One Month Since Europe




A month ago, I boarded a flight from Lisbon to Columbus, eager to go home. It had been a long 104 days coasting around. I was eager to finally be comfortable, to know where I was sleeping, to wear other clothes, to shower comfortably. Now it’s too much. I think back on this month, what did I accomplish?

  • I applied to so many jobs
  • I finished a wedding video.
  • My screen time jumped from 1.5 hours to 5.5 hours


One month in Europe, let’s take February for example,

  • hopped between six different cities
  • hitchhiked eight different times
  • met so many new people
  • reconnected with old friends
  • and plenty of other things

Granted, you can’t live in a mode of go go go all the time, it is exhausting on all fronts. More so, you have to appreciate everything you have when you have it. And in this case, it is food I don’t have to pay for, my own bed, a shower whenever I want, a gym membership, my own car (I don’t even pay for my gas), friends who live close by, etc etc.

Sometimes it’s just hard to be grateful. More first world problems and more complaining from this 22 year old trying to figure it out.


Where do I belong?




I walked on this newish bridge the other day and felt like a stranger in my own city. Dublin, OH. lol. I felt self conscious, like people were watching me. Am I swaying my hands to much? Is my back straight? Yeah it’s hot out and I’m wearing jeans so what. I looked at everybody and nobody looked at me back yet they were thinking, who is this dude? Does he belong here?

In Paris, with my fat backpack, with the only outfit I brought, I felt confident, like I owned the town. Yeah, I’m not from here, and I can speak your language. I hop your metro and eat your food. I don’t belong here, yet I’m here anyways. I felt powerful.

Recovering from the travel – if that’s a thing – wasn’t expecting it.


Good things




I get to hang with my family again.

My sister is giving me her “old” iPhone 11.

I got some decent work done today.

Whatever happens with all these jobs I’m applying for – won’t make or break me.

There’s many exciting movies in the cinema.

I’m going to Jordan in June.

I’m going to Lisbon in July.

Soon I’ll find out about grad school.

I have a bed to sleep in.

I have food to eat.

The Columbus library is amazing.

The wifi at my house is finally fast.

I’m still making an income.

Amazon prime delivers in two days and now overnight

I have so much great footage to go through.

Couples will get their wedding films soon and love them

It was warm today

I walked on the Dublin bridge for the first time

I got to talk with my friend Hunter about real stuff.


Stateside and Hedonic Adaptation




From January 6 to April 20 I was travelling around Europe for this documentary. Now that I’m back home, hedonic adaptation is already settling in. I have my own bed – bigger than any I slept on in the past 3.5 months. I wore two socks and one outfit the whole time and I’ve already gone through three pairs of socks since being here. There’s food in the fridge I can eat. I don’t feel the pressure to leave or feel like I’m being a burden. I feel at home, with the exception of the bad relationship with my dad, which is an entirely different documentary in of itself. I have my own car. I can shower whenever I want. I’ve worked out at a gym twice. I’m taking things for granted.

These past 3.5 months were filled with novelty. And that’s how you combat hedonic adaption – by seeking novelty. The feeling doesn’t get old – not knowing where you’re gonna sleep. Sticking your thumb up for two hours with a fat smile on your face makes you laugh after a certain amount of time. Splurging on a hostel so you can party and explain once more to a bunch of strangers that you’re making a documentary so you can see on their face if they think you’re cool or not.

So yes I’m getting used to being here already. And that’s okay because it’s time to rest and work before the next adventure – Jordan!

Come on in hedonism. Make yourself at home. Knock on my door all you want – I will always open and kick you out when it’s time.


Money and Young Adulting




As this trip comes to an end and feel somewhat guilty for spending lots of money, I’m scouring the LinkedIn job boards for a job. Just like I did around a year ago – and only got accepted at one job paying $16 an hour.

My dream is to make films. I am making films right now. But having money makes allows me to sleep under a roof and eat vegetables instead of potato chips all day. And I’m not getting paid to make films right now.

So I have to find a job. And the cycle continues. I felt like I was wasting away my life working in that office for $16 an hour, and I only worked for one hour of out of the eight since it was so easy.

Is this what life is? So many Americans are trapped in this cycle. Even with remote jobs, you’re wasting 40 hours a week for some large company so they can make money. And they take the money you make them to go on fancy vacations to escape work. And you take the money they give you to do the same. Work 40 hours a week for like 20 weeks and then take a 4 day vacation. Rinse and repeat.

So you have to love the work you do. But who loves crunching numbers? Who loves recruiting? Who loves working 80 hours a week staring at stocks? On your deathbed will you be thinking of all the money you made for Deloitte or all the cool candidates you hired?

No. So fuck it. I’m going for the dream. The money will follow. And in the mean time, I will rely on my community for help. That means handouts. That means charity. And if this Documentary project taught me anything, it’s that strangers are kind. People want to help. There’s room at the table.

Luckily I enjoy wedding films which is tangential to the films I want to make. Or who knows, I cave and find some stupid remote job while I sit behind a computer and waste away my life. And I’ll lie on my deathbed and reminisce about this documentary adventure, my last hurrah, before I threw in the towel for corporate chaos and a hefty paycheck. All while my funeral outfit won’t even have pockets because what’s the use in money when you’re dead.


Three Months in Europe




It’s been three months in Europe and I still wish I dared more. Yes, I grew, experienced, and did so much. I met great people and forgettable people, and I’m ready to go home. And looking back, regrets are futile, yet I wish I dared more. Wish I risked more. Because I’m probably only going to make one travel documentary in Europe. No way in hell am I going to lug around my heavy camera gear again for more than three months.

It’s been a fat journey.

Everything to be grateful for. Nothing to fear.


Incomplete thoughts from 10 days at a silent meditation retreat




Around two years ago, my friend Kyle got back from his first Vipassana Meditation Retreat and told me about it. I listened in awe and thought maybe I could do something like that if I had bigger balls and a stronger will power.

In the following two years my mind thought about the retreat maybe once every four months. My favorite podcast also brought it up periodically making me more and more curious.

Finally I committed and signed up for my first retreat. I have around 5 ish months to prepare. I upped my routine to twenty minutes, twice a day which I learned wasn’t nearly enough.

Here are a couple of reflections:

After being deprived of serotonin, dopamine, any good feeling neuromodulator, you name it, nature renders more beautiful. You could say the clouds are in HD. A simple thing like a night sky filled with clouds and not stars can make you smile. An extraordinary thing like a double rainbow where you can see each color, when it was snowing the day before, made all of us jump out of our seats and go outside and watch, speechless, because we couldn’t talk.

I was feeling a little off, so I asked myself what I could add to my, within my own power, to make myself feel better. I had a roof over my head. I could shit and pee whenever I want. I ate good food twice a day. I had a bed. Yeah, I couldn’t talk or look at my phone or exercise. But I had literally all the essentials and I wasn’t paying a penny. So why was I feeling shitty? Did I really just want to talk? Why was my baseline at such a low level? What could I do to raise that level? What else did I need? Was I so gassed up with my phone, worldly pleasures, external unhealthy stimuli that now I just felt withdrawal?

Because we meditated all day, whenever the food bell rang, we all scrambled like dogs. Food was our only stimuli. I wasn’t even hungry when they rang lunch yet I rushed out of there to make sure I was first.

My mind wanders like crazy when I try to meditate. I believe that’s my mind fighting the need to meditate, to achieve silence, or a sankhara as they say in the Vipassana world.

I can achieve anything I put my mind to, within reason, including this ten day retreat that lots of people left. Yes I could’ve left and wanted to leave but I knew I can’t leave in the middle of the surgery like Goenka said. Staying the ten days will lead to much more healing and growth and leaving after day whatever will just be a waste of those days.

After sitting for ten days straight and for some sittings without movement, the pain in my back went away and I started getting better at tolerating it.

I’m not really sure what to make of all this. I need to do more reading about it and reflect more. I wish I had my journal for maybe even three minutes a night so I could just write down to quick thoughts. It seems like hedonic adaptation of the real world really just makes me want to forget about the whole retreat. Whereas, it was an amazing feeling to be able to talk again and sing. Even just talking to myself was amazing. Listening to music again was also blissful. And now, not three days later, I find myself skipping song after song after song.






There’s a Ukrainien family of four next to me at the Krakow airport. Two kids and two parents. They’re smiling, holding their passports like nothing is wrong. They’re fleeing from a war and keeping spirits high.

Just the other day, my biggest problem was sprinting two kilometers so I would catch my boss. Imagine sprinting from a country to catch your new life.

I don’t know. I’m a tourist in Poland celebrating because dinner was so cheap.

meanwhile they’re refugees. Should I have a bad time to make myself feel better? Not sure. Not sure.






Sunday night at 11pm in Berlin, we decided to hitchhike to Prague the following day. This moment of spontaneity led to one of the most “interesting” weeks of this trip.

Prague is an amazing city with culture, history, good food, beauty everywhere, and plenty to do. If we didn’t come here, I wouldn’t have met Ryan who tried to kick a chain in a bar and instead ending up cutting the top of his head open. He’s writing a book about car conversations he’s had while hitchhiking. If we didn’t come here, I wouldn’t have gotten black out drunk for the first time and successfully made my way back to the hostel on my own – and I don’t remember any part of it.

Experience. It’s all experience. Yes and. Things happen and we grow. Happening for me not to me. We love all of it.

This trip is winding down and here’s to the last month.






There are pianos in many European train stations, and I go there to play when I need to relax. After an eventful evening yesterday, I need to chill. Crazy this project is 3 ish months in. It’s been insane.