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Personal freedom

Staying sane in an info-flooded world

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Why is it so difficult to stay informed? To sift the essential from the vast cacophony of background noise? To consume just enough without smartphones and 24-hour news cycles taking over your life? In part, the devices that improve — and often plague — our lives are deliberately designed to be addictive. We’re hooked on that constant ‘refresh’ hit: another follower, new likes, some new non...

Why worry about things you can’t control?

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My last blog on conspiracy theories sparked an interesting discussion on Facebook. My friend Nathan pointed out that I failed to draw a clear distinction between all too real large scale actions perpetrated by governments and the sort of “Lobby of the Unhinged” conspiracy theories I was talking about. In practical terms, that difference doesn’t matter very much to me. I’ll tell you why — and what...

What is Your Ideal Life?

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Something I read in a novel once has always stuck with me. I don’t even remember what the book was, but I remember this scene very clearly. The characters are sitting on a terrace high above the sea, sipping wine. It’s late evening and the chairs have been pushed back from a table filled with emptied plates. The main character suggests a game. He asks each person around the table to describe in...

I Hate My Phone

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I hate my phone. Well, not just my phone, but all phones that fit in one’s pocket. There’s a direct correlation between the portability of one’s devices and the sense of obligation other people have for your attention. For brevity’s sake, let’s just refer to this as Murd’s Law. You’ve all heard of Moore’s Law, right? It states that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles...

Happy Berlin Anniversary to Me

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Today marks a small anniversary in my world. It was exactly one year ago — January 8th — that I moved to Berlin and started a new life-after-Malta. Life in Malta was barely tolerable at the best of times, and at the beginning of 2017 it was spiralling down into an increasingly ugly mess of political and societal corruption. I sensed that violence wouldn’t be far off, and I didn’t want to be there...

The 10 Best Reasons to Follow Your Dreams

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If you had a million dollars, what would you do? Seriously. Think about that for a moment. What would you do? I can honestly say, “Exactly what I’m doing right now.” And I can say that because I’m busy following my dreams. Now, I can’t imagine anyone needing a reason to follow their dreams. But I understand that pushing into the unknown is frightening for some. And so I present you with 10 great...

How to Make 2016 YOUR Big Year

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I guess this is the day when you’re supposed to bid good riddance to the old year and shake off the hangover going into the new. ​But I have no complaints, because 2015 was a really good one for me… A year of much travel. I think 13 countries in all, several more than once: Chad expedition, Germany (2x – Cologne and Berlin), Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, the Åland islands...

It’s Banned Books Week — Let’s Stop and Remember

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It’s Banned Books Week. I’m sure the majority of people aren’t aware of this. And even avid readers may have missed the news. But this is the special time each year when we pause to think about censorship, and to remember all the great literature that has been banned, suppressed or otherwise made purposefully unavailable in an effort to control what we read and think. I’m talking about monumental...

Travel Can Also Be a Way of Cutting Yourself Off

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Travel is the greatest education I’ve ever had. It has taught me more about myself than any school or course or book. It has opened my mind to new worlds, new customs, new landscapes and new ways of being. But a lifestyle based on travel also comes with hidden dangers… And it’s easy to miss them when you’re blinded by the excitement of the new. I’m only starting to realize some of these...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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