Cold Remedy: Free Flights Anywhere in the World


Where would you go if you had a free ticket anywhere? The island of Bohol in the Philippines? (source: WisDoc)

Not long ago, I received the following comment — edited for length — from Ryan N.:

I hate you Tim. I had a secure future ahead of me, and I left my job, my reasonably well paying professional career all because of your book. Best thing I’ve ever done!!

I was wondering if you might be able to put up a blog post where people could post their ideas or muses as case studies. I’m sure there are a lot of people like me who would like to share their stories and listen to others living the 4HWW.

Here’s to 2010 being the year everything changes.

Indeed. Here’s to 2010 being the year everything changes.

I decided to take Ryan’s advice. Below is a post of just a few select video case studies. This is also where you can win a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.

That would be a nice way to start 2010 with a bang, right?…

I’m sure you’ve dreamed of taking that big trip, but it’s been put off due to the million things that interrupt and overload all of our lives. The fact is this: there is never a convenient time to do the most impactful things, whether having a baby, quitting your job, or taking a dream trip overseas. It’s something you pull the trigger for despite imperfect circumstances, not because of perfect circumstances.

Let’s end the wait.

Here’s how it works – simplicity itself:

1) Upload a video to YouTube of 5 minutes or less where you describe how you’ve most successfully applied techniques or tools from The 4-Hour Workweek to your life or business. Be sure to tag your video with “4hww success” in quotation marks. Click here to see what it should look like when you are uploading your video.

2) Leave a comment on this post with a link to your video and a brief description of what worked for you (no need for more than 1-2 short paragraphs). Do all of this no later than 5pm PT this Saturday, December 26th. Early responses get bonus points.

3) I and a few secret judges will select our top favorites, and then you all will vote for the winner.

4) I will then provide a roundtrip ticket anywhere in the world that the 25+ airlines in the Star Alliance fly.

In the meantime, find below some fun examples to get your juices flowing. Included are:

- Electra, a mother who uses batching to run her business while making time for the kids
– Michael, a father of two who’s lived in Argentina and explored both international and home schooling while earning full-time income.
– Harris, a father who can take his kids to the zoo on a Wednesday or take the entire family to Barcelona for a month.
– Jed and Chelsea, who quit their previous jobs, moved to another city, and are reinventing themselves one step at a time.

Last but not least, we have Aaron Carotta, who was diagnosed with cancer but still achieved the four-hour workweek in 60 days and documented it all on video. Here is the cliff notes version, in his words:

-Diagnosed with cancer
-Lost wages
-Accumulated medical bills
-Received the book as a gift
-Documented his interpretation of the book
-Achieved goals to free up his lifestyle
-Successfully opened and sold a business in another country
-Generated automated money
-Now successfully runs a company that allows his to travel for a living, The Seven Wonders Tour [with sponsors, Vibrams!].
-Continues to live healthy, travel the world, and be happy

I’ve included a 3-part video diary compilation of Aaron’s experience at the end of this post after the other case studies. Total viewing time is just around 20 minutes.

Enjoy these wonderful examples and don’t forget — your own video submission and comment on this post must be up no later than 5pm PT this Saturday!

Question of the day: where would you travel if you had a free round-trip anywhere in the world?


If you’ve ever fantasized about taking time off to globe-trot, I would highly recommend Rolf Pott’s Vagabonding. It is one of only two books I took with me when I traveled the world for 18 months. Outside Magazine founding editor Tim Cahill calls Vagabonding “the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written.”

I recently partnered with Rolf to release the exclusive audiobook for Vagabonding. For more on this incredible book, click here.

Get the brand-new Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, published 12/15, which includes more than 50 new case studies (including families) of luxury lifestyle design, muse creation, and world travel. Make 2010 the year when you make the leap.

Recommended and Related:
Tim Ferriss on Twitter – what adventures and mischief am I up to this instant?
Tim Ferriss on Huffington Post – marketing case studies, travel how-to, and more

Posted on: December 22, 2009.

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183 comments on “Cold Remedy: Free Flights Anywhere in the World

  1. Hi Adnan-
    I’m a physician who applied the 4HWW principles to my practice BEFORE the book came out in 2006. 70 hour work weeks (on a good week), being strapped for cash flow, 3,000 minutes on the phone, & struggling to stay afloat to 25-28 hour work weeks, double the income, 5 times the cash flow, no marketing, and a thriving practice in less than 2 months. I suddenly had a social life for the 1st time since undergrad, started singing, dancing and learning a new language, and took 7-10 day trips for study and perform every 3 months. Send me a mail if you want to know what I did…I sold the practice in 08, and I am testing my 2nd muse in India while studying Carnatic music and Indian dance.


  2. Tim, I was so excited to see you are visiting Sunny SOUTH AFRICA!! I was upset when you said it was not a recommended destination, but you will see for yourself for the truth.

    I recon you will love the people out here, and the thirst for business, success and “Ubuntu” as we call it here. I have only just finished your book (on audio) and can not contain myself with the excitement you have created.

    We have a small tour operating business in Durban and would love the opportunity to meet you. Perhaps we could give you a few pointers if you get to Kwa Zulu Natal on what to see and do? The invitation is there, use it, lose it, but please let the world know about our special country?

    Regards, and thanks for your book it is a life-saver!!



  3. Hi Tim,
    I just started reading your book, the expanded and updated version which I borrowed from the library and I am so impressed that I think I am going to buy my own copy this week. I am from the southern part of the Philippines but I am now living in Florida and I want to thank you for mentioning one of the islands in my country! In fact what is very interesting is that my husband and I are planning to retire in Bohol!! I have visited Bohol during one of the Singles for Christ Convention ( before I met my husband:) ) that was held in one of the beautiful beaches of Bohol!! It is a beautiful island and the people are so nice and hospitable. I miss my country and I am glad that you featured it here! Thank you so much! Have you been to my country? I totally agree with the principles of your book since I am at a point in my life where I am exhausted with the 9 to 5 grind. I am a teacher by profession and has been teaching since I graduated from College in 1975! I just started teaching on line which I find very liberating and not have to worry what to wear or how you look at work . You also avoid stress with traffic and you can set your own time. I am working part time only so the pay is less but I don’t want to work full time any more. My concern now is to use what you mentioned in your book so we can make our dream of retiring in Bohol come true. Thank you very much again!!


  4. Just a note…Something I noticed….

    Tim Ferriss’s picture on his twitter has an uncanny resemblance to the other genius zefrank even on twitter.


    Tim, I think I found your twin ; P


  5. Wow–the fourhourworkweek–what can I say?

    This book played a huge role in my life. I was doing good when I first read it, but working too much. Soon after, I had a run of bad luck and lost everything. Was just about to close a deal on my first property and make $100K on purchase (based on appraisal). This from a kid whose father overdosed on heroin and whose mother raised 3 boys on her own by bartending and cleaning houses.

    I moved away to Santa Cruz and tried to set up a business for 9 months but couldn’t get the proper permits. Finally, I gave up and moved back home to start it there. Plan was to be seasonal and travle the rest of the year. I was buying it from my girlfriend at the time’s parents. took it to the next level and recieved entrance into the biggest reggae concert in America. But a misinterpration of the market and the start of a dwindling economy left little profit by year’s end, and I threw in the towel. RElationsihp was over at this point.

    So, I rekindled an old landscaping biz I ran before while going to college and returned to university. Got into an owner-will-carry on a house and went back to school at 28. I’ve never planned on working for someone else, so finishing university has never been an issue–just love to learn, and now I was studying international business. I wanted to take my entreneurial spirit to the next level.

    I got straight A’s that first semester and then headed off to int. business and intercultural communication program in Europe for a month. Spent another month traveling and went hang-gliding in the alps. Came home with a severe case of wanderlust.

    At this point, things got really wierd. I came home to find out that members of America’s most dangerous criminal organization (by many expert accounts) had a bounty on my head. Case of mistaken identity, but they thought I stole from them and wanted to kill me. Didn’t know these kind of people–didn’t WANT to know these kind of people! They caught up with me in a bar, and I had no clue what was going on. I fought back hard when 3 attacked me and split open the leader’s eyebrow pretty bad–broke a poolstick one someone’s face.

    After that, laid in a hotel room fro 4 days with a loaded pistol–I didn’t think the cops could help me with these guys. Recieved multipled death threats on my cell, and I finally called the guy to sort it out, and I think he realized he had the wrong guy. But his friends were mad about the bar–guess I wasn’t supposed to fight back–and they demanded 30K or I was dead. I don’t have that kind of money and wouldn’t give it either way for something I didn’t do.

    Weren’t you run out of Thailand by the Triads, Tim? Not sure of the whole story, but maybe you can relate…

    I was buying another house at the time–owner will carry but not as lucrative as the last. Was supposed to start my new semester in a week. Instead, I had my brother drive me 6 hours away and drop me int eh city with my backpack. Threw it over my shoulder and set off to go fulfill my dream of traveling.

    I haven’t looked back. Been in southeast asia for a year and a half, and what a time it has been. Lived on tropical islands. Learned a new language. Went from never diving at all to logging 30 plunges and enrolling in a divemaster internship. Bungee jumping. Drove a longtail boat and a tuk-tuk. Survived two collisions with vehicles on my motorbike. Finished my first novel–a lot of firsts, really.

    It hasn’t been easy–I didn’t have the support system for this. I got so stressed about money I started losing hair. Nowhere to fly. No money to go. But I learned how to start an outsourcing biz over my computer and now make a decent living online. I’m glued to my computer at the moment, but I’ve got freedom of location at least.

    Next step is freedom of time. I can get there.

    I just want you to know one of the three books I packed when I left wiht my little backpack was yours. Vagabonding, How to Be Invisible, and The Fourhour Workweek.

    Out of all the things you’ve done, I imagine having inspired so many people is the most rewarding. And you truly are an inspiration. Your book was simple but necessary. Couldn’t have come at a better time–for me or the world.

    One of my outsourcing clients says he met you in a subway in New York. i thougth I saw you in Koh Samui about a year and a half ago–right when I got here. After about 15 minutes I decided it wasn’t you.

    Still, it was a momentous day for me. I’d just arrived and was driving my motorcycle down the road with friends from 5 different countries when the rain hit. A hard rain. We stopped and stood under the veranda of a resort, looking out over the most beautiful storm I’d ever seen dumping into a blue-green cove. I stripped off my shirt and dove in the water, and my friends followed. I stood in the sand half a football-field’s length from shore and looked up as the rain spilled into my face. The beginning of a new life.

    The man who started trouble for me is dead. He was killed in his home and the other men who attacked me were sent to prison for killing a Hell’s Angel in front of popular bar. I’m not angry with them; I pity them. It was the best thing that ever happend to me, and they set me free. Gave me life. In the end, they were suffocated by their own chains.

    My next Big Goals:
    Trekking in Nepal
    Cave-diving and Ship-diving
    Wingsuit Training in Spain
    Hitch a yacht to Argentina
    Motorcylce across China
    finish my memoir
    Build a home in the tropics
    Learn to fly an airplane

    Hope to bump into you somwhere someday and buy you a belgian ale or your choice of wine, Tim. Because of you, I had that much less fear through this all (though I was still scared as hell lol). I hope to see a lot more from you in the future, and I’m sure I will.

    Cheers, and best of luck


    • Thank you so much for the comment and incredible story, James! Life is an adventure, to be sure. Be safe, work smart, and I’ll take you up on that Belgian ale when we bump into each other.




  6. Michael Davis story is really touching he actually brought the family back to its roots, without the system. This has more reach than I thought.


  7. Hi Tim, After reading your book I decided to start an internet business that is a subscription based website that provides a lead generation system to real estate investors. I am a 23 year old real estate entrepreneur and When I started I was working 16 hour days and not getting anywhere. Using D.E.A.L. I started the business with my twin brother who is a php programmer and we were up and making a profit by week 1! I was able to purchase a sailboat and live on it for 8 months and had the time of my life! It was amazing! I really love your book and am reading the new version right now. I think you are a really cool dude, and hey if you are ever in the so cal ever give me a shout, i’ll buy you a beer! I am launching a new triathlon website in the next few months because I love triathlon. Thanks again man!


  8. I viewed your lecture at TED. Well Done! You say you want to know about the education system and I know very little but the little that I do know could help you.
    I have spent years learning what went wrong in my youth and have discovered that I was poisoned most of my life. That’s correct, poisoned. Not on purpose but systemically. If you look closely, you will find that most, if not all, youth are involved with mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium. All of these metals are systemic exposures and accepted by almost everybody, without question.
    If you look on my homepage there is a story about mercury in (Massachusetts – Azogue) Lawrence, Massachusetts that will astound you . . . but it is true and accurate. It gets worse and all of this shows up in the classroom as behavior problems, depleted attention spans, and worse. Even the teachers are effected to a large degree.
    I would love to go further into the subject with you but I get tired of repeating myself, as I have said the same thing for years with little success to show for it.
    I hope that you will have more success then I have had.
    The following are some of the sites that I use to convey my message:
    Book Preview:
    Book Club:


  9. What do you have to say about this MR Ferriss, ” …the author must think that managers, and possibly other employees, are a bunch of idiots. I have to say that the 80/20 rule and the Parkinson’s rule are a necessity in today’s job market rather than some kind of differentiator that will help you cut the work time. Companies already expect employees to apply these principles in order to keep the jobs. While it is possible that a few employees may be in position of great leverage to negotiate working from home, this “negotiation” will mean losing the job for most”


  10. I have to express thanks to you just for rescuing me from such a dilemma. Right after searching through the world-wide-web and obtaining concepts which were not beneficial, I thought my entire life was well over. Living without the approaches to the difficulties you have fixed by way of your main site is a critical case, and the ones which may have adversely damaged my entire career if I had not come across your web blog. Your main skills and kindness in playing with all the pieces was very useful. I don’t know what I would’ve done if I hadn’t come across such a solution like this. I am able to at this point relish my future. Thanks for your time so much for the high quality and amazing guide. I won’t be reluctant to suggest the blog to any person who needs guidelines on this matter.


  11. This is such a great idea to build buzz and share stories. I need to make a video about my story. It hasn’t been the perfect 4HWW story, but it’s done good for me so far. Looking forward to seeing all the case studies that will undoubtedly pour in here.


  12. Hi Tim,

    Just reading 4WW for the third time. Have tried a couple of ideas but they didn’t work out as planned. I’m still employed and working on another project. Great ideas in the book especially taking mini-retirements !
    best wishes