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Cast Your Vote on Where I Will Live Next!

Friends! Countrymen! People I haven’t met yet from other countries! Dogs/cats/rocks/plants! Lend me your ears!

It’s that time again! The main list of countries have been suggested, and now it’s time to cast your vote!

Fill out the form below and tell me where you think would be the most bootilicious, business-in-the-front-party-everywhere-else, thigh-slapping, backbreaking, hooting-and-hollering, awesometacular place for me to live for four months after I leave New Zealand.

There were lots of fantastic suggestions, and despite a few that I wasn’t able to use (sorry Chris, Tuvalu looks awesome, but at this point I still need semi-reliable access to the Internet to run my business), all of them were well-thought-out, and I appreciate every single one.

So submit your ballot below (feel free to leave me a comment/suggestion, as well…every thought from you beautiful people helps immensely!) and then keep up with the voting on the front page, where I’ll be putting a graph that tracks the voting as it happens.

Thanks again, and happy voting!

Update: December 1, 2016

Yeesh, it’s a little painful recalling how much comments were considered to be the coin of the blogging realm back then. Much like social media likes and shares today, getting comments was something we all just knew was a vital metric, and you would often judge the popularity of a blog based on how much participation you could see in the comment section.

Thankfully it’s not the same today. There were aspects to comment sections that were useful, but a lot of it was empty drum-banging for the sake of trying to appear popular to visitors. The equivalent of ‘likes’ before that was a thing.

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My New Home and Choose My Next One

NZ IS 4 ME

I’ve been in New Zealand less than a week, but already I’m getting a lot of strong first impressions.

The natural beauty here is everything people say it is. I’ve been told over and over that I’d fall in love with the landscape, and being the skeptical fellow that I am, I assumed that the branding of the place was just super-effective and the scenery would be the equivalent of anywhere else I’ve been but with better brochures.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s absolutely gorgeous (and I haven’t even been to the places that are touted as the most beautiful yet).

It’s also very clean compared to most of the cities I’ve frequented recently. Walking around Christchurch you don’t exactly see the bustle of activity you’d expect in a really big city, but there is plenty of traffic, foot and car, and yet they still manage to keep things generally sparkly and new-feeling.

The people are really great here. You can go anywhere and find a really good group to hang out with, but the general vibe is such that I feel like I could walk up to a stranger and strike up a conversation. Drivers cheerily stop and wave for you to cross the street, employees behind the counter of every shop and restaurant I’ve been to have smiled warmly and been genuinely interested in my comfort and satisfaction, and the roads are paved with chocolate and gold (okay, I made that last part up…as far as I know).

I need to do more investigation into the party scene, because so far all I know is the folk here get a little rough and rowdy when the booze starts to flow. I’ll go out and collect more data and keep you in the loop (oh, the things I do for you).

What Now?

Now that I’m comfortably housed in a nice little apartment on the Southwest side of the City Centre in Christchurch, how will I spend my hours?

It’s back to work of course! I’ve got a double-handful of new features that I’ll be unfurling here at Exile Lifestyle in the very near future, I’ll be writing a post a day for the month of March, and I’ll be preparing for my next country.

That’s right: it’s time to figure out where I’ll be moving after New Zealand!

Update: December 1, 2016

I’ve snipped off some end-bits from this post and a few others from this time period, because they were addendums asking for guest posts and comments, mostly, and those aren’t things I accept anymore.

That said, having just returned from a visit to NZ for the first time since I lived there, it’s interesting to see that my initially impressions proved true, and that it’s still a lovely country (though far different than it was back then, for numerous reasons — immense and destructive earthquakes having destroyed my neighborhood after I left, for one).

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An Update from Oz

Where Am I?

Oh man, what a whirlwind month it has been.

I’ve been posting my writings a bit out of order, so you may be a bit confused as to where I’m at, geographically and project-wise, so here’s the scoop.

After leaving Argentina I had quite an adventure when I took a 72-hour bus ride from Buenos Aires up to Lima. This ended up leaving such a big impression that I published my thoughts from along the way in a three piece series.

I had intended to shuffle on over to Bogota next, spending a few days there before flying up to Florida, but there was a badly-timed (for me, anyway) transportation strike in Peru while I was there, and though I was hoping to have the opportunity to bribe some kind of official while in South America, because to the violence that can sometimes occur during this kind of strike in Peru, I opted instead to wait it out and, when that didn’t work, just flew directly from Lima to Florida.

Why Florida? My sister lives in Florida! I had a great time visiting her and spending a few days living in the comfort of a retirement community (seriously) and enjoying her company and that of my parents (who flew down from Missouri for the occasion).

Next, I moseyed over to Los Angeles to visit with some friends and clients. I didn’t get to see everyone I wanted to see, but I had a great time with those I was able to meet up with.

With only a few days left in LA I ended up getting a call that changed my plans completely and resulted in my flying out to New York for a week; a decision that was a bit pricey but definitely worth it. I’ll be posting something more thorough about this soon, so I’ll spare you the details at the moment, but I will say this: I met Seth Godin while there. *cue chorus of angels*

After a freezing but excellent time in NYC, I flew back to LA for a few more days, where I stayed with a good friend from college who is about to instigate his own exile (and met a gal who is taking a WOOFFING approach to the exile model, which looks to be pretty dang cool). I then hopped a flight down to Melbourne, Australia where I am now.

Whew.

In a few days I’ll be leaving Oz for New Zealand, and I’m super-psyched to get the next leg of my Exile Lifestyle up and running!

What Now?

I have a laundry list of things I’m looking to get done in the very near-future, and here are a few of them.

  • I’m going to be doing a fairly sizable update to the site. I’ll be adding more interaction between the main Exile Lifestyle page and my tumblelog where I post photos, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit perfectly here. I’m striving to keep the minimalistic look-and-feel intact, so I’ve got some work ahead of me!
  • I’ll be posting more video content and integrating that into the main site, as well. I’ve had many requests for this kind of thing (not least from my volunteer marketing consultant, Lis, who has been sending me all kinds of good ideas for EL, this being one of them).
  • I’m looking into getting some t-shirts made, some with just the Exile Lifestyle logo and some with illustrations I’ve done for the site. The hard part here is finding a service I like…CafePress and its ilk don’t have the shirt quality I’m looking for, and one of the rules for this site is that I’ll never sell or promote anything I wouldn’t use myself, so if you know of a company that has really solid print quality and a fulfillment service (and will print on American Apparel shirts or something similar), then drop me a line. I’ve had several requests, and honestly, I’d love to get a few for myself!
  • In March, I’m going to be writing a new blog post every day for the whole month. That’s 31 posts in 31 days, folks, and my fingers already hurt from all the typing.
  • Speaking of writing, I’d love to get more guest posts out into the ether. I’ve written quite a few recently and have gotten a great response from them, so I’d love to provide you with some great content in exchange for a conversation with your audience. Drop me a line here if you’re down like Chinatown.
  • Oh oh oh! When I get to New Zealand, I’ll be asking for suggestions on which country I should move to after New Zealand. I’ll take the first 8 countries, put them on a poll, and then let my readers submit their votes for the next month (the month of March…oh what a month it will be!).
  • A handful of other things, but this list is already getting kind of long, and I don’t want to drown you in details.

On Networking

I get a lot of emails from readers asking about certain aspects of the Exile Lifestyle project, and one subject that I’ve been asked a lot about lately is networking.

How is it that I’m able to meet new business connections while traveling all around, seeming not to do any work at all?

It’s funny, because until I started answering these kinds of questions I didn’t realize how strange my approach to networking is. The way I do it just comes naturally to me, but it works incredibly well and I’ve begun to tell others a bit more about how I do what I do.

After a dozen-or-so really long email responses I decided that I would write an eBook on the subject. I would go through my philosophies on networking, strategies and tips that I’ve found to work for me, and all kinds of other information that should turn any social-serf into relationship-royalty.

So that’s what I’ll do. Stay tuned.

Update: December 1, 2016

Looks like I was still doing the ‘first eight countries’ voting model at this point. I was thinking I changed it over for the vote after NZ, but I may be wrong about that.

Also, this networking book is the first one I wrote and sold, and that’s what got me started writing books professionally. I don’t think I had that in mind at this point, because it was the internet situation (namely: it was a bad situation) in New Zealand that incentivized me to turn writing books into a business endeavor, not just a branding exercise.