Greetings from Manaus, Brazil.
While my Boston friends are enduring yet another winter storm, I’m surveying the largest city in northern Brazil under an equatorial sun. Sure, my hotel room is crawling with ants, and my lack of Portuguese had made getting around a bit tougher than usual, but I couldn’t be happier.
When I was in elementary school, I would spend hours playing an educational computer game called The Amazon Trail. I distinctly remember stopping in Manaus to trade some of the items I had gathered canoeing down the Amazon. To think that I’m actually here in the flesh is bewildering. My wanderlust for the remote corners of the world grows stronger.
One Challenge Down. Eleven More to Go.
In January, I set out to conquer the first of twelve month-long challenges in 2011. The first challenge–to cook 5-10 recipes I had never made before–went as planned. I got into the kitchen. I followed recipes that were both easy and delicious. I made fish and chili and salad and roasted vegetables and all kinds of good stuff. Heck, I even rounded up a few of you to join me.
Thanks to everyone who participated and to everyone who helped spread the word. The whole purpose of these challenges is to have fun and bring our livees to a higher standard. I’d love to have you aboard.
February Challenge: Write 1000 Words/Day.
Lately, I’ve fallen into a mental consumption trap. While I’m growing intellectually–reading blogs and books and articles, talking to friends, watching, ahem, Jeopardy–I haven’t produced anything to show for it. In other words, I’m consuming more than I’m creating.
I’m often overwhelmed with the amount of epic shit out there, and it’s about time I start honing in on the skillset I’ve been neglecting most over the last several months: writing.
February’s challenge is to write consistently, every day, at least 1000 words. I picked the number 1000 because I know it’ll be difficult to hit. Your number might be different. The important thing is to set a metric to be able to stay focused and track progress.
What will you be writing about?
Introducing, The Travel Hacking Cartel: Earn Four Free Flights a Year
Since I bought Chris Guillebeau’s Frequent Flyer Master a few months ago, I’ve earned over 200,000 airline miles with United, American and Delta. That’s enough for a first-class ticket to Asia and back. The best part is, I didn’t spend any unnecessary money to get those extra miles. I simply used a few clever tactics. Chris told me where to look and what to look for, and I followed his advice.
Chris’ brand new program, The Travel Hacking Cartel, just opened its doors last week. The Travel Hacking Cartel democratizes free travel by offering a wide variety of strategies for its members, ensuring up to four free plane tickets a year. Here are some additional highlights:
- Regular “Deal Alerts” sent via email and SMS/text message (when a big opportunity comes up, members will be the first to know)
- Tutorials and an extensive Knowledge Base to get people started (Chris’ research showed that most people have no idea what to do with miles and points… this program will tell them)
- The Refer-a-Hacker Program that pays members 500 Frequent Flyer Miles for each referral (the process is extremely easy–everyone has their own referral link directly in their account settings)
- The “World’s Greatest Guarantee” – if members follow directions and spend at least 30 minutes a month travel hacking, they’ll earn enough miles for at least 1 plane ticket every quarter, or 4 plane tickets a year (there is also info on how to redeem miles for great awards)
There are currently 1000 pre-boarding spots available at just $1 for a 14-day trial. After that, the program will be by invitation only. Let me know if you have any questions!
For my 25th birthday, several of my friends joined me in a celebratory jump-session at Boston’s first trampoline park. While I had a whopping time that day, the experience didn’t go nearly as well as I would have liked it to.
For one, I showed up late. When I had driven there for the first time in early December, it had only taken twenty minutes. We left on a Sunday morning. This time, it took the better part of an hour. I hadn’t factored in Saturday traffic. Argh. Secondly, the company was not accommodating. To make a long story short, their reservation policy needs a little work.
I arrived to the park flustered and frustrated. I had neither the head nor trampoline space to capture the kind of video footage I had intended and promised. Below is a short clip I borrowed from YouTube to give you an idea of what the room looks like:
Fun stuff! Alright, time to finish my first 1000 words and head to bed. Heading to Rio de Janeiro this weekend and will offer up some pictures/stories from Brazil soon thereafter.