbers are going down the pooper because of the economic downward "flush," we still managed to beat out countries like New Zealand and Japan in the Country Brand Index, which is "an online survey of about 3,000 international business and vacation travelers that ranks how countries are perceived." Out of 29 specific categories such as "ideal for business" and "shopping," the USA received some high grades, which these days sounds more like "you're not failing too badly" rather than "you're on top of the world!" Regardless, way to go, 'Merica.

Get off the Pavement

 A Road Traveled in the Outback

A Road Traveled in the Outback

Though I'm of the school of thought that Frost was being ironic about this "road less traveled" business, I do think Jonny Gibaud brings up some lifestyle design issues on ThrillingHeroics.com that can help us reevaluate or verify our paths are right for us. Not everyone is going to believe in doing what's unconventional or unexplored, but I think it's necessary to some extent in order to come up with original approaches to life, work, and more.

A “balanced” approach to life is not about not focusing on a job or any other single aspect of life but conversely focuses on seeing a job or career or any other aspect of one’s life as exactly that, one aspect of their life, not the aspect.

Earning and Burning: Frequent Flyer Video

Frequent Flyer from Gabriel Leigh on Vimeo.

I don't know if I could handle the life of an earner and burner, but the possibilities make you wonder where you could go. I guess it could pay to take the advice from the pros if you're into traveling, especially the advice of Chris Guillebeau, creator of The Art of Nonconformity. This man is one of the few that make a very comfortable income from traveling and promoting a nonconventional lifestyle. Here is his latest venture: How to Use Frequent Flyer Miles to Travel For Free! Sounds promising...

Other Discoveries

Nomadic Matt discusses Why Americans Still Don't Travel Overseas as he tromps around Europe.

A very cool site design of the World's Cool Capitals

The Professional Hobo makes her experienced perspective known with Voluntourism: Hip or Hype? Though this is no new post, it's pretty relevant to my most recent trip plan.

Update on Nomadderwhere

 Chicago Skyline

Chicago Skyline

I am currently in Chicago, Illinois, and if you're a friendly friend in the area, send me an e-mail or direct tweet and let me know! You may catch me in between museum visits and "L" riding or while I'm trying desperately to wake up from a deep slumber (as this has recently become a daunting task).

Some of the biggest news is the decision to catapult myself far away starting December 1st of this year. The trip's concept began forming in the summer, but the plan to travel only became real on Monday morning of this week. Within 18 hours, tickets were purchased. The gist will soon be published on this site, and the details are in the developmental stage. Probably the most exciting aspect of this experience is the presence of my favorite travel buddy, Garrett Russell, from my experiences on Semester at Sea and in Europe during the Big Journey.