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How to Get Better at Reading People

The lift of an eyebrow, the twitch of a lip, the wrinkling of the nose bridge. All speak volumes about a person’s intentions. For many, however, those volumes might as well be written in Latin for all the good it does them. That is a shame.

For unless you’re a hermit living alone in the woods, people are the gateway to your wants and desires.

Therefore getting a better grasp on people’s fears, needs and motivations are key to unlocking a whole host of possibilities. This, as I previously explained, goes double on the road.

After all, while at home you generally have a safety net of people you know and trust to back your play, when you’re out in the world they aren’t there, however. And so, you’ve got to rely on your own abilities and the strangers you meet.
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Spreading Words to Help People Help Themselves

On both our about page and in our post introducing this website, we talked about spreading words to help people help themselves. Today we’d like to talk about what words we meant.

We were talking about all of them.

Yup, that’s right. We want to spread all words – be they liberal or conservative, long or short, rude or complimentary. It doesn’t matter if they’re religious, sacrilegious, scientific or mundane.

We hold no prejudice, we aren’t biased and we have no preference. We’re not here to indoctrinate. We’re not trying to convert. In fact, you could say we’re here to do exactly the opposite.

Our aim isn’t to build walls but to open minds.
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7 Ways Traveling Boosts your Writing Career

It is crazy how many people get that travel writing thing the wrong way around. They think that they should first launch a successful freelance writing career and then start traveling. Poppycock! (Isn’t that just a great word? Why did we ever let it slip away?). It is traveling that boosts your writing career.

Want to become a successful traveling freelance writer? Then start traveling today. Check if you’ve got the right characteristics for the travel writer life, start developing them if you don’t, scrape together some money, pack your bags, and hit the open road – though remember to take it slow.

That’s the way to do it.
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Freelancer Success Stories: Grain of truth and a bucket of salt

I’m sure you’ve read those stories where they claim: I made 5000 dollars in my second month! I paid off my university debt in less than a year! I only have to work an hour a day! They’re all over the internet – freelancers and their claims of success.

For a time as I worked to launch a successful freelance writing career, I read them all, trying to figure out their magic. I analyzed them, dissected them, put them back together again and tried to apply all the advice to my life. I woke up early, worked ten hours per day, applied in certain ways, put myself out there, and wrote pitches till the cows came home.

It didn’t work half as well as they suggested.
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Buenos Aires – City of Nostalgia and Dog Shit

The name Pavlov ring a bell? He was the guy who showed us the power of unconscious suggestion. He had this little bell that he would sound every time just before he gave a dog food. Soon, all he needed to do was ring it and the dog would start salivating.

In the jargon, he created a conditioned response.

After living here for six months, Argentinians have created something similar in me. From this day forward, all you need to say is ‘Buenos Aires’ and the pavement of my mind will be littered with mental turds.

It’s a shame, really. There is so much more to remember here. It’s one of those cities that opens up slowly. It is full of beautiful hidden gems and breathtaking locales. Its people are friendly, warm, cultured, smart and generous. The nightlife warm, the day life relaxed.

The city has a soul I recognize.
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How to Fly for Less

Of course, you want to fly for less! Who doesn’t? Flying is already expensive as it is – we’d rather not spend more than we have to. I mean, we’re not here to pad the airlines pockets, are we? Hell no! We’d rather spend that money on seeing places, living the life and having adventures. And yet we can’t always slow travel, so sometimes we need to fly for less. How can we do that?

Two pieces of good news. You can and it isn’t that hard. Today I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned talking to other nomads as well as what I’ve picked up myself after my many years on the road (slow traveling or otherwise). There are a lot of ways to circumvent the system so that you’re left with more for the other things in life that matter.
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11 Characteristics of a Successful Traveling Freelancer

Being a traveling freelancer is awesome. You get to live on the road, see beautiful places, get numerous physical and mental benefits and find unexpected inspiration. And today there are more reasons to leave than ever. At the same time, it is not the same as a never-ending backpacking trip. This is a life, not an escape from one. And let’s face it, for most people backpacking is far closer to the latter than the former.

That means that though having traveling experience certainly helps, just because you’re good at backpacking, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily also a good traveling freelancer. A little more is needed.
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Introducing Vagabond Writers

Welcome to the Vagabond Writers first blog post! Thank you for taking an interest. Oh man, what a journey it has been to get here! I had to choose a template, a color scheme, take some pictures, write a couple of things, Skype with my mate Jascha at JSICS who then actually did all the heavy lifting of building the site while I nattered aimlessly in his ear, have cup of coffee, stare out of the window for a bit… Well okay, that was it.

But that took a while. I had to refocus my attention span at least three times!

That reminds me, did you know they recently discovered our attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish? That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
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Portfolio item: Adnozzle

This is a trail article I wrote for a British marketing company. It got me a lot of other work. The rest of the material I wrote for them is theirs, however, and so I felt it was better not to put that up on my website. This article doesn’t have that problem. I put it here to make it easier for me to point to from such places as my portfolio.

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Jelte ten Holt’s Extended Portfolio

My extended portfolio includes the items I mentioned on my portfolio page, but also offers a lot more samples from further back. More material is available on request. Just use the mail button or type your email into this form and follow the instructions.

Psychology

Using my experience in social psychology, I wrote an article about how it isn’t happiness but emotional resilience that protects you from depression. You can find it on the site learning-minds.com.
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