Noelle Neff

Noelle Neff is an award-winning photographer and founder of Noelle Neff Photography. Her career as a professional photographer grew primarily from her love of wedding photography. She then expanded her area of expertise to include travel, sports, speakers, fine art, and portraits. Though she photographs a wide range of subjects, her work is unified by a distinct style. Neff has received acclaim for the originality of her style.

Neff went to the University of Miami, where she pursued various interests including English, the sciences, and Art. Her photography skills earned her many opportunities to work as a photographer, even while in College. A photograph of the famous writer Judy Blume was published in the college’s literary magazine, and then picked up by the main steam media. As Neff’s work began to circulate more widely, she built her network and received more job offers. Her professional career took off in leaps and bounds when she decided to work for herself long term, and formed Noelle Neff Photography.

Neff also holds informal gatherings for Miami-based women entrepreneurs at her down-town Miami offices and studio. She enjoys supporting new business owners, and sharing what she has learned on her journey. Neff also shares widely about her experience with nurturing and harnessing her own creative strengths.

Neff lives in the outskirts of Miami with her two cats. When she is not working on her business, you might find her reading a good philosophy or personal development book. IN her spare time she also sings with a group, participates in service-based charity, and spends time at the beach.

 

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

My favorite thing about traveling is, with-out a doubt, the food! And the eating out experiences, in general. I just love the whole experience of it, from meeting the server, to taking in all of the smells.

Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

I’d love to say it’s a lifestyle, but for right now it is a hobby. My business is my life, and travel seems to be what I do to break out of my routine and get some relaxation and fun into the mix. I love my routine, and my work, but sometimes I just need a good trip so that I can unwind and expand my horizons. Sometimes my work and travel intersect, and I really enjoy the cross-over. I actually got started with traveling when a friend hired me for a magaziine shoot she was doing in Indonesia. I came back from that trip with a completely new perspective, and I thought, “Wow, I have to do that more often!”

What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

I’ve been to some pretty incredible places, so that’s a tough one. I see beauty everywhere! But I suppose the most beautiful place was Rome, Italy. I love nature and landscapes, but there was something really extraordinary about the architecture and man-made art in Rome that really took my breath away.

Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

In high school I was an exchange student in Tokyo, Japan. I have kept in touch with my host family in Okayama this spring. I am really looking forward to reconnecting, and seeing all of my favorite places in the city.

What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

My travel tips for the inexperienced are pretty simple. Be kind, suspend your judgement, and pack light. One of the most important things you can do with visiting a new culture is to just be nice and respectful to people. It will transform your interactions with others. I say suspend your judgement because when we live in very predictable lives for a long time, we start to expect things to go a certain way. When traveling you have to stop trying to control everything, and you have to accept differences. Putting judgement aside really helps me to stay open to new experiences. And pack light because no one wants to be dragging extra gear through airports! Been there, done that! I learned my lesson, so I try to pass it on to any new travelers that I encounter.

Where would you like to go?

I’ve always wanted to visit Costa Rica, but I haven’t made it yet.

Where would you like to revisit?

I’d like to revisit Paris. I went when I was in my teens, and I don’t think I experienced it to its full potential.

Do you travel alone? Why?

I travel alone, mostly because I am not married, and it is convenient to follow my own schedule rather than arranging trips with friends or family. When my close friends or family are available to join in, its great, and I welcome it. But I’m not afraid of booking a solo ticket when the mood strikes me, even if no one else can join in on the fun.

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

Tokyo for the beautiful chaotic liveliness. Big Sur, California for the natural beauty, and Rome, Italy, for its art history.

Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

I travel uber light! I love feeling free as I move around. I actually travel with carry-on luggage only, whenever possible.

Grace Lever

Long before she enrolled in the International College of Management in Sydney, New South Wales, Grace Lever had already developed a keen interest in the empowerment made possible through entrepreneurship. As the founder of GraceLever.com & The Doing Academy, Grace can take pride in the fact that her early interest in entrepreneurial empowerment has not only been instrumental in the success she has since gone on to achieve, but also in the success of the growing number of female entrepreneurs whose businesses have thrived because of the supportive community Grace created.

In her role as a mentor to so many female entrepreneurs, Grace Lever reviews all the different ways members of her community can take advantage of the same principles of doing utilized by Grace each time she successfully built a seven-figure business in less than a year. The female entrepreneurs who have worked with GraceLever.com & The Doing Academy frequently cite Grace’s entrepreneurial philosophy as though it were a mantra: “Stop dreaming and start doing.”

Grace continues to be the embodiment of that entrepreneurial philosophy. After earning her degree in business and event management, Grace immediately set out on the entrepreneurial journey that has allowed her to live out her lifestyle dream while helping others do the same. Now living with her husband and their puppy in the wine region of Adelaide Hills, Grace remains committed to empowering female entrepreneurs and travels all over the world to share her wisdom through speaking engagements.

 

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

My favorite thing about traveling is the opportunity to share what I know with people from all over the world.

 

Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

Traveling has always been a part of my life, but now I travel for work just as frequently as I do for fun.

 

What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

I recently spent some time in Southern California, and it was far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

 

Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

We do something called The Doers Inner Circle Weekend Away on a regular basis, and there are quite a few locations I’m looking forward to visiting.

 

What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

Travel with friends and family, and make the most of the time you have by doing as much fun stuff as possible.

 

Where would you like to go?

There are so many places I’d like to see, but New York stands out the most in my mind.

 

Where would you like to revisit?

Sydney is one of my favorite cities in all the world, and I’m looking forward to getting back there sometime soon.

 

Do you travel alone? Why?

Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. It just depends on where I’m going and what I’ll be doing once I’m there.

 

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

  1. Sydney, New South Wales
  2. Aspen, Colorado
  3. Beverly Hills, California

 

Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

When I’m traveling for recreation, I tend to travel light. When it’s for business, sometimes I have to pack up more than I would otherwise prefer.

Bill Michelon – Entrepreneur and Adventure Traveler

When it comes to travel, many people picture Paris, Rome, Bangkok and other popular locations as a picturesque backdrop to take photos to send home.   For Bill Michelon on the other hand, mixing adventure with hard to reach locations is his idea of traveling.  

Bill Michelon is a lifelong entrepreneur and business owner that spends his free time going places where not many venture.  The pressures of performing as your own boss, in charge of your own destiny, requires the mind to expand and contract.  Travel, for Bill, has become a great way to relax and reflect on his accomplishments and provides him with a way to think outside of the box from gaining a new perspective on the world.

Outside of travel, Bill Michelon continues to build his business and expand his ideas.  He shares helpful tips, hints and travel deals (as well as business stories) on his personal website BillMichelon.com.

1.What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Like anyone, I love the excitement that you experience when you visit new places. But more importantly, I love going to out of the way cities or remote towns just to have a different story and experience all together.  

Going out of my way just to have a unique experience makes the journey worthwhile.

2. Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

One of these days, I’d like to call it a lifestyle.  I think anyone would, really.  But for now it’s a hobby.  Whenever I have the time freed from my business life, I try to visit a new place.  

I started with a trip to the Bahamas since it’s so close to where I live in Florida.  From there it was your usual trips to the big cities in Europe but I really longed for something different and off the beaten path. 

3. What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

So far, my favorite place is Hana, Hawaii.  No one ever seems to go to this tiny town on the eastern shore of Maui.  It’s tough to get to and there’s not much there for tourists.  You’re not going to find t-shirt shops or familiar chain restaurants.  

It’s vastly unspoiled and to me, it’s paradise. 

4. Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

I’m trying to plan a trip to Chile soon and do some unforgettable hiking.  I’ve had some colleagues that have made the trip and their family had to beg them to come back.  

Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) is another destination that would be convenient to visit while I’m in Chile, so I’m looking at booking that as well.  I have some sort of pull towards Easter Island – it’s just so isolated and beautiful that I think it’ll take my number one spot of Hana, Hawaii.  

5. What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

Good question! (laughs) When traveling, don’t sweat about having “everything” you think you need.  There’s always going to be somewhere to pick up things you forget or lose along the way.   

Resist over packing too.  On a recent trip to Bali, I saw a couple that were obviously new to travel.  It’s totally fine, but they rolled out of the airport with three bags a piece.   I’ve never had to have that much stuff on a trip and I’m sure they realized it after their vacation.  

Travel should be enjoyment.  Don’t cram everything you own into a suitcase in each hand.  Plan ahead of time, research the weather, take one pair of shoes or sandals and go from there.  Figuring things out can be the most rewarding part of adventure.

6. Where would you like to go?

One place I have not been is Easter Island, like I mentioned before.  Hopefully, I’ll get there soon if all goes well.  

7. Where would you like to revisit?

Iceland!  I’ve only made one trip to Iceland for some reason.  There’s so much natural beauty to see there.  It’s obviously not a typical destination for me like the tropics, but I feel like I didn’t see enough.   The natural hot springs in Iceland are amazing.  They’re a great way to meet other travelers and even locals.  

8. Do you travel alone? Why?

I used to travel alone.  Since my meeting my (now) wife, we’ve spent a lot of time together overseas and discovering new places.  While traveling with someone has its challenges, sharing the moments and adventures with another person is extremely fulfilling.

9. If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

Hana, Hawaii, Baja, Mexico and Jackson Hole, Wyoming!

10. Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

I’m a firm believer in packing light.  If you’re traveling with someone else, it’s even easier.  Spread the load between two people and try to simplify.  Worry less about what you bring along with you and spend more time discovering the places you’re going.  

 

Connect with Bill Michelon:

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/bill-michelon-a2261a4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MrBillMichelon/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/bill_michelon

D. Scott Carruthers

D. Scott Carruthers is a specialist in capturing visually inspiring objects, from exotic to the most mundane. The Anaheim, California native displayed the talent for painting and drawing at a young age. To sharpen his studious interest, Scott’s parents supported his education and art pursuits. Scott’s initial interest in photography revolved around landscape and portrait photography. His mother bought him a camera that proved very useful in projects. Many of his captivating photos featured in the high school yearbook. Scott pushed his sights beyond the confines of the classroom. He soon turned to fashion photography, in a feat that saw him grace various fashion shows in Anaheim.

Hi works became a common feature on local magazines and newspapers thanks to the modeling agencies, music bands and designers. After graduating from high school, Scott travelled to the West Coast to expand his interest in photography. This time, he concentrated his efforts to capturing photos of hot fashion designers and bands in the area. He immediately expanded his offerings to include wedding and event photography. With celebrity status beckoning, Scott established his own photography studio at age 20. He signed up with an agency to promote his work and this quickly led to call ups to shoot athletes, entertainers and movie stars.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Travel photography is fun, you get to experience different climates, meet different people and enjoy fun adventures. I especially like the fact that I am able to realize most of my wishes in the course of work. I have a short list of wishes and I am always pleasantly surprised when I come across something, compelling and completely unexpected.

Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

I think it is a bit of both. It is a hobby because it endears the photographer to reach out to the photographic community and helps develop a personal style. The opportunity to travel in different places is a lifestyle in itself. Here, you get the opportunity to capture a variety of architectures, wildlife, landscapes, and people. Since photography takes a while to master, I developed interest while in high school.

Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

My assignments sometimes force me to travel far and wide, and I always make it a point to document my travels. Part of the reason I do this is to give justice to the many wonderful places I have been to. My upcoming October travel itinerary will include Mexico, where I have several wedding assignments lined up in Cancun and Acapulco.

What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

Any professional photographers willing to work hard and diversify their skills stand a big chance of excelling in travel photography. I would encourage any inexperienced photographers to start by building a portfolio. The next step is licensing your travel photography with an agency for promotion purposes.

Where would you like to go?

Some of the places I plan on visiting outside the US include Piazza San Marco in Venice and Mount Fuji in Tokyo.

Where would you like to revisit?

One of my most memorable photo shoots is in regard to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. I have seen the demand for postcards bearing these images grow exponentially. Along with the Canyon, I look forward to revisiting the Petrified Forest National Park.

Do you travel alone? Why?

I have done this several times. Since I am always connected through the gadgets, traveling alone seems pretty normal to me.

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

The places that quickly come to my radar are the Faroe Islands, Grand Canyon and the Amazon.

Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

I get this question a lot during my travels. I would like to point out that packing largely depend on the demands of the assignment. For some light duties, I only carry two lenses, my prime and zoom lens along with a Kindle containing all my favorite reads and images. To avoid losing or misplacing my luggage, I always tag my carry-on bag along.

Rusty Tweed

In his role as the president and owner of Tweed Financial Services, Rusty Tweed has spent the past quarter-century dedicated to providing clients with access to a comprehensive, full-service firm specializing in both financial and estate planning. Mr. Tweed, a fixture of the Greater Los Angeles Area who has devoted his career to sharing his professional insight and expertise in any way possible, is also the publisher of Tweed Economics, a digital publication updated on a daily basis featuring news and information pertaining to the current economic climate.

Mr. Tweed, a graduate of the University of Waterloo and a third-generation financial services professional, has recently expanded his entrepreneurial efforts to include Mold Zero and TFS

Properties, Inc. In his newest endeavor as the owner of Mold Zero, Mr. Tweed is responsible for the oversight of a company offering mold elimination services featuring both non-toxic and non-demolition processes. As the president and CEO of TFS Properties, Inc., Mr. Tweed has found yet another way to leverage his unique combination of professional experience and expertise by focusing on identifying and brokering off-market properties, all of which feature above-average cash flow and cap rates.

An award-winning estate planner and frequently published financial services expert, Mr. Tweed’s professional experience also includes lobbying before Congress and earning recognition from the National Association of Financial and Estate Planners (NAFEP) as Estate Planner of the Year. Although the highly accomplished and frequently sought-after financial services and estate planning expert is indeed proud of the many awards and accolades he has earned over the course of his more than 25-year career as a wealth management professional, Mr. Tweed is most grateful for the opportunity to work closely with clients to develop an individualized financial plan or retirement plan designed to achieve the specific short- and long-term goals outlined by the client.

 

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Traveling is one of the great educational tools we have at our disposal; over the years I’ve learned so much about botany, zoology, and geology just by traveling to different places all over the world.

 

Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

It’s mostly a hobby for me since I’m so dedicated to my work with Tweed Financial Services and my other companies. It was actually because of my work that I began traveling more often and ultimately became more interested in exploring more of the world through travel.

 

What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

The two locations I’ve been fortunate enough to call home will always be the most beautiful in my eyes: Ontario, Canada, and Los Angeles, California.

 

Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

I still travel to DC as well as Ontario often, but I don’t yet have any future plans set outside of that.

 

What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

I’ve found that the best travel experiences are the result of a concerted effort to really get to know the locals of the area, so wherever you go, take the time to get to know the people and learn as much as possible about the local culture.

 

Where would you like to go?

I’d like to go to Scandinavia and travel through Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

 

Where would you like to revisit?

The Hawaiian Islands are always worth revisiting.

 

Do you travel alone? Why?

Sometimes, but it’s mostly a matter of the situation or circumstance.

 

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

Ontario, Maui, and Los Angeles.

 

Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

I do enough advance planning that I am always able to travel as light as possible.

Krishen Iyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Krishen Iyer is the founder of Managed Benefits Services, an entrepreneurial endeavor that draws on its founder’s extensive experience and expertise in digital marketing, technical development, and client relations. Mr. Iyer’s most recent endeavor actually began as Quick Link Marketing, but the dynamic digital marketing expert felt it was appropriate to rename the company in order to reflect a retooled strategic approach as well as the newly developed multi-layer marketing platform’s ability to handle greater volume.

A longtime resident of California who currently lives and works in the Fresno area, Mr. Iyer attended San Diego State University as well as Grossmont College as an undergraduate. With a naturally inquisitive mind and a healthy degree of intellectual curiosity, Mr. Iyer enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate courses spanning the full spectrum of academic disciplines during his time at San Diego State, essentially laying the groundwork for his future professional endeavors requiring a varied skill set featuring elements of entrepreneurship, marketing, and technical development, among other things.

In 2004, Mr. Iyer graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in public administration and urban development. Following his graduation from SDSU, Mr. Iyer developed an interest in the insurance industry, an interest that ultimately inspired him to pursue and secure his certification as an insurance agent. It was during this time that Mr. Iyer recognized an opportunity to leverage his unique professional skill set for the purpose of founding an entrepreneurial endeavor: Quick Link Marketing.

Even though the endeavor was an unqualified success, Mr. Iyer was relentless in his desire to improve the company in any way possible. Mr. Iyer’s new platform — a multi-layer marketing platform plugged into AWS that contains a wealth of advanced features designed to improve client outcomes — holds a great deal of promise in this regard, so much so that the expert entrepreneur and digital marketer decided to christen the enterprise anew with the name Managed Benefits Services.

 

1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?

I love the feeling of freedom that accompanies traveling, even if it’s only a short distance or a brief period of time.

2. Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

It’s become more of a lifestyle in recent years, and I intend to travel even more frequently as my company continues to grow and becomes more established in the marketplace. I got serious about traveling right around the time I realized how easy it is to work remotely from just about any location in the world.

3. What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

Yosemite National Park and Mammoth Lakes are two of my favorite destinations, and I am so grateful that they are both within easy driving distance of Fresno.

4. Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

No, but I’m sure I’ll think of something in the near future; I actually prefer a little spontaneity when it comes to traveling.

5. What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

I’ve traveled all over the world, but there are still so many beautiful places right here in California that I’ve yet to experience. My advice is to focus on those local areas that so many of us overlook before venturing too far from home.

6. Where would you like to go?

I’ve always wanted to visit Portugal and Spain. Maybe that’s where I’ll go next time I travel.

7. Where would you like to revisit?

I’d like to revisit Yosemite and Mammoth Lakes, hopefully before the summer ends.

8. Do you travel alone? Why?

Sometimes, but I do enjoy taking trips and sharing experiences with family and friends.

9. If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

Barcelona, Yosemite National Park, and Mammoth Lakes.

10. Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

Again, it really depends on the destination. I like to travel light when heading to a national park, but I’m just as likely to pack up much more than I could ever need when traveling to an unfamiliar location, especially if I’m planning on staying for an extended period of time.

Peter Jacoves – CEO of Nationwide Debt Direct

Peter Jacoves has countless entrepreneurial successes under his belt, beginning with the dramatic transformation he oversaw while taking his restaurant, Simply Fondue Restaurant, from a single restaurant to a chain that was ultimately acquired by a national competitor — all within the span of three short years. To underscore Peter’s accomplishments as the founder, owner, and manager of Simply Fondue Restaurant, his restaurants experienced a combined revenue increase from $500,000 to $4 million in a matter of 36 months under his leadership.

Although such immense early career success might provoke a sense of complacency in some entrepreneurs, Peter was energized by the idea of taking on a new challenge. After shifting his focus to endeavors involving marketing concepts, Peter created, developed, and launched the Fuel Rewards Program, which ultimately expanded into the wildly popular and instantly recognizable Fuel Rewards Network. Peter holds several patents stemming from the revolutionary marketing program he created, developed, and launched.

With two once-in-a-lifetime entrepreneurial achievements to his credit, Peter set out to again build a business capable of achieving significant growth over a short period of time. To this end, Peter founded Richmond Title Services, which he quickly grew into a 50-state title-insuring solution that would ultimately go on to be acquired by ISGN after topping $18 million in annual sales. Peter achieved this remarkable level of growth within an 18-month span of time.

After so many successes as a strategic entrepreneur, Peter now serves at the helm of Nationwide Debt Direct, a debt settlement company that utilizes an innovative front-to-back-end solution for consumers in need of assistance reducing or eradicating any outstanding debt obligations. As CEO, Peter has overseen Nationwide Debt Direct’s rapid rise within a highly competitive industry that expects to undergo a sustained period of growth for the foreseeable future.

 

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

I enjoy learning about different cultures.  I will often hire a driver to take me through an area so I am not trapped into tourist venues.  I want to experience a county as the locals.

 

Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

It’s a lifestyle for me, and it started shortly after I achieved my first success as an entrepreneur.

 

What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

The Tuscany region of Italy will always be my favorite place to visit.  It has the most beautiful landscapes.

 

Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

We like to take trips throughout the summer with our children.  We will be in Martha’s Vineyards with the whole gang for a week.  However, the trip I am looking forward to is a private house in Punta Mina, Mexico with just my wife.

 

What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

I recommend that people hire a private tour guide who will steer them away from tourist traps and allow you to really see a county.

 

Where would you like to go?

I would like to visit the Orient, but do not have any plans to do so just yet.

 

Where would you like to revisit?

I would definitely like to go back to Italy but with all the kids and my parents to experience the beauty together.

 

Do you travel alone? Why?

I do a great deal of traveling for business, so I am comfortable traveling solo.  The alone time gives me the opportunity to reflect on the course of business and even any life changes I would like to make.  I enjoy the solitude.

 

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

Italy, South of France and Portugal.

 

Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

I definitely pack light.  I finely tune and streamline my business operations and that mentality carries over when I pack for travel.

Charles Lubbat

Over the past decade, Charles Lubbat has worked with exceptional diligence to earn a reputation as one of the most talented business consultants available to startup entrepreneurs. Prior to earning his place of prominence as a leading expert in front-end development and digital marketing, Mr. Lubbat posed a critical question that would dramatically alter the career path upon which he had previously embarked. It was a question that few recent law school graduates would even think to ask, but Mr. Lubbat is a professional known for possessing a multitude of unique qualities that set him apart from his industry peers.

After earning acceptance to and graduating from law school, Mr. Lubbat reflected on his future career and questioned whether he was truly passionate about the legal field. Although Mr. Lubbat was indeed enthusiastic about the opportunities available to him with his law degree now in hand, he ultimately made the decision to change course in order to pursue a career as a business consultant. Mr. Lubbat felt he possessed both the talent and the expertise to excel as a business consultant, and, most importantly, also recognized how energized he became when working side-by-side with startup entrepreneurs in need of assistance overcoming the challenges encountered during the early stages of building a business.

It was this bold decision that allowed Mr. Lubbat to launch Lubbat Consulting. Based out of Houston, Texas, Lubbat Consulting specializes in assisting early-stage startups with an uncommon level of expertise in front-end development, digital marketing, branding, web design, and graphic design. In the more than 10 years since launching his consulting firm, Mr. Lubbat has helped an array of startup companies in the development of critical forecasting models along with a number of other vital metrics. The highly regarded business consultant is also a devoted husband who relishes every opportunity to spend time in the company of his wife and their three daughters.

 

1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?

My favorite thing about traveling — at least when it comes to traveling for recreational purposes — is the opportunity to explore a new and exciting place alongside my family. I do travel quite a bit for business and certainly enjoy doing so, but there is nothing that compares to sharing a memorable experience with my wife and our daughters.

 

2. Is traveling a hobby or a lifestyle for you? How did you get started?

It has elements of both, particularly since there are different reasons why I might have to travel. Either way, I first became interested in traveling as a means to explore more of the world’s natural wonders up close.

 

3. What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

Easy: The Amazon Rainforest.

 

4. Do you have any exciting travel dates planned for the future?

We don’t have any firm plans in place, but we’ve been discussing the possibility of backpacking through Europe next summer.

 

5. What are some travel tips you’d give to someone inexperienced?

Everyone should try to consciously engage each and every one of their senses wherever they happen to be. We miss out on some magnificent experiences when we fail to engage our senses in this way.

 

6. Where would you like to go?

We’ve been talking a lot about Europe lately, but I’d also like to visit Madagascar along with other parts of the Southeast African coast.

 

7. Where would you like to revisit?

I had a wonderful time in South America and would love to revisit the rainforest in Brazil as well as a number of other countries in the region.

 

8. Do you travel alone? Why?

Only for business; otherwise, I prefer to travel with my family.

 

9. If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

In addition to the Brazilian portion of the Amazon Rainforest and Western Europe, I’d include just about anywhere along the coast of Northern California, especially the areas featuring those majestic Redwood forests.

 

10. Do you travel light or do you pack up the house?

My love of hiking, camping, and the outdoors in general has instilled in me the virtues of traveling light regardless of the circumstance.

 

Brian Speier Portland Artist

Brian Speier is a professional artist and entrepreneur. He recently started his own Portland company and has been traveling for pleasure and for his design work for over ten years. Here are some of his thoughts on traveling as a self employed business owner.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

My favorite thing about traveling would have to be the amazing things I get to see. When I travel I am constantly inspired by the scenery, art and cultures that I experience. It can be compelling for an artist to find themselves in these new situations which entirely new designs.

Is traveling a lifestyle or a hobby for you? How did you get started?

I would have to say that traveling is a lifestyle for me. I can’t see myself without it, and I definitely plan my life, work and travel plans accordingly. It is healthy for me to travel, especially considering my job. New places inspire new art and new design ideas every time I travel. Whether it is to somewhere I have been before, but especially when I travel somewhere new.

What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

The most beautiful place I have been so far would be Iceland. It was the most magical place i had ever seen, with valley s that were thousands of years old. There were hot springs and deep green valleys, and beautiful ocean side views where there are rock crags out in the distance for miles.

What are some travel tips you’d give to an inexperienced traveler?

Always do your research. It is important to research a new country before going to it so you can be prepared for many thing. Sometimes there are cultural differences to be aware of, or specific guidelines to follow. You may also need certain shots and vaccines. Make sure that you have a plan in place or at least some good safe contact in the area in case you need help.

Where would you like to go?

Someday I would really like to visit China. I have heard there is so much to see there. Of course it is a really big country with a long history. If I did travel to China I would have to take at least a month long trip. There are so many things I would like to see there, like the Great Wall of China, or the famous Terra-Cotta Soldiers. Not to mention the culture there is so much different than America. It is a perfect learning experience and I plan to visit China very soon.

Where would you like to revisit?

I have been to France only once, but that is the place that I would most want to visit again. There is a certain romance in the air that is hard to describe. The people, and the cafes, and the ambiance made it one of the most memorable places I have traveled so far. I would love to go back and stay for a while. Perhaps get a small apartment or rent a room for a few months and really learn more about the culture.
Do you travel alone? Why?

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?

The top three places would have to be France, Brazil, and the Greek Isles. These place all have one thing in common, a romantic and ancient beauty. The architecture alone is enough to make each of these worth the visit, but get to know the people and you may never want to leave.

Do you travel light and efficiently or do you pack up the house?

I usually travel light. Depending on where I am going, and for how long. The big difference is in the amount of clothing I bring with me.

Brian Speier has been to over ten countries and he plans to visit more. As a Portland freelance artist he is able to incorporate his travel and work. It was wonderful to speak with him and hear a bit about his personal travel experiences.

Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is an entrepreneur, innovator and a seasoned mechanical design engineer with expertise in 3D CAD design, 3D printing, prototyping, manufacturing, animations, virtual tours, visualizations, virtual reality, virtual reality real estate walkthroughs and 3D architectural renderings. His other areas of specialty include aluminum extrusion process, sheet metal work, steel smelting and rolling. His firm, Render 3D Quickly operates on a global scale from its headquarters in Toronto, Ontario. The client centered and detail oriented approach espoused by Jason through Render has seen the company endear itself as a leading design entity. Today, the firm serves a broad market as evident in its client portfolio that includes contractors, architectures, designers, 3D Renders Quick, and real estate entities. The company clients come from the US, Europe, Canada, China and Australia. The rapid expansion is all thanks to a team of highly trained and experienced professionals who are always ready to assist clients.

Jason Vander Griendt also owns J-CAD, Inc a firm that specializes in providing 3D CAD design services along with 3D printing and prototyping. Established in 2005, the firm is highly adept at converting hand written drawings into CAD format of various file types, including Microstation, Inventor, AutoCAD and Solidedge. Jason’s work experience also includes serving as a Mechanical Design Engineer at Hatch from September 2006. His duties here include designing key components of smelting furnace used for ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Jason also served as a Mechanical Design Engineer at Gerdau Ameisteel from February 2004 to September 2006. During his tenure, he was tasked with designing, replacing and improving re-heat furnace components. Jason is a graduate of Fanshawe College. The renowned Canadian engineer and entrepreneur is passionate about building successful online businesses and mentoring up and coming entrepreneurs.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?
Travel always enriches my soul because of the various experiences I encounter along the way. Indeed, the experience I get from visiting places I could only previously imagine often enhances my sense of well-being and inspires me to go further.

Is traveling a lifestyle or a hobby for you? How did you get started?
I know people travel for various reasons, chief among them include work assignment, family and holiday. I always liked the feeling of complete freedom and dreamed of it one day. Location free, financially free, complete freedom from anything that restricts what I want to do so I designed my life to achieve this. I always admired people who had lives like that so I learned from them in what they were doing. A key ingredient was that they had online businesses.


What is the most beautiful place you’ve been to?

There are so many it’s hard to pick! Some excellent memories that come to mind quickly though are Sardinia, Italy, Western Canada in the Rockies is also very gorgeous! The turquoise lakes surrounded by massive mountains is stunning. I’m also very partial to Northern Italy close to the Switzerland border. Very pretty there too!

What are some travel tips you’d give to an inexperienced traveler?
Through traveling, you get the opportunity to enjoy new cuisines, enhance your quality of life and create new job and business prospects. For inexperienced travelers, I say avoid carrying everything you think you need if you want to travel light and efficiently. Pack ½ of what you think you’ll need. Only bring a carry on luggage to really zero in on what you’ll actually need. Realistically you throw on that same t-shirt a few times so you don’t’ need to bring 10. I find it’s helpful to have the mentality that “if I absolutely need it I’ll just buy it when I’m there” really helps to pack light. If you are traveling on a budget, check out discount deals, book special group rates and try to travel off season. Further, find a good credit card that gives you travel points. I have a WestJet card which gives me $500 – $1,000/month in travel dollars so I haven’t paid for a flight for years! Even better is I sell the travel dollars I can’t use to friends at a small discount helping them save money on travel while giving me free cash.

Where would you like to go?
I don’t have any plans currently but I’ll definitely be returning to Northern Italy, Como specifically very soon. Love it there!

Where would you like to revisit?
I just went to 20 countries in 2 months. One place that stood out for me was Serbia. Such a good time there!

Do you travel alone? Why?
I love travelling alone to be honest and prefer it for the most part. I got used to it when I worked for Siemens and was shipped all over the world alone for the company. It’s more efficient, do whatever YOU want all the time and be on your schedule. From time to time I’ll travel with a girlfriend if I have one in my life which is nice but it’s also nice to feel totally free to explore a location I’ve never seen before.

If you could pick the top 3 places every person should go, what would they be?
Italy, Vegas, Serbia.

Do you travel light and efficiently or do you pack up the house?
I generally travel light, especially by road. With regards to air travel, I always try to travel light because of prevailing luggage restrictions and international security in order to save time and avoid unnecessary delays. To travel light I always ensure I have a small bag or suitcase that can fit all my basic items as a carry on saving time at check-in and having no checked baggage means you just walk off the plane and go!