In this Deep Dive I have a chat with my friend, author and ex-nomad, Tynan where we uncover some new perspectives on life. Some of the highlights from our discussion can be found below, as well as time-stamps if you fancy listening to us talk :)
A conversation with author and adventurer - Tynan. Tynan has written four books including Superhuman Social Skills and Superhuman by Habit. He is also the co-creator of the blogging platform SETT and has written extensively on his blog on subjects including social skills, relationships, his time as a pick-up artist as well as his experiences of living a nomadic life since 2006. Time Magazine honoured him as one of its top 25 bloggers, and Gawker have hailed him as “King of the Tech Geeks.”
📖 Tynan's Books
02:00 Tynan Arrives
03:20 Tynan Background + Career
07:20 On Not Having A Well-Defined Occupation
08:15 What get's you up in the morning?
09:30 Cruise Ships
15:00 Superhuman Social Skills Book
19:00 The Truth Behind Being A Pick-up Artist
21:21 On Being Yourself
23:23 The A-Z of Storytelling
30:30 Nomad Lifestyle
35:35 Home Bases
48:05 Living In An RV
50:40 Productivity and Travel
51:51 Travelling Alone / Together
54:00 The Value of Travel
56:50 Travel Advice
59:22 Getting Married
01:02:00 Dating + Relationships
01:14:00 On Not Drinking
01:18:00 On Tea
01:22:20 Personal Blogs
On Personal Blogs
- It’s made me a much clearer thinker. It’s made me analyse my experiences a lot more which has a lot of value. But the same could be said of having a YouTube channel or a podcast.
- Too many people are in the business of looking for their content elsewhere – there is much greater value in creating your own stuff.
On Dating / Relationships
- There is not one prescription for everybody but if you’ve been dating for years, you’re probably doing something wrong and you need to think about how you want to come across and communicate with the other person.
- My bar was: I will keep dating somebody until there is a reason that I shouldn’t marry them.
- People are not themselves on first dates – sometimes people are looking for that instant magic connection but that probably only happens in 1 in 10 instances. Sometimes we don’t know what we are looking for until we see that or the inverse.
The Value of Travelling
- The value of travelling is very hard to quantify but I remember coming back from my first travels with a greater understanding of how the world works.
- You can get some understanding of other cultures by visiting temples or sites but a lot of the value came from sitting in a coffee shop and getting to know local people and local cultures.
On Travelling Alone / Together
- It’s worth trying both – I’m generally ambivalent towards it. It does depend who you are traveling with but when you travel by yourself you are forced to figure things out for yourself. You’re doing 100% of the work of figuring out how the place works.
- After seeing 70/80 countries, there was very little benefit from seeing a new place. There are still interesting new places to visit but the marginal benefits are much lower. As that change has happened, the biggest benefit of travel has become the quality experience with friends and so now I only travel with friends.
On Living In An RV
- It has its limitations but it’s surprisingly great. I calculated that I saved $150,000 living in it than I would’ve spent on renting. There are different ways that you can allocate your money over your life but for me it was better suited to me.
On Living As A Nomad + Home Bases
- There is a lot of value in breadth of experience but I began to struggle with not getting the depth of experience. I would make friends but they were fleeting. The solution for me was to set up a series of home bases all around the world with friends. We have 5 home bases – in each of these I can have a set routine, I can develop friends there and I can get to know the cultures better.
- When you are a nomad for a long time you build an international network but it tends to be people that are into weirder ideas because they have this weird lifestyle idea.
- It takes time but people don’t realise how doable a lot of these things are - it's easier than people think.
- Write down the letters A to Z and write down a true story from your life from each of the letters. If you can go into a conversation with 26 stories that you could use, it makes you more comfortable in social interactions.
- It changes the way you communicate – you learn it to be able to tell a story but it does extend beyond that.
- Nobody has ever complained that someone has told stories that are too short. Many people complain that stories are too long. Most people give way too much premise (the first phase), but you need to keep that short. The build-up is the part you want to make longer and you want to stay focused without tangents (the second phase), and the pay-off (the last phase) is the one you want to be quick. So stick to the three phases – keep the beginning and the end short but make the middle section long to keep people engaged.
On Being Yourself
- It’s not about changing yourself but understanding who you are in relation to other people and changing how you communicate what is true about you.
On Being A Pick Up Artist
- It’s the opposite of the preconceived notion…one of my biggest realisations was thinking more about what does a woman want from a conversation and having the skills to be able to get to know another person on an individual basis.
On Superhuman Social Skills
- We don’t generally consider social skills to be a ‘skill’ that we can improve. BUT we can and should actively improve our social skills – “it's a skillset you need to learn and you need to be the proactive one – you cannot wait for others to befriend you because that's probably not going to happen”.
There is a lot of value in being the person who is the hub that brings people together and if you are willing to provide that hub for a social group, that’s a really good start to improving your social skills.
On Cruises and Writing
- They provide a weird alternate reality you get to live in for a couple of weeks where you’re so far removed from any real problem that there are so few external interruptions which means you can plan out projects and schedule your time.
- I've become so accustomed to writing books on cruises that I don't think I would write a book in any other environment.
- I aim to write a series of blog posts rather than a book all at once…by the end of the cruise I end up with about 70,000 words and after that it’s pretty easy to find the motivation to tighten it up and organise it [into a book].
- Once you get off the cruise, you don’t really remember the hours that you were working - you just magically have this bank of work which you’ve been doing alongside other activities.