A Year of Travel

A Year of Travel

Well it’s official my 2013 travel season is over. I’m 33 miles short of flying 250,000 miles. But let’s put this 249,967 miles into perspective. I traveled around the world 10 times at the equator I traveled to the moon and 11,067 miles back to earth And now for my top 10 ways you know you traveled almost 250k in one calendar year (feel free to add your own in the comments). Foursquare congratulates you for checking into your home airport 4 consecutive weeks. The TSA agent checking your documents says “Weren’t you just here?” The Delta Sky lounge bartender knows you by name and starts pouring your bloody mary as soon as he sees you. You’ve flown on every international flight that leaves your home airport to Asia and Europe. You run out of toothpaste, deodorant and shaving cream in your travel case before you do at home. You start booking flights based on the airplane type and legroom (777, 787 over 330; 747 over 340; 737-900 over 320) You understand #6 When booking tickets you instantly look for 24A or whatever your favorite seat number is. (I flew in 24A more than any other seat this past year) When people ask you “Where do you fly next?” you honestly don’t know. You forget what jet lag feels like, perfecting the art of sleeping anywhere at any time. I am excited to see where 2014 takes me…..with trips to Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil already lined up in the first few months. It’s going to be another great year of sharing and learning with educators all over the world. There is a lot of exciting possiblities coming in 2014. Taking advantage of the pause and preparing for the next big...

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A Year As A Consultant

A Year As A Consultant

People often ask me how much I travel and how I like this life style of being a consultant so seeing that I have just passed the one year mark of trying to make a living at presenting and consulting with schools, I thought I’d reflect on the past year and what’s yet to come. First the rough numbers from June 17, 2012 – June 26, 2013: I traveled and presented roughly 122 days last year. Including 3 trips to London and 4 trips to Seoul.  I roughly traveled about 212,000 miles by plane.  It wasn’t all work though I also vacationed 31 days including Ireland, Switzerland, Stone Henge (England) and a cruise to Alaska.  Overall looking back I can’t believe how busy I was in my first year doing this full time. I remember handing in our resignation letters in Bangkok and my wife and I looking at each other and thinking we were really going to do this. I remember that lump in my throat thinking what was I thinking leaving a perfectly great job at a great school to do this. If you would have told me then that I would travel 122 days and be making booking into 2015 in my second year I would have laughed and said in my wildest dreams. But that is the reality. It has been an incredible year and one that I owe to all of you who read this blog, retweet things and help me spread the message. In September of 2005 when I created this blog I never thought it would lead to this. That eight years later I would be doing what I’m doing, I would have laughed you out of the room. It’s crazy to look back and know this all started with this blog and with you pushing my own thinking and learning in the process. So I owe all of this to you….the community that is the Internet. Lessons I learned: We all need down time I love my wife and miss her a ton when I’m away. There is no way I could have survived this pass year without her constant support and encouragement. Last October a trip lined up that I would fly around the world and be away for 4 weeks straight. At the time I was excited, pumped to be doing an around the world consulting trip. About two...

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I Might Never Use A Paper Map Again

I Might Never Use A Paper Map Again

In the middle of completing my month long work/vacation tour of Europe and Asia (as I sit on a plane on my way to Doha), I keep reflecting on the experience that has been these past couple weeks hopping around from London, to Amsterdam, to Switzerland and Ireland and never relying on a paper map. I didn’t have data on my phone, but what I did have was the ability to download Google Maps to use offline. It is a feature that came to Android last June. After experiencing using the offline maps the past couple of weeks, I really think the paper map’s days are numbered. Why my digital map beats your paper map Constantly Updated: Let’s start with the fact that the map that we had in our guide book was two years old. Two years, it seems, in Ireland is a long enough time for roads to be built as we found ourselves on roads that didn’t exist on the paper map we had. Where Am I Now: By far the most useful feature is the ability to know exactly where you are. GPS works all over the world and by turning on my GPS and loading the offline maps we knew exactly where we were on the bus, on the subway, on the running trail or on the street. We were able to plot our route with precision instead of “I think we’re somewhere around here.” Ability to explore and get lost with confidence: What the GPS mentioned above allowed us to do was to explore with confidence. I was able to mark our B&B as a favorite on the map and then off we went. Walked around Amsterdam and when it was time to return home, pull out the map find where we were and plot a route home. Ability to expand and zoom: Your paper map can’t do this which is why you travel with a couple different ones. But on my phone the downloaded Google Map allowed me to zoom all the way in and all the way out to the point I downloaded the map from. Allowing me to see exactly where we were in the larger picture of the city. Ease of carry and no folding: Let’s face it, folding maps is never easy…..in fact I always used to see it as a traveling challenge that I had to solve....

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31 and counting

Well we’re back from our winter holiday to Prague, Vienna and Zurich. It’s 4am and I’ve been awake since midnight. I usually don’t jet lag this bad, but it’s hit both of us hard this time. What can I say about our trip? It’s Europe, it’s beautiful and someday we’ll live there….it’s a goal and with the number of international schools there are in Europe a pretty good chance it will come through. So this trip brings my wife to 33 countries and myself to 30. I’ll hit 31 the end of January when I go to Qatar for the Flatclassroom Conference. I still have to pinch myself from time to time to think this really is my life. As my wife and I talked earlier this year, we realized this would be the year we visited more countries than our age. We’re both 32 and with an average of about 4 countries a year over the last seven years we’ll look to out pace our age for some time to come. The only thing that might slow us down is running out of countries. 🙂 On an interesting technical note, while at our friend’s house in Prague, I was jealous of how fast her Internet speed was. I did a speed test and found she was connecting at 4MB per second. “I just asked for the normal one” she said. Normal? 4MB is normal? I then talked with John Mikton, IT Director at the International School of Prague, about the speed over dinner one night. He told me that the government wanted to make 8MB per second the standard in the country. A fact backed up by Wikipedia: The typical ADSL connection in Czech Republic is 2048/256 kbit/s (8192/512 kbit/s from year 2008) with data limits of several GB. Speeds, data limits, Fair User Policy (limiting link speed based on amount of transferred data) and overbooking vary per each ISP. John went on to tell me that he got a call from his ISP telling him he could upgrade to an 8MB line and also reduce his monthly bill. Is it just me or is that crazy? And then there is Zurich. While there visiting Jason Welker, we went skiing one day about an hour outside of Zurich. While on the mountain, Jason had Edge data service on his iPhone and at the bottom of the mountain it...

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