Escape of the Day: Vocation Vacations

Vocation Vacations

Get your dream job without quitting your old one.

Did you know that there’s a travel company that does nothing but book its clients on excursions with professional mentors? Essentially, you can spend several days learning the ins and outs of almost any job. Simply call up Vocation Vacations and say, “Hey, I wanna be an alpaca rancher. Can you help?” And they will. In a matter of time, you’ll be off on a temporary stint to apprentice an alpaca rancher.

The vocation options available range from ho-hum to utterly bizarre. Check it out!

Devotion | Wim Wenders

wings of desire

“We can only be as savage as we are absolutely serious.”

Planning your escape is fun and all, but it takes loads of work, too. Just ask filmmaker Wim Wenders. (He made my all-time favorite movie Wings of Desire, so he knows everything.) I am sitting here trying to figure out how to squeeze in a trip to Spain this winter, and the sad truth is that before I do that I have to a) secure a new work contract, and b) reckon with my credit card bill. Talk about serious ….

Self-Employee of the Month: Laurie Weed

Laurie Weed

In this new section of the blog, I’ll be introducing folks who’ve shown how to blaze a path out of the office and toward creative pursuits. As often as possible, I’ll add a new profile of someone who has done that with particular grace or gumption. And few possess as much of either of those qualities as one Miss Laurie Weed, freelance writer and vagabond.

When Laurie Weed leapt from the corporate ladder, she burned the rungs, running away to form a nomadic tribe of one. She first went to Southeast Asia as a tourist, returning one year later as a traveler—and a writer. Now she travels four to six months a year, feeding her passion for the road by copywriting and pimping out her inner grammar lady. When not getting lost in Laos, hitchhiking in Honduras, or bribing her way into Bali, she spins exotic tales from the kitchen table in El Cerrito, California.

Continue reading

Lessons from the Laundromat


For the first time in two weeks, everything in my suitcase is fluffy and clean. This includes my jeans, which didn’t take well to my half-hearted handwashing in Tallinn. A clean stack of laundry may not sound like much of a triumph, but considering that a week ago I was in a city with no public laundromats, it is a triumph indeed. Honestly, I had a better day today because I had truly clean clothes.

Logistics matter. They matter a lot. Continue reading

What Feels Good

What do seaside hot tubs, fresh goat’s milk, and long walks through flowering forests have to do with the so-called quest for creative liberation? (There is a connection, I promise.) In my mind, the parallel lies within the concept of exploring this question:

What feels good and right to me?

In our daily work, this isn’t a question that many of us get to ask. Even when we do, how many of us can actually answer it? We are usually so numb from doing things that bore us silly that we can’t even remember what stokes our fires.

Part of why I set out to travel alone is so that I could ask this question over and over again, with no interruption and no judgment. I’m convinced that, by doing so, I’ll be led to a more important truth about myself–that the answer to the bigger question starts with smaller ones.

Starting the day with a Finnish sauna feels good and right to me.

Chatting with this nice Estonian woodcarver feels good and right to me.

Meditating on the sound of the million birds of Muhu Island feels good and right to me.


I ask and answer moment by moment, and listen closely.

Everyone’s answers are different. I have an older brother whose running list would probably include hitting golf balls at the driving range, riding go-karts, and drinking beer at the lake. Fair enough. He does these things regularly, and he’s plugged into a job he finds extremely satisfying, as a school administrator. Is he–a strong leader who shapes the lives of dozens of kids every day–a prime example of how feeding yourself can actually feed others?

Maybe I shouldn’t feel so guilty about that mud wrap I had the other day at the spa on Muhu.

Another way of saying all of this may be that sometimes we all need to loosen up and have a little fun. I am arriving in Helsinki now, which apparently is a good place to do just that…