europe

day 26. istanbul

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ams station

i have landed prematurely in asia. originally, i thought my flight would take me into the airport on the european side, it seems my feet have wondered and have walked on asian soil.

fear not, my head lies comfortably on European soil. while the differences are minor in such a grand city as istanbul, i am now the furthest from my family, friends and what i once called home.

to be honest, what i just did was unbelievable... jumping from city to city/country to country every four days has destroyed me. it's hard to think about all the great conversations, stories, and situations by moving from one to the next.

i now hope that i can splice together a story line that is truly representative of all that i've seen.

as i sit in the cafe of my istanbul youth hostel, i know this trip wouldn't have been possible without all the great hosts and more importantly the last two great hosts, andy smith from jaiku & Nadya Peek in amsterdam and Joshua Kauffman & Gwen in eindoven. andy and nadya gave me spare keys and a huge bed to dream of a better world. joshua and gwen gave me a spectacular dinner that charged my mind and body.

one of the most unexpected benefits from this trip is seeing so many great couples. from will and sue, alex and matt, dries and karlijin, andy and nadya, joshua and gwen... i am in total awe of their love and affection, and their generosity in giving me a humble home for me lay my head.

to my dear friend istanbul

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dear istanbul,

seeing how i'm addressing a city of 10 million, i'll keep this brief.

on 7 july 2007, i started a seven month global journey to explore the intersection humanity and technology at 12.15 on 1 aug, i will land and embark on a seven day journey in turkey. while i'm not sure if all of that time will be spent in istanbul, i'm sure that a good portion will.

i would love to meetup, grab a drink and chat about your couchsurfing adventures, mind blowing open source projects, or artistic creations. if you get a chance, i hope you send me a message so we can chat!

cheers!
noel

day 21/22's pain

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what do you warn you about in amsterdam? the damn trolly tracks... it also didn't help that we had been bar hopping and my vision was impaired by many of the city's wonderful creatures.

after 30 mins of decompression, andy and i walked back to his humble abode. in the morning, i found a wonderful assortment of nicks, scrapes, and nearly severed thumb.

day 21's pain

day 22's pain

my left arm...
banged up knuckle

day 20. sleep the most valuble currency

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words can not describe the thanks i have for the hosts who have blessed me with their homes...

as i discovered on day 18, pushing hard moving from country to country at an early morning hour, not sleeping and eating sporadically doesn't bode well for mental acuteness. actually, it's a recipe for disaster. no really, it was a total disaster.

speaking of disasters, my ipod nano stopped behaving and i was forced to do a factory restore. in many ways, i was looking forward to this moment. now, i am now left with a handful of albums stored on my hard drive and ambient train contemplation.

first, let me say thank you to all of my hosts. if the rest of the trip allows me to cross paths with exceptional characters like these, then i think the world isn't too far off kilter.

in paris and out of the blue, Aurélien Tabard came to my rescue. he gave me keys to his uncle's vacant apartment, and aurélien's hospitality didn't stop there. as he cooked dinner on the first night, we discussed our displeasure of the current political march to the right and the inability for the left to act coheranetly.

though our personal history, we compared notes on activism and our frustration working within the confines of political systems. both of us agreed that the bickering has to stop and activists must diversify their work.

we both recognized the opportunities that lie within technology. if we are unable to capitalize on building a digital world as free as our physical world, we are doomed to confinement. as aurélien introduced me to his phd thesis, we analyzed the opportunities that exist in integrating technology with our day to day actions. we both agreed that our future should not compete with our day to day, but should enhance our day to day.

episode 10 - coworking in berlin

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Recoded: 17 July 2007
Locations: Berlin, Germany
Tags: coworking, travel, berlin, twittervision, dave troy, travis todd, popvox, growvotes
Music: a little boy playing the accordion, background music within coffee shop
About: while on my global hunt, i popped over to visit my friends will and sue. for two months, they are honeymooning and taking in the sites, sounds and joyful company of friends.

while i was in their company, i scheduled a few interviews. this particular interview was from travis j. todd (growvotes) and dave troy (twittervision, popvox) where we discussed everything under the sun. a thinthasied version of my thoughts can be found here.

check out more information on locations for freelancers, independents, and free thinkers, check out http://wiki.coworking.info

day 13. on my way to london

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despite the fact i left berlin 45 mins late i was still abel to catch a train that seemed to be on the right time table to brussles. exhausted from sleeping on a hard bench, i geefully boarded what appeared to be my first class train.

little did i know that the wonderfully plush seats, smell of fresh coffee and abundant power outlets would not be my train. in a vain attempt to save 15 euro, i gladly said i would take local trains from klone to brussels... i should have known better. i really should have known better.

after pay 60 euro for a meal i didn't want to regurgitate, an electrical outlet i couldn't part with and a train i couldn't disembark, i tag, flagged and prepared for the next few days in the United Kingdom.

on my last journey, i was heading home from a salzburg seminar and had just paid 250 euro for a stupid belt knife to be confiscated in munich. before that, august of 2002. the US had just invaded Afghanistan, and the world was ripe in solidarity. young and inexperienced, i traveled to from boston to the Isle of Wight for a "little" scooter rally, spent a new days in london and also visited amsterdam.

five years later things are significantly different. now there is no home. now there is no warm bed waiting for me on the other side of the pond. now my world blessed a few days jammed packed with interviews, workshops, meetups and naps.

i'm really looking forward to being back in london to kick out the jams with...
- Joey Baxter, fellow coworking enthusiast.
- Alex Deschamps-Sonsino, fellow Lift 06 attendant and one of the organizers of Hardcore Hardware Hacking Weekend.

- Riccardo Cambiassi London barcamper, techie and fellow Lift 07 attendant.
- Steve Purkiss, Lo7 contributor and techie who's going to take me to Ecademy meetup.

- see the launch of the Mongol Rally and profile team Mr. Dinosaur from williamsburg, nyc and fellow spyten dyuvel regulars.
- and in brighton, profile tactical tech and tech rider, dirk slater.

somewhere with in that mix, i need to edit some video and desperately need to wash three pairs of socks. while in berlin, i was going to purchase flip-flops, but with my extra special train ticket behind me... i think i'll pass... that's unless i find a shoe store that's willing sponsor my feet! ;)

day 19. running around paris

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ugh, in an early morning with a sour left foot, i attempted to visit the indian embassy. after running around looking for a photobooth, i stood inline for 15 mins. realizing a huge error, i departed in frustration.

why? i have no to paperwork stating where i'll be going, whom i'll be visiting and worse, i have no definitive exit plans...

in angst, i limped off to meetup with my host, Aurélien Tabard and his merry crew of classmates. after a brief introduction, i ferociously devoured email and tagged photos for flickr.

around 16h30, i realized that i was running desperately late for paris couchsurfing's rondeviuz. after slapping some high fives, i departed for a little tour of the latin quarter and XXX.

upon arrival, i found a lovely handmade flag and a few folks wearing couchsurfing t-shirts. as we meandered the winding streets, i introduced my self to many.

one of the first couchsurfers i ran across was heather smith, an american and a recent graduate of a social working school in Arkansas. standing at 5'4" with long brown hair and freckles, this american had a backpack full of snacks and tall bottle of rum punch. as we meandered, we talked the past two months, her trip to algeria and our trips around europe.

when the couchsurfers finally stopped at some snappy bar, heather and i departed to find a $3 bottle of wine and sit next to the seine. across the river bank, a man wailed in his saxophone. as the day turned to dusk, we mooned passing tourist boats and fended off passing drunks.

as the clock chimed 23h30, teetering on the river banks we drunkenly gathering our belongings to catch the last train that would part us in opposite directions.

episode 8 - running with the bulls

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day 9, 10 - time has stopped

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on my way to berlin, i slept and noted many thoughts. now that i'm reviewing them, they don't seem to make sense. i'll eventually get back to them. for now i have other things on my mind.

the past three days in berlin, fueled by friendship from will and sue, have gotten me thinking about the unique opportunity of berlin. divide by years, their identity is very reflective of the conflict and opportunity the 21 century faces.

the wall yesterday, i went to the berlin wall. despite the fact that kids tagged freely, i found myself a pilgrim. a pilgrim to a wall of hate, oppression and fascism. the cold cement wall that baked in the sun was not a normal wall. this was a wall erected by men for the obstruction of freedom. frequently, i have found my self building similar walls, but unable to tear them down. unknowing how to free the mind, i've set out on this journey.

as day 10 has passed, i've started to see that many fears are diminishing and being replaced with opportunity. though time and perseverance, these walls are crumbling. sadly, the dreams i had of new york are also fading into a distant memory. the opportunity that lies ahead is not physical, but mental.

i now frequently wonder if neil stephenson's the diamond age contains more buried truths. more importantly, i wonder how the next 27 weeks will unfold.

pizza dinner #2 yesterday, my friends and i heading into the scowling heat for a bit of sightseeing. wandering through the streets, we parked at a flee market and then departed for another round of pizza. one thing i have discovered, the flavor of berlin's punk rock culture has not been completely lost. unlike new york, you will still find hole-in-the-wall pubs with rockin flare or a pizza shop covered in punk posters and memorabilia.

today, i awoke early to interview regine from we-make-money-not-art.com and promptly came back to my friends flat to hammer out emails and to do a bit of research.

somewhere within the mix we headed back out to the scorching sun for a bite to eat. after stumbling upon a small turkish stand, we chewed on falafel, and marauded though the heat. somewhere around 3 pm, i passed out. since prague, i've now gotten accustomed to waking up early, working, taking a nap around 1 or 2 and burning the midnight oil until 1 or 2 in the morning...

after further research, it appears there is only one visa that might cause me hassle. reluctantly, i did not make arrangements for an indian visa. i assumed that that like every other country, india makes allowances for boarder entry visas. unlike the rest, india has a very beaurcratic method. apparently, you can only arrange for visas from within your country of origin. so, despite what wikitravel states, should i really be concerned?

day 8 - now in berlin

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i've had a quick change of plans and am now in berlin visiting will from onnyturf and his wife sue.

if they don't abuse me too much, i'll give you guys an update of prague and cut some video.

if you are in the area, give me a holla!

check out twitter!

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while i´m kicking around for the first few days. check out my tweets from barcelona, pampalona and prague!!!

http://twitter.com/noneck

prague / transitions online - Update

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i now have my presentation schedule for TOL's new media essentials course. while it's still subject to change, i will at least get one night to decompress from my initial new york city departure and a sleepless night in pamplona.

on tuesday, the 10th, i'll be speaking quite a bit. the first two sessions will be discussions, the impact of web 2.0 on advertising, business and politics; then in the afternoon, how to build a community for your project. in the early evening, i'll have an hour long workshop on Assignment Zero and the technical components of building a citizen journalism network. on wednesday morning, i'll have the honor of presenting a talk on the global blogosphere while evgeny discusses the local blogosphere.

without a doubt, the research for these conversations will be daunting, but no fear. you will get to see it all right here.

itinerary

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starting in new york city on 7 july 2007, noneck will depart for europe. first stopping in spain to run with the bulls during the festival of san fermín, and will then head to prague. after a month in europe, he will work his way along the mediterranean and into africa. some how, some way, he will traverse the deserts of the middle east and hop into india and travel along the coast of the indian ocean. in a miraculous feat cunning skill, noneck will snuggle into the arms of oceania for a few weeks before hoping into a plane back to north america for a road trip to see his brother's college graduation and celebrate thanksgiving with his family. shortly thereafter, he will collect his gear and trek through south america in a final attempt to make antarctica before the summer season ends. for the last leg, noneck will work his way along the eastern cost of south america, up the caribbean back to new york city.

two months to go...

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Dear Friends,

Today, marks a very special day, not only has Luck of Seven crossed the 20% goal in fundraising, but in two short months, I will depart from my beloved city of New York to explore this planet. On 7 July 2007, and traveling for seven months, my feet will wander the earth contemplating seven topics of freedom. On the way, I'll be documenting the experience on the "Luck of Seven" travel site (Lo7).

The seven topics of freedom are not some crazy manifesto, but an exploration of a world without any borders. Our ability to transcend, distance, time and culture are unprecedented. With more people living in urban environments, our world is growing and condensing at the same time. Fundamentally the seven topics of freedom boil down to four: open source communities, open source technology, social entrepreneurs and the greater conversation of global change. Ironically, a few weeks ago my mother sent me Leo Buscaglia's "The Way of the Bull." If you haven't read Mr. Buscaglia's books you will find them highly entertaining. While I instantly laughed at the outrageous cover, I found this motherly highlight, "The only thing that is certain for us is change. To battle change is to waste our time; the battle can never be won. To become the willing ally of change is to assure ourselves of life."

Now with 07/07/07 quickly approaching and my first month planned out, I look at my life and see a wealth of opportunities to explore this world. BUT I can't do it alone. I need your help in three ways...

1. A small donation of USD $11.11.

Thank you donors!! As of today, we have reached 20% of Lo7's fundraising goal! Not only will your donations help me go around the world, but in return, I promise you an autographed copy of the book. In the meantime, luckofseven.com will continue to tell the story though rich media. < http://luckofseven.com/donate >

2. Spread the word and connect me with your other friends.

There is nothing more important to me than my friends. Though my past years of traveling and countless workshops, I know that we can make this a better place. Regardless if it's just a smiling face, a pint of beer or a hard floor to sit on, I want to visit your friends and say hello. Forward your friends this message and copy me < noel(at)noneck.org >! Then, if you have a blog or social networking site, spread the word. I really need the link love ;)

3. Organizational sponsors for equipment and travel.

In Prague, Transitions Online has asked me to teach on new media journalism to former Communist countries. While "on the way," I look forward to teaching, conversing and interviewing citizens of this earth. If you know of an organization that might be a good fit, please don't hesitate to forward this email or make a formal introduction. I'm quite keen on helping organizations adapt technological frameworks for their own uses, elevate the seven topics of freedom, and share my experiences at an organizer. Otherwise, I'm looking for sponsors to acquire equipment: an HD Camcorder, a GPS device, an GSM cell phone, etc... I have a list and would love to entertain any ideas. Have your people call my people!

... and with that, I hope you place your luck on seven and at least give a donation.

be seeing you...

noneck noel


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my initial travel arrangements...

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four flights have been confirmed... i'll be departing nyc on 7/7/07 at 9pm, arrive in barcelona for a six hours. then, i'll depart for pamplona for a bit of bit of bull running. after 22 hours on the ground, i'll depart for prague to help teach a week long course and snag a few interviews...

during this leg, i'm only going to need one lovely couch and a guide around pamplona... i wonder how many couches are available?

Reservation of the flights:

Flight: IB6250
Date: Saturday, July 07, 2007
From: New York John F Kennedy International Terminal 7
Departing: 18:00
To: Barcelona Terminal B
Arriving: 9:50
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB8404
Date: Sunday, July 08, 2007
From: Barcelona Terminal C
Departing: 14:30
To: Pamplona
Arriving: 15:25
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB8535
Date: Monday, July 09, 2007
From: Pamplona Departing: 12:00
To: Madrid Barajas Terminal 4
Arriving: 13:05
Status: Confirmed

Flight: IB7884
Date: Monday, July 09, 2007
From: Madrid Barajas Terminal 4S
Departing: 14:45
To: Prague Ruzyne Terminal N2 Arriving: 17:40
Status: Confirmed

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on the luck of seven was an open-source, around the world project by noel hidalgo, a new york city based activist, organizer, barcamper and coworker.

for seven months, he traversed the globe. using a new media voodo (blog, vlog, wiki, flickr, couchsurfing, twitter, myspace, dopplr, and facebook), noneck harnessed the collective knowledge of the internet, and report on seven topics of freedom. this trip was funded by 253 people and supported, house, fed, and loved by countless others.

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