Travelogue Day 5 – In Search of the Most Traditional British Food (The Ginger Pig)

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I often hear people cracking jokes about traditional British food. Namely, that it’s not very good. “Everything’s boiled,” I hear them say. “I hope you like boiled, salted porks and overcooked cabbage and flavorless shepherd’s pies”.

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Travelogue Days 2-4: Grand London Walking Tour

london walking tourWhat’s it like to walk from the edge of Shepherd’s Bush on London’s far West end, all the way to Waterloo St around Southwark? The answer is very hard on the old feet. This personally invented London walking tour concluded with going back up the edge of the Thames, across Westminster bridge and finally to a SoHo underground station, reaching a total of around 9 miles of walking.

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Travelogue Day 1 – London New Years

london new yearsThe first day of international travel is almost always a rough patch for me. Without fail, I get sick. This time was no exception, as I finally caught the cold going around (the one that lasts days and makes you feel super sluggish). Couple this with very little sleep, the sudden timezone change, and a LOT of walking after I finally landed in the middle of the London new years, and I was the walking dead.

Taking the train to west London, I immediately realized it was bitter cold. My leather jacket wasn’t enough, and I had to fish for my gloves and scarf. Without a proper internet connection, I began searching for a Starbucks to get on Google Maps and get my bearings (next time, I should prepare more thoroughly). Slowly, I mapped out a walking route to the hostel. The 1.4 mile distance felt monumental given my sickness and tiredness. However, I was not ready to pay a fortune for a London taxi.

I arrived at the Monkey in the Trees Hostel, which is in an area near the borough of Hammersmith, near a very old market (Shepherd’s Bush Market). The hostel is actually part of a pub called The Greyhound. The pub is on the bottom floor, and upstairs are the bunk beds.

Unlike “pubs” in the West, many pubs in England seem more like family locations, and during the early evening the pub / hostel is swamped by families with their kids running around, while mom and dad drink pints.

I met with two wonderful Chilean women, Esi and Ninia. We immediately clicked and spent the evening together, making it to Leicester Square, which is the closest available place to watch New Years fireworks without having to pay a monumental ticket price. We arrived via the “tube” railway. A costly but effective mass transit system ($6.00 or so per one-way ticket).

Esi and Nenia met up with almost a dozen other Chileans who they had encountered the night before quite randomly. This left me feeling slightly awkward, as I don’t speak Spanish. And, by around 1 AM I wanted nothing more than to pass out.

We ended up in a Mexican restaurant. I was not that interested given that I was born and raised in the American Southwest, and it was about US $8.00 just to enter the place.

I needed a strategy to wake myself up, so I took a small shot of hot sauce. The others thought I was crazy, but it cut back my cold symptoms and gave me a second wind of energy.

Now with more energy, I managed to get a lot of exciting shots of different streets in the early hours, including Chinatown and it’s huge hanging orange lamp / orb.

Ended up having a lot of fun. I have yet to meet a single Londoner who does NOT have a sense of humor. This makes meeting random strangers both very fun and easy.

Returned at 5 AM. Despite everything I’d been through, I could only sleep 3 hours (maybe because of my cold). I woke up and had the complimentary breakfast, and then got to work on my computer. Around noon, the real tiredness set in. I returned to my room and passed out for five hours.

We’ll see what tomorrow brings

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Fall Photography Tips & Tricks

Reposting this via friends over at Picaboo.com. Thought these were some good nature photo tips as fall still lingers.

You can feel it coming… the days are getting shorter, the air is crisper and the leaves are starting to turn. Fall is upon us and with it one of the best times of year to work on your landscape photography. Below you will find everything you need…

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Sibiu among the top cities with the most beautiful Christmas markets in the world

Reposting this from the Romanian travel blog “DraculasCastle.info”. Gotta add Romania to my bucket list (note: my bucket list never goes unfulfilled for more than a couple of years at a time).

Christmas Market, Sibiu, Sibiu County, Transylvania, Romania Sibiu was included on a list of cities with the most beautiful Christmas markets in the world. In a related article , Spanish newspaper El Mundo recommend seven cities around the world worth…

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I’ve been writing Kindle ebooks all year. Soon I begin my next round of adventures.

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Hello readers,

Clearly, my updates on this site have been less frequent as of late. As there’s only so much time in one day, I find most of my days are spent either creating new Kindle ebooks, or working in other business areas. In fact, truly, this whole year has been a period of my life dedicated to work, launching entrepreneurial projects, and trying to maintain some semblance of consistency in regard to things like sales. The reason is because at the end of this year, now merely two months away, I’ll begin the next fairly long expedition.

Here are some plans for this trip, in what is my current (final) itinerary:

Dec. 30th-8th: Depart to England, stay with some friends out there until around the 7th. Enjoy New Years in London.

Jan 8th-14th: Catch a flight to (ridiculously expensive) Zurich, Switzerland. Head to the Lifestyle Design Convention, with my VIP ticket where I’ll be having dinner with Steve Pavlina and other marketing and blogging leaders. When the conference is done, drink hot chocolate on a mountain somewhere. Bonus if I meet a beautiful Swiss girl with pigtails.

Jan1 14th-28th: Fly from Switzerland to Istanbul, Turkey. Two weeks in a youth hostel. Food blog Turkish cuisine. Explore Constantinople, as it was once known. Post photos to this website.

Jan 28th-Feb 14th: Spend remainder in Turkey going across the Nicean coast, making it to Antalya and Fethiye, both ancient world coast towns. In Fethiye, there are sarcophagi built into the edges of the mountains. Chronicle some of these lost civilizations, post them to my website.

Feb 15th: Somehow get back to Istanbul, take a flight to Zagreb, Croatia

Feb 15th-March 15th: Spend a month in Zagreb, being around good natured central European folks, enjoying the low cost of life in Zagreb, plus it’s famous party scene

March 15th – April 15th: This will be time spent in either Zagreb or Dubrovnik, “a stunningly intact” walled medieval coastal city. The weather will finally start to thaw from the long, cold winter–and tourists from around Europe and Russia will be flocking to Dubrovnik.

April 15th – July 15th: The rest of my time in Prague, enjoying spring and summer in this famous and beautiful city.

July 15th: Either return to the USA depending on family reasons and / or business reasons (have I amassed 10k in credit card debt, or am I fully self sufficient? that’ll be a big factor), or take a flight to India to begin the next half. In that case, I’d be going from India through back to Thailand, landing then in Japan for autumn, and likely beginning the new year in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

When the exploration renews, I’ll be keeping everyone updated here at CyrusKirkpatrick.com. So if you’re interested in seeing what I hope to be photos of some awesome places, then be sure to check in around that time. With any luck, I’ll plan to chronicle my adventures one day at a time for the length of the trip.

See you soon, in fact — if you happen to have a place to crash in England, Switzerland, Turkey, Croatia or Czech Republic… Let me know and maybe I’ll literally see you soon đŸ˜‰

– CK

Why Life as a Travel Blogger is Sometimes a Bad Idea

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Life as a travel blogger must be ideal, right?  Live anywhere, enjoy the blue skies, work on your laptop, make some updates to your site, get paid, and then get back to surfing.

Sounds amazing in theory. However, blogging is no picnic (something I make clear in my book, How to Actually Make Money Blogging). I’ve run several blogs before, and a highly functional operation can be VERY profitable, but there are some big downsides, as well.

I highly suggest reading this post to its entirety if you want to learn what the lifestyle of a travel blogger is *really* like — and why I personally think blogging is not always the best option for obtaining a mobile, freedom oriented business.

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North Korea Photos: Living and Working in the Urban Centers

These North Korea photos were taken around April, 2013. Those in urban city centers enjoy a higher standard of living than others. Most go home to large residential developments and condominiums; often with limited water and electricity, with several family members to each room. North Koreans often work six days per week. The meandering tourism industry (primarily from China) represents many urban jobs in hospitality, as well as a constant need for civic short-term employment, such as construction and infrastructure. Markets exist in unvisited sectors of Pyongyang; where tourists have never been allowed to go. During a stay in a city like Pyongyang; you are required to be accompanied by a government approved guide at all hours, except when you are in your hotel. – Cyrus

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Ode to Murdered Travel Blogger Harry Devert

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I can count my heroes on one hand, and Harry Devert is one of them.

A former New York financial analyst, Devert walked out of his office one day to instead explore the world and experience grand adventure.

From A New Yorker Travels:

There is so much good and so much to love in this world I sometimes can’t understand how people find time to hate things or even find enough things to be upset about. I believe life is short and that we need to make the most of it, and while many people say this, I truly try and live my life accordingly.

Devert spent five years traveling, and his blog remains a wealth of information for up-and-coming backpackers. His position was a fortunate one–coming out of a high-paying job, he had enough money tucked away to travel with freedom from financial limitations. In other words, the ability to choose between high-end hotels and backpacker hostels, depending entirely on his preference.

The most heroic thing about Devert is that he walked away from the rat-race with no regret. He refocused the energy that had been used to achieve career success to, instead, achieve experiences and immerse in the rhythm of life and the diversity of distant cultures.

The writing on his blog is some of the best I’ve seen among the travel blogging niche. Honest and with a shining zeal for life, it’s hard to stop reading. According to his friends and family, Devert’s writing was a small example of his curious and brilliant personality.

But his adventure went awry. It started with the plans he outlined on his blog to take a motorcycle (that he didn’t know how to use) from New York all the way to the tip of Argentina, visiting the World Cup games on the way.

“Life is short, and like my mother used to say, if you’re going to do something–do it right.”

Not long after he began his journey, Devert stopped updating his blog. For months, social media campaigns were setup to try and locate the missing adventurer. Earlier this week, his remains were discovered in the gang-ridden area near the Zihuatanejo coast. Authorities believe he was murdered by cartel thugs.

Devert was a bold guy, willing to push the envelope. I can relate to a bit of recklessness, given my frequent visits to the despotic country of North Korea. But, while I want to abstain from any criticism in this piece, I can’t help but say it is possible to push the envelope too far. And this is an important lesson for other travelers to take note of.

If Devert had asked me for my opinion, before he undertook the motorcycle plans, I would have quickly advised him that it was a very bad idea.

Mexico officially warns travelers to stick to certain beach cities and safe states. Big parts of Mexico are currently paralyzed by cartel-military wars that are beginning to resemble a full-blown civil war.

And, once you get through Mexico, you’ll have central America to contend with, including Honduras, where the fighting and lawlessness has become so bad that 50,000 Honduran refugees (mostly children) are currently in internment camps in Arizona as they seek to escape the dangers of cities like San Pedro, which is considered the “murder capital of the world”.

Finally, South America is seemingly friendlier to travelers and backpackers, but it’s still not completely safe and I wouldn’t do it without a solid plan and a careful, strategic route, because robberies are quite common in many parts of Columbia and Brazil.

Furthermore, a traveler mustn’t underestimate the danger of standing out in a crowd of poor and desperate people. As I traveled around the poorer regions of Isaan in Thailand, there was more than one occasion where I felt I needed to be on-guard. And, this was even with a host-family and friends.

This isn’t to say that the world is always a dangerous place. The world is FAR less dangerous than people claim it is. Most natives of any country in the world are good-natured, and the vast majority of the time the only problems people face as they travel, even to poorer countries, is occasional petty theft.

But there are still specific places you don’t go to. I would never travel into the poverty and gang ravaged sections of Chicago aptly named “Chiraq”. Likewise, at this moment I have no intentions of going to Baghdad. On that same note, I would never explore inland Mexico without a careful understanding of what areas are ravaged by violence.

Devert’s journey was extremely dangerous. There is no denying it. I would sooner cross the Middle East on a motorcycle. In fact, aside from the severe situations in Iraq, Syria and parts of Lebanon, the general environment of the Middle East is grossly exaggerated by the media, and is in fact very safe. Meanwhile, it seems fewer people are aware of just how bad it really is south of the American border.

But I think Devert understood the risk. He wanted to do what others wouldn’t do. This is the spirit of an adventurer. And while his journey ended with his brutal murder in rural Mexico, I applaud his courage to raise the bar, live his dreams, and live as a true adventurer–going where others wouldn’t.

I will continue to honor the spirit of Devert throughout the rest of my future travels, the development of this blog, and even my personal life philosophies. For this – I thank Devert immensely.

8 Signs You’re a Slave Instead of an Employee

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Literal slavery is a horrible practice that still persists into the modern age. But, I want to talk about another form of human exploitation–employment slavery, which can also ruin a person’s life. Generally, I consider this a self-inflicted slavery because it’s ultimately a person’s choice to work under such conditions—but I also understand that brainwashing can occur, creating the illusion that there’s no way out.

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Raptitude and When Lifestyle Design Efforts Fail

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(RIP a Lifestyle Design Effort)

I want anybody reading this to take note. I found a very important case study that relates to independent income and your overall happiness in life. (Note, David Cain himself kindly offered some addendums to this post to clarify what’s really going on from his side. Please see the comments section).

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Why Life is Meant to Be Enjoyed

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Trying to make sense of the world can be difficult, especially when you realize how backwards people’s priorities are.

If you live and breathe in Western culture, I promise that you are being subjected to a socially constructed myth that you’re either “working and paying your dues”, or you’re “being lazy”. There’s no in-between. Enjoyment is greedy, work is good.

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