Chris Guillebeau, An Interview With the Non-Conformist Himself

You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to. – Chris Guillebeau

In his popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, Chris Guillebeau, traveler, writer, and fighter of the status quo, shares with the world his philosophies, beliefs, ideas, experiences and know-how of what it means to live an unconventional and remarkable life, despite what society tells you what is best for you and what is right.

In our age of mass conformity and the strive to live and lead a “normal” life (truly, is normal really normal?), we need not just be a sheep following the herd.

For what if the herd goes in a direction our heart does not believe in? Or what if the herd is wrong and leads us somewhere we did not want to go?

How will we ever know what will make us happy, what will help us leave a lasting legacy in this world, if we never stray from the herd and lead our own lives, with our own rules?

That is where Chris helps his readers challenge themselves to ask this important question: What are you doing today to help you live a remarkable and unconventional life?

In his Unconventional Book Tour across 63 cities in the U.S. and Canada for his brand new book , I had the chance to meet with Chris and chat with him when he stopped by Chicago last month. His humble yet unapologetic approach to living the life we’ve always wanted is worthy to note in our lies-infested and broken world.

He’s living life his way, traveling to every country in the world before he turns 35.

Ambitious? Certainly. Impossible? Never.

We need more freedom fighters and unconventional thinkers like Chris. Will you join us in this revolution? If so, please read on.

I’m happy to present to you Chris Guillebeau in a brief interview about his unconventional travels around the world, his Unconventional Book Tour for his new book The Art of Non-Conformity, and his upcoming World Domination Summit set for June 2011 in Portland.

A Brief Interview with Chris Guillebeau

Nina: Out of all the countries and places you’ve traveled to thus far, which one was the most memorable? Which one was the most challenging?

Chris: I’m not sure which single country has been the most memorable. But among others that I’ve especially enjoyed, I think of South Africa, Macedonia, Ghana, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands. As for challenging, well, Saudi Arabia almost deported me upon arrival. I arrived in Tanzania after a 36-hour bus ride. Some islands in the South Pacific require five flights to get to—I guess it just depends on how you define challenging.

Nina: What did you learn about yourself while writing The Art of Non-Conformity? Was this difficult to complete while traveling around the world?

Chris: I learned that I probably should have started this earlier, but I’m glad I finally started when I did. In other words, forging a writing career and getting serious about honing my message has been very good for me. Writing a book wasn’t difficult when I actually got around to doing it, but unfortunately, procrastination and I are well-acquainted. I had to really take time out and make it my major focus, which was sometimes a challenge with so many other things happening. But I’m extremely glad I did it and I look forward to doing it again.

Nina: What is your one major goal for your Unconventional Book Tour? And why 63 cities?

Chris: My one major goal was to meet my readers throughout North America, and an important side goal was to make the case that book tours can still be a good thing for authors to do. I don’t like to do anything small, so I decided to go to all 50 states. Then, I didn’t want to leave out Canada, so I added all 10 provinces. Washington, D.C. made 61, and then I couldn’t choose between L.A. or San Fran and Houston or Dallas… so I added them all, and that’s how we ended up with 63.

Nina: The World Domination Summit is in June 2011. How did you come up with such an unconventional summit and what would you say to someone who is on the fence whether to go or not?

Chris: As I started going out on the road, I realized how much opportunity and possibility there is in bringing like-minded people together. It’s fun to meet 50-100 people in any given city, but what if we could bring everyone together in one place to discuss unconventional approaches to life, work, and travel? That was the genesis of the idea. As to what I would say to someone who is on the fence, well, I’d say they need to decide one way or another fairly soon, because we have limited space and it’s going to fill up at least six months in advance.

Thanks for your time, Chris, and I’ll be seeing you in Portland next year for the WDS!

Additional Reading Also By Chris

One of my favorite passages from the book is this: “Unreasonable,” “unrealistic,” and “impractical” are all words used to marginalize a person or idea that fails to conform with conventionally expected standards. My response is that the world needs more people who fail to conform and refuse to settle.”

An unconventional and remarkable life can be yours if you so choose it to be yours. What are you waiting for?