Everyone has their guru, in Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert had that guy in Bali, in Star Wars Luke Skywalker had Yoda, and I have Tim Ferriss, he is my life guru.
If you haven’t already read The 4 Hour Work Week and his blog, it is filled with lifestyle advice, ways to think outside the box, and covers a ton of topics. Part of my own inspiration for this blog was a posting Tim had on his site about exotic travel destinations you can afford. The point is, with the right amount of drive and discipline, you can live the life you want to when you want it. If you want to go to Thailand, do it, now, not at 65 after you retire, what are you going to do with the next, twenty, thirty, forty even fifty years of your life if you are just waiting until you can do the things you want in the way general society deems you should. Tim is a cool guy and has done some amazing things in life, mostly I think, because he has the balls to give it a shot, a lesson most of us forget as we grow into adulthood.
I don’t know how the real world of guru’s work, I have been meaning to brush up on my Buddhism, but I’m sure they must have some version of disciples that lead you off in the various paths you might want to take. Same way with this, once I had learned about Tim, and started following him on Twitter (you can follow me here by the way), I discovered Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You to be Rich, immediately bought his book of the same name, and put his practices together, now I live my financial life completely automated. By the time I even see that cash sitting in my account, I have already contributed to my company’s 403b, insurance, phone, car, student loans etc, and saved each into a Roth 401k and a high interest bank account which I then separate into buckets. Holy crap, my money has been working before it even gets to my bank account! But the point is, every month, without thinking, I have that money sitting in my travel bucket before I can even think about spending it on something else, it’s there ready to go, when I am.
The next guy I discovered was Rolf Potts. I first came across him while giving a talk online at the Do Lectures (sigh, my holy grail) talking about his traveling adventures. He also has a great read, Vagabonding, it’s super short, but packed full of timeless information. He even just completed a six week long, round the world trip, with no luggage, yup you read that right, no luggage. What I learned from Rolf, after my searing jealousy of taking these trips wore off, was that the same basic principles can be applied to anyone’s life: just do it, go out there, meet with locals, don’t always do the conventional thing and you might find that you will gain so much more from your travels. To have a life changing experience doesn’t mean six weeks in Zimbabwe, it could be a two weeks driving across the USA, or a week at a cooking class in Mexico, or taking the back roads one weekend wherever you want. We don’t have to be held down by conventional wisdom anymore, we have the freedom to do things, we just have to make it happen.
So, with my triumvirate of inspirational guys, I plan to do just that. In 2011 I have planned 2-3 weeks in the UK, backpacking, staying in hostels or with friends of friends and trying to get off the beaten path a little bit. This trip is my major inspiration for this blog, until recently I never thought I could be someone who would be able to just take off, and now all I want to do is to make sure that I can. Even if it is just one big trip a year, I’ll take my two or three weeks and do something with it. Until that happens though, along the way I will be posting some trips I find, some gear reviews, and maybe even a guest blogger or two.