Category: Miscellaneous

6 Months of Silence

One of the largest points of self realization that I have come to accept is that I sometimes bite off more than I can chew. What sometimes seems like a minor side project, or a great idea, turns into a time suck that eventually falls by the wayside to be abandoned when priorities change.

At the end of the day, I am not a full time blogger.  Hell, I am not even a part time blogger.  Yes, I have a blog, but not always the time to update it.  Just look at some of my past blog posts.  I was gangbusters for a good 6 months, maybe even 8 months.  Then I had to find a real job in my career field. Read more “6 Months of Silence”

Life Happened

I started this blog with great intentions. A creative outlet, a showcase for some photography, a window into my world. Everything was going swimmingly for the first 6 months of the blog…

And then life happened.

My last update came in August while we were trying to win a Marriott Beach Blogger dream vacation. Suffice to say, we didn’t win, but two of our Team Cocktail friends did! Bittersweet, yes, but glad to see some friends win.   I guess that is either the next best thing to winning, or the worst thing to happen if you lost.  It is a thin, grey line.

Since then, life has been a little crazy:

  • Spent 7 awesome days lounging on the beach in St. Thomas
  • I accepted a new NYC-based job
  • I have spent 6 of the last 9 weeks in Boston, where my company has its HQ and biggest customers
  • Had to learn NYC and Boston mass transit systems
  • Learning the Amtrak service from NYC to Boston and back
  • Spent a week (sick the entire time) in California for some great birthday parties
  • Showed Juliet around Boston for her first time
I know, I know, it is no excuse.  But alas, I have no better one.  I have been so incredibly busy, I still have not processed the photos from our St. Thomas trip (only a few to go! I will finish them today, promise!!).  But alas, there is a silver lining to all of this.

Upcoming Updates

Due to the fact of not blogging for the past 3 months, I have a TON of adventures to update everyone on, complete with photos, recommendations, first time newbie guides and more!  Here is a quick rundown of some upcoming post ideas:

  • How We Escaped Hurricane Irene (and ended up in the islands) – Also known as our St. Thomas getaway
  • The Boston Freedom Trail (and how to experience it for free)
  • Fenway Park
  • My foray into iPhoneography
  • A Boston Must: Samuel Adams Boston Brewery
  • Our First Cruise: The Buildup (and why we are excited)
  • Boston: My new favorite big city
And much more to come, with plenty of photos, so stay tuned!
I will leave you today with a few photos from recent adventures
Hope to see more of you back over here in the coming months for some great updates!

June 8: Relax!

In this series of posts, only a short 8 days in, I have brought up relevant ways for you to take action and get busy living your life.  Most include pushing yourself outside the boundaries of the social norm, outside of your comfort zone.

But what happens when you have an 8a-5p job, a spouse and 2 kids?  5 days a week you come home from work (or are home with the kids all day) and make dinner, take care of the kids, wash dishes and all sorts of other household chores

My guess is adding something like getting lost, spinning the globe, road trips and everything else just seems tedious, too expensive or just not a reality.

I understand.  I have been there.

The last thing you want is something else taking up your hard earned money and your precious little time.  This is just for you.

Once a day, when your day is winding down, instead of moving onto the next “to-do” item, instead of checking those work emails on your Blackberry, put down Twitter, log off Facebook, and do something you probably haven’t done today.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.

Take 30 minutes and just relax, sit on the porch and enjoy the sunset, talk to your spouse, enjoy a cigar, enjoy a glass of wine, just… do nothing.  And LOVE it.

With such a busy life, the 30 minutes should give a good time to just unwind, work through things in your mind, clear your mind even.

So, stop reading my blog, and go relax…

Day 8. Way 8.  Do Nothing. Relax. Unwind. Love it.

Do you take time out to just relax and do NOTHING?

Where is your favorite place to sit, relax and reflect?


rocking chair photo credit

3 Months In: State of the Blog (& it’s…

June 1st kicked off a month long project for me as well as marked the 3 month anniversary of relaunching the Get Busy Livin’ blog with a more focused direction.  I also walked over 10.5 miles around New York City with my nephew who was here in vacation.  Pretty strong start to June, if I do say so myself.

Truth be told, this blog is little more than a labor of love.  I knew that going in, but at the same time, I never knew how much labor it would be.  I am a creative person, to an extent, but also an engineer by trade.  The creative side of me wants to write, design, photograph and share it all with you through the blog.  The engineer in me wants everything to be technically perfect.  The perfect photo, the perfect story, down to the detail.

Trying to find that ideal place known as BALANCE.

Striking a compromise between my details driven engineering brain and my free wheeling creative side has proven to be hard work, but I am inching towards that every single day.  Moving slowly from a perfectly planned out attack, complete with project plan, notes and research, to a seat-of-your-pants attack.  While one might be better for business (or battle), ultimately, I have come a long ways from where I started just 3 short months ago.

In the past 3 months:

  • I embarked upon and completed Epic Road Trip 2011
  • I started doing contract work for customers all over the U.S.
  • I completed my 1st phase of Project 333
  • I have grown my brand to over 400 twitter followers
  • I began playing more with HDR photography
  • I have explored all over NYC
  • I converted to using a MacBook Pro
  • I learned to write as it comes to me, and not to force it
  • I become a huge proponent of travel hacking
  • I lost my uncle
  • I posted 23 articles
  • I had just under 6,000 visitors to my site
  • I am slowly increasing my site traffic
  • I launched a newsletter campaign
  • I started a 31 day project in honor of my 31st birthday

Thank you for coming along with me on my journey as I have grown over the past 3 months.  Been a fun ride so far, definitely looking towards the future.

Trey, Me, Sean and Ron

3 months down, here is to another 30 (minimum).





header photo credit

June 6: Get Lost

In today’s world we are ruled by technology.  Even our vacations and other travels have become ruled by technology. We research vacations online, we book hotels, airfare, rental cars, excursions, all online.  We get to our vacation area, put an address in the GPS Navigation on our phones or in the car and off we go.

Thanks to technology, we now know the shortest, fastest, most efficient way to get from point A to point B.  Typically, that route includes major interstates, highways, thruways and routes.  Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

Besides, with technology now, we don’t need to actually go out and discover the world around us.  Google Earth does that for us.

When we want to find a new restaurant in town, we don’t go find one, we get on Yelp or Foodspotting.

The examples could last for quite some time, but the fact of the matter is we, as a society, myself included, have become far too dependent on technology in our daily lives.  I even know people who use the GPS in their cars to navigate them from their house to the office and back, just so they don’t have to really pay attention to the world around them, they have a computer telling them where to go and where to turn.

For sure, you have to be lost to find a place that can’t be found, elseways everyone would know where it was.

And just when you think you are completely lost, keep going.

See what you find.  See all the new areas you discover.  Maybe you will end up in a neighboring city you had not visited before.  Maybe you will come across a waterfall and river you never knew were there.

Don’t get frustrated you are lost.  Being lost is the point (so long as you aren’t going in circles, then, by all means, be frustrated) of these excursion.  To find new things in the world around you.  To find a new you in the world.  Time to think. Time to dream. Time to enjoy the unknown.

Only when you are good and lost (or find yourself in the ghetto) go ahead and turn on the GPS navigation, get your atlas or map out, and find your way home.

Day 6. Way 6. Get Lost. Find yourself. Or at least find out more about the world around you.

Have you ever found something while lost?

Have you ever gotten lost on purpose?

What is the best restaurant/city/landmark/landscape that you have found when lost?

Share your getting lost stories and photos in the comments below!

Also, props to anyone who can name the movie which I took that quote from, without googling it.

Photo 1 Credit

June 3: Say Hello to a Stranger

Yesterday, we talked about sharing a piece of yourself with others.  Now how about sharing something with a total stranger?

A Stranger is Just Someone You Haven’t Met Yet

Most people are scared.  Talk to a stranger?! For so many years now, a good chunk of American society has fallen prey to sensationalist media.  They watch the nightly news which is 60 minutes long and consists of 20 minutes of commercials, 35 minutes of killings, murders, war, terrorism and rapings, 3 minutes of sports and MAYBE 2 minutes of positive, uplifting, humanitarian stories, if we are lucky.

As I am writing this, the NBA Finals game just finished up and the nightly news came on, here are the top 5 stories:

  • Kid walks into a basketball arena and shoots multiple victims
  • Senator John Edwards being sued for misappropriation of funds surrounding his mistress
  • Shooting rampage in Arizona
  • Multiple robberies and stabbing victims in New York
  • Car crash kills 4 people

Not one uplifting story, not one story of victory, acclaim, humanity, nothing. Oh wait, a funny story that included officers shooting and killing… a concrete statue. Case. And. Point.

Not every stranger is this guy

With all of this filling our heads, it is no wonder that we shelter ourselves from meeting new people to our own self-detriment.  We get self-centered.  We are too busy in our own lives to notice the people and the world around us.  Typically, we want a pre-determined set of characteristics in common with someone else before we strike up conversation.  Our kids know each other.  Were fans of the same sports team. We both ride motorcycles…

What happened to just saying “Hi”?

Just the other day, while waiting at a coffee shop for our coffee, my nephew and I had our cameras on our shoulders, ready to head towards Manhattan for some exploration and shooting, when a fellow customer came in behind us and the 3 of us struck up a 5 minute conversation that covered topics from photography to travel, motorcycles to surfing.  We left the coffee shop with a smile on our faces, a map for some great places to see in Little Italy on the lower east side.

How did this all take place?  He walked in and said “Good mornin’ guys!”

Simple as that.

Day 3. Way 3. Meet a stranger.  Say Hi.  Maybe even smile. You would be surprised the power it holds.

Any good stories of meeting strangers?

Any advice for others on sharing a little hospitality and kindness?

Let me know about your experiences in the comments below!


Photo 1 credit

10 Photos from My Bucket List

Okay, so I haven’t officially posted my bucket list yet, like I have wanted to.  It is coming, trust me. But here are some photographs that attempt to paint the picture of why these places are on my bucket list.

Alaska & Northern Lights
Great Wall of China
Great Barrier Reef
Machu Picchu
Great Pyramids
Vatican City

So, what places are ‘must-see’ on your bucket list?  Let me know in the comments below!

Madlives Photo Credit / Nurburgring Photo Credit / Alaska Photo Credit / Scotland Photo Credit / China Photo Credit / Machu Picchu Photo Credit / Great Barrier Reef Photo Credit / Serengeti Photo Credit / Vatican City Photo Credit / Egypt Photo Credit

2010 – The Year in a Word

Across the blogosphere you will start to see many annual review posts, much like this one.  Some, will take a very different approach in recalling certain events which evoked emotion, while others will bring you a much more traditional approach, bringing you a chronological recap of the year that is past.  To take a cue from fellow blogger John Anyasor, I wanted the inspiration for my annual review to come from a single word.

For me, this year can be summed up in one word.  DEDICATION.

Dedication -n

the act of dedicating or the state of being dedicated

I found myself throughout the year dealing with dedication on many levels, from personal, to professional and everywhere in between.  Now, dedication is somewhat easy for me as I am kind of an all-or-nothing type of person.  I really don’t do (or like to do) anything half-assed.  I put my heart, soul, brain and body into everything I do.  It is that determination which has helped me become successful in my career at a young age.

Maintaining Through Adversity

The last half of my 2009, as well a the beginning of 2010 were definitely marred by a lot of adversity.  After 8+ years with the same company, moving up through the ranks, advancing my career, I was ready for something else.  Different?  Maybe.  I had to find something.  I had to take control of that situation.

I can not abandon my friends and my colleagues. I kept telling myself.

Much time was spent dealing with a project that was handled very poorly from the start by management.  As the engineering lead on the project, I took a lot of the weight and responsibility of the project, along with my boss and my project manager, who are also close friends of mine.  I felt a sense of loyalty to them.  My boss had been by my side, literally and figuratively, for over 8 years. My project manager, 3.   We were in this together, entrenched, fighting the fight.

It was taking its toll on me. Body, mind and soul.  I was working out, eating healthy, doing what I could to make sure I was giving my body the best, but the 8-12 hour days were physically exhausting.  70 miles a day, round trip, coupled with a brutal work day consisting of meetings where I was screamed at, more meetings where I was told I was fucking up, and yet more meetings where we watched the project quadruple in size, but not in budget.  I would spend my days frustrated and dejected.  I would unwind on the drive home, only to realize that I was taking out the left over frustrations on my family.  I became a shell of the person that I was capable of being.  It took me twice as long to do things that would normally be mundane tasks.  I was exhausted.

I stayed the course.  My colleagues, my friends, needed me.  We dedicated ourselves to each other.  We all knew that if one quit, the team would not maintain.  We dedicated ourselves to finishing the project to the best of our abilities.

We never got the chance.

Read more “2010 – The Year in a Word”

The Road Beneath Me

Just yesterday I sat here, staring at the same “new blog” page, trying to get the creative juices flowing, trying to find something to write about other than meaningless babble.  I got to wondering what other blogs I could read for inspiration, possibly, what friends of mine maintained blogs as well.

Thank you to Amanda for the inspiration on this topic, as her blog “Caution, Sharp Turns Ahead!” gave me the necessary kick start to get this blog going.  In her blog, she writes about dealing with what life deals you.  It offers a look back, as well as a look ahead at what life holds in store for her, as well as her perspective on how to attack it.

With that in mind, it really got me thinking about the same.  The horizon ahead of me, as well as the road behind me.  The road ahead has always been easy for me, in the respect that I have always been up for an adventure, up for change, whatever it is, bring it on, I will conquer it. The road behind me offers other topics, but for me has often lent itself to a comparison with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

But those 2 times, the past and the future, represent things that are out of my control.  What about not worrying about then, what about thinking about now? What about that patch of road beneath my feet.

With the daily rat race that most of us find ourselves in, in that eternal pursuit of happiness by way of more money, I have discovered that often the first thing I lose sight of is enjoying what I am doing at that time.  Too many times I find myself consumed by thinking about the future, how I need to plan for it, how I need to prepare for it, or thinking about the past, and what could have been, what might have changed.  The entire time all of this is going on, I am missing out on the most important part of my life, the part I am living in. The now.

I have come across other blogs that hit on this same point, basically the decision to stop living in the past, or preparing for the future and start living in the now. Now, to each person, that means something completely different.  For me, that is relaxing and slowing down to enjoy the view.  Grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting on the patio, enjoying the coffee, not pounding it as I sit in traffic to work.  That is wearing my cologne to go to the store, not only for a special occasion, or using the good dishes, because it is Tuesday, not because we have company over.

Time to start living for today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.