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