Consume & Update

Consume & Update: making it count, making good art & making it home

I've finally stopped moving for a while. Want to see what I've found as of lately?

World travel on Nike's dime

Nike made a new product that basically detects energy expended (a.k.a. Nike Fuel) throughout your typical, active day, and with this new product comes an intense online marketing campaign called #makeitcount. This video, created by Casey Neistat and Max Joseph, is reminiscent of the STA Travel Australia video "Move" and shows Casey plowing through his budget from Nike with 10 days of globe trotting. I just had dinner with one of the developers of this campaign. The world is small, people.

Advice for starting a creative career

This is good and giggle-worthy. Here are my favorite excerpts:

...it's true that nothing I did where the only reason for doing it was the money was ever worth it, except as bitter experience. Usually I didn't wind up getting the money, either.

IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.

The urge, starting out, is to copy. And that's not a bad thing. Most of us only find our own voices after we've sounded like a lot of other people. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.

The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right.

That was the hardest lesson for me, I think: to let go and enjoy the ride, because the ride takes you to some remarkable and unexpected places.

Other discoveries

Getting better production audio: who wouldn't want that? STA Travel's World Traveler Internship 2012 commences: Matt and Amma begin the documenting of their European jaunt with this video of a Czech beer fest. Reinventing the office, how to lose weight and increase productivity: Though these days I have no control over what my office looks like, I like to take these tips and think of how they could again be redefined for this transient setting. The new MacBook Pro: No Film School explains the newest version of the MBP.

Update on Nomadderwhere

Irene and Lindsay in NYC
Irene and Lindsay in NYC

Throughout June, I felt incredibly confident in my role as media specialist for this world-touring school, TGS. I don't know if it was the homey accommodation we had, the energy of Berlin, the enthusiasm of the students, or something else. I created a rhythm of working and playing that felt solid and sustainable, which is harder than it seems to create structure in a fluid, ever-changing environment. It was so successful that I had time and energy to document for myself.

A few weeks ago, I packed up my ephemeral life and reverted to backpack living for about 25 days. After train journeys through Prague, Budapest, Salzburg, and Austria, I flew to meet friends in Denmark and said goodbye to Europe from Stockholm. Landing stateside in early July, I quickly picked up again to visit my hometown of Wabash and then the third place I'd call a 'home': New York City. Home is a loose term for me.

This summer break from school will consist of portfolio tweaking, reading of many travel narratives, home creative projects, and the ever-important duty of reconnecting with my community.

Here's my latest work:

Videos and captions are those of THINK Global School. The opinions stated in this post are mine and do not reflect the positions, strategies, or opinions of THINK Global School.

Consume & Update: Opportunities for you!

$10,000 and a trip to Bhutan. I'm so generous this week.

Getting Paid to Talk to Bourdain

I don't consider myself a foodie, but I've been thinking a lot lately about the question Tony Bourdain posed to his fellow food-lovers.

What does it mean to cook well?

Coming from a sustenance culinary tradition, I'm not used to always eating the most delectable dish or denying something less than favorable. Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't shot my taste buds yet. I find this topic intriguing, and if you do too, you could very well win $10,000 just for documenting that opinion.

Not only do you get a big ol' pay day but a spot in the paperback edition of Medium Raw. To be published and rolling in the dough...what a surreal concept. Go for it!

And speaking of Tony, his post this week on the death of his good friend Michael Batterberry and his big break in writing is insightful and compelling.

Snap Your Shutter for Bhutan

This opportunity rolled around last year and got me salivating. A trip to Antarctica sounded fantastic, but the application seemed simplistic and, therefore, intimidating. Tell a story with 5 or less photographs...STRONG photographs. Should have gone for it; it's a trip to the last continent, by golly!

Bhutan Travel Scholarship

Bhutan Travel Scholarship

And now it's 2010, and a new travel scholarship from National Geographic and World Nomads has rolled into town. Tell a story with 5 or less photographs, and you could travel to Bhutan for a week alongside a NatGeo photographer, a truly once-in-a-lifetime learning experience for a budding shutter-snapper.

This year, the photographer is Jason Edwards, and he's got some words of advice for hopeful applicants:

The application deadline is October 17th (in Australia), so you've got some time to think about this opportunity and let your photographic story inspiration come to you.

Burma in Photos

Brave New Traveler sported a great photo essay on religious life in Burma. It's worth a look-see.

Burma Photo Essay

Burma Photo Essay

A Word from my Favorite Book

Rolf Potts quoted my favorite book this week at Vagablogging, and I believe the whole world would be enriched by a simple glance:

If our lives are dominated by a search for happiness, then perhaps few activities reveal as much about the dynamics of this quest — in all its ardor and paradoxes — than our travels. They express, however inarticulately, an understanding of what life might be about, outside of the constraints of work and of the struggle for survival. Yet rarely are they considered to present philosophical problems — that is, issues requiring thought beyond the practical. We are inundated with advice on where to travel to, but we hear little of why and how we should go, even though the art of travel seems naturally to sustain a number of questions neither so simple nor so trivial, and whose study might in modest ways contribute to an understanding of what the Greek philosophers beautifully termed eudaimonia, or ‘human flourishing’. –Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

Other Discoveries

Problogger has some great words of wisdom this week: Build your Blogs Voice, Monetization Ideas for the Little Guy, and the Content Producer's Copyright Checklist.

Join this discussion on Vagablogging: What pulls you back to the road?

Update on Nomadderwhere

August 8

August 8

I took a week off from Consume & Update due to a lack of compelling material on the net. It was weird. Normally there's always something worth sharing with others, but last week...dang, slim pickins. These weekly postings are for sharing good work, complimenting content producers, and contributing to the internet travel community. If you ever desire to be featured in these Sunday posts, feel free to contact me, so last week's debacle never happens again!

Anywho, guess who's back from the small town! I'm plunging head first into ProjectExplorer.org work and Nomadderwhere redesigning and content creating. I slapped May with a slew of work and left June starving. I need to get back to a regular schedule of good stuff. Your input is always encouraged.

And the future? Alexis Reller, my potluck roommate from Semester at Sea, is visiting next week, and I'm going to show her a gay ol' time in Indianapolis. We just may boast all of our fun times online!

And here's the work of the last two weeks:

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: The Go! Edition

I just felt like churning the butter for a couple awesome things this week.

Go, Remote Locations...and Disclaimers!

This article on the most extreme and isolated places to live in the world is mildly interesting, but what I found most humorous was the ending disclaimer. Gotta keep it PC!

Disclaimer: As a brand, Tripbase are accepting of all global cultures. This article is written from a Western perspective and is meant for humorous purposes only. No offense is intended.

Said about The Pitcairn Islands:

Notable also for the sexual assault trial of 2004, in which 7 men living on the island went on trial. With all but one of the defendants being found guilty of some charges, this incident had the unfortunate side effect of pretty much tying up most of the area's workforce (which consists of roughly 15 people in total). Seriously, sexual assault on an island that small? Not to mention the fact that most of them will be related...

Said about Tristan da Cunha:

Another interesting fact is that in the entire community there are only 8 surnames and 80 families, most likely leading to a horrific dating scene.

Said about Oymyakon, Siberia:

Other interesting facts include that it's so cold, that some birds can freeze solid mid-flight, plummeting to the ground like a rock. Spit will also freeze solid before it hits the ground at -50°C and a glass of water thrown into the air will freeze before it hits the ground.

Alright Undercover Reporting in North Korea! Go! Go! Go!

Even though this article was written in August of 2009, I still find it interesting. I'm enchanted by mysteries.

It took them two hours to inspect our luggage when the group entered the country and four hours to go through every picture on our cameras—and to delete the ones they deemed improper—when we left. They apparently didn't know that it is easy to switch out memory cards.

...On one occasion, I drew a banana on a piece of paper and showed it to a waitress; she had never seen one. She knew about apples, but she had never eaten one. I brought 150 Kit-Kat bars into the country, and I always took several out of my bag when I was alone with a North Korean. They would hesitate for a few seconds, look around to make sure that no one else was watching, and then stuff the Kit-Kats into their pockets.

Other Discoveries

Someone recently asked me if I saw Kevorkian's side, based on my newly appointed personal stance on pain and life. Interesting...

Can't post a Consume & Update without tips from Problogger: The Secret to Long-Term Blogging Success and Creating Facebook Landing Pages

Update on Nomadderwhere

Happy Independence Day, 'Mericans! I'm back to mental stability and a regular routine! Yesterday, I moved from my parent's home in Indianapolis to my hometown of Wabash. I'll be in a home sans TV, constant internet, and...well, furniture. It'll be Hermit-ville. It'll be lovely. Tomorrow's Video of the Week will fill in the blanks.

This week's thin herd of postings:

Things will be changing soon. The content tsunami cometh...

Consume & Update: Fear, Soccer, and Post-Production

Back from Mexico and once again with enough time to consume the best travel gummies on the net this week. Sorry my schedule is all higgilty piggilty. Chew away.

Guillebeau Talking for TED

If you're a fan of Chris and his charisma, check out renowned non-conformist's TED talk from Carnegie Melon University. He discusses fear with some intriguing metaphors. What do you think about his message?

Most Celebrated Travel Books

Though I believe Frances Mayes should give it a rest with her lists of flower types and Italian herbs...and Ernesto Guevara could have cut his diaries a couple weeks short...and Elizabeth Gilbert got a wee too much publicity for her travel trifecta, I think this comprehensive list of travel books covers some great titles. Check out the entire list on World Hum and let me know which ones you would recommend to fellow narrative-hungry travel readers (cough, cough...me).

Most Celebrated Travel Books

Most Celebrated Travel Books

Why We Call It Soccer

Thank you, Nat Geo Traveler, for finally solving the mystery. Why do we call football soccer (or, inversely, why do others call soccer football)? Alas, we have an answer:

After some digging, I'm happy to report the following: Apparently American's word for football is a shortened version of Assoccer, an abbreviation of "Association Football," the term given the game as it was played at elite British boys' schools in the 1860s. "Assoccer" became "soccer" and the name somewhat stuck as it served to distinguish it from rugby-rules football.

As players, coaches, sailors, and the enthusiastic exported the game around the world courtesy of the British Empire, local languages appropriated "football" as a loan word. For example, the Spanish fútbol doesn't literally combine the Spanish words for "foot" and "ball" but is an approximation of the British word for the ever-popular game. The game came to U.S. shores in the late 19th century and was called "football" in the U.S. until after World War II when the increasing popularity of the National Football League (NFL) prompted a change in name. Where English is a country's first language, "football" often refers to the most popular form of football in that country. Only three English-speaking FIFA countries refer to the game as "soccer": the U.S., Samoa, and Canada.

Now we know.

Tony's New Book and 100th Episode

I compulsively document Big T's new blog posts, this one being no exception to the rule. I love the flow of his travel writing - even his travel writing that isn't about travel per se. After releasing his second book, entitled Medium Raw, he reflects on the tiresome, yet pivotal, regimen of self-promotion across the country, as well as the ambiance during production of his 100th episode (in Paris).

I've heard Tony didn't necessarily meet the expectations of various travel bloggers with the new book, and I'm sort of glad. If he's a cook, a traveler, and a writer, why can't he write about cooking (and the unexpected celeb chef phenomenon) without focusing about travel? Why would people assume his book would be about his travel tales and woes when the blurb on the front reads:

A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Lay off, people. He's still a better writer than the vast majority of us.

Other Discoveries

Lion Burgers? Really, Arizona? Strike two.

This guy's just walkin.

The Michael Palin interview with World Hum

“Backpackers aren’t the bad guys. It really boils down to how we travel, and what the legacy is of that. We are guests in another culture, so the issue isn’t how do we stop tourism, the issue is how do we get it right.”

Problogger: 8 Habits of Highly Excellent Bloggers

Update on Nomadderwhere

Back Home Again

Back Home Again

Judging purely by my intense slumbers upon returning to Indiana, you'd think I slept not at all throughout production in Mexico. I was entirely pooped, and to compound it, my mom dragged me to the Indy Night Ride, which started at 11pm and took us for 20 miles around downtown Indianapolis by night. My butt bones hate life today.

Since I was too busy to read up on the gems of the internet over the past three weeks, I also wasn't able to recap the work I churned out. Hence, here are the pieces I wrote (or photoblogs I compiled) over the course of production with ProjectExplorer.

Bear with me, people. I'm hoping to get back on schedule soon!

Consume & Update: Why Blog, Low Points, and NYC

I'm in New York City! Depending on our work load in Mexico, this may be the last normal Consume & Update for a while. Enjoy it while you can!

Why The Low Points Matter

Once again, great work, Chris, in addressing an idea regarding a "perfect" trip with the necessary and realistic angle. He noted that no one really has (nor should have?) a perfect trip without low points. Meticulous planning sounds exhausting and semi-fruitless, not to mention detrimental to an aspect of travel that arguably many travelers find as the point to it all.

Image by MAMJODH

I'm reminded of the Hindi om/aum and the interpretation I often associate with its multi-purpose, ambiguous meaning. When you're high, know one day you will be low again. And when things are low, have hope that tomorrow you'll be back on top. I envision a undulating sine curve that reflects the state of all things, the stock market among others. Though this is somewhat of a hippie-esque ideology, I do think I believe everything balances out in the end - the great moments in life and the low points, the good and the bad. The same goes for your travels.

If we only had high points, what kind of characters would we be? Would we be as adaptable, as prepared for the world and appreciative of the good times? And though the catalyst for this "perfect trip" idea was in no way indicating a trip without flaws, it makes me think no one should leave their home expecting all to go as planned or with their own convenience in mind. We must flex with the sine curve of life and our own movement, appreciating both to strike a balance that makes us who we are.

Thanks, Chris, you got me thinking. And isn't that what good writing, and "perfect traveling," is about? You tell me.

Name This Vista

What are we looking at here? Any ideas? Leave a comment!

Why, If You Write, You Need a Blog

Rakiraki

This one is for the hopeful travel bloggers out there, the ones keen on crafting word symphonies with the hope of creating a path toward their passions. And not just travel bloggers, hopeful broadcast journalists, photographers, poets, and other expressionists have been contacting me about what to do with their skills as the means to a preferred end. Though I'm not a broadcast journalist nor a novelist by trade, I at least know it's essential to adapt to the new trend of self-marketing and projection of your assets in the form of a blog.

Darren at Problogger is usually someone I refer these people to, because he writes pieces just like this: Why Professional Writers Need a Blog. Or Not. Here are some great excerpts from his recent piece.

We can boil it down to this: if you’re looking to get hired for a project, which implies you offer some vertical expertise in addition to your abundant writing gifts, then you should consider writing a blog. And you should let the reader know who you are. Because you need to show the world you know more than they do about whatever it is you do. You need to demonstrate it. Both elements drive toward your credibility, which his essential.

A blog is about your niche, your field of expertise, your message. Your blog is, in essence, a gift to your readers. In effect, your blog is where you give away what you know. It’s your chance to demonstrate and validate your claim to authority and expertise. Your blog is, in every essence and facet of the word, content.

World's Touristy Map

It's kinda nice I'm from an unspotted area. My goodness, Europe, quit being so appealing to the world.

World's Most Touristy Places

World's Most Touristy Places

Other Discoveries

I'm getting pumped for Tuesday and my first real adventure in Mexico - let's face it, the others have been burps in my timeline. Check out some amazing photos to get pumped along with me.

Talk about the art of travel! Great moleskin journal watercolors from Notes From The Road.

Problogger's here to tell you How to Convert Blog Readers to Paying Customers

Update on Nomadderwhere

Here's the skinny on my current situation.

Nakavika Project/Fiji Stories: I've been frantically pushing out stories from Fiji this month and have finally completed the storyline. Yay, me! Soon, I'll publish a walk-through of the entire narrative in case you missed the overall flow of things.

The New Travels: The onslaught of Fiji content was in reaction to my upcoming trip and new job with ProjectExplorer, which has begun already with a short trip to NYC, followed by a flight Tuesday morning to Mexico City! Last night, I dined at Anthony Bourdain's restaurant with Jenny and Matt, a PE board member, and today I start my training for Mexico!

Reunited Collaborators: Great news, as well...I get to see Garrett Russell this weekend, for the first time since we parted ways in Suva. Garrett recently got his Peace Corps assignment and is preparing for Malawi come July 1st. I'm so excited for him, and I look forward to publishing some of his work on the experience on Nomadderwhere. We've also decided on how to proceed with The Nakavika Project, which you can check out now.

This week on Nomadderwhere:

1 Minute or Less Moments: This week on my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan Page will be the last for publishing raw video clips from our Fiji footage. Check out the final installment, which shows some lovely moments in the Yasawa islands before I flew back to America.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Consume & Update: Lovable Haters, Epiphanies, and Vimeo

I'm at my Grandpa's 90th birthday today. It's a good day. Now let's learn about what's new in the travel and blog worlds.

Learning to Love the Digital Haters

I don't think I'm evolved enough to truly love those that go after my passionate pursuits, but Tim Ferriss makes some solid points on reactions, time efficiency, and dealing with criticism - both logical and rant-asical. Check out the following speech below (it's long but I watched it all and enjoyed it) or browse his ideas below:

The following list is paraphrased from Mashable's Tim Ferriss: 7 Great Principles for Dealing with Haters

1. It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it. What matters is how many people do. “It’s critical in social media, as in life, to have a clear objective and not to lose sight of that,” Ferriss says. He argues that if your objective is to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people or to change the world in some small way (be it through a product or service), you only need to pick your first 1,000 fans — and carefully. “As long as you’re accomplishing your objectives, that 1,000 will lead to a cascading effect,” Ferriss explains. “The 10 million that don’t get it don’t matter.”

2. 10% of people will find a way to take anything personally. Expect it. “Online I see people committing ’social media suicide’ all the time by one of two ways. Firstly by responding to all criticism, meaning you’re never going to find time to complete important milestones of your own, and by responding to things that don’t warrant a response.”

3. “Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity.” - Colin Powell “That guarantees you’ll get more behavior you don’t want and less you do.”

4. “If you are really effective at what you do, 95% of the things said about you will be negative.” - Scott Boras The bigger your impact and the larger the ambition and scale of your project, the more negativity you’ll encounter.

5. “If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.” - Epictetus "To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

6. “Living well is the best revenge.” - George Herbert “The best way to counter-attack a hater is to make it blatantly obvious that their attack has had no impact on you."

7. Keep calm and carry on. “Focus on impact, not approval. If you believe you can change the world, which I hope you do, do what you believe is right and expect resistance and expect attackers.”

The Frustration Epiphanies

Lake Nakuru Flamingo Viewing

Evan has a good point. We travel with the expectation that the huge events we schedule reveal the most, move us to the climax of our emotions.

When we travel, we literally become different people. Stripped of our habits, routines and safe places, we are forced to meet the world as we are. The more we travel, the more accustomed we become to participating and thriving in the world because travel, by design, brings an openness of heart and a clarity of self. Some travelers have a spiritual fantasy of this new life, and it can include the clichéd vision that, despite all our cultural differences, we’re really “all one”...Unfortunately, when you’re traveling, this naïve view results in a lot of stolen wallets. But, more importantly, that’s not how the traveler’s transformation of consciousness really goes down.

In actuality, I feel the times I experience the iconic and stereotypically "awe-inspiring" are the times I'm less inspired. Riding 18 hours in an Indian sleeper car with the stomach flu, walking across Lusaka in the summer sun because I'm out of money for a taxi (or a hostel), mourning a separation with friends on the beach in Malawi - these moments are the ones when the most is revealed about myself and my displaced existence.

At what point in your travels do you experience the little epiphanies? When do you learn the most about yourself and the purpose of your movement? Do those moments of self-discovery usually occur simultaneously with itinerary highlights or when the frustrations take the limelight? Comment below and tell me what you think!

Traveling is Seeing

Joel scribed a great piece at Vagabonding this week, which felt more like inspired prose than a simple post on an impression of travel.

We travel also to see things that are not easy to see. The Egyptian man in Alexandria, for example, who walks past your cafe table selling kleenexes, his skeletal frame so disfigured that he walks with his torso almost parallel to the ground. His eyes meet yours and you exchange a smile, suddenly conscious of the dollar’s worth of lemon juice in your hand and the relatively great health along your own spine...

And sometimes we may even travel to catch our own reflection in a cracked and dirty mirror, not entirely sure for a moment what it is — or rather who it is — that we’re looking at. And perhaps later in the day, when we see our reflection not in glass but in the eyes and faces of our neighbors, we will have a moment of clarity about what and who we are.

Hiking Alps

This week, I've been especially aware of my own reasons for traveling, and Joel made me realize yet another on my list. I love being humbled by the constant stimulation while traveling. The exchange, the "you're on" sense from a live TV broadcast, the challenge to the self from the self and the world - it's all in the attempt to solidify your own essence and self-knowledge. I'm a fan of travel because it helps me see myself in a way that could only be alternately achieved by rapid time lapse into my future.

Other Discoveries

For your reading pleasure: The 11 Foreigners You Meet in China

An interesting viewpoint on Arizona's new immigration law: Que Lástima...

Makes you hungry and a little disgusted at the same time: Seven Essential Breakfasts for the World Traveler

Update on Nomadderwhere

05-23 Snapshot

05-23 Snapshot

This weekend I headed up to the Northern Indiana lakes for some friend time before my first ProjectExplorer adventure! Of all the things that I enjoy about the Midwest, it is this lake culture I miss the most when abroad and away from the comforts and rituals of home.

This week at Nomadderwhere (big week for Fiji narratives):

Hardcore Brain Expansion: I'm happy to say I finished my read on Mexico City (which I recommend - review coming soon) in time for the big trip and am now working on The Lost Girls, the first and recently released narrative put out by the girls in charge of LostGirlsWorld.com. Hope I finish it before Saturday, because this bad boy is one thick travel read.

T minus 6 Days: On May 29th, I'll be on my way to New York City to meet my new boss for the first time. For a couple days, photo shoots and training sessions will be on the agenda, alongside meet-ups with my great friend, Garrett, before he heads to Malawi on his Peace Corps assignment! If you're in the NYC area next weekend and want to meet up, DM me on twitter or use my contact form!

Video/Online Property Update: You'll notice in the near future that I'm testing out a little Vimeo action. I've exclusively used Youtube for all my travel videos thus far, and even though I enjoy using that platform, I'd like to join the Vimeo community to see what works best for my work. Which video platform do you prefer, and why?

1 Minute or Less Moments: This week on my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan Page, I've published raw video clips of some intimate funeral footage (because I think these are meaningful moments to give some perspective) and one of the children early on a school morning.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Consume & Update on a Saturday?!

Normally I publish my community outreach on Sundays, but as tomorrow is a holiday, I thought I would switch it up a bit...just this week.

That "Rascal," Kim Jong Il, and His Antics

Far from simply a rascal, North Korea's dictator is one paranoid character, with due cause, and has recently been noted for traveling with ridiculously extreme caution...and luxury.

Kim's train is equipped with conference rooms, an audience chamber and bedrooms, with a pair of Mercedes-Benzes on standby, not to mention satellite phone connections and flat-screen TVs so the leader can be briefed and issue orders.

His precautions make sense, I guess. He's not the coolest man on the planet. And even he knows it...

One tell-all memoir written by a former associate claims that Kim once even banned secretaries from wearing hairpins in his office, fearing they might be used to assassinate him.

Am I going to get one some red list for blogging about this article? Yikes. And speaking of North Korea, did you know American tourists are now allowed to travel on the guided tours just like non-American Westerners can. I sure didn't until earlier this week. Would you go given you were in the Asia area and had some free time? Comment below!

And You Thought YOU Were Generous...

Fiji 0201

Charles wrote a quality piece this week at Vagablogging about non-Western hospitality that pointed to our often short-lived hospitality at home. We're taught to shower "pleases" and "thank yous" at everyone we encounter or interact with, and paired with gratitude and proper body language, this is the upmost level of appreciation we can muster.

But what if your in a culture that doesn't accept your onslaught of gratitude and undeserving attitude?

What if they just want to give you the hook up without receiving sainthood-status in your eyes? I think many Americans are incredibly kind and hospitable, but is Charles right? Do we not know how to accept or deal with non-Western hospitable nature based on our own belief that hospitality is somewhat short-lived?

Don't Waste the Soap!

A fresh bar every time, a couple hand washes, and you're done with it. What happens to a bar of hotel soap once you've checked out. It usually joins its 2 million brothers in a landfill, but Clean The World has decided to change this around. Intelligent Travel fills us in on the lathery goodness.

Still a devastating threat to children in developing countries, diarrheal diseases cause some 1.6 million of the 1.8 million childhood deaths that occur each year, according to the World Health Organization. Suitable drinking water sources, regular hand washing habits, and proper hygiene practices can eliminate these entirely avoidable fatalities.

Can't Feel Blue Looking at This!

Thank you, Vagabondish, for this eye candy from Norway's coast.

Coast of Norway

Other Discoveries

This is quite a doosie of an article: The Absurdity of Spiritual Enlightenment

Found this interesting simply because I've been studying Mexico's interesting approach to Catholic veneration: Say a Little Prayer for...Death?

Check out Jenny's new interview with SoSauce. Who is Jenny? Well, she's my new boss, silly!

Update on Nomadderwhere

May 6th, 2010

May 6th, 2010

What on earth am I doing to you this week?!? Am I crazy?!?

Monday: The Nakavika Project Outtakes video Tuesday: Journeys of a Lifetime in May Wednesday: The Triple Importance of Cinco de Mayo Thursday: The First Hour of 2010 in the World Friday: Urgency and a Broken Hip Not to mention the Consume & Update on a Saturday?!?

I've been told it's much more thrilling to stay current with what I'm talking about, as opposed to the flashbacks to Fiji. And now that you know my big news for June, I've got to tell those Fiji stories mad fast, because while in Mexico you'll want to know what's going on in the moment!

My twitter is present day, my Youtube isn't far behind, but my blog for some reason is still experiencing New Year's 2010! Don't worry. The crazy schedule this month will make it all better.

As you can tell, I have many interests (personal travel narratives, reviews, inspiration, World Traveler Internship, ProjectExplorer, etc.), and I'll be writing about all these topics in the near future, hoping to find a balance and order with all of them, including their expression in multi-media form. If you have any ideas on how I can make my blog easier to follow, contact me!

1 Minute or Less Moments: This week on my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan Page, I've published raw video clips of some fun moments with the kids and on the carrier with some of the boozing fellas.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

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

Consume & Update: Tony, Mallory, and My Glory Days

Consume & Update: Tony, Mallory, and My Glory Days

For those of you who follow me on twitter, you may know my grandmother passed away two weeks ago. I apologize if my quality of work falls a bit in this next month or two, because this is one death that will keep hitting me for a while. Soon to come is a post about her and the side of her I don't yet know all about: her world traveling side. The research begins this week. She was one cool lady.

Read More

Consume & Update: Football, Fishing, and Facelifts

The amount of reading and weeding I did this week compared to how much I displayed below is amazing. I spent hours on this one...you had better enjoy it. No really, enjoy :)

The Ongoing Football Debate

I think soccer is swell. American football is also a snazzy game. I think the American distaste for soccer on the ultra-popularity scale is confusing, and our "jump on the band wagon" mentality when it comes to World Cup fever makes us look all the more silly and stereotypically hard headed. AFAR magazine takes a moment to comment on this debate, but what I especially appreciated was the John Cleese rant at the end. Enjoy.

Heavy, Heavy Thoughts

I know I had issues in Fiji with communication and staying true to my belief in how humans should coexist and relay information. My friend, Amanda (see her Interview a Traveler), is struggling with similar issues in Bangladesh, a country that has real trouble in the verbal sector.

Alarmingly, what I found myself doing was adapting to another way that Bangladeshis communicate: through force...After several seconds of this “masculine” throw-down as I screamed, “Go, uncle, move on,” I raised my own hand and smacked the wallah in the back to snap him out of his red-blooded trance.

I hit another human being. I resorted to violence, the sort of violence I am trying to combat in my work. In all reality, he didn’t even respond to my hand smacking his back. He just pedaled forward, yelling at the man behind him. But was it appropriate? Though it is culturally acceptable, should I have hit him?

I admire her for vocalizing a phenomenon that surely comes up in many people's travels - probably something most try to repress. I know at one point I got caught up in a rowdy moment with the kids and thwacked my host sister with the back of my hand just as all the other kids did. She didn't flinch...she actually found it funny and smiled at me. I was silently horrified with myself.

Have you had any moments like the ones Amanda and I have had abroad?

Fire Dancing in Fiji

Nice work capturing the moment, Gary.

Sierra at Sea

Listen to this story...My friend, Sierra, is a world traveler, star documentarian, and commercial fisherwoman in Alaska. Right now, she's on board her father's boat, wrangling herring and braving an intense fishing season, one which recently put in her a whirlwind of drama. Check out this video she shot while on her father's boat, which was recently assaulted by another vessel, and then follow that with her story of how it all went down.

Other Discoveries

Help Gary Arndt plan his trip to Spain...where should he go?

I love Anthony Bourdain for his determination to get his shows RIGHT - especially after knowing what we went through in Fiji - and I'm also a big fan of his writing style...and when he writes about writing.

Schrute Farms on TripAdvisor...it's performing mighty well

The Ethical Traveler's Guidelines, in case you thought you were getting sloppy

Update on Nomadderwhere

As you may be able to tell, I've been busy this week. I hope you enjoyed my Carnival of Blogs, and thankfully no one realized I made a lingo error with the use of "Blogs" instead of the more apt title of "Posts." I said the wrong thing in my video and went with it. Eh.

A Big Thank You: I'd like to say thank you to Rusja Foster, who helped me photoshop my Carnival of Blogs icon. Yes, this is actually a picture of me circa the 1987 New Year, and I wanted to have a fun visual for the week-long event. Rusja got it done and done fast. She's also in the top 50 for UK's STA World Traveler Internship.

Potential Facelift: I'm in the process of giving my site a facelift, since my tabs above will soon not accommodate the vast array of info to come. I'd love to make this process of reformatting my site a little transparent. By that, I mean I'd like your input. Give me a little help by telling me what you like about this site, why you come back for more, and what I can do better in the future. It takes about 30 seconds...unless you're an overthinker.

Give Me Your Input

Updated This Week: You may have noticed new icons on the right sidebar that link to different topics of interest. I'm trying out some new button ideas for my future reformatting - plus, I think it's easier to navigate to what you want. What do you think about these images? Also updated this week are more of my static pages that needed a little dusting. Don't look just once and forget about them. They're always changing! Check out the following this week.

About, Garrett, Baby Steps, Travel Advice

1 Minute or Less Moments: Fiji is still unfolding before your eyes (in the form of video and written posts), which is why I'm on week five of posting raw video files onto my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan page. This week, new videos are ready for your viewing eyes. Click on the icon below to watch the view from my bedroom window of Cyclone Mick, me "reporting live from the eye of the storm," and a coffee break amidst the worst of the wind and rain. Always a good time...

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Consume & Update: Rowing, Journey, and Carnival

Are you getting pumped for the Carnival of Blogs starting tomorrow? Yeah, I thought so. That's why you're here today to warm those eyes up and read about the rest of the online travel world, so you won't feel guilty spending all your time here next week! I can read you like a book...or a blog!

Eat, Pray, Watch

This book was borderline for me, like a Frances Mayes novel that leaves me unsure of whether I enjoyed it or not. But there's no doubt that this new movie based on Eat, Pray, Love will offer amazing visuals and a good feeling lingering. Maybe I'm excited about this movie because I can relate to the act of taking a journey that moves me and documenting its entirety. I like Elizabeth Gilbert and think she's talented at verbalizing the benefits of creativity, and so I approach this film trailer simultaneously pumped up, envious, and irked. What do you think about this new movie coming out?

The World's Biggest Pool

My internal monologue immediately said "Whoooooa" upon seeing this image. Check out this crazy spectacle, courtesy of the Intelligent Travel blog.

The Poetic Journey

This week, Chris Guillebeau brings to our attention a poem about movement, about redesigning your life against the status quo, about a mental side of travel that usually leaves you squirming if left unvocalized.

The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice— though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night, and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own, that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do— determined to save the only life you could save.

~Mary Oliver

What Have You Done by 22?

This story is fantastic. If I only had the iron will and guts to do this, I think I'd like to. But nay, I don't think I'll ever accomplish something like Katie Spotz and row across the Atlantic solo...at age 22! I read about stories similar to this all the time, but this one struck a cord in me (and gave me one or two goosebumps). Check out her website, Row for Water.

Other Discoveries

Vagablogging does it again...great musing about being oblivious abroad

Cherry blossoms must emit an intoxicating odor, because for some reason, I'm amazed by them!

One thing I need to work on: letting myself pay a little more for better, authentic food elsewhere

Good question...Does every culture understand sarcasm? Man, either some don't or my jokes don't translate across borders.

Happy belated Passport Day!

Update on Nomadderwhere

Tomorrow is the big day! Can you guess what it could be? It's the Carnival of Blogs! That's right. Tomorrow marks the 1st anniversary of my Nomadderwhere.com domain, and though that doesn't mean much to most people, I'm turning it into a blog post party! That means starting tomorrow, I'll be publishing a post per day, including: the ultimate travel video of this year's best, giveaways, a new series, as well as the original work you come here for in the first place!

1 Minute or Less Moments: There's still so much you haven't seen from our trip to Fiji, which is why I'm on week four of posting raw video files onto my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan page. This week, new videos are ready for your viewing eyes. Click on the icon below to watch the Fijian boys pound and mix the kava and be sure to check out the video of me harassing a guy doing bench presses. Always a good time...

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Also, join my Facebook event highlighting the Carnival of Blogs and show your support for all the great stuff coming your way. Joining this will get you links to each day's posts and allow you to mingle with other travel fanatics!

Consume & Update: Red Dust, Stupid, and Countdown

I'm on the road in Northern Indiana but here to offer you some great material to couple with Sunday's newspaper and buttery toast.

Describing the Difficult

Big Tony does it again.

...I've seen a lot of things. But no place has so utterly confounded me, intimidated, horrified, amazed, sickened, depressed, inspired, exhausted and shown me--with every passing hour--how wrong I was about everything I might have thought only an hour previous. This is a country, founded by freed slaves from America--and intended to be very much in our image-- but recently emerged from civil wars so brutal, so surrealistically violent as to defy imagining, where drugged gunmen in wedding gowns and wigs once shot hacked (and frequently cannibalized) their way into power. It is also a place where mothers and grandmothers stripped off their clothes and naked and unarmed, confronted those same gunmen mid-massacres, getting them to stop. It is now the first African nation with a woman president. It's a country where you find 28 year olds proudly graduating from high school--the school system having evaporated during the many years of conflict. There's a church on nearly every corner--but underneath it all, traditional "masked societies" still rule the hearts and minds and behaviors of many...

I love the way he describes a place with incredible, raw honesty and accuracy of thought. Read this blog post by our traveling man, Anthony Bourdain, on the country he recently visited and claims is the location of the hardest episode in the history of his show.

Travel Yourself Stupid

Usually, I like to highlight Gary Arndt's photography in these Sunday posts, but today I'd like to bring attention to his recent post about an awareness of ignorance heightened only by experiences on the road.

Do you think it's true that the more you travel, the stupider you feel? Donald Rumsfeld is among those that do.

Here are a few excerpts from Gary's musings:

It is entirely possible for an ignorant person to think they are smart. They know so little, and have been exposed to so few ideas, that that have no idea what they are ignorant of. In their world, they know everything because their world is so small.

Thankfully, ignorance is not bliss. The increasing gap between what you know you know, and what you know you don’t know means you are being exposed to new things and only fuels your desire to fill the gap.

If you travel and come away feeling dumber than you did before you started, don’t worry. It means you are doing it right.

Walk Your Eyes Through India

Well, not all of India but certainly an amazing facet of the Subcontinent.

Other Discoveries

A quick read on prioritizing financially when you're traveling on a budget

Keep your writing compelling even in the middle with this blogging advice

Pico Iyer speaks of traveling to the soundtrack of anything but what naturally surrounds a place

Ever ridden on a hell-bound, over-packed, speeding vehicle through pedestrian-littered streets? Get a feel for it.

Update on Nomadderwhere

This week was a little rough, equal parts celebratory and sad. But I'm very excited for what's to come in the next month at Nomadderwhere. I hope you are, too...even though you don't know what I'm referring to.

1 Minute or Less Moments: There's still so much you haven't seen from our trip to Fiji, which is why I'm on week three of posting raw video files onto my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan page. This week, new videos are ready for your viewing eyes. Click on the icon below to watch a 7 year-old weeding with a machete, walk with us to see the cyclone damage, and admire a landslide and the surrounding Fijian landscape.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

8 More Days: Are you ready for my upcoming Carnival of Blogs? My domain's "birthday" is coming next week, and I'm wrapping up my daily posts, which start publishing Monday, March 29th! Highlighting the year's best stuff, a wide range of media, and a couple brand new ideas and series to Nomadderwhere.com, you won't be bored. And if you're a fan of my Facebook page, don't worry; you'll receive a little reminder so you don't miss the good stuff.

Consume & Update: Stuff, Tsunamis, and 15 Days

I found some good reads this week! Take your laptop outside, enjoy the warming breeze, and read on, my friends, read on.

Writing Wherever

DSC_0120

I seek location independence. I would love to be able to write and create multi-media work without a permanent anchor to my geography. Therefore, I look to those with the exact career I desire for the best advice tailored specifically for me. And though this interview about a location independent writer in Barbados didn't offer an incredible amount of sage advice, it introduced me to a few new sites that can do the trick.

Freelance Writing Jobs

The Writer's Bridge

Get Paid to Write Online

A Mission to See All Countries

I talk about this guy all the time. This week, Chris Guillebeau updates his following on the status of his mission to see every country in the world before his 35th birthday. With some quick trips here and there, he does tap into the reality of his limited exposure to the cultures he visits with this huge goal in mind. Chris relates this extreme desire to mountain climbing, justifying his goal as a triumph of the human body and spirit that connects him to the world in some sort of cosmic way.

Someone else asked if travel is “still fun” for me. This is another question that is hard to answer in a sound bite. Travel is fun, except when it’s not, and that’s perfectly fine. My theory is, if you think travel is supposed to be 100% fun all the time, I’m not sure how much you’ve actually traveled. Sometimes it’s not fun at all, and that’s OK. Most things that are worth doing aren’t always that easy, so you have to take the bitter with the sweet.

He's only got 65 countries to go in his next three years. I wonder if he'll make it...

Justice and Oil

While I was working on making a recent Nakavika Project video, I came across this animated video set to a Justice track. And judging by the comments under this one on Youtube, people had a lot to say about it. Can't deny the interesting animation style and editing (not to mention the great audio syncing). Just interested in what people think.

The Anti-Stuff Movement

Luggage full of donations

Every time I come home from a trip (or get ready to leave for one), I go about purging my closet of anything that's been sitting in there unused for far too long. That means altogether, I've probably purged my closet at least eight times, each instance taking away a large box of crap at minimum. My closet still looks pleasantly plump with things, and I don't often go shopping. How do I still have so much stuff?

It's incredibly liberating to rid yourself of sentimental knick-knacks and clothes that remind you of a different decade, especially when I'm on the road and consider my backpack's contents as my only possessions. Even when back at home, I never need as much stuff as I own, and it ticks me off. They are barnacles on my butt, sand bags tied to my ankles; my stuff seemingly weighs me down.

Matt Madeiro was robbed, and instead of mourning the loss of his unused paraphernalia, he considered it a positive disconnection from the "culture of stuff" he was being sucked into.

Cathartic? Definitely. Time spent organizing the endless mess is now time spent living, a change so simple and wonderful that the next step fell in line almost immediately: stop buying. That sounds a little extreme, I’ll admit, but putting it in practice warrants just a few tweaks – think renting versus purchasing, borrowing versus owning, and so forth.

For those of us who prefer a solitary existence, is the accumulation of things similar to the accumulation of patches on a backpack, travel scars and photographs from far reaches and amazing adventures? Does this wall of books and picture frames at my parents house signify they've lived a fulfilling (and wordy) life so far? Do we all need to collect mementos from our past in order to remember what we've done on a daily basis? Is the "culture of stuff" a biproduct of our poor long-term memories?

What do you think about the "culture of stuff?"

Crusoe and a Wall of Water

Intelligent Travel posted an interesting story about Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile and the unfortunate blast it incurred from the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami. To be short and sweet, I thought this post accentuated an interesting locale with a fantastical history, and the visual of the water wall impacting this beautiful South Pacific island was a vivid one.

Pedro Niada, Fabianna, and their two children were sound asleep, but a guest on the second-floor awoke and noticed water seeping through the floor. He looked out the window and thought he was seeing things: there was a fishing boat out the window, almost at eye level, and in the distance, a wall of water was racing toward shore. The guest woke the family and the five of them jumped into the boat, clinging to it with all their strength until the wave passed. Finally, they steered it to shore and raced up the hill just before two more giant waves hit.

Yikes.

Sporting Old Glory

Natalie Grant calls out to the American wanderers around the world: reclaim your flag.

In fact, Benjamin Franklin had a tasty little metaphor: “A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.” Our country’s reputation is easier to nibble at abroad, where there are fewer people to stick up for it.

IMG_0423

Whether or not your office is an embassy abroad, you become an ambassador the moment you board an international flight. On the road, I find myself acting very differently than I normally would, because I often feel the pressure to represent young females, 20-somethings, backpackers, Americans, etc. worldwide. I read up on world news, especially that which is occurring inside my borders, before taking off on a trip, because I inevitably become a representative for the 308 million still at home.

I collect country flag patches and sew them on my big backpack. It's a traveler cliche, and I don't care. It actually bugs me when other people do it (rational, huh?), but I've found it's an incredible way to meet people. A woman on the train to Denmark commented on my Brazilian patch, and we soon got into a conversation about her mother land and the amazing hiking experiences I had in Bahia. An old WWII refuge in Ukraine started a conversation with me about my Malaysia patch and began posing questions that opened up a dialogue between myself and history.

And in 2008, I added the American flag to the mix, partially because I've technically traveled in said country and partially because I want to be a proud American backpacker. Other than by a drunken, homeless Parisian, I've never felt hostility for being an American, and I thought it'd be a good baby step toward becoming a better ambassador for a country I often misunderstand but continue to appreciate and love.

Other Discoveries

Getting the youth discount even if you're not so "youthful"

Our village in Fiji is getting a traditional make-over...no more modern hair styles

Sadly, kids aren't reading enough great travel literature these days

Update on Nomadderwhere

I am sick, sadly, but I'm still a productivity machine! I also got some great news this week - like huge, amazing news - that I'll be sharing in the coming month! It involves my future plans, and boy are they swell!

1 Minute or Less Moments: Last week, I announced the weekly posting of raw video files from Fiji onto my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan page. This week, three new videos are ready for your viewing eyes. Click on the icon below to watch us farm with the kids, walk through the jungle, and sit at the Sunday dinner table with our host clan.

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

15 More Days: Though it's a normal day for most, I'm making it into a spectacle. My domain's "birthday" is coming in about two weeks, and I'm already knee-deep in plans to present a carnival of blogs for you, my beloved readers. Prepare yourself for a week of straight content that highlights the year's best stuff, a wide range of media, and a couple brand new ideas and series to Nomadderwhere.com. And if you're a fan of my Facebook page, don't worry; you'll receive a little reminder so you don't miss the good stuff.

Consume & Update: Greenland, Snobs and Facebook

Hey, readers! Looking for some good reading material this Sunday morning? I'll do the heavy lifting for you. Look below.

Quite a Title

DSC_0248

The Truth About Happiness and Travel. Well, let's here it, Christine Garvin.

Reality is what we see, think, and believe. Our thoughts are what bring us happiness, and the anticipation of something good gets those endorphins going. Can we use this knowledge in order to build in more daily escapes to look forward to, even if that’s just walking through a different neighborhood in our town, or taking ten minutes for the ultimate mind-trip meditation?

Ah, so you're saying I should mix it up at home, give my mind the idea that I'm actually getting away from that which normally stresses me out - my normal life. But why shouldn't I just really pull the plug and get away?

...According to a recent study in the Applied Research in Quality of Life, it’s the vacation planning that makes us happiest, and not the actual vacation itself.

You lie! I can't believe that. But my travels have brought undeniable pleasure and beauty in my life!

...I think there is a distinction between the mindset of those who travel for longer periods of time vs. those who are taking a short vacation, due to the fact that long-term travelers usually know they’re in for some rough patches. That’s almost a part of the purpose.

Oh, I see. Well that makes sense. Week-long trips I've taken have always seemed far too short to really bring me happiness.

Still, when we can’t get away, whether that comes from a lack of funds, time, or dealing with life issues, it’s good to be reminded that mindset is the name of the game. We have the power to get away in the here and now.

Now I getcha, Christine. Why don't I do that?

Way to Go, Greenland!

Turner on Travel Writing

IMG_0068

I really like Turner Wright's writing style and article topics, which is why it didn't come as shock to me when the new Vagabondish article I really enjoyed was written by non other than...that dude.

The travel writer's Catch-22: time spent writing on the road is time spent not gathering new content for more writing. Turner believes we should travel before we document, taking notes along the way to jog the memory later, but what about those of us who find incredible joy in the act of sitting and writing and doing something so fulfilling in a place that summons you like a drug?

Writing a good article makes me feel as though I've eaten. Of course I could always just...actually eat wherever I am at the time. But for some reason, I find working remotely, when I could be doing something else, somehow living out a romanticized version of a travel writer's lifestyle. I like the point he makes, especially the final irony that travel writing got us going in the first place; therefore, it must be written down/edited/published at some point. But maybe not while you still have the ability to add to your anthologies.

What Does Travel Teach Us?

Taking Down Travel Snobbery

World Hum featured two writers recently that had me interested: Eric Weiner with his perspective on tourism as a subsidizer of otherwise forgotten traditions and Spud Hilton with his tips on the fine art of place-dropping.

Eric brings up an idea very few self-proclaimed "real travelers" would come to terms with: without our tourism money, these "authentic cultural displays" would go forgotten or unpolished for centuries. Is that true? And by the way, who are we kidding with the traveler vs. tourist argument?

The one-upmanship in the travel community is at times hilarious, at others annoyed-sigh-inducing, and Spud laid down a humorous piece about the traveler tendency to let it be known where one's feet have been. Do you place-drop in order to get some inquiries and envious gazes from friends and strangers on your globe-trottin' life? Tell me about it.

Other Discoveries

Cori Padget guestblogs on Problogger about engaging your readers, and she does it with such flare.

In order to increase my chances of writing ever making me money, I'm going to take all the advice I can get, including this Writer's Digest article by one of my favorites, Chris Guillebeau.

Update on Nomadderwhere

1 Minute or Less Moments: I've got gigs upon gigs of great material from our journey to Fiji that I couldn't find the right venue for publishing...until now. Would you like to see some raw footage of major, and minor, benchmarks in our experience? Witness our excitement as we landed in Nadi? Join us as we learn Fijian words? Just click the icon below to see these 1 minute or less moments and more, published exclusively on Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan page. Since I won't be publishing these clips on Nomadderwhere.com, I suggest you become a fan of the fan page to receive subtle updates about new clips coming your way. New video clips will be published every Sunday!

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Nomadderwhere's Facebook Fan Page

Updated Pages This Week: I've been doing some updating on the following Nomadderwhere pages. Be sure to keep clicking around the site because I don't leave these static sits untouched for long... As well as...World of MouthLife List and more updates are to come!

22 more days: Though my blogging experience is in its toddler years, Nomadderwhere.com as a domain is an infant. Coming up in 22 days, NMW turns 1 year old, and with that big birthday will come some great new additions to the site. Stay tuned because one of those changes will possibly benefit you, the reader and commenter (cough cough).

Consume & Update: Keynote, Vancouver and Your Thoughts

Man, the internet is fantastic. I love unlimited, free wireless internet and all the fruit it delivers. Check out my basket this week!

Fast-Forward Vancouver

Excellent Travel Writer Advice

I don't know how to introduce this piece by Jeffrey Tayler, nor can I sum it up better than by displaying the following excerpts. Basically my advice is for you to read the entire post from start to finish, if it's of any interest to you to travel, write, read, or write about your travels.

Kashmir Trek

Writers must, initially and throughout their lives, be readers first and foremost, and readers not primarily of journalism, but of the classics, both modern and not-so-modern.

“The Death of Ivan Il’ich,” by Tolstoy, was the short story that taught me about the brevity of life and the need to act at once; the protagonist finds himself on his deathbed, and only then realizes that he has wasted his life by following social convention, never doing what he wants.

I conceived early on the conviction that one should lead one’s life as if one were the protagonist of an epic novel, with the outcome predetermined and chapter after chapter of edifying, traumatic and exhilarating events to be suffered through. Since the end is known in advance, one must try to experience as much as possible in the brief time allotted.

Conventions now are hardly less pervasive than they were in Tolstoy’s day; we’re pressured to start a career, build our résumé, earn a certain amount of money, and so forth. But remember: None of us gets out of here alive. So don’t fear risks. Rebel. Be bold, try hard, and embrace adversity; let both success and failure provide you with unique material for your writing, let them give you a life different enough to be worth writing about.

When Do I Succeed?

Success is...

Success is...

I'll get into that later. For now I'll let these bloggers dig into the definition of "success." Be sure to download the free ebook for the visual and inspiring compilation of these perspectives.

The TBEX '10 Wants You...

...to write a beautiful travel narrative for the Community Keynote. Unfortunately, the world of travel blogging can easily fall victim to the search engine attraction game and disguise the reason why we love to write and read about traveling in the first place. Whether you were fortunate enough to reserve a space at this years TBEX in New York City or whether you sulk on the waiting list like myself, any independent travel blogger may submit a narrative that falls under one of the following categories:

  • Twinkle in a Traveler’s Eye – The Ideas That Inspire the Trips

  • In Transit – The Perils (and Joys) of Transportation

  • Talking to Strangers – The People You Meet

  • Spit or Swallow – Culinary Conundrums

  • The Power of Places – Inspiring Destinations

  • You Did What? – Adrenaline Rushes and Adventures

  • Love at First Flight – Tales of Romance on the Road

  • Trips & Falls – Embarrassing Tales & Travel Fails

  • Home, Bittersweet Home – Reverse Culture Shock & Many Happy Returns

If you can perfect your piece by April 16th and fill out this form, you're golden. I'm assuming nine writings will be chosen to receive TBEX fame and fortune (in the form of a link), but don't apply if you're hungry for prize money. This looks like quite a forum to complete for. I know I am.

Dakota Skies

Gary's got a nice camera and a nice eye.

Other Discoveries

One man's luxury antioxidant boost is another's staple dinner item

One seat or two? The NY Times addresses the overweight flyer debate

Vote and send someone to Costa Rica thanks to Nomadic Matt and GAP Adventures

This girl has some great ideas for 10 hour layovers in empty airports at night

Update on Nomadderwhere

Even though I've been blogging for three years and have archives stretching back to January of 2007, Nomadderwhere as you know it is nearing its first birthday - March 29th! As the site receives more input from readers and inspiration from the web and the world, you will see a variety of new developments in the coming weeks and months. January 1st brought the newest addition of the Photo of the Day, and coming Nomadderwhere's first birthday, a new series will appear, inspired by the many e-mails I receive about various topics on travel, the STA internship, and more.

In the meantime, fill me in on what you think.

Consume & Update: Blogtoons, Stress-Free and Flying Home

I'm back! And some of you will be pleased to know that Consume & Update is also back and temporarily on steroids! This edition will be bursting at the seams due to the hundreds of articles I missed while in Fiji that I just browsed all in one intense sitting. Grab a Red Bull for this one...

Good vs. Evil vs. Crazy

Brave New Traveler's editor Ian MacKenzie lets this cartoon open up the age-old conversation of humanity, while then linking it to a traveler's belief in people to do and be good.

We're Getting Soft

Greek Graffiti

"Savvy traveling is all about the tentative and skilled balance between confidence and caution." Natalie Grant gives us something to think about in her article entitled "How to Defy the Definition of Dangerous." If we allow ourselves to be completely turned off a country for fear of a publicized threat, among many other great countries, America wouldn't see one tourist...and would probably lose some paranoid residents.

As someone who developed a somewhat fearful mentality of the world growing up, I feel a great deal of triumph every time I travel and overcome something that was seemingly tough and scary. Makes me feel like I'm putting my dull blade up to honing steel and becoming a "badass."

Sometimes it feels like self-induced stress, self-flagellation, or just plain unnecessary, but giving yourself the opportunity to realize most worries are unfounded is a liberating experience that allows the world to open up beyond your predetermined agenda.

This is why someone who has camped out in Burma might still fear walking alone at night in Brooklyn, or why someone can improvise à la 007 when his car breaks down in Egypt but can’t change a tire in Montana. This is why so many of us crave those hard-knock travel lessons like junkies: because that kind of traveling very easily shreds the definition of ‘dangerous’ into tiny pieces of arbitrary, amusing confetti.

Blogtooning

Problogger's Tips

Problogger's Tips

I've missed my daily readings from Problogger and how to improve upon my wobbly, self-taught skills. In this post, he uses Andertoons to explain why animating your post could be a nice way to freshen your blogs drink. Not sure if I'm interested in doing this, but I really like the idea and wanted to pass it on. Check out the post, fit with six cartoons illustrating his wise points.

Tips for Stress-Free Travel

Hey! What a title! Even if you're flying in Air Force One, getting rubbed down with coconut oil, and completely drunk, you're going to have some stress while on the road. However, Chris Guillebeau offers some good tips, some of which are fairly obvious and others that come with experience, perfect for applying to a budget backpacker's travel style. For instance:

Spend more money. I often get stressed out spending small amounts of money. Overall, this isn’t always bad—it’s led to a healthy paranoia about debt and a lifelong adherence to frugality. However, it has its downsides too, in that I can spend hours walking around trying to decide what to eat, or hours trying to figure out the public transit system somewhere instead of just flagging down a taxi.

It only took me about 100 countries—I’m a slow learner—but I finally created a $10 rule for myself that has been rocking my world. The $10 rule is that when I’m traveling, I deliberately avoid worrying about most things that cost $10 or less.

Tony's at the Keyboard

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain

Before I left for Fiji, Anthony Bourdain hadn't updated his blog in months, sadly. I felt like one lucky little girl with a stuffed stocking when I saw many a posting from Tony in my reader. His writing style is so expressive of his personality and certainly has a modern storyteller, sarcastic tone to it. Check out three of his most recent tales, including one on Bill Murray's haphazard driving skills: Backstory, Working in a Coal Mine, Crystal Blue Persuasion.

Metropolis?

Who took film history in high school? Doesn't Shanghai here look like Fritz Lang got his hands on it? Lovely shot, Vagabondish.

Other Discoveries

30 Funny Travel Quotes to Make You Smile...including #22. “I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places”. – Henny Youngman

Just heard about this...lucid dreaming and dream control

In Defense of the Introverted Traveler. Something that makes me feel better for spending so much time writing instead of clubbing.

Problogger claims to have the Best Writing Advice. Ever.

Get a discount on the new AFAR magazine, thanks to Martha.

Update on Nomadderwhere

At this moment, I'm flying over the East coast in search of my home land: Indiana. Soon, I'll revert back to "home mode," where I work online for about 16 hours a day, babysit on occasion, and plan for the next big event. I may pick up a part-time gig involving singing, dancing, and oodles of smiling, but the primary focus of this period will be reworking The Nakavika Project and preparing for what could be my ideal work situation.

I'll be making a few changes on the site in the coming weeks, including a new series inspired by readers. More updates to come!

Consume & Update: Air Traffic, Hatred and Two Days To Go

Soak it in, boys and girls. This is the last dose for a while! This week's good news...

World Air Traffic in 24 Hours

Really Going Rogue

Numbers 15 and 31 on my Life List mention an inexplicable draw towards countries not easily accessible to foreigners (or just Americans). Well, maybe not so inexplicable...

  • Pakistan = mountains

  • Afghanistan = rural landscapes

  • Cuba = culture and salsa

Digging into the archives a bit, I found Chris Guillebeau's How to Travel to Rogue States, which of course got me salivating for Cuba again. Who knows when my next new country will be blazed and if it could be one of these massive non-trail destinations. Any plans for a trip like this in your future?

When To Put The Camera Away

Visiting orphanages for 30 minutes?

Visiting orphanages for 30 minutes?

I've been checking out the Acumen Fund this week and found a compelling blurb on travel and documentation called When To Put The Camera Away. Marc Manara makes a comment on our intentions for taking photographs and how they come off to the subject of the moment.

Though the desire to snap a telling shot of reality may seem harmless for the sake of your own memories or appear a good move for the sake of informing others of what you've seen...you may be bruising someone's dignity or making them feel like a mystery species on a game drive.

There are times when I truly wish I could have secretly snapped the photo, but I also think that frequent inner turmoil - when these opportunities present themselves - has a lot of truth and validity. I think spending more time with the people/potential subject matter of the photograph(s) helps smooth over many of the worries one has with taking vulnerable photographs of others.

I get upset when people stare at me, and I get especially testy when people photograph me without my consent (e.g. in Doha, Qatar). I definitely don't want to make others feel the same way, especially when there could appear to be a socio-economic difference and a stress on personal dignity.

Travel and Hate

What has often been a companion of my culture shock is something akin to hatred, an ugly emotion that has the ability to take hold of my soul even against protest. I've come home angry at many things, and though it's not the way I actively choose to be, Joel Carrilet gives me a little comfort in knowing it's not just a massive character flaw. It happens with due cause.

Travel frequently introduces us to beauty, but it shows us other things too. As we lay eyes on situations and listen to voices in places we previously knew little about, our love for the world and its people will deepen. The flipside of this, however, is that our hatred—of attitudes, ideologies, and policies that take advantage of others and harm—will also deepen. For if we love with all our might, we will also be bound to hate some things with all our might.

Read Joel's article on How Travel Teaches Us To Hate, and let me know if you find travel's combined effects of love and hate in yourself.

Other Discoveries

Chris Guillebeau's new site for Unconventional Guides

Rolf Potts' interview with new writer and former English teacher in the Marshall Islands

Join in the conversation about Women Hitchhikers over at Vagablogging

Don't forget to have quiet time on the road

28 Things I Wish I Knew Before Traveling

Update on Nomadderwhere

In the coming months, I'm going to be a bad consumer. This will be the last weekly Consume & Update as you've know it until I return to reliable internet coverage, constant electricity and a life not centered in a remote village. However, I will still attempt to keep updates coming on a weekly basis or as often as I can.

The last steps in preparation:

Emptying out the piggy bank

Emptying out the piggy bank

1. Buy mosquito net: check. All supplies in bag: also check. Empty the piggy bank and cash in for dough: oh geez check. The village knows we're coming, and we have two days until departure! Nothing left to do but document every step and meet Garrett at LAX! Our sponsors are stacking up and sending their contributions. We're so grateful for all the people finding this project relevant.

2. I threw a Michael Jackson Dance Party in my basement to fundraise for the project. It involved Dirty Diana martinis, trivia and prizes, black and white food and a chronological ordered playlist with every great hit by MJ ever created. I also dressed up as MJ throughout the decades: the Jackson 5 era, the Bad/Thriller era...yeah, I get carried away. I'll let you know how the event went and how much was raised at a later date.

3. BJB Challenge: Remember this? I wanted to write 20,000 words in my narrative on the Big Journey. This challenge began a month ago, before I had booked the tickets for Fiji. Needless to say I was preoccupied this month to keep up with my own, self-imposed deadline for writing. It was sad, as I continue to grow away from these experiences from 2008. But among other things in Fiji, I hope to find time to write about this experience in the detail it deserves. I'll be a word machine before you know it.