Monday, February 3, 2014


It's more fun in the Philippines.
(photos by me)

Banaue rice terraces
La Union
Calicoan before/after Haiyan (after photos by Paolo Manuel Soler)
Donate here for UNICEF Typhoon Haiyan.


Philippines Surf/Rain Seasons
T-shirt I designed (parody of 'RUN DMC' and 'RUN BKK')
Official tourism slogan for the Philippines.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Retire by 30

I put in my two weeks notice at 29 and retired on my 30th birthday.

I've never used a retirement calculator without getting some sort of coding error. Retirement blogs set 65 as the target age, or a goal of >$1 million usd net worth. Retirement is not some sort of elusive dream or complicated math formula. It only requires that you prioritize retirement over material goods/services. I'll detail my finances below, but it's much like weight loss advice, if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight.

save 1/2 of salary for 10 years.
have 5 salaries saved. (~6 counting interest)
buy an apartment worth ~5 salaries. 
rent it out for .35 salary per year. (.25 salary after taxes/HOAs)

so now you just have to live under 1/2 salary while working, and under 1/4 salary in retirement.

while working (big expenses):

housing (live with family or rent a garage)
food (don't eat out, eat less meat)
transportation (scooter, bicycle, or bus)
entertainment (drink before the bar, no smart phone)
clothes (goodwill, target)

while retired:

go to a country where 1/4 usd salary = the average salary.

from usa? go to brazil, costa rica.
from greece? go to el salvador or jordan.
from peru? go to nicarauga or cambodia.
from india? the philippines? go to nepal.

left: two garages i lived in

left: bike everywhere, shop at goodwill

***warning the following is political***

and once we're all living in nepal or somalia, global disparities will be understood.
if you fight for a place in influential society, you only make it more influential.
explore the world, live where it feels best, and fight for a place that you connect with.
by saving money you are using less resources and shrinking the human impact on the world,
and at the same time buying yourself more freedom in the future.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Surf Spots

Favorite surf spots. (photos by/of me)

1. El Salvador

El Zonte... (right point break, dec '12, chest to head, fast breaking, minimal wind, empty til 9am, 8 people after)
quite town
~$8usd/night bunk room, no wifi, Esencia Nativa

El Tunco (Sunzal)... (right point break dec '12, head high, slow breaking, minimal wind, empty til  6am, 30 people after)
ok bar scene fri/sat
~$7usd/night dorm room, wifi, Casa Makoi

2. Philippines

Puraran... (right reef break, oct '13, head high, fast breaking, 5-15 people)
quiet town
~$8usd/night private room, no wifi, Puraran Surf

Calicoan... (reef break, oct'13, double overhead, fast breaking, windy, miles of empty)
quiet town
Talk to Calicoan Surfers, no wifi

La Union (San Juan)... (beach break, sept '13, <waist high, closed out, slow breaking, empty til 7am, 20 people after)
 fri/sat karaoke on the beach & disco 15 mins away by trike
~$13usd/night private room, no wifi, Hacienda Peter's

Sairgao... (reef break, oct'13, overhead, fast breaking, windy,  'crowd nine')
bars every night, two discos fri/sat
~$15usd, wifi, A/C private room, Michael
3. Hawaii
4. Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur...
5. Bali

6. Guatamala
7. Socal
8. Norcal

Wish list.

1. Sumatra
2. Mexico
3. Sri Lanka
4. Madagascar
5. Costa Rica
6. Panama
7. Australia
8. Japan

Friday, January 31, 2014


Favorite cityscapes. (photos by me)

1. Rio
2. Venice
3. Manhatten
4. San Francisco
5. Paris
6. Hong Kong
7. Santorini
8. Florence
9. Cappadocia
10. Vegas
11. Dal Lake
12. Prague
13. Amsterdam
14. San Marino
15. Barcelona
16. Istanbul

Wish list.

1. Tokyo
2. Lijiang & Shangri La
3. Shanghai
4. Portofino
5. Dubrovnik
6. Pompeii
7. Damascus Old City
8. Old Havana
9. Chiang Mai

(larger files/prints of photos available

Travel Collections

Travel souvenirs are for sale in most popular tourist destinations, and sometimes it's nice to have a memento to remember your trip that can be easily carried. The most visible of these is the flag patch you see sewn on the outside of a backpackers pack, but as you can see above you can very quickly begin to look like a Nascar driver. I've seen friends collect magnets, pins, mini-statues, or a different type of souvenir from each destination. The coolest collection I've seen was in the movie 'Saving Private Ryan,' a soldier kept the dirt of each location he took in battle. Personally I started collecting shot glasses and now I'm locked into to carrying these fragile things all over, still possibly better than sewing 48 patches on my pack, do you collect anything physical on your journeys or just friendships/memories/skills/photos?


Favorite festivals/nightlife. (photos by me)

1. Burning Man
2. Ibiza Nightlife
3. Thailand Nightlife
4. Rio Carnival
5. San Fremin
6. Las Vegas Nightlife
7. Greek Island Nightlife
8. Bay to Breakers
9. Summer Olympics
10. Amsterdam Bars
11. Halloween USA
12. Philippines Nightlife
13. NYC Nightlife
14. Hollywood Nightlife
15. World Series

Wish list.

1. Holi
2. Carnival Bahia
3. World Cup
4. OktoberFest
5. Mardi Gras
6. Songkran
7. Goa Nightlife
8. Love Parade
9. Queens Day
10. Jamaica Dance-hall
11. Carnival Trinadad
12. Superbowl
13. NBA Finals
14. Winter Olympics
15. Golf at St Andrews
16. Wimbledon
17. Excape from Alcatraz Triathlon

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Man Made Wonders

Favorite man made wonders. (photos by me)

1. Pyramids of Egypt
2. Great Wall of China
3. Machu Picchu
4. Acropolis/Parthenon
5. Angkor Wat
6. Tikal
7. Petra
8. Taj Mahal
9. Colosseum of Rome
10. Forbidden City
11. Karnak Temple
12. Vatican
13. Hatshepsut Temple
14. Albambra
15. Chichen Itza
16. Temple Mount
17. Panteon
18. Gold Temple
19. Burj Kalifia
20. Eiffel Tower
21. Temple of Heaven
22. Hagia Sofia
23. Golden Gate Bridge
24. Bali Rice Terraces
25. Petronas Twin Towers
26. Notre Dame
27. Christ the Redeemer
28. Banaue Rice Terrace
29. St Mark's Basilica
30. Temple of Dawn
31. Temple of the Emerald Budda
32. Cordoba Mosque
33. Egyptian Museum
34. British Museum
35. Louvre Museum
36. St. Louis Arch
37. Guggenhiem Bilboa
38. Empire State Building
39. Guggenhiem NYC

Wish list.

1. Easter Island
2. Potala Palace at Lhasa
3. Mecca
4. Teotihuacan
5. Bagan/Shwedagon Stupa
6. Kremlin/St. Basil's Cathedral
7. Borobudur
8. Neuschwanstein
9. Stonehenge
10. Golden Pavilion
11. Qin Terra Cotta Warriors
12. Abu Simbel
13. Leaning Tower of Pisa
14. Mont St Michel
15. Versailles
16. Meenakshi
17. Delphi
18. Baalbek
19. Chartres Cathedral
20. Rushmore
21. Hermitage Museum
22. Chambord Chateau

(larger files/prints of photos available