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Letter from Ithaca

Vathy Harbor, Ithaca

Vathy Harbor, Ithaca © 2015 Sean M. Madden

I posted the below update yesterday to our two-month-old #CreativeTribes community on Slack. I thought I’d share it here on as a way to update folk within this realm as well. For anyone interested in joining our tribe-building community, you can quickly sign up (free for early members) via The #CreativeTribes Curated mailing mentioned below is our weekly listing of top-pick articles and other such resources. Members receive this each Friday, with Issue #5 having gone out earlier today. Curated has been well-received, with an open rate that’s consistently well over twice the industry average. Even better, the click rate is typically between 3 and 4 times industry average.


Hello, folks. I just finished packaging up tomorrow’s issue (#5) of #CreativeTribes Curated. Some great stuff in there that’s already having an impact on how Mufidah and I do our work.

Also, we launched #CreativeTribes and the larger vision two months ago today. That’s pretty crazy. So much has happened in that time. And, yet, there’s so much more that needs to happen — stuff that we’re wanting to do.

And a week from tomorrow, on Friday 13 March, we’ll be leaving Ithaca, after five-plus months here, to travel via car and ferry to Athens. We’ve booked an apartment in Athens for a week, after which it’s looking like we’ll be driving back to the west coast of Greece to catch an overnight ferry to southern Italy, a 16.5-hour journey.

We’ve been considering a million alternatives — flying to SE Asia, specifically, to stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand; driving back through Eastern Europe, with various alternative routes mapped out; we also considered hugging the Adriatic Sea coastline, traveling north through Albania, Croatia, etc., a journey we’d love to make one day. We even considered renting a flat here on Ithaca as a means to stay on through the spring and summer, as a way to both experience this place during its peak season and to continue to get shit done.

But, all things considered — including such banal facts as not having winter tires on our car, such things being required for certain European countries at this time of year — ferrying to and exploring southern Italy seems to have won out this time around. We lived in Tuscany for three months last year but didn’t make it further south. So this is a good opportunity to explore Lecce, Rome, Naples, etc.

Then we’re planning on traveling along the Italian, and then French, Riviera — which we did in the opposite direction in January 2014 — but going further along, past Cannes to Marseilles, Avignon, Nimes and Uzès, a place Mufidah’s been wanting to share with me for ages now, but which we’ve previously had to skirt en route to other places.

Ideally from there, I’d love nothing more than to continue along the southern coast of France to Spain, and to show Mufidah one of my favorite places, Tarragona, and to travel down the Costa del Sol to Tarifa and then ferry across to Morocco as I did in 1989. But, for various rather staid/bureaucratic reasons, we need to travel back to the UK, where we then need to decide whether to keep or to sell our car before carrying on to our next slow travel destination. The latter place has yet to be decided upon, but we’re considering all sorts of possibilities — Spain/Morocco, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Thailand, etc.

Specifically, we’re looking at places that simultaneously inspire us and will minimize our monthly burn rate, or cost of living, while we continue to build our various businesses.

For now, we’ve a ton of stuff to do during our last week here.

Hoping you’re all well, are likewise considering all sorts of possibilities, and are continuing to forge ahead working on whatever it is you’re presently working on.

If you enjoyed this post you can subscribe to receive future blog updates, share your thoughts in the comments below, or simply drop me an email.

Photo: Sean M. MaddenSean M. Madden is a writer, photographer and slow-traveling digital nomad. He’s also Co-Founder & CEO of, working with creative businesses and individuals, worldwide, to build tribes of loyal customers via strategic websites, visual storytelling, and social media.

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