A few years ago I started Limitless365 because I was extremely disappointed in myself and the life I was living. I had just finished Grad school and discovered that I had just spent $40,000 dollars to tell me exactly what I didn’t want to do with my life.
I was working in a job that was easy for me, paid me well, and provided all the safety and security one could want from a career. The hours weren’t great but I loved the people who I worked with and it allowed me the opportunity to be a part-time personal trainer, something that I really enjoyed.
Between my full-time gig and part-time training I was working 60+ hours a week, rarely had time to socialize, and spent most of my free time working out.
I knew there had to be more to life than this. Is this really how I wanted the rest of my days to go?
One day I had finally had enough. I was suffering from anxiety, depression (but no one would know because I was too afraid to be vulnerable with anyone), and extreme fatigue.
I had hit a breaking point.
Something that’s discussed in the L365FP are the two things that really motivate us to make BIG changes in our lives.
- Extreme Inspiration
- Unfathomable Desperation
I had reached desperation.
Two weeks later I was on an airplane headed to Tokyo, Japan. I had just quit my job, moved out of my apartment, and booked a trip that would take me from Los Angeles, California to Tokyo, Japan – India – Thailand – Egypt – And finally France.
I had no clue what I was doing, no plan in place, and no idea what I would do when I got back. All I knew was that something needed to change and that something was me.
Today’s article outlines:
- How I took a trip around the world and you can too.
- How I discovered what the f*ck I wanted to do with my life and you can too.
- How and why I started Limitless365
- How you can be a part of the Limitless365 community
- How to get the most out of this site so that you can live a LimitlessLIFE
- Where the site is headed in the future and how you can help it grow and become a part of the LimitlessTEAM
HOW TO BOOK A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD
I love flying!
Not even being in the air but the entire process of packing your bags, heading to the airport, waiting to board, the whole shebang. I know it sounds weird but I find it exciting.
I had always known that I wanted to travel the world.
The world has so many special offerings from the people you can learn from, the cultures you can experience, the sites to see, to the trials and tribulations you’ll undergo. Traveling to me is the ultimate form of education.
I had planned on taking a trip sometime after finishing school but nothing was set in stone. I just knew that it was something I wanted to do.
I knew traveling was expensive (or so I thought) so I figured I better start saving as soon as I could to fund my pursuits. While working my full-time gig I spent a lot of my down time (shhhhhh, don’t tell my former employer) googling around trying to discover travel hacking tips so that I could save as much money as possible.
That’s when I stumbled upon Chris Guillebeau and his Epic Quest of visiting every country in the world. I was reading everything on Chris’s site and most importantly learning a ton, and not just about traveling. I was also learning about entrepreneurship, the art of non-conformity, and how you don’t have to live the life everyone else expects you to.
Through this I learned everything I needed to know about how to save myself some serious money traveling around the world.
If you’re interested in traveling and more importantly the nuances of travel hacking keep reading this section of the article. Otherwise, feel free to jump around a little. This post is sort of like a “choose your own adventure” book.
Chris’s guide will go over how to use multiple credit cards and other methods to accumulate an insane amount of frequent flyer miles. By doing this you’ll be able to keep the cost of your plane ticket extremely low. My around the ticket cost be under $1,000 dollars, which could have been lower if I used multiple credit cards to accumulate points/miles.
The Capital One Venture Credit Card was the first credit card I had ever owned. I specifically picked it up to accumulate points/miles for traveling and was a little nervous about paying it all off each month. I had heard so many crazy stories about people getting into all kinds of crazy debt.
If I could do it all over again I would have taken a bigger risk and picked up two or more cards so that I could have combined the points through a transfer. This would have significantly lowered by airfare and provided me with some other pretty sick perks along the way.
I’d like to be able to suggest exactly which credit cards to pick up to get the most sign-up points and greatest rewards but cards change deals so often that it makes it tough. I would visit the links below to check for the best deals and when you see one that you like, don’t hesitate – sign-up for it!
However, I would like to add these notes before you decide to start travel hacking and signing up for a bunch of credit cards. If you have any credit card debt or debt in general pay it off.
The good people below can help you with this:
- Cody Wheeler of Academy Success (my personal finance coach)
- Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt
- Mr Money Mustache
- J-Money of Budgets Are Sexy
If you have no credit card debt use the tips below when selecting a card.
Avoid any credit cards with annual fees: Some cards will need an annual fee ranging from $25 to $100 per year. If you travel often this won’t be a big deal as you’ll end up reaping more benefits than the annual fee. If you’re not planning on traveling a ton look for cards with no annual fees.
Sign-up for branded airline credit cards: Most airlines offer a special card with tons of bonus miles just for singing up and making one purchase. Check out Jetblue which offers 20,000 miles, United offers 30,000 miles (no annual fee the first year, $95 the second year an beyond), and US Air offers 40,000 miles ($89 annual fee)
Look for HUGE sign-up bonuses: Most cards will offer more than 10,000 miles just for signing up.
Look for cards that don’t need you to spend a ridiculous amount of money in the first month or two to get bonus miles. $1,000 to $3,000 is what I look for. Anything above $3,000 and I’m out like trout.
Look for cards that offer more than one point per dollar spent. Many cards will offer you two to three points per dollar spent.
Look for cards that offer more points to places, stores, and other retailers that you frequent often. Many of the cards
HOW TO RACK UP THE MILES
In order to rack up the most miles that I could I used my Capital One Venture Card for everything.
- I moved as many of my bills to this card as I could
- I offered to pay for dinners and other things out with friends (they just gave me cash)
- Ordering stuff online
I was able to earn thousands of miles every month just from everyday purchases.
Now the only problem was deciding where I wanted to go and how much it would cost. The resources below are a great way to help map out your own around the world itinerary and to get an estimated cost of your dream trip.
If you use one of the above resources you’ll end up emailing back and forth with an agent. Don’t worry, it’s not a pain in the butt at all – All of the agents that I was in contact with were absolutely wonderful. Even while traveling they were right there with me answering any questions I had and even helping me to make adjustments to my itinerary (I loved Thailand so much that I stayed there an extra week).
In this post from Chris he offers up some excellent advice about booking an around the world trip. Even if you don’t plan on traveling around the world the insight is still extremely valuable. One big takeaway from it is if you are planning to travel around the world it’s best to book the flights directly through the airline. Travel agents (and travel agencies) receive commission based on your itinerary so the price of your trip is in their best interest. Booking your trip directly through the airline offers no commission.
I’m not a travel hacking ninja and don’t pretend to be one on TV 🙂 If you’re interested in learning the specifics about travel hacking I recommend these sites and resources:
- Frugal Travel Guy
- Nomadic Matt: This link is like the bible
- Frequent Flyer Mastery
- Travel Hacking Cartel
- The Points Guy
- Extra Pack of Peanuts
- One Mile At A Time
- Flyer Talk (community to help answer your questions)
HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE ON A ROOFTOP IN JAPAN
I thought for sure I’d be nervous getting on the airline that day. Gone for 3 months, no job to come back to, no place to live when I returned – but instead I was as cool as the other side of a pillow.
Everything just felt right.
Well, that’s not entirely true. The pants I choose to wear that day were riding up a little and that didn’t feel so great… I kid, I kid.
In all seriousness, there was a little doubt in my mind.
- What the heck was I going to do when I got to each destination?
- How would I get around?
- How the F was I going to communicate with people?
- What the heck was I going to do when I got back?
These were just some of the thousands of thoughts running through my mind as I got ready to board for Tokyo. Instead of letting them overwhelm me and turn me around, back to the safety and conformity of the previous life I had built for myself, the smile on my face and the goosebumps that I had kept my feet moving forward down that small narrow pathway to the plane.
When I arrived in Japan I was greeted by a friend of a friend that offered to show me around and help me communicate. I gladly excepted the offer the first day but told her I’d prefer to venture off on my own the rest of my 10 days if she didn’t mind.
I wasn’t sight seeing. I was on a mission. Operation “Get Busy Living” had commenced.
Most of my days in Tokyo were spend walking around as much as I could. So much so that I ended up loosing about 12 pounds during my short stay there. I absolutely loved wandering around aimlessly; no plan, no agenda, just taking in the country and enjoying a different culture. One far from the one I was accustomed to.
As much as I loved this type of exploration, it was my 5AM morning workouts alone, on the rooftop of the building that I was staying in near Wasada college that I enjoyed most.
Tokyo is a pretty busy city (I prefer Kamakura) and it was hard to get into my own head while trying to squeeze into a crowded train or while visit some of the tourist attractions.
The rooftop was my time. While on that roof one morning, staring across the city, sort of meditating with my eyes open I was reminded why I was on this journey. I jogged down a couple of flights of stairs and into my room where I grabbed a notebook and pencil (not a pen kinda guy). I headed back up to the roof and began to write answers to some questions I had for myself.
1. If I died while on this trip what would I want the people closest to say about me at my funeral.
2. What are some people, places, things, activities, or really anything that give me the goosebumps, makes me laugh, makes me cry, causes me to lose track of time?
3. What pisses me off? For those of you that know me personally you’d probably agree that I’m about as mellow as they come. Never to high and never to low. There are only a few things that piss me off.
A. When other people doubt themselves
B. The poor nutritional habits of kids in American culture
4. How can I educate, entertain, and inspire others so that those things I love most and piss me off most can positively impact the lives of others?
Unfortunately I didn’t have any answer for this last one just yet.
HOW TO GET COMFORTABLE WITH THE UNCOMFORTABLE IN INDIA
I had one purpose for visiting India and it was to see the Taj Mahal, and man oh man let me tell you – that bad boy did not disappoint. I don’t even know how to describe it. You arrive and it doesn’t look real, it’s like a painting. Everything is so clear, clean, and perfect.
The good news is I loved the Taj. The bad news is that was about the only thing I enjoyed while I was in India.
I was staying in New Delhi, it’s basically like any big city except with six lanes of traffic on a three lane road, car horns going off every second and at all hours of the day, cows crossing the road, bodies hanging out of buses and then bodies hanging off of those bodies because they’re so crowded, and people number two-ing on the side of the road.
Every where I went I swear two, three, and even more people were asking me for money. I asked someone to take my picture in front of a shrine and they charged me for it. While waiting in a taxi I had ten or so people banging on my window asking if I wanted to buy something and when I declined asking me “why, you have money.”
Now before I get bashed about not enjoying India I would like to add that this was MY experience in New Delhi. Go to Mumbai and YOUR experience may be completely different.
But as it turns out New Delhi was just what I needed. Just a few short days into my two-week stay, I realized what an ungrateful little sh*t I was. I had never in my entire life had to deal with a REAL problem.
Getting enough to eat and fresh water to drink each day: I’ve never had to think about where my next meal was coming from. Hell, I actually have choices – chicken or beef, broccoli or asparagus, would you like lemon in your water?
Having a safe roof over my head: I’ve never woken up soaking wet because my roof leaked or had to worry about whether myself or my family would be safe. I’ve always had a safe place to rest my head and a comfortable bed to lay in.
Knowing someone loves and cares about me: I don’t have to guess at whether someone loves me, and if I’m ever unsure there is at least one person (thanks Mom), if not many more that I can call and ask for reassurance. Thanks Dad, sis, brother, friends… you all know who you are.
My entire life up until my short stay in India had been safe, secure, and comforting – I had never experienced a real challenge. All of my real needs in life had always been met and most often with not much effort from me.
So here I was, a little uncomfortable, a little miserable, and little anxious. What the F was I going to do?
Hormesis embraces the concept that bouts of brief, intermittent, and progressive stress can actually help us to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. So far, research has been conducted in the fields of endocrinology, neural plasticity, exercise physiology, immunology, and even economics.
It’s practice is used often to help with:
- Physical limitations
- Psychological challenges
- Weight management and fat loss
- Muscular strength
- Improving the immune system
- Overcoming addictions
- Controlling emotions
When faced with difficult situations most of us often do one of three (sometimes all) things:
Avoidance: To essentially try to reduce or avoid all together. Which most often is impossible since we all many of us have jobs, families, kids, friends, environmental, physical, and many other daily stressors. This makes it near impossible to avoid all stress.
Numbing: Dealing with stress results in dependence or comfort in food, drugs, alcohol, caffeine, sex, watching TV, or other activities that could become addictive. There are also positive side means to dealing with stress as well. Meditation, social activities, sports, yoga, are all examples given by Becker. However, these methods have more often than not be proven to be short-term fixes and have no benefits to long-term health.
The crutch: When we have our wisdom teeth pulled we are given pain killers, have a headache and it’s advil, a foot injury requires crutches, you want to pursue another path in life but your current job holds you back – it acts as a crutch by keeping you from fully investing in your side hustle. Again, addressing the problems in the short-term while holding no long-term standing of correcting any weaknesses.
In most cases we find ourselves needing increasing doses of any or these measures to find release among the stressors we are dealing with. We now have become dependent and the longer we continue on this path the worse it will get.
So the concept of hormesis sets to purposefully seek out stress to find a stronger you.
So wadda ya do about it?
According to Getting Stronger it is a 5 step process:
1. Simulation – The stressor that you are using should mimic that of the real world stressor as closely as possible. The more realistic the better. If you’re scared of snakes you need to be exposed to them in some way.
2. Constraint – The stress needs to be applied with no “cheats” or crutches. Extreme self-discipline will be needed. Nothing should be able to reduce the stimulus presented. If you’re scared of snakes you need to be put in a situation where you an cannot escape the stress of it.
3. Intensity – The stress needs to be intense and just outside of “the comfort zone.” Longer times periods under the stress will dictate lesser intensity while short-term will need higher intensity stressors. Varying intensities is important – if you’re deathly afraid of snakes you can start by looking at pictures of them in magazines, then increase the stress by going to a pet store and looking at them from a distance. When you feel comfortable with that you start getting closer to the cage. Once you’ve become comfortable enough you can start holding one. Maybe you even kiss one 🙂
4. Recovery – After each stressor is applied and completed a period of rest or recovery is needed. The longer the stressor was applied the longer the rest.
5. Gradualism – Until the goal of the program is completed the stressor should be increased in strength upon each experiment. However, it should stay within the context of what the person can tolerate. Keen awareness will be applied to avoid under as well as overtraining.
The good news is that you’ve probably already messed around with some hormesis without even knowing it.
- Ever taken a cold shower?
- Ever strength train?
- Ever skip breakfast?
- Run barefoot?
For example when we strength train it has been proven that we are able to increase the resistance to unwanted stressors such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lose of bone density, and depression.
What I realized was that I need more experiences in life that challenged me, made me uncomfortable, and pushed me to do things that scared the bejesus out of me. I needed to be exposed to my fears.
- Being vulnerable
- Not being perfect all the time
- Failing when I put a big effort towards something
What about you?
HOW TO TAKE BIG RISKS IN THAILAND, EGYPT, AND FRANCE
The rest of my trip was filled with a lot of inner reflection – and reading, a ton of reading.
Were just a few of the books that had a profound influence on who I am today and how I view my place in the world. If you have not read any of them I highly recommend giving them a look-see. You can also watch Mr. Pausch’s amazing and inspirational lecture here.
Through reading and other research I knew that when I returned home I had to make some big changes.
I didn’t want this to end up being some sort of big high I was on temporarily. You know, that feeling when you’re super stoked to workout hard, eat right, and really commit to getting in shape? But only two weeks later life happens and before you know it you’re not longer exercising and eating food out of a window again.
I was determined not to come home and fall back into complacency.
I committed to doing the things that I loved most, tackling personal fears head on, trying to improve those things that really pissed me off, and most importantly – doing it in a fun and entertaining way.
I was afraid to be open and vulnerable with people so I started this blog called Limitless365 and published everything I wrote Facebook, Twitter, and any other outlet where people could read it, accept it, or reject it. The very first post I published and sent out to the public can be read here. It’s awful 🙂
I remember sitting in my living room agonizing over whether I should put it out there for the world to see. I sat staring at a copied and pasted link on my Facebook wall for hours questioning whether people would like it, think it’s a bunch of crap, write something negative in the comments. I literally was sweating.
And you know what happened?
Nothing. A couple of thumbs up and that’s about it.
However, something happened to me with that one single burst of courage. I simply got STARTED and built some momentum, I was ready to write again.
Before I knew it I was writing everyday, posting everything from Limitless on Facebook, and eager to see how the world would react.
Then after about 3 months of writing this video happened. I don’t know what came over me that day but I whatever it was I just ran with it. This was me looking fear right in the eye and saying F-U!
Basically L365 started for selfish reasons. Much like this post 🙂 it was all about me. But it was just the kick in the pants I needed at that time. I needed to realize that in order to live life on my own terms, life without those personal limitations I was placing upon myself, that I had to start taking risks and doing things that scared me
Either all in or one step at a time. It really didn’t matter, I just needed to start.
You can read about the exact steps that I took in this post I wrote for my friend Peter at The Change Blog.
L365 has grown up a bit and now the site is all about you and this community that believes living life without shackles and limitations is entirely possible.
Thank you for being apart of this.
If you’re looking to push past some personal barriers you’ve got up I highly recommend starting a blog and getting your voice out there. Check out the following resources from a couple homeboys.
- Joel Runyon – How to start a blog (10 step process)
- Scott Dinsmore – How to start a blog in under 20 minutes
- The Minimalists – How to start a successful blog today
Go check them out now! None of those guys bit, I swear… except maybe for Joel. He’s sorta weird 🙂
HOW YOU CAN BE A PART OF THE L365 COMMUNITY OF CRAZIES
The moral of this 4,000+ word novel is that it’s never to late to get started pursuing the life you’ve always imagined for yourself and those closest to you.
So how can you be a part of this LimitlessMOVEMENT?
It’s simple really
- Stop by and face us on the Facebook page
- Tweet us on the Twitter and hashtag that bad boy with #iamlimitless
- Sometimes we pin stuff on the Pinterest (not wedding dresses or wedding rings tho)
- We often can be found insta-ing on the Instagram, #iamlimitless
- Learn how to build healthy habits and join the Limitless365 Secret Society of Badasses
- Start reading the archives (but don’t read to far back. That stuff is embarrassing).
- Or dive on in to the start here page
- There’s also some pretty sick (as in good) FREE resources
- If Paleo is your thing you can stop by The Ultimate Paleo Guide. I’m over their writing quit a bit.
- If you haven’t already, sign-up for the L365 Free Newsletter and get your Limitless Life Guide Book along with some other sweet bonuses
But most importantly, shoot me an email and tell me your life story, just say hi, or let me know how I can help you in any way.
Limitless will be undergoing some changes soon but don’t worry – Most of it has to do with me re-committing to being as helpful as possible as I can for you all.
I was afraid to be vulnerable with people. What’s one big thing holding you back? What’s a small step you can take today to help chip away at that fear?