Are we “traveling to escape reality?”

As I continue my journey of traveling around the world I come across a question I am often asked by friends, family, and even strangers.  “What are you running from?”  Many think I travel to escape reality which is true.. But not the way you think.  You probably think of all the comments us frequent travelers have to hear all the time.  People who travel a lot are restless souls, never happy with what they have, not ready to settle down, afraid to make real life decisions and all that.  They think we are a bunch of unsatisfied, escapist runaways who put off living life until well, as long as possible.greece1

I do agree we travel to escape reality but why does that have to be bad thing?  I believe that nearly all of us are running but for many different reason.

Some are restless souls trying to find happiness in external things like adventure and experiences.  In other words, they’re trying to escape from who they are right now hoping to change.  Some are dreamers running away from society hoping to find an escape somewhere else or to find an answer telling them that life doesn’t have to be the way people force it to be.

Traveling is one thing you can do to free your mind from stress and other negative emotions.  But more than that, it gives you an opportunity to learn more about yourself and things around you.  You may want to travel with your family, closest friends, or even alone. abu

For me I am traveling to escape the reality of being normal.  But what does that mean?  It means that I refuse to live the same routine day in and day out.  Society today wants us to work the same old 9 to 5 job, get married, buy a house, start a family, grow old and die…  For me I want to “do more than just exist.” When I’m old I want to look back at life and say man, what a ride that was.  I want people to look at my life and say “what an inspiration he was, he definitely lived a good life.”

My goal is to inspire as many people as possible and make an impact no matter how big or small.  For the longest time I wasn’t happy with myself.  Life was kicking my ass until one day I up and left.  I found through traveling it was easy to start over.  And that I did..  I made a life for myself worth waking up for every morning.  So in a sense you can say I “ranaway” or I was a “coward for not facing my problems” but I did it because I was tired of life beating me down and doing nothing about it.  I decided to make something of it.

So I guess you can say us travelers are “running away from reality” but in the end its not a bad thing.  If you are happy then who cares what you are doing.  The bottom-line is to live your life the way you want to because in the end all you have is yourself!!  Don’t be afraid to go against the waves, you might be surprised to what you find on the other side of it. Screenshot_20170703-204822.png

Madrid, pineapple pizza, tattoos, and a tinder date don’t mix! 

Being a backpacker, there is this unwritten rule that you have to collect something unique everywhere you go. Normal people collect bracelets, shot glasses, post cards, etc.. Not me though, I for some dumb reason get tattoos every country I go to. I call them my passport stamps and all of them have a story behind it. Some I’m not so proud of..

With that being said one of my favorite tattoos and most asked about is the one with a pizza 🍕 and pineapple🍍holding hands on my leg. This one is unique because I woke up the next morning not knowing I had it until I jumped in the shower.

So here I am in Madrid, Spain just on a casual tinder date with this local Jess eating tapas and drinking Sangria outside. We were about to finish up dinner and jump on her motorscooter and drive around the city and do tourist stuff, when out of no where we hear “Jess WTF!” Her face looked like she just seen a ghost and without turning around to look who it was she just said “oh F*ck”.. Like she knew what the remainder of the night was about to consist of.

It was 8 of her girl friends walking by and noticed her. Without saying anying else they pull up another table and a bunch of chairs and turned to the waiter said something in Spanish. Before I knew what was going on the waiter came back with 10 bottles of wine.. Jess was embarrassed by her friends but I was loving it. My favorite thing about solo traveling is making friends! So all eyes on me now. They’re asking questions left and right about me while we all are chugging straight from the wine bottles. Before you know its 11pm and theres is 26 empty bottles on the table. Jess and I were both trashed at this point and were just going to head home and call it a night.. So I thought..

They were not finished with the night. The following events were a little blurry so from here on out is what I had to be told the next morning. Since I told them I’m a huge tequila drinker they decided to take me to this bar in a park that sold flaming shots of tequila. After that we went to one the most popular clubs in spain that not only had a pizza shop right next to it but also a tattoo shop that just so happens to be open 24/7..

As the night goes on I get into an argument with one of her friends about pineapple belonging on pizza. Things were getting heated and I was losing the argument so to make my case for it and also a free shot of tequila I went next door and got the pizza and pineapple tattooed on my leg.. Not only did I win but she had to eat an entire Hawaiian pizza to herself that she later threw up in the club and got us kicked out for.

The thing about it though is that I’m not that much of a fan of pineapple on pizza. Never really was.. But from here on out I gotta support it and I’m behind it 100%

Moral of the story: Pineapple goes on Pizza!!! Also who has a 24/7 tattoo shop.. What an asshole!! You sir are a genius but yet an asshole!!

**Also don’t jump on a merry-go-round with a beer in hand you will be put in cuffs!**

My night in Marrakech, Morocco 

So as promised.. I said I would start posting my drunken adventures while traveling the world. Please keep you negative comments to yourself cause quite frankly I don’t give a damn. Its my life and I’m living it how I want to. Sooo here we go… 

It’s my first night in Marrakech and Im out doing what I love most, roaming the streets without a plan or a clue where I’m going. I stumbled upon this rooftop bar overlooking the city and the atlas mountains.  It was beautiful, everything you could ask for but I wasn’t really in the mood to drink much since I was at a club till 4am the night before in Casablanca with some local I met on tinder. But anyway so I decide to wonder more and get some dinner and head home to rest considering I had a big day climbing mountains and swimming under waterfalls the next day. 

I find this nice French restaurant and enjoy an awesome dinner by myself along with a few drinks. So I pay my bill and start to walk to my apartment.. So I thought.. On my way out I was approached by a cook(Ralph) who’s shift just ended and we started talking. He found it insane that I was traveling alone. He then insisted to take me out and show me how the locals actually party.  Hungover/hurting/tired but I simply cannot say no when it comes to partying. So without hesitation I said yes! 
We immediately become bestfriends. He took me to some little local bar owned by his cousin for some cheap drinks.  Next he took me to like a local Moroccan bar like if you weren’t from there you wouldn’t know it existed. Their was some weird music playing and just shit you see in the movies, older Moroccans banging on their bangos or whatever there called n singing and theres belly dancers all around me and just some weird shit going on but it was awesome! 

Soo were drinking having a blast getting dumb drunk. Then he says hey I’m gonna call my friend(Vale) to see what she’s doing and if she wants to drink with us. Then we go to another local spot ran by his friend. We order a bottle wine (red which i hate) and a bottle of champagne and double whiskeys. At this point I’m shitfaced were ripping shots of espresso just to be alive. All of sudden she comes in and she is straight gorgeous! I’m like thinking in my head yea your definetly sitting on my face tonight! We immediately connect and now were all getting tanked at this bar and I thought OK were just going to chill here and have a not so crazy night…  Boy was I wrong.. 

So they take me to a local club like some underground shit! We get 2 bottles of Johnnie walker for 3 of us. This club is nuts its like Arabic music blasting, people dancing on bars, everyone just having a blast i even think the King himself made an appearance(probably not I was just really drunk at this point). I make some more friends with locals I’m running around pouring whiskey down peoples throats and then out of no where this guy jumps on stage and starts singing a song about me with my name in it. Kinda weird but it was cool.  Next thing I know Ralph the guy who brought me there is passed out on the DJ booth. He gets thrown out so its just Vale and me now. I didn’t wanna leave with him cause we were vibing, and I made alot of friends there. So we stayed and danced the night away, at one point I was on stage shirtless.. So its like 4 am and we decided to go home so we ordered a 3rd bottle and took it back to my place… But… I’m so drunk i don’t know where my apartment it. We had our taxi driver drive us all around Marrakech looking for it as I’m sitting there with my head out the sunroof slamming a bottle of Johnny walker. 

Finally we find it.  We go to the roof and stay up all night finishing the bottle and what not as the sunrises. Soo i have a tour at 830 and she wouldn’t leave cause she wanted money for a taxi because she left her purse in the club but refused to go with me to the ATM to get money.. So now were yelling and stuff cause she thinks I’m just kicking her out.  Meanwhile it 845 and I have the Brady bunch(my tour group) outside waiting to pick me up for this tour.. I’m already late. They’re getting all pissy on me and im just stuck arguing with her. So finally I order her an uber and got her out.. Meanwhile I’ve been up all night I’m piss drunk at 9 am and i smell like stale beer and bad decisions. I have Cindy Lou and the fucking hoeville over here just eyeing me up while I’m forcing myself to puke so I could sober up a little.

So now were climbing up mountains and hiking to get to places and it was just terrible i threw up in the river and all the locals looked at me all pissed off like i just pissed in there Cheerios like my bad Steve calm down.. But once we got to Ouzo waterfall and got to play with monkeys it was well worth the hike! The hangover was instantly cured and I got to enjoy what was one of the best experiences of my life in the Atlas mountains.. With a tour group that completely hated me.. 

Moral of the story “Say yes to new adventures, and you’d be surprised to what the world has to offer”

Embrace your weirdness, be yourself!

Throughout life we all do some outrageous things just to fit in. Like wearing tight jeans to fit in with your skater friends or baggy clothes so the people who thought they were “gangsters” liked you or even acted a certain way around specific people. We change ourselves to be cool, popular, and known. You pretend to be something that isn’t really you. And for what? To have others accept you for who you truly aren’t…

abu

Don’t be scared to be yourself. Never change who you are so that other people will like you. In the end the only thing that matters is your happiness and inner peace. Who cares what people think about you. If they don’t accept you for who you are, then they truly aren’t your friend and don’t deserve you. You are unique! You were made the way you are for a reason.

Majority of my life I pretended to be something I’m not. Until one day I took a long hard look in the mirror and realized I’m not happy, this isn’t the real me. From that day on I started living my life how I wanted to. I didn’t give a damn what people had to say about me or who liked me or who didn’t… and honestly this is the happiest I’ve been my entire life. I love that I’m weird because being normal is just boring. Embracing it is what made me into the fun, wild, friendly, caring, and passionate human I am today.

blog7

Be yourself and the right people will love you. The world is full of friends just dying to meet you. Embrace your weirdness, for it is what defines us. Its your life. Make the most of it. Dress however you want. Be as weird as possible. Do what makes you happy. Be crazy, be weird, don’t be afraid of what anybody thinks!

Why you should volunteer more

Many of us were blessed with such a beautiful life. A roof over our head, food on the table everyday, and an education to better our lives.  And we take it for granted! Not everyone can be that lucky.  Some have none of those things at all.  Now I don’t know about everyone else but god certainly did not put me on this planet to just stand by and watch others struggle, while I live a rich and healthy life.

When I was in Barcelona and Madrid I noticed that there were many homeless men and women.  So every morning I went and got 20 – 1 Euro coins and as I would walk around touring the cities I would hand a Euro or two out to those in need on the street begging for help.  One day one of the older woman I was touring with asked me “why do I do that?” I was shocked.  I didn’t know what to say.  Not because I wasn’t sure why or lost for words but because this woman was questioning why I was helping others..  It blew my mind that there are people out there that think like that. That they are above everyone else.

blog6 - Copy

The reason to volunteer isn’t to get rewarded or a pat on the back.  For me I want to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.  If I can change someone’s day and make them smile, that is my reward!  You never know how much something so small can mean the world to someone. Who knows you might be the reason they survive another day.  Whether its bathing dogs at the shelter, sitting down and talking with the homeless, feeding the poor, or building homes for families in Haiti. Knowing you made a positive impact on someone is the greatest feeling ever!

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. You’re not paid in money or recognition, you’re paid in love.  People may forget what you said or what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel. Get out there and be that difference! Whether its volunteering at soup kitchen, abroad in a foreign country, or just a random act of kindness it goes a long way!

“Individually, we are one drop. Together we are an ocean”

images-7

 

Why you should solo travel at least once in your life

Planning a trip is never easy… Especially with friends! It can get a little hectic. You have to worry about what days everyone can take off from work.  People backing out, people who cant commit fully, and you have to plan around what everyone want to do.

Don’t wait for anyone! Take that trip that you always wanted by yourself.  You don’t have to rely on anyone but yourself.  You can go whenever its convenient for you, to wherever you want to go, and see what you want to see at your own pace.

Don’t be afraid of traveling by yourself because truthfully you never really travel alone. The world is full of friends waiting to get to know you. People just like you, who want to see the world and make memories and have fun.  You’d be surprised how easy it is to make friends traveling by yourself. Some of my closest friends I met while traveling solo.  From all over the world and different ages. I’ve met this amazing couple (Mike&Diane) in Portugal who are both 63 years old and they call me at least once a week just to talk and catch up. Its incredible the opportunities solo traveling gives you! You will find out how many good, kind people are out there.

blog3

Traveling alone is the single best gift you can give yourself.  It will be the scariest, most liberating, life changing experience of your life. Not only does it push you out of your comfort zone, it pushes you out of the zone of others expectations. You honestly find yourself and you realize who your true friends are. It changes you for the best! You’ll start to notice how lost you truly were before you went on this trip.

Solo traveling brings you closer to yourself.  You get to reflect more and it shows you a whole new meaning to life.  You learn something new about yourself and you find your own happiness.  And finding what makes you happy is the best feeling ever.  I learned my strengths and weaknesses. I experienced the exhilaration of the ups despairs of the lows and most of the feelings in between. I learned courage and I learned it myself.

If you sit around waiting for others you may never go and experience that place.  This is your life.. your book.. only you can write it. So say yes to new adventures, make new chapters. Be brave, take risk, nothing can substitute experience.

“Life your life by a compass, not a clock” – Stephen Covey

blog4