The Complete Works of Miles Treegum (Terribly Short Stories Book 1)

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First is my personal email account — people close to me i.

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Then comes the email I get through my websites and their contact forms. She does a much better job at this than me, being both emotionally detached and far more organised. What to do with so much time? Tomorrow — well, I have no idea. I am no totalitarian and these timings often vary widely, but the general rule is that I make the most of undisturbed early mornings, prioritise creativity, and try to wrap everything else up before lunch.

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For completeness, there are a few more apps I use on a regular basis, including a handful of web-based ones:. My first piece of advice is to reduce your dependence on money. The less you spend, the less you need to earn, thus the more free time not earning you will have. Habit and attitude change are the first steps. Examine every penny you spend for a month; set targets for reduction; rinse and repeat.

The art is in doing so without making your life a misery. The next is to optimising work to support your desired lifestyle. Going digital is taken for granted. So is self-employment, a. It takes a real push to make that initial switch to self-employment. After that, tweak and optimise to minimise working time and maximise freedom time — freedom being the prime motivator for going location-independent and self-employed.

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It might not be particularly fun in the early stages. But it serves an identifiable and valuable need. Also check out his blog, The Art Of Non-Conformity , and his Unconventional Guides series for some great industry-specific freelancing manuals. The final step is to look at the big one-off costs and whittle them down. The other — obviously when a lot of travel is involved — is the cost of transport. This is where travel hacking comes in. People have written books on the topic, but it boils down to signing up for frequent flyer programmes, finding ways to get free bonus miles usually through credit card signups , then strategically redeeming them for free or discounted flights.

Not bad. It also pays to understand how much of an airfare is comprised of airport taxes — particularly for long haul flights. Once accumulated, transfer your balance as points to your frequent flyer account. Hey presto; more miles, more cheap or free flights. Well, you might have, but there was a non-disclosure clause in the contract. If, having honed these dark arts, you end up with more money than you need while simultaneously living your dream lifestyle on the road — well, lucky you.

Perhaps look at philanthropy as your next move. People fret needlessly about managing finances on the road. When was the last time you actually visited a bank branch in person? The drawings from my business go into this account, and I take decent-sized chunks of local currency from ATMs to cover my expenses. Holding at least two out of the three major cards Amex, Visa, Mastercard is a good move.

Everything is managed via online banking. For things that need real addresses not P. I set aside one day a month for accounting. I keep several passport photos in my wallet for visa applications and the like, and carry my driving license as a form of ID. These connections have formed a geographically disparate community of fellow adventure travellers and creative people who have become friends.

Obviously there is a natural limit to the size of such a community and the depth of the connections it contains. Regularly renewing them is therefore a big travel priority. The result is that there are a handful of places I keep coming back to — primarily Yerevan and Bristol, and to a lesser extent London, Sydney and Tehran. I feel strangely at home in these cities, even though I was born and grew up somewhere else entirely. Many location-independent digital nomads would cite loneliness and a lack of like-minded people in their lives as one of their biggest concerns.

Making meaningful connections comes more easily to some than others. There are doubtless people who travel indefinitely but never make any lasting connections at all. Beyond the comments, I hope this piece is useful to anyone looking to transition to location independent living. Life On The Road. Jon February 1, am. I think this outstanding paragraph represents an important nuance that is sadly often missed by many possibly by the stealthly infiltration of consumerism into both travel and self improvement :.

Keep up the good work!

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I will try your work schedule this week — not sure about those 5am starts though…. Jessica February 4, pm. Love this! I was in corporate life — and just took 6 months to travel and reset myself. Now I am figuring out what is next. I have ideas — but not sure how to make it happen. These resources I definitely took note. Thank you! Tom Allen February 5, am. Tom Allen February 10, am. Wade February 1, pm. There is so much great information in this post that I have bookmarked it so that my wife and I can consult it while planning our year.

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Thanks for writing such a long, in depth post. I think it will be incredibly helpful for myself and many others! Tom Allen February 1, pm. My pleasure! Tom Vaillant February 1, pm. Rosien February 1, pm. Classic Scott February 3, pm. Radhika Morabia rmorabia February 4, pm. Read the whole thing! Thanks for the refreshing look amongst all the start up founders who simply hop from one Co working space to another. James Taylor February 4, pm. Awesome post Tom. Just discovered you through Chris Guillebeau.

Would love to have you on my new podcast that interviews creatives around the world. Email me if interested and I can have my VA follow up. Once again great post. Rohit Pandey February 5, am. An amazing read Tom. Poppy February 5, pm. Two months into Self-Unemployment myself and starting to feel a teeeensy bit aggravated by my own lack of Divine Purpose…I feel fully invigorated after reading this amazing instruction manual for an ideal life.

Are you open to the idea of taking on an intern?? Tom Allen February 5, pm. Karenee February 5, pm. Your perspective meshes well with my world-view, and most of your advice easily fits my own business and goals as an artist and writer. I especially enjoyed the section on managing the business and financial aspect of a location independent life. Geraldine February 5, pm. I have been home-free for 2,5 years now and love the feeling. Not fully location-independent as I travel to whete my clients are mostly Sydney, Auckland and Paris I will eventually settle a bit for personal reasons, but will use this time to make my revenue even more location-independent.

The freedom of movement and organising my time as suit best my own rhythm was well worth leaving my well-paying corporate job. It was risky, but the rewards are huge. One tip to add to your travelling kit maybe: clothes compression bags! Same thought process than you: is it useful, can it be replaced by an item fulfilljng many purposes, am I hanging on to it for sentimental purposes, and I now go for quality over quantity.

I also appreciate the fact that you point out that it is not the glamour a lot of people think it is encouraged by blogs and articles , there is a lot of downtime and uncomfortable time. But the rewards, for me a life lived more intensely, is so much worth it!! I have yet to fully commit to living a life such as yours, but I commend you for being able to choose your manner of living. This post is as instructive as you are inspirational.

For a long time now I have been threatening to up sticks and leave, but caution has always kept me captive. I am writing this post on a laptop, came to this house in a car that is mine, and have more belongings with me than I could feasibly carry in a rucksack. I guess you could say that I am easing myself into a more itinerant lifestyle, but perhaps it is better to make a leap of faith, rather than slip from one state into another in a less than mindful way?

Whilst I was working in Meribel I had issues with this laptop in so much that it refused to connect to the WiFi network for the duration of the winter season. The sheer effort and expense that this entailed meant that I quickly lost my dependence upon the internet. I was much happier for it. James February 6, am. An excellent and refreshing article Tom. I need to get out of the corporate world and free up more time!

Bamboo Rider February 6, am. Great article. I think the distinction is quite impactful: E. Ah ye, now that I started: I love bamboo, have a shirt… the problem with bamboo, to my knowledge, is that the fabric production requires chemicals toxic to the environment. Hemp is more environmental friendly fibers come directly from the plant, no need to create them in a chemical process , but does not have the silky properties of bamboo, feels more like linen.

Tom Allen February 6, pm. Interesting about bamboo fabric production. Bamboo Rider February 6, pm. Oh — awesome! Sausage King February 6, am. Slightly random question but do you think you might ever have children? Do you think you could continue with your brilliant lifestyle or would something have to change? Thanks for that Tom, I really enjoyed reading it. Lots of practical stuff but also lots of thought provoking ideas too. You have also prompted me to go back to meditation, thank you. A narrowboat would be one of my few affordable housing options in the UK — perhaps not so different!

Kevster February 6, pm.

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  • Thanks for some great advice! The XC10 looks an incredible bit of kit and I look forward to seeing the results.

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    The convergance of pro video and stills at a realistic price draws ever nearer. I hope you get great results from the footage and it pays for itself many times over. Good luck and take care. Mara and Jake February 7, am. Hi Tom, Once again you have me mesmerised.

    It started with reading your cycle touring blogs, and now a year later my partner and I have been on the road in Asia for four months, learning a hell of a lot on the way but with a great base from your information. This again has given me more food for thought, and different ideas about lifestyle and what it means, and how we can employ parts into the life we are living. It does seem more simple on the road, compared to those hour days I used to work. Max Goldzweig February 7, pm. Fantastic article!

    I wish I had the discipline to start work at 5am!! What time do you go to bed? Ps — Enjoyed watching Last Explorers very much. Looked like it must have been a much tougher project than Karun though…. Davide February 7, pm. Thanks for sharing. This week I've been mainly All 8, words of it. There […]. Maroosh February 8, pm. Martin February 9, am. Oh Tom. Tom Allen February 9, am. Christine February 11, am. Tom, as ever, erudite and simply brilliant. Your posts keep arriving at the most serendipity moments.

    Hilary February 13, am. Enjoy the peace xx. Amanda Gokee February 13, pm. Tom, thank you for this very useful and informative piece. I will definitely be bookmaking it for future reference as well as checking out many of the links you included. It is nice to know there are others out there walking this path as well! Now to figure out how to finance it : Thanks so much for your tips along the way. Sanna February 13, pm.

    Thank your for sharing this, a really fun and useful read! February 14, pm. He sent an email with a long, fantastic article on how his location independent lifestyle works. It was about practical […]. Reflections from a corporate digital nomad — Sanna blogs February 15, am. Jason P February 15, pm. I just left my consulting career after almost 5 years with money that can lasts me few months. Heather K February 16, am. First time reading any of your work, Tom — and what a place to start. Dave March 8, am. Great article, a welcome change from a lot of hyperbole you see around.

    Just one thing no shampoo etc , is this a life hack for extra seating space? Tom Allen March 10, am. Fred Pilkington fabpilkington March 13, am. Kevin Casey January 1, pm. The Fourth Geneva Convention, the finest flower of the Nazi defeat, strictly and explicitly forbids it, except under the most extraordinary circumstances.

    Arabic so we can understand, Hebrew so the issuer can understand. Most of us understood that he was joking, but it seemed like an angry joke. After a pause, there was a chuckle or two around the table. I went back to my car, and I thought, Do I take my car home?

    Or do I take a taxi? Why would I say that, right? It belongs to me, I paid for it with my money. Two days later I met Sam at his house, in al-Bireh. In its present form it was a high, flat-topped box of pale gray stone, three stories tall, with nine arched windows—three per floor—stacked in a tictac-toe grid. I knew that traditional Arab houses, even those of wealthy families, often show a deliberately plain face to the world. Entering the home of a man who had been successful for a long time in a number of business ventures, I wondered if I were in for Levantine extravagance, or American-style glitz.

    I wondered if I ought to ascribe this relative austerity to local custom, personal modesty, or simply the relative nature of wealth in a culture of enforced scarcity where the readiest treasure is stored not in banks, but in black PVC cisterns on the roof. We would be driving to Nablus, where he had an appointment to meet the owner of a soap factory, and along the way would be paying a visit to a newly opened Bravo supermarket there.

    I assured him, truthfully, that the most fascinating places to visit in foreign countries were often the ones, like supermarkets, that were superficially most similar to places at home, and that it was always interesting to see how common household objects were manufactured; but there was more to it than that.

    I was now sitting in a house, and soon I would be driving in a car, and then I would be standing in a supermarket, and after that touring a soap factory, in a country that was living under military occupation. Anything that we did today would partake of the novelty—to me—of that circumstance.

    Flushing a toilet, for example. When I pulled the handle I heard the water flowing down through the pipe from one of the cisterns on the roof. I considered the vulnerability and irregularity of the water supply in Palestine, and the disproportionate splurging of my fellow Jews, running their dishwashers and washing machines and lawn sprinklers, over in the hilltop settlement, amply furnished with water from confiscated wells and expropriated aquifers, that the Bahours were obliged to contemplate every time they looked out their back windows.

    It could be almost a straight shot, it could be a lot of checkpoints, you never know. When I first relocated here, the telecommunications company I worked for was based in Nablus. I made the drive every day, morning and night. We have to make a detour to the east. Or it might not. You never know. If I had been a law-abiding Palestinian I would have had only an Edge, or 2G, connection, since Israel would not allocate the electromagnetic spectrum necessary for Palestinian carriers to provide 4G or even 3G service.

    We have 3G, so what exactly is the security concern? Sam conceded that might be part of it. The occupation of the West Bank and Gaza has been so incredibly expensive—in , Newsweek magazine estimated the total cost since to be in the neighborhood of 90 billion dollars—that one could hardly blame the Israeli government, Sam observed dryly, for trying to make a little money off it. But his next words made me think that from his point of view my cynicism came a little too easily, that it might, in its way, be as unearned as my liberty. Instead of. We had finished our strangely malleable, taffy-like ice cream, all those colorful little scoops dyed in a mad Muppets palette.

    It was time for coffee. For the work I do, I have a lot of business in Jerusalem. So what do I do? The counterman approached, a certain deference unmistakable in his manner toward Sam. He leaned in with a soft Arabic word of inquiry and Sam softly ordered coffee around the table. Speaking English to his visitors—most of us Americans like him—Sam seemed entirely a businessman from Youngstown, Ohio, a perfect Rotarian, genial, expansive, eloquent, an unexpected touch of the professor about him.

    Yet somehow the word seemed to accord with his demeanor. He had left Youngstown behind him—the city of his birth and education, where he had first met his wife, where his parents and his sister still lived—to come and live in the house of his forefathers, in the neighborhood that had been the home of his imagination as a child. But did he really feel that he belonged in al-Bireh? I was told I could not go to Jerusalem. He reached into the billfold again and took out a second note of the strange tender of his captivity.

    He took out another, and then a third. He dug around with his fingers and came out with a whole little pile of them, a jackpot of winning tickets in a bitter lottery, all of them expired. We laughed at it nevertheless. If I got caught coming in late, and the soldier who caught me wanted to arrest me, I would never get a permit again. The counterman returned with a tray crowded with coffee in tiny cups. Sam watched approvingly as the counterman distributed them to everyone who had wanted coffee. It takes a day to apply, a day to get the answer.

    Imagine how hard it is to make an appointment for a business meeting when it takes two days to get the permit—and they might say no. And then a whole day for the trip to Jerusalem, because you have to go on foot. I have diabetes, you know what that means, right? It means, guaranteed, you have to use the restroom! A fence all around you. These are people who have to cross every day. They are frustrated to the nth degree. Sam Bahour was an imposing man with a quietly arresting presence who towered over the people around him, but he was not a prince in exile.

    He was a giant in a cage. It would be the first of its kind in Palestine. The property they had in mind was in al-Bireh. It was in a part of town called al-Balou that the municipality had slated for development as a commercial district. Land there was expensive. Sam realized that, given real estate costs, a supermarket alone could never be profitable.

    Palestinians bought their food in street markets and specialty shops, from butchers and bakers and fruiterers; one-stop shopping at a supermarket might take time to catch on. Then there turned out not to be enough money to engineer the structure adequately to include the Cineplex; the Cineplex was dropped from the plan. The building site lay between two streets that had been laid out but not yet rezoned as commercial; one was set to be a main drag and the other a service road.

    Sam shocked the investors by suggesting that only the side of the Plaza facing the main thoroughfare needed to be stone-clad; nobody but teamsters and store employees was ever going to see the place from the back. After the investors had recovered from their shock, Sam went to the municipality to confirm which of the as-yet-unbuilt streets would be the principal thoroughfare.

    He oriented the unclad, plain-stucco rear of the structure accordingly. The municipality, it turned out, had misinformed Sam, or changed its mind; and so the first supermarket-anchored shopping plaza ever built in Palestine shows its naked backside to the world. A properly modern supermarket must have a modern point-of-sale system, and while internationally there were many vendors to choose among, none was willing to take on the challenge of providing longdistance after-sale support to the occupied territory, not in the thick of an armed uprising.

    And we did it, it was the first retail bar code system in Palestine. Because today I have a choice, given that intifada conditions have waned, and I understand what it means to be dependent on Israel. As for the merchandise that was to be scanned and inventoried by the Retalix software, the same labyrinth of barriers—legal, military, and physical—that had driven up the price of construction also caused constant headaches with inventory. Shipments of goods from Israel or Israeli ports arrived late, spoiled, or not at all.

    Even when they showed up whole and on time they still arrived freighted with politics and tainted by the bitter flavor of occupation. Sam—an activist himself, arrested for the first time in , along with protesters who chained themselves to a fence outside the Saltsburg, Pennsylvania, headquarters of Federal Laboratories, which manufactured and sold the tear gas used by the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians—had been expecting a visit of this sort.

    Refraining from pointing out that, given the state of the Palestinian food industry, it would be impossible to stock a modern supermarket with only produce and foodstuffs manufactured in Palestine, Sam—who was the project manager, not the owner or operator—framed the matter to the activists as one of official Palestinian policy. He offered to accompany the activists to meet with the Palestinian Authority. Together, he suggested, perhaps they might persuade the PA to set a bold new policy prohibiting the sale by any Palestinian retailer of any Israeli products. They should in no way be discouraged, he further suggested, by the undeniable fact, in the unlikely event the PA were willing to take such a step, that it would be impossible to enforce.

    While his fellow activists chewed over this mildly disingenuous invitation, Sam said he could assure them, on behalf of the investors, that unlike other grocers throughout the occupied territories, Bravo would refuse to carry any goods grown or manufactured in the settlements. The activists went away reasonably satisfied, and the political pressure eased; construction proceeded.

    Costs were cut, frills discarded, workarounds found. The U became an L, the Plaza was left half-naked. Then Sharon went to the Temple Mount, and the second intifada erupted, vastly more brutal, more violent, more destabilizing, than the first. Given everything Sam had already told me about the reversals, obstacles, and difficulties he had faced on the Plaza project, this struck me as setting the bar awfully high for deeming something a challenge. The word must mean something different for him, I thought, at least in this context. It must have some more profound, or more personal, connotation.

    And that took five years to do. He was making it out of glass. Let him work. But the project opened. And they were shocked. To see it expand that way. It seemed a funny way to put it—the pride lay unclaimed in the middle of the sentence like property forgotten in a locker.

    He said it quietly, with a hint of something that sounded like doubt, or maybe it was wistfulness. After an hour and a half—slowing down for a few checkpoints, getting lost a few times—we came to the new Nablus Bravo. In the middle of a Thursday afternoon it was almost completely deserted. The staff of the new store made a fuss over Sam, who towered over all of them. He said that he had been energized, and inspired. Everyone agreed that the new location was off to a fine start.

    The grand opening had been jammed, and the store got extremely busy three times a day: first thing in the morning, at the end of the workday right before dinnertime, and in the evenings, when entire families came down from the surrounding neighborhood, on the booming outskirts of Nablus, just to hang, to see and be seen.

    At the moment, however, Sam and I were almost the only nonemployees in the store. The decor was Euro-minimalist, white paint and exposed air ducts, big primary-colored signage in simple geometric shapes, sans serif type. The merchandise on offer—cold cereal, packaged rice, processed meats, snacks and baked goods, yogurt and canned soups—was all but indistinguishable from what you would have seen in a supermarket in France or Italy.

    The air-conditioning was first-rate and it was beautifully cool. Arabic-language pop music drifted from speakers all over the store. It was, convincingly and indisputably, a modern, state-of-the-art supermarket. Maybe he was just thinking about how long it had been, how distant the vision he had initially pitched to the investors in that time of relative peace and progress between intifadas. Maybe he was reflecting on how he had devoted five years of his life, five years of near-constant struggle, negotiation, improvisation, and compromise in order to bring the convenience of one-stop-shopping and microwaveable suppers to Palestine.

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    He had kept his promise to the investors, to the people of the West Bank, to himself; there was a lot of pride in it. He said it very gravely, almost helplessly, like a uxorious man talking about his wife. He was a handsome guy in his mid-sixties, with Mastroianni cheekbones, a brush moustache, and a good head of dark hair.

    He had in general a sober and unsmiling demeanor, and yet he struck me as the happiest, or at least the most contented person, I had met over the course of a week in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. He was proud of his factory, a tidy compound of corrugated steel and cinder block structures behind a cinder block wall in Beit Furik, outside Nablus.

    He was proud of the machinery on his soap production line, the most advanced in all of Nablus, a town known since the early Middle Ages for the excellence of its soap. Most of all, he was proud of his soap. Tbeleh, was of the first quality, however, and organic, and his other ingredients were costly and pure. Tbeleh had introduced fragrances and special ingredients into the recipe—mint, cumin, Dead Sea mud—and his product shipped in a bewildering variety of shapes and packages aimed at various markets around the world: Italy, Japan, France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom.

    For the benefit of Sam Bahour, whose Palestinian American trade organization was considering whether it wanted to help fulfill Mr. Tbeleh went enthusiastically into considerable detail about his soap and its sale and manufacture, but I got the feeling he would have done the same if we had simply happened by. He really did seem to love soap, which was probably a good thing, I reflected, since he seemed to have had relatively little choice in the matter.