15 People That Inspire Me

Willpower and ambition are the vehicles we use to achieve great things, but it’s the spark that comes from being inspired that fuels that fire.

I utilize this blog as a platform to share my thoughts and travel experiences to hopefully inspire others to chase their own dreams, so I wanted to take a minute to give a shout out to those people who inspire me and push me forward to get better and do more. I actually created a similar list when I first started this adventure, but I think it’s time for an update.

When you’re done reading this post, I would love it if you would leave a comment with anyone who inspires you. With that being said, here are the 15 people who have inspired me…

1. Tim Ferriss – I didn’t hear of Tim until well into my second adventure in Medellin, Colombia when I picked up his bestseller The 4-Hour Workweek. I was skeptical at first because it seemed like just another guy selling a dream to the lazy, but as it turns out, I was completely wrong. It was a book that broke down, in logical steps, how to follow your dreams and write your own future.

Since then, I’ve been following the author/investor/entrepreneur/lifestyle-hacker in all his endeavors, including his blog and follow-up books The 4-Hour Body and his latest, The 4-Hour Chef.

2. James Redfield – I picked up his book, “The Celestine Prophecy”, on my way to Peru because I read that it was Jay-Z’s favorite book.  The entire story was set in Peru and it was cool being able to read along as I traveled through some of places it mentioned (like Machu Picchu). This inevitably made the content connect on a deeper level, but even if I weren’t traveling, I know it would have done a number on me.

Long story short, it’s about the energy we hold within ourselves and how we can utilize it to influence the world around us. Don’t thank me; thank Jigga man for the heads up.

Buy the book: The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

3. Premal Shah – If I could write my future story right now, I would definitely steal a few chapters from the pages of Premal’s life. Premal joined Paypal early on and spent 6 years at the company as a member of the famed Paypal Mafia. In 2002, Paypal was sold to eBay for $1.5 billion and after a stint there, he joined Kiva.org to help develop the framework of their organization.

I was very thankful to have had the privilege of getting to know him at the Kiva Headquarters in San Francisco during the Kiva Fellows training. He’s down-to-earth, wicked smart and very passionate about alleviating global poverty through loans. It inspires me just to know I’m part of his team.

4. Benny Lewis – Like Tim, I was skeptical about Benny’s claims when I first heard of him. Also like Tim, I was pleasantly surprised once I took the time to learn about his work. I met Benny at a conference in Vancouver two summers ago where I had the opportunity to speak with him about his language-learning project, Fluent in 3 Months. His strategy is to “speak from day one” and he preaches about living outside your comfort in the name of growth and development… my kind of guy.

Favorite Post: 29 Life Lessons in Travelling the World for 8 Years Straight

5. Sonia Gil – Sonia is a beautiful and talented entrepreneur who moonlights as a travel video host. She started the language-learning program Fluenz.com and has won varies awards for her web series Sonia’s Travels. I’m inspired by her ability to balance work and travel while making it look good in the process.

6. Marcello Arrambide – I met this crazy bastard while living in Colombia and we’ve been in contact ever since. He’s a hustler who leverages his day trading business to travel the world and share his adventures on his travel blog. A life of financial success AND locational freedom isn’t easy, so it’s inspiring to know that Marcello hasn’t lost sight of his capitalist goals while traveling abroad.

Favorite Post: Getting Acclimated to Living in Rio de Janiero

7. Brendan van Son – We’ve never met in person, but I’m constantly asking him for travel advice across one social network or another. Brendan has traveled the world over and I admire how dedicated he is to sharing his travel experiences on his blog and magazine. Most recently, I’ve been enjoying his travels across Africa as he reports back on a daily basis via “It’s my life 365”.

8. Devin Super Tramp – When I grow up I want to make videos like Devin Super Tramp. He creates ridiculously epic videos that make me question how much fun I’m really having with my life. Because of that, they’re a bit depressing, and yet, incredibly inspiring! Do yourself a favor and watch all his videos and then go throw a pool party.

9. Trey Ratcliff – As the man behind StuckinCustoms.com, Trey’s HDR photography is absolutely incredible and it pushes me to improve my own shots, while tempting me with new travel destinations. I’ll let his pictures do the talking…

Great HDR photo of Central London from Trey Ratcliff

Great HDR photo of Central London from Trey Ratcliff

10 . Gary Vaynerchuk – I’ve been following Gary’s work since his early days with the Wine Library web series and I’m still captivated by his passion and enthusiasm for everything he does. As an author, entrepreneur and wine mogul, Gary is a predominant voice in social media and how it plays a role in business development. The only thing I don’t understand however, is how a guy this smart could be such a big Jets fan. #GoBills

11. The Most Interesting Man in the World – Every morning I wake up and ask myself… what would The Most Interesting Man in the World do today? If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is. I would like to have him play me in my lifetime movie one day.

12. Jetset Farryn – Farryn has this unique ability of blending travel, lifestyle and social media on her blog that pushes me to be a cooler person. Currently, she’s the Director of Social Media Worldwide for Michael Kors, but I first heard of her when she contacted me about a cross-country 4-wheeling adventure in South America while she was working with Jettsetter.com. The trip never panned out, but from that point forward she’s had a fan in me. I also have to mention, she was who I first heard the term “Adventure Capitalist” from, and it just fit so perfect that I had to use it… I hope she’s not mad at me about it.

13. Ken Kaminesky – I actually don’t enjoy going to Ken’s site because when I’m done, I usually end up deleting half the photos on my camera. It is travel photography at its best, and his work motivates me to develop my skills just like Trey does.

Beautiful HDR photo via Ken Kaminesky of the Coliseum in Rome, Italy

Beautiful HDR photo via Ken Kaminesky of the Coliseum in Rome, Italy

14. Filipe Masetti Leite – Perhaps the greatest adventurer of this group right now, Filipe is on a very personal quest to ride horses from Canada to Brazil and sharing his journey at JourneyAmerica.net. It’s inspiring in so many ways and I would love to do something like this one day. The trailer below explains it all…

15. Peter Bragiel – I just recently stumbled upon the InTransit crew while I was searching for information about Rio Dulce, Guatemala and I’m so happy I did. They set out on crazy adventures (like kayaking down the Mississippi and taking public transport from LA to the Panama Canal) and provide fun and informative videos in the process. Their videos really make me wish I had a friend to travel and film with like they do. I’m excited to see the videos they create from their latest escapade of traveling across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Railway.

This list is clearly skewed to what inspires and motivates me (travel, business and philanthropy), so I would love to know…

Who Inspires You?

[p.s. for more things that get my heart pumping, check out my new Pinterest page]

[p.s.s. Read the first "People Who Inspire Me" list if you haven't already]

[p.p.s.s. Be Yourself]

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7 Responses to 15 People That Inspire Me

  1. Thank you for this great list! I am definitely going to do Trey Radcliff’s HDR Photography tutorial.
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..Saturday Snapshot 6My Profile

  2. Dude, I’m honoured to be on this list! I love how you described Marcello, spot on! That guy is like a brother to me…. a completely different brother. From you’re list my favourites are Farryn who is always awesome and I believe shares my love for monkeys, Devin Super Tramp, who I always thought would be fun to hang out and do stupid things with, and The Most Interesting man in the world of course…
    Anyways, great list of inspiration. And just so you know, as many people as might be inspiring you, you are inspiring many more than that. Hope you’re well.

  3. I’m about to buy that book you mentioned. I heard “adventure capitalist” via Farryn as well, but I think it was first coined by Jim Rodgers, an investor.

    By the way, it was Marcello who first mentioned Jim Rodgers to me, and then I read his book, “Adventure Capitalist”. Small world!
    Dave recently posted..Batu Caves: The Most Sacred Hindu Temple in MalaysiaMy Profile

    • Gareth

      I remember seeing that book “Adventure Capitalist” and wanted to check it out… now that I know you’ve read it Dave, I’m definitely going to give it a go. Thanks!

  4. Really like how you included your perspective on Benny Lewis in here. I think many of us have the same skeptical approach when hearing about a new language-learning method. I wonder if you tried it? Would be very interesting to hear about your experience.

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