Wednesday, September 29, 2010


For the uninitiated, let me explain what Utah is.
By uninitiated, I guess I mean people who aren’t Mormon.
I’ve gone to Utah every year since I was born there. It’s like this great meeting place, where you can see former acquaintances who live all over the world but who come to Utah to find a spouse, to go to school, or to see family. Jacob can see people from Missouri here, and I can see friends from Keller. Missionary reunions happen here. Former coworkers run into each other here. The LDS Church makes it a small world and it’s a smaller one when you’re in Utah. Furthermore my roots and family history go back to the pioneers who first came to Utah, and it’s where Jacob and I got our start.  I think we’ll always love visiting here. It feels like coming home to me.

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It was great to see Lana and Nicole. We three have taken such different paths and it was fun to see how much was the same and how much had changed. We missed Andrea, who is living in Ohio, and we missed Ashley, who passed away in a car accident right after Jacob and I got engaged. It’s hard for me at these kind of times. Your freshman year roommate is unlike anyone else in the entire world, and we had inside jokes that I long to relive sometimes but no one would understand but her. Yes, Ashley is missed. The picture is too small, but she’s the third from the left below and I’m the second from the left.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What we do

After running this blog for nearly two years, I think it’s about time there was an “about us” part of the blog. I get the feeling sometimes that people think we’re irresponsible and up to our ears in debt in order to fund our travels. (We travel debt-free.) Or at the very least, that we’re barely scraping by and avoiding reality which we’ll finally have to face when we get home and have to get a real job.

This is not the case.

Jacob and I met at the foreign language housing at BYU in Provo, Utah. You can read our how we met story here.


In the first few months of our engagement and marriage, Jacob wrote and began to sell a book called The Jump Manual. It’s a vertical jump training program to help athletes to jump higher. I was finishing school at the time and didn’t really pay much attention to it. We were living with his parents as he worked on the computer, building up the business. Meanwhile, I got a job in Germany as an editor.

This job was a catastrophe—that’s a story for another day. But when it didn’t pan out, Jacob and I were left to decide what we wanted to do next. We decided to visit his brother Luke in Macedonia. And then our friend Scott in Israel. And the traveling just continued and evolved, and the business continued to grow. I became involved with it as well when it finally hit me that this was better than any job I could find.

When we travel, we usually stay in a hostel until we find a satisfactory apartment. Then we set down roots for 1-2 months. The lifestyle we live in foreign countries is very laid-back. It involves spending several hours on the computer, going to the gym, meeting locals, trying exotic food, sleeping in, and seeing some touristy things…occasionally.

It’s similar to Timothy Feriss’s The Four Hour Workweek. The difference is, we don’t have a home base. We don’t take mini-retirements. We are permanently on the move. It can be really confusing when filling out a form and getting to the part that says, “Address.”

Although we are making about three or four times what we were making when Jacob was working full time in sales and I was a piano teacher, we only spend combined several hours a day working. We can live where we want and visit whom we want. We don’t ever plan on settling down to get a '”real job.” The question remains—will we ever settle down at all? More important than money, it is freedom that we truly feel blessed with. This is the miracle of internet business.

We are passionate about health—nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle, the LDS Church, and traveling.

We are also passionate about internet business and helping others to live with more time and more money. We sell an ebook software so people can do what we did—write an ebook and sell it online.  And we have a CRM for home based businesses.

We are kept very busy doing what we love! Life couldn’t be better. Please feel welcome to comment or ask questions or to meet up with us!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bizarre but nice

Last night Jacob took me out on a date.

No, that’s not what is bizarre. He does thoughtful things like that. He’s a very sweet man.

He surprised me with a Chinese vegan/vegetarian restaurant in Salt Lake called Evergreen. We split a dish made from soy that tasted and looked just like shrimp. Yum.


It was our waitress that made the night a little bizarre. She was a middle-aged woman from Taiwan.

Waitress: Do you speak Chinese?

Jacob: Yes.

Waitress: Nihao.

Jacob: Yang she. (This is the name of our favorite Chinese song.)

Waitress: What?

Jacob, pointing to me: Yang she.

Waitress, clearly touched: Oh…oh. That is so sweet. Liang she.

Jacob and me: Smiling and laughing. We have no idea what is so sweet.

Waitress: She is so beautiful. You are the perfect couple. It is like you are still very much in love.

She leaves.

She brings our food.

Waitress to me: I must tell you something. I feel like I have known you for a very long time.

Me: What’s your name?

Waitress: Anne. Your face, you are so open, so friendly, I feel I can talk to you. What do you think?

Me: Um, sure, yeah I’m pretty open, I like to meet new people. That’s very nice.

Waitress: Where are you from?

Jacob: We have no home. We just travel. We were in China, Thailand, India this year.

Waitress: You look very young, so you must have saved up to do this.

Me: We have internet businesses so we work and travel at the same time.

Waitress: Oh.

She leaves and brings us the check.

Waitress: I have a daughter. She is very young. She is 19 and she is getting married. I am stressed. It is giving me gray hair.

Me: Don’t worry, you look very young!

Waitress: I want my daughter to be like you. You have complete freedom, and this gives you happiness.

Jacob and I, in unison: Are you a fortune teller?

Waitress: Looks at us blankly.

We say our goodbyes and leave.


Friday, September 10, 2010


There are periods of time in which I seem to get a little blog-happy. This is apparently one of those times.

But I had to do a post on one of the cooler ideas that I’ve seen for a nonprofit.

I’ve been following their newsletters for a while. It’s called

And I just found out today that it was Matt Damon who started it.

I love celebrities who do more with their status than get DUIs.


I’ve mentioned in another post. It’s where you loan money to entrepreneurs in developing countries and they pay back the loan. Then you can reloan your money to new entrepreneurs. So far, we’ve loaned to people in Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria, Indonesia and the USA…and we’ve been paid back 100% which enables us to reinvest in new entrepreneurs.

I think one of the biggest roadblocks to charitable giving is the fear that it’s going to be wasted. And to be honest, every time I give money to a random beggar on the road, I feel stupid, like I just got scammed. (I feel the same way every time I pay taxes.)

That’s why I like, and that’s why this charity is pretty cool. It’s called water microlending.

Cities/communities are given a loan to build a well or renewable water resource. They are expected to pay it back. The way they can pay it back is because they have so much more time on their hands now that they don’t have to spend several hours a day fetching water, and they aren’t getting ill as often, so they can work and produce more. When they pay it back, the money is reloaned to a new destination. Amazing idea, eh?

blog water


  • At any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • Almost one-tenth of the global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation, hygiene and management of water resources. Such improvements reduce child mortality and improve health and nutritional status in a sustainable way.
  • Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
  • In just one day, more than 200 million hours of women’s time is consumed for the most basic of human needs — collecting water for domestic use. This lost productivity is greater than the combined number of hours worked in a week by employees at Wal*Mart, United Parcel Service, McDonald’s, IBM, Target, and Kroger.
  • Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    How to live abroad

    In college, after doing my study abroad in Austria (which I loved!!!) I pretty much decided I was going to live abroad again, by hook or by crook. The most obvious way to do that seemed to be teaching English. I don't know how much time I spent researching this subject. And now I just decided, well, maybe there's someone out there who might like to know that information. I never actually taught abroad, but I've researched it like I have.

    Now I'm biased of course--I think, ideally, internet business is a more lucrative and enjoyable way to travel than teaching. But I got an email from an agency this week that said they were hiring in Bhutan. Bhutan!
    An opportunity like that is one-of-a-kind. Why? Because the country doesn't allow tourists to enter the country unless on an extremely expensive monitored tour.

    So the only way to experience the country without being a tourist would be to go there to work. And internet business won't cut it. Teaching English would.

    This is a country whose ruler actually has a measurement of the country called Gross National Happiness. It's a country that is completely undiscovered--almost like North Korea. And most people probably wouldn't think about going there because they are more interested in more traditional destinations.

    And people are freaking out about the job situation in the US--well, there's always teaching English in Bhutan.

    Here is the job:

    Footprints Recruiting is recruiting qualified teachers to teach in The Kingdom of Bhutan for year long contracts February 2011 – December 2011. We are looking for Primary Specialists, Special Education Specialists, as well as High School Math, Science and English specialists. No other language necessary as English is the language of instruction in Bhutan beginning in Grade 2. Teachers will be placed in Bhutanese government funded schools across the country. You are able to request posting location as well as age of students and subject that you would like to teach.  
    Who we’re looking for:
    • Qualified teachers holding a degree in Education, teacher certification or 3  years relevant teaching experience  (with references)
    • Aged 22-59
    • Native English speakers from Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand
    • Adaptable and enthusiastic adventurers who are looking to make a difference!
    Compensation:Teachers are paid a local salary of 20,000 Ngultrums which is about $500 USD a month. This is more than enough to cover your living expenses in Bhutan.  Accommodations will be found for you. Successful applicants may also be eligible to apply for student loan deferral or reduced payment programs.
    Application Deadline:  September 30, 2010  
    Spend a year in the Land of the Thunder Dragon - We believe that education is key to the thoughtful transformation of the new democracy of Bhutan. Through the provisioning of teachers, materials, and scholarships we encourage the growth of a universal system of education, which upholds the tenets of Gross National Happiness and focuses on human well being and environmental conservation.
    If you are interested in applying for this unique opportunity, please respond to this e-mail with the word ‘Bhutan’ in the subject line.

    Best Regards,

    Ben Glickman
    CEO - Co-Owner
    Footprints Recruiting Inc.®

    Phone: +1 604-677-6556 ext. 6000

    Here is some basic information on getting a job overseas that I wrote for a friend:

    So as I flirted with the idea of going to teach English abroad, I often applied and was actually offered positions in several places. The best way to get a job is just to make a resume and post in on the teach English abroad websites like or There are a lot of them. I don't remember which one I posted in on which got me the job in Germany, but is one which I remember I got bombarded with offers. All you have to do is post your resume on the site, look at jobs you like and hit "apply." 

    Some things to think about: 
    Salary isn't everything. Cost of living will make a big difference, as well as if round trip airfare is provided, or insurance, meals, and housing.
    China will have a lower pay scale, but you can live well for what you get. Japan will pay higher, but the cost of living is so high you will have a harder time saving anything.
    What's more, Japan is extremely competitive, whereas China is desperate for teachers.
    A place like Saudi Arabia, you could make $60,000 a year but die of boredom in the mean time because you have to live on a compound.

    One other thing to decide is if you want TEFL certification. Some jobs require it, but not all. Sometimes you can make a little more money if you have it...

    Although it's not necessary, it is possible to use something like Footprints EF First 
    These are services that do placement based on openings they have in their databases. I had job offers from both of them too.

    I also looked into being an au pair: shows listings by country. I think I got TONS of job offers from Almondbury Agency Everybody wants their little kid to learn English.

    To sum up...if you want to live abroad as desperately as I did, there are ways to go about it :)

    Saturday, September 4, 2010


    Salt Lake.




    That’s where we’re going to be in the next 5 weeks, in that order. The question mark means that destination is still up in the air. Maybe Portland? Maybe Tennessee?

    Yeah, it’s not so exotic…but business calls.

    Hit us up if you’re in the area! We do have a cell phone. Amazing, I know.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Any tips?

    I have this problem.

    I always forget to dry my hands after washing my hands in the bathroom. And invariably, I have to shake hands with someone I’m being introduced to as soon as I exit the bathroom. It’s become correlated in my mind: if it’s time to shake hands with someone, my hands are probably damp. It’s really unfortunate because I don’t have sweaty palms normally, but I’m giving the impression that I do.

    As far as I see it, I have five options:

    Option 1: Remember to dry my hands fully before exiting.

    Problem: I have tried to remember in the past and failed. Also, I’m sometimes too lazy/in a hurry and justify skipping the final step of drying my hands.

    Option 2: Wipe my hands on the sides of my pants in front of them, leaving the newly introduced person with their hand extended, waiting.

    Problem: This is a little awkward, and leaves no doubt in the person’s mind where I have been. It may also concern them that I have peed on my hand instead of washing my hands with water and soap. Also, in that split second I find I immediately reach for their hand, forgetting my hands are still wet.

    Option 3: Lie blatantly and apologize for the lack of paper towels even when there were plenty left.

    Problem: This saves face but isn’t ethical.

    Option 4: Do the guy punch thing instead of a handshake.

    Problem: Girls don’t do that to people they have just met.

    Option 5: Shake hands with your fingertips only.

    For some reason, this is the option I usually fall back on. It accomplishes the handshake still, but avoids getting the other person’s hands wet (my fingertips dry faster than the rest of my hand). However, it is a very strange way to shake hands.

    So…any readers out there have a solution to my dilemma? Which option is best? Which option would you prefer the next time you need to shake hands with me, in which instance I can pretty much guarantee will be directly after a visit to the restroom by yours truly?

    These pictures of Jacob shaking hands are for illustration only. Jacob says when he wants to shake hands with someone and his hands are wet, he actually gives them his elbow. Or wrist. I didn’t include that in the options because that is just too far-fetched for me. 

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    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    I would love to attend this…

    On October 2, U.S. local and national peace organizations will be a vital part of the coalition of progressive organizations marching in D.C. as One Nation Working Together.

    Please contribute as generously as you can to support UFPJ's organizing for this demonstration and to ensure that our demands to end war, cut military spending, and fund jobs and human needs are heard.

    OneNationEvent-300x226 The US military consumes over 50% of our national budget - tax dollars that are desperately needed here at home to save jobs and support families. The U.S. war machine is a huge contributor to climate change. With over 700 bases girdling the globe, the U.S. foreign policy of endless war has wreaked havoc on people around the world. To maintain a nuclear umbrella of intimidation, war makers continue to build new generations of expensive weapons that risk nuclear annihilation.

    We must stop this madness! But the peace and anti-war movements cannot stop it alone. That is why UFPJ is working with hundreds of groups across the nation to take action to build a peoples' movement and to march in Washington on October 2.

    It is time to stand up with our friends and allies in the labor, civil rights, immigrant rights and environmental movements. Please contribute as generously as you can to make this coordinated push for jobs, justice and peace a success.

    Spread the word and organize where and when you can for the October 2 demonstration!
    The UFPJ Coordinating Committee
    Cole Harrison, United for Justice with Peace (Boston)
    Gael Murphy, CODEPINK Women for Peace
    Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation
    Lisa Fithian, Alliance of Community Trainers, UFPJ Co-Convener
    Michael McPhearson, Veterans For Peace, UFPJ Co-Convener
    Rusti Eisenberg, Brooklyn for Peace
    Siri Margerin, Bay Area United for Peace & Justice
    Terry Rockefeller, Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow

    Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.

    PO Box 607; Times Square Station; New York, NY 10108
    To subscribe, visit


    If you’d care to, I’d be interested in anyone’s opinion on why they believe 9/11 happened.

    It was foggy in my mind, but I was told it was “bad men who hate freedom and want to take away America’s freedom.”

    I didn’t really question that until a friend of mine who lives in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border (the same one I mentioned in another post) and whose family is the same ethnicity as al-Qaeda said that clearly it happened because of the American support of Israel against Palestine—all Afghanistan people recognize that. What? I told him that it was not clear to most Americans (maybe I’m wrong). That’s why I wondered if I was just ignorant about that fact?

    I decided to ask my friend who majored in Middle Eastern studies, and who speaks a little of both Hebrew and Arabic and who lived over there for a while his opinion. I thought it was such an excellent answer it should be shared:

    I suppose that the first thing to do is to ask the people who perpetrated the attack.
    Osama bin Laden is the figurehead of al-Qaeda, but it is a matter of speculation as to how much power he has, and how big a role he played in the September 11th attacks. He probably had knowledge of the attacks, and while he didn’t claim responsibility at once, he later did claim direct responsibility. It’s safe to say that ideologically, he represents members of al-Qaeda, and other similar groups.
    He issued a manifesto about a year after the attacks that he called a “letter to the American people.” He outlined his grievances against the US and the reasons behind the attacks. He mixes political motivations with religious justification, including several verses of the Quran. Much of the letter is non-substantive, but the core of it is actually quite lucid.
    “(Q1) Why are we fighting and opposing you?”
    “(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.”
    He then outlines his grievances, and his beliefs regarding American aggression against Muslims:
    1. US support for Israel, especially violence against the Palestinians.
    2. US supported violence against Muslims in other areas including Somlia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Lebanon.
    3. US support for dictators and regimes in the Middle East.
    4. US control of Middle Eastern oil.
    5. US military presence in the Middle East, particularly military bases in Saudi Arabia.
    6. US support for Israeli dominance of Jerusalem.
    He concludes by saying “If [Former Israeli PM, Ariel] Sharon is a man of peace in the eyes of Bush, then we are also men of peace!!! America does not understand the language of manners and principles, so we are addressing it using the language it understands.”
    Analysts and experts have concluded that these reasons are transparent and are the actual grievances of bin Laden and al-Qaeda, and that the chief grievance is the US support for Israel’s violence against the Palestinians.
    To me then, there are two obvious questions. The first: Are these grievances legitimate? The second: How do we use these grievances to undermine and eliminate al-Qaeda and other similar groups.
    The answer to the first question, in my opinion, is that for the most part the grievances are real. Acknowledging this is in no way justifying al-Qaeda, or the vicious September 11th attacks. Terrorists regard themselves as the vanguard of the people, and they use actual grievances to recruit and motivate jihadis to commit violence.
    In my mind, this brings the answer to the second question. We should eliminate the grievances, over which we have a large degree of control, and undermine the base of support for al-Qaeda. This is not just my opinion only, but the opinion of many experts, including two former National Security Advisors, General Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski.
    In a report you can download here:
    These two, and a team of other bipartisan experts recommended steps to ending the Israel-Palestine conflict to President Obama. The entire report is well worth reading, I’ll only quote two paragraphs:
    “Today, when our enemies avoid America’s military superiority by waging information warfare and terror, an early Arab-Israeli peace is indispensable. Although a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace would not erase Al Qaeda, it would help drain the swamp in which it and other violent and terrorist movements thrive, and eliminate a major source of global Muslim anti-Americanism. Iran would find the strategic advantages it recently gained in the Arab world greatly reduced. Far from being a distraction from other Middle Eastern crises, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would significantly facilitate their amelioration.
    Conversely, for the U.S. to avoid effective facilitation and mediation is to cede the field to America’s enemies who are counting on the Arab-Israeli dispute as the gift that keeps on giving.”

    Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America' | World news |


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