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A reason to re-examine the definition of Nomadderwhere

A reason to re-examine the definition of Nomadderwhere

It's about the constant pursuit of a deeper connection with a place and its people. This facilitates learning, when exposure leads to questions and answers (or further questioning) and possibly even understanding. A nomad learns by sticking around, talking with people, dropping their guard, and observing moments that ultimately inspire greater inquiry. This path lends to introspection and assurance that one's path leads to fulfillment and, as a result, a better world.

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Welcome to the New Nomadderwhere!

Redesign

Redesign

Last year, my site took on a major change - from a free little ditty, dark and unappealing, to a self-hosted site, clean and click-worthy. Today is the start of another new beginning, a switch from a travel blog to something more than tips and stories. Though I'm still available and happy to answer questions about traveling as a young lad or lass, I'm much more interested in discussing angles on travel of a conceptual nature. Confusing, yes. Explanation follows.

My passion for travel comes from an interest in the concept itself. Why do we travel? When are we actually traveling? What is it we seek to learn when we move about this earth or move about our own understanding of this earth? Ya know...stuff like that. And so, I've decided to develop a new site format that accentuates these approaches to travel while also bringing more attention to my archives, on which I've invested much time.

What's New

The Navigation: Instead of highlighting my individual big travel experiences (a.k.a. Semester at Sea, World Traveler Internship, etc.), this navigation brings the focus to the different styles of posts I crank out.

  1. Art + Travel are my artistic attempts to express travel sentiment with video, photo essays, or prose and poetry. And with a tagline like "Capturing the Art of Travel," I wanted to make sure you, the reader, can easily find my own gatherings in this quest.

  2. Conceptual Travel posts bring up "whys" and "what ifs" in the travel realm. These stand to really challenge your own understanding of your nomadic nature.

  3. Info + Advice is to make sure I'm still offering the tidbits of information many of you seek, including Q&As, Street Smarts, and updates on the world of travel and its community.

  4. World Narratives presents the backbone of Nomadderwhere, the narratives from the road. It is here that you can still follow along vicariously to my big journeys around the world.

First Timer's Guide: Many of you are new to the site daily. In an attempt to spell my site out for the new reader, I've made a sum-up document, downloadable and descriptive of my favorite postings and why I have a blog.

Layout: Fewer static pages featured, fewer distractions, more focus on the content - that's the purpose behind the redesign. Now that my job allows me to fulfill interests like video-making and writing centered on travel, doubling up on that sort of work load is difficult for me. Maintaining Nomadderwhere with the same amount of content and quality as I did before has been nearly impossible. Therefore, the new layout is aimed at letting me accentuate the work I've done up to this point rather than highlighting only the most recent and making you wait for the next morsel of content.

Schedule: There will be no more extensive weekly schedule of postings but rather various quality work posted when it's ready.

Changes to Expect

  1. No more Photos of the Day. All my images can be found on my Flickr account.

  2. Fewer featured Videos of the Week. Those that will be published will be dictated by inspiration, not the sun cycle.

  3. Written posts ranging from narrative to conceptual to artistic to practical on a regular basis.

Please feel free to tell me your thoughts on the redesign and the new direction of Nomadderwhere. Contact me or send a video, and I'll be happy to listen and respond.

Thanks for visiting, following, and contributing to Nomadderwhere and celebrating its second massive redesign!

A Flattering Interview with PolyRepublic

Beti from PolyRepublic launched her new website this week, and I'm thrilled to be one of her first profiles.

Poly Republic’s mission statement is to celebrate women who are daring enough to try to change the world or carve out a place for themselves in it.

Check out the full profile by clicking the image below.

PolyRepublic Interview

PolyRepublic Interview

A Paucity of Postings

You may have noticed an obvious drop-off in the amount of writings and videos I've created for the website in the last couple months. And this is why:

I'm on Vacation

Hilton Head with the Family

Hilton Head with the Family

Since the 3rd of September, I've been on the road with my family and will continue to be until the middle of the month. We drove from Indianapolis to the Atlantic Ocean and have been doing what we Clarks do best: turning into leather bags on the beach/poolside/bar-side. Especially now that I'm in preliminary brainstorming sessions about an eventual relocation, I really appreciate the family time and seeing my niece learn words like "yesh" (a la Michael Scott) and try her foot at walking.

The Mexico Series is Almost Complete

If I'm not eating, sleeping, or throwing my niece in the air, I'm working on the blogs, videos, and photographs for our Mexico series, to be launched on the 27th of this month. The challenge of creating videos complex enough for 12th graders but comprehensible for 3rd graders has been a big one to overcome, especially in cases of history and warfare, when we don't have History Channel-like reenactments or stock footage to use. When it's between paid work that I love and unpaid work that I love (a.k.a. this site), I'm sure you can understand why my allegiances are attracted to one side.

I'm Redesigning Nomadderwhere

Nomadderwhere.com

Nomadderwhere.com

On September 23rd, thanks to the help of Jenn Vargas, I'm launching the redesign for Nomadderwhere, one year after launching my newly self-hosted site. Because my use of Nomadderwhere is evolving in a very specific direction, I need my site to reflect this change. The content will be geared toward a specific reader, because to try and please everyone is a recipe for failure and exhaustion.

My Best Friend's Having a Baby

Our parents were friends in high school. We were neighbors throughout childhood. We've been friends since our infant years. My friend Hayley is having a baby, and I'm going to be wholly distracted by this addition to the Wabash community.

September is proving to be a busy month, and I'm not getting the opportunities I normally do to create for personal reasons. As I evolve toward the new design on the 23rd, I'll be condensing my posting schedule to be solely about quality than quantity. If you have any suggestions or comments on this move, please send them my way.

I thought it was due time to give you an update. I'm still dedicated to this little property of mine, and it's about to get a lot better.

Update from Mexico City

Even though last week's Consume & Update received a lovely compliment, the production and content schedule here in Mexico is too daunting to also include a thorough perusal of the internet's best in travel and blogging. Instead, I'll make this Sunday Update all about the job with ProjectExplorer, on location in Mexico City.

Update on Nomadderwhere

The job is stellar. After landing on Tuesday, we've been hitting up the awe-inspiring sites of Mexico City. Day one of filming involved some awesome team work next to the Diego Rivera murals at El Palacio Nacional. I settled into my role of photographer happily, because for some reason, seeing things for the first time involves my eyes, my walking legs, my inquisitive hands, and the necessary appendage of my camera. Is that weird that I just called my hands inquisitive?

Teotihuacan

Day two was our most hectic production day, with a schedule packed with everything archaeological (thanks to the lovely INAH for that one). I banked on getting a mad Stairmaster-style workout on the Pyramid of the Sun, but then I heard some rumblies in the tumblies. Uh oh.

Yeah, coincidentally enough this child with incredibly distant Spanish ancestry felt the strike of Montezuma's Revenge upon reaching his once-powerful kingdom. I felt, well, not so good. And as the day progressed, my stomach pains became more extreme. Eventually I zonked out in the van while the crew captured the amazing Museum of Anthropology - our driver, Hector, watching over me like a suave and silent man of might.

Enrique's Book

Let's just say things passed. I recovered quickly, thanks be to Tums, Gravol, and the power of sleep (and showers). And how lucky was it that my bout of food poisoning only lasted a day, when the next evening involved a five-star dining experience under the very eye and hand of celebrity chef Enrique Olvera. Enjoying a life-changing meal at Pujol, paired with the colorful descriptions of Vijaya and the brilliant additions by Ruth Alegria, my stomach was able to forgive me for the poorly stored cheese from the previous dinner.

I think the following three days spent at Xochimilco and Coyoacan deserve their own time in the limelight.

Note to Regular Nomadderwhere Readers: My posting schedule will be changing while on location as to reflect the content of the trip, the reflections I have of the experience, and the time I can commit to my own site. If you'd like to stay on top of the ProjectExplorer on-site experience, check out the videos I'm cranking out, along with the crazy crew, at ProjectExplorer's Youtube channel. Also, keep an eye on my Flickr account for the most recent photos of production.

Photos © ProjectExplorer.org, 2010

How My Blog Got Me a Bonafide Travel Job

How My Blog Got Me a Bonafide Travel Job

Mom, Dad, and long time readers: You've seen me struggle to satiate my passion for movement for over three years. I've blogged about this love of travel and my desire to get paid to live this lifestyle enough to make you and me both sick. It seemed like an impossible task, but I'm here today to tell you...I did it. My blog got me a dreamy travel job. Sincerely, Lindsay

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Launching The New Nakavika Project Site

Welcome to Day Four of my Carnival of Blogs, celebrating one year at Nomadderwhere.com!

For those of you who have followed my most recent adventures through the Fijian interior, you know I've been working hard, alongside my project partner Garrett, to self-start a humanitarian effort focused on health and education in the village of Nakavika. I'm happy to report the official launch of The Nakavika Project subdomain!

The Nakavika Project

The Nakavika Project

I invite you to click the image above and peruse this new venue for posting all things Nakavika and project-like. This includes:

  • Details about our three main objectives: Health, Education, and (our newest addition) Scholarship and how we hope to accomplish our goals remotely

  • View student profiles from Nakavika looking for school funding

  • Details on three ways to participate and support The Nakavika Project

  • Videos and written posts much like that found on Nomadderwhere.com

  • And more! ...of course, there's always more!

Why a Separate Website?

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Nomadderwhere.com is becoming all sorts of things: a source of information on RTW traveling, traveling solo as a woman, World Traveler Internship how-tos and content, in addition to whatever step I take next in my traveling and work pursuits. Soon, people won't know where to look and what to do when they open up my website!

By slowly moving the project from my site to its own, the potential for its expansion is much greater and allows for those simply interested in TNP to weed out that material amidst the rest of my work. Maybe some day soon, we'll have an easier way to donate, a bigger support system online for future volunteers, guides on on-site volunteering and a store to purchase our informational DVDs we send to Nakavika.

In order for that to happen, we need support: readers, commentators, donors, inspiration, and people interested in donating their time and energy making this project better.

To subscribe or follow The Nakavika Project on its own, click on the following feeds to get access to posts and tweets. Simply following my feed and twitter may not fill you in on every notification for the project, so be sure you don't miss a thing!

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The Nakavika Project Feed

The Nakavika Project on Twitter

Garrett and I thank you profusely for your support and encouragement with the project, as it certainly was a true test of our character, tenacity, and knowledge of world cultures and basic human rights. Right now, we're waiting for a response from the village spokesman about our future interests in the village (sent via snail mail) and putting together a scholarship request packet for hopeful students.

Who gets the goods?

One year after making my site official with its own domain name, my readership has grown to heights I hadn't anticipated. I'm thrilled to see people from many nations and states commenting on my work and inquiring about all things travel.

Without these additions to the dialogue, this site would consist of me shouting out to empty space and never really landing on any concrete points. Therefore, for the first time in Nomadderwhere history, I am going to reward you, the reader and commentator, with a little something special.

This is a big deal. I don't have companies throwing free gadgets and marketing tools my way, nor do I have the money to spend on specialty items for my valued readers. Instead, I thought I'd pass along an inspiring item from one traveler to another, just as I would if I met someone on the road who impacted me greatly.

Choosing the Lucky One

Random number for the chosen commentator

Random number for the chosen commentator

Since the launch of Nomadderwhere.com, my posts have accumulated 246 comments, and today I used a number generator at Random.org to glorify one lucky commentator and offer them said inspiring reward.

#25 denoted a certain "Traveler," whose comments on my post, Rights vs. Blame, inspired some interesting thoughts on foreigners penetrating other cultures in the name of aid. I'm thrilled to offer today's free inspirational gift to her, especially after she committed much time and thought into joining a conversation I truly care about.

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And what is this inspirational gift?

And no, I'm not including the little boy statue.

Traveler will receive my copy of The Best Women's Travel Writing 2009 by Travelers' Tales, and for the rest of you who commented this year, I want to thank you personally for being a part of the dialogue. I hope it enriched your travels, whether out in the world or simply in your armchair.

And the Next One?

When will the next giveaway be? Who knows! Maybe in one month, maybe in one year, maybe when I receive another 100 comments and have something to give away - I don't even know. How should you secure your odds for getting the next inspirational gift? Comment like crazy.

Not only are you increasing your odds of getting something for free by commenting, but telling me what you think about my content will help me know my readers even better. And when I know your interests, it's easier for me to create work that really intrigues you and answers pivotal questions.

How does that sound?

P.S. Happy birthday to my Danish brother, Mikkel!

This year's popular posts

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

The Makings of a Travel Video

The Makings of a Travel Video

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

Ten Great Ideas for Chicago

Ten Great Ideas for Chicago

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

My Friend, Evan Witty

My Friend, Evan Witty

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

Things I Didn't Know Before Coming to Greece

Things I Didn't Know Before Coming to Greece

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

Sometimes On the Road...You Miss Out

Sometimes On the Road...You Miss Out

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

What is Nomadderwhere?

What is Nomadderwhere?

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

Street Smarts: Transport Scams

Street Smarts: Transport Scams

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

The Irony of my Lifestyle

The Irony of my Lifestyle

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

Reviewing Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

Reviewing Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild

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

Cruises, Destination, and the Authentic

Cruises, Destination, and the Authentic

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

Interview a Traveler: The Ski-Crazy Humanitarian

Interview a Traveler: The Ski-Crazy Humanitarian

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

The Birth of The Nakavika Project, Part 1

The Birth of The Nakavika Project, Part 1

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

Plummeting Towards Earth

Plummeting Towards Earth

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

Video of the Week: One Year at Nomadderwhere

Today is my 1,168th daily anniversary of travel blogging, but Nomadderwhere.com is but an infant still. Since I bought my own domain exactly one year ago, I've evolved my site extensively, far beyond what I was capable of from the get-go.

Nomadderwhere Turns One!

Nomadderwhere Turns One!

I'm proud today to display my year's progress and hopefully inspire you to achieve progress in your own passionate plans.

From a simple blogspot to a self-hosted wordpress...

Blogspot

Blogspot

Wordpress.com

Wordpress.com

In all her glory

In all her glory

...let's celebrate Nomadderwhere's first birthday!

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: 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

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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.

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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: 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.

The Irony of my Lifestyle, Part 1

Sometimes it's a mind clarifier to point out the inaccuracies in your own life - that blend of irony and confusion that makes up your unique mindset. Bottom line: I'm all confused. You probably are too. Let's talk amongst ourselves...

Carpe Dimes and Nickels

Carpe Lake Tippy

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

Why do I not carpe the diem when I'm not traveling?

This isn't to say Indianapolis is a humdrum city. Since I've been home, I've been inspired to visit Indy's Fringe Festival and multiple cultural celebrations (including Irish and Greek), camp outside in the brisk fall evenings, take bike rides along the Monon Trail, enjoy the friends I have in town and a myriad of other activities; however, I only managed to accomplish two of these list items in all this time.

National parks pepper the state of Indiana like acne on a teen's face, so why do I not pack up my Coleman tent and get out there?

This is my favorite season and type of weather, reminding me of football season and my affinity for the smell of dead leaves. Why do I never leave the house?

The Imbalance

After spending 2.5 months concentrating solely on experiencing the world, maybe I was burned out and needed some time to document those moments still unprocessed, but I completed my purge of World Traveler Internship memories a month ago and had relaxed my fair share by that point as well. The fact of the matter is when I'm back in Indiana, regardless of season or how many friends I have in town, I live like a hermit but continue to pine for the adventure of another country. And it's not always a desire to romp around the Andes or dog-sled in Siberia; I often wish for the simplicity of a small town in Mexico or reading a book in an Italian piazza - fundamental activities I could easily do at home with the same level of perceived exoticism.

In Alain de Botton's book, The Art of Travel, a man travels around his own bedroom as if it were any other place in the world, where he experience the known as if it were unknown, not just pretending but actually opening the eyes to a new perspective. It's a conscious choice to see your own native surroundings as banal and yawn-inducing, and for those of us who live for the next departure date, making this decision to spent your home days pining will give your emotions a roller coaster ride throughout life. My happiness chart would look like a sine curve - with the peaks occurring on the road and the low points while sitting at home.

Living it up in Indiana

Living it up in Indiana

Indianapolis isn't exactly a hub for tourism. Though we have two (or three) of the five highest grossing national sporting events each year, people don't flock to this area for nature and culture above other locales. But if I were to approach this city (or even state) as a traveler would, I'd be filling my days with gourmet cafes, nature hikes, museum visits, excursions to small towns for chili cook-0ffs and elaborate Independence day celebrations. I'd be jet-skiing across Geist on weekends and having barbeques with friends regularly. Free gallery nights and dairy farm tours, baseball games and tailgating...I think I've made my point. I've been lazy.

I turn my adventurelust on and off as well as my wallet's accessibility at home. In my mind, I can't silence the thought that one night's dinner and movie in Indianapolis could fund a week or more living in India. A cocktail here cost four times as much as one beer in Cambodia. If I were traveling and had no desire to experience anything because of proximity or cost, I'd be pretty darn bored, and most would consider this approach to be a waste of time on the road. So why do I not consider my state a destination?

Thus far, I've failed to mention the activity that does retain my attention day and night while in Indy: computer work. Since August 17th, I've switched to and designed a self-hosted website with (almost) daily posts of various media, read books on travel writing, written articles for and connected with many publications and companies and developed a plan for future humanitarian/documentary work overseas. It's when I'm gone that I wish for the connectivity of free wifi and a good computer at home, so I suppose I try to make the most of it when stationary. But this isn't living.

Am I doing at home what is essential for me to live the life abroad? If I'm desiring to document travel, do I not need to be completely wired and figure out other passive means of generating income online? This is how I justify all the time spent indoors, away from those activities which truly sustain my spirit. In reality, if I consider myself a good traveler, I need to ensure the love of discovery is naturally infused into each day, regardless of location.

In an attempt for equilibrium, I will challenge myself to live a little at home, because I do love the excitement that can occur under these skies. Cornfields don't have to grace your eye with familiarity; they can be just as thrilling as the south Indian farmland. And it doesn't have to cost a trip to Mexico to enjoy the delights of nearby.

Consume & Update: This Week's Reads and the New Design

Blog series, ebooks, and opportunities galore. Click on images to find the articles of discussion! Charlotte Halligan tapped into a topic this week I identify with and hope to explore further myself in the coming weeks.

"If you let it, traveling can give you the push you need to do the things you never thought you could. When you’re in the comfort zone of home, the prospect of doing something scary isn’t very tempting; you can find excuses with ease; you can tell yourself you have better things to do; you can procrastinate until opportunities wither and fade. But for me, being on the other side of the world and surrounded by the unfamiliar, taking the plunge is almost mandatory, because if I don’t, how can I justify all I have given up to be in that place, in that moment?"

Experiential Travel: it's the premise of a new travel magazine now out in physical form in America. I appreciate AFAR's approach to travel media and hope I implement some of their values in my own work. It seems if anyone wants to document travels for a viewing community, they must create relatable experiences that teleport wanna-be travelers into the body of the observer and participant. Here are the values they aspire to with experiential travel:

  • Explore from the inside looking out

  • Provide a sense of cultural immersion

  • Offer the unexpected

  • Touch on a range of emotions

  • Be genuine, real, authentic

  • Promote connection

  • Feed the curious

  • Respect the earth and its people

  • Celebrate global diversity

This week, I've been reading Jonathan Mead's free ebook about working for your passions, living a life where work and leisure blend and have no distinction. After reading this short 60-pager, I wrote my mission statement with clarity and felt the gears in my brain a-churning. The following quote also really got me going:

The master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his work and his play, his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing and leaves others to determine whether his is working or playing. To himself, he is always doing both. —James A. Michener

Other discoveries

Vagablogging Calls for WritersThe Best Job in the CountryThe Ultimate Thailand Explorers

Update on Nomadderwhere

This Wednesday, the 23rd, Nomadderwhere will have a brand new look. It's so cool, I can barely force myself to look at the old design. I had no idea how to start self-hosting, and none of the progress I've achieved could have been possible without Jenn Vargas. Not only did she do some top-notch freelance work on the design but generously offered her expertise from start to finish. Thank her, as well as Joost Bakker (whose images make the new design look downright badass), for their excellent work come Wednesday.

Consume & Update: Bloggers on Happiness, Ambition, and Reason

I did a little reading this week, and this is what stuck from the lot. Click on the images to read the articles.

Good Investments

I've only recently come to hear of Rolf Potts, and I look forward to reading his novel "Vagablogging" in the coming months. Here on his blog, fellow writer Scott Gilbertson discusses possible reasons for unhappiness as a result of putting your money to the wrong use: stuff for yourself, and not on experiences for yourself or the people around you. I've really tried to apply this philosophy to my life in the last three years, running from buying stuff and saving for memorable experiences...maybe not with the direct goal of happiness at the front of my mind but more for the "I know I'll be a better person for doing this" reason. I've never been Miss Moneybags and have been spending my own money for quite some time, but I've known I always had enough to do the things I wanted. It may also be that I've only chosen to desire the things that are within my reach. Travel the world? Who needs twenty years of savings! Buy some drinks for people I don't know? Bottoms up, strangers! And the times I've spent money on dresses or crap for the shelves have never been as fulfilling as the money spent on a chicken dinner and dance party for kids. I'm not trying to say I'm holier and happier than thou, but it's all we can do to make the sensible, compassionate steps toward being people we're proud of. And if we're proud of who we are, we're probably pretty happy.

Shake Up Your Lazy Inertia

This the second Vagabondish article I've really liked from author Turner Wright. His piece entitled "Why it's easier to stay fat, stupid and untraveled" is pretty straightforward. It's too bad our priorities as a mass population reflect a desire to do very little and be happy with that. We never stay still when we eat, or rarely even cook with known, natural ingredients. If your trigger finger is strong and nimble, you can shoot down every online deal you spend hours on your butt searching for. I guess I fall into the sloth lifestyle upon coming home. I work online or read sixteen hours a day and drive to the gym when I need to move around. I rationalize it as time spent researching and building a foundation for those times when I'm running around the world with a mission and a desire to live out ambitions. Anyway, this is an interesting article and one I'd love to hear reflections on from fellow readers.

You're You Everywhere

Lea Woodward writes well and often about being unattached to a place and still making a living. It's called Location Independence. Look into it. Often it's easy to look at a purpose-driven life that's created from one's passions and think "That is the life!" Well, wherever you go, though, there you are. There you are doing the same things, and even though the initial thrills will please you and your travel objectives, we humans are habitual and get into routines, which often feel remarkably similar to those we once had at home...in that stable, stiffling, mundane environment. Wait a minute. Her article isn't to say creating your own lifestyle anywhere in the world is unnecessary because everything's the same everywhere, but it's a "reality check" to make sure you're not in a dream world. Travel and location independence for some is the holy grail, but romanticizing it too much will lead you astray from the realities.

Toxicity Kills the Journey

If I'm honest, I've felt very toxic for the last few months. The acid in my mind (figuratively speaking...) almost felt tangible at moments, and sometimes it takes all the energy you can muster to make those thoughts liquefy and disperse in the name of happiness. This blog from Brave New Traveler, a Matador magazine on the inner thoughts of a traveler, could have been very useful to me in preventing toxicity during my travels.

Update on Nomadderwhere

Since I've been home from the World Traveler Internship, I've begun work on my new website, researched potential projects, and connected with many people interested in my trajectory. My work week is something like 90 hours. I drink a lot of tea. It doesn't feel like work, which means it's the right path, and surprisingly I still don't feel like I have enough hours to progress as far as I'd like.

So what does all this mean for Nomadderwhere?

  1. I'm learning how to write first and write well. Objectives = great subject matter, great blogs, potentially great book material

  2. I've scheduled four different speaking engagements throughout the Northern Indiana area, some directed at photography passionates and professionals. I'm moving from online expression to that of the verbal kind.

  3. The book on my solo RTW has begun its morphing process into a complete idea. It will take many years and many sessions in front of a blank screen...but that end result will come to be.

  4. A new website will be ready and raring by September 23rd that includes more travel advice, suggestions for reading, technology and destination highlights, free city guides, and an even more exciting development for photography.

  5. I have the incredible fortune of cheap travel in the near future, which gives me the perfect chance to create new work on places I've never been or really observed. October is the Mexican Riviera. November is Chicago, Illinois. Who knows if December will hold nothing or a fantastic travel opportunity with a favorite vagabond pal...

Consume & Update: Matador and Upgrade

One thing I missed while frantically running across the globe for the STA internship was the downtime to enjoy some of my favorite reading material: The Matador Network.

Click on the images to follow the stories!

In Traveler’s Notebook

iPod

iPod

Josh says your active earbuds stand in the way of experience the audio sensations of a destination. For me it completely depends on my mood, because sometimes I’m desperate to get away from the familiar and other times I want to tie old memories music-linked association to the new place I’m experiencing. Occasionally this adds layers to the music you already love (and usually gives me audio inspiration for videos), but I’m on Josh’s side with knowing all sensory factors of the places you visit.

In Matador Goods

Traveling with a scarf (or more specifically a shawl/pashmina/whatevayacallit) is something I firmly believe in. There have been many times when a scarf has served some key purposes: keeping my neck and head from touching snow and getting frostbite, looking dressy even while wearing pajamas, and dressing modestly in conservative areas.

In Brave New Traveler

One more person that makes me think my yet-to-be-explained need to write while traveling is absolutely necessary. Christine writes a good piece on travel writing that links to an interesting book I may just check out! And I understood the following excerpt all too well on the WTI trip.

“Even when we are traveling, attempting to see all the sights - and hit all the nightclubs - keeps us disconnected from this inner knowing. And when we are at home, ideas start drying up; inspiration is, well, lacking. We get frustrated and hit a wall…then, nothing.” Photo by The Trial

Young girl in an orphanage in Chennai, India

Young girl in an orphanage in Chennai, India

Shannon tackles an issue of having compassion on the road and realities behind the impoverished asking for help. I don’t like feeling so cold when confronted on the street by a shoeless child, but I know that giving money or any offering of care isn’t usually the most helpful thing to do. Shannon makes these inner thoughts visible and explains why she appears unaffected by the poverty of her resident country. We certainly all take it in and feel assorted levels of pain and guilt for the suffering of others, but what balance must we strike between indifference and active concern in order to make through the street, the trip, the long term journey? Heavy issue…good read.

And for a Nomadderwhere Update

I've decided to take Nomadderwhere a little further into the travel blog-o-sphere by moving from Wordpress.com to Wordpress.org. For those who don't understand that lingo, I'm making my website bigger and better and in doing so hopefully tailoring it more closely to what people want to read.

It may be wishful thinking, but I plan to launch the new website on my 24th birthday...not too far away! In the meantime, enjoy the current site and feel free to make suggestions for future content! The future may even hold a Nomadderwhere photography site, but it all depends on my computer capabilities...which are a bit lacking for the internet world. I hope you stick around for the revealing of:

The New Nomadderwhere coming September 23rd, 2009!

And We're Off!

If you don't know what this icon means, you're WAY behind in the internet game, sir or madam. You should probably just click on it now. Go ahead...I'll wait.

Are you interested in following my trip around the world with Chris Danner and STA? If not, why are you even here?! I'm mean, come on! This is a trip to Fiji, Australia, Asia, Africa, and Europe. I'm traveling with a guy I'm meeting TODAY, and I don't have to pay for a thing! We're hitting ten countries in 3 months and meeting thousands of people along the way. If that's not compelling, then someone needs to explain to me the workings of the human mind and the appeal of American Idol.

This could be a turning point for me, the chance for my passion's to hit a large audience and, dare I say, make an impact in the inquiring minds of wishful travelers. I look forward to this opportunity with jittering anticipation, like a dog in much need of a bathroom break outside. Envision that, and that's what I look like right about now. I'm pumped.

Again, please SUBSCRIBE to my posts for this summer by clicking on the image above or the similar orange button on the top right of the site, and get ready to spend this summer trotting the globe with Chris and I through your thoughts and dreams. And, remember that this trip is in desperate need of input and feedback. Make your opinions, questions, and recommendations known through this website or the STA World Traveler Intern website.

Now let's get a move on.  To Lewisville, Texas! Oh...and following my twitter might be a smart idea, too.

Home Court Attention

From '04 to '08, I was fortunate enough to have at my disposal (and for free, might I add) one of the nation's leading student newspapers. Though these papers litter the IU campus daily, left under desks in Ballantine Hall and sometimes coating atrium floors with their glossy weekend section, a large portion of the Bloomington campus reads this publication with regularity.

I'm not one to enjoy constant updates of the Hoosier backetball team, but I liked reading scattered interest stories, the Associated Press world updates, and doing the crossword while my teachers were getting settled before class.

Today was quite thrilling to see an article in the Indiana Daily Student about my World Traveler Intern endeavors. The turnover between interview and publication was speedy, and I hope this exposure means a larger audience for both the internship and my beloved site. Check out the article, written by Ashley Bornancin, by clicking the excerpt below.

As for planning out her trips, Clark said she let her instincts take her to where she wanted to go and made some decisions by tossing a coin.