The Tim Ferriss Book Club Launches — Book #1: Vagabonding

170 Comments


The book Vagabonding traveled with me around the globe for 18 months.

This post is a dream come true.

Starting in college, I’ve fantasized about somehow driving fantastic but under-appreciated books into the limelight. I have a soft spot for out-of-print tomes and niche publications.

Flash forward, nearly 15 years later…

After three #1 bestsellers, I’ve finally pulled the trigger. For the last several months, I’ve been quietly buying audiobook and e-book rights to books that have changed my life, and producing audiobooks in professional studios.

Fun!

This post launches the Tim Ferriss Book Club, and the first book is incredible: Vagabonding.

Why a Book Club?

There are several reasons… Read More

170 Comments / Leave a comment or question

An Ideal Day (or Weekend) in San Francisco – 16 Fun and Weird Activities

93 Comments

InsideHook SF Launch

San Francisco is my favorite city in the world, bar none.

I love NYC, I love Bali, and I love Buenos Aires, but SF is the place for me. And since I’ve been here for 10+ years, I get asked a lot: what should I do when I visit?

This post will highlight some of my favorite things.

Recently, I joined forces with InsideHook – the “essential lifestyle guide for adventurous and discerning men.” I’ll be their SF curator (and advisor), helping them find and share hidden gems in gadgets, food, outdoor adventure, and more. Subscribers get one hand-picked item per day via email. That’s it.

I encourage you to check it out here. At the very least, you’ll get an education in headlines, as their copywriters are amazing.

Now — onward!

Below is one of my ideal days in SF, planned out so everything is within close walking distance.

A Damn Fine Day

Wellness FX Blood Analysis
Activity: Blood-drawing and high-end diagnostics
Description: Visit one of Wellness FX’s labs for a blood drawing to produce an in-depth analysis of your state of health. Results offer a wide range of information, from cholesterol and hormone levels the to an analysis of your body’s electrolytes and vitamins.
Pricing: $29-$529+

SideWalk Juice
Activity: Smoothies, juice blends and more at 21st/Valencia.
Description: SideWalk provides made-to-order juices, smoothies & kombucha juice blends that are as delicious as they are beneficial to your physical and mental health.  My favorites?  The “Green Machine” and the “Jake Shields,” named after the local UFC fighter (“The strongest kale drink in existence!”).
Pricing: $4.25-$7.00

Street Art Tour
Activity: Walking tour of two alleyways with notable graffiti artwork with Dan Pan. We focused on the Mission district.
Description: Guided walking tour with Dan Pan, founder of 1AM Gallery’s new street-art app.  The app allows you to find nearby street art, as well as take pics and have users tell you the artist (very cool).  Try Clarion Alley as a starting point, which is run by an artists’ collective.
Pricing: The 1AM app is free.

InsideHook SF Launch
Mission Cliffs Climbing
Activity: Indoor rock climbing
Description: Indoor rock climbing at Mission Cliffs, a sprawling gym located at 2295 Harrison St.
Pricing: $20-$160

InsideHook SF Launch

Lunch at Salumeria
Activity: Lunch at Salumeria
Description: Salumeria is a 20th St. deli and larder that marries the culinary traditions of Old World Italy with the trend-hopping foodie culture of contemporary San Francisco.
Pricing: $6-$17

InsideHook SF Launch

Drinking!
Activity: Adult beverages with friends
Description: Enjoying social lubrication with new or old friends. A fine tradition as old as time. Some of my favorite spots include:
St. Vincent (Mission)
Hotel Biron (Downtown-ish, Hayes Valley)
Trick Dog (Mission; Disclosure: I’m an investor)
Bourbon and Branch (Tenderloin)
Pricing: Varies.

4 More Free Activities

Hawk Hill: where you can take a bike ride into our Cold War past.
Once upon a time, Fortress America dotted San Francisco’s hilltops with Nike missiles and radar outposts. Of course, those missiles were never fired — but you can still visit the rusted remnants of their vigilance if you bike up to the SF-87C radar outpost, the best-kept secret of the Marin Headlands coastline.

The Lands End Trail, where you’ll find the best maze in the Bay.
Truck up the Great Highway to stretch legs and strut your knowledge of the Sutro Baths. Hike up the Land’s End Trail from the ruins to the labyrinth at Eagle’s Point. It’s only a couple miles round trip, and damn fine panoramic views’ll be in serious supply.

California Cheese Trail: pairs well with Mission Cheese (below) or your vineyard of choice.
As an adult, your knowledge on cheese should surpass the realms of Lunchables and Easy Mac. Showing you the whey: the California Cheese Trail app from the folks at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust, available now for iPhone and Android. If you’re up for spending a few bucks on cheesy delights, visit Mission Cheese on Valencia.

The Bay Bridge’s long-awaited East Span.
The opening of the Bay Bridge’s new East Span has been years in the making, and now it’s officially open, welcoming pedestrians and cyclists of all stripes and offering exclusive access to Yerba Buena Island.

6 More Paid Activities

Vantigo: Tour beer breweries in a cherry-red VW Bus.
Indulge your nostalgia for simpler days with Vantigo, now offering tours of some of the Bay Area’s best microbreweries via a pristine ’71 VW Vanagon.
Pricing: $85 per person

Trumaker and Co.: Shirtmakers who come to you.
Restock your shirt library with Trumaker and Co., a custom shirtmaker with a highly mobile fleet of outfitters. It’s simple: you make an appointment, they send a tailor your way.
Pricing: from $98, free outfitter appointment

BoatboundBecause every man should own a boat…if only for a day.
Herein: your guide to using BoatBound, a new AirBnB-style boat rental service. SF Bay or Half Moon Bay?
Pricing: from $250 per day

Big Sur Roadhouse. The Big Sur getaway you’ve been looking for.
There’s a sprawling new Cajun restaurant in Big Sur. There are also some skinny-dip-friendly hot springs down the road. That gives you at least two good excuses to visit.
Pricing: from $50 per person

Mikkeller. It’s like a beer tour of Europe in a single bar.
The legend of Danish brewery Mikkeller has been growing across the pond for some time; they just opened their first North American alehouse in San Francisco.
Pricing: varies

Shelter Co.: Romantic private camping service with tent butlers.
Shelter Co. offers completely customized luxury camping experiences. You want tent butlers? They got tent butlers. You want a private island? They will rent you a private island.
Pricing: from $2000

Let’s Talk About This…

Want more activities, rare finds, and goodies? Sign up for InsideHook and let me know what you think. I’ll also choose one person who signs up for a 30-minute phone call with me.

Then what? How about you try my Pacific Northwest roadtrip from SF to Whistler? Damn, I love the Bay Area.

What’s your favorite city in the world, and what are your favorite 2-4 activities?

###

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

Related Posts:
How to Live Like a Rock Star in Buenos Aires
How to Hack Tokyo for Less Than NYC
How to Travel Through 20+ Countries with Free Room and Board
How to Travel to Exotic, Expensive Cities on $50 a Day (e.g. Paris, Hong Kong)

93 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Travel to Exotic, Expensive Cities on $50 a Day

231 Comments


(Photo: Marc P. Demoz)

OK, I’ve had a few short posts recently.

Now it’s time for my favorite: a post you will want to print out, refer to often, and take with you on adventures. In this case, we’ll explore budget travel that is luxury travel.

But what does that mean? It means that traveling inexpensively is a decision for creativity, not simply a decision against excessive spending. Throwing money at a trip means you are ordering from the normal, plain-vanilla menu (e.g. Marriott or Four Seasons hotels). This often means physically changing locations without changing your perspective or worldview at all.

In contrast, looking at how locals live — and find hidden gems — ensures you have amazing experiences that no guidebook can capture. This post is written by Matt Kepnes, better known as “Nomadic Matt.” He didn’t have his first overseas trip until age 23, and now he’s traveled to more than 70 countries.

His specialty is engineering first-class trips from economy-class budgets… Read More

231 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Travel: 21 Contrarian Rules

207 Comments


(Photo credit: Moyan Brenn)

This is a tactical post on travel from Ryan Holiday, who’s written on this blog before about the pragmatism of Stoicism and lessons learned as Director of Marketing for American Apparel.

To his 21 rules, I’ve added a few of my own tricks. Please share your own rules and tips in the comments!

Enter Ryan Holiday

Why are you traveling?

Because, you know, you don’t magically get a prize at the end of your life for having been to the most places. There is nothing inherently valuable in travel, no matter how hard the true believers try to convince us.

Seneca, the stoic philosopher, has a great line about the restlessness of those who seem compelled to travel. They go from resort to resort and climate to climate, he says, and continues:

“They make one journey after another and change spectacle for spectacle. As Lucretius says ‘Thus each man flees himself.’ But to what end if he does not escape himself? He pursues and dogs himself as his own most tedious companion. And so we must realize that our difficulty is not the fault of the places but of ourselves.”

It’s hard for me see anything to envy in most people who travel. Because deep down that is what they are doing. Fleeing themselves and the lives they’ve created. Or worse, they’re telling themselves that they’re after self-discovery, exploration or new perspectives when really they are running towards distraction and self-indulgence.

Is that why you’re packing up your things and hitting the road?

Not that I don’t travel myself–I did my fair share this year alone. Both coasts of Australia. I was in Amsterdam for a speaking gig (and I found myself at a tulip farm with Tim where he caught a chicken with his bare hands). I researched for my next book in Rome. I went down to Brazil. I went to Copenhagen. I spent enough time in New York that it felt like I lived there. I road tripped across the United States more times than I can count–New Orleans to New York; New York to Miami; Miami to Austin… The list goes on. If there was a chance to go somewhere I’d never been, I tried to take it, especially if it was historic.

But are you, as Emerson once put it, “bringing ruins to the ruins?”… Read More

207 Comments / Leave a comment or question

4HWW Readers' Libraries in Nepal, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka Open Their Doors!

45 Comments


The Vang Lam preschool we built in Vietnam. So cute a lumberjack would cry! Now we have three more locations.

You all should be *very* proud.

I’m thrilled to share completion reports for the three libraries you supported and made possible. The funds were raised for my birthday campaign in 2011.

They’re finally done!

This post include photos of the dedication plaques for each library, as well as information about the impact that each library has had on the local community.

In a nutshell:

- The K-to-6 library in Cambodia will help 500 students per year become literate. 500 per year = 2,500 over the next 5 years.
- The Grades 1-5 library in Sri Lanka will help 2,000 students per year become literate. 2,000 per year = 10,000 over the next 5 years.
- The K-10 library in Nepal will help 550 students per year become literate. 550 per year = 2,750 over the next 5 years.

In the next 5 years, you all will have helped change the lives of more than 15,000 students. Not only that, but you will have helped add critical thinkers to the world who can perpetuate a virtuous cycle of solving problems. Cool, right?

Here are the dedication plaques for each school. Click to enlarge:

Now, the completion reports (and pics) for those interested… Read More

45 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Travel Through 20+ Countries with Free Room and Board

119 Comments


Casey Fenton founded Couchsurfing.org, which connects millions of travelers with free accommodation around the world. (Photo by Alexandra Liss)

I met Alexandra Liss on a rainy day last September, outside of one of my favorite Thai restaurants in San Francisco.

Alex had just returned from six months abroad, traveling through 21 countries for free while shooting her full-length documentary, One Couch at a Time. She was wrapping up the film and had requested an interview with me.

Our topic of discussion? The Sharing Economy.

Startups that are part of this “sharing economy” — like TaskRabbit, AirBNB, Uber, and Sidecar — have given us unprecedented access to incredible experiences and resources, allowing many people to completely upgrade their lifestyles. By capitalizing on underused resources and new technology, people can live many strata above their income. In Alex’s case, she was able to raise $8,000 through Kickstarter to crowdfund her travel and the making of her film. She also lived rent-free during those six months, staying with more than 80 different strangers she’d met through Couchsurfing.org.

In this post, Alex shares exactly how she’s managed to become a couchsurfing guru, and the steps you can take to travel the world on next to no budget… Read More

119 Comments / Leave a comment or question

How to Ski Powder – 15 Tips for Learning in 24 Hours

102 Comments


(Photo: RunningClouds)

Last-minute packing is an art form, and most of my trips allow me to pack less than 10 pounds for a world tour.

This time, 10 pounds was just the starting point. My packing list was straight out of a James Bond movie:

“Shovel?”
“Helmet?!”
“Avalanche kit?!?”
“Tracking beacon?!?!”

I was seeing it for the first time around 4pm in the afternoon. The next morning, I’d be departing for Chile for “cat” (snowcat) skiing in Patagonia, after six years of no snow sports. What the hell had I signed up for?

Baptism by Ice – 15 Key Lessons

This post is based on my lessons and experimentation with the PowderQuest crew, with special thanks to Mo and David.

The first day was sheer terror. The second day was an improvement — just laughable. Then, around the third day… Read More

102 Comments / Leave a comment or question

Belle Vue Clinic, Preventable Medical Disasters, and Stoic Lessons

278 Comments


(Photo: Dirty Bunny)

[Warning: This post is one of my rare rants, perhaps my only rant, written last week when the reality-bending fury was fresh. Almost never seen, like a snow leopard, my angry self has come out to stretch his arms a bit, perhaps punch a few deserving people after warming up. The reasons -- primarily the safety of other people -- will become clear shortly.]

SEPTEMBER 25, 2011, CALCUTTA, INDIA
SAFE AT THE OBEROI HOTEL

Earlier today, a hospital superintendent snickered and offered me a feedback form if I had complaints. I declined, as I figured this blog would be a faster way of getting the message to the CEO in question, P. Tondon. Mr. Tondon, nice to meet you.

Forthwith, our promised programming… Read More

278 Comments / Leave a comment or question

My Unusual $20,000 Birthday Gift (Plus: Free Roundtrip Anywhere in the World)

331 Comments


(Photo: Sanctuary Photography)

34. I’m turning a glorious 34 this year, right about now.

It’s going to be a great natal year–-I can already feel it. Perhaps it will be good luck for you, too: in this post, I’m giving away a round-trip ticket anywhere in the world.

But back to that strange birthday gift…

Much to the chagrin of my momma-san, I’ve become quite difficult to buy presents for. Some friends even think I’m impossible to find presents for.

It’s not entirely true. I love handwritten letters, home-made brownies (like Fred Wilson), girlfriends dressed in next to nothing, and–-most of all-–when people do something nice for others.

In lieu of gifts this year, my birthday wish is to help the poorest kids in the world learn to read. I believe literacy, and the self-determinism it allows, is fundamental to solving the problems of this world. Want an alternative to extremist terrorist schools, to have fewer welfare states, or to prosper with better economies? Teach people to read and help themselves… Read More

331 Comments / Leave a comment or question