World travel videos, photos, and blog.

Art Saves

I believe creativity will save me from myself once again.

I think these blogs will become annoyingly cryptic as I learn how this story ultimately ends.

Happy Easter!


Howdy, after helping my brother build a goat habitat, I headed back to my mom's house in San Jose where I've pretty much been on a self-imposed lockdown. Why spend money and use up gas? Plus, I signed up for Netflix. Bad idea. I discovered their "Watch Instantly" feature which lets you watch 7,000 videos on demand. Twelve hours of my life gone. Today, I blew through 3 dvds.

And now it's time to get to work. I've started to get rid of the build up of 'stuff' around me. I hope to reduce my collection of junk and antiquated electronics by at least 50%. I found a drawer in my old room with a gallimaufry (sorry, I learned that word from another blog a couple days ago, it means 'jumble or hodgepodge') of knick knacks that have lost their sentimental value. Isn't it funny how we like to keep fortunes from fortune cookies? No more!

I've been running around my mom's house telling her that we've gotta get rid of things. "If we haven't touched something in 15 years, we don't need it!"

Tomorrow, I will leave the house. And this weekend, it's looking like San Francisco. Next week, San Diego? I dunno. The world is my oyster.


I made it out to my brother's place for the weekend. Farm land. Cows, horses, and the House of Beef. I bet you've never met anyone who's worked in a nanotech lab and built a pygmy goat shelter in the same week. That's what I've been up to. Kickin' it with my nieces and their goats. Along with some dirt biking, Rock Banding, and scooter scavenging for fencing supplies.


I'm just retracing my food steps over the last week for my personal records... Friday, Mexicali in Studio City to Don Cuco's and Bob's Big Boy in Burbank. Saturday, Mo's in Burbank for brunch, Al Gelateria dinner in Beverly Hills, Cat and the Fiddle in Hollywood, house party in Silverlake. Sunday lunch at the Mustard Seed in Los Feliz. Back to San Jose.

Monday breakfast at the Evergreen Inn. Tuesday, home with mom. Wednesday, off to Berkeley, pizza at Zachary's on Solano, ice cream at Polly Ann's. Wednesday, lunch at Gregoires in Berkeley, shabu shabu dinner at Mum's.


It was a busy shoot in Burbank last week followed by exhausting LA wanderings and very little sleep. The brief rest routine has continued back home. I spent a day at UC Berkeley, working in a nanotechnology lab for an hour and hanging out on campus in the afternoon. Four girls walked up to me. This would usually be the beginning of some interesting coed fantasy but in reality, they just wanted me to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. I declined. I think this was the first time I've ever commuted by motorcycle, Porche 911, and hybrid car in a single day. Thanks for the rides Donovan.

I'm headed to Oakdale on Thursday to meet some goats. More on that later.

For the moment, I've decided to enjoy this immense freedom that I have right now. This is a time for me to take risks. I've returned to the United States and I'm still on my own, I'm responsible for my own life and if I say I'm going to live it in a way different from you and the next guy, then so be it.

My routine for the last ten months has been to continuously move around uncharted territories, discovering people, cultures, and ideas unfamiliar to me. Ironically, it's being back in the familiarity of home that makes me feel lost. I will find my way. Either way, life is a journey and I, an eager traveler.

Speaking of traveling, I've been debating whether or not to shoot over to Austin, Texas for the SXSW festival. It's an awfully expensive adventure on such short notice but hey, what else would I do with freedom at my disposal?

Old Habits

I've been back in Los Angeles for about two days and I've just caught myself reading celebrity gossip blogs for half an hour. I feel like my brain has lost a couple points of IQ so I'm here to confess my sins. What is "The Hills" and why do people care who "Spencer" is dating? These are questions I could probably never answer and still feel like I've lived a full life.

It was a fun day on the job yesterday. Though I'm still not sleeping very much and I'm feeling like my old haggard LA self again. We're about to start another full day of running around, setting up lights, and pointing HD cameras at people.

I'm going to enjoy my weekend and shoot back up to San Jose by Monday to catch up with more people. I'm slowly sorting my head out and deciding what I want. The interesting is, I may even figure out how to get it.

2008, it's all happening.

City of Angels

I rolled into smoggy Los Angeles today after a long quiet drive. When I got into town, I felt really optimistic and felt a positive energy coming my way. It's a nice feeling and one I didn't get very often when I was living down here. I also have this sense of freedom. Everything is in my hands. I've got incredible friends and family. I feel good. Only negative thing right now is my horrible sleeping patterns. I've got a shoot to go to in five or six hours and I'm still up.

I'll be spending the next two days helping Manash and Julian with a video shoot. We're working with these new Sony EX1 HD cameras. Should be fun running around a set hooking up expensive equipment. Doing this sort of thing makes me remember that I have learned a thing or two about this and that.

Seriously though, time for bed.

The Backpacker's New Clothes

When you're living out of a backpack for ten months, you get really tired of wearing the same gear everyday. Colors slowly fade away after hand washings in hostel sinks or cheap laundering in Asian countries. Whites take on stains that never come out or turn a subtle shade of gray due to fraternizing with the darks.

I was excited to get home and to wear something different. But as I threw on my grey hoodie and some old pajama pants, I felt strange. It didn't feel right. I looked too different. I'd somehow gotten used to what I looked like wearing variations of the same six t-shirts, two pairs of shorts, and two pairs of trousers.

When I brushed me teeth the other day, I noticed all sorts of toiletries I'd left in the bathroom before I left. Neutrogena lotion, hair gels, anti-bacterial soaps. Did I need any of this stuff? I'd survived nearly a year living out of the same bag. Why did I need anything else? It's interesting to slowly transition back to the old ways with new attitudes.

Fuel prices are skyrocketing. Just as I need to make a 350 mile drive to LA tomorrow morning. Gas Bless America.


I got an email from Kat, a friend I met in Spain who was on quite a journey around the world of her own. She asked me how I was feeling and this spewed out... sounds like a blog rant so I thought I'd share:

Well, when I was about to land in San Francisco and reflected on the journey I was about to complete, I felt like I had done something pretty amazing. I was pumped up, thinking that I proved to myself that I could do some incredible things. I just needed to go out and try.

The next day, I felt a bit exhausted and suffocated by the life that I left behind (employment, boxes of stuff...). It seemed to all be sitting there waiting for me to deal with. But I'm looking at it and thinking, why does THAT have to be life?

It's just frustrating because this is what we were taught or trained to believe we needed to have a 'normal' life. I still want all of these nice things... I want the nice home, stylish furniture, tv shows in HD. But I keep asking myself whether there's another way to go about it all.

I really think I have this incredible freedom right now to continue going out there and doing something different. It's just the debt that's weighing me down. Fortunately, I planned accordingly and bought myself some time if I want it. What I need is to get the blood flowing again. I wish I could go for a run but there's a gruesome sound of cartilage or something funny going on in my knee.

What I may look into doing is spending some time with a non-profit. My friend Valentina (who let me crash on her flat in Paris at the start of my trip) has found herself with a new challenge in West Africa. She's trying to raise the funds for a promotional video to raise awareness for the Niapele Project, which aims to bring education, nutrition, and health care to the 600+ children of the Buduburam refugee settlement in Ghana. The project hopes to help provide these kids with a sustainable future. Val and her friend's Ayoka Productions is taking tax-deductible donations for their trip to Africa to shoot the film.

If you're in the giving mood and would like to do something positive today, head over to Ayoka's Paypal donation page or learn about the Niapele Project.

First Full Day Back

Pretty uneventful yet slightly productive. First meal back- InNOut burger. My sleep schedule is completely off. It's been off since I landed in Hawaii last week. Good thing I don't have to get up for work tomorrow. The first night back at my mom's, I went through a few hundred pieces of mail that had piled up over 10 months. I'd say half of it was made up of credit card offers. There were two class action suit settlements. One Christmas card (thanks Anthonette, nice pop-up card!). Two boxes, each containing jeans I'd shipped home. Several tax forms. And two tour brochures from Intrepid- Africa and Latin America. :drool:

I spent most of today with the family before sitting down tonight to take care of my tax return. Good news is, huge return comin'. Bad news, it won't even make a dent in the plastic debt I've accrued. Gone are the days of Perrier and Friskie cat snacks (I found that photo above on my computer, it was from 3 1/2 years ago).

Tomorrow's exciting activities: laundry! cleaning! and more sleep at odd hours...

P.S.- I think I'm giving up television.

Home Stretch

Yesterday was just another day at the beach but this morning I decided to get up early and hike up Diamond Head Crater. I zoomed up past the other tourists in my flip flops, triumphantly reaching the top in about 25 minutes. Sweat running from my forehead, I took a last look around Oahu and thought about completing my around the world journey in ten hours. I rushed back down the crater to make it back in time for a shower at my last shared hostel dorm room of the trip. Before I did though, I grabbed a Hawaiian shave ice.

A girl named Kori discovered my short film, Missing Pieces, on the net about a year ago and soon after, she found out about my trip. I'd never met her but she was one of the first donors to A native Hawaiian, she requested that I treat myself to a shave ice when I made it to Honolulu. So here it is, my last thank you of the trip:

Mahalo Kori!

I'm at the airport waiting for my flight. Five hours til I hit the mainland. Nutty man, nutty.

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Location: United States A 29 yr old filmmaker from California traveled through Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia/NZ over ten months from April 2007 to March 2008.

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    April 6:
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    Czech Republic
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