I've been really excited to work on Cruise Sheet recently. I've made some big strides and am now an actual cruise agency rather than a web site that creates affiliate links. It's still fairly similar, but now I can control the experience the whole way through and the increase in revenue makes it look more like a viable business.
So now I'm back in that "Love Work" mode where all I want to do is work. Last night two friends and I drove around picking up Uber passengers while I sang "Drop it Like It's Hot" on our Car-eoke system, but in the back of my head I was thinking about Cruise Sheet.
One of the things I've been doing is going through every single port and making sure I have the right name, region, GPS coordinates, abbreviated form, etc. Not the most exciting work, but I have a thing for neat and orderly data, so I enjoy it.
Except for the damn Galapagos Island stops. There are so many of them that every time another one popped up, I was annoyed that I had to enter it in. For a while I had a dozen or so of them sitting in the queue while I waited for normal ports to show up.
I realized how ridiculous that was, so I started thinking about it from different angles. Cruise Sheet won't show a cruise unless it recognizes all of the ports and can validate them as a route that a ship could actually traverse, so unless I get all of the ports in, Cruise Sheet won't show cruises to the Galapagos. I've never been to Galapagos, but I would love to go and I love cruises, so what's more perfect?
And all of a sudden entering in the ports wasn't an obligation. It was an opportunity. I got into it and made a tool to make it easier and faster to create new ports.
It's not so amazing that an obligation can be turned into an opportunity. I think that's happened to all of us and we get the concept. What's interesting to me is just how thin that line is. One stray thought about how I'd sure like to see those tortoises, and all of a sudden I enjoy a formerly-tedious job.
This happens to me all the time with projects in my place in Vegas. I'll be extremely frustrated trying to line up panels or cut drywall, but then I think about how nice my condo is going to be and I'm excited about the work again.
When I'm driving my motorcycle it can feel like transit. Just a waste of time. But then I think about how cool it is that I even have a motorcycle, that they were invented in the first place, that it's somehow legal to drive these things, and all of a sudden I love being on that motorcycle.
It's a thin line, so it doesn't take much to cross it.
Usually it's just a matter of focusing. Why are you doing this? What's the point? Isn't it pretty cool that you even get to do this? Aren't you glad you're not being attacked by a predator in the jungle like your ancestors were?
At least for today, see if you can turn obligations into opportunities in your mind. Be aware of when you don't like doing something, and think about its positive aspects. Is it an obligation because that's its nature, or because that's how you're thinking about it?
Photo is a long underground passage in Tokyo. You can traverse miles underground there as basements of stores link to subway stations.
I have a comment on the text and a different comment on the photo. I think you could take that trip to the galapagos,and fund it by writing a book. You could begine by writing a book, or a chapter or 6, about just the idea of going,and talk about cruises and cruise sheet and how it went from and idea to a web site to a small business to an idea to go to the galapagos. Of course you could also have a chapter about how much money you made playing poker on the cruise, with the backstory about poker,and about the girl you met on the cruise,and the backstory about meeting people,and maybe the backstory about the galapagos,and darwin,and even a chapter on the darwin awards if you wanted. might even work in the pet penguin story, it remains one of my favorites.
Ok the photo. Once upon a time i was working as a waiter for the dalai lama's nephew at a restaurant called the snow lion. There was a book sitting on the counter, William Gibson's Idoru. I asked, hey who's reading Idoru? It was this girl shannon. So we took to hanging out between lunch and dinner shifts. One day we played a game of seeing how far we could get not going on the streets but only in the tunnels under the streets and on the skyways over the streets. It's not like it would be in tokyo, you can't get very far. So somewhere around the paddleboats by the canal near the state capital I kissed her,and for a couple of weeks I thought we were going out, but we weren't really. But it's a fun game.
I went on my first cruise ten years ago. All I really knew about them at the time was that they were the most interesting things pictured on the back of cornflakes boxes, and that a girl I had a crush on found one for $199. Sold.
Since then I've been on ten cruises or so, half of them two week transatlantic runs, which are by far my favorites. Later on I'll write more about why I love these cruises, but the gist is that they're the Perfect Work Environment.
In the decade that I've been cruising, my technique for finding good deals has evolved beyond crushing on girls who might find a good deal. The best trick in the book used to be a site called Cruise Hot Sheet. At any given time it had a listing of most of the cheapest cruises available.
Then two weeks ago it became empty. No deals. I already have a cruise booked for November, so I'm not really in the market, but I like to keep an eye on prices out of curiosity. Every time I went to Cruise Hot Sheet, only to be greeted with an empty page, I was annoyed.
I love San Francisco so much that every time I return here from a trip, I resolve to stay for a while and enjoy the city. That never happens. Next week I'm going to Tahoe, then Vegas the following weekend, and then to Austin for SXSW the week after that. Cabo or Hawaii follows in early March, but in late April comes the most exciting upcoming trip: a sixteen day cruise to Rome.
Cruises are full of old people. As best I can tell, that's because young people haven't figured out how awesome and cheap they can be. In fact, I can easily say that of all the travel I've done, cruises probably represent the best bang for the buck.
Before I tell you how to get them cheap, let me tell you why cruises, especially long duration one-way cruises are amazing.
One of my favorite aspects of cruises is that they can take you to places you may not otherwise visit. For example, the cruise my friends and I are taking stops in the Azores, Seville (Spain), Valencia (Spain), Barcelona, Monte Carlo, and Rome. Without cruising, I probably would never make it to the Azores, and those southern Spanish cities are unlikely as well. They're just too remote and too expensive to come up at the top of my list when choosing a trip.