Adventure Time

Portland, OR

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Portland, OR

The subtle invitation from a warm and bright environment stakes its claim in a community that transcends the vulgarities society dictates. If you wish to truly feel at peace with who you are, embrace the beat of Portland.

Humidity as thick as milk, nature invokes its authority immediately after de-planing. Redolent of orchids, freshly cut grass, perspiration from dancing trees and sun soaked bushes distend their welcoming arms with perverse intent. An immediate longing for hiking becomes carved into your nervous system and every step vibrates life and energy back like echolocation.

Solo travel brings an enormous opportunity to discover acquaintances that might as well have been long lost friendships as the tempo and culture are never a half-step behind your own.

However, even travelling with a group of friends allows the same energy to be amplified. The courage of a group often trumps the bravery of a single man creating a drooling appetite of wanderlust. With its eco-friendly mind set, travelling within Portland is as easy as a taking a few steps and grabbing a bike, train, or bus and isolation can be taken from or taken to.

The day life equals the nightlife. You will never die from thirst as every major street is overrun by bars and happy hours. Seeking a more specific taste in play styles, Portland even offers party themed cruises that take you into the night only to relinquish your leftovers when the heart throbs with intoxication. Even then, the night can blur into morning if you seek everlasting glory coercing time to mingle.

Through and through, most places I have been offer a single element of entertainment that highlights the heart of the place. However, even after decanting the night life and toasting mimosas in the morning, there is no better escape than a favorite book found in a labyrinth of knowledge known as Powell’s Books. With its several floors ranging from cook books, to Ghandi, to sci-fi, and to even a cordoned off section specifically reserved for more expensive tastes; you will find what you seek if you are willing to swim through the nooks and crannies of bookshelf after bookshelf…

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In retrospect, the mere freedom of being somewhere completely unknown births curiosity paired with imagination. On the destination of discovery, ever step becomes a memory and every decision thereafter becomes the reward of a lifetime. Soon I will be back – VooDoo Doughnuts and your infamous maple bacon doughnut, you will be mine again.

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Adventure Time, Random and Infinite Like the Chimp

Alacrity

[First Creek Canyon Trail] Las Vegas, NV

They said it couldn’t be done.

They said it wasn’t possible.

They all said to toe the line,

To march a rhythm like everyone else.

Never stand out, never leave your mark.

That you will fail, flounder, and fidget, between thumb and forefinger, if you do not blend.

…Not only did I derail the track, I took off further than the imagination can stretch

Not only do they look like fools, they’ve become beggars behind sad and hungry puppy dog eyes.

Not only did I prove them wrong, I found a better truth.

None will be left behind.

Take my hand, I will pull you out too.

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Adventure Time

Zion, UT

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Base camp – By the South Entrance

A journey alone takes its time to reveal something of great importance. It can be self-discovery or it can be a truth that needed to be realized. An expedition with friends forces multiple perspectives and allows you to recognize the disposition you favor to exude. Some cling on to poisonous habits and reflect those insecurities into the undeserving world and create chaos.

They thrive, they suffer, they nourish pain as if it were a newborn – but they are in a deep laceration of hurt and fractured hope. Adversity is all they know and therefore IS the only way they know how to carry themselves. All it takes is a little isolation with a bit of support also known as: the wonderful outdoors.

As a stark contrast to a suburban lifestyle, it is quite easy to fall victim to its rust of routine and drain for energy. We often forget to disconnect and realign our “chi” to recharge and rejuvenate. A new personal favorite: Zion, Utah. With its interminable cloudy skies bruised with blue, the desire to expand and inflate with this vital energy quickly becomes intoxicating. The dense forest, dimpled geography, and soft earth, the word home attracts new definition..

‘Your home is wherever you choose it to be, but your brick and mortar are whoever you bring along’

Without the sound pollution, without the constant drone of cars, traffic lights, and basic conveniences of technology, you find yourself someplace ethereal and becomes something ephemeral in retrospect. Your soul requires maintenance and in the sudden downbeat of Zion, the off button remains depressed.

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“The Narrows”

Nights by the campfire with a painted backdrop of twinkles, streaking lines, and the soft under glow from the sky nightlight. Time becomes everlasting. The past, present and future dissolve into that piece of candy you want to savor for as long as you can, leaving you to grab another moment as the tiny morsel passes and is consumed.

During the day, a different kind of suit is donned, with only a bottle of water equipped. No schedule to keep, no emails to check, and no suitcase to worry about or content. Just you and the will to conquer the challenges offered by nature. Whether it be wading through water or imprinting your sole into every opportunity of hard and soft earth, your soul will appreciate every ounce of effort. And when the day is through, you retire once again, to the tiny bites granted by the pure and opportunistic darkness.

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“The Narrows”

“Sacrifice your soles for your soul, wandering is only just the beginning”

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Adventure Time

Sante Fe (MeowWolf)

 

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There seems to be something about long drives that fade whatever it is you are dealing with. Whether the ailment be physically taxing or even something imaginatively fictitious – the road you leave behind, soaks and retains like a brand new sponge. The best part of road trips: the company. People spend plenty of time in isolation building, breaking and remodeling, or even burying and starting over trying to find the best versions of themselves. However, the best way to know who you really are is to just take a look at the company you hold. Probably a method more clear than staring at whatever looks back in a mirror. In any case, pick and choose wisely for a 9 hour road trip from Las Vegas, NV to Santa Fe, NM – time is relative so if you choose poorly, 9 hours could end up being an eternity.

What prompted this trip? An adventurous impulse and deep wanderlust for the weird and interesting. We heard about an art installation that was in the developmental stages in Las Vegas called ‘Area 15’. A bit of research revealed that the art installation called ‘MeowWolf’ was the originator and located right here in Santa Fe. Now imagine a broken but coherent mind, mad but with purpose, materialized into a maze full of everything random with possible hidden meanings. That is MeowWolf.

There is no better depiction of such abstract ideology than a visit to this place rampant with creativity, art, and slow tempo appreciating the “Now” with a full heart. If you curiosity had handcuffs and a rabbit hole, the holding cell would be MeowWolf. Kudos to the pioneers of the ever expansive art installation. A hallmark of imagination manifested in a landmark that not only fills with vibrant totems, but also spills with a whole new universe waiting to be explored.

You could map these uncharted waters, but doing so would only limit your possibilities – so to speak. Life was never meant to be contained, but was meant for an incredible longing for fluidity that demands the experience in the response to stimuli – things that grant the opportunity for change. You can remain static or bend what you wish.

It would be real easy to spend the entire day at MeowWolf. The provisions allotted included a bar, a retro arcade, and communal area dedicated for workshops or classes for creative purposes, and even a hidden dance floor where underground artists could be heard and dj’ing. And it is not until you are deep in the maze that you are able to find this dance floor. You must get lost in order to find. How you might ask? Go find out for yourself, a definite must for the bucket list.

The beautiful people I had the pleasure of road tripping to this place had infinitely made the trip even more worth while. Other minds that appreciate the strange and welcome madness by offering a fresh new perspective. Nothing better to amplify the good times with others who are actually having it. You can be that the second this art installation lands in Las Vegas, is the second that we will be revisiting the adventure. With a projected completion year of 2019. This year! I look forward to seeing you guys there!

Where’s a crazy place you have visited recently?

Drink – Ink – Think

 

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Adventure Time

Virgina – D.C. – New York

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Our latest family trip that did not disappoint. Aside from the frigid temperatures and fast pace lifestyle, culture from all corners of the world coexist from day to day routine. First stop was a bit of a drive to D.C. – The Pentagon. 100s of memorials right on the front lawn in remembrance of those who had their lives taken from them…

Innocent lives departing prematurely leaving behind brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children, family, and friends. The pain still throbbing years later… I could not imagine being on either end of that kind of loss… Heartache only to sleep nightmares forever to wake up to another. That empty feeling of having no prospect on that invevitable oucome, helpless… A constant battle between cursing life’s shitty parts to feed the fire that burn forever… Those scars never heal, they only reopen from time to time when flailing like a petulant child does not reverse time. My heart will never be able to understand that kind of suffering but heart is all I can offer to all those affected eternally.

“Pain and suffering are only the beginning. To endure, walk with bleeding palms while white-knuckling searing metal before the squelch – that takes the endurance of a true survivor”

Next stop – Airforce Memorial. The view overlooking the majority of D.C., one I wish I could see at sunset/sunrise. Yet another pinnacle to those who sacrfice so we can hold on to our privileges. As only a humble civilian, my salute would not mean as much as those currently holding the status you fought and died for, but for what you have done for us I shall hold on to dear and near, just as I hold my heart at our nation’s anthem. No longer here, but never forgotten.

Followed by the Lincoln Memorial. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle” – Lincoln. Have influence and you can change the world. You cannot climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pocket. And wringing your hands only keeps them from rolling up your sleeves.

At the base of the memorial looking past the water walkway towards the Washington Monument, man is proven capable against any odds. The secret is to always look forward. The Lincoln Memorial facing this sky reaching edifice, travels across a serene waterbed – to me, a physical representation to what we are capable of as long as we continue to not stray from our vision. As long as your mind is at peace with determination and hardwork, the goal achieved is only a matter of time. However, the trail we leave behind should not be revisited only referenced upon. History is only doomed to repeat itself only when we turn 180 degrees from our goal.

Finally, to reach NY via a 4 hour bus ride. Public transportation will always be an adventure. As a proud introvert, the risk of social interaction provides the sort of rush synthetic to ‘life flashing beofre your eyes.’ Saying something wrong, rude, impolite, all blank ammunition misfired because I was too anxious to remember the safety. BUT, practice makes perfect. Also, first time seeing a broadway show – Anastasia. Brought me back to the endless rewinds and plays of VHS tapes. Phenomenal.

Tears in public used to be an indication of lack of self-control and therefore a sign of weakness. However, it is an emotional cathartic moment reserved for true and genuine connection. I have to learn to explore and grow from that. The ability to cry in font of people is in fact an indication of security with oneself. Bucketlist check – cry at a broadway show: done.

Overall 10 out of 5 stars. The people, the vibe, the tempo, all an addiction hard to leave. As cold as it may have been that time of year, I want to jog central park because it is on the way to my favorite coffee shop. To dream a fantasy would be second to NY. I’ll see you when I see you. JD

 

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Adventure Time

Mardi Gras, New Orleans

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Living in Sin City, you would think body and mind would be already primed for a destructive induldgence of alcohol and drinks of the like. However, New Orleans proved to be an extreme challenge against fighting the allure and aftermath of intoxication. Music, public nudity, dancing and the journey of a thousand bars taking advantage of every single happy hour. Getting lost becomes something coveted and the moments lost through slurred visions, become notches in a belt.

The walk through hell and back, a sure way to bleed the wallet and even shave the shirt off your back. Turmoil painted with smiles and writhing limbs shouting muted groans to the night sky. No other place on earth exists such sinful tastes. One rivals, but as the saying goes, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” What stays in Vegas often transposes in all other aspects.

Forego the routine of a civil lifestyle and live the life meant to be. Be bound not by chains and repetition, but rather by your ever expanding imagination,

The world is universal energy and we are meant to connect with what belongs to it:

‘Borrowed energy always in motion never to remain static, but everlasting and everychanging… Never refuse to take your fill, you will never get a second chance to make a good first impression’

Dance to silent music, drink to whatever intoxicates your soul. Your vessel was never meant to conform but rather dapt to a variety of external stimuli. To get ever closer to self discovery. Never let them mute your moxy.

However, even post the rancor ruckus, the humility and dense culture flooded the air, and swept across our souls like a light breeze. Freshly cooked seafood soothed our clouded heads and healed all mistakes and regrets. Dining was more of an experience sat at the kitchen table. Ater being called upon to gather for supper, but not before prayer to enhance its appreciation. Smells redolent of spices, cajun seasoning, and love only a mother could supply. Taste addiction at first bite. Perfection.

…Bon Apetit…

…A coup de gras…

…raison detre…

Not only did the people flourish with much hospitality, but art too was unselfish. Ranging from the modern militia to moments as old as religion. Search high and low and the journey will surely confront you with New Orleans culture.

Passion for books and art are actually a prerequisite and life is reduced to its most simplest form – Earn your keep, give back, and enjoy your life like it is your last night. With a hubled heart completely arrested in the mardi gras lifestyle, until next time my love…

 

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