Its New Years Day 01/01/10.
I am laying in bed and just finished going through hundreds, actually, perhaps even thousands of pictures of the past 10 years of my life & I am in total awe!
In the day to day 'rat race' of life, its easy to forget & dismiss all the good, the bad & the ugly things that you have experienced, learned & accomplished until you take the time to reflect & remember all those 'things' that make up your entire life experience. Interesting way to look at it, isn't it?
What I have concluded is that I have lived an extremely blessed life and I am so greatful for everything and everyone that has played a part creating it. Also, I realized that in some circumstances, I am very lucky to be alive & survive 10 years of a somewhat extreme 'rock n rolling-roller-coaster ride' that has been a direct result of taking some huge risks thanks to the 'work hard & play hard' lifestyle that I love.
Want some personal examples and a small glimpse of the past 10 years that has taken me to over 22 countries, seeing hundreds of cities, meeting thousands of people. I even dated girls that don't even speak my same language! wtf? All the while running an online business on a laptop out of my backpack in strange foreign lands. Its been a crazy 10 years, to say the least...Check out just SOME of my journeys:
One time I was backpacking through the Middle Easter desert & my camel abandon me! Seriously, it ran off and left me with no water, no map, and no idea were I was. Stranded in the middle of the freaking Egyptian desert! Luckily I finally found my way out before sunset!
Or how about when I was robed, drugged & jailed in Morocco? That was super fun. NOT!
Another experience I was driving a jeep I rented from Thailand to the Burma border and I ended up in the middle of a freaking war zone!
Then I had my passport & wallet stolen and I was 'homeless' in Asia for 3 days seeking refuge at the Canadian Embassy. Unforgettable!
OR did I ever tell you about the time I hitch-hiked from Vegas to LA (with 1000$ cash stuffed in my sock that I had just won on a slot machine New Years Day 2002) and got picked up by 3 Spanish gangster drug dealers who drove me around Compton making 'drop offs' before they dropped me off in San Clementa so I could go surf?
Its truly amazing that I survived all the crazy cliff jumping I did in Portugal and even more so all the waves I have surfed shredding the Australian & Mexican coastlines.
I almost forgot, I went bundjy jumping off a 150 meter bridge in Australia. That stress defenitly took at least a couple years off my life.
I used to LOVE "Indiana Jones", so when I had the chance to go to Petra Park, in Jordan to see the ruins, I couldn't wait! I felt like a Raider of the Lost Arc...
What about being like Tarzan and jungle trekking in Malyasia, then stumbling upon a huge marijuana plant grow opp in a country were any trace of drugs is the death penalty. You can bet I swung out of there pretty quick! (I saw the movie "The Beach" and didn't wanna end up like Leonardo Dicaprio).
Waking up on the floor of frat houses that looked just as destroyed as the Vegas hotel suite from 'The Hangover' after freshman 'rookie parties' was pretty hilarious looking back now.
Being a skinny 18 year old kid playing in the highest caliber league of basketball in Canada trying to guard huge 7 foot tall 250 pound black dudes named "Jamal" that were 8 years older than me that were straight outta the ghetto ball.
Then after graduating, working in the entertainment industry as a Talent Agent. It was a tough job being the Canadian Entourage "Ari Gold" being surrounded by some of the most beautiful people (women) on the planet while chilling out on movie sets with some of biggest names in the movie industry.
The scariest was when I was scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and sliced my leg on coral, I was swimming in a pool of blood, in a shark infested water. I'm lucky I was not lunch for a great white!
I am actually kind of embarrassed to say, after one night partying in New York City, my buddy Jon and I were out till 4am & we couldn't find a hotel so we ended up 'crashing' in Central Park. Woke up, and we were next to Harlem. Crazy!
There is a TON of other 'stuff' I probably should not put on this blog (or anywhere else on the internet;) but looking back on the past decade, 2000-2009, & being young (20-29) I am honestly blown away of everything I have managed to cram into such a short period of time (I really need to write a book about all this stuff!)
I have not even mentioned the 2 biggest accomplishments that I am proudest off:
1) Bringing my son Ethan into this world :)
2) Not settling or conforming to what 'society' says I should do: "work a 9-5". Instead, I made a bold choice to become an entrepreneur, even when
everyone told me I was 'crazy' to do so. Ever Been To a Wealth Education Conference? Over 1000 Entrepreneurs were at the Rome Italy "Toga Party"
My dad always says that I have lived & done more in the past 10 years than most people do in there entire lives. My mom says I give her too many grey hairs for doing so. They are both probably right. Has living this kind of lifestyle been easy?
HELL NO! But has it been challenging, fun and rewarding? HELL YA! I wouldn't have done it any other way.
However, now that I am 'coming of age' in this new decade and turning 30 this next year (yikes!)and the fact that I have a 5 year old son who is growing like a weed and copying everything I say & do, I am starting to appreciate the serenity of a chiller & simpler existence.
This was a really BIG holiday season for me in many ways. Lots of quality time with my parents and my son. Also looking into taking on some new business opportunities this year and creating some really cool things in 2010!
(I will keep you all posted on that journey). Most importantly, Ethan's mother and I were able to do what 12 court cases, 2 lawyers and a judge could not do for 4 years:
we both resolved our entire custody arrangement with one conversation & settled everything ourselves. Case closed. Finally. A Christmas Miracle!
I now feel my priorities are starting to shift from those of my early 20's. Like, instead of wanting to get a euphoric rush from traveling the world and dating tons of exotic foreign woman with names I couldn't even pronounce and waking up in strange countries were I didn't know a soul and couldn't speak or understand the language, I am now much more appreciative of things that REALLY matter in my life, that I didn't appreciate as much when I was younger. Things like spending time with my aging parents. And now that I have a son, playing games with him because I enjoy his company more than anyone else on this planet. Its incredibly fun & fulfilling.
Its funny, I used to dread getting older, now I look at aging like a fine bottle of wine: the older it gets, the better it is.
I wanna live to be really old, so I can get really good. Haha!
What else can I say? The last 10 years have been incredible & a wild ride! I expect the next 10 to be even better!...But more chilled out & relaxed. Hopefully no more extreme experiences in 3rd world countries...
Cheers to an end of an epic era & entering into a new decade.
Create YOUR legacy.
Live YOUR Life.
(Writing all that was intense! it was like I was re-living all that stuff I did. I need to take a nap now). Haha.
"World Traveling Survivor"