​Originally published for my exclusive Monthly Email List.

(Do you know where this picture is taken? Write me an email with your guess (country, place) and if you’re right I’ll send you a postcard from Copenhagen!)

It’s a cold February in Scandinavia – a good opportunity drink tea, sit down and get a lot of things done. In this email, I will touch on three projects:

– I’m making an online vote on where should I go for country #100
– I’m making live presentations on how to travel more, and below I share the poster (and story behind it) that inspired me to build an online business, then go traveling and more.
– I’m working on combining high performance (a la my book) with the ancient virtues

Where Should I Go For Country #100? You Can Vote!

I’m about to complete a life-long dream – to travel to 100 different countries, all while working full-time and before turning 30. To make the milestone special, I have asked friends and people around the world to vote.

The vote opened around two weeks ago and closes this Sunday Feb 28th at 11.59 PM. Here are the results so far:

 Ranking  Country
1 India
2   Madagascar
3 Iran
4 Australia
5 Mongolia
6 Cuba
7 Ethiopia
8 Serbia
9 Myanmar
10 Bhutan
11 Philippines
12 Lebanon

– With well over 100 votes counted, India is winning, but Madagascar, Iran, Australia and Mongolia are all very close behind.
– If you haven’t voted, you can do so here: www.marioscian.com/voting
– Once you vote, you’ll get a special link you can use to share the poll with your friends. If you do so and your friends vote, you’ll participate for incredible prizes: you can get my book for free, my two video courses for free, a one-hour 1-to-1 to talk about travel…
-…and, as a new, last minute prize, if five of your friends vote, I’ll send you a beautiful, handwritten postcard from the country #100 to wherever you are in the world.

***

Someone Is Always Doing Something Someone Else Said Was Impossible

I’ve transformed my Udemy Travel Video Course (2000+ signed up) into a live presentation. I tried it out yesterday in Copenhagen for a small audience of 20-30 people and got very positive feedback. Here are the slides, plus below an introduction…

In early 2009, I hit rock bottom. I graduated in the worst job market in a generations, and Argentina, where I’m from and where I used to live, was going down.

It was the first time that things really started to go completely wrong for me. I’d no job for months, family was not doing well, I was doing so-so with girls and had absolutely no chance of traveling anywhere. After the school bubble, life felt much more real.

However, I was (and still am) naive and a bit of a dreamer. Even through tough times, I’d a simple yet very ambitious objective: I wanted to do whatever I wanted, when I wanted, and where I wanted.

Naturally, people were telling me, every time, how unrealistic my dreams were. “You can’t”. “Life doesn’t work like that”. “Get a real job”.

Yet, not everyone was negative. Just then, a good friend sent me a poster, which I printed out, put on my wall and I looked up to every day. Here it is:

(I only learned this year that Richard Branson had this exact poster in his wall for decades!)

The key is: someone is always doing something people said was impossible.

In my mind, this meant: there are probably some other guys out there alreadythat have the same dreams I have and I should check what they’re up to.

It didn’t take me too long to get to two interesting fellows:
– Tim Ferriss, Author of The 4 Hour Workweek – Traveled the world learning skills (tango, horse-back archery, etc.) while he had a ‘lifestyle business’.
– Chris Guillebeau, Author of The Art of Nonconformity – Visited every country in the world before turning 35.

If they could do whatever they wanted, where they wanted, when they wanted… Why not me, right?

So, I read, read more, learned, met people, and in a few months built my own lifestyle business – a dating and relationships advice website, basically a blog to help guys get a girlfriend.

Laughs aside, the site took off – it reached 2.3 million people and earned me a good cashflow – a couple thousand Euros a month – enough to live in Rio for a couple of months, to travel around Europe and then move to Denmark.

I ran the site for a few years, and only closed it off once I moved to Denmark, started graduate school, joined Maersk, and decided on other priorities.

The point of the story is – for whatever crazy goal you’ve, look around – there’s probably someone that has already achieved it (or will do so soon).

Four or so years ago, I set a new goal: I wanted to travel to 100 countriesbefore turning 30, and do so while still building a top-tier career in international companies.

It was the same nay-saying: people were telling me it was impossible, that I could never do it, 99% of my friends thought I was insane, “be serious, Mario”, “you’re not a kid anymore”, etc.

Yet, I’ve six months left until I’m 30, and I’m at 97 different countries, all while my career now includes experiences in of some of the world’s most famous companies.

If you’ve a crazy goal yourself, go for it! Don’t let the nay-sayers stop you – it’s a whole new world, and there are millions of opportunities out there waiting for you to reach out 🙂

***

High Performance, Virtue and The Ghosts of Cannae

Travel aside, if you’ve been reading me for a while, you probably figured out that I’ve two other passions:

a) I’m big into high performance (like, I wrote a book about the topic), and
b) I’m a big history geek who loves reading very old books.

Now, I’m combining both into a new, long-term project. Here’s the teaser:

There are two layers to high performance:
– The Tactical Layer: this is the 21 Laws framework, and most of what I’ve written in my book. Includes everything from your morning routine, to the way you structure your goals, your day-to-day work, and more.
– The Strategic Layer: this is about values and virtues. Includes your moral compass and your ‘rules to live’.

In 2016, I started the task on looking at high performance at the strategic level. Specifically, I’m going through my notes from very old books – mostly Roman and Greek historians and philosophers – to distill values and virtues that make the absolute high performers.

I’ve just finished my first essay about this. I wanted to include it in this email, but it got so long that it’s just not feasible. If you’re curious about how the Romans handled their toughest and most critical situation, ping me and I’ll share the material with you – I would love to get some feedback before I publish for a wider audience.

That’s all! Remember to vote, to share the vote and to always write me in case you’ve any questions or just want to say hi.

All the best,

Mario