Books

How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World

Book Details:

  • Format: Audible Audio
  • Title: How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World
  • Author: Kate Jordan
  • Narrator: Tiffany Morgan
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • Genre: Biography & Memoirs (/How-To)
  • Release Date: 31 July 2015
  • Length: 2hrs and 13mins
  • Rating: 3-stars

Product Description:

How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World is not just a catchy title. It’s a promise. Herein contains all the information you need to tuck in your desk chair for the last time. If you dream about exploration and adventure, if your heart croons wanderlust, this guide is for you.

With tips and tricks, Kate will not only help you find your way, but know what to expect. Learn how to find work while you travel; how to be a ski instructor, au pair, tour guide, teacher or travel blogger. Learn about finding places to stay, couches to crash and how to make homes along the way. Learn how to make friends and most importantly, how to be safe and save money for future travel plans.

Gift your skin a life of vast sunsets, it deserves more than your fluorescent office lights. Let Kate help you follow your heart, literally. (via: Amazon, Kindle Edition)

Review:

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up this book from the Audible store. I thought it was a rompy romantic comedy novelette, just something to listen to while I shelve books at work. Didn’t even think it would be a memoir-slash-how-to guide on actually quitting your job and traveling the world.

Despite my last post, I have no intention of quitting my job and traveling the world. Not the traveling world aspect at least. However, this book does offer some good tips for those young enough and still devoid of any responsibility outside of taking care of themselves (no school, family, etc.). It’s short and to the point, offering up resources while also telling you what to look out for when it comes to scams. It also introduces you to the types of employment you can seek while you’re traveling and making sure you get the right visa for your travels and possible employment.

I do recommend this book for those who are willing – and brave enough – to take this step in their lives. However, if you’re listening to the audiobook, I suggest you have something to jot down notes with; I’m sure this is not an issue with the Kindle edition.

Afterthought:

Audible launched its unlimited subscription tier Audible Plus last month, which goes for $7.95. Unlike its $14.95 premium plan, this tier doesn’t come with a monthly credit. Instead, subscribers have access to Audible Originals and podcasts. Those with the premium plan also have free access to these carefully curated titles.

How to Quit Your Job and Travel the World is one of the Audible Originals you can listen to with a subscription, no credit needed. However, you can purchase the audiobook or ebook for a low price if you’re not inclined to purchase a subscription to Audible Plus. There’s a MP3 CD edition also available, as well.

I’ll keep my Audible subscription for a while longer; I need something to listen to while I ride this pandemic out at work after all. Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Also see:

Books · Television

The Girl, the Cult, & the Boy Who Wanted His Girlfriend Back

Like most people I let my imagination run wild when I first heard about the Dark Web – the seedier side of the Internet only accessible with a special browser like TOR.

Photo by Junior Teixeira from Pexel

A simple search on YouTube will uncover creepypastas, “true” stories of people venturing into the unknown, and mystery boxes purchased on the Dark Web. You’ll hear stories of people buying narcotics, hiring hit-men, and things only meant for the most depraved – Red Rooms and more. We built a monster out it. But are surprised by this outcome? After all, it was Lovecraft who said, The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” And what is more unknown than that which lurks behind the screen?

Curiosity – as it usually does – got the better of me. Before long I was searching through online forums in order to gain access to the Hidden Wiki – an online index of some of the more popular onion sites. As the page loaded, I didn’t know what I expected. My paranoia got the better of me. I taped the lens of my laptop’s webcam before entering.

When its secrets were presented before me, it was anticlimactic to say the least. Sure the links to hit-men existed. And yes, there were sites in which you could purchase drugs – at this time, the Silk Road was still operational. Links that sent you to cannibal cookbooks and one detailing human experimenting. Marketplaces for stolen credit cards and identities. And several links leading you straight to scams. Because on the Dark Web, it’s hard to trace a conman looking for his mark – the unsuspecting noob looking for a cheap (rather expensive, actually) thrill.

Netted: A Dark Web Horror Series Box Set by K. T. Rose

I didn’t, however, find links to any red rooms, a virtual urban legend where you can watch – even participate in – a person’s torture and eventual death at the hands of a sadistic executioner. Using bitcoin, you can have a man’s eyelids sliced off and salt poured on his face as he screams in agony.

While red rooms are stuff of urban legend, in Jessica Frey’s world they have become her escape. One in particular, however: The Silent Red Room Show. From a distance, Jessica began to admire Father Paul. He filled her fantasies, the man – the butcher – behind the mask. What she wouldn’t give to be part of that world. A world where you can put those who have tormented you on the hot seat. Strap them in and watch the master fillet them to an inch of their lives for the entertainment of strangers online. But this isn’t the only dark secret Jessica Frey carries with her. There are much darkness inside her and all she needs is a mentor like Father Paul to help her set it free.

Dale Tilson, on the other hand, is looking for a new beginning. Taking the advice of his younger sister, Diane, he’s making an attempt on a second chance. Using a dating app, he meets Marla at her place. But after a drink of wine, things begin to feel wrong for Dale. And only gets worse when Marla attacks him.

And so the story begins, a three-part saga written by K. T. Rose. A story where Dale Tilson and Jessica Frey are fated to encounter Father Paul and his Silent Red Room cult. The trilogy keeps the reader on the edge of their seat, while sprinkling a few silly name brand products and restaurant names.

Currently, the trilogy – The Beginning, Inside Out, and The Crash – are currently free to read with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Or you can purchase all three as a set for $2.99.

On the other spectrum of the Dark Web, sits Moritz Zimmermann whose girlfriend, Lisa Novak, has returned from her trip abroad a completely different person. She’s hanging out with Daniel Riffert, the high school ecstasy dealer. In a brash attempt to win Lisa back, Mortiz buys – and blackmails – Daniel’s ecstasy supplier. When things go sideways, he’s only left with one thing to do – sell the drugs online. Fast.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. With a new found purpose in life, Moritz and company are thrown

One part Skins and one part Breaking Bad, How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast) was a whirlwind of a series – both seasons are currently available on Netflix.

The only thing that got me on my nerves is the dubbing. Because the original series was German, the English voices and sync can be off putting. This is, of course, a superficial issue which I can ignore easily – sometimes.

While the Dark Web is shrouded in a created mystery, we can all agree that the best fruit it bears are the stories that come out of it. Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Books

You’re Not That Great (but Neither is Anyone Else) by Elan Gale

Elan Gale wants to remind you that you’re not that great. Then again, neither is his book. In the same vein as Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, Mr. Gale provides a no holds barred anti-self-help book for people who are tired of being coddled while self-help gurus rip them off.You're Not That Great

There’s just one problem: there’s nothing Elan Gale in You’re Not That Great (but Neither is Anyone Else) that Manson’s book didn’t already offer. Well, nothing useful. Because, aside from the obviously useful slice of humble pie, the book only offers stale jokes and condescension.

Mr. Gale is right—we’re not great. Several people ooze with undeserved self-confidence, but can never amount to anything but ordinary. He notes that all the negative emotions we’re trained to ignore are useful tools to pull us out of the mundane. And even when we achieve greatness, we’re still not that great. Because you should always want to continue growing, continue reaching for the goddamn stars. He just wants us to know that we can always do better, be better, fuck better (yep, that’s also in the book). That’s what I love about the book. Sadly, it’s not enough to carry it.

Somewhere around page 100, it seemed like Mr. Gale ran out of things to talk about. The book becomes repetitive. And in an effort to cover up that fact, his descent into egotism begins. It began to feel that Mr. Gale began to shit on us not to help out, but for the sake of shitting on people who bought his book. He started fluffing up the chapters with anecdotes. Some of these were eye openers, sure. But several were just weird to the point where it was difficult to discern if he was trying to make a joke.

Could be that Mr. Gale was working against the clock, reaching a deadline. Or maybe he just ran out of nuggets of wisdom. It’s a fun book to read if you haven’t already done so. But as far as the genre goes, read Mark Manson’s book instead.

Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Books

Last Sext by Melissa Broder

What was I supposed to take from this book? I’ve never read anything by Melissa Broder. Not completely, anyway. I thumbed through So Sad Today and found the content somewhat entertaining. And I heard about Last Sext, but never realized the two books shared an author. When I connected the two, I got interested. What finally pushed me into buying the thin volume of poetry was an awkward conversation with a guy who recognized me after all these years. The book was already in my hand, why not just buy it to get out of this situation?Last Sext

I made a mistake.

In the quick glances, the book seemed interesting. Albeit a forced teenage, edginess. I could handle that irony. Except, after tackling the first pages, I learned that it wasn’t an ironic edge.

The poetry echoes nothing. It doesn’t strike a chord of thought. Doesn’t paint pictures. There’s almost no imagery present in the 81-paged collection. And the little that there is, paints an incoherent portrait. A lot of cocks. A lot of fucking. No poetic orgasm. So sad indeed.

I do plan on reading her collection of essays. I’ll give her another chance. Just not with this medium.

Until next time, keep on huntin’.

Books

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson

We’re always trying to better ourselves. Hell, a year doesn’t go by without hearing the mantra New Year, New Me splattered on every Facebook timeline across the western hemisphere. We’re obsessed with chasing happiness, chasing the new dietary trend, chasing dreams. We’ve created a religion out of the self-help genre. We created altars (albeit, we call them “vision boards”) to self-help. And the only people profiting from these books are the writers.The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

I stayed away from reading any self-help novel book. Sure, I thumbed through a few chapters in the past, scanned the table of contents, read the blurbs. But I never took them seriously. And I never met a person who came out on top after reading one of these books. In fact, if anything, they’re more miserable after extrapolating the advice into their daily lives. Who knew that the search for happiness would lead to such misery?

Because that’s what the advice genre leads to: unhappiness. Because we’re giving standards to live by and feel like failures when we can’t achieve them. And if we do achieve them, we begin to feel miserable because we’ve become stagnant—we become stuck in our ways. Then we return to the self-help tab on Amazon and buy another book. Rinse and repeat.

Enter Mark Manson. I wouldn’t know this man from Adam. Never read his blog. Never heard of his name before. I chuckled a bit when I first saw his book at Barnes and Noble. (The dude’s surname is Manson, after all.)

But the book title intrigued me. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life. What’s not to love? Surely, the man’s done his homework about getting a skeptic’s attention. Three months later, I bought the damn book.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill self-help guide. Manson offers no support for your feelings. He slings the truth at you like Paul Bunyan swings his axe: your forest of security is destroyed. Your illusions, burned. Because this is the book that will actually put you on the right path toward happiness. He gives you no mantras. Doesn’t promise you a get-rich-scheme for happiness. And he most definitely won’t sugarcoat it for you. This is as real as it’s going to get for you.

And it’s o.k. that throughout the book you’re going to feel as if Mr. Manson was once a fedora-wearing brotard. Because he might have been, but who gives a fuck. If you’re so deterred about this style of writing, then you’re dealing with too much nothing in your life.

So take it from someone who doesn’t like self-help books. Someone who’s sworn against them. Someone who laughs at people who buy them in bulk: This is the book for you.

Until next time, keep on huntin’

Books

Star Wars: Aftermath by Chuck Wendig

I tried reading Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath after it was added to the library’s collection some years ago. It didn’t work out too well. It was an awkward time in my life. The few books I read before Disney rebooted the Expanded Universe (now known as the Legends series) were still fresh in my mind. I wanted a universe where Sith zombies existed. Chuck Wendig’s book just didn’t cut it. Aftermath

Now that I have a few Disney-verse Star Wars novels under my belt, I felt ready to give Wendig’s novel another chance. And while it’s not my favorite of my collection, it’s definitely worth the read.

The second Death Star facility has been destroyed. Rumors of Emperor Palpatine’s and his enforcer’s, Darth Vader, death have spread across the galaxy, reaching as far as the outer rim planets. In an effort to recover from their crumbling empire, several Imperials are conducting a meeting on the planet of Akiva. When New Republic hero Wedge Antilles uncovers their meeting, he sends a message to the New Republic before getting captured. But it’s too late, on the planet’s surface, Norra Wexley has intercepted the message and bands together with her son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and an Imperial defector to save Wedge Antilles and take down these last remnants of the Empire.

That summary doesn’t do any justice to the storytelling prowess Chuck Wendig possesses. The story has its gripping moments that left me on the edge of my seat, but it also contain a few pitfalls that made me wish Wendig had focused on one of the other stories presented in his “interlude” chapters—namely the Han Solo & Chewbacca story. But it held my attention even as the interludes broke it—I’m guessing that was planned by the author as a pacing mechanism? Perhaps the repetition of imagery leads to bigger things in the second and third books of the Aftermath trilogy.

I loved how Wendig uses a diverse cast of characters, helping break the homo-normative and all-white cast that the sci-fi genre tends to keep. Not to mention, I loved Mister Bones, the revamped, reprogrammed B1 Battle Droid that acts as Temmin’s  bodyguard and best friend.

This tale is definitely something to consider before re-watching The Force Awakens for the umpteenth time. You won’t be disappointed.

I’m currently racing through a monster of a book before AMC releases the series. Hopefully I’ll get through it after all the hiccups I’ve had with the pacing. After that’s over with, I’ll get back to updating the few readers here about what I’m doing with my life.

In the meantime, know that I’m brainstorming two writing project—I’ve mentioned one already. And until next time, keep on huntin’.