Thursday 30th October 2014,
A New Yorker Travels

About Me

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I’m the owner of a big smile and a broad taste for adventure. I haven’t always (or barely ever) walked the beaten path, and I try and live by my ever-evolving set of rules and values as well as I know how. I try to be a good human being. I am a life observer, a world traveler and a resident, light and dark, good and bad, a thinker, an admirer and a critic, a lover and a fighter. I’m passionate about life and I LOVE living. I’m not sure what the purpose of this life is, but I love to talk and debate about it endlessly.

I’m drawn to people with a sense of wonder and an open mind. Nothing is more important to me than my family and my friends who range from 8 weeks to 80+ years. I value all the people that have come, gone and lingered through my lifetime thus far….they are a huge representation of who I am and what I stand for.

I’ve moved to a new country/city after a five minute conversation with a stranger in a bar. I’m not sure if it makes me impulsive or insightful or not but I always try and go with my gut. I have, so far, managed to not take this crazy planet or my place on it too seriously, and while I doubt I’ll change in that regard, I’m always open to the possibility.

I’m a nature lover, an adventure lover, a music lover, a book lover, a sports lover, an arts lover, an animal lover, and above all a human lover. I am still exploring who I am. A simple guy, friendly, open minded, sarcastic, a gypsy at heart. Occasionally I surprise myself…and I like it that way.

I’m told I smile when I sleep and have a hard time not smiling constantly while I’m awake. I laugh easily and loudly. You probably won’t want to sit anywhere near me in a comedy club or a funny movie. As for me, I hope you do.  I’m not a guy who thinks he has the answers.  I’m a guy with questions. A guy who loves monkeys, waterfalls and mangoes. I know I’m lucky because I’ve had the chance to see, touch, taste, smell, hear and experience so many of the world’s wonders.

There is so much good and so much to love in this world I sometimes can’t understand how people find time to hate things or even find enough things to be upset about. I believe life is short and that we need to make the most of it, and while many people say this, I truly try and live my life accordingly.

I will forever be grateful to my parents for giving me deep roots and soaring wings. They nurtured my take on the world and let me choose my path.  I walk that path with my eyes and my heart open.

Beauty moves me….in nature, an idea, art, literature, architecture, music and especially female. I love photography. Each moment in time is miraculous. Striving to capture the perfection of a certain moment in a photograph speaks to me. Knowing that I have the power to let people linger on amazing moments by simply clicking a button feels incredible. I see people. I hear them.  Everyone has something interesting to say. It’s up to me to find out what that is.

I believe we are constantly changing. Life, experience, and time change us whether we like it or not in varying degrees. I love it. I’m glad I’m not who I was last year and I’m glad I won’t be the same person in the year that follows. I don’t think life is easy. I think life is beautiful. I think knowledge is oxygen. I think human relationships are key.

I’ve run with the bulls, and broken 3 ribs because of it in Pamplona. I’ve spent time in a small jail in Paraguay, swum in the highest waterfall in the world and almost died swimming in a hurricane. I’ve climbed the highest tepui mountain in the world and almost got stuck at the top of a mountain in Brasil until I made a rope out of vines and got myself down.

I’ve sipped champagne on lazy afternoons with billionaires and sipped dirty water on equally lazy afternoons with the homeless. I’ve showered with a bucket and a bowl while spending a week with a family who’ve never had running water in Colombia, gone months without hot water and showered in the endlessly running waters of countless waterfalls around the world.

I’ve slept on a beach in Rio, a bench in Barcelona, a street in India, a cave in Vietnam, a hammock in Laos, a floor in Venezuela, a board with 3 other people in Colombia and I’ve stayed in some of the world’s best hotels. I even slept in a castle once.

I’ve run 3 miles to try and save a bird’s life and I’ve sat and watched as someone was hacked to death with a machete only a few meters away from me. I choose my battles. I’ve been in the largest food fight in the world in Spain and eaten some of the world’s best in France. I’ve been chased with a gun in Colombia, chipped my tooth on a gun that was shoved in my mouth in Venezuela and shot everything from a bazooka to a machine gun, an M16 to a Colt 45.

I’ve traveled in steerage class on a 30 hour long train ride in India, frozen to death on an 18 hour bus ride in Colombia, got kicked off a bus for refusing to stop surfing on the roof in Nepal, flown in a private jet in America and flown a small 4 seat plane myself in France. I’ve tried to break into Pablo Escobar’s old compound in Colombia, danced with a pirate on a beach in Peru and chased locals around a beach in Mexico on horseback.

I’ve taken a rowboat to a deserted island and fished for my food for a few days in the Philippines, ran out of food after a few days while exploring the jungle in Vietnam in search of the world’s largest cave and cut my toe almost completely off while jumping from the backs of moving jeeps in Thailand and managed to sew it back on with the help of a bottle of whiskey and a sock to bite down on. I’ve seen a baby being born and know there is some pain I will never understand.

I’ve seen the sunrise over Angkor Wat, set over the Himalayas in Nepal and I’ve seen the Aurora Borealis in Iceland. I’ve hiked 20km barefoot in the rice paddies of Banaue and Batad, worked in rice fields for food and shelter when I spent all my remaining money celebrating the NY Giants Superbowl victory in a small town in the Philippines and worked at a coffee farm in the hills of Minca. I’ve trained Muay Thai in Thailand, worked at Mother Teresa’s in Kolkata, free dove a crystal clear cave no one has ever been to the bottom of and caught malaria working at a school in the jungles of north east India.

I’ve taken a nap with a tiger, slept at the house of an amazing H’mong family on the Vietnam/China border, climbed the highest mountain in Indochina and almost got killed being chased by a wild elephant I was following in the jungle. I’ve lived on a Caribbean island for three months, been to what I’m convinced is the most beautiful island in the world in the Philippines, and the best party island in the world in Spain.

I’ve raved in a cave in Ibiza, practically called the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach my home, spent days on end sipping cervejas and caipirinhas at Posto 9 in Rio, watched too many sunrises to count while coming home from nights out in Barcelona and started just about every night out for a month with a bottle of wine a bottle of gin and a good friend in Paris. I’ve drunk some of best beer in the world in Belgium and chugged some of the best at Oktoberfest in Munich. I’ve eaten some of the best steak in the world in Argentina, gotten sick off gelato in Italy and taken advice from a group of swans I thought could talk in Amsterdam.

I’ve charmed a snake and spent 10 days meditating 10 hours a day in an Indian ashram. I’ve trekked the Himalayas and found a love for swimming with and washing elephants in Nepal. I’ve tried to track a tiger in a jungle and spent an afternoon watching a rhinoceros take a bath. I’ve debated philosophy with scholars and with people who were illiterate and gained insight from them all.

I’ve been in some of the poorest and some of the most dangerous parts of the world and to many of the finest, and I still can’t tell which I liked more. I think that life is a pilgrimage. My life is something like a small boat in the middle of an ocean driven by the weather and the tide. All I carry is faith. I dream, I search, I love, I live.

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