Photo Essay #1: 15 Exotic Offices & Writing Nooks from Around the World (+ How to Travel Anywhere!)

Photo Essay #1: 15 Exotic Offices & Writing Nooks from Around the World (+ How to Travel Anywhere!)

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

– T. S. Eliot


Final Day Reminder: Today is the last day to enter our Start a Blog Career Change Challenge and win a $500 ticket to World Domination Summit 2014. For details and guidance, watch my short video tutorial and two-step process on How to Start a Blog in Under 10 Minutes with Zero Tech Experience. There’s also a link to save 20% on your blog setup through our partner, which also expires tonight at midnight. Of course, you can set up a totally free blog, too – it’s your world!

As a follow up, next week I’ll be sharing a link to officially register your blog for the challenge, and I’ll also be releasing something completely new for you all (that I’m super excited about) … The Live Your Legend Creator’s Guild. It will be a private community where writers (and other creators) can come together to share ideas and inspiration, get feedback and keep each other accountable. And it will also be totally free to those with a blog. 😉

Now for today’s fun…


If It Encourages Adventure, DO IT.

Adventure is woven into the foundation of what we believe at Live Your Legend.

For me, that means pushing limits, exploring new places, starting new projects and doing things that make me uncomfortable. In fact, one of the easiest ways for me to decide whether I’ll do something or not is to ask a simple question: “Will this likely lead to more adventure in my life?”

This quick reflection has guided my decisions for years.

This is probably why Chelsea and I happen to be obsessed with travel. We spent a month in Thailand earlier this year, and I was in Russia with my dad for another few weeks this summer. Last week, we booked trips to Costa Rica, Greece and Croatia for next year. Following that, we’ll be headed on a year-long round-the-world trip (where I hope to meet up with many of you!).

At this point, travel has become somewhat of an obsession.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

And for those of you who think money’s an excuse for staying where you are, I guess I should mention that Chelsea and I have not bought an international ticket in over three years. We book everything using airline miles and even get to travel business class, while having only paid a total of $87-$250 in airline taxes per trip (for proof, I wrote How You Can Get Paid $6,100 to Spend a Month Traveling Thailand (or anywhere).

Sure, it takes work and planning, but getting to travel like a millionaire for less than the cost of a coach flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles is well worth it. And I now even have a Travel Ninja, Travis Sherry, to sort all this stuff out for me. He’s a longtime member of our LYL community, and you’ll hear a lot more from him soon as he books our round-the-world trip. He seriously works magic with this stuff. Check out Travis’s free tools here.

I plan to write a ton more about travel and how incredibly accessible it is in the coming months. Nothing has taught me more about the world.

Build Habits that Promote Adventure

Over the years of exploring, I’ve gotten more and more into photography. I’ve never considered myself a “photographer,” but I’ve loved taking pictures as I see new places. And recently I’ve fallen in love with Instagram (yeah, I know I’m late to the party – you can follow my adventures here). It finally makes me feel like a real artist, and it’s inspired my picture taking to a whole new level.

And what’s fun about something like writing or photography is that as you get in the habit of sharing your work with the world, you find yourself doing things that lead to more adventure and better stories to write and photograph.

So the hobby becomes a catalyst for more adventure. It’s a beautiful cycle. In fact, just last week I found myself going on an 18-mile run across the Golden Gate Bridge long before daybreak because I was so excited about catching a sunrise picture from the hill behind the bridge. And it was breathtaking!

Golden Gate Sunrise

Ever since my writing and blogging hobby turned into Live Your Legend and a real business in the past few years, I’ve been able to spend a ton more time seeing the world. Which means a lot more pictures!

And because these are more “work adventures” than simple vacations, I often find myself working pretty damn hard as I explore. That means I have to find offices and creative spaces on the fly.

Today, I’d like to launch the first of many photo essays – a way to share my adventures and art with all of you with hopes that it will inspire you to do the same. Each essay will have a theme, and appropriately enough, today’s theme has something to do with writing and exploring. 🙂


Hat tip to my good friend James Clear who inspired me with his gorgeous photography and photo essays.

15 Exotic Offices & Writing Nooks from Thailand to Tuscany and Back…

1. A little jungle lodge about three hours outside Chiang Mai, Thailand.

2 Chiang Mai Jungle

2. The rooftop pool office in Bangkok. This is how we started every morning.

3 Bangkok pool

3. From a breakfast nook at Relax Bay, Koh Lanta.

4 Koh Lanta breakfast nook

4. The best office swing on the planet – at a small hotel in Phuket.

5 Puhket Swing

5. A poolside spot in a hill town inn near Ao Nang.

6 Ao Nang Pool

6. Best. Stand-up desk. Ever. About 7 minutes walk from my house in SF!

7 Golden Gate Stand Up Desk

7. Waterside in Lake Tahoe. This is the very spot where I first thought of the Live Your Legend movement and created How to Connect with Anyone.

8 Lake Desk

8. Sunset inspiration from a small corner office in Tahoe.

9 Lake Tahoe Cove

9. Picnic table under the vines in the backyard of a small house in Bargecchia, Tuscany. This is where I created the 27 Questions to Find Your Passion Workbook, part of our free Passionate Work Toolkit.

10 Tuscan vines

10. A balcony office in Kona, Hawaii – where I launched How to Connect with Anyone.

11 Kona deck desk

11. Fielding customer support later that day in Kona.

12 Kona pool desk

12. Happy hour writing in Hawaii.

13 Kona Happy hour desk

13. Our $130 “VIP #1” bungalow in Relax Bay, Koh Lanta. This was our most expensive room all trip and by far the best hotel room of my life. Most nice rooms in Thailand were $40-$50.

14 Relax Bay Deck

14. I’m not that comfortable sharing this, but in the spirit of full disclosure I felt it was only fair to show you that working remote isn’t always a bundle of roses…

Here’s the contrast from the first picture up top. You have no idea how hot and humid it was. And I happen to have a brutal sweating problem. Soaked shirt, steamed screen, but well worth it…

15 Sweating on long beach

Make Adventure Your Addiction

That doesn’t mean I recommend a BASE jump from cliffs or speeding trains. It just want you to seek out the path that makes for a story well written and a life well lived.

Photography has been the perfect lens for pushing me to do the things I would not normally do. It also makes life (and workouts) a lot more fun. For instance, that last picture was the last place I wanted to work, but I had to get something out and I thought it’d make a fun picture. 😉

Embrace habits and hobbies that encourage and inspire new adventures. Pretty much any form of art will do.

It’s hard to believe how a simple writing habit years ago lead me to experience some of these places. I am very grateful.

And it all starts with a deep burning interest to make things exciting.

That’s when life gets interesting.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. I’m not a pro photographer, I don’t know Photoshop, and I know these are far from perfect. But I’ve been wanting to share them for a while. Thanks for having a look. I promise to improve.

Here’s to fueling the addiction,


P.S. Remember today is the last day to enter our Start a Blog Career Change Challenge and win a $500 ticket to World Domination Summit 2014. For details and guidance, watch my short video tutorial and two step process on How to Start a Blog in Under 10 Minutes with Zero Tech Experience. There’s also a link to save 20% on your blog setup through our partner, which also expires tonight at midnight. But you can of course set a totally free blog up too – it’s your world!


Photo Credit: All these pictures are my own. You can follow my adventures in life and photography on Instagram here