Oct 08

Greece Weeks 3 & 4 update:
Meet Frank. Frank is our on-property goat. We feed him leaves because he’s eaten all the ones that are within reach. This is really the only reason Frank needs us but we’re cool with the relationship.

We’ll regularly come out the back door and find Frank doing sun salutations in the back yard. Frank loves yoga.

Last week we to go hike the massive Samaria Gorge of Crete. On the way there we stopped to grab a lunch of smashed panini sandwiches atop an amazing viewpoint. The sandwiches were mediocre but the view was spectacular.

We found out the Samaria Gorge is actually the longest gorge in all of Europe (so long they have a whole brand of purified water named after it).

32k steps and 5hrs later we nearly missed the last ferry out of there.

We met this little guy who unfortunately had a busted paw but played a solid sympathy begging game. He got more of our food than we did.

Plakias beach was a welcome restful spot after the gorge hike the previous day.I knocked out most of a book on channel sales here.
We hiked to the secluded Agio Farago beach the next weekend at the suggestion of @bennyb0y and were not disappointed.

Here we discovered a roving orchestra of cowbell-playing Cretan Mountain Goats. They were headed to a gig and wanted nothing to do with us.

All in all it’s been a great couple of weeks. The desserts have been(I discovered chocolate baklava cake is actually a thing). One more week then back to Lisbon for a brief stopover before Spain. (at Kournás, Khania, Greece)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B3Ws1zGH91Y/?igshid=yo4bbpoplhmb

Sep 24

Crete week 2 recap:

We find a beach where the water is impossibly blue.

But to get there we have to share this single-lane dirt road with some Cretan mountain goats. Crete doesn’t believe in guard rails and these goats don’t believe in road rules so it makes for an interesting car ride.

@benlakoff and I finally get our Oura rings. I propose to it immediately on the beach (she says yes). Feeling quantified AF now.

Next day we find this gorge with a waterfall. It was gorgeous.

Jon-o decides he’s going swimming but enters by doing a Triple Lindy off the rock ledge.

We drove to the western most point of the island and get there just in time for sunset.

In spite of applying half a bottle of SPF 1000 I’m a potato crisp (thank you Irish genes).

After dinner that night I get replaced by a mannequin. It’s more photogenic and gets less sunburned.

That’s fine though because I discover the Greek dessert Kataïfi and commit to ordering my body weight in this sugary walnut goodness while we’re here.

It just means daily TRX sessions which i have zero issue with given the view.
In summary, Crete is pretty fantastic. Good food, good people, good times. For more fun check out the Pagely podcast we just launched: pagely.com/podcast (at Kournás, Khania, Greece)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B2yjRKzHDtU/?igshid=1v27ejai9azg6

Sep 17

So first week… lemme recap:

We’re staying in what appears to be either a new or newly-remodeled triplex compound on the island of Crete.

2nd day we’re exploring the 4000-year-old palace of Knossos which apparently is the oldest ruins in the oldest civilization in Greece. It’s really old.

They’ve got old jars. On the one in front you can see the thumbprint of its creator on the handle. A 4000-yr-old thumbprint!

There are some really old paintings like this one but most burned in a fire ~1300BC. It’s a stone palace but a) all the columns were cypress trees covered in plaster b) the floors were wooden c) they were using olive oil lamps. Doh!

This is the place where the mythical Minotaur was allegedly underground in the catacombs. Turns out that was just a misinterpretation of a weird procreation screening ritual that involved grabbing a bull by the horns and jumping over it. If you couldn’t then… you didn’t. We didn’t find any Minotaurs but we did find the oldest known throne.

It’s crazy to imagine people living here 4000 years ago. They even had flushing toilets. My Airbnb sometimes don’t even have those…

Anyways this peacock shows up like it owns the place…

So we left and went to dinner at a bombass restaurant called Peskesi (highly recommend).
This is the view off our balcony. Not mad about this for a month. Opa! (at Kournás, Khania, Greece)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B2gwfHJH7Gb/?igshid=1qu7cg4m73b4u

Aug 01

My brother and I grew up going to the Vineyard every summer as kids. This place hasn’t changed in the 18yrs since I’ve been here- it’s still a magical place. This is the cottage campground in Oak Bluffs in early morning. (at Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts)
https://www.instagram.com/p/B0ntPdDnNVY/?igshid=1skm5y7r9i0zk

Jul 18

TLDR;

Today I’m unveiling a project I’ve been working on for the past few months: a new podcast designed to demystify nomadic, location-independent work and make it more accessible. My goal is to help 100 people get “unstuck” by helping them make this transformative lifestyle change. You only get one chance with a podcast launch and I would love to break into the iTunes “New & Noteworthy” section for Places & Travel. Every single download & review helps towards this cause. If you support what I’m doing please take 30 sec now and download and subscribe to my podcast on iTunes. You can find video episodes and other goodies on NomadPodcast.com.

The Bigger Picture and Backstory

This effort began in December 2017 when I read an editorial piece on the New York times that talked about The Lost Einsteins. That article proposed that society today is deprived of an unknowable number of life-changing inventions by would-have-been Einsteins. They theorize that these young future potential contributors grow up without access to the environment and opportunities that would have been the catalyst for them to flourish due to living in poor socioeconomic status households.

This article resonated with me but for a different reason. While I agree with the author’s premise and suspect that indeed this is true and happening I hypothesize that the same phenomenon is at work within adults of all walks regardless of socioeconomic status. I believe there are a non-trivial number of privileged adults with all the trappings that came with a graduate education who went through a plinko board of choices in the education system and wound up winnowed into a career that doesn’t allow for the optimal expression of their talents. It’s debatable to what degree this is happening but unarguably this is true for some percentage of adults and it gets only more difficult over time to extract yourself from this rut. We find ourselves in veritable doldrums at points in our lives and while revamping the current education system to address the root cause and get more of the right people in the right roles out of the gate is a longer-arc massive undertaking, I believe there is a simple, immediate antidote for this issue and I want to try and make this more accessible to people in this situation.

Nomadic working travel has been instrumental in awakening me from this adult slumber. I won’t go into my personal story (if you want to read details Remote Year covered it well in this piece) but basically RY was a defibrillator that shocked me back to life, served as a gateway drug to nomadic working travel and ejected me from a personal and professional rut.

Why these three resources?

I spent three months living and working in Mexico, City last winter and had the opportunity to get to know a bunch of the admissions team for Remote Year. I was sitting within earshot and overheard numerous calls with aspiring digital nomads and while I only heard one side of the conversation, I got a high-concentration dose of Customer Discovery insights into the concerns and objections of aspirational nomads who wanted to do this type of working travel program.

I decided over Christmas break to develop a simple eCourse that would package up everything I had learned from my 1.5yrs of location-independent work at that point and give people a resource to help them more confidently make the leap. That project mushroomed into a significant undertaking. The deeper I got into developing the curriculum for that effort the more I wanted to apply what I knew of automation and software to turn it into a personalized coaching system that would not just be a static brochure but a living, interactive preparation tool. I spent most of my Christmas break developing content, gamification, an interactive checklist and automations to create the resource I wished I had going into Remote Year. I launched Nomad Prep a few weeks later with little fanfare and promptly realized I had committed the age-old entrepreneurial mistake of building a product before building an audience. That course continues to receive a trickle of students each week but I realized there needs to be a better way of reaching more aspiring nomads.

Nomad Bloggers (at the time RemoteYearBlogs.com but now changed due to trademark) was a project I had started in our first month of Remote Year originally intended to be a way of aggregating the blog posts from the bloggers in our group. I had modified it to support syndicating posts from other groups and it was growing in traffic. I rebranded it with the Nomad label, sold RemoteYearBlogs.com to Remote Year and used that cash to hire a developer from Upwork to add “Reddit-like” voting functionality and make the blog aggregator more sticky. While this seemed like a promising potential source of aspiring nomads it didn’t move the needle traffic-wise for Nomad Prep.

Shortly after I did a few interviews with prospective clients for Remote Year (they call them “Premotes”) and while the sessions were super-helpful, that approach unfortunately doesn’t scale. It led me to realize though that face-to-face video interaction captured and shared provide a rich way to ask and answer questions. I got the idea in my head that there’s room to do a podcast wherein I interview successful nomads, founders of travel programs and domain experts on subjects that could help educate folks on how to be better at working and living abroad. As with everything, it ended up taking 3x as long as expected working nights to cobble this together but I’m proud today to launch what I believe is the missing piece of the distribution puzzle here. I present to you NomadPodcast.com, the first platform of its kind for sharing stories that can help current and aspiring Nomads.

I’ll spare you the gory details of everything it does but it showcases interviews in HD video via YouTube, is mobile-friendly, has audio-only versions syndicated across all major podcast platforms and each episode includes a bunch of supporting elements like transcript, photos, links, show notes and the ability to ask the guest questions via text comments as well as recording a video via your webcam. I’m hopeful that this will become a resource that helps current nomads be more excellent and helps prospective nomads confidently take the leap to trying this lifestyle and in so doing will have the same transformative, awakening effect that nomadic travel has had on me. If it helps even one or two people have an adventure abroad they otherwise wouldn’t have had that revitalizes them or even awakens the next slumbering adult Einstein then I would find that hugely rewarding.

I have interviews at varying stages of the production cycle now with a number of stellar guests. If you’re onboard with this cause there’s nothing to buy here nor donations to make, just subscribe to the podcast via your favorite platform using the links below and tell a friend who could benefit from it. Thanks for your support.
Website
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Spotify
YouTube
Overcast
Anchor
Pocketcasts

Dec 05

Well we just broke the halfway mark of Remote Year having left Valencia, Spain and rounded out month six. Here’s my normal video recap that shows where we lived and worked there:

I was fortunate to get outside of Valencia too this past month and travel around Ireland and to Barcelona. Here is the month told in photos:


Salient things that stand out about this past month:

  • Spain spanish is very different from latin-american spanish. I learned my español in Ecuador so it was a bit of an adjustment to get the Valencian Spanish. They speak very fast and with the “theta” accent.
  • Ham, ham and more ham. Spain must do 5x average pig consumption per capita as we do in the States. Jamon was on every menu (we even went to a restaurant called “Jamon Jamon.”). If you get a chance to try Iberic ham, do it. It’s delicious. Paella too, but be prepared to take a nap after.
  • Valencia was a beautiful, quiet, walkable city with clean streets and nice parks. It was a great R&R stop after Rabat and before diving into the 2nd leg of our journey in Mexico and S. America.
  • Our Ireland trip was the highpoint of the month for me. The Cliffs of Moher were stunning and just driving the countryside was super relaxing. Driving on the left side of the road with the steering wheel on the right is a mental curveball but such a great experience.
  • Strong month for sales at Pagely and I’m engaged in two efforts now setting up our business intelligence and implementing a marketing automation framework for improved nurture and conversion.

Anyways, I’m headed back to Phoenix to see friends and family over the Christmas break. If you’re in Phoenix the evening after Christmas we’re doing a happy hour. Hit me up if you want to join and I’ll add you to the FB event. Here are some of the songs that will remind me of this month:

cliffs-of-moher

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