Why Subtitles Prevent Language Learning (And What to Do Instead)

How to learn a language by watching movies
How to learn a language by watching movies

Subtitles are an awesome way to make foreign films accessable to international viewers.

They’re also a popular tool for language learners.

Just pop on your favorite TV series or film with foreign subs, and off you go.

Right?

At least – I’ve heard a ton of language learners swear by this method, and how it was a part of their language learning regimen. I myself have watched a ton of movies with French or Russian subtitles.

However, while this mode of study is incredibly engaging, which helps keep us glued to our screens the way grammar tables and vocabulary lists have no hope of doing, it’s counterproductive to fast, efficient language learning.

Here’s why:

Film Study (Not Just for Athletes Anymore!)

Watching TV and film is actually one of the most challenging activities for a language learner. Strangely, often even moreso than listening to the radio, which obviously provides no visual clues whatsoever to the student.

This is something I’ve tested on both myself and students, and it seems to hold true around the globe.

For instance, while I was learning French, I could converse with my colleagues around me while at the same time not understand what I was hearing on the television.

Due to these very common difficulties, beginner and intermediate speakers are often encouraged to use subtitles in their target language to help them understand the action.

But this approach is wrong. And it will prevent you from making the progress you’re expecting in your target language.

Why Watch Film?

To understand this, we have to think of why we’re watching a film or show in the first place: to improve our listening comprehension and to model our speech after native speakers.

NOT our reading comprehension.

NOT for entertainment.

Should we watch films for entertainment? Absolutely! But let’s not get watching films-for-fun and watching films for language mastery mixed up. They are distinctly seperate activities.

A film for entertainment can be at any difficulty level. Thanks to subtitles, even the most challenging foreign films can be perfectly understood by a literate individual with the right subs enabled.

A film for language learning is different, and this is where most of us make our first mistake. Instead of choosing a film based on our language level and learning needs, we choose based on our movie tastes and end up way in over our head in terms of vocabulary.

Watching a film where we understand 20-30% will do very little for our growth as a language learner. I’d strive for a bare minimum of 80% word-by-word comprehension to strike a balance of new vs known. 90-95% is even better.

Just think: If 1 out of 10 or 1/20 words is unknown to us – that’s still a ton of unknown words! But in this context, where they’re surrounded by known words, our minds have a chance to:

  1. identify the unknown words (and we can look up their meaning)
  2. possibly figure out their meaning from context
  3. follow the story even if the word remains unknown

Any more than that, and our minds will be overwhelmed by the missing information. Following the story will be harder. We will be more likely to feel lost and frustrated. And while we can do this and still get something from it – it’s not the highest and best use of our time!

Do Subtitles Help or Harm?

We often try to circumvent the fact the we picked a film that’s too difficult with subtitles.

After all, with subtitles, we can put ourselves easily into the ream of +90% comprehension, especially if we’re using subtitles in our native tongue (hopefully it’ll be 100% then).

However we’ve just ruined the learning process.

Again, this comes back to why we are doing film practice in the first place – to train our audio comprehension skills.

Therefore when we start to focus in on the visual data in front of us – the subtitles, we’re taking our attention off of the audio data that is our main task.

And since most of us are conditioned from an early age to lean on our visual skills – which is to the detriment of all others, we tend to get lost in the subtitles.

I’m embarrassed to say that if I watch a film in English and a friend decides to put subs on, I read the subs.

Remember how I talked about the strange phenmenon that watching TV is often harder than listening to the radio?

That’s because all the visual input annihilates the audio input that our brain receives. Our brains prefer this occular narcotic tenfold and filters out the competing info.

It’s a bit hard to test, but you can try normally watching a program part way (but without lip reading the actors), and then close your eyes and just listen. If the complexity of the language is about the same and your mind hasn’t tired out, I bet it will be easier to understand eyes closed.

(This problem of overrelying on our visual centers and leaving everything else underdeveloped is what I consider to be one of the main reasons a vast majority of people struggle to learn languages!)

By adding subtitles, our best case scenario is we slightly improve our reading skills. But if that was our goal a book would make a much better companion than a film!

In worse cases, any student who can’t keep up with the pace of the dialogue is now getting nothing meaningful accomplished. And very few beginner and intermediate language learners can outread the pace of human speech!

How To Learn A Language Through Film (With No Subtitles)

For language study, film should be watched one scene at a time. Our goal is to own the scene. That is: understand the language, connect it to the context (this is where our visual addiction helps the learning process), and be able to use it in real-time. Only then should we move on.

It’s also better to watch the same movie (or same scenes) several days in a row, and than a week and finally a month later in order to reinforce the things we’ve learned. Doing a few things with excellence helps way more than doing many things superficially when it comes to language learning!

So you’ve picked a scene, here’s what to do with it:

  1. Understand the main events of the scene (1st time through. I also try to say all the lines in my head at the same time as the actors)
  2. Identify & learn all the unknown words, in context (2nd time. Pausing at unknown words and replaying the line until I figure it out)
  3. Be able to speak the lines (After all unknown words have been translated)

I only turn on subtitles if I completely and honestly can’t figure out what a word is. I think a better option is to make a “best guess” in Google search or Google translate, and let it correct me. If no correction comes up it means I wasn’t even close and I’m really mis-hearing something.

Ultimately I believe if we can’t do it, we haven’t learned it. So I think it’s important to take the step past a vague sense of “I understand this” to “I can ruthlessly and flawlessly execute this.” Language is ultimately a physical activity and noot a mental one, so it’s critical any serious student of language take this step, and does so from the very start.

It’s actually not at all hard to do – particularly if we’ve picked a film at the right difficulty level, it just takes a different approach than we’re used to.

Just like proficient language learners and polyglots know. Language learning isn’t hard. If we use the right approach and don’t mind applying ourselves it can be an easy and fun adventure.

Remember: Films for fun and films for language progress are two different things. But if you do remember this, it won’t be that long until they’re the same!

Photo by Fauxto

52 Best Travel Quotes of All Time

travel quotes for inspiration
52 Travel quotes for inspiration

Here are 52 of the best inspirational travel quotes ever – so far as I’m concerned .

You can use these memorable quotes from famous travelers to kickstart your own journeys and adventures.

I find these travel quotes inspirational because they address the question of “why travel?” They’re a reminder of why travel is important.

They also remind me that all I’ve seen and done on the road these last 2 years, all the awe and wonder and raw emotion I’ve felt – that this is something every person can relate to.

So with no further ado, my favorite travel quotes, coupled with some beautiful images from the road.

May they inspire you to make travel a priority in your life and to explore the new, the exciting, and the unknown.

Inspirational Travel Quotes (2015)

#1. “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

#2. “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

#3. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

#4. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” – John A. Shedd

#5. “Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” – Mark Jenkins

aesop

#6. “Adventure is worthwhile.” – Aesop

#7. “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all of one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

#8. “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

#9. “He who has seen one cathedral ten times has seen something; he who has seen ten cathedrals once has seen but little; and he who has spent half an hour in each of a hundred cathedrals has seen nothing at all.” – Sinclair Lewis

#10. “I am a passionate traveler, and from the time I was a child, travel formed me as much as my formal education.” – David Rockefeller

#11. “I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” – Hilaire Belloc

#12. “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” – Susan Sontag

#13. “I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” – Rosalia de Castro

#14. “I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within.” – Lillian Smith

#15. “I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine.” – Caskie Stinnett

steve mcqueen travel quote

#16. “I’d rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.” – Steve McQueen

#17. “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener

#18. “If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears.” – Cesare Pavese

#19. “In both business and personal life, I’ve always found that travel inspires me more than anything else I do. Evidence of the languages, cultures, scenery, food, and design sensibilities that I discover all over the world can be found in every piece of my jewelry.” – Ivanka Trump

#20. “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!” — Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes

#21. “Just to travel is rather boring, but to travel with a purpose is educational and exciting.” – Sargent Shriver

#22. “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch

helen keller travel quote

#23. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

#24. “Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

#25. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

#26. “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” — Thomas Paine

#27. “No matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Banzi

#28. “No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson

#29. “Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone.” – Wendell Berry

#30. “Oh the places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

#31. “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama

Alan Knightly inspiring quote

#32. “Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.” – Alan Keightley

#33. “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

#34. “Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.” – Lawrence Block

#35. “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck

#36. “People travel to faraway places to watch, in fascination, the kind of people they ignore at home.” – Dagobert D. Runes

#37. “People who don’t travel cannot have a global view, all they see is what’s in front of them. Those people cannot accept new things because all they know is where they live.” – Martin Yan

#38. “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” – Maya Angelou

#39. “Thanks to the Interstate Highway System, it is now possible to travel across the country from coast to coast without seeing anything.” – Charles Kuralt

#40. “The commonsense rules of the “real world” are a fragile collection of socially reinforced illusions.” — Timothy Ferriss

Shirley MacLaine travel quote

#41. “The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine

#42. “The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes”sight-seeing.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

#43. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

#44. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” — Carl Sandburg

#45. “To many people holidays are not voyages of discovery, but a ritual of reassurance.” – Philip Andrew Adams

#46. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

#47. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

#48. “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous

#49. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

#50. “When overseas you learn more about your own country, than you do the place you’re visiting.” – Clint Borgen

#51. “You don’t have to be rich to travel well.” – Eugene Fordor

Steve Jobs inspiring lifestyle quote

#52. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

That’s the list! I hope you found it inspiring. If you’re ready to take the next step planning your travels, I’d recommend checking out my travel resources page and my epic travel guide: How To Travel The World On Any Budget, which will show you how to travel longer, cheaper, farther, and better!

What’s your favorite quote? Share it in the comments below.


 

Photo credits: Ludovico;  Julius; Moyan; RichardU.S. Army; Mikep; Bernhard

WorldVentures Review – The Worst Way to Travel the World

WorldVentures & DreamTrips are 2 facets of a MLM (multi-level marketing) company that operates in the travel industry. Maybe you’ve heard of them. If so, you’re probably wondering about all the bad press and whether WorldVentures is really a scam, a pyramid scheme, a get rich quick scheme, or if it’s a legitimate business that’s just poorly understood like so many Nigerian princes nowadays.

How I Discovered WorldVentures

world-ventures-presentation-2012-1-638

Back when I lived in Kuala Lumpur I often frequented a Hindu temple not far from home in Chinatown.

It was one of my favorite places to hang out, and with my favorite restaurant next door, a perfect place to chat with locals and explore some of the cultural melting pot that is KL.

So I thought nothing of it when, one day, a friendly, middle-aged Chinese-Malaysian lady started chatting with me. In fact, I was excited to hear that she and her husband were entrepreneurs working on their business and that maybe they’d have need for me as a native English speaker to help with marketing.

Meeting entrepreneurs was a rare thing living in a budget backpackers hostel, so I didn’t hesitate to take her up on lunch at some fancy-pants private club and talk shop.

The free lunch was awesome. The club wasn’t overly pretentious. Not a single freak thunderstorm interrupted a decidedly pleasant afternoon. However, no matter how much I pressed for information regarding the business, I couldn’t get anything concrete out of my host. There were vague musings about traveling and her husband having the juicy details.

Now, I’ve been around the block enough times to sense when hijinks are afoot, and there was something a little too evasive about the answers I was getting to my questions, so when she upped the ante to invite me to meet her husband and really get into things, I was all in.

WorldVentures Travel Club

Several days later I get to the office with several others I recognized from the temple. One of the ladies was an enthusiastic supporter of the Chinese woman’s business, and the very presense of the young, slightly-confused Malaysians could only mean 1 of 2 things: Time share presentation or multi level marketing.

I only had to wait for the enigmatic husband to fire up his laptop to prove me correct: After some basic slides of cliche tropical destinations you might see in a 90s infomercial for ab-machines, we were introduced to Multi Level Marketing hell WorldVentures & DreamTrips.

For a total of about 5 minutes I was regaled with all the luxery vacation packages I could buy at a discount by becoming a member of their travel club – for a meager $199 signup fee + $54.95 a month. In terms of the discounts, they were hardly inspiring – in the sense that adding the word “discount” to a price tag doesn’t suddenly make it a good deal.

But that was fine, because the travel part is really a thin veneer for the glorious business opportunity beneath.

And I have to admit, the business model sounded great! After all, it was inspired by one of my favorite architectural wonders of all time:

Pyramids_of_Egypt1

Now, of course, I signed up for this meeting voluntarily, so I was more or less prepared for the coming psychological onslaught. But I started to feel badly for the others who were about to be launched into an hour long sales presentation.

Selling The Dream

I’ll give credit where it is due, WorldVentures does marketing effectively. We see this same sort of effectiveness with the Kim Jong line of succession in North Korea.

WorldVentures pitches the whole “Hate your job? Then become your own boss and travel the world” schtick as well as anyone, and they have a brilliant setup in offering both the tantalizing business and travel opportunities in one sexy package.

One of their marketing campaigns involves random travelers in idyllic locations holding blue “you should be here” signs. It’s admittedly very clever.

They tell us that we can: “Make a living while living.” Shit, if only I had thought of that before deciding to become a self-employed world traveller! I was almost tempted to sign up right there.

But seriously, who doesn’t want that? And it seems like those who sell this dream best win the big cash prize. Hell, you could argue this blog toes that same line if you only looked at my banner image and never bothered to read any of my material.

Anyway, the whole premise here is as appealing as it is unoriginal: a luxurious way to make easy money and do whatever you want.

The Program (The “Catch”)

Buuut it ain’t so easy. In order to start living the dream, you’ve got to become a sales representative. And that means an additional $99.95 sign up fee plus $10.99 a month.

Sales people receive mystical superpowers in exchange for their cash. They can, in turn, recruit salespeople and receive a cut of any sales these new salepeople make.

You’re probably thinking “haha Andrew, very funny. If every salesperson is just recruiting other salespeople and nobody is making any sales, then how does anyone make money?”

Clearly, you need a lesson in Pyramid-nomics. For that, we need to return to ancient Egypt:

WorldVentures Business Model
The Pyramid-Shaped Business Model

One day a poor pharaoh was deep in thought. His kingdom was the laughing stock of the ancient world, and he was determined to show the other great powers of the era that Egypt was a force to be rekoned with. So he came up with an ingenious plan.

He went to a group of common folk and told them, “for 1 small signup fee – your freedom, plus monthly installments of hard labour, you too can experience the great wonders of our kingdom. Even better, if you recruit other peasants, you too can reach ‘pharaoh’ status and have naked beauties feed you grapes and fan you with palm leaves.” 

In a few short decades, the first pyramids had arisen in the midst of the Egyptian desert, and the first world superpower was born.

In short: The peasants do all the work, the pharaohs reap the rewards. And if you know your Egyptian history, then you know that not many peasants ever became pharaoh.

But there is a pharaoh, which helps the peasants believe that if they just work hard enough they too can become one. This is important, as we’ll see later.

As you can see, Pyramid-nomics is great for pharaohs, but not so good for peasants.

To drive this point home with the power of modern statistics, here is Dr. Taylor’s findings of the profitibility of participating in various MLM opportunities based on data publically provided by these selfsame MLM companies.  

mlm stats
Real MLM stats. This is – sadly – not a joke.

You’ll notice that WorldVentures isn’t on this list.

Don’t worry, they’ve publicly released their data too. Here’s the truth straight from the horses mouth – 2009 edition (my brackets for clarity):

72.3% [of sales reps] did not [earn a commission]. The average annual commission or override earnings of all IRs, including those who did not earn a commission or override, was $344.28.

Yes. You read correctly. $344.28 per year.

Let me put this in perspective for you:

According to WorldBank, the poorest 2.2 billion people in the world lived on less than US $2 a day in 2011.

$2 a day = $730.

In other words, peasant farmers in the poorest countries on Earth make about 2x more than the average WorldVentures sales representative’s $344.28.

Obviously, there’s more to wealth and a high standard of living than money, but this still essentialy shakes down to the fact that WorldVentures sales reps would be financially better off finding jobs in Somalia, Central African Republic, or DR Congo, because somehow, these lawless, war-torn, and/or disease-burdened countries are still kicking ass when you compare them to the potential of a career with WV.

And it gets better: These numbers don’t even take into account the fact that you have to “pay to play.” We should technically still subtract the signup fees, monthly fees, and all the extra fees for monthly “business trainings” ($99-500) and marketing tools (like $30/mo for an autoresponder).

Can I get a “hahaha” please?

By 2012 these numbers, as if by some miracle, got worse The Better Business Bureau even has an warning posted on their page for WV, stating:

BBB world ventures

Forty bucks. Per year. When we only consider the group of people who did earn and ignore the 77.51% who made squat.

I’ve run out of superlatives.

“But Some People Succeed”

The great argument cited by WorldVenture proponents is that “some people succeed” at making a profit.

This is true. Of course, it’s also necessary. If nobody made a profit, prospects would have no reason to listen to the pharaohs and the whole pyramid would come crashing down.

Here’s the problem: Every success requires, a-priori, that more than 30 other people fail.

Allow me to elucidate:

For starters, sales reps in WorldVentures don’t start earning commission until they manage to recruit 30 customers or salespeople below them.

(This also helps them sidestep the FTC’s definition of a pyramid scheme, since they’re not technically paying members to recruit other members. Norway, however, disagrees.)

So let’s consider the absolute friendliest scenario, where a mere 30 recruits gives a sales rep instant “set for life” status. No recruits ever leave, and the commissions from said recruits are enough that no further work ever has to be done.

This is, of course, absolutely laughable – but I want to give WorldVentures every benefit of the doubt here, because WV nation is currently ranked last in GDP per capita worldwide, and that’s sad.

If we took an isolated group of 31 people, we could have 1 sales rep and 30 recruits, or 1 money-making pharaoh and 30 money and time-losing peasants. If we increase the size of the group and this 1 salesperson were to recruit more reps, the numbers simply get more skewed.

But let’s say all 30 reps recruited 30 of their own reps. Now we have 31 money makers (1 original, and 30 on the “second floor” of our pyramid) and a whopping 900 losers.

One more iteration totals 931 pharaohs to 27,000 peasants. Ouch. Again, this is assuming that the minimum 30 recruits cover all a sales rep’s expenses, the new recruits never drop out, and all provide exorbitant commissions that allow the sales rep to make easy money forever after. 

The actual numbers are going to be much worse. In fact, I predict the average member will earn less than the average Nigerian farmer. Now how did I figure that out again?

Continue this process for as long as you want. Watch the peasant count stack up until we turn the entire Sahara into a pyramid-filled theme park. WorldVentures adds on fancy bells and whistles like “right arms” and “left arms” to confuse the model, but the math is clear – eventually there will be no more people to recruit, and everyone on the uber-massive bottom layer will be supporting the people above.

And that, my friends, is the best case scenario.

Let’s not forget all the fees and other expenses and simple reality that 30 recruits aren’t going to supply a lifetime of prophets ultimately shake down to the average member making below poverty level wages in the poorest nations on Earth, yeah?

So if you make a profit with WorldVentures, yes you probably hustled a lot and really earned your income, just like a real business person would.

That effort is commendable.

Actually, given the odds, it’s pretty damn impressive.

Too bad it comes at the pain and suffering of hundreds of other people, many of whom are themselves facing tough financial times and trying to make a better lives for themselves. Many of these people were probably family and [now former] friends – since these are the easiest targets for recruitment purposes.

This is the crux of the matter. The slogan that “you get out of it what you put into it” is demonstrably false. It is blaming the victims instead of the perpetrators. Only uneducated and/or monsterous people would blame a women for dressing too provocatively in a rape case. The exact same logic must be applied here. You, by natural law, cannot get out of it what you put into it.

“You’re Just Jealous”

ajw biking france
Biking in Provence, France

This is another common retort when all the facts, statistics, and logic stack up against a WV supporter. Everyone who is a detractor must just be jealous that they were one of the losers who made no money while everyone around them made buckets of cash.

“Hahaha” I hear you thinking, “but Andrew, the average sales rep makes $40* a year”

(*before expenses)

The jealousy argument is almost as rational as the “gayness causes hurricanes” argument.

Understand this. It doesn’t matter how hard you work. It’s undeniable, irrevocable, mathematical fact. Each success necessitates countless failures. Sorry, but that is exactly the fault of the company and nobody else. Over 96% of people are precluded from succeeding at the time they signup. Nobody knows who will end up in what group, but in sum it makes no difference.

If a person has so much drive and talent that they can beat these miserable odds long term, they should be building their own business, one where success doesn’t hinge on the failure of others.

That’s bad business, not to mention downright immoral.

And that’s the reason I’ve written all this.

I’ve never been involved with WorldVentures, I don’t have a vendetta, nobody is paying me for saying these words.

I’m just a world traveler trying to make our sparkeling blue-green orb a little brighter place to live. Every day I meet people who have a much lower standard of living than I do because of a cosmic roll of the dice – a different native tongue, a different passport, gender – or whatever. And I want to help these people achieve the same standards of living I’ve been born into, not push them down in the muck so I can have a better view of the sights.

If there’s one thing I hate – one thing I think we’re morally obligated to oppose at all cost, it’s the various power structures that oppress people.

So if you are in a position of power, of influence, where others trust you and believe in you – you owe it to them not to sell them on companies like WorldVentures, as well as to vocally oppose and possibly ridicule (ridicule is often the more powerful option) those who support them.

World Ventures is not a business opportunity. It is not a travel opportunity. It is legally recognized as a pyramid scheme in Norway. It had it’s B- rating by the Better Business Bureau revoked and now has no standing, and a bunch of my fellow bloggers openly call it a scam or a scheme.

Fellow travel blogger and totally awesome human being Stephanie from Twenty-Something Travel wrote her own negative review and had WV lawers demand $1 million in damages for using their own, self reported profit numbers in her arguments. Ken at PopeHat rallied his community to her defense.

In short, WorldVentures totally sucks. You can put that on the record.

I’d go so far as to call it the worst way to travel the world.

Really Want A Life Of Travel?

If you really want a life of travel then know this: There’s no easy button. It doesn’t just happen. You don’t have to be rich to do it, as I have hopefully made abundantly clear by now, but you do have to have the confidence and resourcefulness to work things out along the way.

I’ve compiled a huge list of resources you can use to get started. You can download for free my list of 101 Ways to Make Money While Traveling – none of which cost you anything or are morally ambiguous. Then, there are a ton of fantastic and incredibly good-looking travel bloggers who you can follow who won’t charge a cent for their wisdom.

And if you’re in a tough financial situation, your first priority should likely be resolving these difficulties in a methodical, measured way. Start by reading Ramit Sethi’s blog – which is also free by the way. He doesn’t even let you buy his products if you’ve got debt. That’s the way business should be done.

At the end of the meeting in Kuala Lumpur, none of the other prospects were interested in becoming a travel club member or a sales rep, so I went home satisfied.

Ever since that day I’ve continued traveling, with all the comfort and security of knowing that I don’t need to be a pharaoh to make it happen.

ajw hawai'i
Happy travels from Hawai’i

Brave enough to share your own thoughts about WorldVentures below? Leave an intelligent, sexy comment below: