Chicago

Consume & Update: Museum Roommate and Deep Thoughts

This week's outreach into the world of travel may pack a wallop for some of you eager to do something amazing.

$10,000 to be a Museum Live-in

Live in the Museum of Science and Industry for one month, learn something, write about it, and receive $10,000 for your efforts. This is not a shabby gig.

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has launched a competition for tech-savvy, learn-happy extroverts that seems like the perfect position for a world traveler. We're interested in the world around us, in need of money, and often well-versed in online media and marketing (a.k.a the travel blogging type).

Month at the Museum

Month at the Museum

This seems to be yet another marketing campaign that doubles as a fantastic pooling of like-minded, lifelong learners. To live in the museum of science and have your mind revolve around discovery for four whole weeks would be a treat for anyone curious about their surroundings on this planet. Of course, the lucky individual isn't allowed to work elsewhere during that time period, nor are they given total freedom to their normal social lives, but this is an experiment in itself, an opportunity to be one with the universe and grow an ever deeper appreciation for how all things work.

There are a lot of wanderlusters out there looking for ways to do what they love and still sustain themselves. Not every opportunity out there is a "Best Job in the World" or a "World Traveler Internship," but there are plenty of other ways to learn about the world and craft your voice of expression, this definitely being one of them. Therefore, I'm here to pass this great opportunity along to you, the Pavlovian salivators to all things exploration.

Make a video application (and you know how to do that), write a lil' essay, complete an application form, throw on a photo, sign a waiver, bing, bang, boom, you're in the running. Let me know if you go for this!

Other Discoveries

Chris' Guide to Travel Hacking

Take the Seven Link Challenge: I know I will soon!

Bourdain is awarding an unpublished writer $10,000 and a spot in his newest book's paperback edition.

This Brave New Traveler piece touches on a topic I've been thinking about these past few weeks: home mind and travel mind.

The 2010 State of the Travel Blogosphere

Update on Nomadderwhere

Isolation

Isolation

This week has revolved around deep thoughts, cinematographic research, trying to NOT cut my fingers off with freshly sharpened knives, and, of course, work for ProjectExplorer.org. Here's what I've created in the last two weeks (since the last Consume & Update).

Stunning news from the world of Nomadderwhere: I'm going full steam ahead on my redesign for Nomadderwhere, to be scheduled for September 23, 2010. I would love to hear your feedback in any way, shape, or form. Video feedback is always best, but you can also contact me with a simple message or leave a comment below!

Consume & Update: 101, Maroon, and Onslaught

Today's post came out a bit late, but that is due to the high quality of work I found this week. I also have lots to share...

How's The List Coming?

101in365

101in365

Do you have a bucket or life list running? Are most of your goals doable, or are they unattainable? Don't you wish you had that gratifying feeling of accomplishment more often than once a year or so as you near your bucket-kicking age? Allow Jenn to make it easier for you.

101in365 is all about "avoiding mediocrity, one to-do list at a time." And though I know this contradicts a post I've listed below (see Other Discoveries), I love making and completing these mini-goals to reap that sense of accomplishment. Jenn's been expanding on this web concept for a while now, and has recently pumped it up to admirable heights, offering even more awesome!

What a Maroon--ed Novel...

Speaking of my 101in365 list, one of the goals is to read a classic book this year. And from the way I'm feeling these days, I'm thinking that classic novel will either be the Lord of the Flies or Robinson Crusoe, thanks to this lovely list that reminds me of my time in the South Pacific. Any opinions on a good classic novel to read this year?

Big Tony in Chicago

Apparently, Anthony Bourdain spoke in Chicago last week about all topics on which he's verbose: food, travel, TV, and just about anything that could conjure opinions. Prior to the talk, he spoke to the Chicago Tribune to drumroll his performance. The interview was food-centric and classic Big T, with a couple comments I found amusing:

The big takeaway from the first book [Kitchen Confidential] are the rules, like don't order seafood on Mondays. Any new rules in the years since?

"Kitchen Confidential" was about a career that took place mostly in the 70's through 90's. When I wrote "don't eat fish on Mondays," the guy writing it didn't think anyone outside New York City would even read the book.

Things have changed so much in the industry. The behavior in any good kitchen has changed a lot. Certainly the business still attracts the same kind of personality types, but a lot of the behavior I was talking about — snorting cocaine or having sex on the cutting board — would probably be frowned upon, particularly in open kitchens, which is a relatively new development. There's so much genuine hope for a real future in kitchens that didn't exist back in the early part of my career. An Irish pub on Monday, I'm not sure I'd go for a seafood salad. But I wouldn't have a problem at the sushi bar at Le Bernardin.

What would you do if you were given control of the Food Network? Let's say profits were no issue, and you had editorial and creative control of the network.

I'd bring back "Molto Mario" right away. I'd have Mario Batali do a standard instructional show that would be the cornerstone. I would make it more chef-centric, of course. I would make sure Sandra Lee was never allowed near any cooking utensil or food item. Immediately. I'd have a long talk with Rachael Ray. I'd say, "Look, Rachael, you're bigger than food now. You're in Oprah territory. You don't have to cook anymore. Move on."

The Molto Mario comment excited me, as I will actually get to dine in his restaurant in a month! No idea if he will be gracing us with his presence, but since he's on the creative council for ProjectExplorer, the possibility is out there!

Eyes on Cambodia

Nice snap, Gary. Speaking of Cambodia, my friend Cathleen is enjoying her last month in Phnom Penh after five months of developing her Fighting For Futures initiatives. It's truly a place that could suck you in and put you in a trance. Subtly lovely.

Other Discoveries

Some great ideas on how to develop products for your blog without a massive business plan

Also, a little help making your blog more experiential...a favorite buzz word of mine

Oddly enough, this interesting post helped me get this late issue of Consume & Update out today! Kill your To-Do list!

And finally...thank you Amar for giving us 7 Steps toward scoring free travel from your blog

Update on Nomadderwhere

If you've made it thus far in this post, you're a trooper. I have a lot to tell you about my future plans for Nomadderwhere and for myself. I'll start by reviewing what went out this week:

Prepare for the Onslaught: As you can tell, I'm all over the place with my postings. My schedule is odd, because it's important to me to publish various forms of content: video, written, photographic, as well as displaying the work of others.

I have roughly one month until I head to Mexico on my new job, and it's been said to read more current accounts from my travels is more thrilling than the flashbacks (like I'm doing with Fiji at the moment). And though I'll be incredibly busy in Mexico, I would like to attempt more real-time postings in my favored various media forms.

Therefore, I'll soon be amping up my written postings from The Nakavika Project, telling the elaborate tales more frequently in the week in order to fit it all in before the bulk of Mexico. I'll also be covering what I'm up to in present day while still offering timeless advice and perspectives on all things travel. The videos will become more current, expansive, and interactive.

This is going to be one ca-razy month!

1 Minute or Less Moments: This week on my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan Page, I've published raw video clips of Garrett and I enjoying the Coral Coast on New Year's Eve.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

This year's popular posts

I'm very happy to report Nomadderwhere has come a long way since this time last year, when I moved from a simple blogspot to a bonafide domain of my own. Since that time I've changed my writing style and topics, grown a readership of surprisingly many (thanks to you), won the most amazing internship known to man, and turned this online outlet for my travel thoughts and work into something that may one day sustain me. For those of you just stopping by for the first time, this is probably the best post at which to start. According to my stats and Google analytics, these are the top posts for Nomadderwhere.

The Makings of a Travel Video

The Makings of a Travel Video

...I didn’t study telecommunications or video art in college, nor did I have a good operating system while making my application video last year. If you’re new at this, like I was, don’t worry because if you have a computer, some travel footage and a passion to produce, you can make some mean videos...Bottom line is to be aware of the story you are crafting and make sure it gives people a reason to watch beyond 10 seconds and a reason to stick around until the end. The music helps me monumentally with this step of the process.

Ten Great Ideas for Chicago

Ten Great Ideas for Chicago

...I received word from two different people that Cafe Ba-Ba-Reebas! in Lincoln Park had the greatest and most authentic tapas in the city. Since my cousin is a budding foodie and my other friend lived in Spain and learned to cook there, I took their advice as fast as I took down my sangria. Rioja short ribs with manchego mashed potatoes, house meat plate with serrano, salchichon, chorizo, chicken & artichoke paella, crispy spicy potatoes with sun-dried tomato alioli, and warm potato & onion omelette - everything tasted so flavorful, even my friends who had been here before were amazed and raving. The thrill of good food doesn’t get old...

My Friend, Evan Witty

My Friend, Evan Witty

...But he found more appeal in living with 100+ kids in a country he had no ties to. He wanted to move people and make physical and emotional necessities available to anyone. With that desire and an experience such as the one he had at Palm Tree, his life work was destined to be hugely impacting and awe-inspiring, and I'm so sorry we don't get to witness his next steps.But he passed with people who loved him and he loved in return, in his sleep on the beach in Cambodia...

Things I Didn't Know Before Coming to Greece

Things I Didn't Know Before Coming to Greece

...The Greek and Italian languages are nothing alike There’s no avoiding cigarette smoke in Greece…It’s everywhere In Greece, the party starts well after midnight and can continue into brunch time The water really is that blue...

Sometimes On the Road...You Miss Out

Sometimes On the Road...You Miss Out

...For some reason unknown to me and my surrounding web, I've decided it's okay to miss the things that matter most in order to blaze literal and personal trails towards anything from failure to success. This travel path can sound illogical and like a waste, but when I realize the passions I've acquired and the maturity I've obtained, I fear where I would be without all those 50+ flights to global destinations and potential moments of learning...

What is Nomadderwhere?

What is Nomadderwhere?

...Nomadderwhere is a philosophy: it doesn't matter where you are, it matters that you're always learning and flexing with your surroundings, whether you're traveling or stationary. To capture this idea is to capture the art of travel, to know the importance of movement and to become self-aware...because you are the only constant in your world...

Street Smarts: Transport Scams

Street Smarts: Transport Scams

...“So I know we agreed on 40 rupees to the Siliguri bus station, but I know you’re going to forget this deal, even though I wrote the fare down on my hand. I’m really hoping you’re an honest and swell guy who claims he has change when he really does.” With this sort of dialogue, it’s all about tone and appearance. Speak kindly and smile the entire time. It doesn’t work any other way. And a word from experience: the more you make them laugh, the better the fare becomes...

The Irony of my Lifestyle

The Irony of my Lifestyle

...Since I returned from a round-the-world trip on August 17th, I’ve done very little besides sit in front of screens – computer, TV, what-have-you. I seldom leave home or drive my car unless it’s purely necessary. Rarely do I step outside if not to summon my cat in at twilight, and the most exercise I get comes from group fitness classes at the gym down the street. I spent one weekend in northern Indiana with my best friends eating guacamole and floating on one long raft around Lake Tippicanoe, but that certainly can’t be all the excitement I can handle over a two month period. Why do I not carpe the diem when I’m not traveling?...

Reviewing Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

Reviewing Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

...What was certainly magnified by Krakauer's text was the reality that we humans harbor primordial desires, and it's on a sliding scale how much we allow these feelings to be heard and acted upon. It is my belief that travelers, adventurers, nomads and those hopeful to detach from the man-made structure of modern civilization are more responsive to those "calls of the wild." Unconventional living forces a constant reevaluation of one's life [and one's mortality], and when we are closer in mindset to our own expiration, it seems we connect closer to the motivations of our primitive ancestors...

Cruises, Destination, and the Authentic

Cruises, Destination, and the Authentic

...Within the open ocean is a sea of 60-40 couples, incredibly perky cougars on the prowl, families with seven year-old twins and recent divorcees taking back their lives, not to mention a slew of Rascals scooting about. Of course, every cruise liner caters to a different demographic, which accounts for the vast differences among the commercial cruising fleets, but what they all share is the sense of ease that, in the mind of a “bare-bones” traveler, strips the so-called adventure down to physical displacement and cognitive retirement, which is in many cases the whole point...

Interview a Traveler: The Ski-Crazy Humanitarian

Interview a Traveler: The Ski-Crazy Humanitarian

...I work in an environment where people are stuck in one mindset. The monotony of everyday life can suck you in and but also give you the comfort of stability. I want to stimulate my mind and mix things up. My entire senior year of college I saved for my trip to Europe, and everyday I think back to the crazy things I did and the knowledge that I gathered and feel proud. Being young and having a flexible (and seasonal) job is a plus. So spending my money on travel is why it’s there...

The Birth of The Nakavika Project, Part 1

The Birth of The Nakavika Project, Part 1

...L: “I found an amazing flight deal I want to look further into. If the price is right, would you consider dropping the road trip idea and heading to Fiji to live in a village? We could do our own thing there, use our skills to start some effort from scratch, and I know we’re already invited and welcome to be there. I talked to them a week ago.” G: “Wow, Linz, you’re turnin’ the tables on me! This could be such a huge opportunity. Let me think it over…(30 minutes later)...I am completely, 100% behind this idea...

Plummeting Towards Earth

Plummeting Towards Earth

...We landed perfectly, a few steps to a complete standing stop, and I yelled my amazement to all the men at the bottom who hear these exclamations every day. And that was it. I jumped out of a plane. Nuts. Simply nuts...

Ten Great Ideas for Chicago

I traveled with my parents recently to Chicago, Illinois for a week of displacement and the entertainment that ensues. My time was enjoyable and low key, full of new discoveries and ample free wifi time at Borders for work. I thought I would share some of the things that made this trip stellar. Here are ten great ideas for Chicago (the order is chronological).

1. The Megabus

Megabus from Indy to Chicago

Megabus from Indy to Chicago

$1 Seats on Megabus

$1 Seats on Megabus

Instead of driving the 3+ hours along the Chicago Skyway and through the cornfields of the Region, my mom snagged us discount seats on this double-decker bus equipped with AC, free wifi, a bathroom, and a full skylight across the entire second deck. Aside from the woman talking loudly on her phone for the last 10 miles, the ride was fantastic and well worth the normal ~$20 ticket price. However, we bought ours on a special promotional deal for $1 each. You read right...

2. The Signature Room

Chicago from the Signature Room

Chicago from the Signature Room

Riding the elevator up to the 96th floor of the Hancock Building is a tad typical for an out-of-towner to do (a Chicagoan friend laughed at me later for doing this), but I think my two other friends from Chicago (who accompanied me on this excursion) would agree: the Signature Room at sunset is cliche for a valid reason.

Not only was the wait tolerable, but we snagged the best table in the house, at the very southwest edge of the building closest to the sinking sun. We ordered schmancy cocktails and took photos of ourselves with Chicago's pastel skyline. People continuously bumped my back trying to get in for that final shot of the disappearing star, and though I wanted to shout, "YOU NEED A TRIPOD!," I followed the mantra of "serenity now" and enjoyed the view for all it was worth. And ladies, note the best city view is actually from the ladies room! Just another reason why we're better...

3. The Best Tapas in Town

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reebas!

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reebas!

I received word from two different people that Cafe Ba-Ba-Reebas! in Lincoln Park had the greatest and most authentic tapas in the city. Since my cousin is a budding foodie and my other friend lived in Spain and learned to cook there, I took their advice as fast as I took down my sangria.

Rioja short ribs with manchego mashed potatoes, house meat plate with serrano, salchichon, chorizo, chicken & artichoke paella, crispy spicy potatoes with sun-dried tomato alioli, and warm potato & onion omelette - everything tasted so flavorful, even my friends who had been here before were amazed and raving. The thrill of good food doesn't get old.

4. The Blues at Kingston Mines

Duke Tumatoe's crowd

Duke Tumatoe's crowd

Though I haven't sat in a classroom for 1.5 years, I flashed my international student ID (courtesy of STA Travel, ha) for a $5 price cut off my cover into Chicago's oldest and largest real blues joint. It was an older, very relaxed crowd that felt completely opposite to the environment we'd previously been in at a local college bar.

Duke Tumatoe claimed the late shift that Saturday night and had people dancing like flopping sardines in the little space allotted just in front of the stage. I had some beers, put my hands up, and let my boots do some stompin'. I like the blues, and I love atmospheres like this one.

5. Brunch in Lincoln Park

John's Place

John's Place

Sitting on the sidewalk, orange leaves falling into my hair, I ate some high quality granola, yogurt, fruit and poached eggs with good company. Regardless of where you dine in this neighborhood, I think this is the ultimate way to take in a good weather day in Chicago. John's Place isn't a Mecca of breakfast food but it's no exception to the rule either. My advice is to find a similar place with a relaxed atmosphere, and you're guaranteed to spend the rest of your day in a fairly good mood.

6. Carnivale for the Taste Buds

Carnivale

Carnivale

This restaurant embodies the essence of the word and the party. What seems to be a massive warehouse, covered in brilliant paint with lights the size of elephants, makes up the main arena for the festive food consumption. I got on those caiprinhas without a lick of hesitation but let our waiter guide me to the best entree of the house: the pork chop.

The pork chop at Carnivale

The pork chop at Carnivale

My cousin hit the bullseye twice, once with the tapas joint and twice with this "nuevo latino" recommendation. He and his newlywed, Ashley, joined us in tackling the awesome appetizers, entrees, and the final kahuna: a three-layer, ice cream cake with chocolate syrup. I forget what it's called because I pulled a "Homer drool" upon seeing it placed on our table.

7. The Art Institute of Chicago

This is no hidden gem; this is an obvious item on on the list. The AIC is up there on the list of the nation's best art museums and truly has the ability to impress most, if not all, art lovers. Caravaggio's The Supper at Emmaus now sits in an oversized room with many of its similar style and proves itself superior to all. Caillebotte's Paris Street, Rainy Day begins the long line of impressionist works through the central galleries. I made a little video to illustrate the AIC experience. Come on along with me...

8. The Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center

Whether this attraction is popular or not is a bit ambiguous judging from the Monday night crowd of tens, but its location lends to the idea that everyone knows about the Siskel Film Center (across from the Chicago Theater). It calls itself "Chicago's premier movie theater" and shows world-class international, independent and classic cinema.

My parents and I viewed the film Afghan Star, which is:

A sleeper hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival...In an Afghanistan recently freed from the Taliban, the equivalent of American Idol has become the national obsession. Two men and two women make it to the finals, and the country’s first baby-steps into democracy involve voting for their favorites via cell phone. The excitement is at fever pitch, then one of the female contestants performs an unthinkable, horrifying, death-defying act: she lets her head-scarf slip a bit and she dances on national TV.

9. Three Happiness in Chinatown

"Little" Three Happiness

"Little" Three Happiness

Don't be confused by the massive restaurant of the same name that smacks you in the face upon getting to Chinatown. That's not the establishment I'm referring to. Apparently, locals refer to it as "little three happiness," as the acclaimed restaurant seems but another modest family-owned joint among many.

I had no idea what to order and hoped the lady would sense I was up for anything, even the pot-o-love created for their employees' lunches. The waitress treated me very kindly but assumed I wasn't too experienced with Chinese food (since I told her I had no preference and wanted her recommendations). I asked for spicy and got medium...along with silverware. Slap in the face! I put my ego aside and just enjoyed what she brought me: schezwan chicken with vegetables over steamed rice. I don't think I left a grain of rice on the plate, nor a drop of tea in the kettle.

It was worth it just to get away from the high rises for a few hours and see a neighborhood less visited than most. If only Indianapolis had similar 'hoods.

10. The Silver Palm and the Little Pigs

Three Little Piggys at the Silver Palm

Three Little Piggys at the Silver Palm

At a sorority sister's recommendation, I took the blue line out to The Silver Palm Restaurant, a stop on my list thanks to the Chicago episode of No Reservations. As my friends and I strolled into this train car-turned-dining room, ginger gimlets and margaritas on our lips, I felt the challenge summoning me. I ordered the house speciality: the Three Little Pigs sandwich. After Tony's rave review, I had no choice but to order:

"This is a work of genius, in an evil way.... A two-fisted symphony of pork, cheese, fat, and starch... that sandwich is the greatest sandwich in America. This is the apex of the sandwich-making art... the sandwich that dreams are made of."

I did it. I can't believe I ate the whole thing. I couldn't lie on my stomach that night, but I felt pure satisfaction after its consumptions, quickly followed by meat sweats.

Other great ideas for Chicago (courtesy of my friends):

Mahzoh ball soup at Frances on Clark Street Walk along the lake to Millennium Park Have a wine-centric meal at BIN 36 The Greek Islands restaurant in Greektown on Halstead The Museum of Contemporary Art Playing a game of Whirlyball Having lunch behind the Civic Opera Building The Violet Hour Bar Seeing Jersey Boys or the Million Dollar Quartet Going to Nookies for Omelets Staying up until the wee hours and ordering a chocolate shake at the Weiner Circle Hot Doug's for a Chicago-style hot dog The Map Room with its wild selection of craft beers Great hibachi restaurant called Ron of Japan's on Ontario

What do you think about my ten great ideas for Chicago? Any personal experience with these or do you have one to add to this ever-growing list? Comment below, and thanks for reading!

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.

Consume & Update: Place, Patagonia and Chicago

What's better than good reading material on our favorite topic: Travel!

Mental Mileage

New contributor of Vagablogging, Colleen Wilde, brought a beautiful quote to the surface this week with her post of the same title:

Measure Travel Inwards

-Henry David Thoreau

I thought this was lovely, and it got me thinking about my diverse reactions to culture shock and the implications of them in terms of what I've learn and grown to believe in.

Dream Jumps

Ain't nothing finer than a dreaming in your recliner. Check out Cole's photo work, which remind me of the way I like to feel when romping around in fields.

Yeah, I Know That Place

Though this post has been up a few weeks, I thought it was an interesting examination by a long term traveler. When can you say you know a place? Matt has his stance figured out on the topic:

No matter how long we linger, little markets we explore, or non-touristy things we do, as travelers, we’ll never fully know a place- only someone who has lived there can claim that.

If you're fairly young and have a good number of destinations under your belt, chances are you haven't spend much extended time in these locations. When people ask for advice on Melbourne or China because you've graced those coordinates, can you really say you know that place well enough to comment on the lives and mindsets of the resident public? Do you know how things really function in that place?

It’s not until we begin to live like a local that we can truly get an appreciation for the rhythm of life there. That is why Couchsurfing is such a great thing. You can stay with locals, see where they go, go out with them, and put your self into the local rhythm.

The Beauty of the Far South

Vagabondish's Photo of the Moment of Patagonia is pure eye candy, is it not? And November is the start of the springtime and clear skies for this lovely wilderness. Anyone planning on hitting up these parts soon? I'm tagging along.

Is Anyone Copying You Online?

Photo Courtesy of Kyle-Brady.com

This one's more for the bloggers out there. We slave pretty hard for our readers, but what if someone lame-o is out there copying all your original material for their own uses? Problogger was all over this issue last week with his post Stop Scrappers and Spammers Fast. I checked and am free and clear of cling-ons. And you?

The Enjoyment of Unemployment II

Bob Fawcett brings a solo road trip across the States to life in his trailer for The Enjoyment of Unemployment, II. You may remember Bob from the STA WTI applicant pool, showing off his city of Chicago. Well, he's now living his dream out in L.A., plowing his way into the film and TV industry. Go get 'em, Bob.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EBESjKIe3A

Other Discoveries

Nerdy Nomad is off to do Hands On volunteer work in Indonesia. Sounds like a great idea.

The corporate world goes local (kinda goes against the point). It's something called "Localwashing."

Bourdain responds to his fans going nuts about the new animated web-series, Alternate Universe.

Update on Nomadderwhere

A week from now, I will be in Chicago in order to:

-meet up with old friends and turn on my giggle box

-capture footage for the new STA application video

-take in the art, food and streetscapes with my parents

-hopefully make some connections, create some content and make some garsh-darn money

Specific plans include: going to Nookies for omelets, Kingston Mines for some blues, ordering a chocolate shake at the Weiner Circle (gulp...), possibly catching a showing of Jersey Boys or Million Dollar Quartet, taking tips from Jessie Barber's "Free Chicago" post on the STA blog,who really knows...

Are you familiar with the Chicago area and holding onto a great entertainment/food/cultural recommendation? By all means, toss them my way. Tweet me or comment below. I'm all ears.

Also, I'm starting my book challenge today to write 20,000 words by November 30th. Hopefully the act of updating you all via these posts will encourage the writing and maybe inspire you to push yourself harder at whatever you're doing!