Fighting for Futures

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

A Creepy Recurrence

Some sweet Cambodian kids

Some sweet Cambodian kids

I pretty much praise anyone who finds a reason or the time to explore my site, and when people search the web and end up on Nomadderwhere, I'm just as thrilled. Some of my most popular posts are some I wouldn't have pegged to be for the masses, for example: My JanSport Backpack Review

Things I Didn't Know Before Coming to Greece

My Brush with Controversial Cambodia

And since the death of Evan Witty in April of 2009, I've received google searches daily from people who still wonder about his abrupt and unexpected death in Cambodia. It's somewhat comforting to know he's still very much in people's minds. I hope my post on Evan Witty offers some comforting words, as it's by far my most popular post to date.

However, I also get many searches that creep me out:

"child sex" "naked boy"

and the most troubling...

"cambodia sex tourist friendly hotels"

From these searches, people navigate to such stories as my night out at a hostess bar in Phnom Penh. That evening out, I experienced street flooding, chatted with some ladies at a hostess bar about their children, and fell asleep in the bathroom (don't judge). Hopefully those interested in the child sex industry are coming here to look for actions against the epidemic, not directions explaining how to find such activity.

I write about this today because...

1. it's Friday the 13th and creeps are ...well, creepy; and

2. I left the orphanage a year ago today.

It was one of my goals by year's end to find a way to return, through a collaboration with Fighting for Futures and an alliance with Airtreks. Though this didn't pan out due to my own budget restrictions, I don't plan to cut off my concern just because I can't physically return. What can I do if I can't actually be there? Enter the knife-like tongue.

Down with the Creeps

Someone I'm pulling for

Someone I'm pulling for

The visceral effect this disgusting occurrence has on those who witness it is a repulsion that screams to be known and acted upon. I know it's hard to decide which worthy causes in this world deserve our attention the most, as it's something like choosing a favorite child, but for me it's hard to imagine a worse start or end in life than to rely on a pedophile's twisted business for basic sustenance.

The media have been posting stories and videos on Youtube for decades displaying the realities of the sex tourism industry around the world, and not surprisingly the creeps keep on a-violating. Does it make a difference to simply make the public aware of this issue we seemingly cannot change? I guess we all say, "It's worth trying," but the utterance of this phrase [to me] almost seems to declare instant defeat and the acceptance of heartsickness for one and all.

Here's one of the many videos I found, this one from the New York Times from 2007.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSDiMIgrd9A

We make that worthy try, and there seems to be a airtight seal on the workings of impoverished communities where women and children fall into the industry of the body.

Then come organizations that seem to finally have a solution for catching the scum. Here's APLE and their sting operation on Harvey Johnson, suspected offender of all codes moral, judicial and human. I have yet to find the outcome of this case, but let's hope being a spectacle on ABC and across the internet will incapacitate him wherever he is.

There are a lot of people doing this work locally and operations concocted stateside, but I don't think it's promoting the right mindset to think these are the only people who should be making strides.

Fighting for Futures

Fighting for Futures

Enter initiatives like Fighting for Futures, which blossomed from a traveler's experience in Cambodia and aims to eradicate the child sex industry (and other awful realities of the third world) by enhancing their educations with liberating, creative approaches. Cathleen, the founder of FFF, felt that visceral repulsion and now spends every waking hour putting her own money into fundraising efforts across New York City in order to promote her upcoming trip to Southeast Asia to implement these creative programs.

She traveled. She was moved. She's going after the creeps.

I Challenge You

Today, on this Friday the 13th, I urge you to combat the creeps. Take a look at Fighting for Futures, Operation Twisted Traveler, and many other programs and organizations for the empowerment of kids stuck in this creep industry. It's modern-day slavery, human trafficking, and it's despicable.