My favorite part of this blog is that I have a journal of the last years of my life.  I can compare past projections with what actually happened.  I can discover how I really felt when circumstances were completely different.  Your brain has a unique ability to remember your own feelings incorrectly.  (One of the main points of the book “Stumbling on Happiness” by Daniel Gilbert.)  This has helped me identify some disturbing thought patterns…

When I embarked on this adventure in my RV over three years ago, the point was to check out a bunch of places and see where I wanted to live.  I didn’t realize it would extend for the next 3+ years and leave me with more questions than answers.

It took a year and a half, but I was finally ready to try settling in Portland in Fall, 2011.  Just before settling in Portland, I thought I’d be much happier there.  Quickly after getting to Portland, I realized I missed adventure.  I thought I’d be happier traveling again.  A year later, driving my overloaded Subaru with Portland in my rearview mirror, I questioned if adventure was what I really wanted.

The cycle continued.  Living in Medellin, I was excited to backpack through South America.  While I was backpacking, I was excited to be settling down in Europe for the summer.  I landed in Berlin about 20 days ago, and the idea of settling here scares the heck out of me.

In the back of my mind, I’m still searching for a place to call home.  I’d love to have a city where I enjoy living year-round, a core group of friends, more than just a bag of possessions, etc.  I could still travel, but my homebase would be a place that I’d look forward to returning to.  And no, Reno is not this place.

Berlin is not this place.  I don’t speak the language, and it’s impossible to learn.  The winters here are absolutely unbearable.  I’ll have massive Visa issues.  Germans can be boring, impatient and mean.  (I’ve already been shouted at several times in German and it was not a fun experience).  I enjoy electronic music, but not as much as everyone else here.  I’m already having an amazing summer here but just wouldn’t feel comfortable calling it home.

I’ve been a vagabond for the last 3.5 years.  I needed to think more seriously about where I wanted to plant roots.  I could rule out any city without English as the native language.  I could rule out any city that had terrible weather.  I could rule out any city that sucked massively.  I had actually been tinkering with the idea of going back to San Francisco for a bit.  It had just came to me when I was hiking in the mountains of Peru in February and had stuck around in the back of my mind.

That’s it! I’ll be happy if I live in a place I call home.  I had wanted to since arriving in my RV nearly 3 years ago.  I’ll be happy when I can get that car I’ve always wanted.  I’ll be happy if I buy a cabin in Tahoe.  I’ll be happy when I get an awesome bike, a surf board, new clothes..

I’ll be happy if…if… if…  I’ll be happy when…

It finally clicked.

Why couldn’t I just be happy now?  Happy with what I currently have.  All these external circumstances might make me happy temporarily, but eventually I’ll just become accustomed to them and seek something else.  I could see the pattern in my writing.

“I’m so excited to go to city (x+1)!  City (x) is getting old.  But I still really miss city (x-1) though.”

“I’ll be relieved when my todo list is down to (x-7) items.”

“I can’t wait to be making $(x * 1.25) per month.  Or better yet, $(x * 2)!  I’ll be so much happier when I have more money.”

“It will be great to have (different amount of possessions).  It is such a pain in the ass to have (number of things currently possessed).  I can’t wait until I (buy/sell) my car!”

“I miss girl (x-1).  She was better for me than girl (x-2).  And it doesn’t look like it will work out with girl (x) right now.”

“If only I could bench press (x+5lbs).  I’d be the man.  Maybe I could get my 5k time down to (x-0:30)!”

“My life will be awesome when I only have to work (x/2) hours per week!  Working (x) hours per week is the cause of all the problems in my life.”

“I can’t wait to be (settled down/traveling again).  All of this (routine/chaos) is awful!”

With a consistent record of my thoughts on paper, I’m able to look back and connect the dots.  Clearly seeking happiness in external things is fleeting.  I’ve already achieved so many of my goals.  However, I don’t feel as happy about them as I thought I’d be.  It was time to do some research and see what was really going on.

I found Shawn Achor’s Ted Talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work.html

“If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. And if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier.”

And the problem is it’s scientifically broken and backwards for two reasons. First, every time your brain has a success, you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like. You got good grades, now you have to get better grades, you got into a good school and after you get into a better school, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job, you hit your sales target, we’re going to change your sales target. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. What we’ve done is we’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon as a society. And that’s because we think we have to be successful, then we’ll be happier.

I have always been pushing happiness over the cognitive horizon.  The way I was currently thinking needed to change.

I found another great Ted Talk.  The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO6XEQIsCoM

Clinical depression has exploded in the industrial world in the last generation. I believe a significant — not the only, but a significant — contributor to this explosion of depression, and also suicide, is that people have experiences that are disappointing because their standards are so high, and then when they have to explain these experiences to themselves, they think they’re at fault. And so the net result is that we do better in general, objectively, and we feel worse. So let me remind you. This is the official dogma, the one that we all take to be true, and it’s all false. It is not true. There’s no question that some choice is better than none, but it doesn’t follow from that that more choice is better than some choice. There’s some magical amount. I don’t know what it is. I’m pretty confident that we have long since passed the point where options improve our welfare.

I have more choices than anyone else.  How to fill my day.  Where in the world to go.  I can do absolutely anything and these unlimited options are paradoxically making my life less enjoyable.

I’m always caught off guard when I’m having a bad day and someone I meet admits that they are insanely jealous of my life.  This has happened several times over the last few weeks.  Just goes to show how much we, as a society, look at external achievements to judge happiness.

The Solution: A Journey Inward

Clearly obtaining more external success and abundance isn’t what makes one happy.  I’ve been learning how to live more presently.  I’m by no means an enlightened Buddha master.  But I’ve made a lot of discoveries about myself the last few weeks and that’s a great start.

I’m reading “The Power of Now”.  So far a great book.  I’m also doing “The Presence Process” and meditating for 15 minutes, twice a day.  I’m doing more research on psychology and happiness and have learned an immense amount.  My inward journey has only just begun.


 

I arrived in Medellin, Colombia on November 13th.  Exactly 6 months later, on May 13th, I’m leaving Medellin.  Who knew it would work out like that.  I like sub-headings:

Europe

I’ve learned that Sweden is very much not South America.  People are tall, blond, and speak perfect English.  Everything is insanely expensive.  I don’t feel like I’m going to die when I cross the street.  The sun is up before 4am and sets well after 9pm.  Busses are very quiet and don’t roar by, spewing black smoke.  Someone has actually mistaken me for a local.  That happened zero times in South America.

I’m currently in Uppsala, Sweden visiting my little brother for the end of his study abroad year.  It actually worked out very well because he stays with his girlfriend most nights (who lives WAY closer to the school/town).  So I’ve basically taken over his dorm room.  It feels a little weird to be the random 26-year old guy cooking in the dorm kitchen.

I’m here a few more weeks and then off to Longyearbyen, Norway for a few days, then to Berlin!  I’ve got housing locked down for all of June, and during that time I’ll be looking for something more permanent.  I should be in Germany until it starts getting cold, and then I have no idea where I’m going after that.  There was some talk among friends about renting a killer pad in Bali for a month, and South Africa.  Or I could do my Spanish immersion experiment (see the Spanish sub-heading).

Writing

Over the last month, I have actually been inspired to write more.  The only problem is that the moments when I have lightbulb ideas, I’m never in a place where I can write that idea down and develop it.  (Bus going down a windy road, about to fall asleep, shower, out for a run, getting onto an airplane, out drinking with friends, etc.)  Also, a lot of these ideas are pretty obscure and trying to string them coherently into blog posts, articles, essays or even a novel would be a challenge for a moonlight writer like myself.  Lastly, a lot of these thoughts and ideas are too vague and meaningless without context.  Context that I don’t always wish to share.

I’ve been writing a lot more in my personal journal.  I’ve actually found journaling to be very therapeutic.  It’s very interesting that I’m embarrassed to put stuff in there when I know that I’m the only person who reads it.  Am I hiding stuff from myself?  Maybe I’m just embarrassed when I actually form these thoughts into words.  Strange.  It’s also great to be able to look back several years and see how I was feeling about something.  The brain has an incredible ability to “forget” how we felt about experiences.

I’ve actually had several moments where I’ve been inspired to write a story of some sort.  Every idea I’ve had would be a first-person narrative that parallels my own life with myself as the main character.  I feel like its a little ego-centric, but whatever, nobody is being forced to read it.  And every time I try to start anything, I type a few words out and delete everything.  This is repeated a few times until I re-decide that writing stories is not my thing.  I did spend a lot of time recently with an incredible writer, so maybe its just her rubbing off on me.  Maybe I’ll just start by writing for my private collection only.

Spanish

I burnt out in February and couldn’t shake it until I left South America.  I had a really crappy experience one day in Peru in February and since then, was too frustrated with myself to be excited about Spanish.  I think it was mainly due to the fact that I thought I should have been much better by then, and I was still struggling.  After leaving, I’m realizing that my Spanish isn’t that bad, and I was just being too hard on myself.  Also, I lived and spent most of my time with English speakers, so it’s no wonder that my Spanish didn’t improve much faster.

I’d really like to become fluent in Spanish, but I know that will never happen until I’m forced to use Spanish and only Spanish.  My plan is to live in a Spanish-speaking country for 3 months, but speak zero English.  I’ll be living with Spanish-only speakers and try to get involved in some sort of organization that does everything in Spanish.  It will take a bit of research to set this up.

Business

I’ve been bumming around as a backpacker for over 7 weeks straight now.  This is not conducive to business at all, however I’ve been able to stay afloat.  I’ve been getting more and more ideas and more excited about living in one spot for a significant amount of time so I can buckle down and start taking my business to where I really want it.

I’ve also been realizing which aspects of my business I enjoy.  I’ve found that I don’t enjoy the sales side of things.  I don’t enjoy squeezing every last dollar out of my site.  I much more enjoy the programming/development side of my business.  Setting up systems and creating a more user-friendly resource, etc.  Statistics.  Data.  Etc.  More to come on this in a later post when I can develop what I’m talking about a little further.

Pictures

So I have an awesome camera on my phone (Google Nexus 4) so I’ve been taking a lot more.  However now I’ve found out I’m terrible at organizing these photos after I’ve taken them.  So you just get one picture of Sweden for now (above).

 

One of my good friends in Australia (Almog) is also a successful internet entrepreneur.  I was lucky enough to be the guest star for his first interview ever!  I think it went pretty well.  We talk a lot about the start of my flagship site, and how it grew to be what it is today.  Almog does a lot of affiliate marketing, but is starting to transition into running an authority community-based website instead.

Give it a listen and let me know what you think!  It’s like an hour and a half long, so grab some popcorn.

www.incomedude.com/podcast/1-TommySupplementReviewsInterview.mp3

 

Time keeps on slipping…

It has been 8 days since I came back to the states, but feels like I arrived just yesterday.  This is because my life has become extremely routine; wake, eat, work, errands, eat, sleep.  Each day is no longer a new adventure.

Furthermore, it is difficult to differentiate one day in my memory from another.  What did I do Tuesday?  Worked.  Ate.  Slept.  What about last Thursday?  Worked.  Ate.  Slept.  The days seem to just run together and become forgotten in my mind.

The positives of a routine

It is a relief to be back on a routine after bumming around for 5 months.  I’ve become extremely productive, and have mostly caught up on all the work I’ve been putting off for so long.  It is also easier to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise regimen into your daily routine.

What next?

I’m currently looking for a 4-plex in Reno so I can establish my business and residence in the great state of Nevada.  Once I get that whole deal set up (~4 months) I’ll be able to hit the road again as long as I’m not spending lots of time in California.

Changing the way I travel.

While the last 5 months was tons of fun, I’d like to slow down and spend 3-6 months in each place.  3 months is enough time to get a feel for the town, make new friends, stay productive, but also short enough to always keep life exciting.

Possible domestic destinations in the coming year include Portland (again?), Colorado, Austin, and New York.  International destinations include Stockholm, Russia?, Spain/Argentina?, South America, New Zealand, Singapore?

What did I actually miss about the US?

Last week, I posted about stuff I missed in the US.  I’ll go over what I think about it after being back for a week:

Pandora: Ah yes!! I missed you!

Reliable and Unlimited Internet: I’m still grateful every moment I use the internet.

PST: I still think about what time it is for anyone that I call.

English: How convenient everything is now!  It only took a day to get re-adjusted to this.

Not Being a Foreigner/Familiarity: Like I said above, it is more convenient, but life is no longer an adventure when everything is so familiar.

Laws/Traffic: Its nice to know them all, but we still have some silly ones.

In n Out: I’ve already been twice.  Just as good as when I left.

Smoke-Free Environments: Definitely noticeable.  Way better.

USD: It only took a day to get re-adjusted.  I’ve completely forgot about currency exchange rates and all that jazz.

Condiments: Another thing that immediately goes unnoticed again.

 

Things I Miss about the US

I’m excited to get back to the states in a few days, and wanted to get some last-minute thoughts down before re-adjusting to the US.  Here are some of the aspects of the US I’m excited to get back to:

Pandora

Pandora internet radio has been my favorite method to listen to and discover new music.  Even though I signed up for the paid service, I was still very disappointed when I tried to fire up Pandora in Australia.  I spent several hours trying to figure a way around it, but never could seem to sort it out.

Even though I have a library of nearly 5,000 songs, I constantly feel like I’m listening to the same old stuff over and over.  I’ve grown entirely dependent on Pandora to introduce me to new things.

Reliable and Unlimited Internet

Australia was probably the worst.  Slower internet, transfer caps, less reliability.  We were only in our house for two months, so we couldn’t really sign up for internet since you had to sign a year contract.  I tried stealing it from the neighbors but they hit their monthly bandwidth allotment, and the speed reduced to a crawl.  The library was pretty fast, however they blocked port 21 so I couldn’t have FTP access, which sometimes was a huge incontinence.

While backpacking, finding a stable and fast internet connection was a rare gem.  Sometimes they would make you pay, others were really slow at peak times, other connections were down most of the time, some also had port 21 blocked.  There is nothing more frustrating than wasting your time trying to connect to a flakey connection at a hotel when you have a bunch of work you need to get done.

When I return home, I’m going to appreciate a stable fast internet connection more than ever.

PST

Again, this problem was worse in Australia.  I was between 17 and 19 hours ahead of San Francisco.  Business hours did not line up at all, so trying to get work done that required heavy collaboration with anyone in the states took much longer.  As I traveled west, it became less of an issue.

English

The language barrier wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, however it still was a source of frustration.  It will be nice not have to ask if someone speaks English before talking to them.  Even in Scotland, I still had difficulty understanding what people were saying.

Not Being a Foreigner

Walking around, looking lost all the time, taking pictures of stuff, looking at a map and not speaking the native language were all dead giveaways that I was a foreigner.

Familiarity

Knowing what things are and where to get them is something you take for granted in the US.  We have Target, Walmart, CVS, etc.  Trying to buy seemingly simple items overseas can be a bit difficult when you have no idea where to get them.

Laws/Traffic

Can you drink on the sidewalk?  Can you cross outside a crosswalk?  Which way do the cars go?  Are there any obscure laws I don’t know about that I’m violating right now?  How fair is this random country’s judicial system?  This was never perfectly clear in each country I went into, and it will be nice to get back to a place where I am familiar with the judicial system/laws.

In n Out

“I could really go for some In n Out, animal style” has a different meaning outside California.

Unlimited Cell Phone/Text Messaging/Data Plan/GPS

I had a pre-paid plan in Australia and Asia.  I hated always having to watch my credit.  My plan in the US is more expensive, but more worry-free.

Smoke-Free Environments

Seems like everywhere I went in Europe, people were smoking.  The worst was in stuffy, crowded bars.  My clothes always wreaked of cigarettes.  Even outside, people were smoking much more often.

USD

There are two challenges that come with using a foreign currency:  1) Converting it into USD so you know how much you are spending, and 2) Identifying the coins and the notes.  In Indonesia, 8600 Rupies was 1 USD.  An ice cream bar was 20,000R.  Pounds were the hardest coins to determine value for.  They didn’t have a big number on them, and some even said “Twenty pence” spelled out in tiny letters.

Condiments

I don’t remember ever paying for condiments at a restaurant inside the US.  Outside the US, it is commonplace.  We were even automatically charged an extra dollar per person at a pizza place in Czech for “condiments” even though we didn’t use any!  Also, ketchup doesn’t quite taste the same it did in the states.

 

I wake up this morning in Zagreb, Croatia at 10:18am.  Damn!  I missed the free breakfast that went until 10.  Ugh, that will be the worst part of the day.  Guess I’ll meander down to the main common room of the hostel and check some lazy emails.

25 new emails!  Hope nothing too important happened while I was sleeping!

Whats this? “Notice of Termination due to New California Law“  Sent from Amazon?

Hello,

Unfortunately, Governor Brown has signed into law the bill that we emailed you about earlier today. As a result of this, contracts with all California residents participating in the Amazon Associates Program are terminated effective today, June 29, 2011. Those California residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned before today will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule.

You are receiving this email because our records indicate that you are a resident of California. If you are not currently a resident of California, or if you are relocating to another state in the near future, you can manage the details of your Associates account here. And if you relocate to another state in the near future please contact us for reinstatement into the Amazon Associates Program.

To avoid confusion, we would like to clarify that this development will only impact our ability to offer the Associates Program to California residents and will not affect your ability to purchase from Amazon.com, Endless.com, MYHABIT.COM or SmallParts.com.

We have enjoyed working with you and other California-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program and, if this situation is rectified, would very much welcome the opportunity to re-open our Associates Program to California residents. As mentioned before, we are continuing to work on alternative ways to help California residents monetize their websites and we will be sure to contact you when these become available.

Regards,

The Amazon Associates Team

Snap.  I had just spent a lot of time and money implementing the Amazon feed, and Amazon was responsible for nearly $100 of revenue a day for me.  I’ll also have to find out which other retailers will stop working with me because of Jerry Brown.

Leaving California is my ONLY option.

I’ll have to re-incorporate my California business in another state now.  That is the only way to survive.  Maybe Nevada? Delaware? A different country?  I can’t call Amazon (and all the other affiliate programs that might nix me) and say “please please let me work with you!”.  I can’t call Jerry Brown and say “please please please learn how the internet works!”.

I hope you are happy, California lawmakers.  I was paying California income tax but now I will pay zero California income tax.  I’m not sure how you intend to fix the budget when you are driving tax-paying businesses out of your state.

Would Meg Whitman Have Done It?

No!  Former CEO of eBay?  Are you serious?  She understands how the internet works.  Jerry Brown does not.  It is totally not fair for these dinosaur lawmakers in California to pass a budget when they have no idea what it even means.  Try to get each lawmaker to explain what this bill does exactly.

I’m In a Blind Rage.

I thought I had a lot of stuff to take care of when I returned to the states.  Selling the RV, buying a car, finding a place, selling off my websites, developing the new version and optimizing my main site, closing out a few other projects, and somehow fixing my shoulder/wrist injuries.  Now I have to move my entire business to another state.  Change my address for everything: affiliate programs, taxes, payroll, banks, etc.  All because Jerry Brown ignorantly decided that he didn’t want my tax dollars anymore.

Thanks, California.  We had a good run.

 

I have been to tons of countries and never really affected by the concept that people outside the US hate Americans.  Yes, people might crack a joke, say something silly about George W Bush, or call me a Yank, but it seemed to be all in jest and I would still be treated with respect.  I could tell that individuals were smarter than to judge someone based solely on the country they come from.  I was starting to think that maybe the world does not hate Americans as much as everyone says.  Until my 3-day trip to Munich.

Our experience in Germany was substantially different than in all the other countries.  What I noticed first was that the wait staff/bartenders seemed to be extremely moody, as if asking them to do their job was a huge favor that they were begrudgingly granting.  Maybe just having a bad day and pure coincidence?  Maybe not.

I realized we were being “targeted” when we tried to get into a number of clubs/bars last night.

The first asked us for our identification.  We showed them our California drivers licenses, they gave them a look, and then requested to see our passports.  The wouldn’t accept a color copy I take with me instead of carrying the real thing around.  I figured it was just their policy and we didn’t think much of it.

For the next one, we waited in line, and when it was our turn, they asked for IDs.  Again, we pull out the California drivers licenses.  This time, the club immediately became full.

“Sorry, we are full”.

“Thats fine, we can wait.”

“No you leave now.”

We assumed they didn’t want two single guys coming in with no chicks.  Totally understandable.  We befriend a group of 3 German girls and head to the final bar.  Being gentlemen, we let the girls go in first.  When it is our turn, they again ask for our IDs, and when they take a look at them, they instantly become full again.

“Hey, you just let all our friends in but not us?”

“We are full, sorry”

“Really?  Then why are you letting all these other dudes in that were behind us?”

“Please leave now”

Finally it all makes sense.

Its not that we were inappropriately dressed; we were probably dressed better than most guys there.  Its not that we weren’t with girls – we had 3.  Its not that we were underage or too old.  Its not that we had been over-served at a previous establishment.  Its not as if we were being rowdy or obnoxious.  Its not because we spoke English, not German.  We were treated different immediately when they discovered our country of origin.

This was a great learning experience.

It does not feel good to be stereotyped.  We only experienced this a little; it didn’t become more than a mild inconvenience, it was outside our own country, and it was still extremely upsetting.  I can’t imagine how it feels for US citizens to be stereotyped in their own country.  How it feels for immigrants trying to lead a better life.  This has inspired me to be even more accepting of people with different ethnic or racial backgrounds.  More intolerant of intolerance.

 

Wizz Air Baggage Check Scam

I’m a capitalist at heart, but when a company abuses the system and screws their customers, I become upset.

In the business of flying,  any airline is a perfect substitute for another. This results in most customers choosing the flight with the lowest price. There are several price aggregators (Kayak, Orbitz, Cheapoair, etc) that allow you to easily compare prices of the same flight by different airlines.

Airlines know that customers will only choose them based on price, so they compete to offer the lower prices than any other airline. This sort of competition is good for the consumer, as it forces airlines to streamline their processes, cut costs and run more efficiently. Unfortunately, some airlines decide to use this as a way to screw the customer.

How I was screwed by Wizz Air:

I’ve traveled on over 20 planes in 2011, through a dozen airports and through a dozen airlines, all with the exact same luggage set-up.  One small piece of hand luggage (carry on) and my small backpack (personal item).  I’ve often times saved money by buying a ticket that does not include checked baggage.  In this time I’ve never encountered a problem.  My hand luggage always fit in the over-head compartment, and nobody has ever questioned it being too big (its pretty small).

I purchased my Wizz Air ticket from Rome to Prague because it was the cheapest.  It did not include checked baggage, which was fine with me since I’ve never been required to check it.  I went ahead and booked the flight.

Next, I’m told that I must print out my boarding pass before entering the airport, or I’ll be charged 10 euro.  I don’t have a printer, but I can find one.  I print out the boarding pass, and then it tells me I still have to visit the check-in desk.  What is the point of doing the e-check-in then?

While I’m waiting in line for the check-in, I see people frustrated at the counter, and leaving/returning with little slips of paper.  I don’t understand what the confusion is.

I visit the check-in desk, and they ask which piece of luggage I’d like to check.  I explain that I have on piece of hand luggage and one personal item, and this has been just fine with every other airline I’ve ever traveled with.  The lady says that you can only have one item.  Realizing that I have no choice at this point, I’m check my piece of hand luggage.  That will be 40 euro, go pay at the ticket window.

I head to the ticket window with my slip of paper, realizing that everyone else in line has been screwed just like myself.

Why this is unethical:

One of the fundamentals of capitalism is consumer choice.  Consumers can chose between competing businesses based on the good/service and price.  However, when faced with the 40 euro baggage charge, I did not have a choice.

Furthermore, the 40 euro fee was not a fair price to check a bag.  I could have easily carried it on board, just like I have done dozens of times in the past, however Wizz Air came up with a policy that would generate extra profits from unsuspecting customers.

Wizz air was the cheapest price upfront, but ended up costing me more in the end.  Had they included their hidden fees in their initial price, they would not have been the cheapest price, and I would have made the choice to go with a different airline.  Wizz Air decided to spring the extra fees on me when I had no choice, thereby going against the very ideals of capitalism.

Why complain about it?

Hopefully a few people will stumble upon this blog post while searching for Wizz Air baggage, and decide to go with a different company.  Also, I’m sitting in the airport waiting for my Wizz Air flight, its fresh on my mind and I wanted to rant.

A cat helping us do the dishes of the 100+ person dinner for some green event at an organic farm here in Karlskrona, Sweden.

One of the unspoken problems in America is the obesity rate in cats.  While almost any cat can survive in the wild, the truth is that most cats in America just sit around all day eating the processed junk food their owners feed them.  This lifestyle usually leads to a rather plump  cat.  Not that it is anyone’s fault or causing any real problems in society, just an observation.

Cats in developing countries, on the other hand, are typically skinny.  They have to work much harder for less food.  Furthermore, some look diseased which usually makes them more skinny.  People don’t have the money to buy fancy cat food and take their pets into the vet.  There are a lot more stray cats which I rarely see in the US.

Which leads me to my question: why are stray cats a problem?  They are fully capable of surviving in the wild, just like squirrels, ducks, deer, kangaroos, etc.   Must we really kidnap every stray cat we see and either put it up for adoption or kill it?