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Book details
  • Genre:TRAVEL
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:143
  • eBook ISBN:9780990601074

Lean Travel

Travel Light With a Full Heart

by Paul A. Akers

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As you start this book, I want you to understand the two main parts of my Lean Travel philosophy. First, what you give in the travel experience will have a profound impact on how much you enjoy it. Second, the less you bring and the lighter you travel, the more you will be able to feel and adapt to the fantastic trade winds of the travel experience. So travel with a full heart and a light suitcase!
Sitting in the breakfast area at a resort in Phuket, Thailand, I noticed all the other guests were eating, talking with colleagues, or working on their phones, while paying little attention to the amazing people taking care of them. Absorbed in their own lives, they didn’t bother to acknowledge the people keeping their food fresh, picking up their plates, offering to refill their glasses, and cleaning up after them when they left. As they finished, most walked away without even a glance to say thank you. For some reason, I found it easy to put myself in the workers’ shoes that day. I was humbled by the thought that they had to get up very early in the morning to make sure everything was ready for us. How nice it would be for someone just to smile at them and say thank you! Over the years, I’ve concluded that there are two kinds of people in the world: givers and takers. Takers are always looking to extract whatever they can from life and are not interested in what they contribute. Self-absorbed, they only care about themselves. Givers, on the other hand, are concerned about other people and the impact they have on them. They care more about the quality of an experience and how they can help others experience more and enrich their lives. Givers live by the idea that you “first give and then you may receive.” In my opinion, it is much better to be a giver than a taker. About ten years ago, I decided that I wanted to become a world-class giver who surrounded myself with other world-class givers and to get all the takers the hell out of my life as quickly as possible. Since then, I’ve successfully done this and the quality of my life has improved dramatically. Now, everywhere I go people ask me, “Paul why are you doing that? You spend so much time helping other people learn about Lean and improve their organizations and you ask for nothing in return!” The answer is simple: I understand the power of being a giver, and in order to have a rich life you must first learn to give. At this point, you might be thinking, “Why are you telling me this at the beginning of a book called Lean Travel?” The reason is quite simple. In order to have a great travel experience, you must approach it from the standpoint that you are going to treat all the people you encounter with dignity and respect, understanding that they are working hard to help you have a great trip. If you regularly give them your respect, your smile, your encouragement, and your gratitude, your travel will be a blessing! In addition to being grateful, another way to make your travel experience more fulfilling is to live by the adage that “less is more.“ In a Lean Travel context, this means travel light. For example, I bought a pair of high-quality Keen sandals, thinking they would be the ultimate travel sandal. After a few trips around the world, however, I realized they were really quite bulky and heavy. They were also a bit overkill for what I needed, which was mostly when walking to the hotel pool or restaurant. So, in adherence to my philosophy of traveling light, I found a very inexpensive pair of sandals for five bucks and I turned in my $70 pair of Keens. This is a perfect example of Lean Travel, because it demonstrates how a simple two-second improvement can make travel more effective and enjoyable. My suitcase weighed about four pounds less, everything packed up easier, and the new sandals were absolutely perfect for my needs. As you start this book, I want you to understand the two main parts of my Lean Travel philosophy. First, what you give in the travel experience will have a profound impact on how much you enjoy it. Second, the less you bring and the lighter you travel, the more you will be able to feel and adapt to the fantastic trade winds of the travel experience. So travel with a full heart and a light suitcase!
About the author
Paul Akers is founder and president of FastCap LLC, based in Ferndale, WA. FastCap is an international product development company founded in 1997 with over 2000 distributors worldwide. A prolific inventor, Paul holds US and International patents. His company FastCap, a lean manufacturer, launches approximately 20 new innovative products per year and has won Business of the Year in 1999 and 2010. Paul and his wife, Leanne, have built FastCap from their garage into a multi-million dollar company. Born and raised in Southern California, Paul was drawn towards excellence and high standards from an early age. He earned his Eagle Scout at age 14. Inspired by woodworking artisans, he earned awards and recognition for furniture design before graduating high school. At the age of 15 he built his own guitar and earned the attention of guitar designer Bob Taylor, who mentored and eventually put Paul to work for Taylor Guitars. As a true American innovator, Bob made a lasting impression. Paul took part in building over 2000 world class musical instruments. He graduated from Biola University in 1983 with honors, obtaining a degree in education with an emphasis in Greek and German. Paul worked in Pasadena restoring some of the most prestigious historical homes and became part of an exclusive group of craftsmen that built the home for the editor of Architectural Digest. He catapulted into the business world when his knack for problem solving led to an invention and eventually to his own manufacturing business that started in his garage. Through a series of twists and turns he discovered Lean and the Toyota Production System (TPS) which helped to launch his business from the garage into the successful international product development company known as FastCap. Using Lean, Paul’s company has prospered and expanded even in times of economic downturn. He has never had to lay off an employee, nor cut one salary and currently offers among the highest entry level pay in the region. Paul is an energetic speaker whose core passion is helping people discover their full potential in life and teaching others how to implement Lean thinking for their own business and personal success. He has spoken to the Israeli Defense Forces, numerous large Construction companies, many Educational Institutions and his passion is to spread the lean message around the world. Paul has thousands of followers of his weekly webcast, “The American Innovator” where he teaches about the power of innovation and lean thinking. He also shares his insights and observations, along with staggering photography/videography from his travels and adventures around the world. In 2010 Paul ran for the US Senate in Washington State on a lean platform of transforming government by empowering people. After the election, Paul has continued to work with various government agencies teaching them Lean thinking and helping them create a lean culture in government organizations throughout the world In June 2011 Paul won the prestigious award of Business Executive of the year for Seattle Business Magazine. He also wrote his first book, 2 Second Lean, about manufacturing and creating a fun lean culture. In 2013 Paul was invited to do a TEDX talk on making Lean Fun. And in 2014 was invited to be part of the Liker Leadership Institute, where he continues to teach Lean concepts to others. In 2015, Paul developed the Lean model for "Personal Development" and launched the LEAN PD App along with his second book entitled Lean Health. Of course, since "LEAN is a Journey" (quote from Paul's first book), it's only obvious that Lean Travel be the next book written by Paul launching the Summer of 2016. Paul has been married to Leanne since 1983 and has 2 children: Andrea and Kolbe. You can find all of Paul's books in print, audio-book, Audible, CD, and eBook at all the great retailers and e-stores, or by visiting paulakers.net.