Unconventional Blessings: Why We Take Part in the World Domination Summit - Intentional Travelers

25 Jul Unconventional Blessings: Why We Take Part in the World Domination Summit

Since 2014, I look forward to one week more than any other in the year. It’s a week in which over 1200+ people from all over the world come to Portland to gather around the values of Community, Adventure, and Service. The focus? To discuss the central question of: “How can we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”  The event is called the World Domination Summit (WDS).

To learn more about the event itself, check out this previous post.

Memories from this years WDS. pc: Armosa Studio

Why is this event so important for Michelle and I that we schedule our entire year around it? Here are a couple of reasons:


Michelle and I have always felt that we’re “swimming upstream.” When we participated in our first WDS, we felt like we had found our people. We didn’t have to explain the choices we’ve made for our lives, that by most conventional standards would seem strange (living nomadically, being minimalists, etc.).

We love that the people who attend WDS are genuinely interested in learning more about who you are and what you do, as well as being willing to support you.

3 generations of one family. They gave us leis to honor my late father. pc: Armosa Studio

There’s already an assumption that you have an interesting story and a reason for being there. There’s no judgement because in this community, the intent is to learn and discover from each other, not to compete against one another.

That’s why I love the community at WDS.

It’s a reminder of how special our world can be when diversity is celebrated and each individual is seen as a valued part of a community.


There are so many things that we can attribute to our current lives that we learned from folks that we met at WDS:

  • This community taught us how to travel hack and earn airline miles, which we use to cover all of our big overseas flights.
  • They showed us that it’s possible to start our own business to not only financially sustain the life we want to live but to be the master of our choices and time.
  • We’ve learned that alternative housing options are viable possibilities for our lifestyle; living abroad as digital nomads, living in an RV full-time, tiny house living, help exchanges, house sitting and pet setting.
  • WDSers represent what our world can look like when diversity is celebrated and people are wiling to support each other instead of compete against each other.


Meeting a family that resettled in the US from Iraq. pc: Armosa Studios

Maybe the most important thing we receive at WDS is the gift of hearing new stories. I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman, black, Muslim (and so many other identifiers), and it’s important that we hear these voices and stories. It’s also important to recognize that though I might not share the same experiences with people, that there are still so many other ways we can connect.

One of the most special events we took part in this year at WDS was a supper club hosted by a refugee family and a Portland chef. It was a way for attendees to hear a story first-hand from a family transitioning in the US, to connect through delicious food, and to welcome them as new neighbors. We all gathered around one table and were reminded that even though our stories are different, there is still connection.


Though the week-long event is special for many that attend, being part of the organizing team has given Michelle and I a different perspective. While we spend the whole year planning for a week long event, the core team members actually don’t get to experience much of it. Our world exists behind the scenes and sometimes, literally, backstage.

We get rare glimpses of what the attendees are experiencing but more often then not, we are moving boxes, setting up some sort of event, and buried behind a computer to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

But we wouldn’t trade that for anything.

Our core team gathers for magical moment. pc: Armosa Studios

While WDS is a week-long event for everyone else, WDS is year-long endeavor for us and the rest of our team. There’s something powerful that happens when you work hard and battle alongside others to accomplish a big task or goal. The bond that is forged can best be described as familial and this team has become our family.

While we love traveling and living abroad, the one thing we often lament is the lack of intentional community. Relationships are difficult when you’re constantly going from place to place, and we know it’s a trade off because of our current lifestyle. So the core team of WDS has been a blessing because we can connect with them fairly consistently. And though it’s still a ‘work’ oriented group, it often doesn’t feel like that. Maybe it’s the nature and point of what WDS is about.

It’s a reminder of what can happen when people put aside foolish and superficial things in order to join together to create something unconventionally remarkable.

As our founder said this year, “We’re working to create a better world for all.”

Want to learn more about the World Domination Summit? Check out these links:

  1. Looking for tickets for next year’s gathering, WDS2018? –> Join the wait list here
  2. Want to see main stage talks from previous years? (2017’s speakers will be released soon) –> WDS Speakers
  3. Looking for more posts from us about WDS? –> WDS Posts from Jedd and Michelle 

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