Is this it?!

Sean Keener's Personal Blog

November 18th, 2015

Travel equals Learning

November 17th, 2015

Simple Moments

As I get older, I’m 42 years old when I’m writing this post, I appreciate and love this value.

As a young person, I was looking for that rush, and EPIC moment in travel and life.

The trick of it all is, that epic moments are happening all the time, right now. Where ever you are right now, be present for a moment and appreciate the details around you.

The long-term travel that I’ve done has helped me slow down and take the time to appreciate the simple moments in life.

For example, it’s 6:12 am on a Tuesday in November in the Pacific Northwest. It’s dark, it’s rainy, and I have a lovely cup of coffee. Just writing this short post…I’m injoying it.

Cheers to you and Seeking Pleasure in the Simple Moments & Details


Why only look for the big moment, spectacle or adventure when you travel? Try stopping along the way to enjoy all the little moments.

How do you enjoy the simple moments and details when you travel? What are the small things you enjoy in your everyday life?

CHALLENGE: The first thing in the morning ask yourself a question – “What would make me happy today?” Whatever pops into your head try to prioritize and make it happen.

What was the first thought you had? How did fulfilling it make you happy? How can doing this exercise each day help you find pleasure in the simple moments and small details when you travel?

November 16th, 2015

What is EcoTourism?

Google defines Ecotourism as:

“tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.”

Googling the definition of Responsible Travel brought me this:

“Responsible travel is a new way of traveling for those who’ve had enough of mass tourism. It’s about respecting and benefiting local people and the environment – but it’s about far more than that.” via

The question of What is Ecotoursim? and What is Responsible Travel? brings me back to a value of the Indie Travel Manifesto:

Learn the economic, political and environmental context of my host culture

That value, works for me as a guide towards responsible travel.

The very act of learning, brings awareness, and the ability to make informed decisions on my choices while I travel.

EcoTourism & Responsible Travel

You’ve heard about traveling responsibly, conservation, and ‘leaving only footprints’ when you travel, but how can you tell what is actually responsible tourism?
Do you try to travel responsibly? How do you define ecotourism and how important is it to you? (Be honest.) What are some ways you can travel responsibly and how you can tell if a company/tour is actually eco-friendly or not?
Have you ever been on an eco-trip? If you have photos, show us!

November 15th, 2015

Contributing to the local economy when travelling

1) Goto the food markets, and buy from local vendors and merchants vs (KFC/McDonalds)
2) Stay at a local guesthouse, AirBnB, or a local hotel vs Marriott/Hilton/Some Chain
3) Goto local meet-ups, or Craigslist and more to find out what locals are interested in and meeting about. Go, listen, learn.

Give Back to the Local Economy

What are 3 ways you can make an effort to give back to the local economy when you travel?
CHALLENGE: Where did you go, what did you buy? How did buying from a smaller local place differ than going to a big chain? Do you feel like you helped give back to the local economy? What are some benefits of giving back, versus some potential issues with buying from small, family-run businesses. These may differ for those traveling abroad versus at home.

November 14th, 2015

Cut Crap from your life, not just expenses

Today’s prompt is about cutting expenses, which is super practical when saving for a big trip. I analyze at least once a year all of my personal and business expenses.

1) Which ones am I still using, and provide value
2) Am I spending money on something that is not aligned with my core values and purpose? (If so, AXE it)

When I look back at what I actually spent money on, I can’t kid myself, it’s there in black and white and evidence of what I value in this world.

I read the book Essentialism earlier this year and the thought processes that I went through helped me get to a place where I’m thinking 1st, about what to cut out of my life, and the resulting expenses will follow.


Cutting Expenses

Think about what you spend money on that isn’t a necessity, whether it be a fancy coffee, going out to lunch instead of packing one, or paying for cabs instead of taking public transportation.

When you are getting ready to travel what can you do to cut back on your expenses? Is there anything you do differently before you travel versus during?

CHALLENGE: Find something that you can save money on and commit to it for a week. What did you cut back on? How difficult was it to make this change? How much money did you save? Now search online and find out where you can afford a ticket (plane, train, bus) with the money you’ve saved.(If you are having trouble thinking of ways to cut back, check out our post on the subject.

November 13th, 2015

5 Travel Photos

Keener Kids "Surfing"

Twins Pacific City


Kai Giggle

Pepper Sand Pacific City

We want to see your 5 favourite travel photos!
CHALLENGE: Share your top 5 favourite photos from your adventures. They can be places you found beautiful, amazing food, or silly selfies.
Haven’t been on a big RTW trip yet? We want to see your photos too! Show us your favourite family trips, your five favourite places to visit in your hometown, or go on Google/Pinterest/Instagram and share photos of the five places you want to visit the most!

November 12th, 2015

Packing Light and Simple

I like to start with a small bag, then work backwards from there to “fill” it, making sure to leave some space.

Here are my 2 favorite bags now that are carry-onable, and enough to travel around the world with.

The Tortuga Backpack

and the Minaal

Both bags, are a superb and will force you to pack light. Injoy!

Show us what is in your pack!

CHALLENGE 1: Share with us what’s in your pack right now, or what you bring on a long-term trip. Have you changed how much you bring since you first started our challenge?

CHALLENGE 2: Pretend you are going on a six-month trip and pack a bag. Show us what you are bringing. Do you think you should bring more? Bring less? Do you have any questions about what you should pack that you’d like to ask the community to help answer?

November 11th, 2015

Phrozen to your phone

After watching Rolf travel around the world in 2010 with no bags, I think a passport, access to money and the clothes are my back are the only things I HAVE to have.

If I had to bring 1 item, it’s a smartphone. There is so much value packed into that thing. It’s also the biggest crutch and distractor for awesome experiences. See photo below.
phrozen to your smartphone

Photo courtesy of Benji Wagner of Polerstuff

Being “Phrozen” to your smartphone, is the exact opposite of being present in life. How can I engage to the world around me, if my face and attention is buried in my phone? How can you?
What’s your #1 thing you cannot travel without (besides your passport or money)?

November 9th, 2015

Cultural Paranoia – don’t be a Panic Merchant

I’ve stopped watching and reading the news for sometime now for a bunch of reasons. One of the big ones besides it doesn’t add joy to my life, and from what I can tell, those around me, is the cultural paranoia of “news”.

“If it bleeds, it leads”. Every hear that? – sounds like a fun way to run a business, eh?

I LOVE this value of the Indie Travel Manifesto, “Practice Caution, Not Paranoia

When I used to watch the news, or when I run into people that bow at the alter of news, sometimes, these folks appear to live in a state of fear. They are fearful of this and fearful of that.

If the topic turns to international travel, it’s hard for me to believe, but there are still some folks who this is is “dangerous” over there. Where ever that is.

In the 2015 Peace/Danger Index the USA was 92 out of 162 in peacefulness and considered “medium” from a peaceful standpoint. Cuba is considered more peaceful according to this index.

Lists like this aside, every country or place in the world has places that are less safe and more safe. I’ve found being paranoid about it, is the WORST thing todo. Even going to “dangerous” places, is often safe in my experience. Locals are still living and going about their daily life.

Co-Founder of BootsnAll, Chris Heidrich used to call these people “Panic Merchants” – Folks that were buyers and sellers of panic.

I choose to not be one. What’s your choice?

When traveling it’s good be be cautious and safe, but you don’t want to become so paranoid about your safety that you don’t enjoy your journey.

How can you practice travel caution without becoming paranoid?

November 7th, 2015

Co-creating the Indie Travel Manifesto

Is this it?! Sean Keener's Personal Blog

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