1. I have been back in the states now for almost three months. I am finally back to making a little bit of money and working on building up my network of paying customers.

    I plan on moving back to Austin, Texas in mid July. I am excited about this.   Definitely looking towards hanging out with old friends, having a cup of coffee at Jo on the Go, and jumping in the San Marcos river.

    About once a week I find myself looking back through the photos from my journey and feeling a little sad. This short part of my life was so important to me. I miss the people I met over in Europe.

    Now its just the hum-drum of typical life. I hear people talking about their travel plans and I want to chime in about my journey. But at times is seems like it was so long ago… Oh well, fuck it.

    On an exciting note, last week I shoot my first full fashion campaign for a small designer. It was cool.. That was what the photo above was from.

     
  2. When I told my friends I was selling everything and moving to Europe..

     
  3. My travels through France.

     
     
  4. During my stay in New York I got a chance to visit an old friend who I had not seen since the early 2000’s. We decided to meet in a newer part of Queens at a little brunch place. And of course I had to take my camera. Alison is an actor by trade who studied at Harvard.

    It was a brisk but lovely NY morning. The food was great, the conversation was even better.

    One of the topics we discussed was starting at the bottom in a trade. For both of us the industry has huge levels of success that few people ever get past. Her industry even more so than mine I think.

    Regardless we conversed about the daily steps and habit building requirements necessary to get ahead.

    I have always been a doer in life. I am kinda an all or nothing kind of person. Of course this has its ups and downs. I have had quite a few different life styles and stages in my life.

    Take for instance, growing up I was raised in a family that did not follow art, higher institutions, progressive thinking…etc. I grew up working with my hands and racing cars. Out of high school I went to an automotive trade school. At 23, I said fuck it! I started my first real business, I got engaged, bought a house, and purchased my first new car. I was on the fast track to an adult life. 

    Life was good and we had a good amount of initial success. Then the market began to change in 2006. Our company started to lose 250k a year in gross sales. In 2007 I went bankrupt, my house was foreclosed on, I got un-engaged, and my car got reposed. 2007 was truly a ruff year for me.

    In 2008 I decided it was time for a change. I went back to school for business. Now take in mind going back at 28 put me in a slightly different age bracket. But I found my way back into youth. I loved being back in school. During this time was when I decided I wanted art in my life. So a bought a drum set and tried to teach myself how to play. Holy shit. So bad at it. 2009 I bought my first camera and began to shoot. 

    Shooting had a slow start with its usual stepping stones. Photographing my feet, dogs, friends, beers, and whatever goofy shit. But photographing people had a very different feel to it. In 2010 I decided that photographing would become my new endeavor.

    And this brings us to the present.

    You really never know where life is going to take you. Sometimes you just have to follow the subtle winds of change. Following these small opportunities and situations.

    For me I think what is most important is understanding yourself and the thoughts that lead you everyday. Know thyself. Question your thoughts and actions. This is so much more important than the outside world.

    Or for me it is…

    Life is always about the small things, the brunch you had with an old friend, a life restart, or even selling all your shit so you can move to Europe and do what you NOW love best. Photographing.

     
  5. Coming to the end of my trip a couple of thoughts and emotions come to mind.

    What am I going to do now? I am almost broke. I have no photo jobs lined up. I have to start my life all over again. I knew this day would happen.

    Part of me choose to ignore the end result in order to be brave enough to do what it took to sell all my shit and travel. Trust me I regret nothing. But, the reality of the situation still has to be addressed. Where to live?

    I was offered a place to stay in North Carolina with an old friend and his girlfriend. This happened while I was sitting in Heathrow airport waiting for my flight back to the US.

    I had planned to come back to Austin, Texas. In keeping up with how I had been traveling, I decided to flip a coin to make my choice. It landed on heads, thus North Carolina it is. Greensboro to be exact.

    Best part about it is that I will have my own bedroom and bed. I haven’t had privacy for over three months.

    I am so blessed to have good friends.

     
  6. Traveler in New York

     
  7. Last night sitting in a Manhattan bar with a friend I met in Gent, he turned and asked me if there was anything I regretted about the trip. I sat back for a second, I personally don’t really play the whole regret game. BUT, while in Paris I photograph 7 girls from Model Mayhem. Which is a normal way for me to reach out to people to photograph.

    One of the girls I met up with kinda blew me away. She was funny, bold, and had one of the best laughs I’ve ever heard. We spent hours together walking around Paris and shooting. Its rare for me to connect with someone that quickly and feel so comfortable. At the end of the shoot we kind of danced around the question of what are you doing later. But we simply left each other with a big hug.

    The next day I left Paris. I have no idea if she felt the same way. Most likely not. BUT, I guess that is life. I never really get crushes but she made me feel that way almost instantly.

    But yea, here are some of the images of her…

     
  8. Sitting this morning having a Cafe Creme. I was listening to the people around me and I realized how I am not used to hearing people speak English anymore. (Also signs and menus etc..)

    In Europe it is really rare to be out and hear English. Conversations sound so much more important when you don’t understand them. Now back in America all the conversations are really silly and self absorbed. I sure the conversations are similar in Europe also.. But I just don’t have to hear them.

    Something else that came to me was the loss of feeling special in a place. Over there you are something of interest. A conversation piece. Here, no body gives a shit.

    Oh and I really got used to European expresso. The last couple of cups here kinda sucked.

     
  9. The city that never sleeps. New York.

    I got a good nights sleep in order to get rid of my jet lag from the trip back from London. So what all did I do today?

    I am staying Q4 hostel in Queens so it required that I walk across the Queensboro Bridge to get into middle Manhattan. From there I walked in a kinda zig zag pattern to East 96th street. Along that route I finally found central park, which is really nice by the way.

    Walking through the park I stumbled across the Trump Ice Skating rink. The child in me had to be satisfied. So I coughed up some cash and went ice skating. There I was, 32 years old skating with 10 year olds. Ha!

    From there I walked, and walked, and walked some more. I saw Time Square. The theatre district, the garment district, Chelsea, Greenwich, Little Italy (Of course I stopped and ate a wonderful plate of chicken marsala), Chinatown, the financial district, ground zero, and Battery Park. 

    I walked all the way to the ocean to see the Statue of Liberty. I then walked back to Wall Street to catch a metro back to Queens. 

    My feet are fucking killing me. I am not sure how far I walked but I am guessing somewhere around give or take 227 blocks in total. I walked from 8am till 4pm.

    This is a beautiful city. And big as fuck. And it has a lot less dog shit than France.

     

  10. trixclibrarian asked: "every story, my love/ a creature journeys and returns transformed" -yesterday i posted this on my blog - today i found your blog via the pic of the 85 year old traveler you met in Granada Spain. I'm older than she was when she started so I'll likely never make 50 years but...oh! how i'd like to be her. oh! how i was glad to see her face. i'm glad you went and i'm glad you took & shared photos and i'm glad i was alive on the same earth as you at the same time to see them. thank-you sincerely, jc

    Of course, thank you for reaching out!

     
  11. Well my trip is coming to an end. Due to a combination of monetary resources and thoughts of home I have decided to head home. I realized it  one morning walking around Gent, Belgium. It came to me just as suddenly as the wanting to travel. 

    I then began to search for the best priced flights. Best price was from London to New York, then another flight to San Antonio.

    Total cost 866.00

    Thinking about all these miles I’ve traveled and the number of days doing so, I just had to put a total to them. Here we go.

    When I return to San Antonio, Texas.

    68 Days of backpacking

    2 Continents

    6 Countries 

    13,941 miles 

    The meaning of the trip has not quite sunk in yet. I am starting to get some realizations of what might have changed. But, alas who knows until later. I still have New York to experience. I feel blessed. 

    The photo above is a self portrait. These eyes are what lead to the images you have seen over the last couple of months.

    I’ll see you in New York!

     

  12. Anonymous asked: Do you have Instagram?

    I used to. But I deleted it. I do not really take cell phone pictures.

     
  13. Public Transportation…

    Before my trip to Europe I never used, or even thought of using public transportation. 60 days later, I have used the train, tram, trolley, bus, metro, bike, and even one child’s razor scooter. Don’t judge. I was drunk.

    Back to topic, these forms of transportation have proven to me that you don’t need a car to survive in the world. This is nice. Paris has some of the absolute best! Even though a lot of people use it, and it often smells like piss. It works great. America could learn a lot.

    Even little Ghent, Belgium is great. Most of their cities population uses a bike. Austin, Texas would be jealous. Bikes rule the city.

    Save gas, go to the bar on a razor scooter. But of course only one equipped with a drink holder. I’m a realist.

     
  14. Feast your eyes on what I think is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Ghent, Belgium is definitely my favorite. Lets review the reasons why.

    • Ornate, old, and super clean.

    The belgians seem to take great pride in everything they do. The streets are dog shit free! This is the first in Europe that I’ve seen.

    • Belgian Beer!

    For me I am in pure bliss, 12 percent beers are almost cheaper than water. They have a great selection. I have not been to one bad bar yet. Take note that I have been to 14 in my time here.

    • Belgian people.

    Everyone is polite, everyone is relaxed, its seems that they really appreciate the little things.

    Out of all of the European places that I have been to this is one that if I had the chance, I would live here. For all my friends that know San Marcos, this town has a similar feel. Big student body, lots to do, great local businesses. Laid back as can be. This town is all about bikes. Literally thousands of them in the streets. Its the perferred mode of transportation. 

    I give this place 8/10!

     
  15. I just arrived in Ghent, Belgium. This is the view from my hostel window. Good Lord!!!!!!!