Tools to Help Your Nomadic Journey
Aha, you found the Resources section!
Here you'll find a collection of my favorite tools, articles, gear, and whatchamacallits that get my thumbs up for simplifying your travels, staying in shape, improving focus, and generally creating the life you don't need to vacation from.
Everything here is a resource that I use or have used personally. This page will be updated as things continue to evolve. I hope they will help you change your life for the better.
Full disclosure: A number of the products below contain referral links. Clicking on them doesn't cost you a penny, but if you choose to buy through that link I would get credit to receive a small commission. Don't feel pressured to support me, but I appreciate it if you do!
Articles That You Must Read
by Mark Manson
This post by Mark Manson is a must-read for travelers or aspiring travelers. Manson deconstructs the romanticism of world travel, revealing a dark and sordid affair that ultimately makes you a wiser, more worldly, as some people would say, person.
You know your fitness is important, but when you travel from place to place, never knowing if you have access to a gym, it's hard to keep up the routine or know where or how to start. Here's how you can stay in shape while traveling.
On Lifehacker, I wrote about the challenges and unseen downsides of this lifestyle. If you want to make traveling and working part of your life, you should read this.
by Nomadic Matt
They say those with wanderlust are running away from life, but Matt Krepnes says it succinctly, "I’m not running away. I am running towards the world and my idea of life."
The ultimate guide for getting and negotiating the best Airbnb for your long-term stay anywhere in the world.questions.
Adventure Time, But Not the Tourist-y Shit
There are a lot of questions about the nomad life, including how to get started or what to do with housing, insurance, and all that stuff. Here are 27 of your most burning questions about how I work and travel the world, stay in shape, and actually get shit done.
Paris is one of my favorite cities. I can never get enough of looking at its majestic, ornate structures and buildings without thinking I'm in a video game. And who knew that simple baguettes topped with butter could be so amazing when done right? Watch out for the dog shit everywhere though.
Stuff I Like for Travel and Life
Bodyweight Basics by GMB Fitness
People always wonder how I stay in shape while I travel or when I have no access to a gym. And I whisper to them: bodyweight workouts. But not just a bunch of pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats. I follow tried-and-true programs that actually get me stronger and more fit, simply and effectively. Plus, it's fun to see what my body can do outside the limitations of gym walls, like doing cartwheels at the park.
GMB Fitness is one of the resources that I truly believe gets it. They can do amazing things with their bodies (pretty much anyone who can do a handstand is pretty amazing to me at the moment) and have shown me a whole new world of agility, strength, movement, and possibilities with my physical capabilities. I urge you to check them out so they can expand your definition of what a workout is, too.
Suspension trainers are a portably gym that I swear by to help me stay in shape wherever I am. They're essentially two thick, nylon straps with durable handles attached on each end. You hang them on tall objects, such as a door or tree branch, and can use it along with your body weight to do all sorts of challenging moves that you can't do with body weight alone.
There are several options on the market for different budgets, from DIY $20 to $100 to $250. I'd say any brand works as long as you trust in the material and construction to hold your weight. TRX is the more well-known brand; monkii bars is kind of a newcomer that's geared toward adventure folk who like to pack light. Both are pricey. I now use a discontinued model that I bought from years back. It cost me $80 at the time, but it still works fine today.
Perhaps, like you, I struggle with rushing from one busy thing to the next, always feeling like I'm just chasing a carrot on a stick and never knowing my true priorities. But since I've been introduced to this Productivity Planner and The Five-Minute Journal (more on that below), I feel less like I have this anxiety-filled anvil lodged in the pit of my stomach about my to-do lists.
The Productivity Planner takes a "less is more" approach and really makes me ponder about whether the thing I think is important really is that important. It's taught me to cut out the fluff and really focus on what matters that day. Try it.
The Five-Minute Journal
There are many reasons you should keep a gratitude journal. Chief among them is that the daily practice gradually reframes how you view situations--both big and small--in your day-to-day life and makes you a happier person.
That's great, right? But when I first heard about practicing gratitude, it felt like a chore. The Five-Minute Journal makes it super easy. The most important question I'm challenged to answer is, "What would make today great?" What would, indeed? When I take the time to think about what that looks like--could be something as simple as Call a friend to say hi--it brings clarity and joy.
Minaal Travel Backpack
My laptop and cameras come with me everywhere, even when I'm going from one part of town to the other. I've used my fair share of commuter and laptop bags, but the Minaal bag has been my go-to for the past year. Minaal gets the woes of traveling freelancers and nomads. The bag I have (Carry-on 2.0) is roomy and has oodles of pockets without being obnoxiously bulky like those backpacking backpacks. I can easily fit and pack everything I need.
If you work and travel a lot, you understand the struggle of finding reliable Wi-Fi and a good workspace for focused work. WeWork is a co-working space with plenty of locations around the world. They provide you with fast internet, a hip environment full of creative energy and people, unlimited coffee, and comfortable desks. When you become a member, you can choose to have your own dedicated desk or office.
I have a dedicated office at the one in downtown Los Angeles. Even though I could work out of my home office, I am willing to pay $600 each month to do a 20-minute commute and have an office for my creative needs. There's just something about being able to leave your house, set a routine, and actually, you know, talk to other human beings.
Airbnb is what allows me to bounce and make makeshift homes in many cities around the world. I've written a whole guide on how to find the best Airbnb and negotiate your rate (see below).
You can spend hundreds of dollars per night on a hotel or lose your privacy in hostels; or with Airbnb you can meet cool locals and live out your fantasies of experiencing life as a local in your favorite cities in the world. If you click the button on the right, you'll instantly get $40 (it changes sometimes) toward your first booking. No strings attached.
Books That Will Change Your Life
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
by Chip & Dan Heath
If I could trace back a key thing that I did that later became a pivotal moment in my career, it would honestly be reading Switch, which kick-started my quest for continual self-improvement. I used to think that perspectives, behaviors, and mindset were unchangeable and static--some people had a certain mindset and some people didn't. Chip and Dan Heath have helped me realize nothing is unchangeable and cultivated my "growth mindset," the mindset that I can keep changing for the better. If you ever feel "stuck," this book could be your ticket out.
The 4-Hour Work Week
by Tim Ferriss
I'd be remiss to not give a nod to Tim Ferriss for first turning me on to the possibility (and sustainability) of escaping the cube life and changing my life. I remember my neighbor in Boise gifting this book to me, saying, "This is something you might find interesting." The book title is misleading, as you don't truly work only four hours a week, though I don't think that was his intended message anyway. The idea isn't novel, but Ferriss might have been the first one to offer practical tips on the how.
Tools of Titans
by Tim Ferriss
To be clear, I'm not a fan of all Tim Ferriss' books. I loathed 4-Hour Body and skipped 4-hour Chef, but Tools of Titans is a little different from his other books. It's a wellspring of information and inspiration from people who are considered to have their shit figured out. The book is heavy enough to crush someone's toe if you accidentally drop it and as thick as a phone book (remember those?). Every page is just full of insight for aspiring entrepreneurs, life-long learners, and general life enthusiasts.
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
by Robert Cialdini
There's a famous scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, where the heroes Obi Wan and Luke Skywalker are accosted by enemy personnel. But before they could be questioned, Obi Wan uses his Jedi powers to wave them away without any conflict. "These aren't the droids you're looking for," he says.
Reading Influence is kind of like having those powers. You learn about the subtleties of human psychology and behavior that helps you get what you want. And by knowing, you can protect yourself from other peoples' more malicious powers of influence as well.
The Happiness Advantage
by Shawn Achor
One of the most important lessons from this book is that happiness itself is not a destination. Ergo, you don't bust your ass in the hope of somehow maybe being happy. That's the dangerous lie so many of us tell ourselves and what society often wants us to believe (e.g. "Once you have this thing, you'll be happy..."). You'll learn what really makes you happy in this book and redefine your definition of the word.
Stay Leaner Longer
by JC Deen
When you look at the scale, "diet," or feel like you just want to skip the gym, you realize that you're playing mind games with yourself, right? Fitness is more mental than physical. Understanding this is the key to being able to lose weight and keep it off for life.
"FINDING YOUR PASSION" IS SUCH BULLSHIT
Join me in savvy traveling, getting more shit done, and punching FOMO in the face, every week in your inbox.
Copyright 2017. Photos by Karen Hong Photography. By signing up, you'll get high-speed internet messages from my brain. Some say they're pretty cool. You be the judge.