The Homer Tunnel

There’s a tunnel in New Zealand which is 1.2 km long and connects Milford Sound to Te Anau and Queenstown.

It goes straight through a mountain and took 19-years to dig. Much of it began by hand.

Opening of the tunnel was delayed by World War II and several avalanches in the area which resulted in multiple men losing their lives.

Workers had to camp out in tents on the edge of the tunnel during construction. The camp areas were known not to receive sunlight for months at a time.

Inside the tunnel was cold, wet and dark. Up to 40,000 litres of water had to pumped out every hour.

In 1953, The Homer Tunnel was officially opened and named after the man who suggested the tunnel was possible, William H. Homer.

I went through the tunnel a few months ago. I’ve thought about it since. 19-years of digging through solid rock. Interrupted by a World War and avalanches.

Every time I think I’m pushing through something or get annoyed at being interrupted from my work, I remind myself of The Homer Tunnel.

Experience is relative but I know for sure, I’d rather be here working on what I’m working on than digging through solid rock with a pickaxe whilst a World War is going on.

At the end of the tunnel is one of the most beautiful jewels in the world. Milford Sound. It’s in the Fiordland region. A region in which a glacier carved its way through the mountains centuries ago but has since melted. What’s left is a collection of vast and nearly vertical cliff faces rising out of beautiful lakes.

The area is as beautiful as it is remote. One man fell so in love, he decided to live there on his own. Well, at least he was the only human, he brought his dog along too. Donald Sutherland originally came from the Scottish highlands but decided to travel the world and ended up calling Milford Sound home. His story is worth reading about.

After being there, I’m not sure which impressed me more. The tunnel or the cliff faces.

Nature is beautiful.

The beginning of Milford Sound from the top deck of a tour boat.

The beginning of Milford Sound from the top deck of a tour boat.

But so is hard work.

The beginning of The Homer Tunnel. Look at the surroundings of the opening. Imagine if someone said to you, “I think we can dig through here.” What would you say?

The beginning of The Homer Tunnel. Look at the surroundings of the opening. Imagine if someone said to you, “I think we can dig through here.” What would you say?

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

Your heart thumps. Thump. Thump. Thump. 

You don’t know whether you can do it. 

More thumping. 

You’re walking out. It’s safe. People have gone here before. People have done it. People will do it after you. 

Thump. Thump. Thump. 

Your hands cling the guardrails. 

How you feeling?


You remember someone told you feeling nervous comes from the same place as feeling excited. 

You feel both. But saying excited helps. Excited and nervous. 


The harness goes on. Left leg, then hop on the left foot to get the right foot in. 

How’s it feel? Not too tight? 

It’s perfect. 

Strapped in. 

Do you want to look over the ledge? 


You sure?

You look over the edge. 

I shouldn’t have done that. 

The guide speaks. 

I’m going to count down from 5 and then you’re good to go. 


Thump. Thump. 


The thumps get faster but you can’t feel them.


No thumps. No nothing. You and and the edge. This is it. 


You’re body is ready. It’s not ready. It’s ready. Not ready. Ready.


Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot. You’re moving. Moving fast. There’s the edge. You look out. Keep moving. Left foot, right foot, push off. You’re in the air. Arms spread floating through. Time stands still. This moment is perfect. Everything stops. Everything is clear. Moving fast but clear.

Gravity kicks in.  

The floating is over. You’re falling. Thump. Thump. Thump. The ground is moving towards you. Moving fast. 400 metres, 300 metres, 200.  

Then the cord pulls tight. Tight enough to suck up all the gravity into its strands. The ground starts slowing down. The cord is getting tighter, tighter, tighter stop. It hits its limit. 

All the gravity is inside the cord. It has to go somewhere. Gravity cannot be contained. It ejects itself out. It can’t be contained. All the gravity gets shot out as the cord shrinks you feel it feel it all you’re going back up. Then back down. It repeats, ground tight gravity eject ground tight gravity eject.

Back on the platform the thumps come back. Thump. Thump. Thump.  You speak.

My hands are shaking. 

Everything is shaking. 

How was it brother? 

Unreal. You can’t describe it. 

You can’t. There’s no words for fear escaping the body in such a way. 

All it takes is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. 

It might not be bungey jumping or anything requiring a harness. But when the fear arises, use the countdown to turn it into energy. Then direct the energy where it needs to go. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.

Shout out to the team at Queenstown Ledge Bungey. Today was unreal. 


When a fire starts to burn (workout)

After walking around Queenstown all day Ludo and I decided to do a workout. He’s studying sports science and I’m into health so we’ve had plenty to talk about movement, the body and different kinds of training.

We started playing When a Fire Starts to Burn by Disclosure as pump up music.

Then we got into it. 

All these require are your body and about 20-minutes. 

1. 30 burpees no rest

Burpees get the whole body moving. To the ground, push up, up to your feet, jump reaching hands in the air and then back down to the ground. Do 30 straight as quick as you can with minimal rest. Your fire will be starting to burn after these.

2. 100 Push ups, 50 dips

We did 20 push ups on the ground then 10 tricep dips on the picnic table then 30-seconds rest. And repeated it 5-times to get the totals. 

This will have your upper body ignited. Mix the sets of push ups by doing one set slow and the next fast. 

By set 3 I got to 11 push ups before I had to stop. Rest when you need but keep the rest time between sets short. We’re trying to keep the fire alive here.

3. 10 hill sprints

Find a steep hill. Then run 40 metres up it and walk back down to where you started. As soon as you hit where you started, sprint back to the 40 metre mark. 

If you don’t have a hill, stairs or flat ground works as well as long as you’re sprinting. 

By number 7 your fire will be burning.

Movements don’t have to be completed. Get your heart rate up. Keep it there for a while.

After the workout, we went for a 20-minute walk for warm down.

Dinner was chicken, spice, potatoes, onions, mushrooms and broccoli all mixed together in a pan. 

Bonus points if you listen to the song to get started. The film clip is worth a watch.  

The Unshakable Adventuring Spirit

I picked up 3 hitchhikers today. 

Angelica from Poland was heading from Lake Te Anau to a hiking track. She moved from Poland to the US after meeting her husband on a Summer trip of climbing. She’s excited to go back to school in September to study International Business.

Ludo from France is wrapping up a 6-month stay in Australia with a couple weeks hiking around New Zealand. We met on a cruise boat through Milford Sound.

”I’m heading to Queenstown later today,” I said.

 ”Me too.”

 ”Want a ride?”


On the way off the cruise Joey from Holland started talking to Ludo. They talked about each other’s backpacks. These big gear carriers with zips and pockets everywhere.

 ”Where are you heading?”


”So are we, want a ride?” 

”Yeah man!” 

Queenstown is 4-hours from Milford Sound. We stopped on the way to eat bananas, apples and nuts.  The stereo was broken so we shared stories and looked out the window to pass the time.

Joey, Ludo and I went for burgers tonight. Ludo and I are sharing a room. Room number 4 at the lodge. 10-minutes up the hill.

3 different hitchhikers from 3 different countries all with different stories.

The one thing in common?

An unshakable adventuring spirit.

Reading the reviews

I went for a hike today.

Last night I was looking for the car park to start on Google Maps. I found it and the Google Reviews of the hike.

The one voted most helpful was one which said ‘The view is much the same on the way up, won’t interest regular hikers too much.’

I kept reading. Many had heavy positive views. But the ones which said ‘Too hard’, ‘Not the greatest’, ‘Not enough shade’ had the most upvotes.


The hike was a challenge. 2 and a half hours up hill. And then 2-hours down hill. Down hill is as much of a challenge as up hill.

Were the people reading the reviews looking for a way out. An excuse to say, ‘I read the reviews and it doesn’t look like it’s worth the effort.’

When someone else says it, it’s easy to agree and take their word for it. Sometimes reading the reviews can save time and effort.

Other times, they can get in the way. Get in the way of you having your own experience. After all, everyone who leaves a review has a different worldview to you.

The view at the top was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Starting in the dark and having frozen hands was worth it. Ever better than the view was getting to the bottom by 10 am and being able to say I’d climbed 5-hours and it wasn’t even lunchtime.

All these things I picked up from the reviews. Start early. The breathtaking views from the top. The hard climb. Cold winds at the peak.

Even the most helpful review was right. You could see the entire landscape the whole way along.

But that doesn’t mean you should always take someone’s word for it. Take it in. Absorb it. If it’s good advice, listen. If not, don’t.

I usually never read reviews. I don’t want the views of others to hold me back. I already do that enough myself.

Not this time.

Sunrise at Roy’s Peak, Wanaka. 

Sunrise at Roy’s Peak, Wanaka. 

You don’t have to damage the trees

Bruce started talking.

I built a pathway through the forest. I made it so none of the trees were damaged so it winds a bit. You might have to watch out for some overhanging leaves and branches.

We walked along the pathway. The forest was pitch black but Bruce had a torch. 

There were some stairs. Bruce stopped and turned off his light. 

You could see them everywhere. Thousands of them. Scattered across the rock wall, their tails glowing like stars in the night.  Bruce started telling us about them.

The glow worms build a little nest in the rock wall and from the nest they lay out strings of a web like substance. It looks like fishing lines hanging off the side of a boat. The fishing lines are used to catch insects for food. 

We all listened to Bruce.

I’m not sure where the cave came from but it might’ve been from the gold rush. 

I asked a question. 

How did you find it? 

I was walking along the river one day and got lost in the forest. And I stumbled upon it. Then I came back at night and got bushed.

The group chuckled. We assumed bushed meant lost.

We got closer to the glow worms. Saw some of the fishing lines hanging off. Some of them had lines as long as your finger, others not so long. They weren’t as bright if someone turned their light on. You had to make sure it was dark pitch black dark to really see them.

It started raining. Bruce started talking.

Well if you’ve had enough of the glow worms, we can head back. 

Everyone turned around and started back on the pathway. 

The pathway was well made. Really well made. I told Bruce. 

This pathway is well made. 

Thank you. It’s been a fun project getting it through the trees. 

It snaked around trees and weaved through the forest back to the opening.  It went where it had to go.

The path you’re building can to. It doesn’t have to damage the trees either. If there’s something in your way, you can always build around it.


Packing light

Cars are nice.

Jet skis are fun. Really fun.

But I can fit most of what I need to do the things I need to do in a backpack.

I’m heading to New Zealand today. I’ve got a Jiu Jitsu tournament tomorrow and then I’m getting a van for a week and going to do a lap of the country.

Travelling reminds me of how little I need and of what matters.

Need is a strong word though. Thinking about what’s in my bag, a laptop, an iPad, a notepad, a book, a camera, some clothes. I really only need the last one. The rest allows me to do the work I enjoy but people have lived for far longer without these things than with them.

What matters then?

Health, relationships, meaning.

That’s my list. I tried to make it longer but it doesn’t need to be.

Health enables you to do the things which give you meaning. And relationships are hard work sometimes but the good ones are always worth it. The couple next to me are holding hands. Worth it.

This is my list though. Maybe yours is different. It’s worth thinking about.

Every time I deviate from it, the drone of life starts drumming up. Every day becomes a battle.

Get sick and you realise how much you take being healthy for granted.

Watch a close relationship start to fade away (not always a bad thing) and you realise how much one person can influence you.

Having no meaning makes it really hard to get up in the morning.

These things won’t always be optimal either. But it helps to use them as a reminder. A reminder I have 100 energy points per day to use. Where are they going to go? Sometimes health will need 90 points and the others miss out. Other days mission needs 30, health needs 30 and relationships needs 30 with 10 to spare.

When you overpack for travelling, you have the burden of carrying around extra gear. Overpacking for life is no different.

‘Do you have any checked-baggage?’

‘Only carryon.’

You still control these things

My Godfather, Damo and I went to lunch at the LinkedIn New York City offices. He worked for LinkedIn two years ago and still had plenty of friends there.

I knew people loved him but I didn't realise how much.

'OMG Damien!'

'Damo, how are you!'

'Damien's back!!!'

These are the type of reactions we got walking through the offices.

It was like the second coming of Jesus. The whole floor was lit up.

Everyone welcomed us with open arms.

It was inspiring.

People forget specifics but they'll never forget how you make them feel.

Even if you work for someone else. You're still in charge of:

  • How much effort you put into your work

  • How you treat other people

  • How you treat yourself

  • Why you do what you do

When it comes to this list, you're your own boss.

PS if you've ever wondered what lunch at a global tech company is like, I shot some footage while we were there. And since the LinkedIn offices are in the Empire State Building, we checked out the view from the 86th floor too.

Staying Fit While Travelling | Whole Body Hostel Workout

The healthiest cultures in the world don't have gym memberships.

Instead, they embrace movement.

They get up and down often. Some eat their meals on the ground and therefore are constantly getting up and down. And others tend the gardens where they grow their own food.

They walk around. Transport is available but then so are their feet. And they use them often.

Instead of slowing down their movement patterns as they get older, they keep them going.

You'll often find them in groups hosting a yoga session or Tai Chi practice.

All forms of life move. If you don't move you die.

I wasn't close to dying but I knew I'd feel better if I got moving.

I'd just come off the back of a few days worth of travel with a lack of proper sleep or nutrition. And my system was feeling sluggish.

I didn't have access to a gym but that wasn't a problem. I had a body and I had gravity (I still have those).

Workouts don't need to be long and taxing all the time. There are times to lay it all on the line but for the most part, getting a sweat on and your heart rate up for a few minutes is enough.

The title of this article says how to stay fit whilst travelling but you can do this one anytime. Find some floor space and you’re set.

You could complete this in under 25-minutes if you wanted. I did it in closer to 30 with some filming in between.

Part 1 — Upper and Lower Body

  1. 20 pushups

  2. 20 squats

  3. 45-seconds rest

  4. Repeat 5 times

Don't take any rest in between the pushups and squats. For a level up, you could shorten the rest time to 30-seconds.

Part 2 — Upper and Lower Body

  1. 20 lunges (10 each leg)

  2. 20 knees to hands -- stick your hands out 90-degrees from your elbows and raise one leg at a time to meet your hand with your knee

  3. 10 tricep dips -- I used the edge of a car for these

  4. 45-seconds rest

  5. Repeat 5 times

Do the lunges, knees to hands and tricep dips back to back with no rest in between. This helps to keep the heart rate high.

Part 3 — Core

  1. 30-seconds hollow hold (back to the floor)

  2. 30-seconds reverse hollow hold (stomach to the floor)

  3. 10 side plank twists (5 each side)

  4. 20-seconds rest

  5. Repeat for a total of 6-minutes

No rest in between each of the different movements. 20-seconds rest after completing a round of each. Continue until 6-minutes is over.

The sweat started dripping after the 3rd or 4th set of Part 1 for me. It'll be hard until it happens.

Once your body starts to sweat, it'll start to help you move. That's what you're aiming for. 15-20-minutes of sweat and hard work for a whole day of feeling good.

PS Don't forget to stay hydrated when travelling (and like, all the rest of the time). Jet lag is made worse by a lack of hydration. Combat it fast by flooding your body with water and endorphins. This workout offers half the deal.

The journey is the goal

Check out was at 10 am. So I had breakfast at 9. $1 for an omelette and pancakes. What a deal. I ordered two lots.

When I arrived at the car rental place there was a line three rows deep. I joined the back and took my backpack off. It wasn't heavy but I couldn't be bothered carrying it, the line was moving slow.

'Next please.'

Someone would get seen and then I'd kick my bag along the ground. I was checking out the new iPhone online while I waited. A new gold colour. Sweet.

Then it was my turn.

'Did you want to upgrade for $25?'

Of course, I wanted to upgrade. I'd already paid $150 for the Mustang but the Camaro SS was the fastest car they had. Easy money.

'I'll take all the insurance you have please.'

I bought the biggest package. Everything was covered. My friends will tell you how good of a driver I am.

The car was incredible. Black and yellow. Someone had thought about every line. It oozed muscle and sex appeal at the same time. You couldn't pinpoint what it was but it was.

It took me a couple of minutes to figure out how to put the roof down. There was some cover in the boot which needed to be put in place. The only flaw.

I connected my phone to the stereo and started blasting Eminem’s new album with the top down. I paused the music and the lady took my pass and pointed me out of the carpark. Freedom.

The highway was next. 455hp versus pavement. Ohh yeah.

When I put my foot to the floor there was a slight pause, like the car was asking 'are you really sure you want to do this?' I was sure. My whole body sunk back into the chair. I could feel all 455 horses galloping at once.

We hit the coastline, me and the car. I nicknamed it Bumblebee because it was the same colour as my favourite Transformer.

Us and the open road. Plenty of time to think. Plenty of time staring at the lines of paint coming towards me one after the other.

It was quiet. The engine noise sunk into the wind and I started to relax. Yawns were creeping up on me so I stopped at Starbucks and got coffee. Then I was back.

I keyed in Big Sur on the GPS and followed it along. All you could see to the right was water and to the left, mountains.

Having the top down and some clouds cooled things down. My party shirt and t-shirt combination weren't suffice. I pulled in the reigns and put the top back up.

The GPS said we were 13-minutes away. A couple hours down but it felt like just down the road.

30-minutes past. I passed a couple of signs which said, Big Sur. They were towards a big park. But I wasn't stopping. I was on the journey.

Then the sun started to go down. I was gearing up for an epic sunset over the Pacific Ocean. My phone had no signal. Good. But I still had no place to stay.

I watched the ocean for a bit then decided to head back. Big Sur was nowhere to be seen. Actually, I didn't really know what I was looking for.

The sunset was amazing. But I missed it. I timed it perfectly to take the one section of inroad whilst the orange dot was hitting the horizon.

'We're all booked out.'

'Are you sure?' I asked.

'I am,' he said, 'but there's a place down the road you might want to check out.'

I went to the other place and stopped out the front. I didn't like the look of it so I keyed San Francisco back into the GPS. 90-minutes away.

I put on the soundtrack from Drive and cruised back to the car rental place.

'Are you sure you haven't left anything in the car?'

'I'm sure.'

I left my headphones in there. Oh well.

It was midnight but I booked back into the hostel I checked out of. Then caught a Lyft there.

My driver was from Afghanistan. We talked about his favourite cricketer. A real young guy and had some great stats. I could see why he liked him.

'Good evening.'


I was half expecting the same guy to be on the front door of the hostel, then I remembered it was 14-hours later.

'You'll be in room 102, bed 1.'

'Ha, the same one as before.'


'Oh, don't worry.'

I went back up to the room and made my bed again. It was on the top bunk so moving the blankets around was a battle between them and my knees.

I took my pants off and hung them on the end of the bunk. That would be the last time I saw them.

It was bedtime. I peeled back the shower curtain and turned on the water. My toothbrush was sitting on the shelf in the tub. I left it there.

The whole journey had been to come back and find my toothbrush.

Sitting in bed I Googled 'Big Sur.' Turns out Big Sur isn't one single place rather a stretch of places. I drove right through them all.

Sometimes you don't find what you're looking for. Because it was right there in the first place.

I went to sleep knowing pancakes and eggs would be on the cards in the morning. A man always sleeps better knowing such things.

Sign up when you’re not 100% ready

I booked a ticket to the US earlier this year.

I was supposed to leave on July 6th. My return ticket was for six months later. It was meant to be one-way but I heard somewhere they wouldn’t let me into the US if I didn’t have a return ticket.

In my head it was a one-way trip.

Driving Uber wasn’t an option anymore. It was time to put what I had been studying about machine learning and artificial intelligence to the test.

My thought process was ‘I’ll go to the US and find a job at a tech company with the skills I’ve been learning.’

That was it.

The same reason you go to France to learn French, I was going to go to the US to learn more about technology.

At least that’s what I would tell people who asked.

‘What are your plans when you get over there?’

‘I’ll go to Meetups and meet people and then find a job somehow.’

‘Good on you.’

The real reason was because I didn’t think I could a role here. And really, I hadn’t done any research on what was going on in Brisbane nor did I think anywhere would hire me for skills I learned online.

All I thought was, ‘go to the US with the right mindset and everything will work out.’

That’s how I approach most of life.

Worst case scenario, Australia isn’t a bad place to have to come back home to. It’s a good place here.

So I booked the ticket. Then a couple weeks later Ashley reached out to me on LinkedIn. She said I should meet Mike. So I did. And Mike introduced to me Cam. Two weeks later, I was working at Max Kelsen as a Machine Learning Engineer.


Sometimes things happen faster than you expect.

Ashley reached out because I’d been posting some of what I’d been learning on LinkedIn. When I first started sharing my work, I was scared. ‘No one will appreciate this.’ But I kept doing it. And then it happened.

At the time, it seemed unexpected. Looking back, maybe my subconscious knew something would happen if I kept going. I’m glad I did. You can only connect the dots looking backwards.

A few weeks into working at Max Kelsen, Ryan, one of the co-founders, and I were running around a park with stomachs full of pizza.

‘How can I organise a leave request?’ I asked.

‘You can do it through Xero,’ he said.

I explained to him about my flight. It was two weeks away.

‘I’d like to keep the flight but push it back a couple of months.’

‘That’s cool, yeah definitely keep the flight, how about we sit down on Monday and work out some times.’

We decided on September. I’d be leaving Brisbane on September 12 except this time my return flight was 4 weeks later instead of 6 months.

My focus for the trip changed from looking for a job to exploring possibilities. Same same but different.

I went to Japan in 2016 alone for three weeks. Me, my backpack and curiosity as my tour guide. It was one of the best things I ever did.

The US would be no different. Same backpack, same camera bag, same tour guide.

The night before my flight I stayed up late. I wanted to try and combat jet lag. I always pack at the last minute. Mostly because I don’t take many things. Give me a laptop, a toothbrush and a few changes of underwear and I’m good.

My parents took me to airport, my best friend Dave showed up too. We had tea and said our goodbyes. It’s not really a goodbye anymore. Having the internet meant we’d be in contact a few hours later. Anyway.

15-hours later the plane hit the ground in LA. The optimist in me thought 2-hours would be enough to get a connecting flight to San Francisco. Despite running a kilometre in thongs from Terminal 3 to 7 at LAX, it wasn’t.

I knew something was up when the self check-in terminal gave me an error.

‘Excuse me, I can’t check into my flight.’

‘That’s because it’s in 15-minutes, would you like me to rebook one for you?’

15-minutes? ‘That’s enough time,’ I thought, ‘I can still make it.’

It wasn’t.

‘Yes please.’

‘The next one is in an hour, I’ll update your details.’

‘Thank you.’

I made it to San Francisco, bought a SIM card, plugged back into the matrix and brushed my teeth in a public bathroom. Very sleep deprived but I had clean teeth. I was good.

I got some coffee. They had cold brew on tap. Apparently it’s really high in caffeine. It almost got me back to baseline.

On the plane, I drafted out an email to send out for the month of September. It talked about the talk Athon and I did at UQ on AI a couple of weeks prior.

In between sips of cold brew I cut out all the unnecessary words from the brain dump on the flight.

When I got the email to do the talk, I was scared. ‘How could I do this?’

Who was I to give a talk on AI to a travelling group of Chinese Academics? I’d only been studying the stuff for a year.

My rule of having to do something if it scares me got me again. I said yes to the email. That was the on the Friday night, the talk was scheduled for Monday.

I treated signing up for the talk like buying a plan ticket for it US. I wasn’t 100% ready, but I did it anyway.

We spent the weekend researching the topic we were going to talk about. Most of the knowledge was there, it was about bringing it all together in a narrative we could present.

Then we did the talk. And the attendees rated it as ‘excellent’.

The same thing happened with travelling to the US. I’d been spending my whole life preparing to travel alone. Following my curiousity as much as possible and meeting cool people along the way. The only hard part was taking the leap to get there. The rest would take care of itself.

And when I got home and people asked how my trip was, I replied with, ‘excellent.’


1. Sign up when you’re not 100% ready

I held off posting on LinkedIn because I didn’t think my thoughts were worthy.

I was waiting for them to be perfect. A clean 100%.

But they never will be.

70% is a better number. A little over halfway but still in the realm of ‘I’m not sure if this will work.’ That’s the sweet spot.

Don’t let being 100% ready stop you from getting after something you’re interested in. Because there’s no such thing as being 100% ready.

2. Do your research

Instead of letting myself give in to the limiting belief of thinking I wasn’t good enough for a job in Australia, I should’ve done my research.

And then maybe I would’ve found the wealth of opportunities not only here but everywhere.

Sometimes to find what you’re after, all you have to do is look.

3. Trust your knowledge

Turns out I already kind of knew there were opportunities a plenty.

But I didn’t trust my knowledge enough to believe I could take them on.

You probably don’t know as much as you think you do. But you also probably know more than you think you do. It’s funny how it works.

If you’ve been putting in the work to build up your skills. Trust them. Admit when you don’t know something but for the rest of the time, let them do their thing.

Arriving in the US

Travelling alone is fun. Want to walk down that street?

You can.

Want to spend all day at an art museum and take a nap on the grass afterwards?

You can.

So I did.

Travelling Light

I arrived at LAX this morning. I’ve been in the US for the past 26 days. And it’s time to head home.

‘What bags do you need to check in?’ she asked.



‘Yeah, this is all I have.’

She pointed me to the gates.

My bag has about 12 things in it. A laptop, an iPad, a few shirts, pants, some underwear.

I left the pair of jeans I had in a hostel in San Francisco. So I bought another pair a week later. I’m wearing them now.

‘I brought way to much shit,’ my god father said, ‘I haven’t even worn half of this.’

Other people I’ve met have had the same reaction. Too much stuff.

The main perk of travelling light is less things to worry about.

I packed up and checked out of the hostel this morning in 10-minutes.

Only the things that matter are on me. If I see something I want to buy, I don’t get it. Because I can’t fit it in.

I pack light not only to get through the airport quicker but to remind myself. Less things. Better things. 

Less but better.

If you want to be great at something focus on less. Use your time to improve on what you’re pretty good at.

Treat your calendar like your carry-on. Essentials only.


The Child’s Mind

I sat next to Jake on the way from New York to LA.

He was 7 and had been on a jet plane before. But still very excited to fly. 

We had 6-hours together. I was on the window seat and he was in the middle.

Every hour or so he asked me to open the window so he could look out.

Each time he reacted the same. 


He was excited to see what was out there.

Then there was another plane close to us.

‘Check that out,’ I said, ‘can you see the other plane?’  

‘We’re in a race!’

 ’I bet we win.’

And we did.

The pilot pulled off one of the smoothest landings ever.

’We made it!’ Jake said. 

 ’We did.’

I smiled back and waited til everyone else got off the plane to get my stuff. That way it was a clear run down the aisle. 

I want to say ‘woah’ to more things like Jake did.

The child’s mind is a beautiful thing. Everything gets approached with a sense of awe. Everything treated as a new adventure. There’s always something to learn.

When things get a little boring or hard, it helps to remind yourself to look at it through the eyes of child. Woah.