For me, nothing is as awesome as traveling the world. From the unique cultures to the food varieties to the ever-changing natural world, when I find myself in a new place, I revel in it. I get into the culture by staying with locals, often by way of couchsurfing, or by simply planning a meet up with a one-on-one tour of the place with others in like fields of work or with like interests. I try and fully explore the local culinary styles whenever I get the chance, starting first with my hosts and then I wander and stop whenever something catches my eye (or nose, rather).
Camping is a favorite activity of mine, for not only does it relax me and helps me escape the stress and anxieties of the modern hustle and bustle, but it lets me to disconnect from technology and to reconnect with the natural world from whence we came. There is something profoundly bad about how we run ourselves ragged in a 9-to-5 job, as well as for how we are constantly on the run. It runs me down and makes me feel exhausted, even after a full night’s sleep.
Capturing the beauty and the memories of a moment is what I’ve thrived on for well over a decade, and so in this line of business, you have to be ready for anything. When you see something and take the best photo to share that memory with others, where you nail the light, the angle, the mood and the story, then there’s little else that feels that damn good.
Sort of like treasure hunting, bird watching is an experience of many lows with a few occasional discoveries that make the downtime worth the wait. I find bird watching to be a rewarding and zen experience, because it keeps me relaxed, focused, and breathing easy without anxiety. Then with the spotting of an eagle or owl, I find myself flooded with a jolt of wonder and awe, which helps to solidify my trust that Nature lives on in a world slowly suffocating by the cause and effect of modern human activity.
As any reader who has frequented the site over the years knows, I prefer backpacker style travel. Luxury first class is great and all, but let’s be real, majority of us can’t afford that. Besides, I’d rather have a backpacker month than a luxury week-long vacation. A few years back when I spent 9-months in Europe, I stretched my budget several times over what I had originally intended. Besides, I love the feeling of being free, weighted down by nothing more than a rucksack strapped over my shoulders and the clothes on my back. I can handle sporadic hikes with a rucksack and no additional luggage. I can change from place to place on a whim.
It’s that time of year again where the weather turns frigid, the plant life turns brown and fades back into the earth, and the magic within our culture comes alive with lights, gift giving, feast having and general merriment. It’s not the shopping that I love so much as I love experiencing the joy and wonder and surprise on the faces of my loved ones when I nailed it by giving them the right gift to light up their faces.
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