Santa Monica california pier

Growing up, Los Angeles (and in general, Southern California) stood out to me as this Rivendell-esque type of place. It resonated with me much more than many other cities, since it was home to so many things I only found in bits and pieces elsewhere, from beaches to mountains to celebs to Disneyland. And when I visited Los Angeles at age 11 it didn’t disappoint, even if our cab driver drove off from the Getty Villa without my mom. So at the end of last summer, just months…

Panama City Beach Florida sunset

This week saw me in a destination I never thought I’d see myself in again: Panama City Beach, Florida. Growing up in the south, I spent many of my spring breaks in high school and college at Florida Panhandle beaches, including Panama City Beach, which has a variety of nicknames, of which the “Emerald Coast” is one of the more desirable nicknames. This spring Panama City Beach launched their “PCB Bucket List,” and being the bucket/life list maker and doer that I am, I teamed up with Travel…

Australia Great Barrier Reef

So summer evidently arrives in Los Angeles this week. Or at least summer, as most people tend to think about it. While it was a nippy (nippy to me at least) and windy 60 degrees at the beach on Saturday, it warms up this week to a balmy 97 degrees in L.A.. So I’ve virtually unrolled a scroll, made a quill pen and dabbled it in ink to start making my summer life/bucket list. If you follow me on my blog or on other social channels, then you…

California lighthouse

The days between my 30th birthday last year and my 31st birthday one month ago today saw me undertake something of a social experiment, where I committed to 12 months of living experientially. Something I called, my “30 at 30 List.” It wasn’t so much a travel bucket list, since it involved a lot of things that weren’t related to travel, but rather a life experiences list. While travel has been central to my personal growth the last few years, it’s not the end, but rather a means…

I sat atop the hill, attached at the hip (literally) to Dexter, my paragliding instructor, who was teaching me the science of how we would sprint down the hill and catch a “rising thermal” just in time to rise above the ground, and therefore, not crash into the tree line just below us. It all sounded very black magic-like to me. As if I was in Middle Earth and I was just supposed to leap and somehow one of Gandalf’s dinosaur-sized eagles would appear just in time to…

“Brenner,” the bus driver quickly blurted out to me, grabbing my bags and throwing them on the bus before I even had time to decide if this was really what I wanted to do, while also wondering if “Brenner” was in fact the name of a town, or just a German saying I was unfamiliar with. “Brenner?” I quizzically responded, as if saying it with a hint of skepticism would break down the language barrier and explain where I was actually going (it didn’t). “Yes, go to Brenner,…

#15: Eat a Philly cheesesteak….in Philly. As I marked that off my list last weekend, I crossed the halfway point of my “30 at 30″ list, an evolving list that I kicked off on my birthday to do at least 30 new things over the next year. Fat and happy (Having scarfed down my sandwich while my friends continued to eat), yet eager to see what kind of pace I was on, I pulled out my calendar iPhone. “I’ll be damned,” I shouted out at Jim’s Steaks in…

“His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.” Yes, that is in fact the beginning to Eminem’s Lose Yourself. However, it’s also my reaction to anything that even remotely begins to raise my adrenaline, such as walking through the Tenderloin district of San Francisco after midnight, traveling to a country that I don’t speak the language of (Which is 95% of the world), driving by a state trooper (Even if I’m going the speed limit), and talking to a girl who I like. But something happened recently….

I originally wrote this post two weeks ago, but trashed it. I never want to come across with a  boastful or “holier-than-thou”  tone and sometimes I write posts like this, but then delete them because there’s too much of “me” in the writing. However, this morning as I sat perched in the living space of my hostel on the island of Fuerteventura, listening to the sounds of the street and overlooking the North African-style flat roofs out to the ocean, my eyes welled up with emotion as I…

I have somewhat of a love affair with bodies….of water, but especially that of the ocean. Not as much the getting into it, but rather the sight of it. Growing up we went to the beach every summer for family vacation, I spent my college summers living and working at Myrtle Beach, and I can see the Pacific Ocean from the roof of my apartment. Yet one thing I’ve never done is taken a cruise. I’ve found myself behind the wheels (or paddles) of boats, jet skis, kayaks,…