his website will inspire you to wander& learn. I'm a Harvard MBA who left the tech world in 2006 to pursue a more fulfilling mission: visit every country in the world and share their unique lessons with whoever gives a crap. First-time visitors:start with the best articles!
Kimberlie Dame and I connected on Facebook. She is an experienced backpacker who is planning a three-year hiking trip starting in the spring of 2012. I asked her to share what she has learned so far from her journey so far. She listed 28 things. She'll share them after I ask her three questions:
Kimberlie Dame: It was recommended to me by my primary support person for the Arizona Trail who had finished the Appalachian Trail. After asking around about it, turned out almost all of my hiker friends had read it and were just keeping me in the dark about it. So I gladly picked it up!
FT: What was your biggest takeaway of the book?
KD: My biggest takeaway was to learn how to apply the major lessons I was learning about trail walking to my life in general. Trail walking is an action-packed educational lab applicable to an earnest quest for happiness. The book guided me into thinking that way, and transposing the wisdom into every day!
FT: How has being on a long-distance trail affected you?
KD: Walking paces your mind like breathing paces survival. Often, “going for a walk” can diffuse an attack of temper, foster creative ideas, provide an opportunity for intimacy, or reset a frustrating day. For many of us, it is also the relating link to nature and to pure happiness.
Walking long enough, over a period of days, months, or as I’m about to attempt, years, removes it from the realm of an “activity” and places it into a central way of being, with your mind in continuous rhythm.
I didn’t know the real effects of this until I had walked the full 819 miles of the Arizona Trail in the spring of 2010. It was a choice that was the start of an entire new string of choices that were hiding behind it, the largest being the decision to do 3 years of continuous walking beginning in the spring of 2012.
What could possibly have happened on the Arizona Trail to bring me to such an enormous decision? I’d love to tell you.
28 Things That I Have Learned On The Trail So Far by Kimberlie Dame
Modern civilization is but a tiny colonization of an already established culture of nature. We are strangers here.
Planning is just sheer entertainment for the brain. Real life contains events.
Being focused on survival relieves a person of petty anxieties.
In the 1800s, scientists inadvertently learned something about frog psychology when they conducted two experiments.
In the first experiment, they threw a frog into a pot of cold water and raised the temperature quickly. The frog jumped out.
In the second experiment they put the frog into a pot of cold water, and then very slowly began to raise the temperature. The frog showed stayed in the pot. After two hours, the frog never moved and died a horrible death.
Are you suffering from Frog Psychology?
Are you (or someone you love) in a situation that is progressively getting worse, and yet is doing nothing about it? Lousy situations are sneaky because they usually don’t get that way overnight; instead, the process can be a slow and steady decline. And like the frog, before you know it, you’re dead.
Unfortunately, for many of us, our passions don’t lead us on careers that can easily lead to big bucks. You might have a passion for writing, acting, or gardening. How are you ever going to make money doing that?
I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it. — Jonathan Winters
Think about the top of your ideal profession
No matter what profession you pick, think about the individuals who have made it to the pinnacle of that profession. Are they poor?
Let’s examine a few professions that most people think are doomed to poverty, and let’s see how those who pursued them to the top fared. These are professions that your parents would probably tell you not to pursue because “You’ll never make any money that way!” Let’s see what a few rebellious kids (or some with encouraging parents) did with their lives:
After backpacking about 240 miles through the green mountains of Vermont and the hot fields of Massachusetts, I came up with five questions you can ask yourself to help figure out what is your passion.
#1: The “Billion Dollar” Question
One of the best ways to determine your passion is to find out what you would do if you had tons of money.
Write down what you would do with the majority of your waking hours if you had a billion dollars in the bank.
Obviously, with a billion dollars you wouldn’t have to work, although some lunatics might. Don’t worry about how you will spend the money. Yes, I’m sure that you’d donate 99 percent of your wealth to the poor and needy. Great. That’s nice, but the goal here is to find out what you would do with most of your time. Clearly, there are many things you might do with your hours, but what would consume the bulk of your time? Would you travel? Teach? Write books? Help the sick? Build homes? Trade stocks? Collect meat cleavers?
Sometimes people read Hike Your Own Hike and they actually like it. When I find these freaks of nature, I like to profile them. In this article, I interview an oxymoron: an adventurous family-man. See how Damien Tougas lives the paradoxical life.
Francis Tapon: Give those who don't know you some background about who you are.
Damien Tougas: I am a husband, a father, a techie, a writer/blogger, and an adventurer. I am a believer in integration, which means that I pursue creative ways to bring together those diverse aspects of my life into a cohesive whole. As a family, we have been working towards pursuing our passions full-time rather than just as hobbies.
Although I enjoy receiving email from my friends, some of my favorite emails are from strangers. These strangers have read Hike Your Own Hike and are writing to tell me the positive impact it had on their life. Such emails are more rewarding than seeing a boost in sales (OK, except for really big boost).
Below is a excerpt from Hike Your Own Hike that spurred a reader to write how it impacted her. First, the excerpt:
When you’re good, you’re good
When good events happen or when you perform well at an activity, you should attribute it to your inherent skill. Do not attribute it to luck. It’s possible that a thru-hiker may believe she’s lucky to have hiked 20 miles of trail. Indeed, it’s possible that she was lucky. Maybe she was blessed with great weather, or a friendly Trail Angel who gave her some food and encouragement to press on. On the other hand, walking 200 miles of trail isn’t about luck—it’s skill and determination. Finally, when a thru-hiker has walked over 2,000 miles, clearly luck had little to do with her success—she accomplished that feat because of her pure will.
Most thru-hikers have a good understanding of their expenses, know how to control them, are good at saving money, and know how to resist upgrading. Successful thru-hikers usually follow four steps to prepare for and complete their journey. Let’s look at each step and how we can apply it on and off the long distance trails.
When someone asks, “Are you happy?” we tend to look around at our peers and see how they are living. If we’re better off than our peers, it’s likely that we decide to be happy. Therefore, one of the tricks of being happy is to change the group we compare ourselves to.
Silicon Valley gossip columns enjoy pointing out that Oracle’s software titan Larry Ellison, whose $40 billion net worth makes him one of the top 10 richest people in America, is not the happiest guy around, mainly because he always compares himself to Bill Gates.
Meanwhile, on the Appalachian Trail, some backpackers feel smug because they got a spot in a shelter (which only has three walls and frequently has rodents nearby), whereas the latecomers have to set up their tent in the rain. For some reason most backpackers covet the spots in the shelters, and prefer cramming next to snoring neighbors than setting up their tent.
I suppose if we put Larry Ellison on the Appalachian Trail, he might feel better about himself if we somehow made sure that he always got to stay in one of the shelters (and Bill Gates had to sleep outside under a shoddy tarp).
Venice is my favorite city in the world. Yeah, there's lots of tourists, but there's a good reason for that: Venice is awesome. That's why tourists don't flock to Hayward, California.
Also, you can avoid the crowds by going to parts of Venice that are less popular. Parts of the main island (far from Piazza San Marco and the Grand Canal) have almost no tourists. Murano and Burano are also somewhat quiet. And the other islands, like St. Eramus, are almost dead.
Below are 27 photos of Venice, but first, enjoy this slide show video!
(If you are in Germany, you won't be able to see this video because of the soundtrack restrictions. So watch the Vimeo version, which appears after the 27 photos.)
If you're learning to do photography, Venice is perfect. A blind guy could take stunning photos in Venice. I'm not blind, but here are some photos to motivate you to visit, or revisit Venice.
Freedom is about having options so you can do what you love, pursue happiness, and get the most out of life. Yet how many of us are truly free today? How many of us can take a six month vacation? How many of us can afford to not worry about being laid off? How many of us can change careers and start at an entry level position in another industry? How many of us have the freedom to easily pack up our bags and move to a new city or country?
Most of can’t do any of this. What kind of freedom is that? Who has put these shackles on us to inhibit our options and possibilities? Who is impeding our ability to squeeze the most out of life?