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14516518_10210823918457325_5188208547589047370_nMake the world your office!

I love the fact that I can work from anywhere. My location serves as my canvas.

One of my favorite places to work from is an artful hotel lobby. The elegant and alive-with-energy setting of an upscale hotel inspires me – in both on and off “work hours”.

In case you’ve never done such a thing, allow me to offer a nudge: You don’t need to stay, for example, at the Ritz Carlton to use it as a perfect excuse to get dressed up, walk in with confidence, be greeted with grace by the concierge, and find a comfortable place to sit with a notebook or laptop.  You can embrace the social atmosphere and order a beverage too, if you’d like – it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

14591667_10210823919177343_5258877635864448130_nI introduced my sister to the fun of this while visiting her in Vermont. Two miles from her home, we found a swanky hotel that she had never walked into. We decided in advance to order coffee and when we did, much to our surprise, we were shone to a complimentary fresh coffee bar and invited to please help ourselves. Following my lead, she and I expressed our thanks and proceeded to enjoy free coffee.  🙂

14590500_10210823918657330_6598695259823651768_nMake the world your office! You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll find, or what impromptu conversations you’ll have. A simple “Where’s home?” or “Are you in town for business?” are easy conversation starters.

I encourage you: Do it, and let me know how it goes!

The pictures seen here are of my recent visit to Hotel Monaco, which served well as Nomadic Leaders virtual headquarters for a day. Seeing and hearing the comings and goings of people from all over the world, were the perfect backdrop while I chipped away at preparations for your Nomadic Leaders experience of a lifetime.

Tell me: Where are YOU working from today?

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Birds need a nest, and they still fly. ~ Gloria Steinem

In our digital age, more and more people work from home.  A few commonplace examples of this 21st century lifestyle are: corporate employees who log in from home, entrepreneurs with a virtual business, location-independent freelancers, and the growing number of students and teachers of online learning.

19129098724_901a5b89b9_bThis rapidly changing virtual landscape is creating changes in not only how we think about and do our work, but also how we think about and identify ‘home’.  How one defines home is, of course, very personal – and it’s also fluid – often changing along with changes in circumstances, relationships, and stages of life.

For me personally, home has been many things: It’s been a place I run away from. And it’s been a place I can’t wait to come home to.  It’s been a place I’ve identified as an address. Other times, as a town, or a city, or a state, or a country, a continent, a hemisphere. For reasons I don’t fully understand, the most sincere definition of home I’ve ever held, has been to identify home as Planet Earth.  Even that at times feels like it only tells part of the story.

I identify as a citizen of the world. But – I also really like my bed and having a home to come home to. I love ‘home’ being not only defined by location but by the people in my life. If my heart’s not there, my home is certainly not there.

But where’s the heart?  If home is where the heart is, and your heart spans across continents, how do YOU define home?

My most recent evolution around how I define ‘home,’ is to embrace that, for me home is untethered, it’s too complex and too big to be defined by one place.

In other words, I’ve stopped trying to answer that question.

And with this release, came a new question: Where is my home-base?

Home-base doesn’t get me confused, and it doesn’t cause me to feel flustered or confined by its definition.

Home-base is where my bed is. It’s where my clothes and toothbrush is. It’s where I return to after wandering and journeying based on my unapologetically expansive definition of ‘home’.

This works for me.  To know where my nest is, and still fly.

Join the conversation and follow the journey!  Please share your thoughts on these questions:

Where’s ‘home’ for you?  …

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Pack whatever you want, then take half.

Without question, my least favorite thing about travel is PACKING.  Maybe you relate?

One time, while stressing about what to pack for a 6 month stay in Australia, my uncle (a world traveler himself) gave me some great advice: “Tara, pack whatever you want – then take half.”

This was 20+ years ago, my junior year of college. Yeesh, hard to believe that math is right! Time marches on, and over the years, I’ve come to embrace and whole-heartedly believe that less truly is more.

casesweb_3079682a-largeThis didn’t happen overnight. My growing affection for minimalism has developed in stages, and most recently it reached a new height when I moved: from a spacious, high-ceiling, 2-bedroom, double-parlor home in Rhode Island with a back yard and a front porch … to a 600 square foot 1-bedroom with a little balcony just outside of Washington DC.

At first, the prospect of down-sizing felt incredibly daunting. What would I keep? What would I get rid of?  In moments, I even considered not moving so that I could hold on to “stuff” – my cherished dining room table in particular. It sounds pretty ridiculous to me now, but I loved that dining room table. It was large. It was wooden. I coveted it for many months before finally making the purchase and was thrilled when it arrived.

I loved so much about it. Aesthetically, it served as the central focus for one of my two parlors. Its functionality, with a leaf that I could insert when I wanted to make it even bigger, allowed me to fit many friends and family around it. It had symbolic meaning to me, representing a certain degree of success. This, plus the memories made at that table added up to a whole lot of sentimental value.

But – however much I cherished it, my dining room table could NOT come with me. Two stools and a ‘breakfast bar’ would be serving as its replacement.

Now, perhaps you’re wondering ….

“Tara, what the heck does your dining room table have to do with MY packing?”

** A lot. **

Packing for travel requires you to be discerning, thoughtful, and intentional about what you bring with you.  There will be those cherished how-can-I-possibly-live-without-(fill in the blank) items that tempt you to either stay put, or to lug them around with you. There will be things that you need to leave behind – both physically and metaphorically.

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By disrupting assumptions we’re able see things with fresh eyes and renewed curiosity.

peters-projection-mapOne of the most stimulating and controversial images of the world, the Peters Projection World Map was first introduced by historian and cartographer Dr. Arno Peters in Germany in 1974, generating a firestorm of debate. The first English-version was published in 1983.

Representing a round planet on a flat surface is a challenge. The Peters Map is an area accurate map, and in contrast to many of the more commonly seen maps of the world, North American and European countries appear smaller, and Africa and South America strikingly larger. The map has passionate fans and staunch critics.

Here at Nomadic Leaders, we think the Peters Projection World Map is pretty awesome. Why? Because we welcome and celebrate opportunities to see things in new ways.  By disrupting assumptions we’re able see things with fresh eyes and renewed curiosity. The Peters Map offers an unorthodox, mind-bending new angle on how to perceive and understand our world.

What do YOU think of Peters World Map?

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I often think about, read about, talk, write – even speak – about leadership. It’s my work, my Masters degree, my curiosity, and my muse for so much of what I do and create.

Given how much there is to know, I also know how little I know. Good leaders are those who know that they don’t know everything and who, frankly, also know that they don’t need to. The best leaders are those with a sound sense of clarity about the inevitability of mis-takes.

1446464_1280x720Obama spoke to this in his 2016 DNC speech, pointing out that for those with the wherewithal to get “in the arena”, mistakes are “what happens when we try.” True words.

The opposite of leadership is not bad leadership.

There’s something called Servant Leadership (a great little book by that name was required reading in the Holistic Leadership Masters Degree program I graduated from. Robert K. Greenleaf is the author, and I encourage you to read it). ‘Servant Leadership’ is proof that leading from behind can be an extraordinarily powerful Model of Leadership, exemplifying the inter-dependent dynamics of leading and following.

The influence of servant leadership isn’t just evident in books and political arenas, it’s everywhere a lead-and-follow dynamic is. You can even, for example, see it on the dance floor of a salsa club. I say this as an admitted salsa dancing addict: Watch a couple dancing, a good lead and a good follow. Then, watch another salsa dance with a good leader but a poor follower; you can’t tell me that follower isn’t “leading”!

In any leadership “dance”, on or off a dance floor, the leader and the follower are inherently inter-dependent parties – not opposites. The opposite of leadership is not bad leadership, and the opposite of leadership is also not following, however good or bad. At Nomadic Leaders, we believe that the opposite of leadership is Spectatorship. The two are wholly incompatible. You simply cannot be a leader and always sit on the sidelines.

For all my faults and weaknesses, and however imperfectly I lead – and follow – on and off the dance floor … I make a point to live in the arena, not watch from the sidelines.

My qualifications on the subject of Leadership are growing and expanding rapidly and in real time. The recent launch of Nomadic Leaders is requiring me to step up, in the arena, and walk-my-bold-talk on an entirely new level.…

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