Tag Archives for " lifestyle design "

7 Key Lessons From Business Building in 2015


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. Continue reading >>

Morning Scripts: Wake up, Kick Ass Every Single Day


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?  Continue reading >>

The Best Books I Read in 2014

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.)Continue reading >>

The Myth of the 4-Hour Workweek


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.


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.Continue reading >>

The 6 Phases of Lifestyle Design

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.


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.Continue reading >>

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


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. Continue reading >>

Lifestyle-Overhead: Why Chiang Mai is Ground Zero


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.Continue reading >>

Location-Independence: Musings from My 3rd Year on the Road


What if home was everywhere?

After more than two years on the road it finally sunk in: location-independence is not an aberration. Moving around the world at will is a perfectly valid and (extremely) advantageous lifestyle choice, but ultimately just another way to navigate through life.

It has, however, warped my notion of reality over the last 6 months. Continue reading >>