travel

South Africa: A Collection of Haikus

Two friends and I flew Into a land of beauty - Penguins on the beach! Barbeque or braai Lamb seared to sweet perfection Am I in heaven? Seashells by the beach Waves crash, mussels grow, splish splash Sand between my toes The best time to think Is on a safari ride Lions, giraffes, pause Benz thinking of you Soft breeze, gentle gaze, warm touch Let’s take a road trip I’m free, or am I?

Keep Your Eyes Where You Want to Go, and Other Life Lessons I've Learned from Motorcycling

“Look through the curve!” the instructor barked over the noise of motorcycle engines. I revved the throttle and looked ahead as I blazed past the cones. Here I was, clinging on for dear life and trying to pass the road test. Was I going too fast? I glanced down at the speedometer. 7 mph… Everything’s faster on a motorcycle. Last year I learned how to ride. As I look back on those early days when motorcycling seemed so unfamiliar and scary, I appreciate the small steps that have made me a more confident and seasoned rider.

Magnífico Ecuador

Hola! Ecuador es un pais magnifico! I went backpacking with my friends and experienced the sights and culture of Ecuador. Check out the video below!

White Water Rafting

Some friends and I went rafting on the Lower New River Gorge and Upper New River Canyon. Got some zip-lining and disc golf in as well. Check out the video I made below!

Niagara: Untamable Beauty

I had always heard about the Falls. But like so many before me, I truly understood the Falls only by standing right next to the crashing waters, its majestic roar and unbridled power engulfing my senses. As I stood there, water splashing over me and mist covering my body, I couldn’t help but close my eyes and simply allow myself to be overwhelmed. Water. So tame when coming out of the faucet into my hands.

Tulip-Time!

Springtime! This past winter was one of the most brutal winters in the history of Michigan winters. It was a winter inside a winter. Fortunately, even unending winters eventually come to an end. So you can imagine my delight when the first blades of grass began poking their green, hopeful heads out into the world above. A frostbitten land was in desperate need of warmth and color. Every year in Holland, MI millions of tulips burst forth in bloom.

NYC: Lights, People, Action

What can I say about New York City that hasn’t already been said? These lights will make you feel brand new, these streets will inspire you. You get the drift. This is a city filled with movement and magic. I knew all this in my head, but actually going there and basking under the glow of a million LEDs in Times Square opened my eyes. I have gone from darkness into light.

DC: The Cherry Blossom Festival

In 1912, Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington, DC as a sign of friendship between the US and Japan. Today, the National Cherry Blossom Festival attracts more than a million people each year who come from all over the world to admire the flowering cherry trees. In light of this amazing history, a few friends and I decided to travel to DC and experience the cherry blossom bloom first-hand.

Pittsburgh: City of Bridges

Spontaneous road trips are sometimes needed to jolt one out of the rhythm of the regular work week. So one weekend, that’s what some friends and I decided to do: travel to Pittsburgh on a whim. We left Michigan on Friday night after work, ate Potbelly sandwiches in the car, and slept all the way to Pittsburg. Well, only the passengers slept, thankfully. I had gotten a rough itinerary of fun things to do from my friend who studied at Carnegie Mellon and our dear friend Google had also given helpful suggestions, so we were set.

Learning to Fall

The first time I went skiing was at Mt. Brighton (pictured above). Now, seasoned skiers might chuckle at these rounded slopes, but for a first-timer like me, these hills looked like the Himalayan peaks. And indeed, although I had watched countless YouTube videos about skiing the week before, the moment I buckled up the rented boots to the skis, my meticulous research and mental preparation melted away. I signed up for beginners lessons with my group and after learning the basics we proceeded to conquer the beginner bunny slope.