The Art of Appreciation 

In life it’s very easy to lose sight of all the things going for us. It’s almost human nature to only focus on all the wrong things. Even when their are many more things going right. Life could be so much worst and most of us don’t need to worry about the next meal or where to get available clean water. Ultimately we all have only so much time on this planet and you can choose to either focus on the good or the negative. The one thing I want to get across is first understanding that your biggest enemy will always be you. Even when times are great and especially when they are tough. Looking at all the good in your life,  no matter how small. Can be the bump to get you back in the right direction. 

 I recently came back from China on work and started looking at what next. I see people doing so much. It motivates me to get up and go. Now many people would see others doing great things and use that to bring them down. This is where jealousy and hate usually come in. You begin to project on the person what you’re feeling on the inside. This is of course self destructive and will only lead to more harm on yourself. Even now, I’m essentially beginning to do what my dream is. Get paid to travel. The ultimate goal is to travel full time and that will come with working to make it happen. Even then, negative thoughts still sneak into my mind. No one is perfect and admitting that to yourself is a major step in the right direction. Nothing kills the right motivation then using jealousy for either revenge or a release of negative energy. The right motivation comes from having appreciation for where you are now and knowing you can get to a better place. 


Sunset in Harbin China. Not many people get to even leave their own country let alone get paid for it. An appreciation that helps me flush out the negative thoughts. 

The Art of Humanity 

In life it’s very easy to look at a group of people and classify them all as either good or bad. Whether we are talking about race, religion, hobbies, and so on. I’m going to talk specifically about people in other countries. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my travels is how ultimately we are all the same. No matter where you’re from we all still want safety, water, and food. Of course there is a lot more involved, but that is basic human nature. All relationships you have are geared towards fulfilling these things. This shapes even our willingness to fit in society because that will usually lead to meeting these needs. This then leads to how our view can be shaped of different people from all over the world. It’s easier to look at a country and not like the government and in turn its people because it’s probably a view that you share with your society. I’ll give an example and this leads me into my travel story. 

I’m currently in China on work. Now before coming here, I was told that the people in general can’t be trusted. Even from other people who have worked here as well. Now don’t get me wrong, every country has its share of bad apples, but it doesn’t mean they are all rotten. At this point I’ve been to 25 other countries and am familiar, but still you go with an opinion because they have experienced it and you haven’t. Coming into China my guard was up. However, by treating everyone around me with dignity and respect. I have yet to come accross a bad situation. It’s truly amazing how far a smile and a laugh will go. Even if you can’t speak the same language. People will respond to you much better by treating them kindly. It sounds like common sense. In the world of traveling, even that can get lost though in the frustration and fear one can experience when lost or unable to communicate something basic. When you can take a step back and treat others kindly, then positive things begin to happen. Through all of this, my opinion has changed from one who viewed the Chinese people starting as negative to a very positive one. I’ve met people who wont even come to China because of how they view its people. The point of this blog post is to show you that we are truly the same. Don’t let the opinion of others mislead you into thinking otherwise. Go out, see for yourself and don’t forget to smile. 🙂 

The past and what it means

One of the keys to happiness in the now is being able to look at your past and smile. Many people will look back with regret allowing the past to dictate their current mood. Even if everything is great in that one moment. The future is yet to be decided, but the past is what we own. Even as you’re reading this, this becomes a part of your present and your past. The goal is for this post to positively impact your future. As difficult as the past can be at times, it’s here for us to learn from. To help us build a better future. Looking back saying to yourself “I wish I had done that”, will only cause more pain in your now. Instead look back and say “This is what I learned from that”. Look back and have the past be your teacher. This is one of the reason why I travel. The memories are a constant source of strength to my future.

I’ve recently been posting past trips on social media and reliving the memories. This has motivated me not only for the now, but for the future as well. Making sure I stay grounded with the lessons that traveling has taught me. Now it doesn’t have to be from traveling. It can be from anything in your life such as relationships, work, lifestyle, etc. The point being that life is too short to live with regret. No one wants to be on their death bed wishing for a different life. So it starts with the your mindset to look at your past now and learning from it with a smile on your face. 🙂

The Art of Change

    Change is something that is constant and can usually be a positive thing or a negative one. However, it’s not about the change but how we respond to it. People who are true masters will actually seek change and do what is necessary to make their dreams come true. It’s always hard to know what any outcome will be and it can be scary. Fear though can’t be the guide to your life and you have to ultimately go where your heart and gut tell you to go. No one ever wants to be on their death bed with a life full of regrets. The place is here and the time is now.

Before I had left the country to see the world. I was scared of what would happen. If the me then only knew that I would one day become addicted to solo travel. The good news was that didn’t need to happen. Once I graduated I made the leap to start. Looking back it was easily one of the best choices I ever made. This would lead to so much growth within myself and create a great deal of confidence. The change was necessary in order for me to see the inner strength within myself.  Traveling has done this to me. Now I’m not saying that traveling in particular is the spark for everyone. What I am saying is that you will have to make that initial leap in order for real change to happen. Life is too short to be unhappy. So do whatever you can to be chase your dreams. It’s never too late. 

China: How unexpected life can be

Life can go from stable to crazy in a heart beat. I haven’t worked abroad as much as I want to. Getting paid to travel is the ultimate dream for me. So I get a last minute call from Nike to go to China and work on some athletes. The pay is good and all expenses covered. So what’s the problem? I leave in five days!!! I could of just said no, but these are the moments that don’t come often. So I said yes and had to apply for a visa as soon as possible (tomorrow) and let people know what is going on. The trip will be short, but a lot to do for an unexpected work trip to China. 

I apply for the visa which was a pain in the butt, still nothing compared to Venezuelas visa though and get it expedited…so that wont come in until Wednesday with me leaving Thursday morning. Once again coming to the skin of my teeth with this. I soon find myself getting up at 2:30am to catch an early flight to San Francisco, then soon to Baijing. China has always been on the list to visit but I never thought it would happen this year. Definitely didn’t think it would happen with me getting paid for it. 

I land in China with a translator waiting for me. It was a long flight on United ( Not recommended to fly United).  We soon take the metro to the train station, still can’t believe I’m here. One of the first things we do is get food. My first impression isn’t great as Chines food can be known as greasy. My diet back home consists of mostly vegetables and finding something fresh becaome a quick problem. We soon get on a train and head to Jinan. This is where I’ll be working with Track and field. I was put up in a hotel where I treated athletes ( I’m a Certified Athletic Trainer), doing mostly only rehab and taping. After being cooped up in the hotel room for a couple of days.  My translator takes me on a small hike to the top of a local mountain. On the top is a radio tower where we climbed it to the top. In this moment, I’m looking out and can’t believe where life has taken me in a short amount of time. Life can be the most unexpected thing from one moment to the next. If you would’ve told me two weeks ago that would be climbing to the top of radio tower in China. I probably would have thought you lost your mind. Rolling with the punches and doing what you love is what life is all about. I’m right now in Harbin working with their combat sports team and still in disbelief that I’m here. I’ve traveled to 26 countries, but this is the most unexpected trip I’ve ever been on. ​

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The Art of the Unknown

In order to find true happiness. You will have to do something you probably have never done before. The unknown is a scary thing because we fear what we don’t understand. However, this will usually lead to change deep within ourselves. True travelers are almost all too familiar with this and actually look forward to the challenges. It’s never as scary as we think it will be. You’ll be surprised what the unknown can teach and the doors that it can open.

My fist time truly experiencing this was in Malaysia. I went there to compete in a Ninja Warrior Competition called Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup. This was my first time to Southeast Asia and somewhat on my own. I had been on previous trips to New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, and Scotland. The difference then was I had been with a group of friends afraid to leave the security of them. Malaysia was a little different as I was meeting up with fellow American competitors, yet stayed by myself in a different part of the city. That was the first small step but important one as I became good friends with my neighbors…the Singapore team. A group of people who continue to be good friends till today. I still have the flag they gave me on my wall. I never thought I would leave Kuala Lumpur (KL) and booked a place for the entirety of the trip. It wasn’t until after the competition that I decided to go out on my own and head north to Penang. Next thing you know I’m getting dropped off at the bus station on my own for the very first time. I was scared and had no idea what I was doing. I look back now and laugh because of the things I have done between then and now. I will never forget the long bus ride and my experience in Penang. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I got there. Once I got in though I decided to find a place to stay and go explore. I went to the beaches and ate amazing food in hole in the wall restaurants. I heard the payers from the mosques and felt at peace. I then went to the Cameron Highlands where I became friends with a couple of girls from Canada. We ended up sharing a room and explored the highlands together. This was the first time that not only did I feel free but the confidence in me grew. It turns out that I really enjoy going by myself! I went back to KL somewhat changed. This freedom of true solo backpacking would become an addiction. The unknown is scary but what is worst is never knowing.

The Art of the Unknown

In order to find true happiness. You will have to do something you probably have never done before. The unknown is a scary thing because we fear what we don’t understand. However, this will usually lead to change deep within ourselves. True travelers are almost all too familiar with this and actually look forward to the challenges. It’s never as scary as we think it will be. You’ll be surprised what the unknown can teach and the doors that it can open.

My fist time truly experiencing this was in Malaysia. I went there to compete in a Ninja Warrior Competition called Sasuke ASEAN Open Cup. This was my first time to Southeast Asia and somewhat on my own. I had been on previous trips to New Zealand, Fiji, Japan, and Scotland. The difference then was I had been with a group of friends afraid to leave the security of them. Malaysia was a little different as I was meeting up with fellow American competitors, yet stayed by myself in a different part of the city. That was the first small step but important one as I became good friends with my neighbors…the Singapore team. A group of people who continue to be good friends till today. I still have the flag they gave me on my wall. I never thought I would leave Kuala Lumpur (KL) and booked a place for the entirety of the trip. It wasn’t until after the competition that I decided to go out on my own and head north to Penang. Next thing you know I’m getting dropped off at the bus station on my own for the very first time. I was scared and had no idea what I was doing. I look back now and laugh because of the things I have done between then and now. I will never forget the long bus ride and my experience in Penang. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen when I got there. Once I got in though I decided to find a place to stay and go explore. I went to the beaches and ate amazing food in hole in the wall restaurants. I heard the payers from the mosques and felt at peace. I then went to the Cameron Highlands where I became friends with a couple of girls from Canada. We ended up sharing a room and explored the highlands together. This was the first time that not only did I feel free but the confidence in me grew. It turns out that I really enjoy going by myself! I went back to KL somewhat changed. This freedom of true solo backpacking would become an addiction. The unknown is scary but what is worst is never knowing.