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The Absolute Biggest Mistake I've Made While Traveling

Leaving places where everything is right "just because."

I just arrived in Beijing. The air is cold and crisp, the pace is fast, people are wearing suits and carrying briefcases and the general vibe here is I'm on a mission.

I hate cold weather except in small doses, and I haven't spent more than two weeks in a cold-weather place during a cold time of the year since... I don't know when, it's been a long time. A few years.

I forgot how the cold makes people move fast, crisp, not dally, not lounge about... it's refreshing. I feel like I'm in New York a little before Christmastime, which (shitty cold weather aside) is one of my favorite times in one of my favorite places in the world.

But let's about traveling (and life) mistakes. The biggest mistake I've made, by far, is leaving a place where I'm very happy or productive or I've got a good workflow. Occasionally, everything is just right somewhere... and when everything is just right, I'd recommend you milk it for all it's worth.

Stop lying to yourself

You can get your scuba licenses and go on some crazy dives for $500 total, or less.

Learn to snowboard? $500, again, give or take.

Fly an airplane? Look it up. It ain't so much.

International travel? Trivially easy and inexpensive in the days of Skype, Matrix ITA flight search + kayak.com, Wikitravel, and Google.

That list of stuff you're "going to get to someday"?

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