Nyepi, a Hindu celebration, is celebrated mainly in Bali on the last day of the Balinese calendar, although it is a public holiday everywhere in Indonesia.
From 6am to 6am the next day no-one is supposed to engage in any activities. No entertainment, no electricity, no work, no travel and for some even no talking and food.
It’s a day reserved for self-reflection.But Nyepi has another, more interesting purpose. The night before Nyepi, the Balinese ride a number of Ogoh-Ogohs through the streets, accompanied by loud orchestral music. These are skillfully crafted monsters, mostly build by youth organizations. Each village typically build one Ogoh Ogoh. Continue reading »
Brazil is one of my favorite countries and I’ve spent a fair amount of time there in the last few years, enough to notice a lot of interesting aspects of Brazilian culture and behavior.
Instead of listing the usual stereotypes, such as Brazilians love soccer, carnival, parties and are always late, I’ve tried to include less-well known and more interesting aspects of Brazilian culture.
Note that Brazil is a very large country and there are big differences between the various states and cities. However, I believe the following is true in most parts of Brazil. Continue reading »
The sharing economy has been around for a while, but awareness is still very low. According to Jonathan Millenhald (CMO of Airbnb), awareness for Airbnb is still less than 1%, even though the company is the second highest peer-to-peer platform valued at $17B.
There are many small platforms that offer many other opportunities for anyone to make some extra side money. You could be a cook, a dog sitter or tour guide. Continue reading »
Every human being on this planet has skills and knowledge that is valuable to others and therefore can be monetized by becoming a teacher or tutor. Most people don’t realize this.
They think that to be a teacher you have to have a university degree, be an expert in your field or know everything there is to know about a subject. This notion prevent people from taking action and reaching their full potential. Continue reading »
The second most expensive asset that most people have is a car. Cars are generally used in a very inefficient way. This study shows that cars are parked 95% of the time. That’s right, for every hour that passes cars are on the road for 3 minutes and doing nothing but taking up space for 57 minutes.
Isn’t that crazy? Think about how much precious space all these vehicles are taking up in cities like New York, San Francisco, London, Paris and so forth. Another way to look at this is that if we can find an efficient way to share our cars, only 1 in 20 people that own a car now would have to own one! Continue reading »
The easiest way to make money in the sharing economy is to monetize your most valuable asset: your house. Monetizing property is nothing new of course, people have been renting out accommodation for thousands of years.
However, with the arrival of short term rental platforms such as Airbnb, VRBO and Homeaway, it is now easier than ever to make money with a house, room or even a couch. There are a lot of advantages of renting out this way versus the traditional long term rental option. And the best thing is, you don’t even need to own a property. You can list rented accommodation as well. Continue reading »
Do you have a regular job that you don’t particularly like? Do you ever sit at your desk, dreaming about what life would be like if you would have the freedom to do what you love and make a living? If so, then this post is for you!
There has never been a time in which living the life of your dreams has been more within your reach then right now. Modern technology allows many of us to work remotely from any location. The internet provides opportunities for starting an online business in almost any niche. The sharing economy allows us to easily monetize our assets, skills and knowledge through platforms such as Airbnb, Uber, Wyzant, Takelessons and countless others. Continue reading »
I’m always on the lookout for new, smart travel products. When I came across the Bluesmart, I was immediately sold. This is for sure the most bad-ass suitcase I’ve ever seen. Curious?
Suitcases haven’t changed much in the last few decades, but that is about to change. Bluesmart has taken suitcase technology to the next level, utilizing micro-sensors, actuators and a microcomputer with GPS to communicate with smartphones over bluetooth.
In addition, the Bluesmart app can be synced with the suitcase and online travel services to provide smart notifications, alerts and reports to the owner. Continue reading »
Ask anyone who’s ever tried to stop smoking or lose weight and they will tell you that it’s very hard. Even those who manage to change their behavior will often fall back to their old ways at some point, often during stressful or difficult times.
Why is it so hard to change what we do? Aren’t we in control of our own actions? Turns out, we’re not. Not consciously at least. When we repeatedly engage in a certain type of behavior, a small part of our brain called the basal ganglia stores the behavior and a habit is created. We no longer need to consciously think about it, we go on auto-pilot. Continue reading »
A lot of people don’t like overnight flights because they have trouble sleeping on a plane. What’s the secret to getting those well deserved hours of sleep? To figure out the best way to sleep on an airplane you first have to ask yourself what has kept you awake the most on recent flights.
Do you have a hard time sleeping with noise? Does light keep you awake? How about temperature? Or can you just not find a good position to go to sleep in? Continue reading »
I just came across a new flight search engine that I really like. GeniusFlight is a budget driven search engine for flights. Genius Flight works a little different than most search engines.
Instead of specifying a destination, Genius Flight only asks for (1) a departure city and (2) a budget and (3) your travel dates.
The algorithm then scans all the cheapest flights for you and displays the options within your budget. This is a great way to get some inspiration. Specially if you (like me) love going on spontaneous trips! Continue reading »
In 2010 I left my finance job in Chicago to fulfill a life-long dream: to travel the world full-time. It was not an easy decision, I gave up a very lucrative career and I had no idea what would happen and what I would end up doing.
I took the leap anyway as I didn’t want to grow old with regrets, knowing I had never taken the chance to live the life I wanted to live.
So I took off to Brazil and never looked back. It was the best decision in my life. Want to know more? Watch this short video to find out! Watch the video »
When I talk to fellow Airbnb hosts, I always ask them if they were apprehensive about letting random people from the internet into their homes. The answer is always a clear “yes.”
The next question I ask them, is if those fears ever materialized. The answer to this question may surprise you. It’s almost always a very definite “no.”
The biggest worry that people have when renting out their space on Airbnb is that guests will damage their property. Particular questions that are often raised include the following: Continue reading »
During my travels, I often stay at Airbnb apartments across the globe. Since I am a host myself, I pay close attention to various aspects of the listings I peruse.
One of those aspects is price. Over the last few years, I have noticed that most hosts have a fixed daily price regardless of the day of the week or month. This is highly surprising. Why? Continue reading »
The main promotion avenue for your Airbnb listing is the Airbnb search results. This is where potential guests shop for relevant listings.
When your listing pops up, the first thing a user will see is the title of your listing along with the primary photo of your home.
These two pieces of information are what will burn an indelible first impression into the mind of the user. Accordingly, these components must be of the highest quality if you expect guests to inquire further. Continue reading »
Reviews are the foundation of the service industry. Hotels, restaurants, personal trainers, real estate agents, and any other service-based professions must live and die by the review system.
As the world has grown ever more interconnected, and social media has engulfed every aspect of our lives, the power of customer feedback has grown exponentially. General advertising and marketing are still vastly important tools, but at the end of the day, cyber word of mouth is fast becoming the ultimate determinant for a business venture’s success. Continue reading »
Nowadays, everyone wants a bargain. There are a plethora of websites and services that make their money by flooding consumers with terrific financial savings for all sorts of products. When people save money, it makes them feel good. It often engenders a feeling akin to earning an extra bit of income.
Airbnb customers are no different. They are constantly in search of the best deal available. Most hosts are aware of this because they’ve likely dealt with a customer who is eager to haggle. You think you’ve set a reasonable price for your listing, but a potential guest has requested a discount. What now? Should you accept it, or do you stay strong and hold your ground? Continue reading »
The last few years I’ve been traveling around the world non-stop. I’ve been to over 50 countries.
I went lobster hunting in the Bahamas, scuba diving in the worlds’ most tropical places such as Fiji, Vanuatu, Thailand and the Philippines, hiked up a volcano in Iceland and sailed along the coast of Croatia during Yacht week.
The number one question I get from my readers is: how do I afford this? The short answer is: Airbnb. Continue reading »
Located on the Northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the province of Guanacaste, the town of Tamarindo swells from a mere 500 to 5000 due to its popular tourist attractions, including surfing and eco-tourism.
Tamarindo is known for its beautiful beaches, particularly Playa Tamarindo–which has several excellent breaks for surfers–and Playa Grande, which is famous as the nesting ground for Leatherback turtles. Continue reading »
During my four years of traveling around the world I have met a lot of people who also chose to step out of the 9 to 5 environment and try something entrepreneurial. It’s always inspiring and interesting to see what these fellow globetrotters are up to, but some of them have really blown me away by what they’ve accomplished. Navid Moazzez is a good example and I’m honored to be featured on his business podcast, The Lifestyle Architects, which is ranked #2 in the iTunes business section! Continue reading »
People often ask me which countries they should visit in South East Asia. Most of the time, they have Thailand, Vietnam or Cambodia in mind. I often ask if they’ve considered the Philippines. Most of the time the answer is “no.”
I’ve been to the Philippines almost ten times and I’m not sure why the Philippines isn’t on the top of the list of countries to visit for most people, but I definitely think it should be. Here’s why. Continue reading »
Does your business or the work you do not only reflect but amplify your interests and passions?
Have you been focusing so much on growing your business, or working so hard that it’s come at the expense of having a lifestyle where you feel empowered and creatively expressed? Then read on… Continue reading »
During your travels, you will most likely want to chat to family or friends back home from time to time and share photos with them. And, if you are freelancing as you go, then communication with clients is crucial.
Back in the day, this was usually a costly endeavor. Not anymore, though! The internet revolution has made international communications a lot cheaper—free in many cases! Continue reading »
In the Southern Carribean lie a few small islands that form the remnants of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Once a vast empire, it now consists of The Netherlands and the tropical islands of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten.
Curaçao is the biggest of the three and a popular tourist destination for mainly Dutch and American holiday makers. Here’s how to make the most of a week long visit to Curaçao. Continue reading »
You probably have never heard of this place. São Miguel dos Milagres, a small municipality of less than 10,000 inhabitants, located on the north-eastern coast of Brazil, in the state of Alagoas.
It’s part of an area between the cities of Maceio and Recife, that’s know for it’s pristine, long-stretched beaches and warm tropical waters. An unfamiliar New Year’s setting for most of us. Continue reading »
Over the years it has become more and more difficult and expensive to travel with a log of luggage. A lot of airlines started charging for checked luggage and size restrictions for carry-ons are being more and more enforced.
Two of my good friends saw this problem and decided to do something about it: they created a carry-on that can be carried on the plane, as a personal item! Continue reading »
Malapascua Island is a small island off the northeastern coast of Cebu in the Philippines. It features warm, tropical waters, palm trees, white beaches, and excellent dive sites.
The island has a long stretch of white sandy beach, where most of the resorts are located. There are a number of local villages on the island. Fishing and tourism are the main sources of income for the locals. Continue reading »
I was recently asked the question: “how has traveling changed you?” A tough question. It’s often hard to see changes in yourself.
I believe this is because changes take place gradually and since you experience yourself continuously you don’t always notice the change. It sometimes takes a good friend or family member who hasn’t seen you for a while to spot the differences. Continue reading »
Florianopolis is a popular holiday destination for Brazilians and Argentinians alike. While it is a well known spot in South America, it’s relatively hidden to the rest of the world. Most tourists go to Rio de Janeiro, Natal, or Fortaleza.
Florianopolis is one of my favorite destinations. It has everything I look for: over 40 beaches, magnificent natural beauty, a great climate, a vibrant nightlife scene, and plenty of things to do. If you are lucky enough to make your way to the paradisiacal island, here are nine things you can’t miss. Continue reading »
Finding the right type of accommodation can make or break your trip abroad. There is nothing worse than arriving at your dream destination just to find out that your room isn’t clean and you’re woken up at 7am by construction works just outside your room.
The first thing I read about the county of Sligo, Ireland, is that there is a wonderfully enigmatic local expression: “Sligo is surprising.” Why?
Well, the county is known to have an abundance of scenic landscapes and diverse cultures. As you might imagine, I was completely intrigued by this catch phrase. And so began my quest to find an answer to the question of the day: is Sligo really that surprising? Continue reading »
One thing that always surprises me is how people seem to lose all manners and etiquette as soon as they enter an airplane or airport. Suddenly, everyone behaves like a buffalo amidst a panic stricken stampede.
Ever wonder why everyone tries to rush out of an airplane at the same time as if it’s about to explode? Or why people stand at the luggage belt, blocking the view and access for all other passengers? I think it’s time for a quick rundown on air travel etiquette. Continue reading »
Traveling to an exotic location inevitably requires particular conditions to be met. While some countries simply mandate possession of a valid passport, many can be very difficult to visit depending on your particular circumstances and nationality. Continue reading »
One of the highlights of my tour through county Donegal in Ireland was visiting the cliffs of Slieve League. These are the highest in Europe, raising from sea level up to over 600 meters! To get the best view, we went on a boat ride with to see the cliffs from the ocean. As an added bonus, a group of Dolphins decided to join us for the ride! They really put on a show for us, making the boat tour that much more special. Check out this video I created to get an idea of what it was like. Watch the video »