Category Archives: travel

Environmental Biohacking & Rumbling With The Unknown

Sunset at Big Sur taken during week 4 of my bio-hacking experiment

Big Sur, CA – Taken during Week 4 of my experiment.

The following is based on a talk I gave a few weeks back at Twitch HQ for Women’s Catalyst Lightening Talks.

At the end of September I deliberately kicked myself out of my studio apartment.

I sublet to a friend for two months and hit the road.

Now, I didn’t go very far. I drove around California in my trusty Prius C – living with friends, crashing on couches, spending time in nature.

I did this because I needed to get uncomfortable.

Because I believe that curiosity is greater than comfort.

[ Curiosity Zone > Comfort Zone ] *

I didn’t always believe this.

I’m a virgo perfectionist who likes her creature comforts. I’m in the upper half of my 30’s. What sense did it make to live out of my car when I had immediate goals to achieve?

Because I needed to clear my head. Because I wanted to get better.

Biohacking is a systems thinking approach to our own biology.

Here’s a short list of hackable things** :

• Nutrition – what we put into our bodies

• Physiology/Movement – muscle activity, cardio-vascular health, stretching & posture

• Environment – lighting, air quality, spending more time in nature

• Meditation – it can literally rewire the brain

• Mindfulness – practicing gratitude on a regular basis

• Sleep – measuring how much you get, performing regular quality checks

• Attention – how you think, learn, reason and focus

• Getting Uncomfortable…

…Ah ha!

Getting uncomfortable can mean a lot of things. It can mean taking a cold shower, contemplating death, or giving rejection therapy a spin. For me, it was a version of being homeless.

I’m not going to say it was easy. I oft dreamt about returning to my peaceful Oakland apartment.

But as soon as I returned to Oakland two weeks ago I felt a wave of disappointment wash over me. I walked to the window and looked out. Where was everyone, and…

…When can I do it again?

Here are my findings post-experiment:

1. Possessions – I can get by with less. A lot less.

2. Focus – Having less allows me to focus directly on my goals.

3. Self-reliance – I became stronger with my asks because my needs were clear.

4. Self-Awareness – I became more open minded to new situations.

5. Planning – I made a choice to just show up and take it one day at a time. And it worked.

Most of all, I learned that I don’t need to have everything figured out.

Becaue we are a generation defining life on our own terms. There are no right answers, no playbook to live by. We can write our own stories as we go.

 

* via this post by James Altucher

** via this post by Dave Asprey

Interview: TOMS Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie

TOMS shoes, a company started in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie from his Venice, CA apartment, has quickly become a social movement – a phenomenon quickly propelling the shoe brand into the hearts and minds of consumers and social activists alike. Gaining momentum on college campuses and through social sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s now a top-selling shoe at popular department stores like Nordstroms.

TOMS “One for One” business model means that for every pair of shoes purchased, another is given away to a child in need. And now, four years after it was founded with a goal of giving away two hundred and fifty pairs, TOMS is celebrating giving away the one millionth pair – something Blake had never anticipated happening when first starting out.

Thanks to generous support from the good folks at AT&T, I had the opportunity to travel to Argentina for the One Millionth Pair Shoe Drop. The group consisted of just over 30 folks from the TOMS staff, partners from AT&T and Gowalla, members of the media including noted photographers and videographers, and Blake’s parents – two of the most incredible folks I’ve had the chance to meet.

Over the course of a week, we delivered and placed TOMS shoes on the feet of hundreds of children. We traveled around the Argentine state of Misiones visiting rural villages and schools,  hand-delivering shoes and engaging with children in an effort to prevent disease and create a memorable moment in a child’s life.

I had a chance to speak with Blake about the impact of social media, where the name TOMS came from and what’s next for the revolutionary company. Check it out!

For more of our coverage, see:  http://toms1m.wordpress.com

Buy TOMS shoes here

Visiting Aria

Over the weekend I made a trip to Las Vegas for my friend Katie’s 30th birthday celebration.

On Saturday we paid a visit to CityCenter, the newest development on the strip that includes 2 hotels, a condo structure, restaurants, shopping center and spas.

The development, officially opened in December, is completely LEED-certified making it the largest sustainably-designed architectural development in the world. Rockstar architects involved in the project include Helmut Jahn, Studio Daniel Libeskind, and Foster + Partners.

The modernist design is breathtaking with plenty of glass and steel, extraordinary lighting and surprising turns and angles at every step.

It’s a beautiful complex and well worth the visit. I had a great time visiting the Aria Casino where we caught a few football games, played some games of our own in the casino and nibbled at a totally delish patisserie.  Check out some snaps below!

More:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gensler-leads-design-of-citycenter-79314067.html

http://www.arialasvegas.com

http://www.dwell.com/articles/citycenter-las-vegas.html

http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/01/07/is-it-green-citycenter/