November 21st, 2012
One of the most useful things my parents instilled in me is an appreciation for spending time outdoors. It’s a simple trait that has had such a profound impact on my life. It has kept me happy, healthy, and even financially stable.
When I was growing up, our weekends and vacations were spent hiking, canoeing, and gardening. We didn’t get candy at the movie theater—we didn’t even go to the movie theater—but we picked wild blueberries and raspberries right off the bushes and popped them in our mouths. After Thanksgiving dinner, we would always go on a long walk in my grandmother’s wooded neighborhood. Last Thanksgiving, we went on a nine-mile hike in Blue Hills Reservation.
In college, instead of drinking myself sick at frat parties like most kids, I spent my free time with friends swimming in gorges, exploring rooftops, roasting marshmallows over campfires, and having fall harvest picnics. (It helped that we were in beautiful Ithaca.) Yes, I was a dork, but I don’t feel that I missed out on anything important.
Now, when I know I need exercise, or time to recharge and relax, I know exactly where to turn. I go for a run or bike ride outside, I bring a book or sandwich to the park and enjoy the view. This natural penchant for the outdoors wards off depression, helps me save money while enjoying life, and gives me fuel for this blog—and will one day make me a content old person.
August 24th, 2012
It’s not totally official, but I might be moving within a year or two. In my seven years here, I’ve been pretty good about exploring all five boroughs and taking advantage of the fact that you can do absolutely anything in NYC. (Marched with an LGBT group in a Chinese New Year parade? Check. Eaten Japanese/Italian fusion, a kimchi burrito, and a Thai soy hot dog? Check. Biked all five boroughs in a day? Check. Lived in a windowless closet for three months? Check. Made corn tortillas in the kitchen of a Mexican restaurant? Check. Scanned Martha Stewart’s ID card at a high-profile conference? Check.)
Running around the reservoir in Central Park. Photo by Ed Yourdon
Here’s what remains on my must-do list:
What’s on your to-explore list for NYC or wherever you live?
August 14th, 2012
I just took a two-week break from writing about Queens and went out west in search of distinctly non-urban adventures. Instead of wedging myself between people and buildings as I normally do, I found some big rocks. Plenty of them.
Upon arrival, the first thing I did was find a ledge to hang out under at Red Rocks Park in Colorado.
Rafting down the Colorado River, surrounded by rock walls, was quite the adventure. (Thank you, NAVTEC Expeditions of Moab, Utah!) I highly recommend going in a separate inflatable kayak, juuust in case you end up in a group with 20 teenage boys.
Sand Dune Arch was my favorite spot to explore in Arches National Park in Utah.
Swimming in a canyon near New Agey shops in Sedona, Arizona, reminded me of my college days in Ithaca, New York.
This area of the Mojave National Preserve is called Hole-in-the-Wall, so of course I had to go there.
And, if I could declare one favorite rock formation in the world, it just might be a beach canyon. (Is that even a thing?) This one, in Ocean Beach, San Diego, had waves surging in from both ends.
June 14th, 2011
It looks like the plan this summer is to house/dog/cat sit for two different sets of friends—one out on Long Island, and the other in upstate New York. The more I think about these arrangements, the more they sound like ideal vacation opportunities. While helping our friends out a little bit, we’ll be able to get out of the city and explore both areas’ beaches, lakes, parks, and food options. Swimming, blueberry picking, farmers markets, bike rides, and breweries, here we come!
It occurs to me that we’ll also get access to lots of perks that most hotels and vacation rentals don’t provide. My own apartment doesn’t even offer most of these:
Maybe I am getting boring, or maybe I am just getting tired of living in NYC, but this all sounds pretty exciting to me.
The only downside? I’ll still be working.
February 9th, 2011
Back in November, I spent a week in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts, as part of an assignment with the travel site Trazzler. Here are some of my favorite, Go Lightly-worthy experiences:
I also compiled some of my encounters with local food, art, and nature into a longer article, which you can read here on GoNOMAD. Enjoy!