I Am Off Balance

April 11, 2012

Yin And Yang

As I leave Baños I realized that I am off balance. I’m not in as good a mood as usual and something is just generally off. It didn’t help that in Baños I got sick again, battling giardia for the second time on this trip. But despite my illness, and despite the snafu in Lago […]

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Baños, Ecuador – Small Town, Nature, And Bathrooms

April 10, 2012

Waterfall

I decided to stop in Baños because it was about halfway between Lago Agrio and Cuenca. People had told me it was nice, and I found an opportunity to write a review for a hostel in exchange for accommodation. But I really didn’t care much for the town. When I arrived via the night bus […]

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Lago Agrio – The Amazing Amazon Experience That Didn’t Happen

April 9, 2012

Flinestones Park

The only thing I wanted to do in Ecuador was go to the Amazon and see the damage oil companies have inflicted on the indigenous people there. It’s a long-running court case dating back decades and, in my opinion, serves as a perfect microcosm of how our lack of balance in life and in nature […]

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The Green Ecuadoran Coast – Fun, Semi-Volunteering, And Awesome People

April 7, 2012

Atacames - Seashells On The Beach

Sua is a city with only three letters and I’ll always associate it with a word that has three letters: fun. I went to Sua to spend time with Jennifer, the awesome Peace Corps Volunteer who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure I had a good time in what she calls […]

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Photo Friday – Church With A View – Huaraz, Peru

April 6, 2012

Church With A View - Taken 5-Apr-2012 - Huaraz, Peru

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How The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls – Language Barrier

April 5, 2012

Living In The Middle East

Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series […]

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Ayahuasca – My First (And Probably Only) Experience With A Hallucinogenic Plant

April 4, 2012

Waiting For Ayahuasca To Start Working

As I mentioned in the post about rappelling down a waterfall, I didn’t really know what was going on or what to expect that day. I’d say that summarizes relatively well my ayahuasca experience. Melissa, the Peace Corps volunteer who helped me get in with the Tsachilas, told me they do ayahuasca ceremonies. ayahuasca is […]

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How “Let’s Visit A Waterfall” Turned Into Me Rappelling Down A Waterfall

April 3, 2012

Rappelling Down The Waterfall

On my second day with the Tsachilas, they said we’d visit a waterfall. Well, they told me lots of other things as well, but I didn’t fully understand what they said. I just knew that we’d be meeting two other Americans and we’d be going to a waterfall. Upon leaving, they told me it would […]

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Finding A Completely Unexpected Piece Of Home In Huaraz, Peru

April 2, 2012

The Ohio State Hat Featuring Brutus Buckeye

Yesterday, my first day in Huaraz, I was walking down the street and noticed a vendor selling hats. I immediately recognized some college teams among the hats, which surprised me. What surprised me the most was finding a hat with Brutus Buckeye, my alma mater Ohio State’s mascot! Having just lost a close Final Four game […]

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A Weekend With The Tsachilas – Indigenous, Spiritual, And Fellow Nomads

April 2, 2012

Tsachila Body Painting

The Tsachilas are a nomadic group of about 4000 indigenous people from Colombia. They are famous for the men dying their hair red to protect against yellow fever, the white and black skirt men wear, the colorful skirt women wear, and their body tattoos. The word Tsachila means “real people” and that’s a very appropriate […]

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Another Attempted Robbery – This Time In Ecuador

March 31, 2012

The Purse Cut Open

Yesterday I went out to see a few places with the lady I’m staying with here in Quito. We went to a couple monuments and used the Metro three times. At some point on the Metro, even though we were by each other and talking, someone cut open her purse to steal her wallet. You […]

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Photo Friday – Man And Parrot – Casma, Peru

March 30, 2012

Man And Bird - Taken 28-Mar-2012 - Casma, Peru

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How The Happy Nomad Tour Rolls – My Gear

March 29, 2012

ExOfficio Men's Give-N-Go boxers

Many people have asked me how I could just leave my job and seemingly travel perpetually. How can I afford it? How do you find places to stay for free all the time? How do you find places to volunteer? All questions I’ve received by email, and now I’m sharing the secrets in a series […]

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The Middle Of The World – The Equator

March 28, 2012

Me At The Equator

While in Quito I had the pleasure of visiting Mitad del Mundo/Middle of the World. It’s a mini-city constructed along the equator near Quito. By the way, Ecuador = Equator in Spanish. Getting there was relatively easy. I caught a bus from where I was staying to a bus station, and then I caught another […]

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Quito – Capital, Carnival, Cold, And Running Into Gandhi By Accident

March 27, 2012

Old Quito

Despite being on the equator, Quito is cold since it is 2800m/9240ft high. I really don’t like being cold and Quito was a reminder of this. Otherwise, Quito is a huge city and not a ton of touristy things to see or do. I think many people come to Quito since it’s where the main […]

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Can You Help Me Spread The Word?

March 26, 2012

Me With The Class

In exactly two months I’ll be home, hanging out with my family and getting ready for the Asian leg of The Happy Nomad Tour. I’m looking forward to it. But hopefully I can spread the word about The Happiness Plunge as well… For the past week, in between teaching my English classes here in Peru, […]

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Que Caro Es Ser Pobre/How Expensive It Is To Be Poor – Books

March 24, 2012

"The New Opportunity At The Base Of The Pyramid"

When I was volunteering at Maya Pedal in Guatemala there was a sign on the wall that said “Que Caro Es Ser Pobre”. It means “How expensive it is to be poor.” As I travel through many of the world’s “poor” countries, I am writing a series of articles about how expensive it is to be poor. […]

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