Category — transformative travel

The Language Adventurers, Part 1

During our recent conversation about free language study resources, a reader mentioned the Spanish-Only blog. [Thanks, Geekgrl!] Following some linked conversations from that blog led me to the blogs of some everyday, yet extraordinary, people who are living amazing lives. I call them language adventurers. You can be one too!

Yearlyglot—Fluent Every Year

Randy of Yearlyglot has decided to learn one new language each year. He says,

The main focus of this web site is, of course, learning languages. Specifically, I will be learning one new language every year. But it should always be remembered that language is a means, not an end. This is all en route to the bigger goal — becoming the citizen of the world… the cosmopolitan traveler I always dreamed of being.

He talks about the adjustments needed to make this possible.

The world isn’t a big scary place any more, it’s a collection of very reachable destinations.

Even on a modest income, it is possible to go all over the world and see new things, meet new people, learn about other cultures, and do all those things that I dreamed of as a kid. The only thing left are excuses.

. . . When you believe that your dreams are impossible, you don’t do the work of trying to reach them. Instead, you fill your life with trivial things to keep your mind off of what you really want. And that’s what I did for a long time. But once I woke up to the realization that it is possible, some things had to change.

You can read the rest here.

Fluent In 3 Months

Benny of Fluent In 3 Months describes himself as a full-time “technomad”—a technology-enabled world traveler. He sets out on missions to various countries to learn new languages within 3 months. He says,

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be rich to travel the world! I am currently trying to support myself by sales of the Language Hacking Guide and by giving private language coaching. If you like this site, maybe give one a try! My goal is to earn enough to hopefully eventually be able to live comfortably in Moscow and Tokyo, each one for 3 months (and unfortunately, the two most expensive capital cities in the world!) to learn Russian and Japanese. Until then, I will continue choosing cheap destinations for my language missions (for example right now I’m in Berlin, one of Europe’s cheapest capitals).

Read the rest here.

Lifestyle design is what makes all of this possible. Which brings me to another blog that’s worth checking out.

Thrilling Heroics

Cody of Thrilling Heroics describes himself as “a lifestyle designer and nomadic entrepreneur living in Asia.” He says,

I’m from California’s capital, Sacramento. But I’ve spent over a year living abroad in Southeast Asia. My homebase is in Bangkok, Thailand, and I occasionally travel around the region to places like Krabi, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.

. . . I have been self-employed since 2007, and working remotely as a digital nomad since November 2008. In my travel experience, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit about 20 countries (all of North America, across Europe & the Mediterranean, and now Asia). I recently co-founded an awesome lifestyle design community for college students and young professionals who want to learn to build their own businesses, live anywhere, and take their lives into their own hands.

You can read the rest here.

Lifestyle Design Or Self-Entrapment Design

You can either create additional choices for yourself, or you can create entrapment for yourself. It’s your choice. I know that I’ve been harping on this point for quite some time; most recently, during this earlier conversation. That’s because the consequences of each choice are long-lasting.

If you’re not creating additional income streams for yourself, you’re setting yourself up to be extremely economically vulnerable. By “additional income streams,” I don’t mean another job. I mean developing income-generating assets for yourself (a side business, rental property, and so on). You can have whatever type and degree of lifestyle design that works for you. Or, you can have the economic entrapment described in this news story, Blacks in Memphis Lose Decades of Economic Gains.

As I read that story, I saw several threads that are common to many recent tales of financial woe: an adjustable rate mortgage and a total dependence on “good jobs.” These “good jobs” are disappearing. They won’t be coming back. Certainly not in their previous forms. Say goodbye to full-time jobs with benefits. In this case, one of the homeowners being interviewed had two jobs. He lost one. And could no longer perform his duties in the second job after an injury. This gentleman is now facing bankruptcy and foreclosure.


Let me repeat a suggestion that I’ve made during earlier conversations. Don’t let the things you don’t like about any particular blog stop you from picking up tips and strategies that can enhance your life! I know that many women will have the urge to run screaming away from Thrilling Heroics once they read the references to another writer’s product called The 007 Lifestyle Guide, the “seduction community,” and Pick Up Artist materials. Yes, any marriage-minded woman should stay far, far, FAR away from pick-up artists and hook-up artists. Refusing to date such individuals has nothing to do with taking advantage of whatever information is available. Take what’s useful for your circumstances, and leave the rest.


African-American women who feel hesitant about considering all lifestyle design possibilities due to a sense of obligation to the now-dead Black community should keep several things in mind. First, note that you’re the only ones narrowing your life options because of a desire to “save alla our people.” Nobody else is doing that. Consider the example of Dwight Turner, someone the Thrilling Heroics blog host collaborates with on large-scale charity dinners and mixer events. Mr. Turner lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

Another point of resistance is the reaction that, “This lifestyle design stuff is just for twenty-somethings who don’t have marriages, children, mortgages, or any other tangible responsibilities. I have responsibilities. What does any of this have to do with me?”

If you’re determined to create more choices for yourself, you’ll find ways to apply the information and tips given at various sites to your own life. In fact, creating a more free and less economically vulnerable lifestyle might be the best thing you can do for your children and family!

June 11, 2010   22 Comments

Free Language Study Resources

If you’re going to leave the Caribbean alone for a minute, and instead have some transformative travel experiences, it helps to learn some of the language spoken in the other places you’ll visit. There are many free online resources. I’ve been enjoying the free (European dialect) Spanish podcasts and other materials by Ben and Marina from Notes in Spanish. [A word to aspiring online business owners: Please note how they use the technique of offering free special reports and newsletters to capture potential customers’ email addresses. They offer paid products as well as their various free materials.]

Here are some other language study resources.

The iTunes Store also has many language study podcasts. Please feel free to add to this list!

June 10, 2010   21 Comments

Transformative Travel


Too many African-Americans have the unfortunate habit of only traveling to places that large numbers of other African-Americans have visited. They’ve turned a path into a dead-end rut. I humbly suggest that following the annual African-American herds to vacation in the Caribbean isn’t doing anything meaningful for you. I’ve watched every African-American I know who’s gone to the Caribbean come back totally unchanged by the experience. By contrast, every African-American I know who’s gone to places the African-American herds don’t go to (such as Europe, Asia, or Africa) has come back deeply touched by the experience.

I know that the time I’ve spent in Europe and Egypt made deep impressions on me. What stood out for me the most was how very OLD other countries are. In Giza, Athens and Rome, it was awe-inspiring to be in the presence of artifacts from antiquity. In Spain and France, it was amazing to visit castles and cathedrals from the Middle Ages. In Cairo, it was humbling to visit the Citadel of Salah ad-Din (Saladin) and make dua (individual supplication) inside the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha. The hundreds of hanging globes that light the interior of that mosque were a deeply calming sight. The dhikr (prayer) beads I bought while visiting Cairo are among my most treasured possessions.

If you’re determined, you’ll find a way to have your own transformative travel experiences. I would suggest that you check out the following ebook, and the suggestions provided in this blog post.

Leave the Caribbean alone for a minute. It’ll still be there after you’ve experienced some transformative travel to other places off the African-American beaten path.

April 18, 2010   61 Comments