Travel Hacking Basics

All credit to Chris Guillebeau,
creator of the online manifesto “A Brief Guide to World Domination”.
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/

The following is taken directly from Chris Guillebeau’s book:
The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live The Life You Want, and Change The World

Travel Hacking Basics

  • Once you earn elite status with one airline, you can request a “status match” from several others to become a high-flyer on every major airline alliance. (Just be careful, because some airlines only allow one status match per lifetime.)
  • If you’re stumped with a travel dilemma, visit the forums at FlyerTalk.com. Some of the experts on these boards are even more experienced than I am, and if you ask nicely, several will offer free advice on your itinerary or travel issue.
  • If you’re looking for lodging and hotel prices are high, check Hostels.com for a large database of guesthouses and smaller establishments. In addition to dorms, many of the properties offer private rooms with breakfast and Internet access. If you’re up for company, you can also stay for free thanks to CouchSurfing.com
  • Priceline.com can be a good source for discounted hotels (it’s not usually worth it for plane tickets), but the company has an advantage on consumers by not disclosing the minimum successful bids. To negate this advantage, use Google to search for “Priceline winning hotel bids” to find several sites that list the hidden information. I’ve used this strategy to stay at the Brussels Marriott for $60 (usually $240), the Prague Sharaton for $45 (usually $195), and many other nice hotels all over the world.
  • If transatlantic airfare is pricey, look for a repositioning cruise. These cruises take place twice a year as cruise lines move their ships from the Mediterranean to the United States. (A smaller number also go from Alaska to East Asia, and from California to Florida via the Panama Canal.)
  • I use round-the-world tickets for most of my long-haul flights. The booking process can take some time to navigate, but if you travel extensively, it’s well worth your time to study up. My tickets are usually booked through the OneWorld or Star Alliance airline families.
  • Without a lot of effort, most people can easily earn at least 25,000 miles a year without changing any of their spending habits. That’s enough for one free ticket – and for those who are up for it, you can spend more time on it and earn up to 100,000 miles without much difficulty.
  • When redeeming frequent flyer miles, you can request rewards on partner airlines, and the value is often better than on the domestic carrier. I’ve used partner rewards to go to Mongolia (Korean Airlines, booked with Delta SkyMiles), Kuwait (Qatar Airways, booked with American Express points), and dozens of other places.

Staying Healthy in Times of Frequent Travel

Throughout December I’ve been relocated nearly a dozen times for 2 to 4 day periods, and it’s been very hard to maintain my aggressively balanced physical training routine.

I often point out the difference between energy exertion and effort. At home, it’s comparably easy to fall into a healthy routine; this requires regular energy exertion but very little effort. In the case of travel, adhering to training goals requires a lot of extra effort and we don’t often train for this variety of challenge. Here are a couple ideas to help stay healthy in times of frequent travel.

Always Prepared
It’s far to easy to forget running shoes or a pair of shorts and use it as an excuse to not exercise. Keep a pair of old running shoes and athletic gear in your suitcase and trunk, even when you don’t plan on travelling.

Versatile Activities
Activities like running, push ups and sit ups can be done virtually anywhere.

Travel can be pretty exhausting. Sitting in a car or plane for hours is physically taxing. Unfortunately, it’s most important after being cramped up and still for hours to get out and loosen up and keep yourself in shape. Happy travels!

The Search for Meaning, Two Questions, and a Legacy Project

All credit to Chris Guillebeau,
creator of the online manifesto “A Brief Guide to World Domination”.
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/

The following is taken directly from Chris Guillebeau’s book:
The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live The Life You Want, and Change The World

“Ambition is not a vice of little people.” – Michel de Montaigne

“…convergence is the state of being where everything in our lives is in alignment. We have good relationships with family and close friends, we’re excited about work, we’re in good health, we do more or less what we want to every day, and we know we’re making a difference in the world. In short, we find ourselves full of gratitude and regularly challenged in an active, abundant life. To achieve convergence, two separate (but related) activities are required: saying goodbye to unneccessary tasks, obligations, and expectations – then welcoming in a wide range of other things that enrich our lives.”

The Search for Meaning and the Two Questions

  • What do you really want to get out of life?
  • What can you offer the world that no one else can?

Whatever your answers to those questions are, you can likely find the beginnings of your quest to live a full life and make the world a better place for others.

Legacy Project
When you set out to create something that will outlast you, there are a number of characteristics you need to consider by answering the following questions:

  • Vision – how will the world be different because of the project?
  • Beneficiaries – who will benefit from the project?
  • Primary Method or Medium – how will you do the work?
  • Output – what will be produced as a result of your work?
  • Metrics – how will success be measured?

My Legacy Project

My Legacy Project (beta)

Inspired by Chris Guillebeau’s book, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live The Life You Want, and Change The World, I have drafted my own Legacy Project characteristics by answering questions relating to Vision, Beneficiaries, Primary Method or Medium, Output, and Metrics.

My Legacy Project

Vision: To empower people to understand their world and manifest everything they truly want in life.

Beneficiaries: A group of at least 100,000 passionate individuals who want to live happy, fulfilling lives.

Primary Method or Medium: Writing and Speaking

Output: At least two articles each month, one book within the next two years, guest columns, and 30,000 annual total words

Metrics: Site Visitors/Subscribers/Page Views/Social Networking Stats/Nice Emails

Chris Guillebeau is also a blogger with similar interests so his Legacy Project characteristics were easy to adapt to my own. Check out his blog!

Simplified Weight Loss Program for Lifeaholics

Here it is, The Easiest Weight Loss Program You’ll Ever Find, with only one condition. This program is for lifeaholics, live hard play hards, energizers and die hards.

The Easiest Weight Loss Program You’ll Ever Find:
Simplified Weight Loss Program for Lifeaholics

1. Every morning, workout before you eat breakfast.
2.1. Get to work and stay busy all day being productive and having fun.
2.2. Break only for lunch with coworkers and friends.
2.3. Come home exhausted and go to sleep.

The One-Year, Self-Directed, Alternative Graduate School Experience

All credit to Chris Guillebeau,
creator of the online manifesto “A Brief Guide to World Domination”.
http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/

The following is taken directly from Chris Guillebeau’s book:
The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live The Life You Want, and Change The World

The One-Year, Self-Directed, Alternative Graduate School Experience

  • Subscribe to the Economist and read every issue religiously. Cost: $97 + 60 minutes each week.
  • Memorize the names of every country, world capital, and current president or prime minister in the world. Cost: $0 + 3-4 hours once.
  • Buy a round-the-world plane ticket or use frequent flyer miles to travel to several major world regions, including somewhere in Africa and somewhere in Asia. Cost: variable, but plan on $4,000.
  • Read the basic texts of the major world religions: the Torah, the New Testament, the Koran, and the teachings of Buddha. Visit a church, a mosque, a synagogue, and a temple. Cost: materials can be obtained free online or in the mail (or for less than $50) + 20 hours.
  • Subscribe to a language-learning podcast and listen to each 20-minute episode, five times a week, for the entire year. Attend a local language club once a week to practice. Cost: $0 + 87 hours.
  • Loan money to an entrepreneur through Kiva.org and arrange to visit him or her while you’re abroad on your big trip. Cost: likely $0 in the end, since 98% of loans are repaid.
  • Acquire at least three new skills during your year. Suggestion: photgraphy, skydiving, computer programming, martial arts. The key is not to become an expert in any of them, but to become funcionally proficient. Cost: variable, but each skill is probably less than three credits of tuition would be a university.
  • Read at least 30 nonfiction books and 20 classic novels. Cost: approximately $750 (can be reduced or eliminated by using the library).
  • Join a gym or health club to keep fit during your rigorous independent studies. Cost: $25-$75 a month.
  • Become comfortable with basic presentation and public speaking skills. Join your local Toastmasters club to get constructive, structured help that is beginner-friendly. Cost: $25 once + 2 hours a wek for 10 weeks.
  • Start a blog, create a basic posting schedule, and stick with it fo the entire year. You can get a free blog at WordPress.org. One tip: don’t try to write every day. Set a weekly or biweekly schedule for a while, and if you’re still enjoying it after three months, pick up the pace. Cost: $0.
  • Set your home page to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Randompage. Over the next year, every time you open your browser, you’ll see a different, random Wikipedia page. Read it. Cost: $0.
  • Learn to write by listening to the Grammar Girl podcast on iTunes and buying Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. Cost: $0 for Grammar Girl, $14 for Anne Lamott.
  • Instead of reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, read The Know-It-All by A. J. Jacobs, a good summary. Cost: $15.

The Fibonacci Sequence and Golden Ratio

I just spent the last 3 hours figuring out why this is cool. I’ve never considered spirals so intensely in my entire life. You should have been there; it was spectacular, especially when my head exploded. By the way, I was doing these derivations and proofs on paper at 2AM so it could all be entirely inaccurate.

The ratios of the numbers in the Fibonacci Sequence oscillate around and converge on the Golden Ratio, phi=1.61803399, which can be derived by solving phi=a/b or phi=(a+b)/a, where a=(b/2)(1+sqrt(5)) (which can be demonstrated geometrically quite nicely apparently [1:25-1:40]), which yields phi=(1+sqrt(5))/2).

The Golden Ratio does not describe spirals, but specifically the spiral where roughly the effective diameter of the last 180* becomes the effective radius of the next 90*.

I suspect that The Fibonacci Sequence and The Golden Ratio in relation to “spirals occurring in nature” are applied too generously and abused across the internet. In any case, the strange obsession with The Golden Ratio has never sat well with me so I spent several hours mapping out my arguments against it, but then in attempting to prove my own theories I kept proving why the Golden Ratio is awesome. I only have a few more issues and I was half way through trying to determine the angular frequency (or range) pattern which sunflower seeds (or pine cone leaves or pineapple spirals) must follow to give over-excited Fibonnacci and Golden Ratio fans the ability to claim complementary spirals both occurring at rates that correspond to numbers in the Fibonnacci sequence but that’s when my head exploded.

What is the scientific name for a pine cone leaf?