The other night, along with hundreds of millions of people around the globe, I was watching the Olympic closing ceremonies on T.V. Yet another Olympic competition in the books, and as always, it was an amazing spectacle. The best athletes in the world competing at such a high level reminded me of a quote “The winner is the one who makes the next-to-last mistake” And after watching the difference between winning and losing time and time again coming down to a blink of the eye it dawned on me that we’re all making those mistakes. For the rest of us who aren’t super athletes in competition with other Olympians, we are in competition with ourselves – and more clearly, our fears. (more…)
Down off the Great Ocean Road along the southern coast of Victoria, Australia, and past a strip of beaches and cliffs known as the “Shipwreck Coast” you will find a natural phenomenon jutting out of the blue ocean. Weathered from thousands of years of waves, wind, sun and sand The Twelve Apostles are a natural wonder (more…)
In one week, after a few more days in Athens and a short stay in Dublin, I’ll will be back on U.S. soil. More than 5 1/2 months of living abroad seems to have stretched out for much longer this time. For me, spending time in a new place (3 months in Spain, 2 months in Croatia) really opened up the opportunity for revelation – not just knowing a city without a map, or learning a few words in the local language, but it’s really the unique and wonderful people that time allows you to connect with. Each and every place continues to show me how we all are inexplicably linked together by so many common threads – and to be there long enough to let these truths naturally unearth (more…)
“Every exit is an entry somewhere else.”
– Tom Sheppard
Yes I know its Monday – sheesh give me a break I’ve been on the move! Actually, this is on purpose as I’m moving the weekly subscription to my wallpaper updates to Mondays! So from now until the end of time, my wallpapers will be uploaded and ready for your imaginative and downloading pleasure by the weekend’s end. Starting your week off with something fresh to keep you motivated and inspired…. (more…)
“Life is full of beauty. Notice it.”
– Ashley Smith
“Travel is not really about leaving our homes, but leaving our habits.”
– Pico Iyer
This past year, as my girlfriend and I have continually been living off of Airbnb.com, traveling from country to country, and working on various projects – I kind of get used to things being in a constant state of flux. What’s going to happen with the invoice the client didn’t respond to, where are we going to live next month/why are tickets so expensive now, and how in the hell will I pay for it?? My mindset on how to approach these questions is also in a state of change – from ‘yeah lets do it!’ to the ‘ah hell, not again’ My girlfriend Chele is also affected by this as adding another person can magnify the emotions in either approach – which is something I am continually learning about! She is a very patient person.
I connected with this quote because it reflects where I am personally and professionally right now. I feel like there is a fork in the path coming up soon (a good fork, not a bad fork) and I will be needing to make some intentional decisions. Over the past 2 years many books/blogs and interactions with various people have been reshaping my views on life and happiness. About purpose, value, and success. So after continually reading and absorbing ideas from the likes of Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Rolf Potts, Robert Kiyosaki and Chris Guillebeau, I find my perspective on the world is very different than it once was. Which makes any fork in the road an opportunity for something better. Something unforeseen.
Which leads me to my next news. Recently I was surprised to learn I’d been gifted a chance to read Chris Cuillebeu’s new pre-released book The $100 Startup – shipped to my house here in Croatia at no charge! All he asks is that I give an honest review of it by May 15th. So I’ll be sitting out on my balcony with my morning coffee, warming up to the rising sun. I will try to finish it in time (I’m a not a speed reader!) and give my review here. I can tell you that I’ve read and re-read his last book The Art of Non-Conformity this past year and it has changed the way I approach my life, travels, work, friends, and family etc. even when things change.
I will try to give an honest, unbiased review… which may be tough, as I’m already a huge fan. Stay tuned….
…a little encouragement to simplify your life down to a single action – a single wave of energy that will push you in the right direction.
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April 19th, 2012 – Standard The Action - Stradbroke Island, Australia (1280x1024) (338) Wide – The Action - Stradbroke Island, Australia (1980x1200) (420)
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April 12th, 2012 – Standard Moss covered lava field - Rural Iceland (1280x1024) (305) Wide – Moss covered lava field - Rural Iceland (1920x1200) (308)
Wandering Iceland is like stepping out onto another planet. Nothing seems more dreamlike than the landscape – with slow moving steam rising from thermal vents, never ending sunsets, and moss covered lava fields as far as you can see. We ventured out of Reykjavík only about 30 minutes and we drove right through an ancient lava field. Walking this terrain is both surreal and dangerous as the moss on top is soft and spongy but just underneath it’s jagged lava rock can cut though the sole of your shoe. I am still going through all of the images I took there in only a few short days (actually long days with 20+ hours of sunlight). The sun eventually set around 2am the night this photo was taken.
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April 5th, 2012 – Standard The Mind of da Vinci - Las Falles Valencia, Spain (1280x1024) (343) Wide – The Mind of da Vinci - Las Falles Valencia, Spain (1920x1080) (347)
For the past several hundred years come Spring, Valencianos have been burning things. And of course, keeping the tradition is the tradition here in Spain. Today Las Falles is one of the biggest Spring festivals is Europe and as the entire city of Valencia explodes in a firey paella party! The term Falles refers to both the celebration and the monuments constructed for and burned during the celebration. A number of towns in the Valencian Community have similar celebrations inspired by the original in Valencia. (see the earlier photo essay about the Magdalena Festival)
Supposedly started in the Middle Ages, when carpenters disposed of the broken artifacts and pieces of wood they saved during the winter by burning them to celebrate the spring equinox, the tradition continued to evolve into something much more meaningful. Over time, and with the intervention of the Church (of course), the date of the burning was made to coincide with the celebration of the festival of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. Many times well-known people from the neighborhood and government were often portrayed as well. With time, people of the neighborhoods organized the building of the falles and the typically intricate constructions, including their various figures, were born (and burned). Until the beginning of the twentieth century, the falles were tall boxes with three or four wax dolls dressed in fabric clothing. This changed when the creators began to use cardboard. The fabrication of the falles continues to evolve in modern times, when the largest displays are made of polystyrene and soft cork easily molded with hot saws (but Im sure isn’t very friendly to anyone inhaling it…let alone the environment). These techniques have allowed the creation of falles over 100ft high – now that is how you party! Out of all the Falles I got to see (there are around 600 or something) this one was one of my favorites.
I managed to see it burn from a distance and got off a few shots. As you can see it was incredibly close to the surrounding apartments so instead of spraying down the fire, the fire department sprayed down the buildings. I found a short video about the da Vinci ninot (little brother to the falles) that highlights all the details. I love the notes and tools they put in the back of his head….check it out -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rznADT6QU8
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Kiss of Color – Reykjavik, Iceland
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Standard Kiss of Color - Reykjavik, Iceland (1280x1023) (286) Wide – Kiss of Color - Reykjavik, Iceland (1920x1200) (274)
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Flower Garden Temple – Chang Mai, Thailand
Wat Suan Dok Temple dates back to the 14th century originally built on what was Chiang Mai’s Royal Family’s flower garden. Today, it’s a functioning temple as well as a home to a Buddhist University (one of only two public Buddhist Universities in Thailand). Say it with me now, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University …also (thankfully) known as MCU opens its doors to visitors keen to learn more about Buddhism through the “Monk Chat” program on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings 5-7pm. You can actually talk with the monks about anything that pops into your head – their day-to-day activities and lifestyle, Thai culture, or even the weather. I didn’t know this at the time when we visited, but next time I get to sit with a monk I’ll ask him the important, life affirming questions like “If you had special powers for only a week, would you rather be invisible or able to fly?”
Download this week’s wallpaper from Thailand – February 9nd, 2012 –
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“Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine,
and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.”
-Henry David Thoreau –
Download this week’s wallpaper from Valencia, Spain – January 27th, 2012 –
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January 19th, 2011 – Standard Waiting for the Sun - Valencia, Spain (1280x1024) (311) Wide – Waiting for the Sun - Valencia, Spain (1920x1080) (301)
Our first few days in Spain have been pretty normal so far but not to say it hasn’t been stimulating. Consisting mostly of time spent working in front of the computer and mostly at night since our brains are still connected to the Central Time Zone of the US – so until that pendulum starts to swing the other way, we’ll still be wide-eyed at 2 a.m. It’s strange being here in such a new place but continuing to live as we did just last week – but this trip isn’t a vacation, but a relocation for a breath of fresh air to our creative and wonder-lusting minds.
Rarely do I post a wallpaper from the same location that I’m currently in (mainly because I have too many old ones to post) but this image, taken from our apartment window this afternoon was worth it. Our apartment is in the oldest part of Valencia’s city center but remodeled with many modern conveniences – it’s nice to open the windows to hear the goings-on among the streets below…something that would be a bad idea back home right about now. Check out the listing on Airbnb and experience it for yourself someday!
Change is inevitable; we will always exist in the midst of it.
It is our choice whether we will be its victim or its architect.
Just make sure you are the one that flips the switch.
This wallpaper is dedicated to an old – and good friend of mine and if I remember correctly he was the one that pointed out this old light switch while we were on a video shoot in Brooklyn last year. We’ve been friends since the days of Blink 182 and the origional Matrix if that tells you anything. I tend to carry in my mind a small list of people I think of when situations come up (…like a WWJD scenario but with people I actually know) and he’s the type of person I think of when I walk into a room filled with people I don’t know. He’s the inquisitive type, with an inviting openness to new or different ideas that make people comfortable. Always asking questions and actively listening is what gives him the ability to adapt to pretty much any situation. After a conversation with him either in person, on the phone or skype, I tend to find myself feeling more important and thus inspired to learn more and do more.
So now, his quest for knowledge and adventure has led him and his wife to become serial entrepreneurs, which recently has allowed them to move abroad and travel the world. They’re currently living in Chang Mai, Thailand where they recently signed a lease on a house (congrats!) You can catch up on their blogs about travels, business and personal stuff.
As the quote above states – you can’t stop change, you can only be ahead of it, or behind it. Where you happen to be when it comes usually determines whether you’re an architect or victim. In this spirit, my girlfriend and I will be packing our backpacks again and relocating across the pond in Europe for the journeying onward. Hopefully rolling with the changes as they come and supporting ourselves enough to keep going. But the best part will be that for our first month in Spain we will be joined by some amazing old friends fresh off the plane from Chang Mai, Thailand. This should be good….
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January 12th, 2011 – Standard Flip the Switch - Brooklyn, New York (1280x1024pix) (279) Wide – Flip the Switch - Brooklyn, New York (1920x1080pix) (295)
The Gold Souq room reflects the rich heritage of the Arabic gold trade – Dubai, UAE
A souq (pronounced sūq) is a commercial quarter in an Arab city used to designate a market where textiles, jewelery, spices, wooden sculptures and other valuable goods. In a modern sense, a souq can also mean an economic commodity (e.g., an Arab would speak of the souq in the old city just as the souq for oil in the free market).
In the shadow of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall which is also the largest in the world at the moment–fittingly holds the world’s largest gold market. An area with a collection of over 220 gold and jewelery retailers culminating into a single room – The Gold Souq. The traditional decorative gold and marble detailing honors the ancestral traveling merchants crossing the desert expanse to trade gold and other commodities in markets all over the ancient world. To say the least: an impressive room in the center of an impressive city.
Download this weeks wallpaper – January 7th, 2011 –
The Color is Music – Portugal. the Man’s John Gourley on stage at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival – Manchester, TN
I enjoy this band. Please, enjoy this music video.
And dont forget to download the last wallpaper EVER!! (of 2011) – December 30th, 2011 –
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe