Save 17% with an Annual Subscription

Don't Die: Travel Edition

Don't Die: Travel Edition
Me and the wise and deadly Mike Moreno while he was preparing me for a reporting trip into a kinetic environment.

You’ll learn: Important tactics to escape danger while traveling or at home.


  • This post might save your life. Full access is for Members only. Become a Member below.
Read books.

I’m in the Bay Area today conducting a course on how not to die while you travel or if something goes awry at home.

Let me explain: Before I traveled to Iraq to report my new book, Scarcity Brain, I needed to prepare myself and learn some skills on the fine art of not dying in kinetic environments.

So I called Mike Moreno. As I wrote in Scarcity Brain:

Moreno now works with technology startups. But he spent over a decade in the Middle East for various government agencies, including years as a CIA Operations Officer. Much of that time was in Iraq (during the height of the war).

He’d agreed to give me a day-long crash course in survival. He was the right teacher for my situation. Soldiers are heavily armed, coated in body armor, and embedded with a group of other soldiers who are also heavily armed and coated in body armor. They have safety in weapons and numbers.

“But what you’re doing in Iraq and what I did for the CIA there are very similar,” he said. “We both work alone and mostly defenseless in kinetic environments to acquire information from sources. I know you can get information from sources. But you need to learn how to survive if something goes wrong.”

I also helped him wrap his head around other critical skills and why they’re important. For example, how to exercise to be prepared for kinetic environments; why exposure to stress is important in the first place; why humans evolved to be under-confident and over-capable; etc.

Today, we’re on a ranch conducting a day-long crash course for a handful of leaders in the venture capital world.

It will cover everything from tools you should bring on any trip to how to drive, escape capture, exercise, and get information from and persuade almost anyone.

The upside is that most of the skills are also useful at home.

Today’s newsletter will cover a just a few points from the day:

  • How to build an escape plan, whether traveling or at home.
  • How to move from point A to B (escape, driving/car skills).
  • How to make your hotel room safer.

As Moreno told me, “All of these skills we’ve just covered … you’re never going to have to use them—until you do. And then your life will depend on them.”

Let’s roll …

How to build an escape plan