Things I Use

I regularly use and support the following websites, products, books, and services. If you purchase anything from these links, I will get a commission. Understand that the price is the same whether you use my link or not, and know that everything below is something that I highly recommend.


Unconventional Guides

Chris Guillebeau has written guides on everything from freelancing to amassing frequent flyer miles. I’m a fan of the “Working for Yourself” guide. I have used much of the advice in that guide to more or less become my own boss. I recommend it if you are interested in creating a small side income for yourself based on an internet type business. Let me be clear, though, it’s not some get rich quick deal. It took me almost a year before I saw any income from an online enterprise. If you’re interested, you can check it out here.

Language Hacking Guide

Benny travels around the world learning languages. That’s remarkable in itself, but what’s truly exceptional is that he attains fluency in three months. He wrote this guide as a practical resource for anyone trying to learn a language. There is a lot in here: tips, stories, motivation, and a bunch of interviews and online resources. It has helped me with both Bambara and French (I am now completely conversational). Check it out here.

Website Stuff

I use Namecheap if I need to register a domain name (, .net, etc.). They are reasonably priced and they don’t have a CEO that is shooting elephants in Zimbabwe (see:

My webhost, Host Gator, is pretty great. I pay $3.95 a month and I have unlimited bandwidth and storage space. If there is a problem, they have excellent 24 hour support. I have also used Bluehost and would recommend them as well.

Thesis Theme for WordPress

I use WordPress (free) to manage my blog and I use Thesis for my theme. In addition to providing a clean layout that you can easily customize, Thesis is excellent for search engine optimization and load times as everything is streamlined. If you are making a blog and want to get serious about it I would highly recommend using this theme. Check it out here.


Steripen offers numerous products for filtering and treating water. I use the SteriPEN Traveler when I am traveling in West Africa and it has been an all star for me. You can check out a video demonstration and Steripen traveler review I did for Sick on the Road by clicking here. If you want to stop spending money on bottled or water and you don’t want to use a chemical to treat your water, I highly recommend this product.

World Nomads is my recommendation for travel insurance. They provide flexible, inexpensive, and comprehensive insurance, and they have great customer support. You can read my full review of world nomads here.



Centmobile is what I use when I am in the states and I need to make calls to Cote d’Ivoire or Mali. I’ve found it to be the cheapest and most reliable calling card service (it’s cheaper than gmail, pingo, skype, and most major calling cards). It’s also incredibly easy to use.