November started as a nerdy month, with lots of work and not going out much, so I thought that I won´t learn much apart from the nerdy stuff I was working on, but never say never, I learned a lot and also managed to squeeze in some unexpected experiences right at the end. 🙂
- I have learned a shitload (to use the technical term) about e-book writing, formatting, self publishing and selling, whilst writing and finishing my new book in slovak Po Svete, Po Svojom, (See the world on your terms) that addresses the information gap in Slovakia about long term travelling, vagabonding and such. The key learning is, that if you want to write, publish and sell an e-book today, you can do so for FREE and YOURSELF. I´m over the writing bit, half way through the publishing bit and sorting out the selling bit (well, to the extent I can, can´t make people buy it, just have to get it in front of the right people!)
- I am also slowly becoming a WordPress.com wizzard – I built two more websites in November:
- www.posveteposvojom.com – my blog in slovak, for the above mentioned book, and where I´m going to share my experiences and knowledge from the road, about travelling etc. Check it out, even if you don´t speak slovak, Google translator does it for you. And if you have any slovak friends, it´ll help me a lot if you share it with them too, muchas gracias! 🙂
- www.cereliasperu.com – a new website for the animal rescue center I was volunteering for in October, read my Animal Rehabilitation post to find out more.
- Still on the nerdy side, I learned a lot about online checkout, donation and payment systems, how to integrate them on websites etc. And I found a great one for self publishers – whether it´s a book or something else you want to sell, these guys made it easier than picking your nose: www.gumroad.com
- I read The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, which is a great book to get you started running your own business, with very low upfront investment.
Nerdy shit, I know, but VERY useful if you want to make a living whilst travelling the world. Or actually, if you want to make a living working for yourself, doing what you love, without working for someone else. This month, I basically learned everything there is to build a website to sell a product, for almost nothing (or for free), with all the fluff that comes with it – checkout systems, email address with the website domain, best providers for a domain or blogging sites and their benefits or gaps.
So if you need a website built, or know someone who needs that, let me know 🙂
Ok, now to some non-nerdy, out in the world stuff!
- I learned how pisco is made (or in this case a kind of pisco, made from sugar cane, more likely called
aguardiente (fire water! :D)). I stayed one night on a farm that makes this, tasted the produce and then slept in a hammock right next to the machines and fermenting sugar cane juice, with great sweet smell. Almost got eaten by mosquitoes though…
- I learned about magic mushrooms, or psilocybin mushrooms from a good friend, whilst we were
collecting them from cowshit, up in the hills of rural Amazonia of Peru. They just grow there happily, the locals don´t know about them, so there´s always some hippie gringo running around the field collecting them. I wonder what the locals think 😀
- I finally learned to play a bunch of songs on my harmonica! For the slovaks and czechs, it´s Holubi Dum, Buraky, Colorado (Kabat), slovak hymn, Kdyz mne brali za vojacka, A od Presova, Dedinka v udoli, Krcmarik malicky. What a playlist for a party eh? I´m getting to a point where I can play almost anything I can whistle. Getting. Not there yet…
- I learned that it’s the end of the world on 21st of December 2012. BOOOOOOO. Well, I also learned that it’s not, it’s a new beginning, chance of something good happening in the world, which I’m going to celebrate without eating and drinking for three to four days and dancing with lots of other people on a mountain top in Bolivia (if everything works out! – stay tuned next month to hear about it).
- I presented about my work at the animal rescue center and about the importance of not using wild animals as pets to 6-12 year olds in a school in Pachacamac, near Lima, Peru. I put this one into the Challenge section too, because presenting to these kids several times was much harder than presenting to adults. Why? Think about how long is the attention span of a 6 year old, or how good they are to ask questions completely off topic (mostly about my beard, no hair, tattoos and piercings. They also couldn´t believe the colour of my eyes – blue…). Now multiply that by 10. But it was a great experience to have, I spent some time with the kids afterwards, went to the beach and explained everything about tattoos, beards and piercings to them 🙂
I found out that I´m pretty good at pottery and I also enjoy it a lot. Went to a 3 hour pottery class with a good friend near Lima, really enjoyed it and the result wasn´t that bad either:
- I hitchhiked almost 500 km across Peru, getting a good lesson on how it works here – pretty easy on the Panamericana, pretty difficult off it, in short.
- I have seen a wild sloth 🙂
So first I thought this month will be mainly about work and I won’t learn that much, but this list is not bad at all! Ended up to be a month loaded with new skills and experiences.
Hope you have learned something this month too! Let me know what, how it went in the comments section. And if you haven´t – WTF are you waiting for, don´t stagnate!