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BMF Media – Learn More About The Company

One of most effective ways to ensure the success of a brand is to make it super relatable to the masses. Consumers love brands that they can relate to on an emotional and trustworthy level. This is the responsibility of several marketing companies who are constantly looking for ways to reach and captivate specific audiences to get them invested in that specific brand. This work requires research, innovation, and persistence, which only a few can pull off successfully.

Brand Music Fusion (BMF Media) is a marketing firm that focuses on several brands and has a variety of strategies, including content creation, sponsorships, target audience research, influencer engagement, and talent management. The company has earned the loyalty of major clients such as Uber, Dell, MasterCard, and Revlon. It also has multiple offices across the country, including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Miami. A recent expansion in later 2018 now includes London, the first international expansion. Other BMF client success stories.

What has BMF Media done to earn such strong loyalty from these recognized names? Read below to learn more about the beginnings of the company, its strategies, and how it has helped numerous clients.

The Beginnings of BMF

BMF Media was founded by two marketing visionaries: Brian Feit and Bruce Starr.

Brian Feit studied at the Stern School of Business at New York University from 1996 to 2000. During this time, he was interning with Clive Davis at Arista. Feit had sent him a letter and the music producer actually responded. This motivated Feit to make his next move. He became a member of Stern and Tisch Entertainment Business Association (STEBA) and worked hard to parlay his passion for both music and business into a solid career. Upon graduation, he worked at an independent music label for a few years. After considering attending law school, Feit instead worked with business partner Starr to found BMF.

Bruce Starr was born and grew up in the Chicago suburbs. After finishing high school, he moved to New York, where he became business partners, and later close friends, with Brian Feit.

(L) Brian Feit – (R) Bruce Starr

Feit and Starr founded BMF Media in October 2003. At that point, the company started with humble beginnings, operated out of Feit’s West Village Apartment. They only had two employees, but also two powerful clients: Maverick Records, a label company founded by Madonna, and Kiehl’s, the cosmetics brand that focuses on skincare and hair care. Despite the uncertainty of the company, it eventually grew in clientele and influence. 

Change in Direction

In the beginning, BMF Media lived up to its name (Brand Media Fusion) as it focused on combining several brands with musical talent. The marketing company essentially arranged for the brands’ musical events so they could raise their profile, humanize themselves to their customers, and reach a wider audience in general. At the same time, the duo also wanted to promote new musicians with these influential brands, which could also lead to new fame and recognition.

Eventually, the company had to grow in conjunction with current marketing trends and needed to expand. While BMF Media still has a powerful talent division at hand, it now also focuses on full event productions beyond music and concerts. The company also has a strong focus on experiential marketing, in which the consumers are involved directly with the brand’s growth through participation of several events, contests, and more.

The company has also recognized the rise of internet influencers as a method to entice audiences into trying the latest brand products. In addition to a musical talent department, BMF now also has a social media influencer division that increases the consumers’ engagement with the brands.

The Strategies of BMF

BMF Media has a general outline for any collaboration project with a brand that always guarantees results. While certain services can change and adapt to the clients’ specific requests or the specific event at hand, BMF provides the following services:

  • Strategize. BMF performs exhaustive research on trend activity and forecasting, as well as gathers consumer insights, to create the marketing strategy. The company comes up with the right sponsorship and talent for the campaign.
  • Execute. BMF actively procures the necessary talent, in addition to the partnership between the client and the sponsors. Other aspects worked on include brand immersion, the art direction, and the overall design strategy.
  • Amplify. The company now fully analyzes the analytics of the execution, such as ROI, KPI, and overall social impact. It also extends projects to talents, influences, and sponsors, among other tasks.

The staff and crew at BMF Media relish in the challenge of humanizing brands with new, innovative methods that create memorable experiences.

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What is Gender Lens Investing and How Can it Change the World?

Bloodworks Logo

Fulcrum Capital and Bloodworks Northwest to hold Gender Forward Investing Symposium to Leverage Power of Finance to Address Some of World’s Most Pressing Economic & Social Issues

SEATTLE (May 23, 2019) – Next Thursday, May 30th, Bloodworks Northwest and Fulcrum Capital are hosting a Gender Forward Investing Symposium drawing national leaders on the topic of gender lens investing to Seattle for an afternoon exploring the impact of this emerging national economic trend and its impact on nonprofits like Bloodworks. Bloodworks Northwest is hoping to be a catalyst for change here and across the nation. 

What is gender lens investment?
It’s the use of capital to effect real change in the lives of women and children. Harnessing the power of finance for both economic gain and to address systemic social challenges; gender-based violence, women’s underrepresentation in leadership positions. Right now, women and children make up almost 3/4 of those living in poverty in the United States.

Why does gender lens investment make sense?
According to a McKinsey Study in 2017, achieving full gender equality in the workforce could boost global GDP by $28 trillion by 2025. That’s greater than the six of the Eurozone economy today! Right now, only 29% of all enterprises in the U.S. are women owned. More importantly, senior management positions are held by women only 19% of the time. Leadership at the corporate level needs more female voices, especially in finance. Women hold senior roles in only 9% of Venture Capital Funds, only 6% in Private Equity firms and only 3% in Hedge Funds.

Why should gender be a factor in investment?
Experts say, better outcomes are consistently achieved if gender diversity exists. Companies with high gender diversity had lower stock price volatility and fewer drawdowns than similar companies with less gender diversity (Gender Diversity Continues to Work – Morgan Stanley 2016). Meanwhile, women are expected to control two-thirds of U.S. private wealth by 2020 (Market Watch 2019).

Featured Speakers:

·Joy Anderson – Founder Criterion Institute will provide background and lay out the case for finance to analyze gender as part of its work and depict how finance can be used to create meaningful change for women and girls.

·Chris Andersen, President & Executive Director – InFaith Community Foundation will provide real world example of integrating gender lens investing into an asset base of over $400 million, specifically pursuing investments that undermine the conditions that promote gender based violence.

·Tresa Thomas-Massiongale -BloodworksNW Chief Investment & Partnership Officer will offer a perspective of Bloodworks’ goals and motivations for investing in gender as a call to action for other investors, philanthropists and community leaders.

·Darcy Johnson – CEO Fulcrum Capital will provide a broad overview and speak to traditional asset class diversification and the importance of generating competitive returns.

About Bloodworks Northwest Bloodworks (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients in more than 100 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. Blood donation appointments can be scheduled on the Bloodworks App. For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org.

Fun Facts About the National Parks in Our Backyard

Washington's National Park Fund

Washington’s National Park Fund Springs into Summer with Fun Facts About the National Parks in Our Backyard

High Winds, Stinky Bob, Singing Marmots and More

Seattle, WA—May 22, 2019 — In an announcement sure to delight outdoor enthusiasts and trivia buffs alike, Washington’s National Park Fund (WNPF) today unveiled “Fun Facts About the National Parks in Our Backyard.” WNPF is the official philanthropic partner of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks, and its collection of insights will tickle the senses of even the most urban among those in the Evergreen State. As people prepare to venture outdoors this spring and summer, these fun facts will add to their enjoyment:

• Winds Can Reach 70mph on Hurricane Ridge. There is a reason they call it Hurricane Ridge. The weather on that mountain pass in Olympic National Park can get pretty gnarly, with intense gales and winds reaching up to 70mph.

• Invasive Stinky Bob is not a Cartoon Character. Making its home in shady forests with damp soil, Stinky Bob is an invasive plant species that has made its way into our national parks. Officially called Geranium robertianum, Stinky Bob isn’t just a clever name. Its smell is most frequently described as a mix of diesel and mint. Ewww!

• Marmots sound the alarm! Hoary Marmots are often out sunning themselves in Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks and people can hear them whistling away. They are vocal animals with at least seven different kinds of calls, many of which are alarms alerting fellow animals to predators. The Olympic Marmot, endemic to Olympic National Park, has four different types of whistles.

• Olympic National Park works to help us see the stars. Things like streetlamps, porch lights, neon signage and more can be a barrier to our ability to see the stars. Olympic National Park has been working to get an International Dark Sky Park designation from the International Dark Sky Places by taking steps to reduce light pollution, creating dark skies to make stars more visible.

• The lakes are so turquoise blue because of “rock flour.” What makes alpine lakes like Diablo and Ross in the North Cascades those incredible blues and greens? Glaciers in surrounding high country slowly wear down the rock to a fine silt, or “rock flour,” that streams into the lake. And it’s those minerals, typically quartz or feldspar, reflected through the sunlight that produces those unbelievable colors.

• Lake Crescent doesn’t have algae. Known for its crystal-clear water, Olympic National Park’s Lake Crescent is the second deepest lake in Washington. Even still, in some places you can see as far as 60 feet down! That’s due to a lack of nitrogen which prevents the growth of algae.

• North Cascades National Park has more glaciers than Glacier National Park. That’s right! With 312 glaciers, North Cascades National Park has the most glaciers of any U.S. Park, except Alaska, and a third of all the glaciers in the lower 48. Now that’s a lot of glaciers!

• More than 10% of our beloved Mount Rainier is covered in glaciers. Aside from being the most prominent peak in our, Mount Rainier is also the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S., with 25 named glaciers that have a combined area of 90 square kilometers, meaning almost 10% of the park is covered by glacier!

WNPF is the only philanthropic organization dedicated solely to these three national parks and 100% of the donations stay in Washington State for park priority projects. Founded by former governor and senator Dan Evans and legendary mountaineer Lou Whittaker, WNPF has awarded more than $5.3 million in the last nine years to support these national parks.

About Washington’s National Park Fund
Washington’s National Park Fund (WNPF) is the official philanthropic partner of Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic National Parks, which span more than 1.6 million acres of the Evergreen state. Annually, WNPF allocates monies to 50-75 park priority projects with the goal of deepening the public’s love for, understanding of, and experiences in Washington’s National Parks. Get involved at www.wnpf.org

Being There for Mom This Mother’s Day – in Sickness and in Health

With aging parents, we often think about the physical ailments that come with getting older. It could be vision loss, arthritis, trouble walking or a new heart condition. We can easily forget the emotional and mental health challenges that our parents may face.

According to the American Psychological Association, one in four adults ages 65 and older experiences a mental health problem such as anxiety or, more commonly, depression. However, older adults are far more likely to discuss physical symptoms than talk about emotions. There is generational stigma at play and the perception that feelings commonly associated with mental illness are just a part of getting older. 

If you’re anything like me, your mom is the strongest person you know, and you may never suspect she might be struggling. She may be the one that never misses a birthday or anniversary, makes the perfect cookies, relays the best advice when you have no words and always has a smile on her face. But remember she is human – just like you – and has emotional needs, just like her physical ones.

This Mother’s Day, take the time to check in on your mom, no matter where she is. You can help her avoid future issues or get treatment early if you suspect a problem. So where do you start?

  1. Visit With Her Regularly: Whether it be in-person, on the phone or video chat, let your mom know you are there. Encourage other family members and friends to do the same. This is the first step to help her avoid loneliness, boredom and even isolation. Also, aim to stay connected with your mom’s closest peers. They can be your lifeline should they suspect an issue and vice versa.
  2. Track big life changes: As people get older, they may experience difficult life changes – losing a partner, moving out of a home, undergoing surgery or experiencing new physical limitations. Pay special attention to your mom during these times as they could trigger an issue. 
  3. Look for the physical signs: Stress and mental health can impact your physical health as well. Even if your mom seems fine, physical signs that she may be experiencing a mental illness could include difficulty sleeping, a poor appetite or an inability to concentrate.
  4. Talk about the tough stuff: It can sometimes be difficult to talk about the new emotions and health concerns that arise with growing older. No matter how awkward or even invasive it may feel, carve out time to address potential issues with your mom. You may learn something new. And if you don’t, the door will be open should your mom ever need to talk in the future.
  5. Be a health advocate: Living a healthy lifestyle has a direct impact on your mental health and well-being. Encourage your mom to schedule regular check-ups, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise. Join your mom for stress-relieving activities like yoga and spending time outdoors. Mental well-being isn’t just beneficial in the short term – according to the Global Council on Brain Health, adults age 50 and older who have mental well-being tend to report better brain health including memory and thinking skills.
  6. Ask for help: Encourage your mom to schedule an appointment with her physician to be evaluated if you suspect a problem. Some health plans, including some Medicare Advantage plans, also cover telebehavioral health services – where your mom could meet with a behavioral or mental health specialist for conditions including grief and loss, depression, anxiety or relationship issues without leaving the comfort of her own home. You can also contact your health plan and ask for help. Many plans offer behavioral health resources and have referral resources at your fingertips.

We all want to be there for our parents, just like they have always been for us. Part of “being there” is acknowledging that the life changes they are experiencing can be challenging and letting them know you have their back. 

Catherine Field, based in Federal Way, is Market Medicare President at Humana.

Blood Supply to Local Trauma Centers in Seattle Running on Fumes

Bloodworks Northwest issuing urgent appeal for donors after inventories dipped sharply

Bloodworks Northwest at Less Than 1 Day Supply of O Blood Types.

SEATTLE, Wash. (APRIL 25, 2019) – Running out of gas is inconvenient but running out of blood is deadly. Bloodworks Northwest is at less than a single day supply of O Positive and O Negative because those specific types are required most for emergencies in trauma centers across the Pacific Northwest.

“Making things worse, there is a nationwide shortage on group O, the universal blood type, which effects our ability to receive assistance from other parts of the country,” says Brian Danforth, Bloodworks Northwest Senior Customer Engagement and Business Development Executive. “Compounding the problem is the fact that Easter weekend donations were down as well.”

Bloodworks has fun perks for people who donate a pint by April 30 to help end the shortage. Donors who give before the end of the month will be entered to win travel prizes like $500 Alaska Airlines vouchers, $100 REI and gas gift cards. The campaign is called Bold for Blood & Adventure. So far, response has been encouraging, but Bloodworks is concerned that the upcoming Memorial Day weekend will impact their ability to provide urgently-needed blood for emergencies at a time when the trauma units around our region typically experience high patient usage.

 “We’re urging folks to make an appointment as soon as possible to pump up the community, if you will, and help restore our inventories to normal levels,” says Danforth. “A strong blood supply is critical to healthcare in our community.”

Donors can find locations of donor centers and drives or make appointments online at BloodworksNW.org, by calling 800-398-7888, or by texting ‘bloodapp’ to ‘91985’ to download the Bloodworks App.

Blood donation takes about an hour and each donation can help up to three people in the Pacific Northwest. The actual donation time is only about 10 minutes. Most people in good health are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood.

Bloodworks Donor Centers:

Please check BloodworksNW.org for latest hours and locations.

About Bloodworks Northwest

Bloodworks (formerly Puget Sound Blood Center) is backed by 75 years of Northwest history and 250,000 donors. It is local, nonprofit, independent, volunteer-supported and community-based. A recognized leader in transfusion medicine, Bloodworks serves patients in more than 100 hospitals in Washington, Oregon and Alaska — partnering closely with local hospitals to deliver the highest level of patient care. Comprehensive services include blood components, complex cross-matching, specialized lab services for organ transplants, care for patients with blood disorders, and collection of cord blood stem cells for cancer treatment. Bloodworks Research Institute performs leading-edge research in blood biology, transfusion medicine, blood storage and treatment of blood disorders. Patients with traumatic injuries, undergoing surgeries or organ transplantation, or receiving treatment for cancer and blood disorders all depend on our services, expertise, laboratories and research. For more information, visit bloodworksnw.org

Crossing the Border, Guatemala Style

Crossing The Guatemala Border

Crossing the Guatemalan border from Mexico was chaotic, scrambled and the perfect transition to my new Spanish-only world.

The driver picked me up at 7:30 AM and 3 hours later dropped me off at the Mexican side of the border. One of the passengers spent 5 minutes screaming in Spanish at the driver. You’re an idiot! This is so stupid! No YOU Shut up!

Hmmm. This can’t be good. Are we supposed to walk through? Is this guy mad because he knows something or because he’s an idiot? The best solution? Just start walking.

The border itself is just a small road with a few buildings. On the side of the road, some folks are burning trash, others are selling food, and dozens of make-shift stalls with everything from kitchen-ware to crocs to woolen ponchos.

I hustled past, hand my passport over to the official. Stamped. Climb onto another van, this time on the Guatemala side.

Three hours later, I’m dropped off at a gas station where little boys are wrestling in between trying to sell shoe shines. No, my sneakers don’t need a shine, thank you. The angry guy gets some french fries and feeds them to stray dogs. I’m ushered to a late model Chrysler and told that “this guy” was going to drive me the rest of the way.

Ok.

I had understood every word of Spanish that the tour operator who sold me the $27 ticket to Xela had said to me. It hadn’t occurred to me to ask if I was going to be riding in some sketchy car for part of the trip. And I’m quite certain he hadn’t described the trip this way: We will drive you to the border, you will find your way through, and hopefully get into the right van on the other side. Don’t worry there will lots of them and no one will speak English. Then we’ll drop you off in some gas station and my cousin will drive you in his dad’s car the rest of the way. Sound good? Great, 350 pesos please.

It was a great introduction into what I would later learn of life in Guatemala. Figuring things out in Spanish (a very good thing) and the laid back way things are run (my first day at the school, I showed up as scheduled at 8 AM, only to wait 20 minutes for someone else to show up) and the immense amount of trust you end up placing in those around you (from living with a family you just met, to hoping that the ice really was made from boiled water).

You have to be cautious too. You can get robbed. You can get hit by a car. You can get swindled. (Oh and that car bit—so serious, the drivers here will mow you over, if you walk in the street). But if you can’t take a few chances, trust a few strangers, then truly you’ll never get over the border.

Making the Time and Money Connection – Minimalist Lifestyle

Saving Money To Travel The World

If you think commenting on my blog precludes you from being quoted later, guess again:

“i have everything a guy could want:

  • Badass Jaguar, Viper, Corvette (68), and lastly my prized shelby cobra
  • A 7000sqft house, filled to the gills with cool shit like plasma TV’s, etc etc.
  • King Air (it’s a plane guys, a plane)
  • An awesome Wife”

OK, beyond the fact that he lists his wife on a list of possessions, and she’s the last item on the list, I can completely understand where this guy is coming from.

From an early age we are taught that acquiring wealth is a sign of success. This cultural mindset often becomes apparent during travel. A westerner traveling to a country without modern luxuries might think, “Wow how do they live like that? They don’t have anything.” They might even wrongly assume that they are simple people, and admire them for their spirit, for the way “they smile despite everything…” Typically that “everything” is the fact that they don’t have significant wealth. We describe these qualities to them as a matter of condescension. “I could never live like that”. If you travel enough, you’ll find that these stereotypes are not always true. They are hustling like the rest of us. They are not simple and child-like, they just have different priorities. Of course poverty is a world wide issue, but is everyone without wealth, poor? Could it be they have something we don’t?

The person with the most stuff wins

My own path on the consumerism tread mill involved a beautiful house with an in-ground pool. My reasons for wanting a big house revolved around an over-compensation for growing up in an apartment and a sudden fit of nesting instincts. I genuinely thought that filling the house with art, books, modern furnishings and ‘stuff’ would bring me contentment. It did and it didn’t. The idea was wonderful, it felt great to think about. The reality of it was that I was never home to enjoy it.

At the time, I was working 60 hours weeks and commuting 2 hours a day. Besides the time I was at work, I was physically and mentally wiped out after work. I could switch jobs, find something less stressful, true. I eventually did change jobs, but not before I did some math that changed the way I thought about money and what I give up to get it.

What is your time worth?

We all trade our time (and knowledge, expertise and skills) for a salary. We assume we have to give at least 40 hours a week to a job, so we don’t count this time as ours. We give it away freely, without a second thought. But that time is ours, it’s a limited resource, and once it’s gone, there is no replacing it. I can’t beg, borrow or steal more time. It is, in fact, my life.

The Math

Say it costs me $100,000 a year to maintain this lifestyle. (*not my actual salary, just to demonstrate)

That’s $32 an hour at 60 hours a week.

If I lower my cost of living to $20,000 a year, I would only have to work 12 hours a week.

I was working 48 hours a week just to live in a big house, with lots of stuff.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against working hard or owning a house. But the idea that I was giving over 9 hours per weekday just to have an increased standard of living shocked me. Sure the house was nice, of course I loved swimming in the pool, but for that much of my time, I wanted more value.

From there I started breaking out the cost of everything by time.

Cable $100 or 3 hours a month
Car payment $375 or 11 hours a month
Name brand suit $400 or 12 hours
Fancy dinner $120 or 4 hours
And so on…

Lifestyle Redesign Phase I

This process hasn’t been overnight. For me to stop trading my time for things, I had to face the facts. We had to stop buying so much stuff! The End. (My husband had to talk me out of buying a book on “how to save money” and it took me a second to realize the irony). Inherently I already knew how to do it–reduce, reuse and refrain. Easy to say, harder to stick to…

Over the course of the last year we saved 50% our income. The next step? What to do with this financial freedom.

What’s your time worth?

Trip To O’ahu Hawaii From Seattle Washington

O’ahu is known as the “gathering island” because all the native Hawaiian tribes used to gather there… but it’s the gathering island now because it’s the center for United States Pacific Command. Not to mention, Waikiki is one of the world famous tourist meccas for overworked vacationers from the mainland. But hey, who cares? This place is beautiful. If you want to go for a drive around the island, I’ve highlighted the best places above.

You could also visit Pearl Harbor if you decided to take a vacation there. That is the place that the Japanese attacked which brought the whole world into conflict in 1941 or whatever.

Above all, I like the fact that the North West Shore of this little island has some of the best surf in the world between November and May. It’s an amazing place which has been dubbed by many surfers as the 7 Mile Miracle.

You can get a flight to O’ahu from Seattle for around $600 and often times less.

Extended history:
As always, I love studying the great explorers that meet their end in exotic places. As in the my page about Cebu, on O’ahu another famous explorer died in the waters of O’ahu. Captain Cook met his end when his group got a little too comfortable with the Hawaiian people back in 1779. It’s rumored that King Kamehameha was part of the crew that dispatched him. King Kamehameha later became the unifying force of all the native peoples of the Hawaiian islands. If you’re driving around O’ahu, you’ll spend most of your time on the Kamehameha highway so be respectful white boy.

Size
1,500 Square kilometers (600 Square Miles.) If you wake up early you could quite easily drive all the way around the island.

Highest Point
Ka’ala- 12,000 meters (4,000 feet) Check for the big white dome if you head way out west side north of Waianae.

Population
About 1 million people live there. But who knows if they’re counting tent city on the west side.

Special notes to know before you travel:
The west side is without question the sketchiest to travel around alone
It’s the USA – Things are inexpensive and large
Be very respectful in Hawaii and you’ll be fine. Anything else and you’ll learn quickly

Fun Stuff:
Poke is, without question the best food in the world. Get the best of it here.

Turning Someday into Right Now

Making A Change In Your Life Tips
Tips to help you make a change in your life

There’s a couple people in my life that have been saying they are going to make a major life change for years now. I know that feeling. I kept waiting for the right time, the right plan, the right amount of money to get me out the door.

Guess what? It never came. It doesn’t ever come. I still had to jump, kicking and screaming, not fully prepared and frankly more than a little scared.

And for those people in my life, waiting? It’s not going to come for them either. Unless you get hit by a truck, you’re not likely to stop what you’re doing and focus instead on what you want to be doing. We procrastinate. We weigh options. We wait. The reality is we get comfortable in our lives and many times don’t have the burning desire it take the leap and make it happen right now.

I’m a seasoned traveler who has pushed the limits and took the risk to travel the world. I hope the tips below help you. Adjust according to your situation and what you would like to make happen in your life.

It’s completely psychological, but you can get past it:

  • Start telling people what you’re going to do.
    Have conviction, believe it and make other people believe it.
  • Pick a date under 6 months.
    Anything more than that and it becomes the “far off future”.
  • Make a financial commitment.
    Put a big hunk of change down on your plan. Buy the plane ticket to Europe, put a deposit on a language school in Central America, pay the deposit on the volunteer program in Thailand.
  • Don’t worry about all the details.
    Most of them don’t matter. I had spreadsheets of stuff I wanted to get done before I left traveling the world and only half of it got finished.
  • Drop your other commitments now.
    Yes you’re not leaving the country until 6 months til now, but don’t wait until the last minute to excuse yourself from those time sappers now. (Your job is an exception).
  • Make a list of 5 major things you need to get done before you go.
    That’s your to do list. This will force you to make decisions about what’s really important and what you have to spend your time on.
  • Start living your new life now.
    If you’re traveling for a year, then you don’t need to buy new work clothes, do you? Start making decisions in your life like you’re already in the new life you want.
  • Keep your energy up and keep yourself inspired.
    Read travel blogs. Watch movies based in your future destination. Find songs that make you excited about your trip. Look for books about people who have done similar things.
  • Act as if you already know 100% that this will work out.
    Having second thoughts? Feel a little panicky? What if you knew for sure you’d be happy, that this would all be fine? Those of us on the other side know that, and this stress you’re feeling is totally normal and not a predictor of the quality of your decision. Do whatever it takes to convince yourself of this, and the rest will catch up.

Comments:

By Chris
Let’s see, where I am up to:

  1. Done. This is all we talk about with friends and family (probably annoying them)
  2. Date picked, but it’s 9 months away (quit job is 6 months away)

And 4, 7 & 9 – Good to know!

By Keith
In 1966, I planned to emigrate to Australia when my parents passed on. Guess what? 43 years on, and my father is still with us!

However, looking back, I’m glad I stayed here, because I like travelling, and almost everywhere is much more accessible.

By Mitch
Life change is never easy, most of it is never planned. It is like jumping with your eyes closed and just see what happens.

I always wanted to travel around the world but it never happened till a major life event. Now that I have tried it, I never regretted nor looked back.

By Gillian
This is an excellent expansion of the list you gave me as advice a number of months ago. I think I have completed all 9 and now am just waiting for June to arrive.

As you know, I was a nervous wreck when we first decided but you were right and telling people was the tipping point for us. Now, our upcoming year of travel is a quiet reality.

Our whole life is focused on this goal and nothing is purchased or done unless it will fit in our backpack or directly influence our travels.

Thanks again for your inspiration and support!!

By Gene
Major life change is never easy, but it can be very gratifying. The idea of starting now is an important one. Do something. Anything. That will let you understand your long-term reward for the change. Happy traveling.

By Melissa
Great tips! I’m in the middle of making a major life shift myself and I’ve done all of the above (except for “Make a list of 5 major things you need to get done before you go” – haven’t done that yet). I’ve found that the biggest impetus is telling others what you plan on doing, but also telling them you are planning on doing it on a certain or by a certain day. That makes it real to you and to the people you told it too…and I hate to embarrass myself by saying I’m going to do something and then not following through. I’d rather follow through and fail than be someone too scared to take a chance. Great post!

I also live in Seattle.

By Jenn
Keep up the words of encouragement and reminders to your readers that life is simply too short – this post is great.

I am on the verge of self-employment and was forced there by a lay-off from my regular gig. A lot of what you list here reflects how I have had to react in order to prepare for such a significant change of lifestyle. And yes, I know that it will all work out 100%!

By Nomadic Matt
Tomorrow never comes and now is never a right time. You are right. You just have to jump. Life always finds its way to work out for the best.

By Bert and Patty
Such great advice….we have been planning for 2 1/2 years now and have 6 months to go before we leave on our 9 month adventure—maybe longer if the opportunity arises and then we are moving to scotland…..you are right, just do it now….good to read your post because it confirms that we are on the right track….maybe we will cross paths at some point.

By Daniel
I remember going through these steps before my move to Korea, and I’m sure I’ll go through it again for my next move. I think telling people you’re going to do something makes the decision feels real. It also makes you accountable: you don’t want to be a liar now, do you?
Great advice and list.

By Serena
1,2,3,4,6,8,9 all check! My friend is doing travelling in September for a year with her boyfriend and two friends and the more she talked about it the more I wanted to do it to which she replied ‘what don’t you?!’. So I am. Not for a year though, just for 3 weeks around South East Asia without the other half…I’m hoping that after 9 years of severe clinical depression it will help me at least find the path to my own happiness. I’m so excited I think my family are getting sick of hearing about it already! S xx

By Scott
Your posts are a wealth of information and they’re helping me stay motivated. I love #4 – it’s so easy to get caught up in “planning” and trying to take care of too many things before leaving. It’s great to know that you didn’t cross everything off the list either 😉
Scott´s last blog ..Why go solo? My ComLuv Profile

By Anthony
Excellent post. I’m writing that list down ASAP. Keep it up!

Traveling the World: Getting Started

Are you ready to travel the World?

Today’s how-to post has kindly been provided by Craig Martin of the Indie Travel Podcast. He’s been on the road full time since 2006, and if that wasn’t enough cred, his book Travelling Europe comes out this fall.
You’ve been sitting at your desk reading this blog for far too long. Haven’t you? It’s time to get out of the cubicle and into the world; but where to start? Let me show you the way.

Many people balk at the idea of planning long-term travel. It just seems far too expensive, far too difficult, far too much like … work. Budgets are hard, the time until you travel seems too rushed — or too far away — and that’s before you try to fit all those dream locations into your itinerary. Although all of this can feel true at times, planning is also a chance to explore your destination before you arrive, meet some great people and take the stress out of your upcoming trip.

Money

Your first and biggest constraint is probably money. I know it’s mine! The good news is that, despite what the travel media has taught you, travel isn’t as expensive as you think it is. Taking a vacation is often expensive because we love to pamper ourselves with nice hotels and nice meals at well-known restaurants. The flights are expensive too and there’s all that time off work.

But imagine if the flight costs were spread out over six months. They wouldn’t seem too bad then. And the cost of one night in a hotel could give you ten nights’ accommodation in a hostel or some nice gifts for hosts you meet through programs like Couch surfing or Hospitality Club.

Finding the money

Our biggest financial hurdle isn’t finding enough; it’s simply organising it all. Start early by simplifying your finances and your lifestyle now. This will help you feel more in control and allow you to funnel more money into your savings account. Kill off subscriptions and memberships where you can: you won’t need them overseas! Sell things in your house that you don’t use; it’ll take the pressure off getting rid of them in your final weeks. Unless you have fine wine aging in the cellar, there’s nothing you’ll want to come back to.

Pay off debt and move down to one credit card (preferably one that allows you to build frequent flyer points without charging high fees). Try to get down to one current account with the same financial provider — one with good internet banking and international support. If you have paid off all your debt, look for an internet savings account with easy access and good interest rates. If not, forget saving and throw every cent at that debt instead. That’s three accounts, no financial baggage, and everything’s dealt with. Simple.

The cash trap

One trap often catches travelers during their planning stage: buying travel gear. There’s so much non-essential stuff out there that people buy by the truckload. It’s especially difficult not to splash out when the bank account numbers start going black and then start to rise. Don’t confuse buying things with preparing. I’m certainly not opposed to getting the right tool for the job: I’ve got a pack of specialist travel gear that I’ve picked up along the way – it’s a 45 liter pack. You can save lots of money by concentrating on what you’ll use day to day. Forget things you might need or will probably want. Keep that money in the bank and buy yourself a nice bottle of wine. In a Spanish cafe. Watching the sunset.

Planning your travel timeframe

Maybe now you’re entrenched at work, reading about my (Christine’s) travel and dreaming of a cubicle-escape plan. Maybe you’ve lost hope of ever leaving. It isn’t too late to break free. When my wife and I decided to set off on a two- to five-year trip through Europe we gave ourselves two years to get ready; and that time took the pressure off our finances and a lot of stress out of planning.

If there’s one thing that travel has taught me, it’s to respect the words of Bob Marley: “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be all right.” Planning your preparations — including your budgeting — within a reasonable timeframe is key.

Depending on how complicated your situation is and the scope of your travel plans it might take some time to get ready. Don’t stress – just keep the end in sight.

Social Research

One thing’s for sure, it’s never too early to start your social research on world cultures. Subscribe to a few travel blogs like Travel Blog, Nomadic Matt or Ottsworld. Begin listening to some travel podcasts; try the Amateur Traveler, Everything, Everywhere or my own Indie Travel Podcast.

Join online travel networking sites like Matador, the Thorn Tree or, for a touch of real life, Couch surfing or Hospitality Club. The last two give you the opportunity to offer your couch or spare bed to an incoming traveler for a few nights. It gives you the chance to meet people from all around the world, either in a local bar, your home or theirs.

Training

Long-term travelers need money, so consider what kind of work can keep you going. Nothing with long contracts; something that pays reasonably; something you might enjoy. Consider doing some training as a bartender or ESL teacher, or spend a day picking fruit to see if it’s your thing. You’ll be experiencing all sorts of new things on the road, but that’s no reason not to start now.

You might want to consider learning a language — or at least making a start. Try to find a language exchange group that meets in a local cafe rather than splashing out on a school course. It gives you the chance to meet some other travel-minded people and share ideas and dreams too. Some areas offer free or heavily subsidised adult education courses, so you might have luck there.

Final thoughts

No matter where you are, you can live an traveling lifestyle. You can travel full-time, or at least for an extended period. I’m sitting in Perth, Australia right now, approaching the end of year three since I left home. I’ve visited over thirty countries, played host and been looked after, been stuck somewhere earning and been through seven countries in as many days. It’s not as hard as it looks, so get planning and get on the road.

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