Doing More with Less

SpartanTraveler

Doing More with Less.


5 Things I’d do Differently if I Left the USA Today 3

Posted Feb 08, 2015 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Travel Tips

Leaving on your first big trip? Congratulations.

I get a lot of emails from people who are gearing up for a big adventure, and the most common question is: how do you prepare for this?

While this isn’t the full checklist (I’ll post that at some point), here are a few big things I wish I’d done before I left in 2011.

If you’re only making a short trip this may not be worth the effort, but if you’re in this for the long-haul these 5 things are worth considering.

#1 Sell everything you can.

spartantraveler_surfboards

[Ahem. Ok, maybe not everything]

I did this in 2011: a massive Craigslist sale, re-gifting to friends, taking a few trips to Goodwill. But every time I visit the US I’m appalled by how much is still left. Thousands of dollars in vehicles, equipment, clothes–mostly useless, replaceable, and only losing more value or becoming completely worthless over time. Read the rest of this entry →

Morning Scripts: Wake up, Kick Ass Every Single Day 14

Posted Feb 01, 2015 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifehacks

power-of-positive-thinking

Summary: Below you’ll find an explanation of how priming myself with a scripted morning routine has been a major positive change this year. I’ve also included the exact morning routine I’m using now.

Is it possible to make yourself location-agnostic, bulletproof to circumstance, resilient in a way that ensures marching down the road to high-level outcomes every damn day until they happen?

I consider myself extremely motivated, but plenty of mornings I wake up and don’t want to move. It’s not that the obstacles are too big or that I don’t enjoy what I do, but some kind of meta-level inertia has clogged the gears. Writers would call it writer’s block. Motivational speakers would call it “needing a state change.”

It can be caused by almost anything: lack of sleep, overtraining, burning out on work. No matter how motivated I was yesterday, sometimes the muse just left the building over night.

But what if you could reboot your brain–in 10-30 minutes–and get into a state of focus and effortless output regardless of your current mental/physical/emotional crisis?   Read the rest of this entry →

The Best Books I Read in 2014 7

Posted Jan 23, 2015 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Books

I’ve always tried to read as much as possible.

While making time for it doesn’t always happen, I know that I’m only limited by the information in front of me.

As I’ve heard human performance expert Kelly Starrett quip (paraphrased): ‘In the past we didn’t know. Now we know: the best way to eat, the best way to train–all the information is available. If you’re not awesome now, it’s your own damn fault.’

So inhaling large amounts of information and integrating it always has to be part of the schedule. The only problem is that with limited time we have to make sure we’re focusing on the right information. That’s why I rely so heavily on recommendations, and why I thought this list might be useful.

A caveat: “best” is totally subjective and ignores the importance of timing and experience. The right message at the right time can change your life, and while most of the “best” books are important just for getting the same message in a slightly different way, they won’t blow the doors off your imagination if it isn’t new stuff.

That being said, here are the books that made a big impression on me last year (I’ve also included a few favorites from 2013 at the bottom.) Read the rest of this entry →

The Myth of the 4-Hour Workweek 22

Posted Nov 14, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifestyle Design

spartantraveler-patagonia-mt-tronador

This year I re-read the The 4-Hour Workweek. For the 8th time.

“Freedom is like a new sport.”
-Tim Ferris in the 4-hour Workweek

Back in mid-2007 a co-worker told me to read Tim Ferriss‘ book.

“You will love it” she said.

A week later I requested all remaining vacation hours and took a 3-week surf trip to Costa Rica.

I returned home sunburnt and happy, and the next day I promptly quit my job, started work as a professional blogger, and left on an indefinite sojourn to S. America that started with an expedition over the Chilean Andes.

Such is the power of the book to inspire action.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Over 7 years later I find myself waking up in Budapest, Hungary, pursuing wilder goals than I could have imagined at the time.

If you’ve read the 4-hour Workweek (4HWW) you might expect me to say all this was easy–all I had to do was start a website, hire a virtual assistant, and get on a plane to Europe–where I would occasionally check to make sure money kept flowing into my bank account.

For those of you who haven’t read Tim’s palm-tree studded Bible of lifestyle-design, or for those who didn’t really get it, here’s the punchline: it’s not really about working 4 hours a week. Read the rest of this entry →

How to Wear the Same Clothes for a Year 21

Posted Oct 13, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Gear

spartan-travel-kit-da-lat-vietnam

[Photo: Most of the kit in Da Lat, Vietnam]

Since I began traveling full-time in mid-2011 I’ve had a simple goal: find the simplest, most functional, and lightest travel gear possible.

I figured after 2 years I had the technology part wired (more on that below), but my biggest question for this trip was clothing. Would it be possible, I wondered, to wear the same clothes for a year?

After more than 12 months outside the USA  I have some answers: my wardrobe looks nearly identical to when I left. The surprising thing is how little I had to supplement the original travel kit I left with on September 7, 2013.

Read the rest of this entry →

SE Asia is a Playground for Outdoor Sports 7

Posted Jun 20, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Adventure Sports

surfing-mentawais-bank-vaults

[Photo Credit: Wet Frames Photography]

Pack your gear duffels and get to SE Asia.

Most people have heard about good surf in Indonesia or epic rock climbing in S. Thailand. But until you’ve been it’s hard to imagine the extent of the options, the incredibly low cost of living and traveling in the region, and the top-tier quality available for each sport.

I just completed 9 months traipsing around SE Asia, and I was initially stunned to find out how easy it is to set up a base of operations with a small amount of gear and tour the entire region.

You can fly just about anywhere for less than $200 (even booked 24h in advance), and virtually every sport is on tap: surfing, rock climbing, scuba diving, mountaineering, kiteboarding, sailing. The list goes on.

It’s an outdoor-sport junkie’s paradise. Below is a regional overview.

Read the rest of this entry →

The 6 Phases of Lifestyle Design 21

Posted May 24, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Lifestyle Design, Work 2.0

You quit your job. You buy a plane ticket. You leave to travel around the world. Then you figure out a way to make some money.

last-day-of-work-spartantraveler

Most people go through a predictable series of steps on the road to a location-independent lifestyle. While the six phases listed here aren’t definitive or exactly linear, they sum up the lifestyle progression I’ve seen from dozens of travelers and veteran laptop nomads. Read the rest of this entry →

SE Asia: Set Up Shop Anywhere in Less than 8 Hours 7

Posted Apr 12, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Travel Updates

chiang-mai-motorbike-digital-nomad_3e

Some places are made for laptop nomads.

You arrive with no plan, no contacts, no reservations, and in just a few hours you have cell service, a furnished apartment, transportation, a gym membership, and a bead on the best co-working spaces and coffee shops in the area. That is what we’re talking about here.

It’s not that I’m in a hurry, it’s just that I value efficiency and flexibility. Any place where you to set up shop in less than 24 hours usually lets you leave in the same time-frame. Minimum hassle, maximum results. It’s also really fun, and is probably the closest I’ll get to feeling like Jason Bourne.  Read the rest of this entry →

Lifestyle-Overhead: Why Chiang Mai is Ground Zero 38

Posted Feb 13, 2014 by Clayton B. Cornell In: Work 2.0

chiang-mai-wat-spartantraveler

Some things we value: simplicity, focus, quality of life. 

There are numerous reasons to ‘retire’ in SE Asia, including low-cost of living and high quality of life. But for laptop nomads, the goal is to minimize unnecessary overhead and and maximize time spent on things we care about.

Which is why SE Asia in general, or Chiang Mai in particular, is digital-nomad central. Old news to the veterans, but for everyone else, here’s one example of a place with virtually no penalty for being there. Read the rest of this entry →

Crowdfunded Documentary fights Human Trafficking 4

Posted Feb 03, 2014 by Guest In: Guest Posts

Human-Trafficking-18

On 16th July 2011, sixteen-year-old M was kidnapped from Vietnam. She is believed to have been sold as a wife or prostitute in China, a victim of human trafficking.

Editor’s Note: this is a guest post presented in conjunction with John of JetSetCitizen. To support the project please visit the ‘The Human, Earth Project’ crowdfunding page for more information.

A story of human trafficking

The experience of traveling through S.E. Asia at a leisurely pace, feasting on tasty street food, exploring temples at sunrise, and exchanging philosophies with other like-minded spirits that you meet on the road, remains a lifelong dream for many. Each year, hundreds of thousands of daring individuals pack their bags and hit the road.

But few are exposed to the dirty secrets usually hidden from unsuspecting tourists. The kind of heart-wrenching inequalities you only witness if you stick around longer than the ‘just passing through’ 3-day trip, many tourists get to experience.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • About SpartanTraveler

    spartan traveler My name is Clayton.
    I've been traveling full-time since mid-2011 while building an online business on my laptop. SpartanTraveler is my personal travel blog of uncommon travel adventures, logbook of travel hacks, and forum for thoughts on lifestyle design and working in the 21st century. You can get updates from the site by signing up with your email address below. Feel free to reach out on Twitter (@spartantravel), , Instagram (@spartantraveler) or contact me / read more about the site.

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  • Opening Thoughts…

    "I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency. Let the words be gazetted and ridiculous henceforward. Instead of the gong for dinner, let us hear a whistle from the Spartan fife."

    - Ralph Waldo Emerson


    "May your journey be rough."

    - Nigerian Proverb

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