Getting up very early for a. Flight and it’s delayed due to maintenance issues. Want to go to bed now πŸ˜”

    Traveled to San Diego work this past week and couldn’t help but ruminate on the Boeing crisis. My dad worked there for 40 years and it is really sad to watcch all this unfold.Β 


    That being said, I was thankful to fly Airbus on both my flights this past week πŸ˜…

    A Random San Diego Encounter

    Finished reading πŸ“š: Written With Colors Drawn With Words by Al Nashashibi.

    A few months ago I was in San Diego on vacation with my brother - not my favorite trip as I got sick during it. One of our last nights there, I was tasked with finding a place to eat and came across Fairouz Cafe - an off the path mediterranean cafe that looked tasty that particular evening.

    Upon arriving we were greeted by a quaint, family owned cafe. The food was delicious, but the owner was captivating. A humble man from Jerusalem who was a former lawyer. He was friendly and the conversation was fun and engaging. Adorning the walls of the cafe are paintings created by the owner, and across the counter are books he has written - novels and poetry books. The book I grabbed was his first poetry book he wrote after his wife passed away.

    This captivating man and his stories are what I love most about traveling. A chance encounter at a hole in the wall restaurant turned into a fascinating evening of conversation with a complete stranger. This book of poems is captivating and moving - I’ll be the first to admit though that I am not an avid poetry reader. Some of the poems are heart wrenching, about the loss of his wife. Others are funny and charming. If you are ever in San Diego, it is worth the trip to engage with a fascinating human being.

    Met a lovely Middle Eastern cafe owner here in San Diego. Turns out he is a painter and a poet. Fascinating conversations with him last night, and the food was incredible. This is one of my favorite things to do while traveling 😊

    SeaTac might be the worst airport in America.

    People weren’t kidding when they told me about Dallas. You can truly get to cities half a dozen different ways.

    Stitches removed from the finger. Not being able to use your dominant index finger is actually more detrimental than I had expected. It’s finally healing though and the whole experience has been pain free at least!

    Photo dump from Mexico trip this week. Had a good time but also ended up with 6 stitches in my hand πŸ˜…

    Empty swimming pool in the foreground with a Spanish style building in background. Street art of a smiling cup of coffee. A feral cat sitting in a chair on a hotel patio. Street art in a Mexican style showing a jaguar head with a zebra body.

    Where I Have Been

    Jumping on the trend from @Monday this week. I’m not as well traveled as others, but I’m continuing to add to this list each year. My wife and I visited Italy this year and are planning for a trip to Portugal next year.

    Countries - 5

    States - 16

    • Washington - born and raised.
    • Hawaii
    • Oregon
    • California
    • Idaho
    • Montana
    • Wyoming
    • Nevada
    • Arizona
    • New Mexico
    • Colorado
    • Texas - currently living in Austin area.
    • Oklahoma
    • Massachusetts
    • New York
    • Connecticut

    Reflections from Italy Trip

    Having just embarked on a trip to Italy with my wife, I’ve spent some time reflecting on what travel means to me. I haven’t done much international travel in my life, so this is coming from my first large excursion into this territory.

    Firstly, Italy is a wonderful country. It’s beautiful, the pace of life is slower and less urgent than in the states, there’s plenty to see and do, and the food is wonderful. However, I want to focus on what I learned about the experience of travel.

    Being my first major international trip in my adult life, I was excited, albeit a bit apprehensive - eager to see a new culture and experience it as best as one can in 10 days. We approached the trip with roughly one planned activity, sight to see, or restaurant to eat at per day, giving myself the rest of the time to do as we pleased - exploring, immersing ourselves, and interacting with locals. This was very successful, and really let us find things off the beaten path and away from the crowds. Immersing ourselves in the morning commute in Milan, the lunch rush in Rome, and the casual pace of life in Florence was eye opening, and some of my favorite parts of the trip.

    I believe travel is an essential part of growing up and of life, I wish I had prioritized it sooner. Going to see other cultures and traditions, and getting out of your comfort zone. I don’t know any Italian, and found it easier than I expected. Yes, many speak English, but I could fumble my way through courtesies and ordering food. Throughout my trip, I found the break from the routine of my daily life and familiarity to be refreshing and welcoming. I could sit and have an espresso for an hour and just listen to the hustle and bustle, instead of order it ahead and pick it up on my commute into work. I could take an hour or more to enjoy lunch and conversation, instead of pack a sandwich and eat at my desk. This sense of new-ness and fresh air was missing from me before I left. Having returned and spent a week back at work, I just find myself more at ease and appreciative of some of the more mundane things.

    I’ll end with a quote from Rolf Potts' The Vagabond’s Way:

    Indeed, one of the reasons travel can lead to a sense of awakening is that leaving our home habits allows us to see things with eyes undimmed by familiarity.

    Embrace the unfamiliar. Plan that next trip - I’m already planning mine to Portugal next year.

    I’m so impressed with public transit in Italy. Nothing like this exists in America. Cities are designed with train stations in mind, subways and trams are used everywhere. I dream of this in America, where we can take fast, reliable rail instead of flying.

    Off to Italy this weekend for a much needed vacation. Hoping I don’t gain too much weight and that I fall in love with walkable cities.

    About a month until my wife and I take a trip to Italy. Will be my first trip to Europe!