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Unconventional Book Tour – Stop #53 Portland Oregon

Unconventional Book Tour – Stop #53 Portland Oregon

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on December 17, 2010

Chris Guillebeau, My Wife, Youngest son and MeI thought I would throw in an extra post this week to mention the great time we had at the Unconventional Book Tour on Friday night in Portland Oregon. It was stop #53 of a 53 city tour and it was an incredible time. Check it out below.

There are people who come into your life that for whatever reason flip a switch inside you, remove the scales from your eyes and allow you to see things for what they really are.  It doesn’t happen often but when it does it’s a life changing experience.  Chris Guillebeau is one of those people.

I don’t quite remember how I came upon Chris’s blog The Art of Non-Conformity but I remember it speaking to me in a very unique and eye opening way.  “You mean I didn’t have to live my life the way others expected me too?  There was actually something more out there than what I had grown comfortable with?”

You are meant to do great things with your life.

Over the course of the past year and a half I’ve come to realize that I was meant to do great things.  I hope you realize that as well because you too are meant to do great things.  We all are!  For me though I find that the problem is with the process of self-discovery that leads you to find what those great things are.  I’ll admit that at times I am envious of those people that seem to have it all together, that seem to have it all figured out and are working toward some great purpose in life.  Some seem to find it early in life and others need more time and development.  I’m in the group of “need more time” which is fine.  It’s when you give up on the discovery process that your life becomes humdrum and you find yourself in a rut.  That’s when you need to shake things up.

Last night we attended the final leg of the Unconventional Book Tour; stop #53 in Portland Oregon.  So we packed up the car for a day trip and headed to Portland.  Of course the kids were not as enthused about our mission but they came around and actually behaved for the most part.

When we arrived at Powell’s Books the place was packed!  I’m not good at estimating numbers but there were a few hundred people there with many standing in the back.  If you are not familiar with Powell’s they are the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world.  Seriously, you can get lost in this place without a map.

The evening started with Chris being introduced by J.D. Roth (Get Rich Slowly) and then Chris gave a short talk about the book, the tour and then took questions from the audience.  Afterwards he met with people and signed books.  I absolutely love that he spent time with every single person that stood in line to get their book signed.

Unconventional Book CakeMeanwhile everyone was also enjoying cupcakes and a cake that my wife made for the event.  My wife is crazy passionate about making cakes so she came up with the idea to make a cake that looked like Chris’s book.  As you can see it came out phenomenal and garnered a bit of attention.

We also got to meet some incredible people.  Before the event we had dinner with Sean Ogle and his girlfriend Tate who is an incredibly talented and gifted designer.  They are just incredible people and a delight to spend time with.  And the really cool thing is that our kids didn’t scare them. 

Then I met the Professor of Riskology himself Tyler Tervooren.  I had heard from Sean Ogle that he would be there so I kept my keen eye open and spotted him.  It’s so cool when you see people in person that you have only known online in the virtual world.  There is definitely something missing in the online world that only the physical world can bring to life.  Yet another reason I am looking forward to the World Domination Summit but more on that later.  Tyler is a great guy and I was really impressed that he recognized me as well.  He likes to climb mountains and has some top notch plans to climb the highest peaks in the world.

Chris Guillebeau, my wife Irene the cake maker and the cakeI was introduced to Hansen (like the soda not the boy band) who runs the blog Unomos and talked about his experience in Mexico.  Really nice guy and I look forward to connecting more with him.

At the end of the night I saw a friendly face that looked really familiar.  It turned out to be Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens.  She is a complete delight with an incredibly friendly and welcoming smile.  I only wish I had more time to chat with her.  I started reading her e-book entitled Smalltopia which she wrote as a guide to working for yourself.  I just started reading it but I like what I’ve read so far.  One thing that really struck me was the Smalltopia philosophy which is “doing work that matters, building community and living small while thinking big.”  I may have to review it here after I finish reading it.

My biggest takeaway from the night was that there are incredible people out there doing some incredible things and I find that to be very inspiring.  We all have the freedom and the ability and the potential to create a life that is not only personally rewarding but makes a difference in the world.  And the thing is you don’t have to be “unconventional” to do that.  It’s also about building personal relationships with the people you meet on a daily basis.  It’s building that social capital I wrote about last month.

And this is why I am really looking forward to the World Domination Summit (WDS) in Portland, June 4-5th.  It’s an incredible opportunity to meet and engage people from all over the world and discover how we can live our lives in such a way that we make a true and meaningful difference and at the same time live exciting happy lives.  Head over to the World Domination Summit page and see what it’s all about and get signed up.  I hope to see you at WDS in Portland, June 4-5th!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Guillebeau December 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

This was the most amazing cake – thanks so much to Irene for doing that. And it was so great to meet you guys!

Sean, Tammy, Tyler, and all of the rest of us are really looking forward to the summit. So glad you’re coming! And thanks again for making the trip up to Powell’s.

Yours in World Domination,



matt December 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Thanks Chris! My wife was really happy to hear the great comments about the cake. When she first showed it to me I was amazed. It was great to finally meet you as well.

I’m really looking forward to the summit and have already connected with so many people that are planning on going. It’s going to be an incredible time!



Gillian December 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Thanks for the update Matt! I’m looking forward to the Vancouver book signing next month and, of course, to WDS in June! It’ll be my first chance to meet people like you with whom I’m only chatted on line. It’s gonna be a great year! Cheers!
Gillian recently posted..Leaving India- One Year Ago


matt December 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Hi Gillian! It’s going to be an awesome year and I’m so excited to be able to meet you at WDS in June. Enjoy the book signing next month.


Tyler Tervooren December 18, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Hey Matt,

It was really a pleasure to meet you the other night. I’m really glad you and the family made the trip up. And wow, yes, that cake was awesome.
Tyler Tervooren recently posted..A Brief List of Things You Shouldn’t Have Learned in College


matt December 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Hey Tyler! It was great to meet you in person. I hope we can get together next time we make it up to Portland.


Sarah Wu December 19, 2010 at 4:40 am

Beautiful cake, is that your wife? She’s pretty! Glad you guys had a good time there.
Sarah Wu recently posted..Gelato – A Sweet local Delicacy In Italy


matt December 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Hi Sarah! Yep, that is my wife, the cake decorator. We had a fantastic time there meeting some very cool people doing some very exciting things.


Tammy Strobel December 20, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Matt – it was so good to meet you last week! Thanks for the kind words. 🙂 I appreciate it. Let’s try and connect for dinner and/or coffee in the new year! Wishing you and your family the best.


matt December 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Hi Tammy! We definitely look forward to connecting more in the new year. We are definitely planning on heading to Portland more often. Happy Holidays to you guys!


Mark Powers December 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Very cool that you got to meet that whole crew, Matt! And I seriously can’t believe Irene’s cake . . . she’s amazing! Still bummed I couldn’t join y’all that evening . . .
Mark Powers recently posted..The Slump


matt December 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Hey Mark! The only thing that could have made it better was your presence but it sounds like you were doing some awesome stuff. We definitely need to get together again. We may have to take another road trip after the holidays. Wasn’t that an incredible cake?!? She did an incredible job on it.


Sean December 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Dinner was great and your kids didn’t scare us in the least 🙂 Glad you were able to make it up for the event, and looking forward to hanging out again soon!
Sean recently posted..26 Things You Never Knew About Me – and Maybe Never Wanted To


matt December 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm

That’s good Sean ’cause our kids scare a lot of people. Actually they were pretty well behaved for having sat in a car for most of the day. So glad we were able to make it up and we had a fantastic time and met some incredible people. Looking forward to making the trip again in the new year.


Nina Yau December 22, 2010 at 4:22 am

Holy Festivus! Wonderfully creative and beautifully baked cake! Your wife is a cake genius. (Did that sound right? You get my drift, Matt!) 😛

Chris is a wonderful man, totally setting the bar if there was one to be set in the first place (not really, hence why he is “unconventional”!!). I had the opportunity to meet Chris when he stopped by in Chicago back in Oct. It was so much fun!
Nina Yau recently posted..The Truth About Anything- The Pain of Not Being Who We Were Made to Be


matt December 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Haha…Thanks Nina! I’ll let her know. Baking and decorating cakes is her true passion so we are going to be working to put something together for her this next year. So glad you got to meet Chris. He is definitely one of the nicest people you will meet. Looking forward to following your adventures around the world this next year.


Andrew May 1, 2011 at 9:26 am

How come Thailand is ‘the’ destination for #LIP’s?

It should be Portland? (Could anywhere be FURTHER from Perth W.A.?)

Have ordered the book, can’t wait to get stuck in.


Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical May 2, 2011 at 1:14 am

I think you will really enjoy the book. It’s made a difference in the way I think about my own life. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts about it after you read it.


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