30 Ways in 30 Days

Luna Blue

A Perfect Example

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Live Like a Local, Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Traveling Tips | No Comments

On the off chance that you’ve been living under a rock and you haven’t read about the fiasco that has been going on between the Luna Blue Hotel down in Playa Del Carmen and Expedia, you should first start with this article.

The short version is simply this: a classic case of corporate greed and absolute lack of personal attention to detail or customer service. And if you remember my recent blog post on Review Sites – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly than you’ll know that there are a certain amount of dangers to simply putting blind trust in these Goliath companies who only have one goal in mind: the bottom dollar.

What it boils down to is this: Luna Blue was experiencing issues with Expedia always showing their hotel as being booked, even when it wasn’t. And despite numerous emails, phone calls and other means of attempting to contact someone at Expedia who could resolve the issue, they were met with a stone wall of indifference.

This is where things get interesting, and why I titled the post “A Perfect Example”, because what we are currently witnessing is the power of social media to influence change. Much like the recent Instagram fiasco where the company first stated they were going to sell users’ photos and then backtracked within a matter of mere hours after the international backlash from the user-base, we the people have the power to influence change when we all work together towards a common goal.

In the new book I’m working on right now, there are entire sections talking about freedom of information and the spread of global Internet. Around the world we have come to a point, as a species, where we can communicate freely and openly without someone controlling the information through propaganda and editing and blocking the flow of news.

As a species, we are able to begin righting the wrongs of so many global entities who have grown corrupt and stagnant, and we have the power to influence people to work together with each other, with other human beings, rather than being forced to rely on corporations whose interests are absolutely not with the customers they are supposedly providing a service for, but instead in merely the profits.

Something you all know from reading the blog posts here and my various books and watching the videos and beyond, is that I promote The Human Experience. And above anything else, I always recommend “living like a local”, speaking the local language, using local services, talking to people living in the local areas, using expats and travel bloggers as your “go to” source of information as opposed to the big names in the industry.

Why? Because they are antiquated, part of the Capitalist/Imperialist system that has already crumbled and broken. Because it’s always better to support your local economy. And in an era of globalization, the entire planet is your backyard, and local can be anywhere from Japan to Mexico to Russia to Canada or Brazil. It’s the same planet, and we are all of us neighbors, brothers and sisters.

The modern day traveler doesn’t need to go through a nameless entity to find lodgings and adventure activities and people and restaurants. Instead, we can use the power of social media, freedom of information and the vast reach of the global phenomenon that is The Internet to create our own realities outside of the system.

Now that I’ve said all this, let me get back on topic. If you read their blog, you’ll notice that since everything went viral, Expedia has issued a press release stating that “we are no longer in business with Luna Blue Hotel”. But if you check Expedia’s site, as well as the Luna Blue blog, you’ll notice that their hotel is still listed on the affiliate booking site across the Internet as a partner hotel…and Expedia is still telling people that the hotel has no rooms available. 

As an example of what I’m talking about, The Luna Blue staff mention that they’ve never contracted with Venere and never gave them permission to list the property. Yet Venere/Expedia claims it is a booking agent for the hotel.  When anyone uses Venere to check for availability they are linked back to Expedia which claims that the hotel has no rooms to rent, and they are then directed to other, competing hotels! Meanwhile, Luna Blue continues to be listed, with no availability showing, on many sites linking to Venere/Expedia such as travelyahoo.com, cleartrip, holidaywatchdog.com, travelpod.com, tingo, reservetravel.com and others.

This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the lengths that Expedia is willing to go in order to retaliate against anyone standing in its way. The Colombus, Georgia fiasco talked about on Luna Blue’s blog is another example, with the company removing every single hotel in the city from their service for five years until they settled the lawsuit that the city brought against them for being unwilling to pay local taxes. It was a strong-arm tactic from a multi-million dollar company to try and force a city into submission.

The simplest response to Expedia’s misconduct is to not use them or their affiliates: Venere.com, Egencia.com, eLong.com, Hotwire.com, Hotels.com, Localexpert.com or any of the websites listed above. More importantly than that, in my opinion, is (as the owners of the hotel themselves mention) simply don’t book your vacation though a nameless, faceless data bank but instead talk to people who actually know about the places you want to visit. People who have lived there, traveled there, have a blog there, or a guidebook with local contact information.

And before you think that Luna Blue is one of only a handful of hotels raising their fists against the global giant, they aren’t. Just earlier in 2012 another personal friend of mine down here in Cancun shared his experiences in a post called 5 Reasons Not to Book Hotels Using Expedia, Hotels.com or Hotwire. There are several more examples of just how corrupt and horrid their system is, and how bloated it has become over the years.

The beauty of living in the age we now live in is that we the people have access to free information from global sources. We can visit blogs, Facebook pages, local news sources, Google+ pages, online magazines, online newspapers and go straight to the source. We don’t have to rely on a web of lies and half-truths from global entities whose best interests are the bottom dollar, not the customer experience. We can communicate directly with hotel owners, such as Luna Blue, to find out their actual listings, their actual prices, their actual services, without some nameless, faceless entity giving us false information simply to try to make a dollar.

You’ve heard me say it a million times, and I’m going to keep saying it, even though I sound like a broken record: live like a local. And that means going to the local sources for your information. Those of us in the travel blogging industry already know this as gospel, but for those of you who might be new readers and new to the travel gig, realize that The Internet has allowed us to connect on a global scale. When you are preparing for a trip and searching for hotels, never book through a nameless entity. Find the website, the Facebook, the Google+ or the blog of the hotel/hostel in question and talk to them directly. Only then can you be assured of a truly rewarding customer experience, plus you’ll actually meet the people who run the place and connect with them as human beings as opposed to simply handing over your credit card information to a nameless entity who doesn’t care about you beyond how much they can squeeze out of your pocketbook.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

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Hostel Dormitory

Travel Defense Mechanisms

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | No Comments

We have not evolved so much as one might think, and there are numerous primal urges and characteristics that still remain in our genetics. One of the most primitive instincts that man has carried over even into the modern age is the inability to sleep soundly or well when becoming accustomed to a new environment. It might be a hotel room or a hostel, a relative’s or friend’s house, a new apartment or a house, but the fact remains: no one sleeps well in an area they are unfamiliar with.

This inability to sleep well in new environments is purely a defense mechanism. The body isn’t accustomed to the new sounds and it doesn’t let itself take a break until it feels safe enough to do so. Instead, it is analyzing, studying, learning, determining. What was that bump? That creak? That draft of air? That squeak? And that one over there?

Personally, I almost never sleep more than a few winks in hostels. But it’s not just me; most people cannot sleep well in new environments precisely for the reasons listed above. The brain is in defense mode, protecting itself on a primal, primitive level that we cannot control. And this primal defense mechanism is absolutely something you should pay attention to while traveling.

If you remember the series I did in 2012 on Safety While Traveling (Part One | Part Two | Part Three), situational awareness plays a major factor in your continued survival. It’s not something that is related purely to travel, however; general awareness and defense mechanisms are a good thing to keep honed and at the ready no matter where you live in the world.

There are certain things on the instinctual level that we can tune into, if we just learn how to understand how our bodies and minds work, and how we interact with energy and vibrations and the world around us. The hairs on the back of your neck standing up when you are in the presence of something unique and unknown. The tingling under your skin and in all the hairs of your body when you walk the sunward circles at the Time Between Times of sunrise and sunset. The way you can feel when someone is looking at you, watching you. Gut instinct.

We all have instincts. Some are more well-honed than others. Some people have spent more time developing theirs than others. And as someone once told me regarding traveling in certain parts of the world, it’s kind of like at a boxing match just before the fight. The referee turns to the fighters and says, “Protect yourself at all times.”

Be aware when you are out and about. Even when you are home, there’s nothing wrong with keeping your guard up to keep yourself, your loved ones and your possessions safe. Being prepared for any situation ensures optimal outcomes. Survival. Because deep down inside there is one thing that every single one of us has in common with every other animals on Planet Earth: we want to keep on living. 

I say, embrace your animal instincts. I say, get in touch with your primal nature. I say, to hell with conventional wisdom that tells you to put locks on your doors and alarms on your cars and your home and trust in police and “the law” and “the system”. I say, hone your defense skills, build up your situational awareness, learn a self defense martial art, prepare yourself for any outcome. 

When you are traveling abroad, you certainly have less security than you would have in your home environment. For example, you might have an alarm system installed on your house, locks on the doors and windows, and maybe even a safe/panic room. But when you are on the road there are certain situations you’ll come up against that are unavoidable. Traveling on a bus through the middle of the jungle where there aren’t any police or military to protect you. Staying in a hostel where the doors are flimsy and thin and the only lock is a little chain and latch that would break if someone leaned on it too heavily.

What do you do in these situations? How can you ensure optimal levels of safety? Situational awareness is only the first step. You have to take into account that at our most primitive level, we are no different than the lions and tigers and bears and other animals that roam the forests and mountains and jungles of the world: we will maim, kill and otherwise ignore the rules of civilized society when it comes to survival of the fittest.

One of my most highly recommended strategies for ensuring your safety in any given situation is picking up a self defense course, as mentioned in part three of The Expat Guidebook (see the link earlier in this post). But beyond that there are other tricks you can rely on, such as always sitting with your back to a wall when in an open setting, with your eyes facing the door and windows so you can watch the comings and goings.Always know where the exits are. Never walk alone at night down a darkened street. Leverage a chair under the door handle in hostels and hotel rooms to add an extra level of security. Carry a knife, pepper spray, a baton or some other form of weapon or defense tool you can use in extreme circumstances. Never sleep with ear plugs and eye masks. Don’t use plushy pillows when on the road, as they will muffle your hearing. Don’t go to sleep with the television or radio on, as it will mask the sounds of an intruder.

These are just a handful of things you can do to ensure you are prepared for any outcome. After all, when you are on the road and away from home, it’s just you against the world…and while there’s nothing wrong with having faith in humanity and trusting your fellow human beings, only the naive are the ones getting pickpocketed, mugged, robbed or otherwise ripped-offed and harmed while traveling abroad or living in other countries as an expat.

At the end of the day it’s survival of the fittest, and only those who are prepared for any outcome have the best chances for dealing with any given situation that might otherwise affect their safety while exploring this great big planet we call Home.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!


The Human Experience

Cultural Immersion and Human Exploration

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 10 Comments

People often ask me what it is about travel that initially drew me to a life of continual exploration as an international expat and global citizen. I can easily point to Indiana Jones as my primary influence as a child growing up in the 80s; a life of adventure around the world, exploring other countries, speaking other languages, discovering sights unseen and paths untrod by the average, ordinary traveler. But more than anything else it is the people, the cultures and The Human Experience that makes travel such an important part of my life.

Communication is vital to the social evolution of our species. It is only through communication that we will fully overcome the violent tendencies of certain people and governments whose sole desire is to pillage, rape, kill and destroy other cultures. But beyond simple communication are the social values, the cultural differences, that should be embraced as part of the overall Human Experience as opposed to being feared and hated simply because they are “different”.

We are living in amazing times where globalization has allowed for instant communication and a dissolving of cultural boundaries and barriers. The entire species is advancing towards a common goal now with the advent of free information via global Internet, and almost everyone understands now the importance of sustainability and working together with our planet since we are all one great big symbiotic family.

Social media, crowd funding, YouTube, Google and beyond have opened the world to the entire population as opposed to just a select few. The concept of a “third world” country has almost completely disappeared from the map as every country has begun rapidly developing in the modern era. Anyone, anywhere, can create an idea and a way of life for themselves just through creativity and tools such as social media; it’s not merely those who come from certain countries or who speak certain languages.

One of the ways to explore the human potential at its most basic level is to actually go to other places, explore those countries, live there among the people, learn their cultures, study under their spiritual leaders, understand their history and where they come from and how they are just exactly the same as you or I or anyone else on our home, Planet Earth.

There is more to traveling than just going to a place and being there. It’s all well and good to snap a few photos of you and your significant other or family on the beach, living it up while on vacation or while backpacking through a country and seeing the landscapes and the flora and fauna of a place. But it is the people, the cultures, the history…these are what make a place unique, not the zip-lines, the cave-tours, the hot-air balloon rides, the 4-wheel treks, the scuba diving, the snorkeling or the various vacation activities that so many people wrongfully associate with “traveling abroad”.

One of the biggest issues plaguing the travel blogging and travel industry as a whole is the objectification of the people and places that bloggers and weekend warrior backpackers are visiting. That is, their blogs and articles depict travel as a form of consumption and objectify the people of other countries as opposed to actually immersing themselves in the culture and learning about the people and exploring who they are and where they came from.

Sure, it’s cool to check out a flashy blog or magazine article full of photos of an adventure traveler or couple as they zip-line their way down a canyon in Argentina, or take a hot-air balloon across the expanses of Turkey or go cenote-diving in The Yucatan of Mexico, and there’s plenty of adventurous text to go along with these types of articles. But where is the cultural immersion? Where is the human exploration? Where is the communication, the connection, the exploration and respect of culture?

The best way to learn about a country and its culture is to live there for an extended period of time. One of the things I really enjoyed about the Young Adventures of Indiana Jones was the continual emphasis on learning the language of the countries that young Indy was traveling to with his family. And as the show progressed into an older, young adult phase, the languages he had picked up as a child while traveling with his family allowed him to experience things far beyond the tourist phase.

The establishment of relationships. An understanding of the culture and religion of a place. A connection with its people. Real, actual conversations and connections as opposed to “another beer, please”, or “I’ll have an espresso”, or pointing at pictures on a menu while you fumble your way through ordering something.

Living, working and studying abroad on a long-term basis is the only way to fully appreciate cultural immersion and globalization. There is also nothing quite like exchanging your home for a comparable one abroad or renting or buying property in a foreign destination.

Vacationing or backpacking through a destination is only traveling. You are skim-reading the book. You are a glorified tourist, someone who might be spending more than just a couple of days or a couple of weeks in a place, but a tourist nevertheless. Living in another country, going native, speaking the language, immersing yourself in the culture and its people, on the other hand… this is the only way to truly experience a destination. When you live in another country as an expat going native, you are reading the whole novel as opposed to skim-reading.

Making the move to live abroad is the ultimate travel experience, and for many it is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it is the result of chance and circumstance (my own was a combination of the two; a lifelong desire to travel and the crash of the construction industry in the U.S. at the end of 2006 and into 2007).

Going to a place, visiting the major (and minor) sites, snapping a few photos of the food, getting some pictures of the locals, doing the scuba diving tours and the hot-air balloon rides and renting a scooter to zip around Rome while sipping espresso in one of the many endless corner cafes…all of these things are absolutely adventurous and fun and exciting and are certainly worth doing while on vacation and on a generalized globe-trotting adventure…but there is a big difference between traveling and living in another country as an expat.

Acceptance of all cultures on an equal level is the first step. The second is learning the language. Beyond that, it’s all about connecting with people on a local level. Exploring The Human Experience. Rather than objectifying the people or their home by simply coming in with your $5,000 worth of camera gear and snapping photos of the “poor little natives” while you scuba-dive and snorkel and laze about on the beach, you actually live there. You support the local economy. You develop friendships with your neighbors. You build relationships, business partnerships and global connections.

Expand your mind. Learn another language. Immerse yourself in the culture. Become one of the people. Celebrate their holidays. Respect and appreciate their cultural values. Explore. Discover. Live.

There’s nothing wrong with being a tourist and a complete newbie. I’ve been one plenty of times, and I’ll continue to be one when I take vacations and initially visit a place before I’ve learned the language and worked my way into the culture. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adventure travel and enjoying “the good life” while visiting a destination Simply keep an open mind and remember that cultural experiences, immersion and human connections can only be developed through time and communication…not merely through consumption and objectification.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Review Sites – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | No Comments

TripAdvisor, Expedia, the Lonely Planet forums…the Internet is jam-packed with English-language review sites offering up a plethora of user-generated reviews based upon the expectations and experiences of the users. And while the idea is a good one — to provide a platform whereby the random researcher can find information about a place to help determine their own travel plans — the unfortunate reality is that these sites have fallen prey to the Instant Gratification Generation.

“No melon is ever ripe enough for people on TripAdvisor,” says travel analyst Jared Blank. “There are hotels that rate in the top five in the world, and people are still complaining. I’m always shocked by the comments: from the quality of the fruit, to the mobile-phone reception on an island in the middle of nowhere, to whether the person on the front desk was smiling sufficiently upon their arrival. It blows my mind.” You can read the full article at The Guardian’s website.

It is a direct result of the social coddling that has resulted in the 99% mentality from the majority of Western, English speaking countries. These countries cater to a citizenry where 1st place medals are expected by the general population simply for existing, and the old phrase “the customer is always right” has evolved to the point where it has completely lost its original intent, which was as a means to ensure the quality of customer service.

Now, unfortunately, the mentality behind “the customer is always right” has transformed into a situation where the Instant Gratification Generation demand customer experiences that are beyond what hotels, restaurants and other businesses can realistically provide. To put it bluntly, you can’t please everyone, and when you have a rabid generation of individual “gimme gimme gimme NOW NOW NOW according to my individual, specific, tri-polar needs or I’ll sue you and your company into the ground” users, the original intent of travel review sites has been lost in the haze of 1-star reviews from customers who are disgruntled over the tiniest, most minute little details…none of which have anything to actually do with the service or quality of the restaurant or hotel in question.

Details which, by and by, largely revolve around the personal expectations of a generation of whiners and 99%ers and overly-entitled Westerners. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones who stay in a hotel in the heart of Barcelona, in a Spanish speaking country, but bitch and moan on TripAdvisor because the hotel staff don’t speak English (while at the same time driving pickup trucks with a giant “If you wanna come to America, Speak English or Get The Frak Out” bumper sticker). The ones who show up to a restaurant in Venice and write a negative review on Expedia because “the menu wasn’t in English and they didn’t have ranch dressing or bacon bits for my salad”. The ones who travel to a five-star hotel and then leave a one-star review because (as mentioned in the quoted section) “the staff weren’t smiling sufficiently when I arrived and one of them was wearing a towel on his head and looked at my funny and I think he’s a terrorist”.

As a full time traveler and international expat, I don’t use English-language reviews sites, specifically because of the above reasons. Instead, I go to the ground, to the local sources, to review sites written in the local language by the local people who live and eat and use the services on a daily basis. My second option is to go straight to my travel blogging peers who run websites dedicated to these cities and places and have guides and information written from time spent actually living on the ground and experiencing the local flavors and way of life. On top of that, the world of Google+ and Facebook and social media have allowed the entire world to become one giant gathering place of people from every corner of the globe…and I can instantly connect with anyone, from any country on the planet, to find location-specific information written by people who are a part of that local culture.

To give you an example of what I’m talking about, consider Bogota Vive In. It’s a Spanish-language website that is specifically based on and focused in Bogota, Colombia (they also have other cities in their network, and other countries throughout South America). It was an invaluable resource while I was living in Bogota and writing the Live Like a Local immersion guide. And unlike TripAdvisor and Expedia and other English-based sites which are chock-full of whining and complaining from Instant Gratification hipsters who are leaving comments and remarks that have nothing to do with the actual services of the location in question, the site for Bogota has information from people living within the city, writing honest reviews from a local viewpoint rather than from an elitist, entitled viewpoint.

Instead, local, non-English review sites are written by a completely different breed of travelers and people. As a general rule, the English-speaking travel market is full of “the entire world outside of the U.S./U.K. is inferior, dirty, corrupt, immoral and full of terrorists and backwater natives who are living in third world conditions” thinkers. And for those of us who travel for a living, this is not only a completely backwards point of view, but one which only shows the ignorance of those who have never been out of their country before and have bought into the propaganda of Western media. Hook, line and sinker.

A Good YearFor those of you who have seen A Good Year with Russel Crowe, directly by Ridley Scott, there is a part in the movie where his character is helping the French girl who he has fallen in love with (played by Marion Cotillard) at her local restaurant. There is a grossly overweight, average American couple sitting at a table and going over the menu, and when he shows up to take their order the woman starts going on about how she wants a salad with bacon bits and ranch dressing and etc. Basically, she wanted to re-create her American experience in France.

His character’s response was to grab the menu out of the woman’s hands and tell her that fish and chips are down the road in one direction, and in the other direction there is a McDonald’s,  along with a polite but firm “goodbye!” while waving them out the door.

Unfortunately, this is not an exaggeration. And the sad reality is that the so-called “reliable” English-language review sites that the vast majority of first-timers and newbies and naive backpackers stumble across in their research for a destination’s places and things to do, are chock full of negative reviews written by people who have no appreciation for local culture, flavors, sights, sounds, individuals, language and country-specific experiences.  

One of the biggest issues facing the vast majority of Western travelers is that they’ve been spoon-fed tales of an Internet-less wasteland of terrorists and cartels and poverty-stricken natives who are just waiting, with baited breath, the arrival of a white, English speaking American/Westerner with their almighty dollars who they can rob, kidnap, ransom and otherwise harm. This directly affects their opinion of countries and the amenities and the people who live there.

What many tourists and newbie travelers don’t understand is that the entire planet has high speed Internet, first world medical care, modern amenities and creature comforts. 4G and beyond exist in nearly every corner of the globe. Every major city on the planet has public wi-fi throughout. Cuba, for example, has the number 1 rated system of medicine on the planet, and yet it’s a country that most Americans and Westerners have feared for years because they are “damned communists”.

Bulgaria, another example, has the third fastest Internet in the world. I wrote about this in the Sofia guide, as well as talk about it on our Sofia page, with speeds that are light-years ahead of Canada and the United States and the United Kingdom…because there aren’t government restrictions being placed to cap user’s experience to ensure that businesses and government receive the most bandwidth. Instead, it’s wide-open and completely unbridled (although I’m sure that will end sometime in the future).

We are living in a world where modern amenities and creature comforts and living conditions exist in every corner of the globe. Which is exactly why I go to the locals and people who live in the cities I want to explore and live in myself, with local-language sites and guides written by people who actually care about the culture, respect the people and treat them as fellow human beings.

 “Being ignorant is not so much a shame as being unwilling to learn.” Benjamin Franklin

If you are going to travel full time, if you are going to live in another country as an expat and immerse with its people, if you are going to join the ranks of globally conscious travelers who are part of The Human Experience, connecting with people from all corners of the globe without prejudice or judging, viewing everyone equally…you have to go beyond. Look outside the box. Unplug from The Matrix. Experience what’s really going on.

One of the first steps is realizing that English-based review sites, while not always a bad thing, offer up a decidedly one-sided point of view, and it’s important to understand that the point of view being offered is often very skewed due to the inherent nature of people who lack culture. People who are ignorant, not in terms of intelligence level, but in terms of global viewpoints. Just as a child is ignorant of the fact that fire is hot until they actually touch a flame and get burnt.

The best reviews, the most trustworthy, are offered in the native tongue of the country where the city exists, written by the people who actually use these places and services on a daily basis. If you want to explore the world as it truly exists, outside of the Western-thinking, superiority-complex travel sites written by weekend-warrior tourists looking to recreate their suburban experience, the best option is always “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

Beyond Borders - The Social RevolutionGet Your Copy Today!

The Universe

“We Are The Gods Now”

Posted by | 30 Ways in 30 Days, Live Like a Local, Quality of Life, Traveling Tips | 2 Comments

This is the phrase uttered by Peter Weyland (played by Guy Pearce) in the viral videos that came before Prometheus, by Ridley Scott. Powerful words that evoke a sense of universal understanding, of confidence, of knowledge. And a reflection of the current reality we are living in.

All of the various religions and beliefs around the world have known and talked about the end of the era for the past countless centuries. It’s the cycle, passed down for generations. And beyond, to infinity. Whether you talk about Atlantis reborn, Heaven on Earth, the arrival of the ancients, the Rapture or any of the many various versions told in the texts, they all agree that we are moving into a time of limitless human potential, where realities are created purely through will and desire, where life and potential are infinite.

I see, in technology, the understanding and realization of our true potential as conscious beings. Not as a means of accessing some special power or by adapting the nature of our genes to be enhanced persay, but because the understanding of the laws of nature allow us true mastery of the universe. “God”, “The All”, “Allah”…there are many different names for The Universe, but it is very much in all of us, right there in our genetic core, embedded in our DNA, down to our molecular structure with its atoms and vibrations and structure that is no different than what is on a universal scale with tiny planets orbiting tiny suns in a massive, endless, infinite array of possibilities.

With freedom of information comes the ability to share, to experience, to explore, to unlock the secrets of the universe alongside our fellow men and women. This is a powerful time of living. A time of change. A time of rapid advancement. Newtonian physics? Out the window. Just as the flat Earth theories were thrown out the window when humanity’s understanding included planets.

We now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the “code”. We can see the replication on a universal scale, all the way down to the tiniest atom in our bodies; everything repeats. The Golden Ratio. The Fibonacci Sequence. A indelible mark left in the fabric of the universe which continues on into infinity in either direction. A signature.

I Was Here.

Scientists are rapidly advancing with this knowledge at their disposal, discovering along the way. In the video, he talks about the advancement of human technology. Fire. Gunpowder. The light bulb. Early men were slow to understand  crude at implementing their discoveries,  their methods unrefined. But with the advent of the 20th century, things began to change.

Automobiles. Airplanes. Telephone. Computers. Internet. Faster and faster. Onward and upward. Human ingenuity knows no bounds, for we are the children of the universe: infinite in our potential for expansion and growth.

Then the 21st century hit and our understanding and growth have exponentially increased at every turn. Leaps and bounds are happening within a matter of months now, rather than decades apart. Just as the Mayans predicted with their endless cycles of compounded and sped-up cycles as things progressively begin to vibrate faster and faster and faster until we reach the point where we hit the infinite possibility stage and move into the great beyond, the infinite universe.

With the power of free information on a global scale, with global communication, comes the ability to advance the entire race forward at the same time. No more “my country versus your country”. No more nationalist beliefs holding people back from working side by side over a misguided notion that because someone was born somewhere else they are inferior. No more 99% versus 1%. No more reliance on a system of control telling you how to think, how to work, how to live. There is only the Human Experience as the entire planet works together to achieve the same goals.

As we break through the final date marked in the calendars and rough prophecies of religions and spiritual texts and cultural beliefs around the world, realize that we are now entering into The Golden Age, the 1,000 years, the Heaven on Earth, the Great Beyond. We have conquered technology. We are mastering science. We are exploring the universal truths of vibration and genetic code and DNA structuring and virtual realities that are in essence a reflection of our own virtual nature, holographs within a universal vibration, learning as we go.

The use of social media, websites, digital media and online resources are only scratching the surface in terms of what we are capable of. Bio and nano tech are in use, today. Organs can be grown in a lab. Hormones and other treatments extend life, give fuller hair, add sexual enhancement for the geriatric population, help us live longer. Our understanding of plants has created a virtually-disease-free living condition for those who choose to follow the path. Artificial intelligence has been created, is evolving, through the use of Siri and Kinect and beyond.

The combination of technology with our understanding of the symbiosis of life on Planet Earth and the importance of sustainability and working together with the planet, has led to our better understanding of the nature of it all at a molecular level. This is the reason so many countries and people around the world are coming together over climate change and sustainability, because we know, on a planet-wide basis, that these topics aren’t political in nature: they are the universe letting us know that we aren’t just living on a rock in space.

Instead, we are living on a living, breathing planet that requires us to be in symbiosis for the best results. Through that symbiosis, through that adapting of our own nature to match the vibrations of the planet, of the universe as a whole, we enhance our lives as human beings. As we adapt nature to our own lives through science and technology and greater understanding, we advance.

We are living in a time of infinite possibilities. That is what the new era represents. A time of change. A time of growth. With our understanding of the universal truths, we realize that we don’t have to do things they way they have been done before. The credit system or the banking system or the so-called global crisis are nothing more than peripheral. Our focus is on the future, on the new way of doing things, on the global consciousness of the entire planet working towards common goals and expanding our knowledge of science and technology to unlock the rest of the mysteries of the universe.

We have the ability to create infinite realities merely through thought and will. To create something in a digital space and have that extend outwards into the physical realm. We understand, finally, the symbiotic nature of it all, and the planet is moving away from capitalist and selfish systems of personal gratification and into a global community of sharing, networking and outward expansion and understanding.

As we pass the Winter Solstice of 2012, the time prophesied by the Mayas and the Hopis and other religions as the end of the previous era, groups and cultures around the world, realize that this is a time of amazing healing, potential and change. A time of infinite possibilities.

The journey is far from over, my friends. The best is certainly yet to come.

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