Blake Snow

content advisor, recognized journalist, bodacious writer-for-hire

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
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Tagged Published Works

Recently published: The Colosseum, origin of Japan, best of Belize, lasting digital detox

Excluding non-bylined commercial writing, here are my most recent media clippings:

Thanks for reading and sharing. 

What bad fishing taught me about good business

On a recent fishing trip with friends, in which we purposely neglected to pack in food, in order to make our catch really count, I went empty-handed after two full days of fishing. Thanks to my more-skilled-than-me buddies, who generously shared, I didn’t go hungry, however.

After serious bouts of self-doubt and nearly giving up on the third day, though, I decided I wasn’t going to quit until I caught at least one keeper. After empowering myself with that mindset, I actually ended up catching five that evening—enough to feed me and my friends, who coincidentally failed to catch one on that final day (really!).

On the return hike home, I thought a lot about dependency, perseverance and the power of determination—in life as much as business. Here’s what that experience taught me.

Continue reading…

Please enjoy: The best things I published recently

Excluding undisclosed commercial work (i.e. the bulk of my work), here are the best things I’ve published recently:

Thanks for reading and sharing the above. 

What’s in a name? What I learned staying in Trump’s #1 rated hotel

Before taking office, the vast majority of U.S. presidents were lawyers. President Trump, on the other hand, was a real estate developer, TV star, and hotelier of 14 properties—some of which by name-only.

One of those properties is Trump Waikiki. On a recent trip to Oahu I stayed there because at the time of booking and during my stay, Trump Waikiki was the number one rated hotel out of 84 in Honolulu, according to TripAdvisor.

That alone piqued my interest, as did the political novelty. But the real reason is because I was being hosted by the hotel in the hopes that I would write about it. And here we are. Not because I was contractually obligated to. In my capacity as a travel writer, I never guarantee coverage, meaning if I feel something doesn’t deserve your attention—even shiny freebies—I don’t write about it.

Why am writing about this shiny freebie then? Continue reading…

Published works: Colorful Colorado, web reruns, Cliffs of Moher, net zero buildings

Cliffs of Moher courtesy Visit Ireland

Excluding non-bylined commercial stories, here are my most recent published works:

Thanks for reading. 

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How Disney turned me into a travel writer

Not long ago, I wrote a seemingly simple story that forever changed the amount of adventure I’ve been exposed to ever since.

For years leading up to that moment, my wife pleaded with me to take her and our kids to Disneyland. Although I went there as an eight year old boy with my family, I remember enjoying nearby Huntington Beach better than I did the actual park. So I told myself in the ensuing decades that Disney was a tourist trap and the great outdoors were the place for me.

Turns out, both man-made and natural wonders are for me. I probably wouldn’t have learned that truth, however, if it weren’t for my wife’s sage approach in tricking me to give The Happiest Place on Earth a fair shake. “Blake,” she said. “You could write about your experience—review it, report on how much you hate or love it.”

That’s all I needed to hear. Continue reading…

Recent travel stories I’ve published for CNN, NatGeo, USA Today, LA Times, and more

Over the last four years, I’ve written and published hundreds of travel dispatches for CNN, National Geographic, USA Today, LA Times, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, Orbitz, Frommers, and Paste Magazine. Below are some recent favorites:

  1. Cliff-jumping The Atlantic: Ireland’s best coasteering spots
  2. Japanese zen: Hiking one of the oldest trails in the world
  3. Top 10 cycling cities
  4. 7 takeaways after cruising the Mediterranean with my kids
  5. Video: 6 ways to overcome your fear of travel
  6. Is Newfoundland the next Iceland?
  7. Which Utah National Park is right for you?
  8. Everything you need to know before visiting Machu Picchu
  9. What coasteering feels like
  10. Staying in President Trump’s #1 rated hotel
  11. Hiking the Alps: 10 days, 3 countries, 1 epic mountain
  12. Critic turned fan: My Disneyland conversion story
  13. What 10,000 miles from home feels like
  14. Went skydiving today. Didn’t die.
  15. Why Americans don’t travel abroad
  16. 5 reasons travel is overrated
  17. What I learned hiking Patagonia with National Geographic
  18. Why a monotonous view is better than none
  19. What I learned crossing South Africa by train
  20. 5 things I learned after visiting New Zealand
  21. The best of Australia
  22. 5 reasons cliche Costa Rica is still “Pura Vida”
  23. What it’s like crossing America’s Loneliest Road
  24. The greatest mountain wilderness you’ve never heard of
  25. My very best travel columns (so far)

Thanks for reading and sharing with anyone that might be interested.

The time I hiked Patagonia with National Geographic

It took the world a long time to discover Patagonia, the trendy adventure area shared by both southern Chile and Argentina. While other mountaineers had been hiking and climbing the Alps and Rockies for over a century, Patagonia wasn’t explored much until the 1980s. In fact, the recreational area didn’t become mainstream until the 21st century, when more accessible transportation, lodging and tourist amenities were finally added.

What’s all the fuss about? In between knife-like mountains, this is arguably the best place in the world to see moving glaciers. It is also a great place to meet gentle but playful people.

Last month I had the chance to examine this hauntingly majestic land up close on a guided tour with National Geographic Expeditions, the society’s official tour operator. Spoiler alert: it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here’s what I witnessed hiking to what some call South America’s greatest “national park.” Continue reading…

Making headlines: The best things I published recently

Courtesy: Blake Snow

Thanks for reading and sharing the below with anyone who might be interested: 

RECENTLY PUBLISHED: Cliff-jumping Ireland, quitting news addiction, best cycling cities, logging off, better content

Courtesy Ireland Tourism

Excluding my non-bylined commercial work, these are the best things I’ve published recently for mainstream media:

Thanks for reading and sharing the above with anyone that might appreciate it.

What 10,000 miles from home feels like

On Earth, 12,450 miles is the farthest anyone can get from home. Take one more step in any direction, and you will have started your return journey from the halfway point.

Until I visit one of these places (aka 45° meridian east), I came as close to that point as I ever have last month. The distance from my home in Provo to Durban is over 10,000 miles, where I began a life-changing journey through the motherland.

I should have grasped this impressive separation sooner than I did. Upon booking airfare, total flight time read over 22 hours across three flights. “That’s a long haul,” I passingly noted, before moving to other travel arrangements.  Continue reading…

Recent reading: The best things I’ve published elsewhere

Credit: MoDOG/Shutterstock

I’ve recently published a lot of interesting reports for commercial clients, but all were either ghostwritten or NDA’d, so I’m not at liberty to share them. I hope to share some upcoming public ones soon, however.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these—a couple stories for mainstream travel media and a couple involving my book.

Thanks for reading.

I was recently interviewed by The LA Times about my book, Log Off—this is what I said.

Catharine Hamm from The Los Angeles Times, the nation’s second largest newspaper, recently interviewed me about my book, Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting.

Her story titled Travel may be key to ending your unhealthy love affair with electronic devices is really good. You should read it. Not only because I’m quoted in it, but because it offers an excellent explanation on the difference between bottomless distractions and those with and end, as well as sage advice on gaining offline momentum.

Hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Catharine, for including me and my book. 

How an overlooked state park cemented my love for hiking the world

Cheaha Overlook, Alabama courtesy Jim Vallee/Shutterstock

Over the last 15 years, I consider myself lucky to have hiked half of America’s national parks and many of the world’s top 10 hikes on six different continents. None of that would have happened, however, if it weren’t for the unassuming beauty of a little state park in eastern Alabama.

I didn’t grow up hiking. My parents took my siblings and I on vacation to Yellowstone, theme parks, and several beaches instead. There we mostly sightsee’d, thrill rode, and relaxed.

That all changed after I enrolled in college. On a whim one weekend, some friends and family members decided to hike Cheaha State Park. Just a two hour drive from my hometown, I went for the company, but stayed for the view—specifically Cheaha Overlook (pictured).

Truth be told, I had never seen anything like it. After a moderate walk through the woods, we arrived at the rock around sunset and I’m sure I uttered something like “Wow!” Looking over a valley that big made me feel small. And I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.

To this day I prefer wide open spaces over the alternative (i.e. caves kinda bore me). What’s interesting, though, is I didn’t set out to be a hiker that day. Nor do I necissarily identify as one today. Hiking the outdoors is just something I enjoy doing, especially as a vehicle to explore new places or witness the seasons change in my own backyard.

In that sense, hiking Cheaha for the first time was one small step for me, but one giant leap for a hobby that has filled my life and taken me around the globe. I’m forever grateful I tagged along that day. Itchy feet, keep itching.

Write-ups of some my favorite hikes to date: Patagonia | Mont Blanc | Western Brook Fjord | Canyonlands | Monument Valley | Gravity Falls, Costa Rica | Bryce Canyon | Kumano KodoHigh Uintas | New Zealand | Cheaha | Machu Picchu | Zion Narrows/Angel’s Landing—both top 10 hikes that I inexplicably have yet to write about

Recommended reading: The best travel listicles I published recently

Courtesy Sam Dean/Visit Rapid City

Excluding non-bylined commercial work, here are my recent published works for news media:

Thanks for reading.

What I learned returning “home” after 10 years

Courtesy Blake Snow

I didn’t realize until recently, but I had forgotten who I was. I had forgotten where I was from.

More than 15 years ago, I left Carrollton, Georgia for the great American west. Like many others from the former, I graduated from Central High (class of ‘98—go, Lions!) and began my collegiate studies at the University of West Georgia. Halfway through my bachelor’s degree, however, I had a change of heart and transferred to a prominent university in the mountains of Utah.

To be clear, I wasn’t running away from the admittedly rural town, county, or “Peach State.” I relished my upbringing there. But sometimes the soul asks to see someplace new. In that sense, I was running towards something new, fully expecting to return someday.

But then I met a girl from the Pacific Northwest. Continue reading…

Blake Snow: The best things I published recently

Nachi Falls Pagoda courtesy Wakayama Tourism

Thanks for reading my work:

Iconic travel: 7 things to do on 7 continents

Credit: Dragon Woman/Creative Commons

What luck we have. Not only were we born on the most marvelous planet in the observable universe—not to mention the only habitable one out of gazillions—but the one we inherited has seven distinct, magnificent continents.

Picking just one experience from each that best personifies the greater landmass is an impossible job, not to mention totally unfair. But life isn’t fair. Nor is this column. If you need someplace to start when attempting to bag all seven continents, make it one of these iconic and universally well-rated encounters.  Continue reading…

5 ways the great outdoors will make you a better person

Ryder Lake, Utah courtesy Blake Snow

Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, breathing stale air, working under artificial light, and staring into glowing screens. While none of these things are toxic, at least in moderation, they can have a monotonous, if not negative, effect on both our performance and overall health, research shows.

What’s the antidote? More outdoors. Namely, spending more time walking in the woods, hiking in mountains, being near bodies of water, and simply just spending time in nature, under the sun, and breathing fresh air. Here’s the science behind the latest findings.  Continue reading…

Frequent flyer: 5 ways to travel like a pro

Courtesy National Geographic Films

While I’m far from being a “diamond” level frequent flyer—ya know, the ones who travel well over 100,000 miles per year—I’ve learned a thing or two about deftly navigating the airport as a frequent travel columnist.

The first is that the big metal tubes that jet us around the world in hours (as opposed to months that it used to take) are downright awesome—the first world-wide web and easily one of the greatest modern inventions of our time. The sooner you appreciate this, the less miserable you’ll be while traveling.

The second is that a little pre-planning, shortcutting, and forward-thinking can greatly improve our enjoyment of the mostly friendly but sometimes hostile skies. To make the most of your next domestic or international flight, consider doing all of the below:  Continue reading…

Blake Snow: The best things I published last month

Excluding my commercial writing, here’s what I published last month:

Thanks for reading.

5 smart ways to do more in less time

Blake Snow

When it comes to increasing both your output and your impact, here’s how to work smarter instead of harder.

For Entrepreneur—If there’s one thing I learned while researching and writing my first book, Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting, it’s how to get more done in less time.

For the first five years as a self-employed writer, I passionately and excitedly burned the midnight oil, thinking the act would get me ahead. While it certainly helped to cut my teeth and quicken my understanding of the craft, in hindsight I spent much of that time with my head down, spinning my wheels in the mud, and failing to see bigger ideas and opportunities.

That is until my “Montana Moment,” a life-changing and completely off-the-grid vacation in Big Sky Country that upended and improved my relationship to work in more ways than one. Since that fateful week, I’ve enjoyed record personal, professional, and social growth. But only because I radically changed my underlying approach and motivations for work.

There are as follows:  Continue reading…

Despite testing negative for the “wanderlust gene,” here’s why I still love to travel

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Why do some people like to travel more than others? Are nomads born or raised?

Furthermore, why do I keep an ever-growing list of places to visit that I can never seem to get a handle on, despite having visited hundreds of amazing places on six different continents?

In an effort to find answers to some of those questions, researchers recently identified the so-called “wanderlust gene” (DRD4-7R, to be exact), which is present in about 20 percent of humans. This gene is said to cause a strong desire, if not impulse, to wander, travel and explore the world.

As a working journalist and travel columnist, I was recently tested for this gene by Curio Hotels. After vigorously swabbing the inside of my cheeks, I seal-locked my specimen in a plastic bag, overnighted the sample to a lab on the East Coast and awaited the results.  Continue reading…

Why work-life blending doesn’t work

Columbia Pictures

The following is an excerpt from Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting

In recent years, a new ideology has emerged. It is this: work-life balance is impossible; therefore, humanity must embrace work-life blending instead.

I tried work-life blending for six years before we ever called it that. I’m here to tell you it stinks and is largely a pipe dream—nothing more than a new term coined by self-absorbed workaholics to justify their personal regrets, negligence, and imbalances in life.

Now let me tell you how I really feel.

The phrase work-life balance entered our lexicon when faxes reigned supreme, the 1980s. Knowledge workers, globalization, and computer networking went mainstream that decade, and, with it, the temptation to work ’round the clock on the Hedonic Treadmill (i.e., the misguided belief that the more money one makes, the happier they’ll be).  Continue reading…

5 ways adventure travel makes you a better person

Courtesy Iceland Tourism

(For Entrepreneur)—In the 15 years I’ve worked for myself, the last decade has been much more profitable than the first few years. Though several factors contributed to my successful turnaround, one in particular has led to more confidence, inspiration and awareness than any other: adventure travel.

I’ve met plenty of frequent business travelers who want nothing more than to stay home once they get there. They certainly don’t want to leave their creature comforts for something as seemingly trivial and meaningless as scaling mountains, walking quietly in nature or surfing Australia for several days. I get it. But I promise that adventure travel can do wonders for our business lives. That’s especially true if we consider travel an educational experience more than anything else.

Solely for the fun or challenge of it, I’ve visited nearly half of America’s national parks, stepped on five of the seven continents, explored dozens of foreign countries and met hundreds of people who are smarter than me. Doing so taught me several lessons that I’ve put to good use after safely returning home. They are as follows:  Continue reading…

Why travel “comes easy” to some but harder for others

Wild elephants walking a road in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park (Khunkay/Wikimedia)

(ENTREPRENEUR)—Is it easier for extroverts to travel than it is for introverts? Can travel be learned? If so, what does it take to overcome the fear, anxiety, and logistical challenges often associated with long-distance travel?

In search of answers, I asked several seasoned tourists and travel converts for their stories and advice. This is what I found.

First, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. People that travel as children are far more likely to travel as a adults. “Thanks to my parents, I started traveling when I was young,” says Avery Blank, an avid international traveler and strategy consultant from Philadelphia. “That made it relatively easy for me now to adapt to new cultures, surroundings, ways of doing things.”

Obviously if you were raised by homebodies, you’re at an immediate disadvantage. But so are risk-averse individuals who are particularly scared of the unknown, of which there are substantial amounts of when traveling to a new place with new customs and sometimes new languages.

“Much of the anxiety arising from travel revolves around being infantilized,” says Sheridan Becker, an American art director living in Belgium. “For example, not knowing how to do anything in a foreign language, asking for a bathroom, what to do if you lose your wallet, where your next meal will come from (and will you be able to stomach it), or how to handle medical emergencies.”

These are all disorienting questions, the fear of which keeps many people away. So extroverts don’t necessarily have an easier time traveling than less outgoing individuals. Rather, it’s more about how you were raised coupled with a willingness to try unexpected things that determine your propensity for travel.

The good news is wanderlust can be learned. Here are six ways to do just that.  Continue reading…

Blake Snow: The best things I published last month

Smiling after getting lost in the Swiss Alps

Excluding my commercial work for software and consulting companies, here’s what I published last month:

For Entrepreneur (13 million readers):

For my facecast channel on YouTube:

Thanks for reading.

In the news: 10 hobbies you can turn into a side hustle

I was interviewed by Motley Fool recently (and syndicated to MSN) about one of the quietest (if not greatest) side hustle’s of my career: producing slide decks on the side to the tune of $30,000 over fifteen years.

“After learning that one of my friends was paid very well to produce a PowerPoint presentation, I wondered if I could do something similar on the side,” Snow said. “Determined to find out, I launched a professional looking website for a few hundred dollars — then waited.”

It took 18 months for someone to finally order, but then the orders just kept coming. “Every one or two years, someone new  — and a few repeat customers — would order another presentation,” Snow said.

Over 15 years, he was able to earn around $30,000 from producing presentations. In his words: “Not bad for the few hundred dollars I spent on website design and hosting.”

Full story here. Thanks for including my story, Christy.

 

Why the internet is hard to put down

The following is an excerpt from Log Off, available now on paperback, Kindle, and audiobook

The “king complex.”

That’s the reason it’s difficult for many individuals to leave the internet—even for as little as a few hours in the evening, over a weekend, or on vacation. In short, the internet makes us feel like kings.

“Bring me this,” I demand, and it does. “More!” I say. It complies. “Still more!” It does not disappoint. “Let me watch, this, that, and the other.” Each time, I ask, it delivers, because it’s endless. When I run out of requests, I move to new subjects and interests.

In the event the internet is unable to supply what we ask of it—say, a physical experience, creation, or sensation—it will simulate that experience as often as we like from all possible angles: videos, photos, secondhand observations and reviews by those who have actually experienced what we’re after.

As you can see, the internet offers power, or at least the illusion of it. That’s the real reason the internet is so addicting. For the first time in human history, everyday people can convincingly simulate the experience of kings and exercise dominion over their own fantasized corner of reality.  Continue reading…

Easy peasy: 5 ways to rewire your brain for happiness

Grant Wood/Wikimedia Commons

Grant Wood/Wikimedia Commons

As a leading psychologist, Shawn Achor has spent two decades studying happiness. His bona fides include award-winning researcher and teacher at Harvard, best-selling author on positivity, and popular TED lecturer.

So when he speaks you should listen. For instance, Achor asserts our circumstances — including age, race, gender, social status, and wealth — only account for 10% of our happiness. The rest is determined by our genetic baseline for happiness (i.e. optimist vs pessimist) and our individual intentions, including the way we spend our time and the things we ponder.

Obviously, happiness means different things to different people. But there are plenty of standardized things we can do to boost our chances of finding it. Somethings such as knowing oneself, learning how to forgive, and balancing the personal, professional, and social demands on our time can be life-long pursuits.

But other happiness-building attributes are quite easy, Achor argues. In order from least difficult to most difficult, they are as follows:  Continue reading…

Published works: Finding Europe in North America, Log Off coverage, 25 mood boosters

Courtesy Quebec Tourism

With exception to my non-bylined writing for Fortune 500 companies, here’s what I published this month, mostly related to my new book:

Media coverage for my new book, Log Off:

Thanks for reading and sharing what you liked.

BlakeSnow.com: Top 10 stories from 2017

Chetah State Park

I’ve blogged for 12 years and published more than 2000 posts to date. Below are my 10 favorites from 2017:

  1. My new book, Log Off, is now available—what you need to know
  2. Blast from the past: Remember when “mixtapes” were cool?
  3. Top 10 ways to starve your fears
  4. How this movie scene changed my life
  5. What I believe: My 10 articles of faith
  6. Why I’m reluctant to call myself a journalist
  7. 5 reasons sad stories are good for you
  8. You’re doing it wrong: 7 bad habits of well-meaning parents
  9. 9 remarkable albums your ears must hear
  10. What 12 years of content marketing have taught me

Bonus: Where is America on the gender equality scale?

Thanks for reading. Anyone been here for the full 12 years? If so, I’d like to buy you lunch.

JUST PUBLISHED: Interested in my first book? Here’s what you can do to help

I just published my first (albeit short) book on paperback and Kindle. It took me over eight years to publish it, but I’m very proud of the result.

As you can see, the book underwent a title change, but the contents remain the same—a self-help memoir on how to overcome excessive “internetting,” smartphoning, and social media. If that subject interests you, I hope you’ll consider taking one or all of the following actions:  Continue reading…

Blast from the past: Remember when “mixtapes” were cool?

Courtesy Disney

Music is easy now. Except when I’m forced to download songs ahead of time before venturing Off The Grid, I can instantly play any track, genre, album or compilation of recorded music with a spoken command.

“Alexa, play the new Taylor Swift!” I bark. (Spoiler, it’s better than her last single.) “Alexa, play ‘All Night’ by Big Boi.” (It’s bumping.) “Alexa, play ‘Feel it Still’ by Portugal The Man.” (It’s choice.) “Alexa, play Waiting On A SongGone Now… or The Click”—all front-runners for album of the year.

Whatever I ask—even amorphous requests for “dinner music” or “relaxing classical”—this inanimate robot gets things right 90% of the time. And when I don’t feel like talking, I can play what I want with a few taps of my finger on the portable jukebox I carry in my pocket. We’ve come a long way.

But while I’m grateful for the limitless amount of audible convenience we now enjoy, I often wonder about the price we paid to get here.  Continue reading…

HOW TO HOPE: 10 ways to feed your faith so your fears will starve

Credit: Blake Snow

My wife and I believe the world is inherently good and we want to indoctrinate our children to think the same. Not by ignoring society’s seedy underbelly. But with measurable evidence such as this that overwhelmingly proves the world is getting better and better.

To that end, my wife shared the following quote with our children and I over breakfast recently: “Feed your faith and your fear will starve.” In other words, people who are afraid are usually consumed by doubt.

But in my experience, we can replace that fear and doubt with hope and love by doing the following:  Continue reading…

Published works: The greatest Utah wilderness you’ve never heard of

Courtesy Clay Wood

I just published my first story for Frommers, the storied travel guide magazine that changed the way Americans traveled in 1957 after Arthur Frommer published his seminal Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.

My story isn’t that big nor will it make nearly as many waves, but I’m still proud of it and the friends that made it possible by joining me recently on a weekend backpacking trip into the High Uinta Wilderness, which I deem “the best western wilderness you’ve never heard of.”

Hope you enjoy it.

Published works: If the Internet never happened, how might we live today?

courtesy reddit

courtesy reddit

An edited version of this story first appeared on April 5, 2016 in The Atlantic

Not long ago, I stumbled on a list of the best sci-fi novels according to the Internet (i.e. the highly entertaining computer geeks on Reddit). As someone who reads for pleasure as much as job security, I decided to finish as many of these and others that I could handle.

After completing over a dozen—not to mention many more in film adaptations—the following occurred to me: every single one of these acclaimed, futuristic stories—at least the many I was exposed to—completely missed the existence and impact of the Internet. Everything from published media and daily communication, to realizing sight unseen romance and access to global markets.

Why?

“A lot of science fiction was primarily focused on moving people and things around in exciting ways,” says technology commentator Clive Thompson. “These forward-thinkers were using flashy visuals to hook their readers, while understandably overlooking non-sexy things such as inaudible conversations.”

Which is largely what the Internet facilitates. Like electricity, it’s really just an everyday utility now. And utility talk is not plot. It’s boring.  Continue reading…

Published works: My very best travel columns (so far)

Courtesy Lindsey Snow

Last month, Paste Magazine unexpectedly and suddenly shuttered their travel section and (along with it) my weekly column. After 126 consecutive and wonderful stories, the news was devastating.

More than just money (which admittedly wasn’t much), the perk-filled gig served as a weekly source of education, inspiration, and a renewed understanding of writing for mainstream audiences again. Furthermore, it took me and sometimes even my friends and family to five different continents, dozens of countries, countless destinations, and introduced me to hundreds of interesting people.

Although I’ve yet to find a replacement, I have some promising leads for the unpublished and upcoming articles in the pipe. And I’m determined and confident that I’ll be able to find a new suitor for my column, which was read by over 900,000 monthly individuals, according to a November 2016 estimate by the nation’s fourth largest tourism board (i.e. Visit Orlando).

Until then, here are the stories I am most proud of—the best of my travel column so far:  Continue reading…

Backed by science: 14 ways to boost your productivity

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

There are a lot of productivity myths. For instance, early birds are more productive, structure kills creativity, adding resources increases output, and more. Although well intentioned, these are all wrong.

So what works? What productivity hypotheses have been tested and proven by science? After sifting through dozens of top search results, reports, and studies, this is what I found. The most convincing, substantiated, and established productivity strategies:  Continue reading…

Published works: Electric car camping in The Rockies, Alaskan cruises, the future of work

Courtesy Chevrolet/Barry Staver

Excluding non-bylined commercial work, here’s what I published last month:

Published works: Forces of nature, why do we travel, where to avoid this summer

Excluding non-bylined commercial work, here’s where my travel column went last month:

See also: My best work to date. Thanks for reading!

How to succeed: Don’t quit until everyone in the room tells you “no”

hd-wallpapers-never-give-up-1920x1200-wallpaper

After a decade of self employment, I’ve been told “no” several thousand times. I have records. For the same period, I’ve been told “yes” a few dozen times. Fewer than a hundred. I have records of that, too.

As you can tell, I–like most humans, salesmen, and business owners–experience rejection more than acceptance. Unlike many people, however, I don’t let that discourage me as a proprietor. But I almost did once.

Continue reading…

Published works: New tech, great outdoors, why we overlook Puerto Rico

Courtesy Puerto Rico tourism

Excluding non-bylined stories written for commercial clients (i.e. the bulk of my work these days), here’s what I published last month:

Published works: The future of TV, film tourism, first time in Hawaii, Trump’s #1 hotel

Excluding non-bylined stories for my commercial clients, this is what I published last month:

Thanks for reading.

Published works: Hiking Patagonia, biking Buenos Aires, and apps killing websites

Courtesy Argentina Tourism

Excluding non-bylined writings for commercial clients, here’s what I published last month:

Best of 2016 travel: Never do as the locals do, extreme theme parking, Antarctica

Here’s where my travel column went this month:

5 things I haven’t shared until now

echo-dot-black-back-on

I’m always writing down blog ideas. At the time of writing, I have 535 unpublished saved drafts. Most of these will never see the light of day. But some of them are worth sharing. In an effort to whittle that number down as fast as humanly possible, here are five things that have crossed my mind recently: Continue reading…

Published works: Skydiving, Australia, computers killing writers, and battery tech

front

Here’s where my byline published last month:

The Network (aka Cisco magazine)

Paste Magazine

Travel column: Off the grid in North America, San Diego, New Zealand, and Seattle

Courtesy Andy Feige

Courtesy Andy Feige

Here’s what I wrote about last month:

Published works: Predicting the office of the future, women in tech

2016 cisco logo

I started freelance writing for Cisco.com last month. Here are my first few stories:

Published columns: Kid travels, universal sensations, foreign foods, paddle boarding

Credit Lindsey Snow

Credit Lindsey Snow

Here’s where my travel column went last month:

New name, same thing: Work-life blending is all about balance

Photo: Lindsey Snow

Photo: Lindsey Snow

In recent years, a new ideology has emerged. It is this: work-life balance is impossible; therefore, humanity must embrace work-life blending instead.

I tried work-life blending for six years before we ever called it that. I’m here to tell you it stinks and is largely a pipe dream—nothing more than a new term coined by self-absorbed workaholics to justify their personal regrets, negligence, and imbalances in life.

Now let me tell you how I really feel.  Continue reading…

Published columns: Traveling guidebooks, nature worship, industrial views, music city

credit Lindsey Snow

credit Lindsey Snow

For those who care, here’s where my travel column went last month:

Published works: Latest version—the problem with online user reviews

TA_550x370My latest, reporting for Paste Magazine:

“Obviously, user review repositories such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google are a net gain for people in need of lodging, a delicious meal, or a new tool, gadget, or surprise to solve their current problem. But as we increasingly turn to big, crowd-funded data to help us stay informed and avoid buyer’s remorse, we need to be thinking of better ways to get the most up-to-date and accurate information available while also rewarding the efforts of those who aim to please us.”

Continue reading…

Published columns: Americans abroad, epic inlands, Monument Valley, underrated states

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

Here’s where my travel column went last month:

Off The Grid: India tips, wander wisely, Irish highlights, holy places, best mainland beach

credit wikimedia

credit wikimedia

You know the drill. Here’s where my travel column went last month:

Travel roundup: Most visited countries, foreign education, China tips, nearby snorkeling

courtesy wikimedia

Here’s where my travel column went last month. Better late than never:

Read this if you like money-saving adventures, inspiring islands, popular consensus, or myth-busting

credit: wikimedia commons

credit wikimedia commons

I really enjoy writing these because the subjects have nothing to do with my day job, which keeps me on my toes. Hope you have as much fun reading them as I did writing them:

Comments Off on Read this if you like money-saving adventures, inspiring islands, popular consensus, or myth-busting (0)

In case you missed it: offline vacations, converting cruise-haters, overlooked wonders, and dream believers

MGM

MGM

Here’s where my travel column went last month:

My latest columns: Dancing Matt, big impact countries, unrecognized beauty, mind travel

I hope the below will help you travel somewhere fun.

Published works: The best things I’ve written as a part-time sportswriter

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Over the last decade, I’ve mostly written about technology. Among the hundreds of magazine articles and thousands of blog posts published, some cover entertainment. Some science. Some travel. And rarer still, some sports. (All topics that personally appeal to me.)

Of the latter category, these are the stories I’m most proud of, along with the backstories that created them.  Continue reading…

Comments Off on Published works: The best things I’ve written as a part-time sportswriter (0)

Thanks, Paste Magazine, for letting me write these adventurous stories last month

Paramount Pictures

Off the grid: Rethinking air travel, European detours, travel blunders, and Newfoundland

Here’s where my travel column went last month:

Oh, the places you’ll go! Here’s where my travel column went last month

credit: blake snow

credit: blake snow

Perhaps one of the below might inspire your next offline adventure:

Introducing “Off the Grid,” my new travel column for Paste Magazine

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

I just started a new travel column for Paste Magazine. It’s called “Off the Grid.” You should read it.

First one up: 5 overlooked National Parks. To help you along the way, I’ll follow it up every week with all things awesome.

Thanks for reading (and for sharing if you like what you read).

My latest for USA Today: Fantastic fjords of North America

Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

Newfoundland & Labrador Tourism

An edited version of this story first appeared on USA Today

North American is known for a lot of things. Transcendent, soaring, and gaping fjords isn’t one of them. For that, most travelers understandably head to Norway, New Zealand, or Chile first—all renowned for their glacier-carved “canyons” that outlet into swallowing seas.

But the northern half of the continent has its fair share of majestic cliffs cut by frozen (instead of liquid) water, especially in parts of southern Alaska and Canada. As a bonus, they’re more proximitous than Europe’s beloved Grainger Fjord, less travelled, and still rate at least 4.5 out of 5 stars, according to average visitor reviews on Google and Tripadvisor.

Behold, the most fantastic fjords of North America: Continue reading…

Google Fiber: With speeds this fast, who cares about privacy!!??

Courtesy Google

Courtesy Google

I’ve seen the future. It’s called gigabit Internet by Google Fiber, and it just launched in my hometown of Provo, the second of three scheduled cities to get speeds that are 100 times faster than the rest of America.

“What good is really fast Internet if the content stays the same?” you may ask yourself. I certainly did, before testing the service. Besides, my “high speed” Internet from Comcast seemed fast enough, enabling my household to stream HD videos, load web pages quickly, and connect multiple devices as needed, largely without hiccup.

I was wrong.

Using gigabit Internet, even in its infancy, opened my eyes to speed and reminded me of why I love the Internet.

Continue reading on Fox News

Published works: 10 ways to save on tech this year

(CNN) — From Airbnb to GasBuddy to shopkick, lots of apps and websites help consumers save money.

But how do we spend less on technology itself — that digital drug we can’t seem to get enough of? How can we save money on electronic gadgets and services … so that we can buy more gadgets?

Here are 10 ways to stretch your tech budget this year: Continue reading…

Published works: How to fix Microsoft, suspect dental technology

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I fell behind in updating my published works section this year (there’s always Google right?). In any case, here are a couple of recent stories I’m proud to have written:

The web made us smarter. Is Facebook making us dumber?

NBC/KSL—Like AOL before it, Facebook is the latest in a long line of mainstream technologies to introduce a lot of new users to the power, utility, and network effect of the Internet.

At the same time, the popular hangout has negatively impacted the number of public comments taking place online. Case in point: The number of people making online remarks has dwindled from a record 15% five years ago to an estimated 7% last year, according to market research by Nielson.

The reason: “Conversations around stories are moving off the news page and onto social networks,” says Steve Rubel, a longtime observer of social media since 2004. “With time spent on social networks like Facebook skyrocketing, it leaves little left to engage at the source of the news.”

Is that a problem? Continue reading…

Published works: Home field advantage, fantasy sports, free college, gamer abandonment

Notable feature stories I’ve written recently: