Tag Archives: adventure

I’ve kept it trill: true and real

So here I was, back in my apartment in Boston, hungover, overwhelmingly tired, with no cash, my credit card maxed out and maybe $7  to my name in my checking account. What a bizarre situation. I was ogling my last four cans of black beans, a bag of pasta, and a bottle of ketchup in the pantry. I was certain these food items were ceremoniously awaiting me this whole time to celebrate this special day of finding my new personal low. Doing a little math in my head, I figured that supply could get me through to my next paycheck, so I decided to max out the livin’ in poverty thing and spent my last $7 buying a bottle of 2 buck Chuck and one of those large Foster cans. I kept it trill.

This was back in a transitional period of my young adulthood, when nothing seemed to go my way. I’d guess it was around April 2011. The commonalities that were binding me together at the time were unsteady employment, steady unemployment and a broken heart.

Days before arriving in Boston, my home, I was in the midst of a highly unplanned and strangely thrown together last minute trip to Fort Lauderdale, then LA. Yes, epic indeed. Beaches. Babes. Booze. It was my very own cross-country adventure, from the (non) comforts of an airplane. This journey made little sense financially, since I had about $600 to my name. But fuck it, it felt right at the time. My best friends live in Ft. Lauderdale and LA. This was a good reason to escape the heartache and depression of the past few months and enjoy myself.

ft lauderdale

No money no problems. April 2011

I’ve always lived with a habit of spending money that I don’t have, and always entirely too quickly. So I was ready to have fun. You see, I was raised poor. I moved around a lot. I have an inkling that YOLO was firmly tattooed in my head as a baby, albeit subconsciously. So sure enough, by day 7 of my 10 day vacation, I involuntarily put myself on the Brokens Diet – a special meal plan consisting of Crunchwrap Supremes and McChickens. Anything left over was obviously saved for booze and hookers. Minus the hookers. Either way, we had the time of our life.

laudi nude beach

Found Captain America’s favorite hang out spot – he was rockin’ his USA G-String

While I seriously lack the grownup ability called saving money, I must have a sixth sense for limiting a budget. I started my vacation with $600 in my pocket. 9 days later, I’m on a red-eye back to Boston, not sure I have enough dough to afford the train ride from Logan back to my place. That’s $2.50. I was flying in at 6am with no Brokens backup plan. I figure that’s pretty pathetic from most peoples’ perspective. But that’s why most people are boring. I didn’t care because it would have figured itself out, either way, as life always does.

I did make make it back with a whopping $7 to throw around. I feasted on a dinner of pasta and beans in a jazzed up ketchup sauce, paired with a glass of Charles Shaw Cabernet. And a beer for desert. And I was winning.

Why? Because I always put myself out there. I treasure the story over the money. I’ll thirst for new experiences, unafraid of potential embarrassment or failure. I’ll celebrate life in the midst of craziness. It may come from my upbringing, but it’s my journey, personally and professionally. I value uncomfortable situations because they teach me something. I take incredibly outlandish risks that few seem to understand. And I make mistakes, but I also learn. Isn’t walking down a winding road so much more interesting and fulfilling than trudging along a straight and narrow path? Ultimately, I believe in unconventional wisdom rather than conventional wisdom. And it’s worked out, and it’s quite possibly the reason I am where I am today.

Dylan Shotgun

Drink your beer unconventionally – shotgun it! You my boy, Dylon

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To be honest…

I suppose it’s appropriate to do this on Easter Sunday. There are elements of rebirth in the air, right? Spring-time, squirrels maniacally chasing other squirrels, I’ve spotted a few pairs of jorts… It’s been a year and half since I’ve posted anything on this blog. I guess I got busy. I guess life is what happens when you’re making other plans. Those other plans included a lot of work. And many long days. And equally long nights. Personal and professional. Epic triumphs that overshadow just as many failures, personally and professionally.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday. Rebirth.

I do have something to say now, I think. Over time, folks reading the blog have reached out and asked what I’m up to since dropping out of a Phd program. I didn’t make the time to respond and I’m sorry. Maybe I was waiting for the right moment to write again. 18 months passed by and here we are. I realize that I need to get back into this. This blog is who I am and I need to retrace my steps. It’s my foundation, and it’s not just about who I am, it’s the self-reflection and introspection that I’ve been lacking that’s beckoning to be unearthed and brought back. I realized this week, in rather harsh manner, that there are things in my brain that need to escape, otherwise I’m a deluded prisoner in the solitary confinement of my own thoughts. And that’s not a good place to be. Ultimately, I’m a writer, so I’m gonna write.

Hi my name is Igor and this is from an epic New Year's celebration

Hi my name is Igor and I get into weird situations. This is a New Year’s celebration in Miami.

Also, for those more interested in less of my own BS Psychology (I carry a Psychology degree) and more real world advice, I think I have a story to tell now. I say I think because you see, I’m very unsure about all this. I can’t make promises. It feels weird opening myself up again. I’m gonna take it lightly with the writing, one day or week at a time. I want to see how I feel and I won’t force it. I’m pretty busy these days, bla bla, but I’ll make time. I hate it when people say they are busy. There’s always time to make time for someone or something.

But for anyone expecting IGORoamandreport 1.0? Nope, this blog won’t be the same. I’m not who I was two years ago. Maybe none of us are. Expect the topics I write about to be more random. For starters, I’d like to add some comedy. I like funny. I’m not that bleeding-heart liberal preacher I was back then. Also, going against past convention, screw the squeaky clean shit. Yes, I’m open to cursing, so cover your eight year old’s eyes if they’re reading. Don’t worry, they’re probably too busy watching the Kardashians to read anything worthwhile. I won’t be cursing much because I don’t curse much in real life. But I will, a fucking little bit at least. You see, to me it feels like release. I’m over the politically correct bit. This is my voice. And fortunately, I have more freedoms as an individual to be able to publish this and get away with it. I’ll explain all that later.

Maybe this sums it up nicely?

I like to operate on instinct. This photo felt right in so many ways.

I won’t be self-editing like I used to either. A lot of this stuff coming out will be first draft. Maybe the quality will suffer, but the content will be rawer than before, which I see as a good thing. I might do some SEO, I haven’t decided yet. So what will I do, you might be asking?

  1. The journey is the journey. There’s something to say there. I went from a vicious combination of blogging, unemployment and depression to co-founding and running an exciting startup company in my field of interest. For me, it’s already been a somewhat long and winding road. You’ll get a ticket to ride.
  2. I will be more personal. I want to unearth a deeper psychology. I get happy about stuff. I get bitter about stuff. Maybe I get happy or bitter about the wrong stuff. I want to explore it. These days I have a bit of public figure status and maybe I need to be more careful. Whatever. Fuck it. I’m living a fast life and I want to talk about it. I talk about it because I don’t want to crash.
  3. I will share career advice. Okay, the truth is that I’m really trying hard these days to stay humble. So let me preface this by saying, what the hell do I know? I have, however, at my young age, been published in magazines, been featured in the papers, I’ve spoken at conferences at the world’s leading universities. It’s all good. I’m not trying to brag. I’ll just share what I’ve learned and if you want to listen that’s cool too.
  4. Environmental stuff. The answer is yes, I’m still concerned about the health of our planet. Look, it’s what I do for a living. I’ll write about it.
  5. I should probably update my About page too. We’ll get to that. Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.

I can’t think of anything else right now. The above list is not a guarantee. These aren’t promises. This is just a rough sketch of what’s to come. Or maybe not to come. I hope this is the beginning of something. In many ways, personally and professionally, I was once a baby, and maybe I’m becoming an adult now. I’m hoping these are my first steps. We’ll see where I can go.

igor

This is me on the right. A youngin’ growing up in Munich, Germany. Go FC Bayern!

 

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Backpacking for Personal Growth and Experience: Outdoor Leadership Training With the AMC

Rolling out of my warm sleeping bag nook after another short night of sleep, I woke up to the reality of putting on a pair of cold and wet hiking boots for the third consecutive morning.  I would spend the rest of my day in these boots, trudging through steep terrain, mud, and possibly snow in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  The three pairs of socks I packed were soaked as well, emitting a nauseating fume by today, day five of our trip.

“When the mountain ahead looms over us with a dark shadow of self doubt, we look deeply within ourselves and dig out long embedded personal characteristics.”

I reached into my bag and tried to focus on the necessity of the cold, slimy, and stinky cloth that was sliding over my foot.  I knew I had no chance of finishing the last few miles of our journey without socks to protect my developing blisters.  My socks on my feet, I prepared for the equally cold, wet, and uninviting boots, which would stay that way until I got home.  The temporary sting of cold and the general absence of comfort however were mightily overshadowed by the most important lesson of wilderness adventure: Accepting a mentality of dealing with your circumstances.

[Backpacking for Beginners: Choosing the Best Cheap Backpacking Gear]

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My Video Application for the Best Internship on Earth!

I recently applied to be the youth ambassador for Sierra Club’s Best Internship on Earth.  600+ videos were submitted but there can only be one winner.  That lucky bloke will get outfitted by the Sierra Club and sent on a  mission to partake in and video document all kinds of awesome outdoor adventures out West.   Check out the video and wish me luck!

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My Top 20 Photographs

A random collection of my favorite photographs I have taken over the past few years.  Enjoy!  And check out my Flickr if you’d like to see more!

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The Lake of Boobs and Butts?

Sitting in Spanish class in ninth grade, I would have never imagined I would one day find myself in one of the premier geographic Meccas of juvenile jokes.  Yet here I am on Lake Titicaca, taken aback by its size and beauty, smiling down at the jokes of a distant past.  At an altitude of 3.8 km (2.36 miles) above sea level, Lake Titicaca covers a vast 8372 square km (3100 sq. mi.), roughly the area of Delaware, with its longest diameter of 168 km (104 miles) from shore to shore.

I’m on a very slow moving, motor powered boat, transgressing the deep, dark blue water between a ‘floating’ and a ‘geological’ island.  The people of the area have been living on floating islands for centuries.  A floating island is composed of reef that naturally grows in the lake, and every 3 months a new layer of reef is laid down to replace the decomposing reef submerged in the water.  As you walk around your feet literally sink half a foot into the ground.

I feel as if I’m in the middle of the ocean, so dark is the water.  Yet there are no great whites or sandtiger sharks, no killer whales or bottlenose dolphins to speak of.   The low levels of oxygen at this altitude prevent this ecosystem from supporting significant life.  The lovely people on the floating islands rely on fish smaller than the size of the pen I’m writing with for food.  It’s quite extraordinary, since isolated tradition like this does not exist in many parts of the world.  I’m glad to have witnessed it.

As we keep moving, the sun slowly chars away at my skin.  A sure call for a sunscreen break.  This high up, the sun really torches you.  Meanwhile, you would think I was Continue reading

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Disturbing the Harmony of the Natural Being

River, mountains, cliffs, and caves.  I find myself surrounded by these elements of the earth; the most primordial elements.  We are 70% water.  Vast oceans, great seas, and mighty rivers coat the lands we choose to abuse.  Be your own judge, but we are trapped in a machine that we cannot escape – civilization.  That machine exists in its own right and own world inside its hard, discriminating shell; a shell that keeps us from escaping.  The concept of ‘love it or leave it’ does not apply.  It’s more of an inability to break from conformity.

Ah, the sun finally comes out from behind a cliff and for the first time this morning I feel warmth.  It soothes me, but could it rain today?  It is cloudy for the first time this trip.  Wouldn’t that be something, canoeing in the rain?

The machine of civilization is just as selfish as the humans within it.  It operates on a process that’s similar to the physiology of digestion: delicious, nutritious foods are consumed only to leave behind a stinky, toxic mess.  The machine takes nature’s goods and in exchange blows smoke right back in its face.  How rude, how disrespectful!  Nature has a plan though.  She is a patient nurturer, and she operates strictly on cause and effect.  Nature is slow.  It carves and cares for the world on a time scale of millions, while we can be hopeful to reach one hundred.  She knows that if we’re not nice to her now, she has plenty of time to kick our ass later.

I love the sound of the rapids, sitting here, taking it all in.  We are about to embark on a 16 mile rafting course.  The day will be long, frustrating, tiring, and rewarding – the hallmarks of a good adventure.  I sit here and ponder, think and reflect, curse and enjoy, perpetually being drawn into the wonder and harmony of the natural being.

March 2009

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