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How to Take a Self-Directed Gap Year with Zero Starting Funds

*Update: This post was picked up by the American Gap Association blog* Today I’m interviewing Victor Saad for my podcast, and while googlestalking him to prepare for the talk I watched his fantastic TEDx talk: The whole talk is worth your time, but something that stood out to me was how Victor funded a 12-month, travel-intensive series of apprenticeships that he […]

Pay Yourself in Time, Not Money

I’m 33, and last year I earned $30,000. Perhaps that should give me pause. Compared to other male college graduates who make $65,000 around my age—or my peers in tech who make much more—I’m seriously lagging. I’m not that concerned. In fact, I feel utterly rich, because last year I took home another income: 8 […]

Teens: How to Write Two Important E-mails

Last week at the Adventure Semester, I showed the teens how to write two important types of e-mail—and then challenged them to hit “send” six times before the day was over. They were: How to write a request for a letter of recommendation How to introduce yourself to an interesting stranger (and make a small request) Below are my workshop notes for your perusal, […]

The Pursuit of Productivity

This week I’m starting a big new research and writing project that’s prompted me to get serious about productivity. Why? Because I’m a pro at self-distraction. My top time-wasters include: Checking Facebook and Gmail obsessively Responding to non-time-sensitive e-mails Obsessing over trivialities like tweaking a Wordpress theme Deciding I need to buy something to continue my work But these distractions pale in comparison to my most common problem, which […]

10 Ways to Meet People, Have Fun, and Not Go Broke in Europe

I recently finished a three-and-a-half week working holiday in Amsterdam. I went there knowing no one except for a college friend, and I ended up having a great time without spending much money (compared to typical travel expenses). Here’s my advice for planning your own low-cost, high-experience trip to Europe. Go with another person. I […]