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My Journey

Posts in Travel
Sweet Summer 2016

It's been a while since my last real blog post. I'm more than a little disappointed by that, but I have a really good excuse -- I've been having the time of my life!

PitchIT Caribbean

My busy summer kicked off a hop over to Montego Bay for the PitchIT Caribbean competition. MediRevu continued its winning ways. More importantly, we had the opportunity to build relationships with great mentors and made several new friends throughout the Caribbean.

Go Lybron, It's Your Birthday!

After spending 2 months in Brazil last year, it was gonna be hard to top that this year; however,  I rose to the challenge. I teamed up with Life by Dave for a jam-packed itinerary that'd make any avgeek's heart sing.

I flew from BGI to JFK, shuttled over to EWR for a flight to DCA where I’d meet up with David. We spent the following day at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

There was no rest for the wary as we packed up and set off for Buenos Aires via HOU. Little did I know it was a holiday when we set down.

Admittedly, I put absolutely no effort into planning what I'd do while there but I made the most of it. The following 3 days were a festival of food with some sight-seeing sandwiched in between. My inner polar bear is officially smitten with South American winter get aways, while the Northern Hemisphere is being scorched. I’m sure I’ll be looking up another destination south of the Equator around this time next year.

I Thee Throttle Up

Another year, another wedding.

This was my first time visiting Canada, and more specifically, my first time in Toronto. Two things struck me most during my time there: 1. Toronto is an unbelievably clean city 2. It gets pretty darn hot during the summer.

A couple other other members of the gang flew up for the party…I mean wedding. As such, boys will only be boys. We spent more time goofing off than we did getting ready for the wedding. It was fantastic fun.

I followed up with a short hop down to Brooklyn for a few days—mainly to visit family and replace my broken laptop. It was another mad dash to the finish line but I left no stone unturned.

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

I've been working hard and playing hard.

Adios Summer 2016! Time to see out the year with bang!

Lessons from Learning to Snowboard and Falling Over 300 Times

I’m happy to be able to put another notch on the ole belt.

Last week I visited Lake Tahoe with friends I haven’t seen in 5 years. The reunion was long overdue.

I was especially excited about this trip because, 26 years into this journey called life, it was the first time I’d see snow. Hardly an accomplishment for anyone living outside the tropics but, after more than a few near misses, it was finally going to happen for me.

I usually research the activities I’ll be doing when I travel beforehand but the habit somehow eluded me this time round. I did absolutely no background investigation on snowboarding; a complacency that proved painful once I hit the slopes.

On day one I found myself absolutely terrified looking at the slope ahead, and frustrated by the board’s tendency to take off down it with a clear disregard for whether I was prepared to go or not. There are hardly better examples of what one can describe as a crash course. Two runs (and lots of tumbles) on the beginner slope were all I got before we began our ascent to the summit of the mountain—my much more skilled peers weren’t in the mood to babysit all day.

We had to take 4 lifts to get there, and by the time I made it onto the second, I had broken one of the straps for my right foot binding. Things would only get better from here on.

Just when we reached the summit, strong winds snd snowfall engulfed the mountain—complete whiteout conditions.

There I found myself experiencing my first snowfall in stormy conditions on a snowboard with a broken binding at 10,000 feet with only one way down. Oh, and I should add the dehydration and exhaustion of traveling 18 hours to get there and having had drinks with the guys the night prior.

It was the recipe for disaster.

You could easily guess that I spent most of my time on the way down picking myself up off the ground and crawling out of the path of other boarders and skiers.

At the close of day I was battered, bruised, cold and deflated but I had made it. And that alone was immensely encouraging. Despite all the falls, harsh conditions and exhaustion, I fought it through to the end.

I was convinced it could only get better from here and so it was. On days 2 and 3, I felt much more confident and most importantly I picked up a lot less bruises. Beyond that, I had this gorgeous reward waiting for me on the final day out:

Every step of the way, I used the challenge of snowboarding as a metaphor for other aspects of life.

There will be trying times. Giving up always seems like a rational and painless solution but I'm one of the crazy ones that believes that without risk there is no reward.

If I gave up on the first day when my binding broke, or after my first 100 falls, I would have experienced a lot less pain but I would also have missed out on all the experiences that followed.

Anything worth pursuing should be done relentlessly and it’s value determined rigorously because that’s the only way wishes become reality.

"Success is getting up just one more time than you fall."
2016 Wish List

Now that holiday festivities are winding down and we're all awakening to the fact that there's work to be done, I'm taking a serious look at what I want out of 2016. It'll certainly take some work  outperform the feats of 2015 but I think I'm up to the task. This is  my 2016 wish list:

Body & Mind

2015 was the year of strength. Calisthenics, lots of hours in the gym, plenty protein shakes later, I've added a few pounds in muscle mass.

While I'll be looking to continue to make strides in this area, I'm turning my attention a lot more to building endurance. To get this process kickstarted, I've been following the Spartan Training program to add variety to my training.

Just a few days in, I can feel it paying off already. I'm looking forward to what those results will look like by year-end.

It was also a year in which I think I truly embraced "living in the moment." Noise and distractions are abundant, and I've made every effort to see through the fog and pay attention only to things conducive to reaching my goals. This has meant trimming the fat and shunning immediate rewards in favor of long-term targets.

In 2016, I'm aiming to further improve my focus. I've come far but there's still a long way yet to go.

Tech

Apple Watch 2
iPhone 7
MacBook Pro 15" (Retina)

I've painstakingly held myself back from buying the first version of the Apple Watch with the expectation to see vast improvements in software and hardware performance in version two. According to the rumor mill, an announcement is only a couple months away and I'll be among those staying up until midnight when pre-orders usually begin hoping to be among the first to get my hands on one when it's released.

My iPhone 6 Plus still holds up exceptionally as my daily driver but it'll be 2 years old in the Fall and lacking the latest innovations in hardware, so chances are I'll upgrade if there are compelling enough reasons when the next iPhone is announced.

I've been able to accomplish a surprising amount using the MacBook Air as my development machine. After 2 years, it's beginning to show it's age. I could really use the extra performance, especially because I've been doing a lot more video editing with all my GoPro footage. An upgrade to the Pro line likely won't arrive until March/April if Apple follows last year's release cycle and it won't at all be painful to hold out until that time comes.

Travel

Lake Tahoe (California), U.S.A.
Kingston, Jamaica
Cali, Colombia
Fort Lauderdale (Florida), U.S.A.

I'm really excited to have ended 2015 on a high note, confirming my first trip for 2016 on New Year's Eve. I'll be headed to the mountains of Lake Tahoe for a ski-trip reunion with compadres from university.

I expect to touch down in Jamaica once again to continue the expansion of MediRevu and take the business to the next level. Somewhere in the rest of my year I'd then like to fit in a another trip to South America with my sights set on Colombia, and with the recent launch direct services (and cheap airfares) to Fort Lauderdale,  it'd make another excellent year in travel.

Fashion

T-Shirts, shorts and sandals. People expect nothing else when I arrive on scene and are nothing less than shocked if I do anything more. It's what I'm most comfortable in but I feel like the time has come for fashion makeover.

I won't make any revelations of what that will look like but the world will be impressed when it comes.

Lessons From My First Mini-Retirement

I’ve been back from my Brazil adventure for a while now, and every time I catch up with friends who I haven’t seen or spoken to over the past few months, there are a few recurring thoughts and themes that come out of those conversations.

I learned a few essential lessons during my time in Brazil and I thought it would be useful to share them, so you can be prepare for what you will experience after your first retirement.

The Difference Between Wishing and Doing

Taking action is something often said and seldom done but it’s what makes all the differencebetween winners and losers.

I, like most people, dream of traveling the world to new and exotic locations. When I first began planning my trip to Brazil, I intended to go for two weeks and they became two months.

Though I had an estimate of how much it would cost me to be there that long, there was no way to know for sure. The last thing I wanted was for my dream vacation to become a nightmare of being stranded thousands of miles away from home with no money.

My fears were misplaced and I don’t have the slightest regret. I wound up having the best 68 days of my life (so far).

Having had such an enjoyable trip, I’m sure this will be just one of many more.

You Discover Who and What Really Matters

I also discovered that being selfish isn’t a bad thing.

It has always been difficult for me to not care—you can be the judge of whether that makes me a saint or weakling.

For the first time I truly detached myself from who “needed” me or missed me. I forgot who wanted a favor or wanted me to be a part of their next project.

I focused solely on myself.

The truth is that you’re more replaceable than you might think, and the thing they need you for may not be so important.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking some time out for myself to do what I wanted and to fulfill my heart’s desires.

It’s Totally Refreshing

I came back fully recharged and approached things with a new ferocity that wasn’t there before.

People have noticed the changes—both the physical and the mental. They could think it’s for better or worse but, for me, it doesn’t really matter. Those who do look upon those changes positively yearn to emulate the transformation in their own lives.

By the same token, don’t fall into the same traps you have been in before just so you can appear "normal." Your transformation will catch many by surprise. It may mean you lose a few friends but sometimes that’s necessary. They will either deal with or move on.

You Discover What Happiness Really Means to You

I have regained all the control I gave to external factors to determine my behavior and my happiness.

I learned that people’s opinions are just opinions and how to avoid luring myself into thinking that someone else knows me better than I know myself. I do still take others’ views into consideration but I let my heart guide me to my final decision.

Life Will Never Be the Same Again

Having taken my first mini-retirement I find myself trapped in limbo between the known normal that I shared with the people around me and what I now actually know can be my own new normal that no one else will quite understand.

My expectations for what the rest of my life should look like have shifted well beyond my mind’s elastic limit. I think it’s a necessary and healthy process in deconstructing and rebuilding dreamlines (Chapter 4) and I’m thrilled to see what comes next.