Tag Archives: four hour workweek

5 Books to Read Before Hitting the Road

When you hit the road for the first time there are a lot of things that are going to turn around and hit you back. Having a little preparation to deal with these things and some inspiration to keep you going is important.

Here’s what I read before hitting the road.

1. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Longterm World Travel

Rolf Potts is an amazing writer who has traveled all across the globe. He writes regularly at Vagablogging.net and has been featured in magazines like National Geographic Traveler, Outside, the New York Times Magazine and many more.

Vagabonding covers the basics of life on the road from before you even start. How to prepare for your trip, how to decide where to go, how to decide what to do when you get there, and much more. It’s less about specifics and more about learning how we want to travel in our own way.

This is one book that has stayed with me every step of my trip.

Buy it on Amazon.com before you get out there.

2. On the Road

Jack Kerouac was the American vagabond of the mid-20th century. Screaming across the country in cars from coast-to-coast, exploring cities and delving deep into life on the road as a spiritual experience, Kerouac has been the inspiration for many who roadtrip or travel.

Reading On the Road for the first time gives you a feel for the density of experience that vagabonding will provide. When you are out there on the road and hit a few bumps it is doubtfully as troublesome as the adventures that Kerouac went through.

I read this when I was in high school and have since read it over and over again. When you need a hit to jump start your passion again, this is one for me and hopefully you.

Buy it on Amazon.com and feel the rush.

3. A Walk in The Woods: Rediscovering America on The Appalachian Trail

Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors hands down. His wit and the lightness with which he describes adversities he faces takes the wind out of that daunting first step.

When you set out to hike the Appalachian trail you are making a statement to yourself.

When you set out to vagabond across the country or the world you are making a statement to yourself.

It’s not about being a nonconformist or breaking from the mold necessarily, it is a personal pilgrimage to find out who you are and what you are made of. Bill Bryson gives us an insight into what makes him him.

Buy it on Amazon.com and take a hike.

4. The Four Hour Workweek

If Rolf Potts is the travel writer of the age, Timothy Ferriss is the entrepreneur who can show you how make the time to travel. This was the first book that really turned me onto traveling in a manner that made sense to me.

The Four Hour Workweek has a number of tools on how to divorce yourself from the incessant streams of information that we are bombarded with, create a business that will help fund your traveling, and a great deal more.

The title was purposefully chosen to create a bit of controversy, and yes it sounds a bit like a scam, but the ideas behind it are powerful and the motivation it gave me (one of the best slackers) to really work at redesigning my life is impressive.

Buy it on Amazon.com and see how many hours you want to put.

5. Your suggestions

What would a list be at only four? The fifth book is up to you, what else would you suggest to read before traveling?

Tweet to Beat: Tim Ferriss Raising Money for American Public Schools

Tim Ferriss has just announced an effort to raise money for the United States public school systems.

Ferriss has participated in other fundraising efforts with exceptional success raising $250,000 dollars for LitLiberation in a month to spread literacy worldwide.

It is called Tweet to Beat and you can read the full explanation in Tim’s words here.

How it works:

Here’s how the Tweet to Beat campaign works:

1) For every new Twitter follower in the next two weeks, I will donate $1 to DonorsChoose.org, and an anonymous supporter will match $2, for a total of $3 to U.S. public school classrooms per follower. For now, the matching limit is tentatively capped at 50,000 new followers, though I’m open to increasing it later. 50,000 new followers would mean $150,000 to U.S. public school education, and I hope to double or triple this total with a few twists.

The goal is directly helping 25,000 U.S. public school students in low-income and high-need areas in two weeks. This timeline is half the time dedicated to LitLiberation. My current follower count is, at the time of this writing, 22,782, so we’ll round down and begin the count at 22,500.

2) There is a simultaneous competition for those who would like to spread the word. Just do the best you can (Facebook, blog, e-mail friends, FriendFeed, etc.) and detail what you did in the comments here. Tell your friends who are teachers and encourage them to do the same. Bonus points go to people who act sooner vs. later. Deadline for comments is March 23rd at 5pm PT.

Try to spread the word as far as you can, grand prize is an Around the World trip on Continental Airlines and second prize is a brand new MacBook Pro.  Help me out by spreading the word and this link: http://bit.ly/18w974

Share it on Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter, DiggIt, or on Google.

Follow Timothy Ferriss on Twitter and help out America’s education, we’re far behind where we should be.

Vagabonding – Starting Long Term Travel

I have hit the road.  Visit my Travelogue over at Vagabond Cafe.

After a month of deliberation and semi-planning I took off from Maine.  I landed in Atlanta December 8th after a few tribulations – losing my wallet, missing my flight, losing my book (on vagabonding) – and immediately headed out dancing.  A great relief.

My plan to travel has been spurred by many factors, but the principal one which gave me the idea to travel without a home was reading the Four Hour Workweek and coming to the conclusion that my life wasn’t really on any particular road and I was just doing what had been presented to me – not what I had chosen for myself.  I had lost my job, had multiple reasons to leave New York City behind not least the exceptional expense of living there, my ties of being in a relationship were over all of which created an opportunity.

Perhaps I should have done a bit more prep and research before I left, but I’ve spent almost a month in Atlanta (with a week trip to Asheville) which has served as a gestation period for my ideas and route through the U.S.

Things I would have prepared a little differently for:

  • wait an extra week or two to pad my accounts
  • get my motorcycle license
  • line up a bit more work in Atlanta (I tried this but it didn’t work out)
  • research vagabonding a bit more

If you are planning a vagabonding trip I recommend a few resources to start:

There are many more which would come in handy that you’ll discover on your own.  Starting with Vagabonding and Four Hour Workweek will definitely give a jumpstart to your dreams of leaving the assumed real world behind.

Slacker – A Definition

Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary c. 1966

One who shirks his duties or avoids military service in wartime; shirker.

Wikipedia

The term slacker is commonly used to refer to a person who avoids work (especially British English), or (primarily in North American English) an educated person who is antimaterialistic and viewed as an underachiever.

So while I am not going to recommend enlisting in military service (the Reader’s Digest definition may be a touch out of date) I will recommend putting your talents to good use – as I hope to put my own to use without over burdening myself with the traditional notion of work.

As to my definition of a slacker – the wikipedia definition for North America is on target.  I would add to it that slackers general have a level of idealism that breeds a cynicism of the current system (or at least I do).  As for in practice: slacking, as I used it in my school career, consisted mostly of ignoring the busy work and completing important tasks (projects, papers, etc.) in the shortest time possible (usually at the last minute).

In a way this was my use of Parkinson’s Law without knowing about it.  Parkinson’s Law is cited a great deal in Timothy Ferriss’s book The Four Hour Workweek and refers to the notion that we a job will swell in work according to the time given.  While some may dispute how Timothy Ferriss uses the Parkinson’s Law, Study Hack for example citing the specific context Parkinson was referring to in his paper on British Civil Service, it is in many contexts an effective idea to put to use.

The purpose of slacker reform is then not to take the slacker out entirely but to optimize the slacker for high yield and efficiency while maintaining a minimal level of work.

Are you a slacker?  Even if you aren’t, how would you define slacker?  Let me know and comment.