A breakdown of my cost of living over the last few years.
I’m a strong believer that budgeting and tracking are among the most important skills you can develop. Simply because to be in charge of your destiny you have to know what’s going on and what the plan is. Having access to good numbers is often the hardest part (running a business, fitness, health), but fortunately tracking personal expenses couldn’t be easier.
Since childhood I’ve been a a bit OCD about tracking money. I still remember the investing pamphlet my dad gave me around age 12 about saving money and compound interest. You know the one: clean little graphs illustrating how $1 saved a day will miraculously become $1,000,000 by age 50.
Skill in tracking and saving is what ultimately allowed me to save $15,000 for travel during my first job out of college.
Being a business owner takes the budgeting OCD up a notch. It’s a much bigger deal when the numbers don’t add up when you’re talking employees and cashflow. Read the rest of this entry →
Traveling used to be a lot harder.
I remember trying to write a blog post in Buenos Aires in 2008. Wifi as we know it was not widely available, but internet cafes were everywhere, and they worked pretty well if you could get around the non-US keyboards and the impossibility of finding the ‘@’ symbol.
The ease of modern travel with a local SIM card powered smart-phone with broadband internet access is borderline ridiculous. Nothing is impossible when you can get on the internet, and wandering around looking for accommodation has been replaced by some quick tactical research. Read the rest of this entry →
May 13, 2016 by
Clayton B. Cornell In:
What happens to your gear when you never go home?
More specifically–after nearly 5 years on the road–what time-tested equipment am I still willing to lug around in a backpack?
In late 2013 I left the US for a second trip around the world. That trip never really ended, and my original SE Asia Pack List had to survive a number countries, seasons, and activities that I’d never anticipated. Read the rest of this entry →
Note: This post is by popular request. I’ve received more messages requesting details on my dietary experiments than almost anything else I’ve written. For those who know the backstory you can skip to the breakdown. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. Consider this functional entertainment. Also keep in mind everyone is different, and this is an n=1 experiment. With that said…
September 2015 – Throwing weights around in Budapest
“OH, WHAT’S UP NOW MOTHER——!”
The words were out before the weight hit the ground. Thankfully there were only a few observers in the gym that day, but it seemed like a reasonable response to my 4th or 5th personal best (PR) that week.
This time in the snatch, which at 67.5kg (89% bodyweight) was not going to make anyone with weightlifting experience bat an eyelash, but it was the trajectory that impressed me. My PR had increased 2.5 kg per week–for the last 5 weeks–with no end in sight. Read the rest of this entry →
Jan 21, 2016 by
Clayton B. Cornell In:
Or, what happened to SpartanTraveler last year.
Editor’s Note: Many thanks to all those who encouraged me to get back to writing. 2015 was a bit of a grind, but the good news is I’ve got plenty to share from the experience.
Fear not, trusty readers, SpartanTraveler is alive and well.
But getting somewhere in life is about making hard choices, and the reality in 2015 was simple: focus or die.
Because when you do everything you do nothing.
‘Like the sculptor, who does not add clay, but strips away the inessentials until the truth is revealed.’
– Bruce Lee character from Dragon
I’ve always thrived at the breaking point of manageable activity. That place where positive stress forces focus and serious action. Where the goals and the necessity for completing them are immediately clear.
As a result, I always assumed as life went I’d continue to be doing more. More traveling, more and different types of adventures, and more varieties of work. Read the rest of this entry →
There are a million great reasons to quit your job to travel the world, but here are five things that matter right now. There’s never been a better time to get out and experience the world.
#1 The US Dollar-Euro Exchange Rate is at a 10-year best.
While traveling in Europe is the quintessential trip–and much cheaper than most Americans tend to think–the catch has always been the 25-30% ‘tax’ on travelers coming from the US in the form of the Euro-Dollar exchange rate.
But things have changed in the last 6 months, and dollar is now as close to the Euro as I’ve ever seen it. As I write this a dollar is worth about 0.94 Euro.
That means your USD are going a lot further, not just in Europe but everywhere. Read the rest of this entry →
If you don’t have time to read this whole post, check out my FAQ on Credit Cards and Frequent Flyer programs. It’s a quick read and will give the main points + show you where you can get one of these cards today.
Editor’s Note: This post is brought to you by my good friend Scott Mueller who quit his job to travel the world back in late 2013. The post’s title is not hyperbole. What follows is an extremely detailed breakdown of how to fly around the world for a fraction of the listed cost. If you’re overwhelmed, check out the short FAQ on credit cards and airline miles or see my previous post on how I flew around the world for $220.
Whether you want to leave your cubicle for a short escape, attend a friend’s far-away wedding, or embark on a multi-country, globe hopping year of exploration – having a solid airline mileage strategy can enable your travel plans. Add to that a set of easy to follow tactics for accruing and redeeming miles and you’ll wonder why you waited so long to get started!
Read the rest of this entry →
[Photo: Jordan Fried]
Standup desks are all the rage right now, and for good reason: we’re finally realizing that sitting all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health.
If you’ve somehow missed the trend, here’s some background:
Human performance guru Kelly Starrett has gone so far as to write a book on the topic. He’s mentioned the single biggest thing we could do for public health is to eliminate sitting from schools by replacing school desks with stand-up tables.
And even during the short conversation we had in January at San Francisco CrossFit he threw in the suggestion: “dude, you have to stop sitting.” (more: How I broke my body and then fixed it.) Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 08, 2015 by
Clayton B. Cornell In:
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.
[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 →
Feb 01, 2015 by
Clayton B. Cornell In:
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 →