Though we may not realize it, humans have only a certain amount of decision making power each day - some of it is used up deciding which outfit we will wear today, some is spent deciding what to have for breakfast... all throughout the day, our mind is engaging choice after choice, weighing options, thumbing through the files of our mental history to find the best solution for our life in the moment. As the day wears on, we drain that mental resource across the vast number of decisions we make every hour.Read More
I woke up and rolled over, turning off the alarm. Looking at my clock, I saw it was around one in the morning. I silently crept into the computer room, switched on the monitor and my face lit up with the cool glow. I pulled up a web browser - I think it may have been Internet Explorer back then - and did a quick Google search for...Read More
It isn't so often that you are left in awe. True awe, so otherworldly that your lack of words is a noticeable weight upon you. Last night happened to be one of those nights.
As we are traveling through Venice, Italy, a friend of mine and I picked up tickets to see Antonio Vivaldi's "Le Quattro Stagioni" (Four Seasons) performed in the prestigious Ateneo di San Basso in San Marco square. It was one of those rare cultural experiences where every detail falls together to construct a perfect memory. After sipping on a light, white wine at a small, river-front restaurant, we walked briskly to the concert hall to the staccato rhythm of a fairly heavy rain. Despite our sopping wet appearance, we managed to throw on a tie and a coat and look halfway presentable; at least comparable with the other soggy audience members.Read More
We stood in a tram car on our way to the station. Each of us shouldered a heavy pack and held a small bag in one hand while the other hand closely guarded our pockets which carried wallets and iPhones. The small car was crowded and on more than one occasion persuaded us to shift to another nook or cranny. On one such occasion as a new swarm of pedestrians pushed their way into the tram, one of my friends was temporarily made to relinquish protection of his pockets to grab a pole. In the few seconds his hand was absent, another hand found its way in, stealing his iPhone. He realized it moments later just as the suspected pickpocket walked away and the automatic doors shut behind him.Read More
We hop off the train and are immediately greeted by rows of images of smiling cartoon animals encouraging you to come visit Gardaland for only sixteen euro! It had been raining all day - ever since we woke up to rain drops pitter-pattering on the tops of our hammocks in Cinque Terre. Being hundreds of miles away in a completely different city apparently doesn't phase the Italian rain. I snug my rain jacket around me and secure the straps on my Osprey travel pack before we perform a routine scan of the station to find a bus ticket kiosk. After securing a few cheap bus tickets we spend the next hour and twenty minutes with our noses plastered to the window pane; breathtaking mountains rise out of the massive lake, completely flat on the sides as if God had taken a heavenly razor blade and cut a valley for the lake out of the solid rock.Read More
It was no larger than my thumb nail.
But to look through the keyhole was looking through a portal into another world.
Trees lined the gravel pathway. Straight... proud...
Acting as blinders on a horse, they concealed everything from view except that which was directly ahead. At the end of the evergreen window, I could see a dome in the distance, towering above the rooftops of the sea of stucco buildings it sat among. The sun glinted off the spire, sending a blinding beam of light through the keyhole.
The web is chock-full of pithy anecdotes and vague cliché's. I promise you now, I'll do my best to stay away from those hackneyed phrases that lazy writers and lazier thinkers are so often prone to throw about. In fact, let's lay them right out there in the open.
"Life's a journey, so just enjoy the ride." When you're traveling, life's continual movement, its ceaseless flow, is so much more tangible. You feel as if you are so much more aware of time actually passing you by as you walk through new situations, new places, new thoughts. But no one knows exactly what "enjoying the ride" means, let alone how to do it.Read More
The stories with grit and substance never choose a hero who is assured a victory nor do they provide the hero with all of the answers. To do so would shortcut the beginning to the end with very little struggle in between. When it comes to story, the struggle is the engine driving the plot, motivating the characters and gripping the attention of its audience.
To relieve a story of its conflict is to rip out its heart.
However, while the author cannot write of an all-knowing, all-powerful hero, he cannot very well write of a helpless, flailing hero either. So he gives him a guide.Read More
Everything they say about feisty Italians is true.
We arrive in Salerno after a 9-Hour train ride with the intentions of finding a nice beach-side campsite for the evening. Upon consulting Mr. Google and finding out that the city along the Amalfi Coast that we wanted to visit was Sorrento not Salerno, we hasten to find a route to make it there tonight. Meanwhile, a pregnant, homeless lady asks us for our half-empty Coca-Colas, but that's another story.
Rarely are people remembered for their failures. Though, often are they immortalized for their successes.
The successes are the brick and mortar of a better humanity, while the failures are simply wadded up and tossed in the trash. Forgotten. History doesn't credit Edison with his 1,000 failed light bulbs. Rather, it will forever tell of the passionate soul who found the one way to make it work.Read More
"Hey... where's your other shoe," I asked.
"It fell off somewhere along the way. I guess I can just throw this one out."
15 minutes earlier
We shouldered our packs, tightening the waist and chest straps snuggly against us. The doors slid open at what seemed to be a snails pace.Read More
Our trip has been a whirlwind - new cities, surreal landscapes and unique opportunities for experiences of a lifetime. And being a photographer, it has been difficult for me to take my eye away from the camera, open up the other and just take it all in. The waterfalls and the moss on the rocks.
Life has a way of sweeping past us one second at a time. The problem with seconds though, is that, like pennies, they add up. Before you know it, you've got a dollar (or a pound, as it may be) and it's tomorrow.Read More
I have some exciting news that will hopefully bloom into something big for this newsletter! My friend, Micah, and I are backpacking across 10 countries in Europe over the next 2 months.
While this trip will be a wonderful adventure in and of itself, I'm really looking forward to the byproduct. We discussed our expectations and have come up with some fairly heavy goals. Many of these goals are philosophical or spiritual in nature which means a lot of deep conversations are to come.
I want to get y'all in on it!Read More