Boracay Sunset

I shot this on Boracay Island, Philippines on June 23rd, 2010.

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Boracay Island

A young boy runs into the ocean. Photo taken on Boracay Island, Aklan, Phillipines. July 17, 2010. View on Flickr, Photo.Duncan.co, Imgur, or download the full resolution version. (this photo is the cover of Friday Mixtape 223)

Don’t Live Someone Else’s Version of a Life

You’ll be much happier if you create your own life and live the way YOU want. Don’t start living the life other people have told you to lead. Live your own life.

Travel allows you to meet people that have chosen to lead unique and interesting lifestyles. For instance last night we went out for Indian food with a great kiwi couple. They’re going to work as caretakers of a hotel in Nantucket for the next year or so. They’ve already travelled extensively and they’re choosing to do interesting work in the hospitality industry because that’s what they enjoy doing. They’re totally excited about their next adventure.

We’re now staying with some friends we met in Western Australia. They have such a wonderful lifestyle here in Balina / Astonville. They can’t go anywhere in town without running into friends. They’re constantly joking around and laughing with them. They have an incredible home and are very very happy. What’s interesting is that they’re doing pretty much the exact opposite of what we’re doing now. They have deep roots in the community and they are so settled in that they’ll probably never move away. And why should they? They’re some of the friendliest and happiest people I’ve ever met. They are the consummate locals. They know everyone and everything about this slice of the earth. They laugh and smile more in one day than I do in a week!

Beyond those two groups of people we’ve met a guy who is literally walking around the entire planet. He’s been doing it since 1998 and won’t finish since 2016 or so. We’ve also met a great guy who rode a horse all the way across Australia.

All of these people have setup their lives in a way that I didn’t even know was on the menu of lifestyle choices until I met them. You can choose to make your life whatever you want.

Don’t buy into anyone else’s version of a life, especially one that has been sold to you be the brilliant marketing people of the world.

Do your own thing.

Ignore everyone.

Especially me!

In completely unrelated news, I’ve posted new photos over at Photo.Duncan.co

I have posted many more images over at Duncan Rawlinson Photography

Also, check out this video and this article as they both relate to this post.

You Are Going To Die


Boracay Phillipines Sunset (view full size)

Newsflash. We are all going to die.

That’s a handy tool to think about when faced with this question:

“Is this exactly what I want to do with my life?”

If not, your knee jerk reaction may be to assume you have no choice. That you are bound by circumstance.

You do have a choice.

What exactly do you have to lose when you remember you’re going to die?

Nothing. There is only now.

Act accordingly.

2010 – Year In Review

“Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder…” – Henry David Thoreau

Last year I wrote a “year in review” style post about the year in my life. I figured I’d keep that going again this year. It’s fun to look back and ahead to the new year.

Dorothy and I have been fortunate enough to have another fantastic year. We’re healthier and happier than ever.

The Start of 2010
We started 2010 living in a chalet in whistler complete with hot tub and BBQ courtesy of VANOC. The first few months of 2010 we’re spent going back and forth between Whistler and Vancouver. We had two AMAZING roommates in Duncan and James. As you can imagine living in a chalet at Whistler was quite a treat and having two great roommates was just bonus! It was a fascinating time up in Whistler. The place was being turned upside down in preparation for the olympics and people we’re partying like crazy.

I can now check off “live in whistler” from my bucket list…

During this time I got to see the Olympic torch go by a few times. I streamed it live on my phone and friends from various places around the world watched from my phone. In fact 2010 was the first time I ever did any live streaming from my phone.

In order to get ready for our big trip I started to pear down on our possessions. Anything we didn’t want to keep was either sold, given away, or tossed out. We’d already been living a minimalist lifestyle but this process still took longer than we’d anticipated. It really is remarkable how much “stuff” works it’s way into our lives. Our goal was to get rid of everything we possibly could. From furniture to to clothes. We we’re left with a few items which we put in storage. Things like our vintage bicycles and photo albums. Things that you can’t really replace.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics
Before we knew it a little event called the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games took place! Dorothy worked to help put the olympics together so we had “backstage” access to many of the events. We had an official VANOC vehicle with no driving or parking restrictions. Since we we’re at Whistler for part of the games we could actually walk to some of the events. We ran into Buzz Aldrin at men’s super G. I was more excited to see him than to see the skiing… My family also came out to Vancouver to see some of the events so it was really fun.

It was a crazy fun time. We we’re working, partying, enjoying the Olympics, spending time with family, and getting ready to leave town.

The end of the olympics we’re really special for Dorothy and I. It was the most incredible day I’ve ever spent in Vancouver. People we’re lined up at bars all over the city to watch Canada play the United States in Men’s Gold Medal Hockey. After we watched Canada win at a pub I went out into the streets and saw the city literally erupt with joy. Someone was smart enough to record the audio of the city as Canada won. You can watch it (or rather listen to it) below.

There was a massive party in the streets and total strangers we’re hugging and high fiving everywhere. It was amazing and i’ll never forget it. This epic street party lasted all day long, right up until the closing ceremonies.

Being at the closing ceremonies was an incredible experience as well. It was the end of a chapter in our lives. Dorothy had been working day and night for YEARS to help put the olympics together and it all came to a close on that night. It was an emotional and exhilarating time for everyone.

Here are my Vancouver 2010 Olympics photos.

It’s hard to believe that was just the start of 2010 for us.

#RTWnow
After the Olympics wrapped up we went on a Round The World trip. #RTWsoon went into #RTWnow mode! (RTWnow is the Twitter hashtag for people who are on Round The World trips and want to share content and experiences with each other.)

On April 1st 2010 we flew to Toronto, dropped off dog with Dorothy’s family and then we flew to Paris. We’ve had an amazing trip that will literally have taken us all the way around the world when we finish.

Abbreviated list of cities we’ve visited in the 2010 calendar year:

    Whistler, Canada
    Vancouver, Canada
    Toronto, Canada
    Paris, France
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Casce, Portugal
    Sintra, Portugal
    Madrid, Spain
    Barcelona, Spain
    Majorca, Spain
    Marseille, France
    Interlaken, Switzerland
    Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
    Gryon, Switzerland
    Venice, Italy
    Rome, Italy
    Vatican City
    Athens, Greece
    Santorini, Greece
    Ios, Greece
    Mykonos, Greece
    Athens, Greece
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Manila, Philippines
    Cataclan, Philippines
    Boracay, Philippines
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Melbourne, VIC, Australia
    Geelong, VIC, Australia
    Adelaide, SA, Australia
    Port Augusta, SA, Australia
    Cooper Pedy, SA, Australia
    Uluru/Ayers Rock, NT, Australia
    Alice Springs, NT, Australia
    Tenant Creek, NT, Australia
    Katherine, NT, Australia
    Darwin, NT, Australia
    Kununura, WA, Australia
    Broome, WA, Australia
    80 Mile Beach, WA, Australia
    Port Hedland, WA, Australia
    Krratha, WA, Australia
    Exmouth, WA, Australia
    Cape Range, WA, Australia
    Coral Bay, WA, Australia
    Carnarvon, WA, Australia
    Monkey Mia, WA, Australia
    Denhim, WA, Australia
    Shark Bay, WA, Australia
    Point Quobba, WA, Australia
    Kalbarri, WA, Australia
    Hutt River Province (A ‘sovereign’ area within Australia. We met “Prince” Leonard himself)
    Geraldton, WA, Australia
    Jurien Bay, WA, Australia
    Perth, WA, Australia
    Fremantle, WA, Australia
    Rockingham, WA, Australia
    Bunbury, WA, Australia
    Busselton, WA, Australia
    Margaret River, WA, Australia
    Augusta, WA, Australia
    Cape Leeuwin, WA, Australia
    Albany, WA, Australia
    Esperance, WA, Australia

The Now
As I write this we’re at our “secret” spot for Christmas. A friend of ours who has been traveling around Australia for the last 18 years “reckons” it’s his favorite spot in all of Australia. Only the locals even know it exists because it’s way off the beaten track. So we’re very happy to have been invited here. We wouldn’t want to spoil the fun and tell people about this place. It’s quite nice with no tourists here and the fishing is fantastic! Living the beach lifestyle and living off the sea is like a dream.

We still have the entire East Coast of Australia to see including the Great Barrier Reef! We will fly back to Los Angeles on May 1st 2011. About a week later we’ll fly to Vancouver, then Toronto, and finally we’ll be in the 1000 Islands area for part of summer 2011.

This trip has changed my life forever.

I’ve never been more inspired and happy in my life.

My Photography In 2010
Just a quick note on my photography.

I’ve been into digital photography since about 1999 when I bought my first digital camera. I’ve probably taken almost a million photographs by now. Photography is such an important part of my life. In 2010 I really focused on my photography school. I’ve found that helping other people learn photography is really fun.

In 2010 I sold all my Nikon gear (lenses and all) and switched entirely over to Canon. So far I’m happy with Canon but Nikon is still far superior in terms of the ergonomics of the camera itself.

I’m starting to really hate flickr and I’m still looking for a better alternative. I have yet to find a better photo sharing and hosting service. I’ll probably try photoshelter this year.

Speaking of photos… Here are some random photos from this year. I would upload higher resolution versions but we have slow internet here at the moment.

Here are some photos from this year:

Things I Hope To Do In 2011
I stopped doing “new years resolutions” a few years ago. I find new years resolutions to be like “the secret” style thinking where you just think positive thoughts and hopefully something good will happen to you. I believe in taking concrete action towards very specific goals and just making things happen instead of letting things happen to you.

As ridiculous as it sounds, I plan to embark on another epic trip.

I hope to continue traveling whilst working (online) for the foreseeable future. The digital nomad lifestyle is full of adventure and excitement. I’m not keen to stop that anytime soon. Maybe we’ll drive from Alaska to South America in customized Mercedes Sprinter Van? Who knows… As of now there is no plan for fall 2011.

I hope to spend a big chunk of the Canadian summer with my father in the 1000 islands.

I will probably publish the ebooks I’m writing now. Maybe I’ll sell a copy or two. Who knows, I’m just doing it because I enjoy writing anyway. I might just give them away.

I think I’ll stop doing any consulting work for the time being. It’s just not that interesting anymore.

I will dramatically improve my photography school in 2011. I will update the course content, improve the student forum, change the price structure (raise prices), and make it scale a little better. A Chinese outfit is looking to license the course and it’s content so that could work out nicely. We’ll see…

Wrap It Up Already!
I hope you all had a great year and wish you the best in 2011!

Dorothy and I miss you guys.

Here’s to 2011!! Happy New Year everyone!!