BOOK REVIEW: The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau

One of my all-time favorite books, The $100 Startup, which I try to revisit every year, had already been read by the time I started reading this book. I also bought one of his courses on travel hacking from Creative Live, and it was excellent.

For those who are unfamiliar with Chris, his major accomplishment and claim to fame is fulfilling a lifelong goal of traveling to every nation by the age of 35. The writing of Chris Guillebeau is incredibly readable and easy to understand.

He describes and provides actual case studies on how to locate, measure, and complete your own personal journey in this book, The Happiness of Pursuit. Reading The Happiness of Pursuit will help you learn how the journey, not the final destination, is what matters, encourage you to choose your journey, and teach you how to define and measure your goals. Set deadlines or know when you’re completed. Manage distractions. Know when to change course or give up.

Case studies cover both Chris’s trip and that of individuals he met while traveling and experiencing new things. These journeys don’t all include travel. Some of them come from homebodies who never left. Scott Young, who earned his bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from MIT’s open course catalog in just one year, is one of my personal favorites among those home-based trips. (I believe it’s extremely cool that all of MIT’s classes and degree programs, including coursework, lectures, tests, etc., are available for free online.) Scott blogged about his experience, similar to the most of the samples in the book.

What introspective excursions has this book motivated me to go on? Here is my current list after finishing the book a few days ago and having had approximately a week to reflect on this subject:
-Visit every restaurant Anthony Bourdain ate at, filmed at, or written about, and eat there. -Cook my way through the CIA handbook.
-Spanish only for two months, or until I’m 80% fluent, whichever comes first. I will only read, speak, and write in Spanish. another language follows…
-Recreating the surfing journey from The Endless Summer 2, one of my favorite movies. visiting the same beaches and surfing the same breakers everywhere.

I can’t think of anyone who shouldn’t read The Happiness of Pursuit since it’s an excellent book that’s well worth reading. It is truly for everybody. I also adore the wordplay in the title. One of my favorite case studies was Sasha Martin’s, however I’m sure some prospective readers won’t look past the trip component and will decide they should pass due to childcare commitments or some other obstacle. Without ever leaving Oklahoma, Sasha prepared meals from a different nation every week until she had traveled to every nation on earth, allowing their young daughter to see the world through their kitchen table. These tales are all about individual travels that improve you as a person. Using this book

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