Thursday, June 2, 2016



It has been quite a while since I’ve put my thoughts to “paper”.  It is definitely not because of a lack of thoughts.  Or maybe to be clearer, not because of a lack of critical thoughts, deep questions, pivotal moments (in hindsight), etc. Let me rewind…

I stumbled upon a thought recently.  This thought was…I’ve had this feeling of searching for something my whole life with hopes of finding this something one day.  And now I had the sense of release from that search as if I found that “something”.  It was a very deep feeling at the time and I remember that I suddenly felt lighter.  As if my weight was pouring down my body and into the ground.  I was in my backyard and I would describe it as the weight dissipating to the ground around my feet.  At the time, it made me pause slightly, then I suddenly felt…Happy.  Well, I’m usually a pretty happy and at peace person.  But at this time my happiness level seamed to “level up” a bit.  I then looked up at the sky and the biggest smile swept over my face.  Its hard to truly describe the feeling that swept over me during those moments.  As I don’t feel like I can type any words to truly describe that feeling.  But I will add that to date, I feel like that moment in hindsight was one of the best moments of my life.  Wow…typing that brings a tear to my face.

Some may not consider a random moment, in your backyard, hanging with a dog and some chickens, being a pivotal moment in ones life.  But for me, it was.  We create our moments and we decide how to perceive the things that are placed in our sensory field.  And recently I feel as if I’ve been able to tap into a deeper part of myself. And in this, I have come to many personal realizations.  This experience being one of them. 

Even though I had this thought and subsequent feeling of being happier, lighter, more at peace…I couldn’t really pin point what I had “figured out”.  Again, the words escaped me.  But I felt I had learned something and also had a greater sense of knowledge that I couldn’t really describe. How can I have this greater happiness yet not fully understand why?

I don’t remember whether I pondered this question to myself for some time, but being who I am at this point I moved on from it and accepted this new found greater sense of happiness and continued to spread smiles throughout my path.

Fast forward to some weeks later and I’m listening to a podcast and I hear this phrase…

               “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.” - Heraclitus


I had been searching for something I was never going to find. 

I was searching for myself.

Who am I.


These are the thoughts that came to me as I heard that being said.  I then felt as if I knew what it was that I released in that moment in the backyard.  I stopped my searching.  Or maybe its better put…my search had ended.  I knew internally that I could release those feelings, thoughts, and actions of trying to figure out who I was. And just be me. I’m always going to be changing.  I’m always going to be growing.  And also, things are always going to be changing around me.  My environment. My job. My family. My friends. Everything…

But this is ok and I felt the sense of accepting this in that moment as those thoughts crossed my mind.  Life is change.  And I also, will be forever changing.  Like plants sprouting and being picked in a garden and the sands that are swept into the deep ocean.  In accepting this I feel as if I have leveled up my happiness and I feel lighter.  Possibly actually lighter also as I’m down to the same weight I was sophomore year at MSU (yes…I’m very surprised!).

So…maybe this is why I hadn’t written much in the recent years other than quick snip-its of my thoughts in status up dates or insta-post. I hadn’t felt I could fully encompass my thoughts in a snip-it.  And…really, I didn’t know what to write due to this feeling of the constant mindset of searching I put myself in.  Maybe I felt this because of the constant change around me and I couldn’t express my thoughts well.  Or maybe it was the thoughts of embarrassment of the then life situations or not wanting to publish my true, honest thoughts and/or feelings.  Not really sure, nor do I feel the need to figure out the why.  Just accepting that also. 

We don’t need to find ourselves, because we our ourselves.  Be you.  Be that forever changing you, without judgment and accept yourself.  And also, just as importantly accept the forever changing world around you.  For we cannot forever hold onto something that is forever changing.  We only have it for a moment. And in that moment is all its value.



Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I was speaking with a friend the other day and one thing that kept coming up in our conversation was time.  This person, as do I, focuses on really taking advantage of all of the time given to them.  Time is our most precious gift and I know that at times (pun intended) many of us forget this. 
We trade time for many things, money being the most popular.  Then we spend this money on other things that occupy our time.  So we trade time doing something we may not enjoy for time doing something that we may enjoy.  Really sitting back and thinking about this makes me wonder if this makes any sense at all…Obviously there are situations where people enjoy their jobs or enjoy doing whatever it is they do for money.  So for them the sacrifice of time isn’t as drastic.  But for many others, whom hate their jobs or just don’t enjoy it, this trade can be quite detrimental.  Me…I enjoy my job.  But I also don’t have to sacrifice as much time as others.  Plus my time is spent in my home and not at a traditional “office”.  I am lucky in this regard.  So if we trade our time working for money, why don’t we spend more time outside of working doing things we actually enjoy, or really taking advantage of Life!

Lets break down time…
We have 24 hours in each day.
7 days in each week.
365 days each year.
52 weeks in each year.
The average life expectancy for a person is about 78 years.
We spend anywhere between 7-8 hours sleeping each night.
For the sake of simplicity I’ll say the average adult works 40 hours each week and gets 1 week off per year.

The math…
8 hours of sleep each day * 7 days a week = 56 hours.
80 hours of work in 2 weeks.
112 hours of sleep in 2 weeks.
2920 hours of sleep each year.
2040 hours of work (minus the 1 week off).
2920 + 2040 = 4960 hours each year spent sleeping and working.
8760 hours total in each year – 4960 = **3800 hours of “free time” in a year**
3800 * 78 years = **296,400 hours of “free time” in an average lifetime**

Forgive my math breakdown above…but breaking down the math helps me visualize time better being the very logical and analytical person that I am.  As shown above, a person whom has a full time job and averages 8 hours of sleep per night will have 3800 hours to do what they want each year and they may have 296,400 hours in their lifetime.  These do not subtract travel time to and from work or any location, cleaning ourselves, or any other activity that takes 15-30 minutes here and there.  So the actual totals are much smaller.  

These hours may seem massive.  But they are not once compared to the time we trade doing things we must do like sleep or earn money.  

What we choose to use our “free” time on should be considered more valuable to us than what we are trading our time for doing work, sleep, etc.  If we reminded ourselves of how precious time is we wouldn’t trade it for just anything or to spend it with just anyone.  We would require that thing or person to mean a lot to us.  Instead we trade times for many things that do not benefit us in anyway.  Why do this?  If you knew you had 1 year to live exactly from today what would you do with your time? Would you spend any of your time watching TV? Would you be spending 8 hours each week day working? Would you sleep 8 hours a night? Would you not keep in touch and build relationships with your family, friends, and loved ones? Would you travel the world, country, or outside of your comfort zone?  Would you not appreciate all the little moments in your life spent doing the “little things” like enjoying a good meal or conversation with another human?

These are things that many of us don’t think about.  We spend a lot of our time earning money, but what do we do with that money…do we spend it traveling the world to experience new cultures and meet new people, do we spend it helping others in their lives, do we spend it on friends and family, do we use it for entertainment…the list goes on.  Many of us spend our time getting a higher education so that we may earn higher amounts of money for our time.  But, earning more money doesn’t make the trade easier because many of us compound our expenses and don’t get full use out of the more money we are earning.  

Lets not waste time…I’ve thought about potentially using another word here instead of waste.  But I want it to be clear that time is precious, therefore waste fits for me.  Don’t waste your time in a job that isn’t either providing you with the joy of being at that job or the income to do many other things you enjoy supplementing not enjoying the job.  Don’t waste your time with friends or in relationships that aren’t mutually beneficial.  If someone isn’t helping you in some way, shape, or form, they are hurting you.  The best relationships are about helping each other not bringing one another down.  Surround yourself with people whom want to build each other up and have similar goals and ambitions as you.  Surround yourself with people whom also appreciate your time and understand how precious it is to you and their selves.   

Some people learn in their lives how precious time is and begin to take advantage of all of the wonderful moments life has to offer.  Others don’t realize how precious life is unfortunately until it is too late.  I choose to enjoy the moments in my life to the best of my ability.  Of course it’s all about balance (I’ve blogged about this before), so I’m not quitting my job (yet) to travel around the world living out of a backpack.  But I am doing my best to travel to as many new places that  I can, meet new people and build relationships with them, work on my current relationships with friends, family, and loves ones, and enjoying and embraces all the moments in my life good and bad.  These are things to me that are worth my time.  What is worth your time?


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Approaching the 3-0

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve taken time to post some thoughts on here.  My thought process has been quite active but I haven’t had that overwhelming urge to share many of these thoughts until now.  A thought that has had a constant presence in my mind is my perspective on my life and how I approach many situations now.  My perspective has evolved after having the amazing experience of traveling to Cambodia and being back home almost saddens me.  Let me explain…I have regular thoughts of how people are living in Cambodia knowing a little about what they have experienced. This has humbled me greatly.  I am a very fortunate person who has been able to achieve many things in life that some people will never experience or even have a chance of experiencing.  I’m not just talking about driving (nice) cars, traveling around the world, or having a well paying job.  It’s the things that we consider simple that others yearn for….running water, eating regularly, traveling more than a few hours away from the place you were born, being able to experience other cultures and places, a roof over our head, and stability.  Over these past few months I have been focused on really appreciating everything that I am able to have in my life especially the simple things. 
Life is tough.  But one thing that I think many of us forget is we don’t have as tough a life as many others do across the world.  If we learn to appreciate the simple things that we are able to have on a more consistent basis we will only improve as people.  This will start a ripple in your life that will allow for a greater appreciation for many things leading to a greater appreciation for your life in general.

As I approach my 30th birthday I find myself less and less excited about that day.  Instead I’m becoming more excited for everyday that I am able to wake up and appreciate the people who I have been fortunate to meet and have relationships with, the job that provides me with flexibility to do many things outside of work, a healthy body that allows me to be able to still play sports, a wonderful family that has always supported me, great friends that don’t always tell me what I want to hear, and living in a great city that is very diverse and allows me to meet new people and experience many other cultures.  This list could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that.  

I hope that soon I will once again be able to travel abroad because I know that these experiences will only help me in my life journey.  Opening our minds to others and their experiences only enhances our mind and perspective.  Life’s a journey…embrace every moment of it.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Cambodia Trip Day 10

Today we would head back to Phnom Penh before flying back home the next day. That morning I shot a few pictures of the sunrise from the beach. Some of them should be good.

We boarded the boat back to the mainland which was the first part of our journey that day. The waters weren’t as calm as they were during the trip over, so it was rough and wavy ride back. We then missed our 2pm bus because it left at or a little before 1:45pm. Gotta love Cambodia LOL. Luckily we were able to get seats on a 5:30pm bus because no taxis were available to take us to Phnom Penh. That could of got interesting with us schedule to fly back to the states the next day…

Once we reached Phnom Penh, Sam, our tuk tuk driver from earlier in the trip, picked us up and drove us to the Cody’s place where we stayed our last night.

Traveling back to the U.S. of A. the next day…it was a great trip. Recap coming soon…


Cambodia Trip Days 8 and 9

After a good breakfast we were off to catch our boat to Monkey Island resort on Koh Rong Island. A representative from monkey picked us up in order to escort us from the mainland to the island. As we were riding to the boat Mickey, our guide, informed us about the island and the activities on Koh Rong. The island is basically untouched by human hands and there are only a few bungalow type resorts along the coast of the island along with some small villages. The island is about the size of Hong Kong and there will soon be some developmental projects on the island including an international airport. We had thoughts of hiking through the jungle on the island but that was quickly halted once Mickey told us there are king cobras, boa constrictors, pythons, and quite a few poisonous species of spiders and scorpions on the island. Just the beach for me!

The boat ride was about 2 hours since the boat basically crawled through the water LOL. We could have easily gotten to the island in 30-40 minutes by speed boat….but we’re on vacation, so no rush. The ride was beautiful though. We passed many other islands, which also have minimal or no development on them.

As we approached Koh Rong, I could see the white sand beach along with the bungalows lining the coastline. It was a beautiful sight. Once we reached the island we navigated our way to the beach on the shaky and still under construction pier. Monkey Island was then only a short walk from the pier, and after we checked in, we were escorted to our bungalow. The bungalow is very basic but it had all we would need for a few relaxing days on the beach. It was situated only about 20 meters back from the beach and we could hear the waves crashing against the coastline from the bungalow. The staff at monkey, other vacationers, and Khmer people on the island were all very friendly and our stay on the island was a great way to finish off our trip.

After a good night rest, I woke up to the sound of waves crashing against the beach. I can’t think of too many things better than that to wake up to. After a nice breakfast while overlooking the beach, we spent most of the day relaxing in hammocks on the beach. Life’s good!

That night one of the staff members put on a fire show. This was the first time I had seen a fire show and it was quite impressive. I got a few good shots of it.

I will definitely return to Koh Rong one day…hopefully before too much development has been done. It is an amazing place to relax and get away from many things.


Cambodia Trip Day 7

Another road trip…we first had a flight back to Phnom Penh then a taxi to Sihanoukville, which is a city on the coast of Cambodia. We were only going to be in Sihanoukville for one night before heading to Monkey Island bungalows on Koh Rong Island.

The flight was smooth and the taxi ride was smoother than the ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. The main road from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville is freshly paved and there wasn’t as many villages along the side of the road during the drive. We drove past many mountains which provided great scenery during the drive and was a nice break from being in the city.

As we were getting close to the coastline, I could smell the fresh ocean water. It reminded me of being back in Tampa. Once we reached our hotel we quickly changed and walked to Sokha beach to relax and catch the sunset. The water was the perfect temperature and the sand is white. It Doesn’t get much better than that…

After getting some shots of the sunset, which was gorgeous, we boarded a tuk tuk back to the hotel for an amazing seafood dinner. We had been looking forward to dinner at our hotel since we had booked it. Coolabah is known for the seafood. I ordered a crab dish and Jeff ordered a seafood platter. Neither of us were disappointed.

We took a short walk around to see the night life around Sihanoukville, which was actually pretty dead that night. We had heard from multiple people that the nightlife around Sihanoukville is a lot of fun…oh well. Back to the hotel we went. It was time for some rest after a travel day…


Cambodia Trip Day 6

We ended up missing the sunrise over Angkor Wat. I didn’t set an alarm and my body wasn’t up until after the sun had already risen. Oh well…today we were scheduled for an ATV tour around Siem Reap. Since it was our last night in Siem Reap, after the tour we were planning on checking out the night scene on Pub Street, which we heard is a good time.

The ATV tour was fun and a great experience. We were the only two people on the tour so it had a more personal touch to it. Our tour lasted about 2 hours and we were able to see rural Siem Reap, visit an orphanage, and see another temple.

Rural Siem Reap is very nice. It was nice to experience something outside of the cities we had previously walked around. As we drove past house’s and towns, many of the kids would run out towards the road and wave at us. Very cool! I also enjoyed our visit to the orphanage since we were able to give a little to the kids. We were given a tour of the orphanage by one of the orphans. He did a great job of explaining how the orphanage operates and his English was excellent. I think he also spoke a few other languages and was studying to be a tour guide. He gave us a little insight about the orphanage and told us a little about his life. Very cool experience and we enjoyed donated some school supplies to them. These kids have so little yet they make the best out of the things they do have. After leaving the orphanage we drove past another temple, which was another amazing sight, then the tour was completed. The ATV tour was a lot of fun and probably one the greatest experiences I had while in Cambodia.

We next headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up from the dusty ATV riding, then ate and headed out to check out Pub Street. We met a group of people from many places around the world: Canada, London, France, Morocco, and Australia. The conversations we had with them were very interesting with most of them talking about their travels throughout the world. This definitely motivated me to make traveling more of a priority in my life. Many of them had plans or had been traveling for 4, 6, or even 8 months, whereas we were only traveling for not about two weeks….a very short time compared to them. Having commitments to things back home caused our trip to be this length, but I will hopefully be in a position to have longer trips to many more places in the future. Traveling opens your eyes to many different things. Different people, cultures, traditions, etc and it helps break the bubbles that we sometimes put ourselves in. There are many things, not only about others but also ourselves, that we can learn from traveling and being open minded to the experiences of how other people live throughout the world, whether we agree with it or not. Experiencing places you’ve never been is a great way to broaden our perspectives on life. I’m glad I was able to meet these people. It definitely motivated me to push myself to see and experience new places.