‘Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel’ by Rolf Potts

Some say life is travel – a long journey for life. In this book, ‘Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-term World Travel,’ the author Rolf Pott shows us how truly you can turn your life into a journey. ‘Vagabonding’ is the name of this life style, which today is also called ‘Nomad.’

As the title says, this is a guidebook of travel as an art. Let’s turn the page and see what the world offers to the fellow travelers.

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Japan 2050 Prophecy – As The Prophet Says…

In the previous post ‘The Falling Sun – Japan to Fade Out by 2050,’ I introduced the Japan 2050 Prophecy, or a report called ‘Global Japan – Year 2050 Simulation and Strategy,’ published by a Japanese think tank, 21st Century Public Policy Institute.

Although seemingly shocking, the Japanese people do not have to panic as if 2050 is the end of the world. This think tank, backed up by the big names of Corporate Japan, is merely advocating their interests as a form of the ‘research.’ This is a strong (and almost threatening) message from the Japanese establishment to the novice DJP government.

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The Falling Sun – Japan to Fade Out by 2050

Japan’s GDP growth will become negative by 2020, due to the world fastest aging population. By 2050, it will slip to the 9th largest world economy from the current 3rd position. Korea will catch up and surpass Japan for the per capita GDP by 45%. 40% of the national population will be over 65 years old and the working population will shrink to today’s 2/3.

Yesterday, 21st Century Public Policy Institute,  a Japanese think tank, published a 100-page research titled ‘Global Japan – Year 2050 Simulation and Strategy.’ Shocked by the figures, many online news articles have been posted and active discussions are happening. Let’s take a look at this 2050 prophecy.

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The Rise of The Nomad – Why Japanese Salaryman Quit?

In the previous post ‘The Rise of The Nomad – A New Work-Life Style in Japan‘, I introduced a new type of freelancers and entrepreneurs – the nomad. The Japanese workforce (called ‘salaryman‘) are traditionally known for their loyal 60-hours workweek and for their orderly 2-hour commute in the overcrowded subway. Why are they abandoning Corporate Japan? The following three key social changes have triggered this wave.

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The Rise of The Nomad – A New Work-Life Style in Japan

Historically, Japan has been a sedentary agricultural society. The people were strongly tied to the land and stayed there all their lives. The proverb ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ was considered negative in Japan, where the moss was viewed as something valuable, as you see at the famous Saiho-ji moss temple in Kyoto.

On the other hand, the people on the move without settling were looked as irresponsible and untrustworthy. For the past few years, however, Japan is seeing a rise of a new type of people against this perspective – the nomad.

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‘Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard’ by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

The other day, I posted a review of ‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg. The main theme of the book is how to reprogram your habits, from quitting smoking to starting exercise at the habitual level. Another great book about sustainable change is ‘Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard’ by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

Instead of the ‘Cue – Routine – Reward’ cycle that introduced in ‘The Power of Habit,’ the author of this book proposes another trinity – Rider, Elephant, and Path. It seems three is the magic number in the world of change.

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Southern America Meets Southern India

As briefly touched in a previous post ‘How Long is One Second?,’ I had an opportunity to support an offshoring transition project from an American IT vendor to an Indian one. It was a big project involving hundreds of people – Americans and Indians (and one Japanese.) While the project itself was quite interesting, what excited me more was to witness what can happen when one culture, say the Southern American, faces a close encounter with another completely different culture, say the Southern Indian.

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