An Satharn suimiúil – stuff worth reading: travel & learning is easier than you think

This year has been intense for me – the German mission to sit the C2 exam took a lot of energy out of me, but I am still somehow making decent progress in my Hungarian. With less than three weeks left, let’s see if I can reach my goal of conversational!

It’s almost time for me to head into the next mission, but I will definitely be needing a quick break before that! I may be moving country a lot, but I am certainly not on holiday! I have been working very hard since I got back from Thailand in March, spending nearly the entire year indoors working or studying, so I’ll need another break (this time just one week long) from mid-October!

I’ll tell you where I’m flying for that in the newsletter on Monday (sign up on the right of the site!). I might even be running into some FI3M readers there if I’m lucky!

Cool stuff my world-travelling and clever friends have written

When I do want a brief break from Hungarian, it’s nice to have something interesting to read though. I read in several languages every day and will be discussing my reading habits next week. But first I want to share some stuff in English that I have been finding especially interesting, written by some good friends of mine.

These aren’t about languages, but about improving your life, learning better and allowing yourself to travel. I know a lot of readers of my blog would like to be able to travel more, but just think it’s impossible for them. Hopefully some of what my friends have to say could help.

Sean Ogle – Overcome Uncertainty

Sean and I hung out for a week in Ko Phi Phi in Thailand and he had a cameo role in a video I made. After that we were living in Bangkok at the same time. He took the photo of this post when we were at a meeting organised by Chris Guillebeau, who Sean works with.

But Sean also has an excellent blog that outlines his story of leaving his dull job and wanting to take control of his life. I liked one of his ideas so much that I wrote an entire post inspired by something he promotes a lot on his blog.

This is why I was thrilled to read his work Overcome Uncertainty. Sean has outlined in great detail what helped him make the transition from office drone to being able to live wherever he wants. As the title suggests, one reason that people stay in situations they are not happy with is simply because of fear of uncertainty. Sean outlines many of the things that hold people back and show you how to get through them.

It includes interviews with others who have done the same thing, a detailed guide to long-term budgeting and starting a blog, worksheets and loads more. Rather than presenting it as a download, the entire book is readable on a web interface, which lets you interact with other readers, leave comments etc. I’m recommending this to my readers because I know a lot are interested in travel but simply think it would be impossible for them. Sean shows you how this is not true.

“There are only seven days in a week, and someday isn’t one of them”

Adam Baker – Sell your crap

Baker I and also hung out in Ko Phi Phi, and as well as appearing in the same video as Sean, Baker took the time to interview me for his blog! I can’t wait to hang out with him (and Karol, see below) in October in my secret destination revealed on Monday!

He also has a lot to say about being able to live your dreams. One thing holding him back was a big debt (which incidentally, I have also had that effected my travels and language missions), but rather than let that hold him back he found a way to process the situation while doing things he wanted to do.

One way to be flexible in travelling the world, or simply a way to get some extra needed cash is simply getting rid of all the crap tying you down. “Stuff” doesn’t define who you are, but it may define your boundaries when you have so much of it. Baker wrote an extremely detailed guide about getting rid of it. My entire world of possessions weighs about 40kg (I don’t have a base to dump any of it in) and this liberates me. I applied a lot of the concepts Baker discusses to reach this stage.

Do you really need everything in your house? Baker describes in detail what you should think about getting rid of, and then has the plan of action to do it. In separate books included with the main one, he describes what the best way is to sell stuff on e-bay, Amazon and Craigslist. He has also interviewed several others experienced in minimalism.

Karol Gajda – How to live anywhere

I’ve been reading Karol’s blog ever since it started and just love it! I was thrilled to get to host him on my couch in Berlin, and am so pleased to be able to hang out with him again in October. We still talk online for several hours every week!

The above two guides deal with specific issues people have that may be holding them back (fear of uncertainty, and lack of money/things tying them down), but Karol covered pretty much everything about the issue of being able to travel the world and live anywhere. The mentality required, the nitty gritty details of visas and flights, and then lots of good suggestions for how to make money on the road by working online.

He also includes a heap of audio, both just himself explaining them in MP3 format, and interviews with other location independent professionals. You’ll be happy to hear that he included an interview with me! I told him my perspective about finding work on the road, mostly covering offline work at the actual locations (I’ve had dozens of jobs in the last eight years…)

Scott H Young – Learn More Study Less

Now, moving away from travel and on to studying. I know a lot of readers of this blog are at university, and then of course a lot of you are simply studying languages on your own. Scott has been blogging about learning for many years, and he finally took on learning languages about a year ago when he moved to France and started mixing his clever ideas with my Language Hacking strategies.

I met up with him there and spoke only in French to him (even though he is from the English speaking part of Canada). I was so impressed by how he was applying my advice to reach conversational level so quickly, that I made sure to interview him as a case-study for my guide.

What he had to add about learning was fascinating, so I was happy to go through his Learn More Study Less course to get inspired myself! He covers some very clever memory and other techniques that work on many fields (not just languages). He explains these in videos and in a book he wrote.

And of course, he interviewed me to discuss the image association technique I like to use, among other things.

Diggy – Upgrade Reality

Diggy is the only one mentioned here that I haven’t met up with in person (yet), but I like his work so much (and we have talked a little online too) that I feel it’s worth mentioning his stuff too!

His book,  Upgrade Reality covers his amazing simple yet very applicable suggestions about getting happy, getting healthy and getting confident. These are key aspects to any satisfied life – even if you were rich and achieved all your dreams, sometimes you need to work on other aspects of your life to truly have the balance and happiness you need. It also covers some very practical tips about productivity and relationships.


Even if you don’t decide to get any of these particular courses/guides, I highly recommend you check out all of their blogs as they talk about these ideas there too. If you follow any of their blogs and like their stuff, leave a comment below :)



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