Life is Anything But Fair


“Life is anything but fair, life is anything but fair.” – All The Pretty Girls by Kaleo

This is a lyric from a song by Kaleo called All The Pretty Girls. I love the line and also that it’s repeated, because it’s so true. Nothing ever happens the way you want it to or the way it should. Life spins you in every direction and whenever that direction is downward you are going to feel like it’s unfair. It may be true, but life always feels fair when it’s going well. The reality is that whether things are going well for you or not, life isn’t fair for someone. You have to learn to fight through the lows and celebrate the highs, but don’t accept your problems by claiming that life is unfair. Fight through your problems and find a solution, overcome the unfairness of the world and build yourself back up.

This picture was taken at the Linville Falls, near the Upper Falls.

Lunch Over a Gorge


Today is my birthday! Whoop whoop, time to celebrate. Part of me is sitting here wishing I could be back sitting on the edge of the Linville Gorge, eating my sandwich in solitude. I found this spot by going off the main trail on a small but noticeable path into the woods. At the end I was rewarded with this view. I sat and ate my lunch and just laid there listening to music for about an hour. It was the perfect spot, and that’s high praise coming from me! I have developed a pretty good list of the best places to eat lunch. Soon I am going to categorize all my posts, and the posts under the “Lunch” category will be all the beautiful places that I have eaten lunch in solitude.

Okay, it’s time to go celebrate; until tomorrow folks!

A Light in the Dark


I love this picture. It was taken on the most beautiful day, under the bluest sky. However, in black and white it is eerie and mysterious. Just like anything else, a slight change of perspective can completely change your opinion on an issue. Before you make up your mind about something, explore every possible perspective.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Albert Einstein.

Somewhat related, and also just because I love this quote. Albert Einstein was a genius for his work in relativity, but he also has some really inspirational quotes about life in general. Go check them out if you haven’t read them before!

Mountain Therapy


Today I decided to back up my camera and head back to the Blue Ridge Parkway. This time I had a specific destination in mind; Linville Falls. I had heard good things about the hike, except for the fact that it was always so crowded. Today was really cold so I knew it would be good day to explore the gorge in some solitude.

I had no idea just how amazing the falls would be. They were huge, but the fact that they were in the middle of the Linville Gorge made them appear small. The gorge was an impressive sight to behold. When I was reading about it this morning before I hit the road, I saw several places that people referred to it as the “Grand Canyon of North Carolina”. While that’s a bold claim, I see what they are talking about. At Linville Falls, there are a wide variety of hiking trails all ending with a different vantage points of the falls. I decided to explore them all, and by the end of the day I had taken 400 pictures, which is a lot for me. (Each new perspective was incredible and required a whole new batch of pictures.)

The picture above was actually taken from a giant rock right in the middle of the river. To get to the rock, I had to cross a very unstable tree that was submerged in the water. On my first attempt I nearly fell in because there was a board on top of the log that appeared to be nailed on. Over the winter the nails must have rusted and broken because that board was just resting on top of the log. I wouldn’t have minded getting wet (It was so cold!) but I could have ruined my camera. Thankfully I had my water proof boots so my feet were dry! (The picture below is the treacherous rock.)


This hike was incredible. Expect to see more pictures throughout the week… I have so many!

Birthday Beer Float


I am a huge fan of craft beer. I have been brewing beer for several years now and it has definitely given me a deeper appreciation of the craft. I am constantly on the hunt for delicious new beers, and this is one I stumbled upon.

Shiner has become a rather large craft brewery, based in Shiner, Texas. They are most known for their Shiner Bock which I am not a fan of. However, I have always loved their Shiner Black Lager, thanks to my mom (most of my good taste in beer comes from my mother). One day when I was browsing around the beer aisle in the grocery store, which is one of my favorite things to do, I noticed this Shiner Birthday Beer. I was intrigued by the label, but I was sold by the fact that it was a chocolate stout. I am a huge fan of a well brewed chocolate stout, and I had a feeling that Shiner would do it justice.

It did not disappoint. Most chocolate stouts just have a hint of chocolate in them… this beer had an explosion of cocoa with every sip. It was easy to drink, but possessed the thick quality a good stout should have, making it as much of a meal as it is a beverage. I had big plans for this stout.


I can’t claim to have thought of this myself, unfortunately. When I visited Burlington, VT with my family last Thanksgiving, we stopped by a little local brewery called the Vermont Pub and Brewery. Their food and beer was so delicious we ended up going there twice even though we were only there for three days. They had a dessert beer on the menu that I was itching to try but didn’t get around to it until our second visit. It was a mint chocolate stout, which was absolutely delicious. When I ordered it, I had no idea that it was going to come in the form of a float! It was spectacular, and ever since then I have been a large proponent of stout floats (a porter will work too but it will most likely taste better with a stout).

If you can find Birthday Beer at the store, snatch it up quick! It is a limited edition celebrating the brewery’s 106th birthday.

Why You Should Eat Less Meat

Through The Trees

My new health initiative is to cut down my intake of meat to half a pound or less a week. I’m not a vegetarian; I love meat. Chicken, steak, pork, you name it, I love it. I also do love animals but I’m not some animal activist complaining about the horrid conditions animals are put through to give us a delicious meal (although it really is so devastatingly sad and horrible). This decision is spurred by a completely different issue entirely. I am doing this to do my part in securing a better, safer future for the Earth and the human race.


It does seem like a very bold statement, but its backed by strong logic. Before I even begin, I do not claim to be some food genius or to have the crazy ability to foresee future world complications; many of these thoughts were spurred by a “Chew on This” Ted Talk video I watched recently on Netflix (It’s episode #3 “Mark Bittman on What’s Wrong with What We Eat”). If you haven’t seen this, you should really take a second and watch it, it’s only 18 minutes long. Mark does a much better job at explaining what I’m about to relay to you, I guarantee it.

Anyway, I could throw a bunch of facts and figures at you but the reality is that land associated with agriculture takes up at least a third of the land area of our planet. Agriculture completely ruins the land and ecosystems that it takes over, so it has a very physically damaging effect on the earth. Also, agriculture results in extremely high greenhouse gas emissions, far more so than travel. Basically, the large scale of agriculture we have now is damaging just about every part of the world in some way. With the global population skyrocketing, the land used for agriculture is supposed to increase at extremely high rates.

Also, Americans especially have become accustomed to a diet based around the consumption of meat and dairy, which is just downright unhealthy. The average American eats 5 pounds of meat a week. If you don’t believe me, think about what you ate this past week. It will make you cringe. There is a reason Americans have the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world, among other diseases, and it’s due to our unhealthy diets.

(This is like the shortest summary in the world describing the problems that agriculture causes. If you want more information, watch that video I mentioned and use Google as a resource. It’s staggering to look at the statistics and realize how much agriculture really is ruining everything. Big business will do anything for money.)


At this stage in the game, we have dug ourselves a pretty deep hole. We are trashing the Earth we live on day by day by over consumption and waste. The only way we are going to turn this thing around is by starting a movement to get individuals to start changing their eating habits. It all starts from the individual. Every single person makes decisions that influence the future of our species and the Earth, and if we can get people to start making more responsible decisions, we can clean up this mess. If everyone just cut their intake of meat and dairy in half, we would be well on our way to reducing land used for agriculture, which in turn would reduce green house gas emissions, and causing people to be healthier all in one fell swoop. It’s a huge domino effect, and right now the dominoes are falling in the wrong direction.

Let me paint you a picture. If we don’t start individually acting on issues like these, life as we know it will be over soon. With the population booming, there is going to be a higher demand for food and water. That means agriculture will take over the planet, destroying the environment willy nilly. Soon our planet will be overpopulated, with too many mouths to feed and not enough resources to quench the demand. This will lead to wars over fresh water and real food, like garden fresh vegetables. The governments will have to take control due to the surging population and desperation of people. It will be a mess.

That may be a bit of a stretch but it’s not an impossibility. We have many challenges ahead of us as a species and I’m not going to sit here and pretend like I have the answers. I just know that I will do anything I can to make the situation a little better. Not eating six pounds a week will be considerably easier than a future generation having to kill to get a drink of water.

Join me in the challenge to eat less than half a pound of meat a week! In the process, you’ll have to fill yourself with something, and this would be prime opportunity to start eating healthier. Next week I will show you how I’m adjusting my diet to make up for the 5 pounds of meat I am not consuming.

Lunch on a Cliff


This is the view that lay before me as I ate lunch a couple weeks ago on the side of the Blue Ridge Parkway, sitting on the guard rail, letting my feet dangle off the side of a cliff. It was magnificent. It’s situations like these that we try so desperately to capture with a photograph, but there is no substitute for being there. When I look at this picture, all of those feelings of joy and freedom rush back to me as if it were yesterday. I would give anything to eat my sandwich looking at a view as beautiful as this everyday.

Can’t wait to get on the road again!

The Lonely Cloud

Lonely Cloud

We’ve all been this cloud before… we’ve felt different and distant from everyone else around us. We push ourselves into seclusion because of our negative self perception. What we don’t realize in those times is that we are just like everyone else, fighting through life the best we can. Just like this cloud, we may look different on our exterior, but inside we are all the same.

Don’t be the lonely cloud!

“Live My Life in Self-Defense”


“Nobody knows what the future holds
And it’s bad enough just getting old
Live my life in self-defense
You know I love the past, ’cause I hate suspense…”

(Diane Young, Vampire Weekend)

This is a bridge in a song by the band Vampire Weekend, Diane Young. If you haven’t heard the song before, you should listen to it, it’s fantastic (I’ll post the YouTube link at the bottom).

This lyric resonates with me because so many people live their lives in self-defense. They are so scared of anything going wrong that they try to cut their losses any chance they can. They refuse to live their lives fully in fear of what may happen, because “no one knows what the future holds”. Everyone hangs on to the past because it’s safe; no one can change the past. Whether it was good or bad, it is set in stone. It’s so easy to hang on to the static past instead of making a dynamic future for yourself. And if you live your life this way, constantly in self-defense, then getting old can be “bad enough”.

I don’t want to live my life in self-defense. I want to pave my way through life, making choices I want to make; choices that may scare me at first. I may put myself in situations that make me extremely uncomfortable, but that’s how I’ll grow and learn who I really am. If you stay in your safe little cocoon you will never learn who you truly are. It may be the “safe way” to traverse life, but what are you really gaining from that?

This being said, I don’t want to be a daredevil who jumps off bridges on a whim. I just want to experience everything life has to offer; I have only scraped the surface. I’m sure there are so many things that when I first think about doing them, I will immediately say no in my mind. It’s almost like a built in reflex. I want to fight that impulse and overcome my fear of the unknown. It’s not easy, I’m not going to lie. It’s something I constantly struggle with, but it’s something I am determined to get better at. Every time I do take a leap of faith and try something new, I am forever grateful I did.

I recently moved to a new city all by myself, planning to stay for 7 months. Charlotte, NC is my home for now and I really have come to love this city. It is beautiful, clean, and full of fun things to do. However, moving here alone has not been easy. Meeting people when you are on your own is a lot harder than you would think. Also, I’m working at my first corporate job which has been a challenging, new experience. If you have followed my blog from its inception, you will understand my complex relationship with my place of work. In short, I couldn’t have found a better place to work in my field of chemical engineering, but I just don’t think this lifestyle is for me.

Basically I have just thrown myself into a huge city, working at my first job, all by myself. In my two months here, I have learned so much about myself. I think I’m really growing as a person, and finding out what I really want to do with my future. If I had never taken the leap and come down to Charlotte, there is no way I would be at the point I am at. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so good for me.

I’m hoping for a future full of situations like the one I am in now, situations that will challenge me to be better, to adapt. I’m getting ahead of myself; one adventure at a time!

High Altitude Desolation


The best part of a hike is the summit. That’s an obvious statement, I realize; that’s the point of hiking a mountain. You are rewarded with an absolutely stunning view after a great deal of physical exertion. I love this aspect of it, but I also love to enjoy the view in solitude. There is nothing better than finding a quiet, deserted section of a summit to just sit down and think. The great open space and high elevation will clear even the most clouded mind. I always pack a sandwich to slowly eat as I take in my surroundings.

Today I hiked a popular trail a little south of Charlotte. It was a really crowded hike, which wasn’t exactly the environment I wanted to be in. Thankfully, the summit was large with plenty of nooks and crannies, perfect for an afternoon of solitary rest.