Parents, Kid(s) Under 2, Dream of Traveling the World?

We want you to join us in being parents outside the box

Are you a young (25-40) parent, with kid(s) under two years old that wants to travel the world? Then we want you to join us.


We’re new parents. Our daughter, Olivia, just turned four months old. As you know, the shift to parenthood is a dramatic one. Life changes. It’s suddenly difficult to relate to those without kids—it’s impossible to understand the intensity of the passion and devotion you have for this child, and the shift in priorities, until you’re faced with it.

But on the other end, many parents are caught up in the hustle and bustle of status quo life. They’re content to burn the hours of the day on a decent job, to buy a decent house, to get the kids in a decent school, and to find a two weeks a year to forget about the the other 50.

Nothing against it, the average life has just never been for us.

A Compelling Vision, Excited To Jump Out of Bed

Think back to your childhood. It’s Christmas Eve. No matter how hard you try, you just can’t fall asleep. You lay, staring at the ceiling, trying to hush your mind so Christmas can be here.

What compelling vision gets you out of bed?

You open your eyes. Not like normal days, where the lids seems to take the strength of an army to lift. Today, they fly open like a cork popping out of a bottle of champagne.

It doesn’t matter that you hardly slept. It doesn’t matter that the sun isn’t up yet. It doesn’t matter that the room is cold. Before you can finish your first full breath, you throw back the covers and bounce out the door and down the hall.

Don’t you wish you could have felt that excited to wake up today?

Do Something Radically Different Today

Today began very routinely. Then I decided to step outside my comfort zone. I decided to make a quiche.


My quiche crust—filled with black beans as pie weights

I’ve cooked eggs many ways. I cooked my first scrambled eggs standing on a chair. Then I discovered the delicacy of fried eggs on toast. I mastered the over-medium egg in the kitchen of my first apartment. Now, the sunny-side up egg and the frittata—or “crustless” quiche—are standard breakfast in our home.

But while you can throw a frittata together in haste, a quiche must be made with care. You must make a delicate, buttery dough, well in advance. You must blend the perfect balance of eggs and cream for a silky custard filling. You must gently layer cheese, bacon and onions so they float evenly once the custard is set. And finally, you must handle the golden crust like an expensive vase.

Why would I take on such a daring task, you ask?

The cons are loud and clear. I will spend far hours more than it takes to prepare our usual breakfast. I will likely waste costly ingredients making a mistake along the way. And I fully expect the end result will be a failure—I only hope it will be edible.

But, my dear friends, I assure I embark upon this journey enthusiastically.

Let me explain why.

I can remember the last time I made sunny-side up eggs—because it was this morning. But I can’t remember a time last year that I made them. There were many, but none worth remembering.

I’m sure the series of unmemorable acts made slow, incremental refinements to my skill. And I no doubt owe this morning’s delicious breakfast to those cumulative hours of practice. But those acts did not provide anything groundbreakingI did not learn anything new.

But, today’s costly and likely-to-fail experiment will be remembered. And it will offer more lessons than I will be able to learn from at once.

I’ve heard it said that you move mountains one small rock at a time. But that’s nonsense. The earth shakes suddenly and violently, moving them in huge pieces, or even all at once.

Sure, there is a time and a place for refinement. But leaps are made by doing something radically different. And passion and creativity are fueled by shaking things up.

You don’t have to make a quiche, but do something wild and different today. I assure you, you won’t forget it.

p.s., if you want to know how my quiche turned out, you can sign up for my mailing list here and I’ll send you a piece (digitally, of course).

And, if you’d like to take a crack at this yourself, you can find the recipe in Bouchon, the cookbook from Thomas Keller.

7 Easy Steps To Break Any Habit

I discovered a new feature in my old car today.


Photo courtesy of: Krzysztof Kozerski

I returned from the store in a hurry to get inside. A bag of groceries over each shoulder, a third in my left hand, and my free hand juggling a water bottle and a phone. I hit the button to lock the door. It locked—as expected. Then it unlocked—not expected.

I paused. I squinted. I questioned my sanity. I pressed the button again. It unlocked again.

The Best Tool for an Irregular Work Schedule

An irregular work schedule can make it difficult to optimize your life. I know because for most of my life I’ve worked irregular hours. First as a server and bartender, and now as a system operator for an electric company.


Photo courtesy of:

In a few weeks I leave shift-work behind for a “9-to-5″ opportunity. In celebration of a new journey, I want to share best tool I’ve used to improve my life over the last few years, despite the challenges of an irregular work schedule.

3 Ways I’m Freshening Up This Spring

Today, spring is officially here. You can certainly see it in Portland. I took the picture below a few days ago while on a walk to a nearby park.


Spring is here in Portland, Oregon

Spring is a time to freshen up. It’s not like New Years, when last year’s goals get regurgitated and wiped off for a few weeks. It’s a time when the changing season can actually inspire you to make something happen.

So it’s time for spring cleaning. This year I’m not just cleaning out the garage and getting rid of junk I haven’t used in years. I’m also cleaning out my routine to ensure I’m focusing on my most important goals.

A Lesson in Optimism from My Ukrainian Mother-In-Law

My mother-in-law bought clothes for my daughter. That may not seem significant, but let me explain why it is.

She lives in Ukraine and came to help us in the transition to becoming new parents.

I’m sure you’ve heard that Ukraine is in turmoil. They’ve ousted an administration for reneging on a promise, had territory taken by Putin’s Russia, and are in the midst of a civil war in the eastern, Russian-speaking districts (see a great timeline of events here).


The current Ukrainian exchange rate: 22 hryvnias for 1 U.S. dollar.

What Can I Teach My Daughter?

Our daughter is almost five weeks old. The adrenaline rush that comes with being a new parent is wearing off and I’m thinking clearer about the journey ahead. The opportunity to shape a life is here.


A big part of parenting is putting boundaries around choices. I’m sure she’ll head straight for the cake unless it’s off limits until after dinner. But when all is said and done, you don’t teach choices.

This Is Not Perfect, Check It Out

I’ve struggled to get traction on my dream. That’s because I really don’t know what my dream is. I know what it feels like. But I can’t really identify the key ends of what the dream is.

Balcony in Kihei, Maui

From the balcony of our vacation condo in Kihei, Maui.

You see, I picture myself writing this blog while sitting on a balcony with clear blue water as far as I can see. Sipping coffee while enjoying the crisp, morning breeze. Thinking about the great things I’ve learned, and finding something valuable in it to share with you.

But the dream is not the tropical locale. It’s not the escape from a 9-to-5 job. It’s not even the blog I’m writing.

Those are trimmings—and I certainly hope they come with the dream—but they aren’t the dream.