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Short Trips and Long Trips

Sometimes a preference can morph from being your best assessment of a particular situation into a fixture of who you are. When that happens, you're in a bad position to reevaluate and make a better decision, because your ego gets caught up in that decision. That happened to me when I decided that I preferred multi-month trips to shorter ones.

When I started traveling, my intention was to come back to the US as infrequently as possible. I hadn't done very extensive traveling, so my plan was meant to combat that. I'd stay in places for long periods of time, generally months, and really get to know them deeply.

This worked really well for me. I haven't been back in a few years, but Panama felt like a real home base. Tokyo did, too, and it still does today.

Now I travel much more frenetically. I'm sitting in Paris working on a blog post, but by tonight I'll be in Jordan. My last meal was in Brooklyn, New York. Over the next week I'll also travel to Cairo, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong.

My Favorite Book

On Ideas in the Making

Over the years everyone gets asked the same mundane questions revolving around what is your favorite book, movie, band, song, video game etc.. For most of the things stated I don't have concrete answers. I will definitely tell you one of my favorite movies is City of God  and that Red Hot Chilli Peppers is one of my favorite bands, but depending on my mood, the context, and overall experience with movies or music, my opinion can change. But when it comes to books, my favorite is unchanging

The book I'm talking about is Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.  Vagabonding is the book that has had the most effect on my outlook, thoughts, and values. First and foremost, Rolf Potts is humble, he doesn't brag or rub it in your face how much he's traveled or all the crazy adventures he has had. Rather he mentions them to inspire and evoke the same feelings he must have felt while living through it. what's amazing about Rolf Pott's advice is how it can be integrated into your everyday life easily and flawlessly. His advice on how to deal with culture shock, his views on working, and his mentality for dealing with the good and bad really hit home on how one should live their life all the time.  But his strongest advice comes from two simple words. SLOW DOWN! (I'll probably write and article on this subject one of these days) these two words, implemented everyday will have a dramatic effect on your life. Too many people live their lives hectically and all over the place, in an unnecessary haste that actually brings about no significant improvements over doing things in a more simple manner.

Most of all the book really inspires you to travel. The way I think about it, this world is to huge and filled with too many adventures to be stuck in one place. Cultures, languages, food, perceptions, are so wide and varied that by staying at home or in one country you only "read one chapter" (as one of the quotes Rolf Potts uses in the book). Before I read this book my life mostly revolved around the concept of me growing up, getting a normal job, and then staying at home playing video games, watching TV, and doing exercise. Life just didn't seem that bad, and I have never been the type of person that likes to waste money haphazardly. This book had a profound effect on me. It made me think about what other possibilities lie out there that I wasn't taking advantage, how the small aspects of travel, the people, the environments, the awkward experiences, the combination of just being surrounded by a completely new place and leaving everything behind, would allow me to venture far past my comfort-zone and give me the power to create my own reality.

for those of you who haven't read this truly amazing book, I suggest you buy it NOW. If you have thought about traveling but never really found the motivation too this book will  help you. And even if you never plan on travelling, the  books premise, concepts and advice can easily be applied to a life anywhere.

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