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A brief summary of the awesome-est things I had the privilege of seeing and doing in 2010, organized by country:

India

Cities visited: Hyderabad, Delhi, Agra

Taj Mahal in Agra India
(Photo: tehzeda)

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal looks far more spectacular in person. Even the best pictures do not do it justice. Fun facts:

  • Built by Mughal emporer Shah Jahan as a tribute to and mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Awww, how sweet
  • Designed to be a symmetrical octagon
  • Wearing shoe covers is required to protect the gleaming white exterior and petrol-based vehicles are not allowed in the surrounding area

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Yes, you read that right. “Billion” with a “b.” Roughly 13% of the human population does not have access to safe drinking water. As part of Blog Action Day, we are doing our part to help raise awareness of this global issue. Please join us in supporting the Millenium Development Goal of halving the number of people who lack access to clean water and basic sanitation by 2015.

Many of us have been fortunate enough to travel internationally, including to the regions most affected by a lack of water and basic sanitation. We have taken away plenty from these areas (memories, pictures, souvenirs, friends). Now let’s give something back. Use the widget below to sign a petition to support the UN’s efforts to bring clean, safe water to millions or start your own fundraising efforts through charity: water.

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I watched the Steve Jobs video below recently, and he struck me with a great point: marketing is about values. Watch his great speech, and you’ll learn something and learn to think differently about great companies.

But to the point, it made me think about this company, Tortuga Backpacks. What’s our core value? What drives everything we do? What’s the central message in all our marketing. I thought a lot about it, but it turns out it’s pretty simple.

Tortuga Backpack’s core value is to build a backpack that’s so perfectly designed and well-constructed that it’s the backpack we (the owners) take traveling.

It’s only because it’s our dream backpack that we’re willing to attach our names to it and sell it to you. Our goal is to perfect the travel backpack — make every aspect of it better executed and more streamlined. And it’s that simple value that will inform all our actions in selling it.

Perhaps we’re not trying to change the world like Apple. But that’s fine by us. We think that allowing people to take the perfect trip of a lifetime is a pretty noble goal.

Oh, by the way… Here’s to the crazy ones that think they can change the world! Because they will.

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