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
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:
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
(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
(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
(Photo: Stuck in Customs)
This is a guest post by Tim Leffel, a travel destinations expert who has dispatched articles from five continents over a period close to two decades.
Think world travel needs to be expensive? Think again… Read More
Gary Arndt is the man behind Everything Everywhere, one of the most popular travel blogs in the world, and one of Time Magazine’s “Top 25 Best Blogs of 2010.” Since March 2007, Gary has been traveling around the globe, having visited more than 70 countries and territories, and gaining worldly wisdom in the process.
Today, I’ve asked him to share some of that wisdom.
On March 13, 2007, I handed over the keys to my house, put my possessions in storage and headed out to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack, my laptop and a camera.
Three and a half years and 70 countries later, I’ve gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D in general knowledge about the people and places of Planet Earth.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned… Read More
(Photo: Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
Chris Guillebeau travels the world and writes for a small army of remarkable people at The Art of Non-Conformity blog. He is a master of clever air travel (among other things), and this is a guest post on perfecting one of the rare gems that can truly change your life: Round-the-World (RTW) tickets.
Enter Chris… Read More