A Wild Josh Appears

Life is an adventure. As a 22 year old, I’m always meeting new people and experiences in Charlotte, NC. There is no better time of life than right now (that would be a cool motto. Maybe it already is). I can’t wait to see where the next adventure takes me. Come join this life with me. The journey is always better with people beside you.

This blog is an invitation to experiment. My hope is that as I write more and more and even some more, something good is bound to come out. My grandfather taught me this as a wee lad on the ole’ midwestern rivers. “Be patient…”, he would tell me “and wait for the fish to come to you.” If I paddle down this stream called “the blogging world” long enough, I think I could catch some pretty good size blogs.

I don’t know all there is to blogging, I hope I never do. The mystery is what excites me! I love writing and this is my playground to venture out and try new styles, meet new people and be inspired along the way.

If I have a motto (and I think everyone should – just to make life a bit more interesting), this would be it:

“The Life. The Journey. The Moments in Between.”

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6 Things To Do in College

1. Meet Anyone, Not Everyone.

There is perhaps no other time in life where you can meet so many different people in one place. Not only is it available, but it is expected. Take advantage of the fact that you will meet people who are totally different from you and engage in conversation that is both uncomfortable and mind expanding. But don’t be intimidated by big schools with a large student body. You don’t have to meet EVERYONE. Chances are, if you’re bold enough it won’t take long to meet friends that will last a lifetime. If you go into your college semester with a plan to meet your neighbor, your college experience will be better than 90% of your college peers.

2. Start a Campus Club

Joining a club or sports team is great! I would tell anyone to join an organization they have an interest in. College is the perfect outlet for that. But, starting your own club on your college campus is perhaps one of the most rewarding (and challenging) experiences! A roommate and I started 2 different clubs on 2 separate campuses with 2 very different personalities. The experiences challenged us, tested our patience, and made us who we are today with no question! It’s one thing to join in and be a participant, it’s a whole other thing to lead a group of peers with nothing but your passion as your compass.

3. Skip a Class (or two)

Everyone and their mother advises against skipping class, as it will be your downfall into a jobless career of living in the basement of Uncle Joe and his 9 cats. I’m going to fight this a bit. Perhaps i’m an optimist, but I think people are smarter than most give them credit for. Passing on an afternoon Philosophy class and going on an adventure with a few of your closest friends can create memories for a lifetime. Search that trail that leads to God knows where. Climb that old abandoned water tower just to check out the view. Do this in moderation, be smart about it and you’re sure to have some of the best 4 years of your life.

4. Go to Class

Subtly contrary to the previous tip, going to class is what college is for. But looking back at my college experience, it was all about what I made it. Every class is different and college professors are as varied as a bag of jelly beans. But if you go into the classroom with an open mind and the courage to ask questions you will get the most out of your learning. Don’t be afraid to be the kid who stops class for 5 minutes to dive a little deeper into something the professor said. It’s moment like those that stick with you.

5. Take a Trip

College is a time to meet new people, do new things and experience life from different perspectives. One of the best ways to broaden your experience is to take a trip with just a couple friends. Sometimes, taking trips with people you only just met can make the experience that much greater. Go to a local small town over spring break. Or take a long weekend and travel to a neighbor state. College can be one of the most hectic times of life, but it also gives you a lot of time to explore. Take hold of these opportunities and create your own adventure.

6. Be Okay With Change

College is synonymous with “change”. From start to finish, your college career will test you to the limits of what your 20-something mind can handle. For most people, this is the first step into independence. And don’t lose heart, this is a good thing! In the span of 4 (or 5, 6, 7) years you are saying goodbye to depending on Mom + Dad, experimenting with different groups, people and perspectives, and entering into the “real life” after college. Don’t get me wrong, these are exciting times and you will be ready when you finally get that diploma. Enjoy the time you’re in now, and be hopeful for the future. These are the ways I made the most out of my college years. What did you do different…

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Reflect

13 years ago this morning a man kissed his wife goodbye on his way to work. A brother and sister waited at the bus stop as they waited to go to school. And a father and son had an argument that broke them apart. And it was in between these moments, that the foundations of America were shaken forever.

The World Trade Center was attacked on the morning of September 11, 2001. The attack on the Twin Towers seemed to stop time itself.  By the time the second plane struck the South Tower, the eyes of the entire world gathered in awe at this act of terror.

Before moving on, I want to address everyone who experienced a loss from 9/11. Words cannot express my sorrow. There was no good that came from that day, except for the efforts of everyone who lent a hand to help.

September 12, 2001. Our nation seemed to wake up together. There was a sense of community and union I have never experienced. I saw an older man with a flat tire on the side of the road with 3 strangers helping. Lines in the downtown Starbucks were filled with conversation, community and a sense of patriotism instead of stale gossip and glazed expressions. There was an American flag outside of every household, business and car to let everyone know what we stood for. Freedom. No matter what. No matter the cost.

For the next 2 years, there was no sense of “alone”. Americans were marked by this event and we weren’t going to stand by and take it. If there’s anything i’ve learned about community, it’s that in the midst of great tragedy, people come together and care for one another. All barriers become non-existent, any cultural divide is broken and love seems to triumph at the end of the day. That’s stuck with me over the years and I believe i’ve taken them as aspirations wherever I go.

I don’t believe in a lot of talk when it comes to reflecting on events like these. But from this kid in Charlotte, NC I send my prayers to the families affected and a salute to what this country represents.

Here’s to You, Optimistic Kid

The kite-flyer, the poster-child, the tree-climber, the milk-carton savior. We want to take a moment and solute you, Optimistic Kid!

The kid who never took insults for injury. The kid who stayed up late to finish that extra long fraction. The one who never let a rainy day ruin his parade. Optimistic Kid, you inspire us to be just a tad bit better. To finish our greens and make our bed in the morning. Because Lord knows a good day isn’t quite good without a made bed in the morn! But back to you Optimistic Kid; this is your moment.

Your moment to smash the ball out of the sandlot. It’s your time to get the girl at the end of the story. You’re Macbeth at the end of Shakespeare’s play and the crowd is waiting for your triumph my friend (but you don’t die…or go crazy).

Here’s to you, Optimistic Kid, cause words never really hurt you. What stuck on the other guy, merely bounced off you. Like a piñata at Christmas, you have no time for silly remarks. You don’t get tempered by a cloudy forecast.

Charlie Brown would be inspired by you my friend. So do your thing. Be optimistic and show the World that there’s more to life than awkward conversations and manic Mondays. We salute you Optimistic Kid!

 

Inspired by Luke & Hussain

Check out Luke on Tumblr. He’s  a terrific friend and has a beautifully enjoyable site.

http://lukefrancis.me/

 

Destination: Galveston

Remember when you were a kid and flew for the first time. Or maybe you were all grown up and tried to convince yourself there’s no reason to be scared of flying 30,000 feet up in the air. No matter the time you first flew, think back to the excitement. The rush of the thrill and wonder filling your lungs as you stared down the boarding tunnel.  Oh, or the moment you are buckled in and watched as the Bowing made it’s final turn facing the mile-long runway. And my favorite part – the takeoff. Whooooosh! Yep, every time I fly it takes me back to those memories. There are few things in life that make a lasting impression – my first flight was one of them.

 

So, I went to Texas the other week!

Specifics:

-1 Suitcase

-1 Carry-On

-Outfit: Tom’s Botas, Levi’s 511 (grey), tank-top, blue plaid casual button-up.

-1 Stop – Atlanta, GA

-Destination: Galveston, TX.

 

Let me say something – there is nothing like a warm welcome! My aunt called me 3 months ago asking if I wanted a ticket to the country called Texas with my 2 cousins and cousin-in-law (if that’s a thing). I said “Yes”. I get off the plane in Houston and am tackled by my best friend cousin Christie. After a semi-quick drive down to the lovely Galveston Island, I was quickly bombarded by my 7-year old cousin Erik, cousin Tracie and her husband (cousin-in-law) Kyle. Boom! Hello vacation.

Here’s what happened.

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Beach, grilling, sand-in-toes, good beer, GREAT wine, poker, pool, jokes, deep conversations and colorful skies paint the picture of Labor Day weekend 2014.

At the end of the weekend, I found that beautiful places and nice scenery isn’t the destination. At the heart of all adventurous travel itineraries is the desire to experience the love of the unknown and discover life’s great mysteries.

So here’s to you Monsieur and Madame Traveler. You inspire me and I look forward to the day I join you at the table of the 7-Seas. Next stop…India?

 

Gallery

The Time I Flew

A few months ago, a good friend and I talked about life. I know. But we talked with aspiration. We wanted more in life than just working for the weekend. If scholars are right in saying that we get less than 30% of our lives to do what we want, I’m going to work against those stats.

So, my buddy and I began a challenge. 25 Days of New. Every day for 25 days we would do something we’ve never done before.

This was one of those days:

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Hang Gliding pic

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