Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Over-Doing It

My life is full of marvelous things that I have done. For instance, the crowning achievement today: eggs, over easy, and they did NOT stick to the pan. Hold your applause.

Although today is shaping up to be a real barn burner in the arena of accomplishments, I have been trying to step up my life a little and get some more things actually done.

I have recently volunteered as a local coordinator to place foreign exchange students in local High Schools. I would be lying if I said that I have actually done anything on that quite yet, but the thought that I might is pretty fulfilling.

I am building Hannah a bike. This is gonna be one kick-ass rig when I'm done. I refuse to let her see it until the project has reached fruition, so I think I have said enough.

I am applying for a position as a North America tour guide soon. It would be a part time thing where I would hit the road for a few weeks at a time on a hiking and camping tour of this great land that I have seen so little of. Still working on fashioning the Resume` towards actually being qualified for the job...

I did the dishes last night. All of them

The biggest of all? Since I have been back on US soil, I have been working at a pay rate that should allow me to live pretty comfortably as well as travel quite a bit. I have done neither of these things in order to pay off the massive amounts of debt I ignored during my time in Germany. Before any of you "tisk-tisk", let me say it was totally worth it, ten fold. These debts will be paid off, with the exception of student loans, in August. This is easily the most financially disciplined I have ever been in my life - after the fits of bitterness subside, it feels good, sorta. Damn the Man.

Monday, May 18, 2009


... I have been longing for another adventure. This longing has in fact led to the realization that despite my routine situation of working full time, there are still plenty of amazing things happening here. Just the other day Hannah and I spent all day walking the streets of Charlotte on a self guided public art tour. I have done similar things in cities across Europe and never even thought about doing something so touristy in my own home town.

It was a blast! Spending a day with someone as radiant as Hannah is always a distinct pleasure; but doing so in a way that made me feel like I was once again traveling made it even better. For the first time in a while, I felt like a bit of a foreigner, and it was great.

Something about walking around with a camera made the experience truly pure. Security guards asked us if we were enjoying the city and the weather. A lady stopped on her way home from getting groceries to talk to us about how great the uptown area was. She was pretty shocked when we told her that we actually lived across the street.

Since I have been home, I have run the emotional gambit. From a surprising dose of culture shock in the Philly airport to near depression of how drab life has become in relation to one year ago. The fact of the matter is that, at least for the time being, I am home in North Carolina. I don't know if we will stay here for long, or where we will go if we decide to leave. It has become clear that nothing will ever again be the year and change I spent in Germany, and I am actually OK with it. Life has so much to offer those that would simply experience it, and that (along side with who I think may be the love of my life) is exactly what I am going to do!

More to follow, stay tuned!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays...

and a great New Years to all! I will start to Blog again as the new year takes shape, so stay tuned!

Also, check out some of my links to the right here, a few friends and family blogs that will make your mind spin!

see ya soon!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Travels, reflections, and what-not

Finally the motivation to make a new post has hit me. I Have been a bit lazy these days to be honest.

I will begin with a short description, as the order in the title suggests, of my recent travels. In late January, I took a trip to Athens. This trip, given its magnitude compared to the rest of my "travels", will surely remain amongst my favorites. I have never really had a full on trip outside of my place of residence prior to this - with the exception to my sudden move overseas. This being the case, Athens was monumental for me, and only served to scratch an itch that will never go away.

Spending five days in Athens at a strangers' house is something that few people ever get to do. Most will visit and stay in a hostel or hotel, see the big sights, and leave satisfied enough with what they have experienced. Shelby (my partner in crime for this trip) and I have a completely different story than most that visit this city and, I imagine, are much better for it. Between the pair of us we were able to experience so much with in little time, but for the sake of conciseness, here are the highlights:

Day 1: Upon arriving, my host Giannis, asked if I liked "what you would call soccer" and if I would like to play. For those of you who know even the slightest bit about me, this is all that needs to be said about day one: absolutely no better way to start off.

Day 2: With Giannis at work, Shelbs and I were at the mercy of our imaginations. We learned the transport system front and back, got lost many, many, times only to stumble across amazing things time after time.

Day 3: Tour to the Acropolis, as well as other sights. A run in with two musicians, dance session in the middle of street to aforementioned musicians' music, followed by the purchase of their self-made CD. A lunch that dreams are made of.
Day 4: More getting lost, getting found and lost again. Again, amazing discoveries along the way. Hiking and Photo shoots. A meal composed of the best food and wine I have ever consumed

Day 5: Quick run to the markets for last minute sundries, flight home with nothing to say, just smiles.

In the interest of space and an avoidance of my tendency to ramble a bit, I will end this posting here and follow it up with another very shortly (promise)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

End of year round-up and then some

Well, 2007 has been a pivotal year, the harbinger of my graduation from college and my first venture out of the U.S. No complaints, thus far, about how things have panned out. Yes, I am in debt - but who isn't? That aspect of life has been established for quite a while, so why not be in debt whilst traveling Europe?

Living abroad and meeting people from all walks and talks of life has been eye-opening. This, of course, is a gross understatement. Those that have entered my life since the fateful decision to make my home in Germany have become, in many cases, family. Not family in the traditional sense, but in that we are all experiencing the same removal and nearly complete separation from that which was once familiar. This fact, I feel, inspires a quicker-than-usual attachment than many have experienced before. I have made friends here that I am certain will last a lifetime because of the months spent here away from family, away from life-long friends; and has inspired, recently, a delving into my own concept of the world and life in general. Without going on too long here, it suffices to say that I have grown a fair amount in the few months that I have been here. That being said, let us move on to things more informative and fun!


I have decided to forgo Christmas for two reasons: 1) It didn't feel like Christmas as I have always known it, and as such it passed very much like any other day. 2) All I did was work.

New Year's Eve was, safe to say, if not the best night of my life, then damn close. From the onset, the night was of questionable fun value. I, along with many of my close friends, were scheduled to work until 11:30 operating a children's program at the hotel. We were, rightfully so, fearful that the parents would get caught up in the festivities and want to leave their children until just before midnight, thus robbing us of our chance to effectively celebrate the holiday. Thankfully, this happened to be a well thought-out concern of my lovely boss for the evening, Andrea. She had every kid checked out around 11:15. I had phoned a friend of mine that owned a cab and arranged for a ride to the center of Garmisch, and to pick us up at 11:30. We hopped in the cab and was there in plenty of time for the count down.

Now, just imagine a place where fireworks are legal, in fact seemingly encouraged. A place where there is no Citibank-sponsored firework show, but rather hundreds of people firing away at will, and you would have Garmisch on New Years' Eve. As midnight approached, Garmischers were setting off every type of pyrotechnic imaginable all around us as we stood in the middle of the pedestrian district. Encircled by nothing but smoke, flickering lights, and explosions, the experience was nothing short of magical - made especially so by the snow that was falling on us in chunks that could have blocked out the sun had it been present.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

My Blog - revisited

Hello all,
and sorry for the shabby job keeping this thing updated. No photos this time, but plenty to tell to be sure. Lately things have been a little crazy and I have been working quite a bit. To be honest it is a welcome change, as a few weeks ago I was struggling just to get any number of hours accumulated. Now, I have the opposite problem and I think I like it - keeps me out of the pubs and money in my pocket.

I have been crazed by the travel bug lately as well. I discovered a website that, if booked far enough in advance, you can score really cheap tickets to ust about anywhere. I have already booked two trips for early next year. In February I am going to Catania, in Sicily Italy. It should be amazing and it only cost me 45 Euro. I found for the same price a round trip ticket to Palma de Majorca - a city on a spanish Island in April. It is so exciting to be booking trips to places that I never would have thought I would have the opportunity to visit.

I have been working for 8 straight days, and am scheduled for 5 more without a break. On Monday, the only day off anytime soon I will be trying something rather new to me - couchsurfing. On couchsurfing.com, you can join up and enter a community of world travelers that offer their couches, free of charge, to those passing through their respective towns. I have already secured a location in Munich on sunday night and will be relieved to be getting out of Garmisch, if only for a day, to explore Munich with a local. For anyone that may read this blog and would be interested in this type of thing, please sign up!


Well, until next time, love to all and stay in touch!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Munich, the Klamm, and other freakishly cool shindiggs

This posting is dusted with photos from a few of my recent excursions - enjoy!

Okay, for those who may not already know... I have the greatest gig ever. I am currently working for the recreation department here at the resort. Today, I walked to work (in the rain) and clocked in around 8am. I then proceeded to get PAID to take a tour of Munich. I have serious reservations concerning the sanity of any person that does not like, nay love, this damn town.

We walked around for about an hour while I tried to contain myself. The architecture is simply amazing. Munich is one of those cities that I have only read about or seen on the travel channel. Now, having been there, I feel like I watched a travel channel special in IMAX... it doesn't seem quite real just yet. I was not able to take my camera because I was "working" but there will certainly be return visits.

I ate at the Hofbrauhaus during my visit. Great food, flawless beer... 'nuff said, as words are wasted in trying to describe the party that took place in my mouth. Afterwards, I had coffee and dessert on the roof-top patio of a cafe. From where I was sitting I could see the booming market, the Glackenspiel in the Marienplatz, and nearly every church in the city. AHHH, words failing me again here, so you will just have to wait until I can post some pictures of this amazing place.

Tangent: This is a look at what I see as I walk/ride to work every day:I love going to work these days...

Yesterday, I had an unexpected day off and decided to go hiking to a place called the Partnachklamm. The Klamm is a gorge that has been carved through a section of the Bavarian Alps. After I emerged from the gorge, I decided that the day was too pretty to be over with and hiked up a mountain and had a beer at the restaurant I found on the top.

The Gorge was impressive

And the hike was tiring... but certainly worthwile!