w: ajleon

Once in a Lifetime

The problem with “once in a lifetime” is that it is usually a myth.

Something we tell ourselves to mollify the demons of our own complacency. In The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit, I stipulate that waiting might be the most dangerous enterprise we could possibly engage in.

There are few things on this earth more dangerous than waiting. Waiting for the perfect time to launch. Waiting to have enough money to start. Waiting for your friends to think you can. Waiting for some blogger or regional manager or magazine editor to notice you. Waiting for God to increase the hours of the day. Waiting until the kids graduate. Waiting until you’re out of debt. Waiting for your dad to believe in you. Waiting for the boss to say it’s fine. Waiting for a case study to prove that it’s worth it. Waiting for retirement. Waiting to be chosen. Waiting to be validated. Waiting for a sign.

The obvious problem with waiting. Paralysis. The nothingness that comes with not trying.

The not-so-obvious problem with waiting. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

Day one. It’s 8:44 am.

And I’m sitting at Earth Matters cafe in the Lower East Side thinking about you.

In 2 hours I will make my way to Penn Station, and I will jump on a train heading towards Utah which will commence my trip around the world in 1,880 days. Exactly 72 hours ago, I launched this project, and published a manifesto about how I went from being an unremarkably average banker to a dude who nomads around the world and makes things happen. It has already been downloaded hundreds of times, and some very generous people have written reviews about it, some of which are here, here, here and here. If you’d like a free copy you can download it here. And if you’d like to write a review on your own website, you will most likely put a huge smile on my face today.

Needless to say, this has been a big week for me.

But two days ago, having stayed up all night without a drop of coffee getting this site ready on the eve of my 30th birthday, I had an extraordinary thought. I thought to myself, “I’m leaving on the adventure of a lifetime on Sunday, and that’s pretty cool. But you know what might be even more cool? What if I could help someone else do the same….”

So, I had our right hand girl, Jessie, do a little research and she found out that it is indeed possible for me to help you go on the adventure of a lifetime.

Pursuit of Everything Once in a Lifetime Giveaway

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?

Today, on the same day that I am leaving on my 1,880 day trip around the world, I am doing a giveaway here on my three day old website.

The prize? A round trip economy ticket to anywhere in the world.

How will this work?

Because I’ve traveled so much over the last four years, I have a good amount of airline miles stashed away. These airline miles were hard earned, and are incredibly valuable because they’ve been used to get me free tickets to many of the almost 50 countries I’ve traveled to in the last 48 months.

But today, I want to use these airline miles to help you go on the adventure of a lifetime.

How do I enter the POE Giveaway, AJ?

It’s easy. In the comments below this post, answer two very simple questions.

#1 If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
#2 Why?

You can answer in text or a link to a video or a piece of art or get as creative as you want as long as it’s linked up in the comment field below.

Tech Note: I use Facebook commenting on this website so you need to have a Facebook account in order to enter the Giveaway. If you don’t have one, and would like to start one for this Giveaway, you absolutely can over at Facebook.com.

Prize Specifics.

Sadly, I’m not a millionaire. This is a big stretch for me, but of course, I believe it’s the right thing to do and I’m doing it.

Let me be clear, the prize is NOT an all-inclusive tour to any destination in the world.

The prize IS a round trip Economy ticket FROM the closest major airport to you TO any destination in the world of your choosing – this includes anywhere in North America, Europe, Asia, Australiasia and South America & Africa (these two continents are always the *really* expensive tickets).

Here is what you get.

I will give you enough airline miles to book a round trip ticket to just about anywhere in the world. (up to a maximum of 90,000 miles). I will pay the taxes associated with your round trip ticket. That’s it. Everything else is on you. Baggage Fees, Visa & Passport Fees, lodging, food, coffee, beer, cashew nuts – that’s on you. However, I will also transfer you some money on Venmo to buy a celebratory glass of champagne so I and the Misfit team can toast you on a GoToMeeting before your big journey.

How much will this cost you, AJ?

The value of the miles I’m giving away are equivalent to a trip anywhere in the world or up to 90,000 airline miles. The value to me is several thousand dollars.

Why am I Doing This?

This is not a stunt. Take note. I am not selling anything right now, and there are certainly cheaper ways to market a new website. I’m starting the adventure of a lifetime this morning, and I am in a position to help you do the same. That’s it. Oh, and because generosity always wins.

Is there a Sponsor for This Giveaway?

No. This is on me and Melissa and the Misfits.

How Will People be Selected?

The selection process will be very simple. The comments on this post will be open until this Wednesday evening at 11:59PM EST. Then an anonymous group of Selection Jedi’s will choose one person to receive the prize. I’ll announce the winner in next Sunday’s post. Simple as that.

Who will be Selecting the Winner?

Not me. I have an anonymous group of Jedi’s that I love and trust who will make the selection of the winner.

What will the Jedi Council take into consideration?

The answers to the two simple questions stated above. The story you tell. If you want to have some friends “like” your comment, feel free. It won’t be a factor for consideration, but it probably won’t hurt your chances of being noted as the Jedi’s scroll through the comments.

What will be REQUIRED of you if you win?

#1 You need to leave on this journey within the next four months. Before the new year.
#2 You need to start a blog, or use your existing blog to share your experience with the world.
#3 You need to work with me and my team to book your tickets using these miles. Melissa will walk you through it

What is the EXACT format?

#1 If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

*insert your answer here*

#2 Why?

*insert your answer here w/ relevant links, pics, whatevers etc*

If you don’t follow this format, the Jedi’s probably won’t consider your comment. Jedi’s like order. They are very anal creatures.

The Problem with Doing Stuff Like This.

In my experience, whenever anyone tries to do something generous on the web, the internet trolls have a way of coming out and sucking the fun right out of it. If you are a troll, please don’t come near this giveaway. I would be eternally grateful. Please don’t email me in two weeks telling me what an asshole I am for not selecting you, okay? Please. Just this once, Mr. Troll, stay in your dirty interweb cave, playing reruns of Battlestar Galactica and eating Twinkie’s and stale Cheetos, or whatever the hell it is you do in there.

What you Need to Do Right Now.

DO NOT write a comment right now.

Take a moment to think about this.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? And why?

Don’t just blurt out Fiji, okay? This is not a small thing. It is a revelation about a journey you’ve always wanted to pursue but for some reason have not. Truly think about the things you’ve said you wanted to see in your life, the experiences you’ve dreamed about, the people you wanted to help. Jot it down in your own notebook. Then come back here and answer those two questions in a comment below. And even if you don’t get selected, at least you’ll know where your next adventure should be.

Here’s to changing the world. And good luck!

The deadline ends Wednesday night at 11:59pm EST.

Your fellow Misfit,


Ps – As I hit publish on this post, I’m riding an Amtrak train to DC, then Chicago, then Utah where I will be staying in a renovated school bus surrounded by flat top mountains for four days.

Written from: Earth Matters Cafe in the LES; published from an Amtrak train from NYC enroute to Utah.

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