My 10 Intentions For A New (Jewish) Year

As millions of people around the world take part in Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, I am reminded that my roots fall in line with this, and that it may be the perfect time to sit with myself, reflect, and make so positive intentions. I mean, I’m sure this would make my ancestors happy, and it would only help me to be even more intentional in my life, so let’s do this!

I want to make it very clear, I do not consider myself religious, and even the word spiritual has brought its fair share of hang ups for me recently. However I will gladly accept a reason to sit and come up with a new code for myself that feels rejuvenating and sweet at this moment in time. Speaking of sweet, did you know that Jewish people dip apples in honey to symbolize the excitement for a sweet New Year? It’s believed that centuries ago, the apple was chosen as the fruit to be dipped in honey because of the symbols it holds historically. 

I encourage you to read through my personal intentions, and if inspired enough, make your own. And if you’re feeling up to it, why not eat an apple dipped in honey? I mean it’s a tasty and pretty healthy snack.

I want to make a point that I purposefully chose to use the words: I, my, and mine. I truly want to set these intentions for myself. I do not want to make your intentions for you; however, I also figured it would give you guys the ability to call these things to action for yourself, or use them as a jumping point for your own.

On that note, I present to you MY intentions for 2020, or 5780 if you’re feeling festive. 

1. Self-care.

Do things for myself that bring me joy, even if others do not understand how or why. Continue to take myself on dates, find moments to sit and meditate, and journal, so that I can go back later on and see how much things have changed. Use my breathe as a means to calm the mind. Remove unnecessary unconscious contracts I have made with others.

2. Honor my body!

Make more of a commitment to find things that I enjoy doing inside and outside of the gym, so that I may honor my temple, and keep it healthy, fit, and strong for years to come. Work to become more than 90% vegan, so that my eating habits coincide with my ethical and environmental beliefs. Moisturize more. Try sleeping on my back more often. Continue to remove alcohol from my life, and get more sleep!

3. Practice more mindful sex.

I want to have more meaningful body to body experiences that bring me joy, connection, and a long lasting relationship. Remember that each time I lay with someone naked, I give a part of myself to them, and personally, I do not want to keep giving away these valuable pieces of myself. Help remove the shame that we often place on casual hook ups, but step back from these things, and continue to ask myself, why am I taking part in something that has ultimately not brought the love, fulfillment, and connection that I want?

4. Enjoy being single and the process of meeting a partner.

In 2019 I finally found my personal joy in being single, and while I look forward to meeting my partner, I want to continue to enjoy this new found peace of mind. Understand that this journey is not about finding the one, but being open to meeting incredible people along the way, and just maybe one of those people will want to join me on this wild thing called life. 

5. Say “no” more.

Say no to things that are not serving me. Be comfortable in and with saying no. Be confident in saying no. Stop making other people comfortable because no is considered a negative piece of language, and this a negative action to take. Sometimes saying no means self-care, standing up for what I believe in, and removing negative things from my life, which ultimately means no becomes a positive.

6. Settle down.

Become comfortable with staying in one place for a long period of time. Stop forcing myself to constantly be on the move because it is a way to avoid the difficult truths that I faced as a child. Understand that I have built a life for myself that is void of the evictions my family faced over and over again. Stop subconsciously, and now, as of this moment, consciously thinking I am going to be forced to leave the life I have built, and the comforts I have not let myself enjoy, but now possess. Understand that I won’t have to fear moving, if I chose to, and that the next time I decide to move, it will be by my choice, and that is a good thing. Understand that I am not destined to be like my parents, and I have broken this cycle in a big way. I don’t have to be scared anymore. Home is where I make it. Find and buy a piece of property that will be where I want to settle down for many years to come for myself, and when the timing is right, with someone else. Remember the adventure doesn’t end when I stop moving. 

7. Let the past be in the past.

No more going back to old flames or lovers. No more holding pain from my parents because of actions that have already happened. Remove narratives that I hold as definite truths, and be open to the fact that things change. Be mindful that people will show you who they are in the ways they act, and what they chose to say. Forgive the past, honor it, make amends with it, but say goodbye to it.

8. Dream bigger.

Work hard to become a UN Global Ambassador through social media. Work for the ability to travel with NGOs and the UN to do more humanitarian work abroad and in my own country. Make even bigger changes on a global level. Stop holding back your book proposal, and send it off to literary agents. When someone gets it, they will help me make it a reality. Sell my book to a publishing house. Continue to work with brands that align with the messaging I look to portray as a human, but also start the conversation with brands, who may not be thinking bigger about doing so. Partner with a major media outlet to sell / create a missing piece of LGBTQ cultured media that I get to be a part of. Continue to remember that life is balance between work and relaxation, but become more focused on the things that matter.

9. Foster new relationships.

As I get older I recognize that it can be harder to make new friends. However, I think I am perpetuating this by saying this. I’ve recently met some incredible humans that I would love to get to know better, and bring into my kitchen cabinet. I want to continue to make time for all my friends and loved ones, but be open to creating more space for these amazing new connections. I can’t and do not want to be afraid of people who are not just like me because they will bring incredible new perspectives and insights into the way I think, which will ultimately makes my life more fulfilled and interesting. 

10. Approach everything with love.

I have worked really hard to find love for myself, other, and the world. I want to continue to lead with the notions of love that I hold dear. Keep empathy, kindness, humanity, generosity, openness, vulnerability, and perseverance in my heart, my mind, my body, and my soul. Work harder to be even more loving and kind, especially in situations that make me feel frustrated, angry, or overwhelmed. Do not be a pushover, but understand that everyone is doing the best they can with the tools they have. That may not match my toolkit, and that is ok. Come into new interactions with loving vibes. Remove judgements. Stay humble.

And because I am someone that doesn’t like to follow the rules, here is an 11th intention that I have held since I hiked 800 miles on the PCT.

11. Hike my own hike.

Continue to do things my way. Continue to be open to collaboration, a meeting of the minds, and compromise, but recognize when I am starting to give up parts of myself that are beautiful and I enjoy to make someone else more comfortable. It is not my job to make sure everyone else is enjoying their time, especially if I am giving up my energy in a self-harming way. Continue to be a weirdo. Continue to stand up for what I believe in. Continue to be a rule breaker. Continue to be unapologetically myself. Continue to live my life to the fullest.

Well, there you have it. My intentions for 2020, and in many ways the rest of my life. I originally thought I was just sitting down to have a cute moment, and write something new. By the time I got to number 6, I realized that this was an incredibly important step I had to take if I was going to truly break, deep-seated, and useless cycles. I had to stop during number six, cry, take a minute, and sit with this big truth. I share this so that you can see how powerful setting intentions can be, and why you too should take some time to sit with yourself for yourself’s. Any action that connects our mind, body, and soul is an action I want to take part in, and I can’t encourage you enough to do so.

Whether you are Jew that celebrates the Jewish New Year, or someone that just wants a little more sweetness and intention in their life, I wish you Shanah Tovah.

Much Love,


Posted on September 30, 2019 .

Dating: Being The Older Guy

I remember when I would go on a date with an eligible 30 something when I was in my mid 20’s and think wow this guy is great. The date would go well, and at the end of it all he wouldn’t want to see me again. Sometimes he’d just ghost me. Other times he’d be sweet and complimentary, but would give me some sort of explanation about our age. Feeling more mature than my peers I’d become frustrated that a number was what was pushing me out of the eligible category for these men. 

Now, as a 30 something, it’s eye-opening to look back to my younger self, and realize more-so what these guys meant.

Yes, I was more mature than a lot of my peers, and yes I’ve consistently dated older as I find I connect better with older men. When you’ve had a lot of life experience it makes sense that you’d look for someone who has also been through things, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve fully understood what those guys meant. 

Sure, I was ready for a relationship, but I wasn’t ready for the type of relationship those guys were ready for. To be honest, I think a lot of this does have to do with age, but also it doesn’t. I think a lot of men say they want one thing, but then realize they want another. I think that when you sit down face-to-face with someone you see possibilities. Sometimes those possibilities are sexual, sometimes they are romantic, sometimes they are friendly, and sometimes they are relationship driven. You really can’t know until you feel the vibe or the chemistry.

As I continue my journey in life, and as I mature and understand how ready I am for a real long-lasting relationship, I realize that my equal probably won’t be someone who is in their mid 20’s. Yes, these guys are incredibly attractive, sexy, and sweet, but there’s just a lot of life these guys have to live still. I think back to how I felt when these older guys would ask me out, sleep with me, or whatever else and how disappointing it was when it would just end. It’s still a shitty feeling when these things happen, but as you get older you can smell the bullshit a little bit better. You aren’t so quick to build an unfounded narrative around someone you barely know. You are more aware of how many different types of guys exist out in the dating world. Ultimately, you just have more experience.

For a long time I’ve said I don’t believe anyone is truly ready to get married until they are 30. This is purely my opinion, and many people will disprove this. However, I think something happens to you when you turn 30. You reflect on life a little more. You care a lot less about what other people think, and you hopefully stop bullshitting people and letting others bullshit you.

Thinking back to being 24, and remembering all the feelings I used to feel, many of which I still feel, but many of which have evolved, I’m reminded of why it is our job as the “older guys” to be honest, kind, and thoughtful to these beautiful younger souls. Yes, it’s our responsibility as men that are dating to be frank and upright about what we are looking for, and even more so to not lead on hopeful younger guys. 

I say all of this because I’ve found myself looking, not desperately or crazily, but mindfully and maturely, for my partner. I’m looking at life through a new lens. I’ve gotten to travel the world, see incredible things, and build a career. I’ve dated, dumped, and been dumped. I’ve taken risks, moved to other countries for love, and still I find myself looking, but through it all I’m reminded of what it was like to be that younger bright eyed guy, who was so excited to meet someone who appeared to have their shit together, and because of that I think it’s even important to date mindfully and respectfully, especially if you are someone who is going after younger guys.

Ultimately there are no rules when it comes to dating, but I think we all have a role to play in how we shape gay culture. If nothing else I hope to spark conversations with topics like this, so if you’ve found yourself at this point then please feel free to share your opinions, ideas, and concepts around dating, whether it be gay or straight or whatever.

And for all those still also in search of their partner, remember to keep taking care of yourself, do the hard work, and when the time is right, someone will find you and it will all make sense. The say the best time to work on your marriage is before you are married, so make sure you are doing just that, and truly working on you.

Being the “older guy” should be a beautiful experience. You should find yourself with new realizations, understandings, and habits, so embrace it, and be the change you hope to see out there in the world.

Much Love,

Posted on August 12, 2019 .

If I’m Being Honest, What I Have To Say Isn’t So Happy

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If I’m being honest there is always a bit of sadness that sits behind my sunshine. It’s not overwhelming, unmanageable, or something that hurts my heart often, but it’s something that shows itself every now and then when I’m not living my truth and taking time to fully reflect. It’s something that holidays bring about, and that I’m reminded of when groups of families and friends get together to go off on a getaway.

If I’m being honest I feel lonely more than I’d like admit. It’s something that a lot of time alone creates, and that hides behind a life that doesn’t just look full, but is beyond full. Full of magic, adventure, and humanity. But one that has made me unsettled, constantly on the move, and unable to build a life with someone else, which I know can’t be forced, but is something I yearn for.

If I’m being honest I don’t like to be this honest because I know how lucky, fortunate, and special my life has become thanks to a lot of hard work. I’ve seen what real hardships are, and I’ve lived many of them as well, so to express the less than beautiful parts of my life often feels superfluous, trite, and insensitive. I’ve seen children, women, and men in places like Kenya, Cambodia, and Brazil, living in poverty, unsure of where their next meal will come from, and that don’t have clean and safe access to the things that are declared basic human needs. I know everyone has their own problems, and we should never belittle our own, but when you’ve seen these things first-handedly it makes you question what you call your problems and push them aside. I know this is not healthy, but is all too real for many of us. 

If I’m being honest having all that I have, but having so much family trama and drama still present in my life makes me feel guilty, sad, helpless, and overwhelmed. I’ve helped many many times, in many different ways, but have learned that till someone helps themselves, your attempts will only enable, and that does no good for anyone. I’ve learned to lend my support how I can, continue to be an example of what they too can be, and swallow the things that are too hard to say publicly because they are far darker than most will understand.

If I’m being honest I don’t want to come off as ungrateful, whining, or obnoxious because I have felt the wrath of being misunderstood by the internet, and I’m worried what might happen if my words aren’t as clear and explanatory as possible. I don’t want sympathy or attention, I just want to be honest that for all the joy, peace, and gratitude, there is still so much to work on and through. That what you see is one second out of a whole day that has been chosen because it is beautiful, entertaining, and what I have learned to be crowd pleasing. 

If I’m being honest I know that what I’m feeling now is something I have felt before. These feelings are feelings that will pass, but I’ve learned they are feelings that will come back if changes are not made. It is weird to get to a place in your life so young, where most of your dreams have come true, but to find yourself once again feeling lost, unsure, and uneasy. You ask yourself why? But very shallow, below the surface, you know why. It’s because you aren’t living your life to the fullest of your heart’s desires. You have let the “what you are supposed to do” be championed by the “what your soul needs you to do.”

If I’m being honest, I’ve been very honest in private about many of these things before, but the time has come to speak publicly about not being so honest. Too many people look to emulate this life, and rightfully so. We throw up our highlight reel, throw on a smile, and throw out everything that is good in our lives because we are supposed to, but that is not the full story. We need to share our full stories if we stand any chance at continuing to grow, evolve, and become more humble versions of ourselves.

If nothing else comes from this short little piece of truth, I hope some of you read these words and feel a bit more seen, heard, and understood because that is what this life is about for me. Humanity is not lost, but for many of us it isn’t as present as it should be, so for now I just want to send you the love, the apology that you may need for whatever reason, and the understanding that you are supremely understood.

It is with a heavy heart, tears flowing from my eyes, and a deep breath being taken that I say, I too am feeling lost right now. I will continue to share my story in the hope that it positively affects at least one of you in some way. I will continue to travel, open my heart, and put kindness and love out into the world. I will continue to be an outspoken voice for the LGBTQ community, children around the world, women, the environment, animals, and whatever else I feel needs to be more seen and heard because we only have one life to do what is right, and I want to make mine count.

Ever since I was young my mission in life is to leave this place better than how I came into it. When I reflect, I’m beyond humbled to know I have and will continue to do so. But now, more than ever, I need to focus on what is next in my life, and I will be turning to you guys for guidance and help as well. I’ve been independent in many ways since I was 14, and asking for help has never been my strong suit, so in this moment I am going to push all the shame away that I can, and ask for your help in answering what could be next. Where do I want to put down roots for the long haul? Who do I want to be? How can I help even more? What else can I be doing for my body, my mind, and my soul? And ultimately, what is all this truly about anyways?

If I’m being honest putting this out there is far scarier than I can fully explain, but I know it needs to be said. I thank you for understanding where I’m coming from. I couldn’t be more grateful to have you with me on this journey. I’m beyond humbled to give you some of my light, and even more so to receive some of yours as I walk whatever new hike emerges. Thank you, it means so much more than I can explain in this moment, truly.
Much love as always,

Posted on July 7, 2019 .

Sex Instead of Companionship

We all have needs, but are we meeting them too quickly, and ultimately extinguishing the ability to find true companionship?

I want to start this little chat off with a very simple statement, I like sex. I like sex a lot, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

What I do want to talk about is how I have found myself using sex to fulfill a need that isn’t directly correlated to my greater wants, needs, and truths. This often happens when dating becomes difficult because of whatever excuses I could employ, but really because I’m allowing it. We have to take ownership for our actions, so I’m doing just that. 

While I like sex, what I have come to understand, through years of self-work, is that I like companionship way more. Yes, I want to get naked with someone, like all the time, but I want to get naked with a person I have emotionally invested myself in. It’s something I personally find way more fulfilling, and helps me feel more at peace when thinking about life’s greater purpose. 

I’m not saying that I think we all need to wait till we are married to have sex. To be honest, I actually think this could be a bit dangerous when it comes to longterm relationships as sex is a huge part of one, but you have to hike your own hike. What I am saying is that while I like sex, I like so many other things that come along with sex, when you are having it with the same person, even more.

I like waking up and giving someone a kiss good morning, morning breath and all. I like texting someone in the afternoon asking them how their day is going. I like heading home to know that someone will be there waiting for me, or vice versa. I like knowing that I have my dinner buddy regardless of whether we are eating out or ordering in. I like late night chats, and discussions about what we want out of this crazy thing called life. I like being a support system for a person I have grown to care a lot about, and having them be part of mine. I like having a partner, a lover, my lobster.

While we continue to live, or simply exist in some cases, in an age where we are overstimulated and over-connected digitally, but under-stimulated and under-connected in real life, I find myself questioning when will the word enough finally mean something.

When will I be enough for someone else? When will someone else be enough for me? When if ever is enough no longer enough, but really fucking delicious tasting? 

I’ve come really close to enough. I’ve found men, who I felt were enough for me, but through time realized I wasn’t enough for them. I’ve found men, who I thought were enough for me, but through time realized they were in fact, not enough for me. I’ve found myself in every situation one can imagine: being dumped, doing the dumping, getting back together, breaking up with someone, but not wanting to, and the list goes on. Was any of it enough?

Possibly, but I’d rather look back at each one of those situations as a learning lesson, not as some if/then situation that only further drives us crazy. I do know that each time I have found myself single after being with someone, I take a ride on the promiscuous side, and then quickly realize that what I am doing is not fueling my soul, my heart’s desires, or my brain’s wants. They say the best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else. While the saying is clever, I don’t think it is the most productive way to truly move forwards. I’m speaking from personal experience here. 

Jumping into bed with someone else, especially after we have just experienced a break-up means that we project feelings onto someone else, and aren’t actually letting ourselves sit with the questions we may have about what went wrong. We shouldn’t drown in our emotions or sorrows, but we should feel our feelings, and to numb our loneliness with sex will never truly allow that to happen. Yes, it feels really fucking good to be desired by someone else, especially after feeling rejected, but that is a fleeting feeling that often only makes us feel even lonelier after the deed is done.

Sex is amazing. If you are old enough, mature enough, safe enough, and smart enough to act in a consensual naked body to naked body, or sometimes not even naked, experience than it can be an elevating experience for your mind, body, and soul. However, getting naked with someone emotionally takes even more vulnerability, maturity, strength, and wisdom that is far harder to develop than any quickie can accomplish.

At this point you may be thinking nope, not me. I like sex easily available and I want options. To which I say, great, good for you. Seriously, no shade or shame. What I am saying is that I personally have found myself looking to fulfill a void of intimate companionship with easy sex that just doesn’t correlate. 

I’ll also be honest, I don’t know if I’ll never have a casual hook up ever again. However, as I get older, and really start to find myself understanding that enough is a choice that we have to consciously make one day, I have found myself turning down easy sex for nights in with myself. They can be lonely. They can be uncomfortable. But I’d rather feel those fleeting things when actually by myself than with some person I just met and know nothing about. 

Sex is amazing, but so is seeing a really old couple wobbling down the street holding hands after years of ups and downs. True companionship, the kind that is built over years, and that has history to it, now that is really amazing. Ultimately, in my opinion, we should all enjoy our lives however best suits us. I firmly believe there are no rules. What we should all remember is that great sex will come and go, and that is ok. But if you are lucky enough to find someone, who has a smile that you could stare at forever, a brain that inspires you, and a heart that fills you up, do your very best to let them know how amazing they are, and that you feel lucky enough every day to have found them.

It’s not about being a romantic verses wanting to be a single forever. What it is about, is sharing the love you have inside of you because that is the greatest gift you will ever be able to give to someone else, but also yourself. So the next time you want to turn on Grindr, Tindr, or whatever other app you may use to find a quick hit of dopamine, take a minute and think is this what I really want, or is this just a quick hit of something that doesn’t actually help me in the journey for enough.

Posted on June 16, 2019 .

Getting Dumped Sucks


After only a few months of getting to know each other, you’re not quite sure where the “relationship” is going, but you know that you are enjoying getting to see this human being. You have sleep overs, hangouts, and you’ve begun the process of meeting each others friends. You share thoughts and ideas, wants and desires, and vibing in general feels really good.

Then you hear them say your name in a different way, their look changes, and you know what’s about to happen. You’re being dumped.

Can you even call it getting dumped? You were never official. You did meet his brother and sister in law, who were lovely. Once. You took a trip to a foreign country together, which was super fun. Once. But there was never any talks about what you were, or where “it” was going. 

You were just two people enjoying the process of getting to know each other, or at least that is what you thought. While you weren’t in love, it still makes you question yourself.

Am I too much? Am I good enough? Am I attractive enough? All these questions swirl in your mind, and that negative voice in your head grows louder and louder. You know it isn’t healthy, and you know you’re a catch in many ways, but you can’t help and allow your ego to feel bruised and hurt.

Sure, you want a relationship, but it wasn’t like you needed to get married tomorrow. You just really liked having someone sweet around, who gave you compliments, made you feel good, and who you got to be there for as well. You liked sharing bagels at 3 am, laughing, and then going home together. You liked bopping to music, hearing about what they wanted out of life, and being inspired by someone who was also inspired in some ways by you.

Yes, you weren’t falling in love yet, but you saw yourself being able to fall in love with them in the future, and that is what a mature relationship looks like. Thinking you’re in love right away, as we learn, usually means you’ve confused lust for love, and that shit ain’t healthy. Simply put, this just felt different, easier, and in many many ways, lovely.

But that’s all over for now because you got dumped.

Here’s the thing though, you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been dumped before. You’ve dumped someone before. It’s the circle of dating, and while it hurts now, all you have to do is remember that this too shall pass. 

Yes, you liked this good human. They were even kind enough to sit down with you face to face, and communicate maturely where they are at in life. You understand as much as you don’t want to, and because of that you accept that you are just not who they are looking for at this point in their life. 

It sucks. It sucks a lot, and it’s ok to admit that. However, the key is to not get stuck in these harder feelings, and to remember that this too is just another lesson.

Yes, we all want to find our lobster, our penguin, our person, but we can’t force anyone to be with us, nor do we want to. Timing is everything, and right now it’s your time to be dumped, take some time to reflect, dust yourself off, and continue to hike your own hike because that’s all we can do until someone even more amazing comes to join us on this wild adventure we call life.

Stay strong all my lovers and dreamers, your time is coming sooner than you know.



Posted on May 23, 2019 .

How Quickly Can You Tell Someone You Love Them?

Is it ever really the right time to tell someone you love them for the first time?

I’ve first told someone I loved them after we broke up. I wanted them to know that it wasn’t an easy decision and that I thought they were an amazing person.

I’ve told someone I loved them for the first time drunk on a phone call. I did’t remember I spoke those three famous words until we sat down for our first date after that infamous call.

I’ve told someone I loved them after they told me they loved me for the first time while we were just hanging out.

As a romantic it’s hard to know when you’re truly ready to tell someone you love them because you can get lost in the magic. As a romantic you most likely get swept up in the electrical impulses that are fired off in your brain, and if you are like me, get high on love. It’s intoxicating. 

Then comes the reality that the way you feel may not be the way they feel. Sometimes you get clues, hints, or some other indicator that the person you love may in fact love you back, but sometimes you seriously just can’t tell.

Ultimately telling someone you love them shouldn’t be a scary thing. By telling someone you love them you are simply spreading love. You have the opportunity to make someone else feel loved regardless of if they love you back. Yes, in a “perfect” situation the person you confess your love to reciprocates your love and says it back. 

However, telling someone you love them is in many ways a personal experience. Sharing this piece of yourself means you have shed your walls and barriers. It means that you have leaned into venerability and are willing to stand emotionally naked in front of someone else. This is a beautiful thing and you should walk into this experience with that thought in mind.

I mean Marvin Gaye said it best, “how sweet it is to be loved by you.”

While I love love, and think we all need to say this more often to our loved ones. I’m also aware of the world we live in today. Today we treat love as a cheap commodity where people throw around the word as if it was just some fast food meal. We live in a digital-all-you-can-eat-never-sleep-don’t-stop-moving-till-you-die world, thus we have become impatient with almost everything. So then how could this not hold true for love in the modern world? 

We don’t allow love time to marinate and settle anymore. We forget that we need to give space and time so that our love can continue to grow. Especially if we are looking to find one partner as we live longer and longer.

Waiting to tell someone you love them, and having that secret live inside of you can be just as exciting as saying it till you are 100% ready. In the English language we lack words to express the amount that we care for someone, and thus love becomes an easy go to. It’s ok to know you care deeply for someone, but not be ready to use the L word. 

Ultimately you have to decide how you want to live your life. Personally, I’ve learned to trust the algorithms in my mind that process my feelings and connect my head and my heart. Acting on not just gut impulses, but strong senses of why I feel the way I feel have led me to live with no regrets, and look back on even hard situations with love and the understanding that lessons have been learnt.

Telling someone you love them is exciting, powerful, and impactful, but ultimately it is a test of self. There will never be the perfect time to tell someone you love them. In your heart you already know these feelings exist, which is part of the magic when it comes to love. Life is truly too short to let these beautiful moments pass us by, so let go of the fear you may feel, and if nothing else let that love swim through your own soul. 

And if you were looking for me to tell you when that perfect moment is because you are in love, know it was never for me to give, and you already know.

Posted on December 19, 2018 .

How I Bring Home With Me As I Travel The World

Sponsored by Zappos X UGG

They say home is where the heart is, but a few other things can make any place truly feel like home.

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly looking for ways to create, explore, and bring new energies into my life. Thus, I’ve turned to traveling the world.

Over the past four months I’ve found myself on 4 different continents, in 12 countries, and in countless cities across the world. I didn’t expect to be traveling this long, but I’ve learned when your heart tells you to do something, you listen. Originally I had planned on traveling for around a month or so, but in typical Barrett fashion one month has turned into four and counting.

For as long as I can remember I said my dream was to travel the world, write, and make it a better place. So when I finally stopped in Spain for more than a minute, wrapped up in memories from home, with trinkets I’ve acquired from all over, and in my favorite UGG shoes, I was taken aback to realize I’m living my ultimate dream.

There is something so humbling about sitting in my UGG Scuff shoes, journaling about all the things I’ve done, and reflecting on how all this has happened simply because I allowed it to. From my Scuffs, to my orange journal, to my Rembrandt book that I’ve turned into a coloring book, there are few things that come with me wherever I go, but each one holds a special feeling and reminds me of home while I am so far far away.

There are just some things that can bring that sense of home with you wherever you go. Knowing that I was going to need this feeling of home throughout my travels, I super last minute, like 2-days-before-I-left-for-my-trip-last-minute, ordered a brand new pair UGG Scuffs from Zappos. As a last minute planner I turn to a select few companies to quickly get me the things I need for my trips. For years Zappos has been one of my go-to’s. Within 24 hours I had my UGG Scuffs as expected because Zappos promises - fast, free shipping, a 365-day return policy, and world class customer service.

I talk a lot about being grateful for everything in our lives, and sometimes that means being grateful for actual things. Unpacking these few items always puts a smile on my face, but actually using my journal, wearing my Scuffs, and just relaxing wherever I am is when I find myself the most grateful because I know the adventure is far from over.

Don’t let the fear of missing home, being away from your loved ones, or not having the comforts you are used to hold you back from living out your wanderlust dreams. Remember tomorrow will always be a day away. If there is anything I’ve learned, it is that something as simple as a pair of UGG Scuffs, an empty book waiting to be filled with your thoughts, and a few favorite articles of clothing can make any place feel like home.

What are somethings that you take with you on your travels to bring that feeling of home with you wherever you go? Let me know in the comment section below!

And if you want to get your own pair of UGG Scuffs - click here!

Now go get to it!

Much Love,


Posted on November 28, 2018 .

Are You Thinking With Your Actual Head Or The Head Between Your Legs?

Ladies and gents lets have an honest convo. 

Many times what our heads, our hearts, and our crotches want are completely different. We say we want one thing, but then act upon other impulses. We claim we want to fall in love, find a significant other, and start building a life with someone. But then life happens. We travel, go on dates, get drunk, and find countless excuses to go on “hoe benders,” and that’s fine. 

However, we need to start claiming our truth, and being honest not just with ourselves, but with the people we meet along these different journeys. Getting naked with Mr. Right Now not Mr. Right is allowed, but you need to let that guy know where your head is at. If you want casual, be honest and say you want casual sex. Don’t claim to be something you’re not, and don’t claim to want something you aren’t ready for, or want right now.

Dating, having sex, and falling in love should be fun, feel good, and open you up in ways you haven’t experienced before. The problem today is that too many people fall into the never ending trap of “the-next-best-thing,” and constantly find themselves searching for something better than the really good thing they have right in front of them. 

We’ve been taught in many western cultures that sex is a bad thing, a taboo, something that shouldn’t be discussed. More people are getting divorced than ever, building a real lasting relationship can feel impossible, and coming to terms with wanting to be with someone, but also have sex with other people is something we aren’t even supposed to think, let alone mention out loud. But the thing is what we’ve been taught clearly isn’t working, and we need to reevaluate the antiquated “rules” in which we are supposed to exist in sex and love. 

We need to start opening up about our sexual desires, our wants, and what we think our modern needs are, so that we can start to create new ways to make all these things work together and align. What many of us grew up thinking was normal is no longer normal, and that’s a good thing. So my question to you is - What should be some things we start to be more open to? What are some things we need to start to reevaluating in terms of love and sex? And lastly, how should we be evolving with technology and our greater access to the world as a whole?

Let me know your thoughts, your feelings, and feel free to leave any kind of comment below.

Much Love,


Posted on November 27, 2018 .

Why Experiencing The Internal Inferno Of Heartbreak Will Lead To Your Greatest Creation

There is something scary about falling in love. It means you fall for someone, and that you are no longer mindful of just yourself. It means that someone else has in some way injected themselves into the decisions you make, the plans you plan, and the ideas you start to create about your life. It also means there is the unwanted, yet realistic chance for an end to come crashing down on you like a violent tsunami that has no care for what it wipes out.

Every ending is simply a beginning in disguise. Romantically this is not only a hard pill to swallow, but one that feels like it’s lodged in the back of your throat with no intentions of being fully digested. Endings are excruciating reminders that we have failed. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

When a relationship ends you are left with a hole in your heart. You forfeit your plans with someone else and the future you started to create. It’s one of the hardest things to do. To end your ties, your entanglement, your bond with someone else. And it’s not just someone else, it’s someone you’ve grown to love, your best friend. Someone who has planted a seed in your heart that blossomed into a forest within your soul. Trees of lessons, of memories, of specific moments in time. 

And that is why it hurts so badly when you, for your own reasons, feel forced to burn that forest down. To feel its magnitude crumble and its beauty fade. The withering from the inside out that feels like a piece of you has been ripped from the ground that is your grounded being.

At first it feels like nothing will ever allow fresh soil to emerge from the torturous inferno that you’ve created inside. Fire ripping apart what photosynthesis created within that forest of your love. You’re left longing, wanting, constantly questioning. But because you are made of water, you are able to extinguish the fire that burns so deep with tears that come more often than you can understand. And through more time than you often want, but later realize you needed, you are able to see the beginnings of lichen emerge. It’s not just chemistry, but a type of biochemistry as fire synthesizes its surroundings to create something new.

And just like that a symbiosis signifies the emergence of your heart being healed. Slowly the fire that felt like it was wrecking havoc on your being shows itself to actually be the forced adaptation your soul’s journey needed in the survivor’s quest for love. For we start to understand that love is not something we have to have to survive, but rather something we yearn for as beings with the desire to share life with others. A way to be in a world outside of ourselves that makes it feel less daunting, crazy, and immense. 

As you find your inner light again, you are able to create the beginnings of a new forest that doesn’t rely on the seedlings of someone else. It welcomes new fauna and flora as you create a world of exotic foliage that is more colorful and wild than anything you can imagine, but exists because of the sun that shines within. Your light, the one that burns so bright. That at one moment in time could ignite a fire so strong that it felt as if you turned on yourself. 

And because you’ve adapted with an evolutionary process that is far more advanced than how you went into your past relationships, your world doesn’t revolve around the infatuation of love. Instead you understand it’s about the joy that comes when you meet someone else who’s stare sends you not into the pits of your being, but rockets you into the starry night sky. An dazzling wonder where lights are fading all around you, yet you feel the universe’s infinite eternity. Your mind left to dance weightlessly understanding that you had to destroy everything to find yourself higher than you can imagine

You may have yet to realize the process that must occur to get to this point. Or you may feel stuck in the inferno where everything is full of smoke and nothing appears quite clear. No matter where you stand in this present moment my darling, know that when you are ready, truly ready, the magic and science of your own being will show you the process of rebuilding a planet, and creating a new world.

For we aren’t all just stardust. We are entire planets of elements and electricity combusting to make sense of the other billions of worlds around us. So keep making mistakes, keep sharing your soul, keep letting love guide you because eventually you will find that you’ve built not just a forest, but an entire world of wisdom and knowledge that puts fires out before they kindle into what feels like an apocalyptic heart break. 

The only thing guaranteed in life is that eventually it will come to an end. So do not be afraid to give life to something new because your planet is far more resilient then you can fully understand in this moment. And when you do meet your match, your planetary mate, you will appreciate all the seeds that had been planted before that much more. For they made it possible to get this moment when saying, “I love you,” comes from a place within you that you never knew existed. When sitting and doing nothing next to someone makes time pause in the sweetest sensation. Where you exist and live all at once, and you’re not afraid of what lies ahead, but beyond ready to feel the future in every way. Where you feel not a burning passion of lusty desires, but a quiet, kind, and loving love that keeps you calm and excites you in every way. Where you stand up for yourself because you are standing up for the us you’ve found yourself apart of.

So wherever you find yourself in this evolutionary metamorphosis know it will keep going. It will keep going until you’ve given yourself the real love you needed to find within, and the work you had to tend to in order to have that chance moment when two atoms collide and a brand new world is created.

How amazing it all is! But more than anything, remember how amazing and resilient you are in this stroke of luck that allowed your planet to thrive and survive in this galactic way.

If you’ve loved and lost, or if you’re in love, feel free to share these words, so that we all may feel the love that flows through our shared experiences.

Much Love,


Posted on November 20, 2018 .

Why The Future Needs To Be Female


To repeat the same action over and over and expect a different result is the definition of insanity. At least it’s my definition. Well, America it finally looks like we are coming out of our insanity haze.

As we emotionally emerge out of a huge midterm election in the United States, it fills me with so much power, humility, and excitement to say that for the first time ever more than 100 women were elected to the United States House of Representatives. 

And today more and more women continue to make history as we watch red seats flip blue and women be named victorious in elections country wide. It truly is a momentous day for American politics, and one that will be marked in the HERstory books forever.

Now more than ever little girls of all backgrounds will have someone to look up to, and think “hey, I can do it too!” What a powerful thought, feeling, experience, and more than anything real life occurrence.


While I may not be female, I am in many ways someone who identifies with many of the struggles women have to endure. I’ve experienced my own MeToo problems within my profession. I’ve had to fight to be seen and heard as someone who identifies within a marginalized group of people. I’ve been objectified, ridiculed, and harassed because of who I am. So for me these wins feel somewhat like my own as well. Even I am left feeling like, “hey, I can do it too,” and for that reason and many many others I must congratulate all the outliers that won today.

It’s been proven through world history that countries with women leaders do better on almost all fronts, and while I can’t say this for fact, I largely believe it’s because women tend to think with their heads, and not engage in some macho cock contest. The more women get a seat at the table, the more likely we are to watch humanity take a lead over power and greed. I don’t know about you, but I find this really fucking exciting.

If you carefully look back in history, women held leadership roles that were often linked to positive world development. That is until the church began to force people into a state of submission and fear, and pushed men into a state of power that was derived out of that same submission and fear. Thus, this is what we’ve known and how we have been governed. To this day remains this type of authority exists and leads to enormous worldwide problems.

Yes, we have a long way to go, but if today is any indication of what the future holds, it is that the future isn’t just female, but full of change, changer makers, and rule breakers. So buckle up, and continue to engage and resist because together we can make the differences we want to see.

Beyond heart happy today! 

How are you feeling? Let me know! I truly want to hear and feel the power of today from all of you!

Posted on November 7, 2018 .

Your Freedom is Bullshit

As we embark on what feels like the the eve of the most important midterm election day in the USA conversations around protecting our freedom run rampant. However, the more I have conversations about freedom, the more I am left wondering, are we actually free?

As a country, we, in the USA, often compare ourselves to other countries like Russia, China, North Korea, and many others all over the world with an all too common distaste, and many times self appoint ourselves on a pedestal above them. Yet, when we really think about what freedom means, I’m left perplexed at the actual idea of freedom in America.

We have some form of freedom of speech, yet as we continue to watch our democracy be challenged over and over, this concept seems to be rather confined within a certain restriction of what we deem to be appropriate. And it’s not just one side that seems to be sitting on a holier than thou platform, as if one is allowed to do whatever they please and the other isn’t.

Don’t get me wrong. I am 100% against any speech that is hateful, dehumanizing, seeks to spread malicious falsehoods or incites violence. However, our speech is no way free.

If you challenge the government you are put on a watch list. Journalists liberty to tackle any given subject is tightly bound by corporate and ideological redlines. If you write, speak, or promote your beliefs, you come under fire, almost instantly, from a number of groups drooling with rage waiting to pounce on you. 

Even this simple examination of what freedom means in the US will undoubtedly come under fire from many, but hey, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. And in some ways that is what we like to believe, and part of what our freedom is based on: our ability to have an opinion and do something about it.



Yes, we all get to have an opinion. But the truth of the matter is not everyone’s matters, regardless of how much we are fed to believe this. Ultimately this is how we end up with systems where the majority of a population vote for something or someone, and yet we are left with a dangerous minority leader in power.

However, this is how things have been done forever, when one side favorably gets what they want, the other is supposed to just shut up and do as they are told. The check and balance of power is barely maintained, and then poof, here we are.

Beyond freedom of speech, we like to think we are free because we have the right to vote and elect our government officials into office, but even this is a game that today we are all too aware of being controlled by a small group of people, and an agenda to promote the richest of rich.

Yes, we are seeing more and more change occur in many elections. Red states flipping blue, and blue states flipping red. More LGBTQ elected officials, and more minority demographics coming out to vote. However, more often than not, we are left with candidates that are playing games to simply get elected. They don’t actually stand for what they spew, and once in office the actual politics of it all come into play even more than a strategy game of Risk.

We think we can decide so much for ourselves, but the media and big corporations tell us what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. We are fed nonstop advertising in some form for every aspect of our lives, and as social media becomes an ever-growing powerhouse of a channel to be fed anything and everything, this phenomena only continues to grow. As talks of privacy on the internet come under fire, it’s beyond clear that certain big businesses like Amazon are fighting with us, the people, but only because so much of their business stems on counterfeit products. Thus the lack of personal privacy laws on the internet allows the company to get away with its shady practices, and ultimately, how the company’s CEO overnight becomes one of the richest men in the world thanks to loopholes built into our tax laws.

Gerrymandering, foreign interference, and countless fake news stories are pumped into our “free” world, and before you know it, we are fed a notion of freedom that actually is anything but that.

So how we do we change this? How do we actually gain our freedom? How do we stop the insanity of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result?

We vote. 

I know after reading all of this it almost feels hopeless, but the thing is, it’s more hopeless not to vote. Its more hopeless to lay down and surrender in the darkest hour and simply give up.

If you want to see real freedom exist then you must vote. If you truly want full control over your body, and what happens to it then you must vote. If you want to be able to continue to fix a broken system then you must vote. If you want to be better than what you see around you then you must vote. It’s that simple.

While who you vote to is entirely up to you, it’s simply not enough to say you don’t like either candidate, or they both have done things wrong, so you are sitting this one out. Nope, sorry, not an option anymore. 

We are sitting in the middle of a technological civil war, and it’s not enough to throw your hands up and say, “I don’t get it, I don’t have time to figure it out.” Sooner than later, you won’t be allowed to even try and figure it out. Furthermore, to cherrypick what you like and don’t like about a candidate, now more than ever, is beyond unacceptable. You either get the whole package, or no none of it.

So what everything ultimately comes down to is you. Your thoughts, your beliefs, your concepts of what is right and what is wrong. While I know I often speak to a certain audience, I hope this piece somehow makes its way to some new eyes, some new minds, some new people. Sometimes you just need to hear something different, or have your views challenged, the same way I had my notion of freedom recently challenged because it wakes you the fuck up.

While no one can force anyone to vote, or to vote for someone specifically, I can encourage you to think about the world you would want your children to live in. Think about a world where you are in need of humanity because something that you never imagined happened to you and your family, and just like that your entire thought system changed.

Hate is something that is learned, breed, and passed down, but so is love, resistance, and strength, so while many argue on what is hate and what is love, my last challenge to you is what is your fear, and where does it come from? When you can tap deep into the most uncomfortable part of yourself to answer this question, you will often find answers to things you never imagined. So as you walk up to the polls tomorrow think about the fear you have, but don’t let it be what guides you in your own personal journey for betterment, growth, and change. Let it be the thing you acknowledge and look to push pass because that is where freedom starts.

Posted on November 5, 2018 .

What Would Happen If You Stopped Beating Yourself Up?

What would happen if today you actually stopped beating yourself up, and treated yourself how you should be treated? Not because you suddenly have a brand new mindset, but because you are tired of being your own worst enemy, and realize putting yourself down isn’t actually making any changes.

What would happen if you stood in front of the mirror this morning, said hello gorgeous, and meant it? Not because you suddenly look differently, but because you finally realized there is no point in beating yourself up over the things that you can’t change in this very moment.

What would happen if you actually found a reason to be excited to go to work today? Not because you suddenly have a new job, but because you remember you are lucky to have a job in this economy, and that for better or worse, it’s where you are spending majority of your time, so you might as well find a reason to look forward to doing the work you’ve chosen to do.

What would happen if today you actually allowed yourself to eat healthy and enjoyed nourishing your body? Not because you suddenly stopped liking all the junk food and your tastebuds have changed, but because you realize this type of food will actually make your body, mind, and soul feel better.

What would happen if you didn’t just go through the motions of the day, but found reasons to be grateful you are alive? Not because you are dying, but because you remember how lucky you are to be alive.

What would happen if you allowed yourself to workout for at least 15 minutes today? Not because you suddenly love to, but because you know this will improve your overall health and well-being. 

What would happen if you went to bed not dreading waking up in the morning, but excited to have another day to live your life? 

Too many of us wake up and are not pumped for the day ahead because we have gotten stuck in a life we are not pumped to fully live in. Rather then thrive, we just start to exist. We follow the motions of getting ready, eating, or a lot of the time, not eating breakfast, and then going to work. Then we work work work at a job we aren’t completely satisfied with, and count the hours till lunch when we get to escape, or too often, eat at our desks. Then we go back to work work work, and just when we can no longer bare it, we realize it’s almost time to go home. We’ll dick around for an hour or two on the computer, so it looks like we are working, and then the time comes when its acceptable to leave, so we rush to get the f out of the office and into the real world. However, that only last for a few minutes before we are forced to sit on subways or in traffic to make it back home, which no longer feels like an oasis, but another place to just exist. We crash, turn into zombies that eat junk, watch crap TV, come up with excuses as to why we don’t need to workout, and fully become a shell of a being. We fall into a black hole of existence, and subconsciously black out all of our problems. Then before we know it, it’s time to go to bed, which means we become hyper aware that tomorrow is another day, we have to wake up at an hour we do not want to rise at, and go back to doing a job we aren’t passionate about doing.


Because somewhere along our journey’s someone told us this was normal. Many of us saw our parents live this way, or we simply fell into a slump, and just accepted it.

Maybe it was slow and gradual, or maybe you found yourself in a giant crisis, during which it felt like everything imploded on you and your being. Honestly, it doesn’t matter how you’ve gotten here, all that matters is that you at least understand that you are here, and that this needs to change. You don’t need to change everything in your life suddenly to stop this destructive behavior that I call “existing zombie.” However, you do need to start somewhere, and the easiest place to start, is with your own mind.

Again, I fully understand that this is easier said then done, but the thing is, it needs to be done, and a few small changes will lead to a lot of big changes before you know it. And if you can’t change all the external forces that are making you one of these existing zombies, which I’m sure you are telling yourself right now, then the easiest thing to do is to change yourself.

By simply taking stock in the things you do have, rather than the things you don’t have, you will quickly see you have everything you need. Yes, maybe you don’t have all the money you want, all the clothes, trips, and whatever else we get hung up on, but you probably do have so many things that many other humans would kill for. Things like an able capable body that can move without medical assistance, two arms that are functioning, two legs that are functioning, eyes that see, a body that can breathe on its own, and ears that hear. And if you don’t have all of these things, you still have majority of them, which is still super fucking lucky.

If this doesn’t make you stop and think, “fuck, I am lucky,” then what about having a safe, clean, dry, warm place to sleep at night. How about having access to food whenever you want it, or clean drinking water, or a shower? I know these things don’t feel like much because you’ve probably had them for a long time, but that’s the thing, when we reflect on all that we have, we realize the rest is all bullshit, and these things are actually not give-ins for everyone in life.

Yes, you’ve been programmed to think you need the coolest, the latest, the newest, but it’s not true. You don’t need any of that. What you need, you have. What you want is another story, and fully up to you. Additionally the more we let go of the wants, the more we leave space in our lives for the things that truly matter like gratitude, community, and altruism. The less stuff we acquire, the more space we have to explore mentally and physically. The more we appreciate those around us, the less likely we are to feel the need to escape to a fantasy we’ve created about someone we lust after via social media, or some other random channel.

I know to some of you, this may all seem obvious, and to others it may seem rather hippy dippy, but there is a reason you’ve read this far, and why you came to my blog in the first place. Maybe it was curiosity. Maybe it was my image. Maybe you accidentally hit a button that took you here. Whatever the reason, you are here, so all I ask you in this moment is to simply stop, take a breath, and say 5 things you are grateful for. If you roll your eyes, and think I don’t want to, then you my friend are the person that needs this even more than others because you are running from yourself, your life, your mind, and this is not healthy..

I promise life doesn’t have to continue to be this way, and it won’t. You just have to chose to keep pushing to find the light. It won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it.

Besides what’s the worst thing that could happen? You end up in a more peaceful, happier, and gracious place then you are in now. That’s the worst thing that could happen, so don’t even try to go down the negative rabbit hole of what ifs because what you are forgetting is there is all the beautiful what ifs waiting for you on the other side.

So, what would happen if you stopped beating yourself up today?

Feel free to leave your doubts, your fears, your secrets below, and together we will get through this. It truly is one day at a time.

Much Love,


Posted on October 24, 2018 .


Dear Boys,

Be a man they will say. 

Let me tell you what this means.

Be kind. Be respectful. Be open. Learn to communicate. Don’t be afraid to cry. Don’t be afraid to be afraid. Don’t lash out. Don’t think being mean is cool. Don’t think being cool is important. 
Be open. Don’t feel like you have to hold everything in. Don’t think you have to go through all your problems alone. Don’t act like everything is ok if everything is not ok. Don’t hurt yourself. Don’t hurt others.

Be strong. But not just physically strong, be emotionally and spiritually strong. Don’t worry about having a six pack and muscles that hold no purpose except to look a certain way. Don’t focus solely on your exterior. Don’t think you have to play sports that hurt your brain and your body to prove that you are strong. Don’t get lost in sports. It’s ok to feel lost. Ask for help.

Be fluid. Don’t think you have to prescribe to labels. Don’t be afraid to hug your friends. Don’t be afraid to give your dad a kiss on the check. Don’t think that being gay makes you less than. Don’t think showing love to others makes you weak. Show love always. Wear whatever colors you want. Grow your hair long. Wear makeup. Express yourself fully without limitations. 

Be polite. Hold the door open for others. Say please and thank you. Remember to put the seat down. Use your words to express how you feel, not your fists. Use your brain. Admit when you are wrong. Speak up when you see something you don’t agree with. Stand up for others. 
Be humble. Don’t be proud. Don’t let pride guide you. Don’t let your ego get in the way of making smart choices. Be honored by second place. Be honored you got to play at all. Understand your privilege. Use it with grace and compassion.

Follow the law. Don’t touch anyone who hasn’t given you permission. Don’t speed. Buckle your seatbelt. Respect women’s bodies. Respect other men’s bodies. Respect your body. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t drink too much. Remember your choices will have consequences. Think before you act. Think before you do anything. Be smart.

Boys we can no longer just be boys. Men it’s time we stood up and said NO MORE to other men.

What is something you’ve felt has been pushed on you by society, your family, or other external forces that don’t align with who we should be?

Posted on October 22, 2018 .

12 Pro Ways To Travel On A Budget

As someone who has picked up and traveled the world for months at a time, many times, I’ve come up with a few life hacks to make my travel experiences more sustainable, cheaper, and in many ways, more of an adventure. I’m all for living a high-low experience, but there are just some things I refuse to waste my money on, especially when there are alternatives that fulfill all my needs.

Below are my top 12 ways to travel cheaper, easier, and like a pro, so that when you are ready to say yes to life, your adventure will be far easier and last longer than you could’ve ever imagined.

1. Travel To Countries that Offer More Bang For Your Buck

The biggest and most important part to traveling is understanding how far your currency goes in other countries. This will completely change what you can do, where you can go, how long you can stay somewhere, and the type of experience you will have.

My first big trip for more than a month was completely unplanned, but after being in South East Asia for 2 weeks, and falling in love with the energy, I knew I couldn’t leave as soon as I had originally expected. The fact that my dollar went even farther than I had realized, and that life was beyond affordable, made the decision to miss my flight back home even easier. 

Being able to spend $5 dollars a night on accommodation that was safe, clean, and offered me everything I needed made this decision even easier. Being able to spend $1-$2 on food that was delicious and nutritious made this decision even easier. The fact that I met incredible people who were also traveling on a budget made the decision even easier. 

Traveling through a country like Turkey, I was shocked at how much the dollar was worth, and how affordable life was in general for the local people. I had not planned on coming here either, but after learning these things, I quickly extended my trip, and did two weeks in Turkey instead of just a few days.

Looking into exchange rates, the standard cost of things like food and accommodation, and not being dead set on going to a specific place at a certain time, will allow you to travel and see things you thought you would never see.

Never let money be an excuse as to why you cannot travel.

2. Travel To Countries Off Season

My second big tip to make your travels more affordable is to travel to countries off season. This one may sound like an obvious tip, but for many people, they often think about traveling to places only during high season because of weather, time off, or many other variables. Something I like to remind people is seasons vary in many ways between different countries, so don’t get stuck on what you think the weather will be somewhere.

While traveling through South East Asia, I unknowingly traveled during rainy season, which meant that it rained for a few hours some days, if at all, and then would clear up and become gorgeous out. Yes, this can be a bit risky, but I had an incredible time, had amazing weather, and was able to treat myself to experiences that would’ve cost triple the price had it been high season. You can literally find deals on incredible places that normally go for $250 a night for as low as $30 a night.

I actually splurged once and spent $70 a night on a private little bungalow on Coral Island in Thailand. I wanted to experience the island without all the crazy tourists, and the only way to stay on the island past 5 pm is to rent a room, which I could’ve done for as low as $20 a night had I not treated myself to a beach front view. I almost never treat myself, but I said fuck it, and gave myself this present, which turned out to be incredible because from 5 pm until 11 am the next day, I basically had an entire island to myself to read, do yoga, and enjoy an incredible sunset and sunrise.

Weather can definitely make or break a trip, so do a little research when traveling during different seasons.

3. Stay In Hostels

I know this can sound super scary, gross, or undesirable to many travelers, especially ones who have never stayed in a hostel before. However, once you pop your hostel virginity, you actually find they are super fun, a great place to meet people, and offer beyond affordable ways to stay in cities, beach towns, and cute country areas all over the world.

I’ve literally paid anywhere from $4 (in Cambodia) to $22 (in Turkey) to stay for one night while traveling. The amount of money you save while staying in a hostel will allow your trip to last far longer than if you are staying in a hotel or other type of accommodation. To really add bang to you buck, many hostels will include a meal, often breakfast, with your stay. 

Apps like Hostel World make it beyond easy to see what you are getting for your money, where you are staying, and what other type of experience you will have while staying at each specific hostel. As I’ve gotten a little older, I’ve definitely found myself not looking to share a room with 14 people, although this can be super fun, so I usually look for a room that sleeps no more than 4, and places that have social common areas, but aren’t driven by late night parties and loud music.

More than anything hostels offer an experience that you won’t find while staying at a hotel or at an Airbnb because you are basically guaranteed to meet other travelers, which for me, as a solo traveler, is the biggest reason I chose to stay in a hostel when traveling to a new city. Having interesting conversations, meeting people of all ages from all over the world, and making friends like your back in elementary school will add an incredible amount of value to your travels no matter where you end up.

4. Travel Light

Not only will traveling light make physically moving from place to place far easier, but it will also allow you space to grow as you travel.

The amount of times I’ve thought I packed light only to realize I’ve brought way too much stuff is pretty much 100% of the time. There is nothing more annoying than shlepping around a bunch of stuff you don’t even use in the end, so what I encourage is to pack, and then cut half of what you have, especially if traveling to countries that are big on the export game when it comes to material goods like clothes and shoes. Remember that just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s something you need, or that it is being made fairly or sustainably, so still be mindful of this when traveling to countries like China, Turkey, and Cambodia. 

Traveling light also makes flying cheaper as you’re not paying extra for multiple checked bags. I can’t fully explain how freeing it is to move without a wheeler bag dragging behind you. I highly encourage getting a big ole backpack from a company like Osprey, which offers lifetime warranties, and can hold way more than you realize.

After hiking / camping for 45 days on the PCT, I realized how little I truly need on a daily basis, so don’t be afraid to travel with a lot less than you think you may need.

5. Barter, Bargain, And Ask For A Better Price

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve saved money because I simply asked for a better deal. Companies, hotels, and businesses need you to spend your money, and often that means they don’t mind cutting a little off, so that you still spend some.

Of course there is a time and place for everything. You can’t walk into a department store and expect the sales person to cut the cost of your items in half, but more times than not, you can get 10% off in even regular stores. If you are a student there are countless ways to save money, so don’t be afraid to ask if there is a student discount when buying your ticket to a museum or even shopping in regular clothing stores.

Additionally, there are often local prices and travelers prices. 

Don’t be afraid to call it out when you feel like you are being ripped off or taking advantage of. Often times the locals aren’t even being rude or difficult, it’s just that they know they can do this, so they do. I’m all for paying fair prices, supporting local businesses, and spending my money on local goods and services, but that doesn’t mean we have to pay more than someone else for the same thing.

If you are staying at a hostel, hotel, or Airbnb for a week there is often a discount that you can get simply by asking.

I know to some it sounds entitled to ask for a deal or discount, but you never get what you don’t ask for, so don’t be afraid to ask. The worst thing that can happen is someone says no, but again, I can’t stress how many times you will hear yes. People like to help, and if you don’t tell them you need their help, there is no way for them to know you need it.

So speak up and ask away.

6. Eat Like A Local

You wouldn’t eat out every meal when you are at home, so why do it while you are traveling?

Everything from eating the street food, which I have never had a problem with anywhere in the world, except in my own beloved NYC, to buying groceries and cooking at your hotel, hostel, or homestay with allow you to save so much money. Get adventurous, think of it like a game, and ask locals where they go for amazing cheap food. Pick one or two spots that you are dying to try, and let yourself enjoy, but don’t get hung up on eating at the poshest and fanciest spots. These type of places are usually overrated and often get a lot of their ideas and recipes from smaller more affordable local spots.

I’ve had so many amazing encounters when eating at street carts, chatting up locals to get some ideas about where to eat, and just getting lost in neighborhoods that aren’t on the list of tourists hotspots. 

Lastly, while I am a bit of a foodie, I am someone who travels to places to experience the people and see the rich culture. While that 100% involves eating local cuisine, I can’t stress how much money you will save, if you make smart eating choices. Don’t stress about hitting every trendy restaurant, instead enjoy eating like a local and getting flavors from all aspects of the places you travel to.

7. Create Your Own First Aid Kit / Stay Healthy 

Before I leave for any trip, I make sure that I create my own little first aid kit just incase I get sick. 

There is nothing worse than getting somewhere and not speaking the language, not understanding what packages say, or not being able to get what you need. With that said, many countries have amazing, and sometimes better, options for dealing with specific symptoms than the US does, so don’t be afraid to ask a local pharmacist for help if your body starts to break down while traveling.

Things I always makes sure I have on me when I travel are:

Allergy Medicine

I’m a big fan of Zyrtec D as it totally kicks my allergies fast and effectively, and as someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, I know how annoying they can be. I actually found off brand version of these types of American products in Europe for $5 dollars, so I would suggest hitting up a local pharmacy when traveling abroad.

Charcoal Pills

Any brand will do. I first discovered these when I got Bali Belly, something every traveler will likely get while in Indonesia, and they were magic. These things are bodily gold if your bowels start to fight you, as they will regulate everything in the matter of a few minutes to a few hours. The amount of times I’ve given these to people for the first time to only have them be skeptical to then being blown away at how effective they are is beyond countless. Imodium is also something else I recommend keeping on you, but honestly, I’ve found the charcoal pills to be even more effective. Trust me on this one if nothing else because there is nothing more frustrating than having stomach problems while you’re trying to enjoy your time traveling.


Whether it’s for a small cut, blister, or something totally different, having some form of bandages will come in hand at some point, so make sure to always have a few on you. 

DayQuil / NyQuil

I know this one some people may fight me on, but I swear by these things if I’m starting to feel the slightest bit sick. I will take the standard dosage, chug a ton of water, and then get a big nights sleep. Usually by the next morning I am back on track and feel beyond better. I suggest bringing these with you from the states because you will have a hard time finding something similar when abroad.


Having some sort of painkiller is just smart. As I get older my aches and pains are becoming more of a thing, and Ibuprofen can help in a number of ways.


These are just smart to have always on you, as there is nothing worse than being stuck somewhere having to blow your nose and not being able to. Tissues can often double as toilet paper, a quick bandage, and many other things.

Lip Balm

Mother nature’s elements can be totally unpredictable and vary in big ways in different countries, so make sure to keep some sort of lip balm on you. Whether or not you are someone who uses lip balm on a daily basis, I promise you will be grateful to have it on you at some point will adventuring out in the world.

Hand Cream 

I personally find it super uncomfortable to have dry skin, especially on my hands and feet. Not being able to fix this problem is something I have found myself frustrated by because I simply didn’t keep a little bottle of moisturizer on me, so I highly suggest keeping even just a little tube of lotion on you.

Eye Drops

You don’t want to fuck around with your eyes, so eye drops are a smart thing to have. You may not need these your whole trip, but more often than not, you most likely will, so save yourself the discomfort, and have them in your first aid kit. 

These are the major things I suggest having on you at all times, and do not take up a lot of space; however, there are definitely other things you will personally find you are happy to have on you while traveling and feeling below the weather.

Overall, you want to treat your body like the temple it is, especially when traveling because you will often find yourself not sleeping normal hours, sleeping lighter as you adjust to different time zones and different beds, and not exercising like you do when back home. Make sure you drink a lot of water and avoid other types of beverages. This will also save you money. Eat healthy and nutritious foods, and stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing.

I’ve found all these things save me a lot of wasted time and wasted money when I am traveling. Be prepared and keep your body a priority, so that you can continue your travels smoother, cheaper, and for longer periods of time. 

8. Take Local Transportation / Walk

Whether you are traveling in NYC or in Tanzania, taking local transportation usually ends up being far cheaper when getting around. A subway ride in NYC is now about $3, and will usually get you to your destination in half the time than a cab or uber, which cost far more especially during rush hours. The same is true of most public transportation systems around the world. 

If a country has a metro system than I highly encourage learning and using the system, which is often quite easy to do, and if for some reason you end up confused or lost, as I have many times, all you have to do is ask one of the locals around you for help. Most people have no problem giving you directions, pointing you in the right way, or even walking with you to where you need to go to make sure you are back on track. 

Walking is an obvious way to save money, but I’m always shocked at how many people avoid walking when in new places because they are worried about getting lost. Walking is a fantastic way to find hidden treasures, see amazing things, and save a ton of money. One of my favorite ways to acclimate to a new place is to put on my running shoes, go for a run, and get lost. You can easily backtrack your steps, or turn on google maps whenever you decide it’s time to head back to where you are staying.

I also highly suggest finding out if a country has public transportation to and from whatever airport you are using, as these rides will almost always be the ones you save the most money on. A ride on the public bus from Istanbul to the Airport is 18 Lira or about $1.50, but a taxi can cost you anywhere from $15 dollars and up depending on where you are coming from. 

Not only will you save a ton of money using these systems, but you will also get more of a local experience as you ride in a Matatu, a crowded bus with 30 Kenyan men and women, or sit on a tram in Amsterdam. There is something very humbling about being amongst the local people, and the interactions you find yourself having will sit with you forever, and make a lasting positive impression on you.

9. Get a Local SIM card

While many service providers now a days have international plans or a set amount that you can use your phone while abroad, you will actually save a ton of money by buying a local SIM card. You can find these at local service providers while in the airport, and usually close to where you are staying. You will spend closer to $20 dollars for a week of using your phone instead of $70, and more often than not, I am able to go even longer than I realize with the local data I end up buying.

I switched over to Verizon from Sprint in the US because I wanted to be able to easily switch out SIM cards, and Verizon keeps their phones unlocked, so before you travel abroad look into if your phone is locked or not. 

Another pro tip is to freeze your service while traveling abroad, which is super easy to do and will save you a lot of money, especially if traveling for longer periods of time.

It is inevitable that you will be using your phone, so make it work with your budget not against it.

10. Say Hello To New People / Make Local Friends

Whenever I get to a new place, I find myself slightly overwhelmed because everything is new, and as I’ve said before, I don’t do a ton of planning. However, something I always force myself to do is suck up my pride, nerves, and fear, and say hello to new people. Whether it is strangers in my hostel, who are also traveling, or locals at a bar or cafe, I fore myself to say hello, and ultimately make new friends because this is where you will always find the most value out of your travels.

Not only will you walk away with incredible new friends, fresh perspectives on life, and a ton of new understandings, but you will get the scoop on where you are. Other travelers will often have incredible tips and tricks to save money in whatever place you find yourself in, and locals know all the ins and outs of their home city or town.  

I consider myself an extrovert, I actually scored a 100% extrovert once when I took the Myer Briggs personality test, but I still get shy around new people as we all do. The unknown is scary, but as every experience has shown me, the more I get out of my own way, and do the things that scare me, the more I find everything I was looking for on the other side, so smile and say hello to new people wherever you go. 

11. Wash Your Own Clothes

This is something that most people overlook, but one that saves me time and money everywhere I go. Washing your own clothes whether it be at a local laundromat or in the sink at wherever you are staying will save you money. 

I always travel will a very long piece of sturdy string, it’s actually plastic string I recycled from when I was in Thailand and doing humanitarian work with elephants, so it even has sentimental value attached to it, and makes me smile every time I whip it out to hang my laundry up.

Make sure you carry something like Dr. Bronners natural soap with you, as you can use this for everything from washing your hair and body to doing your laundry with just a small amount of it. I will even use the shampoo or body wash I find in a hotel if I am in a pinch.

Being able to wash anything anywhere is something I have found to be super helpful when traveling all over the world. It’s also super fun to set up a clothing line and dry your clothes in you room when traveling as it adds a touch of home, which is always a comforting feeling.

12. Travel For Longer Amounts of Time

I know this tip sounds like the complete opposite of making your traveling cheaper, but when you give yourself more time to travel, you actually will be able to hit more places at once, which is cheaper than going back home and saving up for your next adventure.

If you follow all the other tips listed here, you will find that traveling in general isn’t as expensive as you may think, which means you can stay away a bit longer. Even if adding just an extra week onto your travel time, you will be able to save so much money on flights, which I have always found to be the most expensive thing when it comes to traveling. 

Side note: You should 100% get yourself a credit card that is linked to one of the big airlines, which will give you miles to fly every time you use it. Be responsible with this credit card, as the last thing you want to do is end up in thousands of dollars in credit card debt. But if we are being honest, when I was 19 years old and studying abroad in Paris, I put myself $5000 in credit card debt. It was an experience I knew I not only wanted, but needed as I have never been outside of the country before, and what better time to be abroad then when you are in school? You actually have far less responsibilities when you study abroad, and the debt I found myself in was definitely stressful at 22 when I was graduating from college, which was stacked on top of my student debt, but after years of hard work and paying it off, I can fully look back and say it was beyond worth every cent. 

Once you get to a new continent travel instantly becomes far less expensive because you are traveling shorter distances. I’ve taken night buses in South East Asia for $5, which means you avoid needing a room for a night and you wake up in a new city. I’ve found a last minute flight from Paris to Stockholm for $0, yes you read that right, $0. All I had to pay was just $14 in taxes. 

The amazing thing is this isn’t rocket science. I by no means am the best traveler or planner. I often wait till a day or two before deciding where to go next, but thanks to apps like Rome2Rio, SkyScanner, and blahblahcar, traveling around the world is made super easy and simple. I highly recommend downloading these apps, they will save you serious money, and keep you wanderlusting far longer than you could ever imagine.

Remember every cent counts, so be flexible, don’t have a super strict plan, and give yourself time. I can’t stress how many people tell me they wish they could do what I do, but the honest truth is, anyone can do what I do. You just have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone, and get creative when it comes to traveling.

I know this lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but for anyone who wants to get the most for their money, travel more, and meet incredible people, these tips will unlock new adventures and set your soul free in ways that will change how you look at the world and yourself. Don’t wait for tomorrow, don’t let money be an excuse, and go, go now because the world is changing faster than we can control it. Our earth is truly a magical place, and the more you see of her, the more you will want to help protect her and our fellow human inhabitants.

Happy exploring my gorgeous human beings. I can’t wait to hear how far you go, and how much you see, so remember to share your tips with me here, and lets keep the adventure going. Anddddddd most importantly, don’t forget to hike your own hike!

Much Love,


Posted on September 30, 2018 .

Mt. Kilimanjaro: Why I Had To Hike To Africa's Highest Point

The dust has settled metaphorically, and physically it has been washed off after a week of one of the most demanding experiences of my life. I’ve said goodbye to all ten of my newly found tribe members, and I am once again left solo in a country that was once foreign, but now holds an incredibly momentous moment in my existence. 

Tanzania is a country I had never thought of traveling to. I had never dreamt of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free standing mountain that stands at 19,341 ft / 5,895 m tall. I didn’t know where it was, how tall it was, or what it would entail, but when a friend mentioned it to me, which then lead me to mention it to another friend, I found myself standing at the base of Africa’s highest point less than 36 hours later.

If you had asked me why I decided to climb one of the world’s largest volcanoes that takes you through 5 different climates in the matter of a few days, I wouldn’t have had an answer for you. To be honest, up until this point right now, while writing this piece, I don’t think I fully knew why I decided to push my body, mind, and soul through one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. What I do know is that I told the universe what I wanted, and it delivered, as it always does, so I said yes to life, and ultimately this adventure.

As I slowly begin to process the incredible feat I have just accomplished, my subconscious thoughts are summiting their way to my consciousness, and my hike’s ultimate purpose is becoming clearer than the cloudless blue skies that I saw at the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. As I often realize, the journeys I find myself on are less about what I see, but who I meet along the way, and this adventure proves no different.

When I quieted the excuses as to why I couldn’t take part in this adventure, and agreed to go on this once in a lifetime experience, I didn’t know any one of the ten human beings that I would end up sharing the next week with. However, as we hiked, ate, slept, and shared a poop tent together, I began to understand why the universe brought me to this transformative mountain, where the element of fire would push me to proliferate a metamorphosis of my ambitions, dreams, and desires. 

Kris, Ben, Jeff, Jon, Emily, Erin, Sierra, Hollis, Dani, and Adam are names that may mean nothing to you, but to me they represent people that will forever be a part of my journey, and who woke me up from a long dream come true. In getting to know these ten extraordinary people, I found myself sharing my story, listening to theirs, and in more ways than they will ever know, discovering truths about myself that I don’t know I would have admitted to myself, if it had not been for our time together.

Each one of these superheroes acted as a mirror; forced me to look deep within myself; and realize that I have recently been coasting in life. Writing this down, and knowing that my intentions are to share this publicly, forces me into a level of accountability that I have not felt in a very long time, and quite frankly, scares me. However, I know I must say this for my own peace of mind, and because I know so many of you will relate to what I am about to say.

I am not as happy as I want to be, or at least I wasn’t.

Over the past few years, I have found myself living out my dream, but I now understand my dream, all dreams should, has evolved, and what I thought I once wanted is not necessarily what I now want. I’ve achieved the dream of living a life that is free of most restrictions and allows me to be beyond independent. I’ve created something from scratch that is purely mine and facilitates a lifestyle I have always wanted. I’ve made incredible friends around the world, who I can say are my family. I’ve done away with false notions of security, and have matured into an adult that understands how insane it is to think we are ever fully secure, especially because of money. Conversely, I have finally found myself in the most comfortable place I have ever been financially, and while it alleviates more stress than I frequently allow myself to process, it’s created a dangerous comfort zone where a lack of growth is present.


As someone who grew up in a family that was evicted from every family home we ever lived in, I say this with complete gratitude and appreciation for the position I now find myself in, because I truly know what it is like on the opposite side. However, Africa as a whole, has been beyond humbling in a way that I could have never imagined. I’ve never been so aware of my own skin color, my privilege, and my gender. I’ve been aware of these things, but Africa has truly pushed me outside of myself to see myself, and further recognize certain things I often don’t have to think about because of where I live, and the privileges that innately are gifted upon someone who is white in a first world country, especially white men. I’ve said this a lot over the past two years, but I think a lot of gay white men forget that we are still white men, and how much privilege comes along with those other two identifiers. Yes, we still have plenty of hate, discrimination, and unjust behavior directed towards us, but I don’t think enough of us understand how much harder it is once you remove the white or male card.

This experience, and seeing everything from the lavish night life of Nairobi to going inside the largest slum in Africa, Kibera, with an incredible local Kenyan woman who lives there with her 6 children, niece and nephew has been beyond humbling, and has facilitated some essential epiphanies. 

I’ve always subconsciously knew I needed to visit Africa, but since my 800 mile hike along the PCT, I’ve felt a conscious burning need to make my way to here. From the expats to the locals, every person I’ve met in Africa has forced me to look deep at my own narrative, and question who I am, who I tell myself I am, and who I want to be. It’s a process I was not fully prepared to marinate in, but one that I know I must move polé polé (slowly slowly in Swahili) through with the utmost intentions as I continue this new decade of life. 

And it is exactly this concept of intention that has become even more profound and prolific in understanding the next step in my life’s plan. I no longer feel like a kid, who has no idea what they want, and where they are going. Yet, I am more aware now than ever that being an adult doesn’t mean the adventures have to stop, and that I have to “grow up.” 

Because what does it even mean to grow up? 

Rather than grow up, I’d rather evolve up, and take what I’ve learned thus far to enhance the next chapter of life. I no longer feel unsure about the things I fundamentally want, and I refuse to apologize for finally finding my confidence in who I am, speaking my truth, and continuing to spread a message of love, peace, and questioning the authority that many of us have been fed when it comes to western culture. Over the past few years, I’ve traveled deeper into the world, and thus my own identity, which means I’ve been forced to question notions surrounding what it means to be gay, or as I now prefer to say, queer, as I believe this is far more encompassing.

For a long time I’ve felt detached from the partying side of gay culture, and after dancing the night away in Madrid at Pride, which was an incredible experience, but reminded me that I’ve outgrown the need to see and be seen. I actually rearranged my travel plans to skip other Prides and festivals as I wanted to experience cities in their truest sense, not for special occasions that are specific to one weekend. This doesn’t mean that I won’t partake in festivities around the world, but it does mean that any sense of fomo I’ve been carrying around since I was a bullied kid, and left out when it came to making Friday night plans, has been exfoliated off of my truest truth. It is a slightly overwhelming feeling, but one that also feels beyond freeing.

I’d rather trade in late nights, circuit parties, and traveling to the same destination over and over with the same gay crowds for my person, who is also ready to venture to other parts of the world, where we will be forced into culture shocks that electrify our souls in the most important of ways. I’d rather trade in another photo of myself on social media for a picture of something else that makes my heart explode with joy and passion, but receives less likes. And as I recognize this in myself, I want it to be clear that I am not judging anyone who wants things differently than me, I’ve just finally come to feel ready, truly ready, more than I’ve ever been to be done dating, and find my one and only, and really start my life with someone else. I’m beyond ready to say goodnight to someone every night, and have that someone be the same person. I’m ready to sit in bed and discuss the little things, the big things, and the little things that become big things with my lobster. I’m ready to get married, and maybe be a parent, and give a little bugger a better life than the one I had while growing up. I’m ready to push my mental stimulation, and possibly go back to school, so I can better help the world evolve into the place I know it can be. I’m ready to learn again, and expand my thinking beyond the things I know I know, and find out more of what I don’t know. I’m ready for my 30’s, and what many people I’ve met have explained them to be. 

It’s wild to sit here and write this all down. It’s even more wild to fully process that the ten people on my trip triggered all of this in my thinking because I know they have no idea they have done this to me. It’’s overwhelming to understand these fundamental life shifts, and in many ways know I have to pursue them without any guarantee of achieving these goals, but the idea of working really fucking hard to make them happen is exciting, and if the next 30 years of my life are anything like the past 30 in terms of growth, understanding, and spiritual awakenings than I say, “bring it on.”

In this one week, I’ve seen a grown man in the fetal position look like he was about to die, but push himself to the top of one of the world’s highest peaks because he so badly wanted the “Roof of Africa.” I’ve seen a couple smile and make each other laugh like it was their first time meeting after 12 years together while stuck in a tiny tent and having their bodies betray them. I’ve seen a beautiful woman break free from an addiction she doesn’t have, but has to live with, to find if she is addicted to a love that she knows is unhealthy for her own life’s dreams. I’ve seen sisters share the shirts off their backs to make sure their common goal of reaching new heights and discovering new things about themselves was achieved. I’ve seen a grown man grin from ear to ear because of a heart felt note his beloved gave him to read when he made it to the summit because his girlfriend knew he would, and wanted him to know she wanted to be there for the next adventure. I’ve seen cousins get sicker than sick next to one another, but carry out a family tradition of drinking Sambuca at 19,341 ft in the air to carry out a family tradition. I’ve seen a man hike his own hike and make it to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro on his own because that’s what he needed for his own journey. I’ve seen a 23 year old show maturity and leadership in a way that many people twice his age lack, so that he could be a positive role model and butt of jokes to lift some of the hardships that come from hiking Africa’s highest point. 

In this one week, I’ve seen every struggle I’ve had thus far, and the answers to why we all push our bodies, minds, and souls to new heights even when we don’t know why we are hiking. I’ve seen my past, my present, and my future, and I couldn’t be more grateful to know that life is continuing to be more perfect than I am often aware of. 

To me, Mt. Kilimanjaro was just some random thing that existed in the world before this week. However, as I sit in a barebones hotel room by myself with my laundry hanging up all around me because, as a child that grew up poor, I still can’t bring myself to pay the $10 it would have cost to have someone else do it, I am so supremely aware that I am moving into this next phase of life with more direction than I have ever had. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I found the reminders I will need as I journey through my 30’s while hiking the final 250 meters in elevation, and at my lowest point out of the entire week, a mantra that came out of nowhere and makes more sense than when I first started chanting it to myself, “I can. I am. I will.” I truly know more now than ever that these words will guide me and remind me that I can, I am, and I will achieve whatever I decide to in this next phase. 

If you’ve managed to make it to his final moment than I hope you too remember that you can, you are, and you will do whatever it is you dream of. Just remember it is going to take dedication, persistence, and letting go of every excuse you can think of to make your dreams become your reality. Lastly, to Kris, Ben, Jeff, Jon, Emily, Erin, Sierra, Hollis, Dani, and Adam I can’t thank you all enough for being yourselves and sharing your lowest lows and highest highs with me, it truly was an honor.

Posted on August 28, 2018 .


Perfection was a word I struggled with for a very long time. Growing up as a different type of child, I often strived to be as “perfect” as possible. I was an overachiever academically. I was nationally ranked as a competitive swimmer. I was kind, took part in activities that gave back to different communities, and maintained an exterior that I hoped was pleasing to others.

However, as close as I could get to the idea of perfection, I always felt as if I fell very far from achieving perfection. 

I thought that if I could force myself into being the perfect person, others wouldn’t mind, notice, or care about the things that innately made me very different from my peers. However, as I continued to mature, venture out on my own, and explore my sexuality, and ultimately my self, I began to understand that I could never fit into society’s notion of perfection.

Perfection by definition is universally unobtainable. It is a word that means something different to every person. Thus to ever truly be perfect means you must rid yourself of the idea of perfection, and accept imperfection.

While this seems completely counterintuitive, it actually becomes beyond logical once we break down the language that we use to express this very idea.

When we do this, we give ourselves permission to understand that even when things are “imperfect,” they are actually perfect. Even the word imperfect, when broken down, becomes “I’m perfect.” Right now, I want you to spell the word imperfect out loud.

You can hear yourself saying i-m-p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Now say just the two first letters, and then the rest of the word, i-m-perfect.

Hearing yourself say, “I (a)m perfect,” is an incredibly important thing. It is the first step in understanding that you truly are perfect.

I first fully came to the realization that everything is truly perfect by being imperfect while I was meditating. It was as if all the teaching and readings I had done around “self-help” had collided to gift me with this invaluable understanding. It seemed so obvious, but that is the beauty in life. We truly do have all the answers sitting inside of us. It simply is a matter of accepting that we know this, and gifting ourselves the time to talk to our selves.

To fully embrace imperfections is to fully embrace that you are already, in this present moment, completely perfect. Not just imperfectly perfect, but fundamentally perfect.

Language as a whole is a concoction of words and sounds put together by human beings to formulate meanings to help us make sense of the world, and ultimately ourselves and how we fit into this world. When we begin to deconstruct language, and in many ways the ideas we hold onto about ourselves, we begin to understand that everything is simply a mind game. We hold the power to think of ourselves in a much higher sense of being. We just have to let ourselves do this. 

The idea that you are already perfect may seem ridiculous, scary, or insane, but why?

Probably because someone once a long time ago told you that you weren’t perfect in some way. They probably made a comment in passing that they didn’t think twice about, and then left you with a feeling of imperfection. To make this matter seem even more absurd, this person was probably dealing with their own insecurities around perfection, so it was easier to project their feelings of imperfection onto you.

A prime example of this from my own life is when I was around 11 or 12 years old. My father made a comment about my nose being big. It was a comment that I doubt he thought about again, but it was one that sat with me for years. It made me look into getting a nose job, created an insecurity within myself, and made me dislike a part of physical being that I had no part in creating. 

My nose lets air enter and exit my body. It gives my face character, and it is the nose I have. I could sit here and write negatively about my nose, but by choosing to accept my nose, I am feeding more positivity into my life, literally breathing it in. Additionally, this in return also makes you think of my nose as a positive. It is far more attractive both energetically and physically to speak highly of ourselves. We attract higher vibrations, frequencies, and energies when we do this, rather than when we speak negatively about ourselves or others.

So I must ask…

What would happen if you stopped picking on yourself, and focused that same amount of energy into thinking you are perfect? 

Chances are your whole life would elevate.

Why not allow yourself the opportunity to feel like you are wholly, or to continue our play with language, holy perfect. You do not need to explain yourself to anyone, and you do not owe anyone an explanation as to why you feel holy perfect. This is a feeling that you must manifest for yourself, and then continue to let yourself feel everyday.

It takes work, but anything that is worth having in our lives takes work. We work our bodies out, so that they feel healthy, fit, and strong. Why wouldn’t we do the same to something as powerful as our mind or soul?

By reminding yourself everyday that you are perfect, and allowing imperfection to manifest into perfection, you are freeing yourself from the societal restrictions that are holding you back. After all, the only time we feel imperfect is when we compare ourselves to others. Without comparison there is no perfect or imperfect, there simply is being. To be present in this present moment is to give yourself the ultimate present, being holy perfect.

When you can accept this universal truth, you free yourself in every way. To understand that your life is perfectly how it should be, allows you the opportunity to remove the victimization that is so easy to fall into, and through action, take control so that you may thrive rather than just survive.

Remember to accept your life as perfect is to not say you are done growing. It simply means that you are accepting your unique journey, and where you are right now in life, so that you can feed more love and light into growing and evolving into an even more perfect version of yourself.

Your life is yours to create. Do it with kindness, compassion, and curiosity, so that you may continue to find new and exciting pieces of yourself.

What’s the worse thing that could happen? Your dreams come true?





Posted on August 2, 2018 .

A Response To My MeToo Experience


As hard as the picture is to look at, and as much as I struggled in deciding to share it, I think it’s important to remove as much shame as possible from every piece of this experience, and to paint a picture that is often forgotten. 

I was barely 19 in this picture, yet I think most people would agree that I look closer to 16. I think it's important to state this to consider what was going through the man's mind, who stood behind the camera.

Yes, I was a virgin, whether or not you believe me says more about your own preconceived notions and projections. The way I look, and when I lost my virginity are not directly correlated, especially because I wasn't comfortable in my own skin until well into my 20's. Furthermore, whether or not I was a virgin, this was a sexual experience that was stolen, and that is the larger problem at hand.

Looking at this image now, I see so much fear and anger in my own eyes. It's sad, it's embarrassing, and it's more emotions than I can fully express. I can't help it, but when looking at the images from my first encounters with Day, I'm instantly thrown back to one of my darkest experiences. It's painful, but as an adult I'm learning to find my power and move from victim, to survivor, to change maker. It is important to face our demons head on, and that is partially what this experience is about. 

Over the past few days I've received an incredible amount of support, kindness, and love. I'm forever grateful for this. As I have already mentioned, this has quieted so much fear that I've carried since this experience happened when I was 19. All of you who have sent your support will never know how much this means to me, and to those watching from afar, who have been through similar experiences.

Sadly, the more I've learned to remove the shame from this experience and share my story, the more friends and strangers have shared their own stories of sexual abuse, and this is what breaks my heart more than anything. 

While I've received more support than I could've ever imagined, I've also been criticized for being half-naked in many of my images, for being “strapping” and not “taking control” of the situation, and for being “stronger than” my predator. Many of these comments have come from people, who call themselves "friends" of Day, and who wave a big flag of hypocrisy.

As I refuse to promote negativity, I will not name names, but I have not deleted comments from my posts, and one of these comments was made by someone defending Day in The Advocate's expose, which can be read here: "Exclusive: Top Male Models Accuse Photographer Rick Day of Sexual Assault." 

I will say these comments are hurtful, damaging, and would be extremely dangerous if I had not already dealt with many of these type of interactions already. Furthermore, coming from gay men, who claim to be public figures in our community, I feel that this exemplifies a huge problem within the gay community as a whole. We are quick to cut each other down, especially when we feel personally attached to something, rather than take a moment to think about what could be and offer constructive conversations, ask educational questions, and build each other up. 

I’m ok being criticized. I actually think it's important as it makes us think harder and smarter about life. Hell, I’m ok being sexualized to a certain extent, but what I am not ok with, is being sexually violated.

I’m sharing this picture and response, so that every time you see another picture from this predator you think twice about what went on before, during, and after the shoot took place. We often see one quick moment in time, and forget that life is never one second. This is something I think social media and our culture as a whole often forgets. 

I hope in starting this conversation, we all start to listen longer before jumping to conclusions and attacking other people, especially when it is done behind a screen and directed towards the survivors of these horrible acts.

I'm not here to defend myself. I'm not here to further shame anyone. However, I do want to propose some things to think about.

You want to call this boy strapping? You want to call him stronger than his predator? You want to say you would’ve done something differently? You want to say you've "known someone for yearsssss?" 

I hear you. I understand you. 

But until you are put into this situation, you have no idea how you will respond, especially as a 19 year old, struggling college student, who is working his ass off to pay for his university, and give money to his struggling family. Just because you are friends with someone doesn't mean they aren't capable of acting in this way. 

I gained nothing from this experience. I was not paid for this shoot. I was not paid to come forward. I have nothing to promote, so this is not a PR stunt. This is not even about me. This is about the millions of people, who have had to deal with sexual abuse and/or violence. I’m standing up for every single person who doesn’t have the platform I do, to get the message heard, and who is still afraid to come forward because of the ramifications, fear, shame, and possible messages like the ones I've received. 

In America you are innocent until proven guilty because that is how our system works, but as more come forward, I ask you to think, who do you believe, and what is their to gain from this at all? 

If you do have a story to share, or need a safe place to speak than please feel free to reach out to me, The Model Alliance, or The Anti-Violence Project. 

Posted on July 25, 2018 .

Gillette: Just For You

I want to smile as much as possible throughout my days, and Gillette On Demand's new personalized razors are helping me do just that.


Gillette has rolled out an awesome new feature that lets you create a razor that’s just for you. You can add graphics, personal photos, texts, and more. I don't know about you, but I think this is pretty cool!

When thinking about what I wanted to put on my razor, it was a no-brainer that I'd add my little brother and sister in my favorite place, the beach. They are my everything, and the more I have them in my life the better.

Gillette's personalized razors allow you to make your grooming tools as unique as you are, and feel even more inspired to live the life you want. No man is exactly the same, so the grooming tools he keeps shouldn't be either.

To top it off, this ProShield razor handle is the perfect gift for your boyfriend, husband, dad, brother, uncle, best friend, or truly any human that uses a razor. At $25 with a set of 4 razor cartridges, you won't break the bank either. However, if you decide to sign up for Gillette's recurring subscription service, Gillette On Demand, the customization is free!

Remember it's the little things in life that make us feel things, so why not add a little something special to something you use all the time.

#yourdesignhere #gillettepartner

What Is Healthy Romantic Love?


What is healthy romantic love? How do we define it? Where does it come from? Why do we fall for specific people, and not for others?

For as long as man has told stories, love has been at the center of everything. From great wars, to epic songs, to movies that stay with us forever. Love is the thing that we all long for at the end of the day when the noise of the world quiets, and we are left meditating within our essence’s essence.

While I may still be figuring out all the facets of love, there have been instances when I’ve felt love for someone else in a way that is indescribable. However, I’m going to try and explain it here, so that we may understand love a little better.

Healthy romantic love is listening to your person talk nonstop about their life, their problems, their hopes, and their dreams without wanting to interject your own answers.

Healthy romantic love is your person finishing, and then asking you the same questions.

Healthy romantic love is feeling comfortable enough to open up to your person in a way that you never thought you could, or would know how to.

Healthy romantic love is having your person open up to you in the same way.

Healthy romantic love is watching your person age physically, and knowing you are only going to be more attracted to them as they age because your attraction goes far beyond skin. 

Healthy romantic love is spending an unplanned afternoon together, which turns into the perfect day.

Healthy romantic love is fighting with your person, but knowing wholeheartedly you will get past this because you both want to.

Healthy romantic love doesn’t look at disagreements as fighting, but as a way to approach sensitive topics that have to be dealt with.

Healthy romantic love is watching your person enjoy life, and feeling fuller because they feel full.

Healthy romantic love is showing your person new things.

Healthy romantic love is having your person show you new things.

Healthy romantic love is giving up the last bite of something delicious so that your person can savor it a little longer.

Healthy romantic love is having your person give you the last bite of the meals they have grown to know you love.

Healthy romantic love is understanding that your person may not realize they are your person, so you let them go off into the wild to find whatever it is they are looking for.

Healthy romantic love is knowing they will find their way back to you.

Healthy romantic love is actively communicating when things are both good and bad.

Healthy romantic love is patient, understanding, and kind even when disagreements, tension, and uncomfortableness ensue.

Healthy romantic love is watching your person eat ice cream like they’ve just tasted it for the first time every time, and still finding it incredibly adorable.

Healthy romantic love is knowing that you both need to maintain your friendships, so you alternate hanging out with each other’s friends.

Healthy romantic love is understanding you need time to do things on your own, so sometimes you see your friends alone, go on trips alone, do things alone.

Healthy romantic love is being full of excitement to tell your person about all those things you did alone.

Healthy romantic love is welcoming your person to your friends and family because you want to, not because you are expected to.

Healthy romantic love is being introduced into your person's world because they want to.

Healthy romantic love exercises the body, the mind, and the soul.

Healthy romantic love is knowing your person doesn’t complete you, but makes your world far brighter with them in it.

Healthy romantic love is your person letting you know the feeling is mutual.

Healthy romantic love speaks the truth, so that you both can move upwards, not just forwards.

Healthy romantic love is constantly evolving and growing in a way that works for you and your person, without the boundaries of the rest of the world being worried about.

Healthy romantic love is looking at your person as your partner, not your property.

Healthy romantic love is that feeling when you meet your person, and you know they just met their person as well.

Healthy romantic love knows your person will never be perfect, and you love them even more for it.

Healthy romantic love means your person feels the same way about you.

Healthy romantic love doesn’t involve stressing about when you will see each other because you fundamentally know you both will, and want to.

Healthy romantic love doesn’t play games, take days to return a message, or follows the “rules.”

Healthy romantic love is knowing your person will find other people attractive, but doesn’t let this get the best of you.

Healthy romantic love is your person understanding this goes both ways.

Healthy romantic love involves every single emotion, but always ends with kindness, joy, and peace.

Healthy romantic love is what we all want to and will find at the end of the day because we are taking the steps to work on ourselves right now, so that when this person comes walking into our world, seemingly out of nowhere, we are ready to honor that healthy romantic love.

Remember healthy romantic love is the specific type of love we are looking for, so be specific with your intentions when it comes to finding that kind of love. Remember that you are deserving of an amazing love that shows you parts of yourself you didn’t even know you possessed within your being. Remember healthy romantic love starts within ourselves, and manifests into the world to attract the type of person who will make this healthy romantic love even deeper, fuller, and more beautiful than we can begin to imagine. Remember that healthy romantic love knows no boundaries when it comes to race, religion, sexuality, gender, and a multitude of other things we often get hung up on, so be open to others. You never know, healthy romantic love may be right in front of you right now, but because we’ve gotten hung up on love that wasn’t healthy or romantic, we are often blinded by our egos desire to have something we fundamentally know isn’t good for us.

Ultimately, what healthy romantic love is, is yours to define, so be gracious on your journey, be kind to others, and most importantly spread this kind of love everywhere you go. The more you spread this kind of love, the closer you will be to finding that person, who also spreads this kind of love.

What is something you would add to this list? Let me know in the comment section below. I always love a good love talk.


Posted on June 6, 2018 .

Becoming Jade(d) In New York City

That's not a typo, although I'm sure there are others in here, so just keep reading along. ;)

Sometimes you pour your heart into something. Sometimes that something is actually a someone. 

I’ve been a hopeless romantic my entire life, but when I embarked on creating a blog about fashion I was punched in the stomach with my first heartbreak. I found that the initial things I wanted to speak about felt vapid and superficial, and I couldn’t write about anything other than how I was feeling. I had experienced sadness, loneliness, and confusion before, but the ways in which I was feeling these feelings was different than anything I had known. So I wrote about it. It was my way of working through all of those emotions and feelings, and not only making sense of them, but finding the beauty in them.

I often credit my vulnerability during my first real break up as part of my success initially because it was the first subject I publicly blogged about. I spoke honestly and authentically about a shitty part of life that 99% of us will experience, and I often found a new perspective of hope on the other side of those words.

And I really needed that hope then.

For me writing is cathartic, therapeutic, and helps me to make sense of the things I can’t make sense of otherwise. However, it’s been a while since I shared my heart in this way publicly because while it is cathartic for me, for those that shared those experiences, it has been a difficult thing to read even when the beauty, respect, and honor is found in my writings.

As I go through another battle of heartbreak and breakup, I struggle with wanting to express myself, my feelings, my love and loss. I struggle because in doing so in the past, I've ostracized myself from not only them, but their friends, people who used to be my friends, and social circles.

It has never been my intention to hurt anyone through my writing. My only intention in life is truly to spread love, and that is why when I pour my heart into these particular someones, and we both find ourselves standing solo again, it hurts. It hurts to think that you’re doing this to yourself, but even more so that you’re doing it to them as well. 

However hurt only comes when we let our egos speak for our hearts. Hurt is confusion without definition and sense.

You’d think after years and multiple experiences with breakups, we’d be better at them. To be honest, I am. I’ve gotten better at feeling the cut, but not letting it go as deep. I’ve gotten better at seeing the bright side, but understanding there will be days that just suck, and that is ok. I’ve gotten better at allowing myself to feel lonely, confused, and sad, but not drowning in those emotions.

Even as I sit here writing this at 2:20 am, I feel myself remaining calmer than I ever have at this 2 month marker. I think largely it’s because I’m choosing to focus on myself, my loved ones, and the fact that I will always have love for my past loves. I also think that what feels different about this breakup is that I’m older, wiser, but also honest that I’m still figuring out what it is that I want for myself professionally and personally. I’m being honest that I don’t know where I want to live, what I want to do, and how I want to be, but I am ok with that because as we all learn, life is forever evolving to force us to think about these questions.

So while this may feel like a story of heartache or a breakup, what it actually is, is a reminder to myself, and I hope all of you, that we’re never going to have all the answers. However, what we can know, is that if this is the decision we are making right now, in this moment, than it has to be the right one because it is the one we are making. And accepting is allowing ourselves to acknowledge that while we may not understand everything, we know things are right, simply because they exist in this way. 

In 2013, right when I moved back to NYC after my three years in LA, I went on a date with someone I had lusted after via social media for a while. They turned out to be a really nice human, but it was clear we weren’t vibing in a romantic or sexual way. As our date ended they sat across the table from me and said, “never let New York City make you jaded, and never stop being a hopeless romantic.” I think they felt compelled to say this to me because they were older, and had in many ways felt as if they lost their own hopeless romantic to jadedness. 

Recently I’ve had moments where I’ve felt as if I had in fact become what that beautiful create had warned me of, jaded. However that conversation keeps playing out in my head, and I know it is not by coincidence. 

Ultimately the poetic justice of becoming jaded is that jade, as a stone, stands for balance, purity, and purification. Thus, being jaded and accepting this, we are given the perfect opportunity to rebirth something lost inside of ourselves. Manipulating language has become one of my favorite ways to find freshness in life, and in this scenario, deconstructing jaded to jade, which is it’s true essence, we are able to purify our thoughts back to vibrational frequencies of love and innocence to find that that hopeless romantic never left us at all.

Posted on May 30, 2018 .