Moment of awesome
Did I confront my problems and finally attend an AA meeting? Far from it! This was my first time attending a WordPress community conference, or WordCamp (WordPress is a system used to run 25% of all websites in the world, such as the one your are on right now). What makes these conferences interesting is not just the free pizza, but the topics that are covered and the community it attracts. In two days, we covered topics from ‘How to write an engaging story’ to ‘Making WordPress fast with Jelly Snakes and Raspberry Twizzlers’. The WordPress experts inspired me to build my own website into something bigger. In between talks – while munching on free granola bars and coffee – I approached as many interesting people as I could. One particularly helpful couple was Linda and Craig Martin. They have run a highly successful travel blog/podcast since 2006 and Craig has been on the board of the ‘Professional Travel Bloggers Association’. In other words: they know a thing or two about travel blogging. I found it very inspiring and energizing to be able to approach and talk to these folks. They went above and beyond the call of duty to suggest ways to grow my website. For example, they suggested running a test on ‘Travel Consulting’ and shared specific tips on how to approach that. How great is that? I literally had a chance to walk up and get advice from the pros. Wordcamp Auckland rivaled meeting Tim Ferriss in New York in December 2016. IT WAS AWESOME!
Read more to find out how else I stayed productive on the road. Read More
This week I focused my attention on writing cover letters for a new (remote) job. The last time I actually sat down to write a cover letter was probably four years ago. Needless to stay, my skills were a little rusty. After some humbling feedback from close friends I hit the ground running on Monday. I compartmentalized my tasks into: job search, resume update, and cover letter writing. In order to minimize switching costs, I batched each task. First, I found five jobs I was interested in (at Uber, Tesla, Booking.com, and two startups). Next, I tweaked my résumé to reflect the job requirements for each position. The last step was really just putting words to the cover letter. After one or two tries, I had created a template. Where the first cover letter took 5-6 hours to write, soon I was busting them out every 1-2 hours. It paid off to have some tested iterations before scaling my efforts. In this example, I had my first few cover letters reviewed by two close friends. Incorporating their advice, I created a foolproof template I could leverage (ow yes, I still own the consulting jargon) for all future job openings with minimal efforts. From now on, it’s just a numbers game. Some might say I’m not making most of my travels by writing cover letters, updating this blog etc. I beg the differ. Not only do these tasks keep me sharp, it also allows to explore and be productive at the same time. Every day I would change my location. Whether I write at a coffee bar, at a beach, or in the park there is always a new place to explore. As a matter of fact, I thoroughly enjoy this type adventure as I interact with the local population a lot more.
I would also like to share a word on determination and routines. I see routines as a double-edge sword. On the one hand routines allow productivity as you run on auto-pilot. This is very efficient assuming the routine is effective. On the other hand, routines stand in the way of creativity and exploration. Like a double-edge sword, you want to use routines wisely as to not hurt yourself. Staying in Auckland for a semi-permanent amount of time allows for routines. One that I would like to highlight is my ‘Daily Fitness Challenge’ I entered in October 2016. Every morning, I wake up and do 30 minutes of exercise as part of a Daily Fitness Challenge I started. 270 people started and I was honestly quite surprised to hear this week I’m one of four finalist. I don’t want to pound myself on the chest, but I want to point out the power of routines. Waking up every morning and doing the exercises is not a decision anymore. It takes no mental effort. Admittedly, during my travels it was a lot more challenging, but through perseverance I managed to stay in the contest. And I’m in it to win it!
Being timelapse video-bombed by two girls at the beach while capturing the Auckland skies
Local news – The most stunning shots of New Zealand from space
I’ve been making some OK visual materials of New Zealand the past few months, and last week I promoted Gandalf touring the country. Yet, the boys and girls at NASA play a strong photography game as well. The NZ Herald has published amazing material on their site (see link). The image below is my favorite.
A word of wisdom
“Mindfulness is creating space between stimulus and response”
Dan Harris – Author of New York Times Bestseller ‘10% Happier’ (one of my favorite books of all time).
Dash for cash