The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

~Saint Augustine

I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to Arizona, but Viva Las Vegas was calling my name. On a recommendation from my host in Flagstaff, I stopped at an In-N-Out Burger and had a burger “animal style,” or in layman’s terms, with extra toppings. Best fast food I ever had.

The heat reached a boiling 114 degrees as I winded my way to the Hoover Dam. I kept looking at the temperature gauge with dread. Hoping to avoid overheating, I paid eight dollars for parking in the shade and gave my car a much needed rest while I toured the inner workings of the dam. Price of admission was eleven dollars, but taking the elevator down to the generator room and seeing the machinery within was quite a sight. The ingenuity of man never ceases to amaze me. Once again, I couldn’t help but reminisce about Beavis and Butthead Do America, especially when they asked “um, sir, is this a god dam?” Read More

The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive.

—Bill Watterson

There is no greater sense of freedom than the open road. Clichéd as that sounds, it’s true. I’ve done my share of road trips across the U.S., hitting every direction on the compass, and I can say from experience, there’s no greater way to see this vast, diverse landscape than by car. Ever since the dawn of the industrial age, highways and automobiles have been the driving force of the American spirit. Worries and problems just miles to put behind us, while ahead lay endless possibilities realized in perpetual motion.

The great thing about road trips, you don’t need a lot of money to do them. Just the willingness to let things unfold before you and rough it when necessary by camping and/or asking a friend or stranger for a place to crash. The only expenses being gas, food, park fees, and the occasional cheap hotel. Read More

“When you’re on your path, the universe will conspire to help you.”

—Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Everyone is a little crazy in their own way. It’s what makes us unique and different. Of course, there’s cray-cray, a swinging knife silhouetted against a shower curtain, and then there’s the right side of crazy, what makes life interesting. For me, keeping things on the right side of crazy means embracing who you are and always listening to that little voice in your head telling you to just go for it and “dare greatly.”

We only have one shot at this life, yet so many are content with the status quos, living for vacation and the weekends, settling for a life of comfort instead of doing what they really want, which requires courage and a huge leap of faith. People love the idea of “the road less traveled,” but few venture or actually set foot on it. From money to time restraints, there are a million excuses to stay the course familiar instead of taking a chance on the unknown. Read More

Every once in a while, a piece of art reaches out and gets a hold of you and doesn’t let go. Like somebody has slipped beneath the veil and spoken directly to your heart, as if this one moment was waiting all along just for you to realize. That’s what good art does. It stems from the mystic, moves to the brain, frees itself through the senses, and then becomes a part of you.

At least, that’s how I felt reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Read More

It’s not every day that you see Superman. But that’s what happens when you go for a walk. Anything can happen. Randomness just around a corner. Adventure only a footstep away. The best way to move is without direction. Mark Twain might have said that. Maybe not. Either way, you know he was thinking it.

Sidewalks and roads are the rivers of the soul. Our bodies try to keep up with the rambling currents of our minds. They hardly do. Thoughts never stop. They just keep going. On and on and on again. Forever. That’s where we’re aiming. Where we’re all heading. The end of the line, just to begin again. Of course, it’s not about ever getting there. It’s the act of leaving—another word for beginning—that’s important. There’s bravery in steps, even ones that lead backwards, and cowardice in standing around, staying put. Anyone can do that. Even a person with no legs.
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The Greek scientist Hippocrates once said that “life is short, art long.” When visiting Athens, one of the world’s oldest cities, you can’t help but feel both the brevity and longevity of life, for Athens is a city past its prime, but still alive, a living, breathing work of art, where in every step beauty is awakened. From historical sites to scenic views, delectable food, fine wine, an invigorating nightlife, a diverse culture, and interesting people, it has it all. It is a city small enough so that you can see practically everything there is to see in a few, short days, while also large enough to leave much to the imagination, filling you with an overwhelming sense of never enough. You can’t help but want more.

Lacking the ritzy skyline and grandeur of modern cities such as New York or Hong Kong, it has hidden beneath its age a tranquil beauty, an unspoken wisdom, a smile wrinkles cannot hide. Antiquity is evident nearly everywhere on cracked pillars, crumbling columns, and weathered buildings older than entire civilizations, all slightly touched with a heavy gray, almost to the point of smoldering black. Faded, uneven, and yet beautiful, a testament to life’s simplistic irony, that when compared to youth, old age always pales in comparison. What is missing in contemporary aesthetics is made up for in natural feel and historical significance. For when in Athens, you are not reading about history, you are walking through it, retracing the steps of ancient philosophers whose ideas helped shape the realities of today. As the birthplace of democracy, the hub of modern civilization, Athens remains a living, breathing museum nestled in the modern age, the perfect place to experience the present while also stepping into the past. Read More