The $10 painting that the experts would pay €2.5 million for

Nobody really knows what anything’s worth

The only difference is how it’s framed. This 3 minute video will show you how it’s done

If you want to see some more. The same guys offered “organic” McDonalds to food experts and got surprising snobby results too.

I guess my point is we’re worth as much as we think we are.

If we frame ourselves as brilliant people believe we are. If we frame ourselves as stupid, people think we are.

Let’s be who we were meant to be

During my time away I’ve done a lot of soul-searching.

Who am I? What am I doing? What should I be doing? What’s the point of anything?

What’s the meaning of life?

I’ve had many of these existential crises over time.

I guess the answer I’ve come to is: the meaning of life is what you make meaningful.

What puts you in flow? What excites you so much that you lose hours to it? You know it could be your painting, your dancing, your app that you’re creating.

Looking back, I’ve drawn the dots together of what interested me. I’ve had various different jobs, worked with over 32 clients in 32 different companies working freelance. I’ve traveled to many places in the world.

What fascinates me is a certain philosophy. That philosophy is about connection.

Real, genuine soulfelt connection. That can come through a piece of art, a clever film (the Grand Budapest hotel really inspired me), a friendship that has a lot of emotional exchange, a relationship, love. It might be a great story. Or an act of bravery… cold-contacting people out the blue.

Connecting with people and creating incredible things comes from being yourself. It’s about feeling how your body is feeling, regardless of how good or ugly the truth is. It’s about facing uncomfortable truths. Then coming up with ideas and taking action to get out of it.

It comes through spending time doing what you really want to do… and what you were meant to do.

I feel the human who really lives is one who experiences it all.

Because we only get one chance in this body, so we need to make it bloody count!

No more excuses. No more half-hearted attempts at things. No more shying away or lying to ourselves or others. Let’s go and do what  we really really want to do, what we’ve shied away from for weeks, months or years. We might fail. But that’s not important. That’s not important at all. Because I want to feel energised. Let’s quit what we hate and do what we love.

We will ask for what we want. We do what’s daring, bold, unsafe. We will either go all-in on a project or give it nothing at all. We will ask for feedback even if it’s unpleasant.

We do it or we’ll die trying.

Someone once said the unexamined life is not worth living. But I think the unlived life is not worth examining.

So get up. Rise up. And let’s be who we were meant to be.

How to explore the world on a budget – 5 handy tools

If you’re interested in travelling – many people think it costs a fortune. Most people look at glossy brochures, guidebooks, newspapers for inspiration. You might have the impression you could never afford it, or it’s a pipedream. But it’s amazingly doable right now.

Travel is sold as a luxury product. It’s sold as a “you only have 4 weeks off a year” so make it count.

The truth is it’s cheaper to live in several different places a year, and travel around, than live in a UK or US city.

When you really travel, you go beyond the artifice of plump pillows, all-inclusive breakfasts and cabarets.

Real travel happens when you leave your hotel and see the town. It’s when you see how the locals work and live somewhere. Real travel happens when you’re in a foreign land,  struggle with the language and gesticulate to get understood. Real travel happens when you trek across the mountains or get out your comfort zone.

New websites and apps can help you explore the world on a budget. These are a great place to start.

AirBnB – This is amazing. Hosts rent out a spare room in their house, or entire apartments/houses. Think of AirBnB as accommodation on tap. If you want to be somewhere, doing something it’s perfect. It’s normally cheaper than staying in a hotel and has more soul and connection to it.

You simply put in your credit card details and you can book places from 1 night to several months if there’s availability. Usually the longer-stay prices are much cheaper than the daily rates.

I love looking around on the site and imagining all the different lives I could lead, and places I could go.

BlaBlaCar – Although I haven’t used it yet, I have friends who do. BlaBlaCar is a carpooling site. Drivers who are going on long journeys list their journey, then you can be a passenger and give them petrol money.

It’s a quick way to get between places where public transport isn’t great, or to save money on the train. It’s really taken off in Spain and across Europe. There’s some usage in the UK too.

Rome2Rio – This is a great way or working out your various different transport options. between two places. Should you take the bus, train, ferry, plane or should you drive? Rome2Rio answers that question.

Google Flights – To find the best dates and prices for flights – this is GOLDDUST. I found the £30 return flights to Palma a few months ago.

Flexibility – Lastly I want to mention something that isn’t a tool, but will help you be more mobile. Most other people can only take holidays in school holidays. At these times, flights and accommodation are ridiculously expensive.

So if your work is flexible you can zig, while other people zag.

Of course you might not be able to take the time off work. However there are ways of making it possible.

Some jobs will allow you to do remote working and you could come to an agreement . You could also only take jobs for a few months at a time (I’ve never held a job for longer than 5 months because I wanted more than 4 weeks not-working per year).  You could also take unpaid leave.

If you have a skill in demand, there will always be ways to find work that gives you flexibility.

So there you have it. I think travel is the only the thing you can buy that really makes you richer.

There’s a whole world out there to explore and if you’re strategic about it – it doesn’t have to cost you your soul to go and experience it.

8 Things You Learn Trekking Across Mountains

view-from-cercedilla-mountains

This week I took a trip to the mountains. I climbed across the valleys and crossed plains. I braved sleetstorms and rains. I basked in the glorious sunshine eating a can of sardines.

I did this trip because I’ve felt stuck the past few weeks.

When I tell people about it – they say “wow that sounds like so much fun. I wish I could do that”.

But the truth is walking by yourself for a week is boring. It’s lonely. There’s just white noise in your head.

path-to-olmedo

There’s a definite pain barrier. You feel fed up, hungry and your backpack aches on your shoulders. But if push on, just through that pain barrier – it doesn’t matter any more.

It’s like you don’t get attached to those needs of the ego any more. You’re more than your body. You’re more than your mind. You just accept what’s in front of you and act moment-to-moment.

1. Your conciousness expands. This sounds very hippy-ish but when you spend that much time looking at the trees, the plants, the stars and the sky – you feel very small. You realise you’re just energy. You’re made of exactly the same stuff as everything you see.

Most of our lives we lead staring at screens and going from box to box in artificial cities. We think that’s all there is. But  it’s easy to forget what we’re part of.

2. You learn a steady discipline. It’s 5 hours of walking to the next town where you might find a hostel. You don’t have a choice. You might be sore but you soldier on. “One foot in front of the other”. And you’ll make it. You’re patient. You’re kind to yourself.

3. Your subconcious comes through. What most people never realise is your subconcious mind controls you, unless you acknowledge it.

At first it’s just an inkling. But you realise there’s all these odd thoughts and reactions that you have. And you accept them for what they are. You’re by yourself, have your space and you have no distractions or others to judge you.

4. You become ultra-resourceful. One night at a hostal the heating went off and it was FREEZING. I had icicles on my nose. I only had one pair of trousers which were dirty. So I turned my jumper inside out, put my feet through the arm-holes and kept my legs warm.

5. You trust your gut instinct. Your gut is 100x more powerful than your brain. One afternoon, I was walking along the side of a road. Then this car stopped, reversed. The window opened and this lady and this grandma asked where I was going. They offered me a lift. Of course usually I’d never do something like that (and my Mum will worry about me) but my gut feeling told me it was safe.

castle-in-coca

6. You learn to have faith. You never really know what’s going to happen. Every day. We’re all improvising. But as someone once said “it’ll be alright in the end. And if it’s not alright, it’s not yet the end”

fire

7. You make a vague plan but may or may not stick to it. Who knows what you’ll come across on adventure. I planned to camp out one night. I chose a spot, made a campfire, but the wood burned too quickly. If I stayed out there I would freeze, or wouldn’t sleep because I’d be spending all night gathering wood.

It was 1.30am and the only open place I could find was this painfully expensive 4 star hotel. But you have to adapt.

8. You appreciate what comes your way. You take nothing for granted when you’re on the road. Food. Lodging. Warmth. Water. In normal day-to-day life we can all just nip to the shops. But when you’re in the middle of some field, you can’t. When you get back to civilisation you appreciate all the perks.

9. You’re free to play. Nobody’s watching. If you want to talk to yourself for 2 hours that’s fine. If you want to pick your nose that’s fine. If you want to wee in a field – that’s fine too. You can make your own entertainment. So I made my own little property show.

This adventure was just what the doctor ordered.

If you need to clear your mind. Get outside. Stay outside. And go somewhere distant on foot, alone. If you’re looking for inspiration I’d recommend reading Microadventures