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Around the world in 131 days

RTW itinerary evolutionIt looks to me as it was yesterday when I started this great adventure that was about to lead me to meet awesome people and visit many wonders spread all over the planet. Well, now I can say “mission accomplished!

131 days after, I’m back home. It is time now to process all the information and experiences I’ve lived during the past months. Despite what will eventually come out from it, I want to state that this adventure has been worth living. I deeply believe it has changed myself somehow and it has opened my eyes in many ways that is hard to imagine that it would possible to had happened in the depressed version of Spain we are unfortunately living in, for too much time now… My intention is to write a post about some of those findings.

Actually, this trip was not as well planned as many people would have done… Improvisation has become my main rule (what a nice way to say that I’m a lazy boy! :P ). Starting with the fact that I booked my Round The World (RTW) ticket just 1 week before jumping into the first flight or other improvisations like adding many extra stops all with less than 24h notice, attending amazing events like Burning Man (with less that 2 days of preparation) or Geeks On a Beach in Philippines, etc. The image attached at the begining of this post illustrates the evolution of the itinerary during the time. As you can see, at the very beginning it was a two months trip to San Francisco but ended up visiting 23 cities in 15 countries and spending almost 5 months to complete all of it. What follows is the final itinerary: Barcelona – New York – Chicago – San Francisco – Palo Alto – Los Angeles – Las Vegas – Grand Canyon – Burning Man – Tokyo – Seoul – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Bangkok – Singapore – Boracay (Philippines) – Siem Reap (Cambodia) – Ubud/Bali (Indonesia) – Sydney – Melbourne – Dubai – London – Dublin – Madrid – Barcelona. I know I missed many important regions like LATAM, Africa or India among others, but this only means that I should do another trip shortly!

RTW Josep luggageSome random advice based on my experience are: reduce your luggages (mine was 17Kg but I guess that it could be reduced to 12 – 15Kgs). My suggestions for a summertime trip is to bring with you 4 t-shirts, 1 shirt, 1 shorts (it would be ideally if they are hybrid swimming pants), 1 trousers, 1 towel and sunglasses. In terms of underwear, I guess that being equipped for 7 days in a row would be enough. Regarding electronic devices, I would suggest to only bring with you your phone and maybe laptop/iPad. It could be a good thing to have an external battery. In my case I carried: 2 phones, laptop, ebook, iPad mini, 2 goPro’s (WTF!), a digital recorder, external battery, 5 tripods. Too much…
Going to hostels is a good option not only because you save a lot of money, but because it helps you to easily meet a lot of people and have fun.
Doing a little bit of planification will save you a lot of money in booking flights. I recommend you to use a RTW ticket because it is very cheap option and have a lot of advantages: it allows you to do as many changes on the dates as you want with no extra cost (you even can modify the dates of missed flights without cost… I did it!). There are many ways to take advantage of the frequent flyer’s miles, check this website to learn about how to hack this programs.
Focus on experiencing everything and meeting people. Leave no regret behind. Be free don’t set time constrictions to yourself. Embrace the unknown.

Maybe some of you are thinking in doing a trip like mine (I strongly encourage you to do so). In that case you may find useful to have the example of my final budget distribution so you can make an idea of how much money you could end up needing:

RTW trip budget allocation

Some notes here: In my case I avoided using hostels or airbnb. Avoiding hostels was a huge mistake. Airbnb did not fit well with my improvised trip strategy… (you need some time in advance to arrange you accommodation with airbnb). I spent a lot more money in accommodation but thanks God I had some friends on the way that hosted me (special thanks here to Di-Ann and Elies). I ended up being a pro user of booking.com, hotels.com, hoteltonight, hotelquicklyhipmunk and agoda.com among others.

The amount of money spent on flights is sensible higher because I booked many last minute flights (up to ten) that contributed a lot to increase this section. Here what I’ve been using to book the flights are skyscanner.com and kayak.com
Transportation includes everything (metro, taxi, boats, car, etc.) excluding flights. In my case, what contributed the most here is that I rented a car in California for 5 weeks and I drove like crazy! I did more than 8.000Kms, so I spent a lot in fuel.

Before ending this post, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all the people I’ve met during my way. This people has been the key element that made of this experience a huge success. Many times people ask me how I manage to meet all these interesting people… Well, there is no secret formula here. I guess it is a result of the not written rule that says “good people knows good people“. All I needed to have was a few contacts in advance and those people helped me with many introductions to some of their contacts. Also I relied a lot on the serendipity factor, it had a huge impact.

I will do my best to post shortly some conclusions of this trip, so stay tuned. As a headline I will say that “I’ve seen the future”!

Chicago Photo Gallery

Day 13-15. Chicago. July 14 – 16.

This was my first time in Chicago but unfortunately it was very short (less than 48h). Despite the little time I spent there, I liked a lot the city. Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the US in terms of population (2.7M people) following New York and Los Angeles. At the first sight Chicago looks like a little New York but less frenetic, a little bit more rural, cleaner and with a true passion to floral ornaments on the streets and gorgeous public fountains. What follows are some pictures I took there:

 

New York Photo Gallery

Some images I took in NYC:

Day #17: Palo Alto

Hello from Palo Alto (California). I know that my blog has been so quiet during my first 17 days of journey and that was not the initial idea… so lets change this!! :)

Two days ago I got here in Palo Alto where I will spend some weeks so thanks to this I will be able to sort out all the material I have accumulated so far and publish it on this blog. Hopefully I will do this during today and tomorrow and from then on I will try to post regularly my day to day activity.

So the following posts will be about my first 17 days in NYC, Chicago and Palo Alto but starting with the Menorca Tech Talk that took place June 28.

Lovely Dinner

Maybe you don’t know why my twitter handler is @joelovely right? Well, it has a really easy answer: my Catalan name is Josep Amorós wich in English translates into Joe Lovely… so my twitter handler is the direct translation of my real name :)

Some years ago I started doing “lovely things” and the most successful one was the “Lovely Dinners“. They were dinners that I curated inviting some people that I know but most of them didn’t know each other but I thought they should meet by any reason. The common aspect all the attendees share together is that they all have an entrepreneurial mindset.

Thursday last week we used the excuse of doing a farewell for my round the world trip to celebrated another edition of the Lovely Dinners (it may have been the dinner 10 or so). We choose to do it in Teresa Carles Restaurant in Barcelona. The place was beautiful, but the attendees were the best. We were finally 16 people (when we initially reserved room for 8 people).

The dinner started with a short introduction of myself and an explaining of my next adventure around the world. After that, each one shortly introduced to the rest of people. We decided to end up each 1 minute presentation with a piece of advice to the rest of people. Some of the advices were: Stay focus to one thing at a time. You don’t get lucky, you should fight for it: take risks. It is highly important to think about the business model since the begining and how to sell your product. Fail fast. Start doing that people needs regardless of how big or small is the initial project, but start doing something. It is always possible to do more and better. Travel as much as you can since is the best way to open your mind. Be perseverant. Do what excites you.

I’m really happy to see that the Lovely Dinners are consolidating but what really I like to see is that most of the projects of the attendees are also consolidating. On the first dinners, we could count the number of people involved in the projects represented in the meeting mainly as the same number of people sitting on the table (meaning that those projects were mainly personal projects). In this last edition I counted how many people were involved in the projects represented in the table. This time the number has raised up to 150 people!!

Since I wil be doing certain amount of videos during my next trip, I decided to start practising doing a short video of that lovely dinner. What follows is a short taste of that night:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_fvw5E_Tls&feature=youtu.be&width=600&height=420

Round The World trip

When I was a child I loved some cartoons called Around the World with Willy Fog. They were about the adventures of doing a round the world trip in 80 days. Well… some years later, I’m also doing a round the world trip! But in my case, it will last for 100 days :)
This idea started 6 weeks ago… in the beginning it started as a trip to Silicon Valley. From there it evolved a little bit adding to the trip New York city and also Singapore. But a few days later it ended up with a tour for 12 big cities. What follows is my itinerary:

2 July – 14 July: New York 
14 July - 16 July: Chicago
16 July - 4 September: San Francisco / Burning Man
4 September - 11 September:  Tokyo 
11 September - 13 September: Seoul
13 September - 17 September: Shanghai
17 September - 20 September: Hong Kong
20 September - 24 September: Bangkok
24 September - 28 September: Singapore
28 September - 2 October: Sydney 
2 October – 4 October: Melbourne
4 October - 7 October: Dubai 

My goal with this trip is to get some inspiration and see if there are some oportunities out there.

One cool feature of this trip is that I will try to do some video interviews to entrepreneurs from all the places I’m visiting. I also will focus on recording startup offices and also innovation centers like Singularity University or IDEO. Once this trip is over, I will try to do a kind of documentary about the innovation around the world. Any help/suggestion about people to meet in some of my destinations or places to visit are more than welcome.

I will be publishing in this blog some videos of my day to day during this journey, so keep tunned ;P

 

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