Mike and I saddled into our seats on the idling Icelandair 612 at New York’s JFK and marinated on the moment for a bit. Eventually we turned toward each other, cracked the identical smiles we’d been fighting back, and started giggling like giddy school girls.
Then the fresh-faced, tanned, and breathtakingly storybook Swedish girl sat in the remaining seat beside us. Being fans of cute Scandinavian girls (we were headed to Iceland after all), we took this as an obvious sign from the universe: each of us had made the right choice to be here. The aura of possibility swirling around us was electric. We snapped a picture to eternalize the moment.
I feel I’ve been a bit out of touch with you all at GiveLiveExplore, so I wanted to check in, give ya’ll some proper love, and deliver a brief State of the Union.
First off, I’m in London! Actually, I’ve been here for several weeks.
Earlier this month, I jumped across the pond and touched down in London. The purpose was more work related than anything. Things on the publishing front with Tales of Iceland were going well, I’d managed to secure a speaking gig the Dallas Travel & Adventure Show, and a piece of my writing had recently been picked up by Huffington Post. All great things — but I needed to get more creative about making a decent living for myself. [See: cashflow was low.]
Almost two years ago, when I first set the wheels in motion to exchange my corporate consulting lifestyle for a more unconventional and adventurous (and uncertain) one, I came across an organization out of London called Escape the City. You may have found me through Escape the City, or perhaps you’ve heard me talk about it.
“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”
Today isn’t going to be a easy day for a lot of people.
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go a little off the cuff right now. These words flew out of me this morning, and when they did, I felt compelled to share them here. After all, GiveLiveExplore wouldn’t exist, and I wouldn’t be writing to you and entering your inbox right now, if it weren’t for what I’m about to say.
Today isn’t going to be an easy day.
I think about Shannon constantly. But especially today. Everything that has happened to me over the past two years, all of my new experiences, wild adventures, and unconventional undertakings — I owe them all to Shannon.
Earlier this year, I publicly stated a list of goals I wanted to accomplish in 2013. I stole this practice from author, entrepreneur, and a personal hero of mine Chris Guillebeau, who has been exercising this for years. In his Annual Review, he reflects honestly on his year past and makes goals for the upcoming year.
I figured if I intended to become a great artist (which I do), then I had better learn to start stealing like one.
I was reluctant to do this. By publicly stating goals, I risked publicly failing at goals. And by standing up and expressing my intent to do some big, crazy, or weird things, I opened myself to criticism. Mostly internal criticism — writing down or verbally stating any sort of ambitious intent unleashes the dragons of doubt.
I read as much as I can while traveling. One of the reasons I keep reading is because of the way book themes seem to tie themselves magically to events unfolding before my eyes on the road. It’s weird and amazing.
Last month, entrepreneur and social media whisperer Gary Vaynerchuk released Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, so I thought it appropriate to share one of my favorite stories of when unrelated books and travel experiences become married together serendipitously. The following occurred as I devoured Vaynerchuk’s previous book, The Thank You Economy last year in Croatia.
[If you've been following this blog since November 2012, you may remember the story. What I didn't share last year, however, is the weird tie-in to Gary V's seemingly unrelated social media voodoo.]