Category Archives: travel

Erasing Borders

In late September, I got back from a 40-day trip around the world. I saw quite the range: from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara, from the world’s northernmost capital to the world’s southernmost capital, from glaciers to jungles, from icebergs to beaches.

The concept of easy travel is a brand new thing.

You might enjoy this video, the first of a series of travel videos produced during the trip.

I’m convinced of one thing: provincialism is dead.

Continue reading Erasing Borders

Kosmopolitês

Diogenes, the famous Greek philosopher, was once asked where he was from. He replied “I am a citizen of the world”. The Greek word for this is kosmopolitês.

Later on, the Stoic crowd further developed Diogenes’ thought into an entire framework called cosmopolitanism. Essentially, the circle model of identity puts yourself in the middle of expanding concentric circles of importance: immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbors, humanity. This was underscored by an emphasis of the importance of a shared affinity for humanity.

I like cosmopolitanism. It seems like a healthy way to view the world.

Continue reading Kosmopolitês

Khayelitsha, South Africa

The largest slum in South Africa, Khayelitsha, is a township just outside Cape Town. It’s composed of around 400,000 residents, most of which are Xhosa.

It’s so much different from the expected mental image of an African slum, as it’s both on the beach and cold and windy. Residents walk around in parkas rather than t-shirts, at least in the winter, and the ground is white sand rather than clay or mud. Continue reading Khayelitsha, South Africa

Barter & Trade In Developing Markets

It’s always been amazing to me that a slum in Central America looks exactly the same as a slum in Uganda which looks exactly the same as a slum in India. The omnipresence of corrugated tin is staggering. But the residents of the slum don’t notice that. They’re a part of it. You’ve got to step outside of it to fully understand it. Continue reading Barter & Trade In Developing Markets

The Nicest Restaurant In New Zealand

“If I spin it just right, I’m in Wellington until tomorrow seeking venture capital. That sounds pretty impressive. It’s technically true-ish, because I’m always seeking venture capital.”

Whenever someone asks me my favorite place, I never hesitate. It’s New Zealand. Objectively and subjectively the most beautiful place on earth, probably because it’s as far away from the rest of the world as possible and, thus, a high threshold of entry for humanity. If you get there, you’ve wanted to get there. Continue reading The Nicest Restaurant In New Zealand

New Zealand’s South Island

I kicked off my two weeks in New Zealand by flying into Wellington, at the southern tip of the North Island. I travel frequently, but this flight had wiped me out. Four connections and forty-seven hours later, not to mention a seventeen-hour timezone difference, and I was ready to crash. I drove my little subcompact rental car to the hotel and fell headfirst into bed. Continue reading New Zealand’s South Island