"Give a man your points, he'll travel cheap for a day.
Teach a man to earn his own points, he'll travel cheap for a lifetime"
--Unknown Travel Guru
The picture above was taken in Lima, Peru from the runway of the Jorge Chavez International Airport.
Everything looks great so far, congratulations for getting this up and running!
Let's begin this blog with a picture of the sun rising over the ocean as viewed from Hana in Maui Hawaii. This is the first sunrise I've seen over the ocean, and it was breathtaking. I’ve put this off for a while now, but what better way to start a blog then to begin with a mini article discussing mini habits and goals. This might be a bit rough around the edges or contain thoughts that are still being clarified. The purpose is to start.
I can’t necessarily speak for other people, but I know that a lot of time when I become stagnant in life or I don’t begin or finish a goal its because I’m not focusing on the small gains, rather the large steps ahead. When you create a mini habit, you're taking small action often that helps lead you towards being successful in life goals or purpose. Mini habits can be the small things you do in life that give you a small edge. Examples are: putting the laundry away as soon as its done, cleaning a dirty dish instead of letting piles stack up, responding to email right away instead of putting it off till later in the week, or setting your keys and wallet and personal items in a group in the same place so you don't spend time searching for them.
When you create mini goals, or subgoals of a larger goal, or a sub action that is related to a larger goal you remove the large pressure of achieving something big. If I go into the gym for the first time in a year with a goal to bench 250lb and I struggle with 135lb, I would imagine I would be very discouraged because the goal seems so very far out. But if I instead shift my focus and attitude of success towards just making it to the gym 3 days a week, I’m taking a small step in the larger direction of being in better shape, being healthier, and ultimately achieving that larger goal I may have set.
Mini habits and goals can be intertwined and work with each other. As part of being healthier socially I may make the habit of having eye contact with people I pass on the street and smiling, or maybe saying hi or starting small conversations with someone at the bus stop, or the waiter at the restaurant. To be healthier and in better shape I may drink a glass of water every time I pass the break room at work, or suggest a coworker climb the stairs with me once an hour every hour, or have my vitamins out on my nightstand when I go to bed so they're right in front of me to take when I wake up in the morning.
The picture above is me with some Cosplay enthusiasts in Berlin, Germany with Alexanderplatz and Berlin Cathedral in the background. They were excited that I was from the States where there is a much larger Cosplay scene. Berlin was my first real out of Country trip and I planned it out and traveled about two weeks after I got my passport in May 2009.
I’ve managed to achieve quite the spectacular life, and I’m surrounded by people doing the same. I’m forever grateful for having great parents and family, and people in my life that are understanding of me putting my life goals ahead of everything else, which sometimes means missing a family birthday party, or a friend’s wedding. Prioritizing what goals in life are important and driving myself to them has allowed me to accomplish a few unique things, including: an awesome flexible career that allows me more days off a week than days worked, a job where I can travel to amazing destinations like Maui for work, and on vacation in between which brings me anywhere from Europe to South America, while still paying for hobbies I’m passionate for, whether skydiving or learning to ‘shred the gnar’ (aka stand up on a surfboard for more then 10 seconds). So when I think about how I’ve gotten here, I’ve followed a few basic steps, and clarifying them to myself should help me do this more efficiently in the future. While most of these are done subconsciously, writing them down is never a bad idea.
Destination - how to get where you want to in life.
I feel it’s safe to say that many of us don’t like complacency. Something natural about the human drive is to want to grow, progress, and experience new things. We want to get somewhere, even if it’s just to stop, take a deep breath, enjoy the moment and then journey somewhere else. The problem is that although we are capable of achieving amazing things, a lot of times we forget to use the tools and steps we have used to achieve other things. It’s easy to lose focus, procrastinate, and stop making reasonable progress towards things we want. In other words, we stagnate. This can be true in any domain, from careers to vacations, or from level of skill in a hobby to a fitness goal.
So what is needed to achieve goals and dreams and the stuff heroes are made of?
You don't need 20 different products in the bathroom.
Don't be a sucker any longer, get rid of all that unnecessary lotion and soap.
Decrease your thoughtless consumerism.
There are a few different type of travel nomadics, those who have a home base and travel frequently from there (many vacations/work trips or taking 6 months on the road and then spend 6 months at home), the few who do long term frequent travel from city to city or country to country for a period of time like Ralf Potts from Vagabonding, or those in my group. I don’t really have a home base, I don’t have an apartment or a condo somewhere, at least not at this time, that I can come back to and reset. I don’t have a living room, bedroom or anything (Okay, technically I do, but I don't like to talk about it, I like to pretend I don't, okay? So just leave it like that and stop asking questions haha). I have a small storage unit, and a number of couches or guest rooms I can crash at when I spend time visiting my home city of Phoenix, Arizona.
I know what you’re thinking, no I’m not homeless (although the more I travel the more I seem to be getting comfortable with the nomadic lifestyle of the homeless…). I live in a nice condo, in San Francisco currently (though Los Angeles when I started this blog post), and I’ll be here for a total of 3 months. After that, I may stay in San Francisco another 3 months, or I may go somewhere else, like Seattle, or Austin. I don’t really know right now and I don’t really care.
I happen to know a number of people that live a similar lifestyle, surprisingly enough, and if you’re reading this, please share your tricks and essentials to traveling in the comments below. Many of my associates though do have a home base, they’ll travel off to work for a few months or weeks and then come home and work for a few months. I like that, but I also like whats going on with my life right now. It’s a bit chaotic at times, and takes a lot of adapting, but when you’re not really tied to a specific house or specific job institution and company you really learn to rely on yourself and it develops a confidence in traveling or surviving anywhere.
After doing this for a while, and running into the same problems or scenarios , you learn to pack relatively light. Everything I travel with fits in the back of a small car, or in my case, my Jeep. I’m gone far too long to want to just carry everything in one bag, but not long enough to move furniture or bring many books with me. Certain things I buy when I show up, and some things I take with me because I’m tired of purchasing it or finding it each time (like spices), and some things depend on how far and how long I’m traveling.
No matter how goofy or quirky, or seemingly small, I’m going to share some of my Intermediate Travel Tricks. Some I’ve learnt from being minimalist and taking other’s advice when traveling to other countries with only one bag and some are better for this who travel for a few months at a time to one location.
I finally have a day off work and I’ve spent most of it trying to relax and catch up on a few things. Looking back on these last few weeks I’ve been reflecting why I was successful at certain tasks and unsuccessful at others. Often enough I have a whole list of tasks I want to accomplish, long term or short term. Today was one of the days I didn’t even look at it, though I did get a few things done.
I think my main conflict is between doing what I want to do and what I want myself to want to do. That is, it’s much easier to hang out and watch a TV show or relax then go clean my room or do meal prep. I mean, I want to be healthy and live in a clean room, but will power is limited and what I really wanted was a day off. Don’t get me wrong, I got a lot of things done, but probably only at 30% efficiency.
I’ve noticed recently that there are things I want to do and things I want myself to want to do. The things I want to do are often a mixture of non-productive and non-urgent things (classified Steven Covey style) like movies or games or staring at my iPhone and productive things like going to the gym, reading a book.
So why do we have this drive to do things that, essentially, we don’t want to do? Why do I want to strive for more, for something that’s not easy and comfortable, and why is the drive to want to do more not the same as the motivation or determination to do more? I would say I want to improve and be a better person, which I do, but I also don’t thing there’s anything wrong with the person I am now, or that there really is a better per se.
I just got back from San Diego last week and I had a chance to catch up and hang out with some really close friends I worked with when I was living in Virginia, working in Washington D.C. I had a great time catching up, but the stay was definitely too short.
When you’re traveling and moving every few months, it’s common to meet new people and make new friends. Especially when you’re meeting other travelers, or people with other similar interests or obstacles in life, friendships form quickly and strongly. Oftentimes, for me, I find myself hanging out with some of the same people everyday, talking about problems in life or new endeavors and sharing part of my humanity and personality. It’s funny to think I’ve hardly known someone and then all of a sudden I can’t remember living a life without them. A lot of times it feels like I’ve known some of my new friends since I was a kid. Then, all of a sudden, it’s time for someone to move or travel and poof, no hanging out every day. Some people I tend to keep in better contact than with others, but I never lose that sense of closeness I felt with them. It’s like the bond is still there, and everything is just the way it was.