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!

Matthew David Parker

Matthew David Parker always had an eye for the arts. From painting to sculpting at a young age, he knew he had a drive to express himself artistically. It was not until he started taking photos with his family’s camera that he found the true outlet for his artistry. Not long after finding his new love, he took on a job during his early teens to save up for his own camera. It was as his work as a paperboy in New York City where he began to train his eye for the scenes he wanted to capture in his surroundings. The early photographs he took along his route laid crucial foundation for him.

After gaining experience over the years, Matthew David Parker found himself an opportunity to take promotional photos for his friend’s bakery shop. His honed skills allowed him to take mouthwatering photos of the baked goods that were to be used in store and online. His friend then went on to recommend him to others who required promotional photos. It did not take long for Matthew David Parker’s name to extend beyond family and friends and make its mark in the professional photography world.

Utilizing his knowledge of New York City, Matthew David Parker has gone on to capture the most iconic landmarks under a captivating, fresh perspective. The style in his photos have been described as demonstrating a contrast between the perfectionism of man’s architecture and the imperfection of mother nature. From portrait photography to photojournalism, his work has exhibited that this rising talent is no one hit wonder in the photography world. He has done professional work not only for locals in New York but for clients across the United States. His presence has even hit a global scale as he has contributed to clients based in Europe and Asia.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

1. I think most people would assume photographers love traveling because of all the new moments we can capture. That is certainly the case, but I believe it is much more than that. There is the opportunity to experience a different culture that is a big appeal. It is interesting to meet different people and taste new food. The allure of traveling is having an immersive new experience.

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

2. I consider traveling somewhere between a hobby and a lifestyle. My job allows me to travel quite often, which I am grateful for. However, I rarely travel outside of work related reasons.

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

3. It is hard to choose one place as there are so many beautiful places I have been to. One of the top ones is definitely Tagaytay, which is located in the Philippines. There is an area called the Picnic Grove filled with individual benches with small roofs. It is a perfect place to have a snack and enjoy the magnificent view as it overlooks the surroundings.

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

4. I do have a trip to Japan scheduled soon for business reasons. I am quite excited as I have always been interested in traveling to Japan. In my spare time there, I hope to attend one of the summer festivals that occur.

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

5. I would advise to not procrastinate on planning out the trip. Double and triple check you have all your necessities packed. Keep a budget for the trip as it is quite easy to overshoot it since buying everything is tempting. Also be sure to leave enough money aside in case of any emergencies.

Where would you like to go?

6. Since I can soon cross Japan off my list, I would like to visit Victoria, BC sometime. I have seen pictures, and it is really a sight to behold.

Where would you like to revisit?

7. It would be nice to revisit the Philippines again. The climate may not be forgiving as it does get humid. However, the people there are all so friendly. The sights and the food are amazing.

Do you travel alone? Why?

8. I do travel alone. As it is business related, sometimes the trips come up on short notice. It is difficult to ask a buddy to suddenly drop what they’re doing and expect them to join me.

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

9. Top 3 places would be the Philippines, England, and Italy.

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

10. I think I am somewhere in between. It depends on how long I am staying.

Keith Bansemer of My Patriot Supply

Keith Bansemer, a talented and experienced digital strategist and eCommerce marketing expert, has recently helped lead My Patriot Supply in the development and implementation of diverse marketing strategies aimed at promoting the company’s varied brands across more than two-dozen individual websites. Keith, who joined My Patriot Supply as the VP of marketing in early 2016, is responsible for leading a uniquely skilled team of marketing professionals specializing in website UX and conversion optimization as well as a host of other essential tasks in the creation of a full-service marketing experience.

After living in Chicago for many years while working in the broadcasting industry, Keith now resides in the Idaho panhandle while working on highly effective marketing campaigns for My Patriot Supply’s many unique brands, including Alexapure, Colonial Concepts, Patriot Pantry, and Patriot Seeds. As My Patriot Supply’s vice president of marketing, Keith maintains a busy professional schedule yet still finds time to travel to some of the most idyllic natural settings in the United States and beyond.

Prior to assuming his marketing leadership role with My Patriot Supply, Keith focused on instilling operational excellence in brand-building for Gannett’s USA Today Network, One-Click Ventures, and Shindigz, just to name a few. Recognized throughout the industry for the unique breadth of knowledge he has accumulated over more than 30 years as a marketing team leader, Keith actually began his professional career in broadcasting, an experience that included serving as a Chicagoland-area radio talk show host.

Keith, who spent more than a decade in broadcasting after graduating from Northern Illinois University, worked in a variety of roles during this early portion of his professional career, including as operations manager, program director, and promotions guru. Of course, it was the latter role that inspired Keith to leverage his marketing talents into the decades-long success he has gone on to enjoy as a professional.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

My favorite thing about traveling is the opportunity to explore the remote places that tend to get overlooked but are every bit as amazing as the more popular or well-known destinations. My favorite was going on safari for a couple of weeks in Kenya.

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

It’s probably somewhere between a hobby and a lifestyle. Having worked for Abercrombie & Kent and promoting their luxury private world travel tours, you realize the need to break away from time to time and radically change your scenery.

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

There’s an off-the-grid area of Idaho (near Upper Priest Lake) that brings me joy each time I visit. A close second choice would be the boundary waters of Ely, Minnesota.

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

I’m currently planning either to take a hiking trip on the Appalachian Trail or bike the Le P’Tit Train Du Nord Linear Park in Quebec.

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

Never underestimate the benefits of going off the beaten path when planning a trip. The backroads are full of much more adventure than the interstate.

Where would you like to go?

I’d like to spend an extended period of time exploring the Argentine side of Patagonia. What a diverse countryside!

Where would you like to revisit?

Like I said, I’ll never tire of visiting the Upper Priest Lake area of Idaho.

Do you travel alone? Why?

I travel with my wife frequently; I just find it’s easier to improvise and bounce new ideas off her during our adventures.

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

The Andes Mountains/Patagonia (in both Chile and Argentina), the boundary waters of Minnesota, and Costa Rica.

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

Since I fit a lot of essential gear and supplies in a relatively small space, it would probably be more accurate to say I pack in the most compact way possible whenever I travel.

Summit Shah

Growing up in Central Ohio and enduring asthma- and allergy-related conditions throughout his youth, Dr. Summit Shah expressed an early interest in pursuing a medical career in which he could improve the treatment options available to those dealing with similar issues. As a resident of Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Shah naturally gravitated toward The Ohio State University, and he ultimately went on to earn his degree in medicine from The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Dr. Shah then made the decision to complete his residency in internal medicine at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. After completing his residency requirements on the East Coast, Dr. Shah reversed course and headed to the West Coast to take advantage of a fellowship offered by the Scripps Clinic and the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Shah made the most of this rare opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field of asthma, food allergies, and allergic disease through the highly prestigious fellowship program offered by the Scripps Clinic and the University of California, San Diego.

With his fellowship completed, Dr. Shah returned to the home of his youth to found Premier Allergy. As the owner and allergist of the Columbus, Ohio-area practice, Dr. Shah regularly treats patients dealing with the wide range of difficulties commonly associated with asthma and allergies. Due to the exceptional level of care and the efficacy of the treatment made available to patients, Premier Allergy and Dr. Shah have earned a sterling reputation along with countless accolades from patients throughout the Central Ohio region.

As a professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Dr. Shah provides his insight and expertise to the next generation of physicians while also contributing to ongoing clinical research relating to allergies and asthma. In addition to running his practice, teaching at The Ohio State University, and performing clinical research, Dr. Summit Shah is also a fellow with the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and continues to serve as a medical advisor for the support group known as My Food Allergy.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Traveling always seems to open my eyes to new ways of doing things, but my favorite thing about traveling is the opportunity to completely relax and unwind — at least for a brief period of time.

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

Traveling is more of a hobby for me, and it was likely borne out of the many different opportunities I had for completing my residency in internal medicine. I lived in Boston for a stretch before heading out to Southern California, and even though I was incredibly busy, I became enamored with all the opportunities afforded by frequent travel.

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

Madagascar and Mauritius were both beautiful beyond description.

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

My family and I are planning to spend some time in Washington, D.C., during the summertime.

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

Inexperienced travelers might find it best to begin by taking several short trips that are not too far from home before trying to plan for a longer or more ambitious trip.

Where would you like to go?

I’d like to visit Hawaii or Alaska.

Where would you like to revisit?

Washington, D.C., and Boston, Massachusetts, both provide a lot of educational opportunities my family and I would like to explore further.

Do you travel alone? Why?

I usually travel with my family. My professional responsibilities can be quite demanding, so traveling provides a wonderful opportunity for my family and I to spend some time together.

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

  1. Athens, Greece
  2. Madagascar/Mauritius
  3. San Diego, California

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

We prefer to be prepared, so we tend to pack up quite a bit of stuff when we travel.

Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile, the founder of Rocco Basile Photography, is a renowned photography expert whose work as a photojournalist has taken him to some of the world’s most remote locales. Rocco, a native New Yorker who relocated to Southern California following a lengthy stay in the Far East, enjoys that his profession has enabled him to travel so often but equally appreciates the stability he has experienced since founding the eponymous photography gallery and studio located so close to his home in Santa Barbara, California.

In addition to his work as a photojournalist, Rocco has also earned international notoriety for his fine art photography as well as his landscape and portrait photography. Rocco’s photographs have been featured in publications with readerships that span the globe, and the longtime photography expert is proud that his career has been successful enough that he is now able to support the careers of other up-and-coming photographers in the area. In fact, the walls of Rocco’s studio and gallery typically feature the work of other visual artists in need of the kind of initial exposure that helps a career suddenly take off.

As a youth growing up in and around New York City, Rocco benefited from the unwavering support of friends and family, who all worked hard to ensure he always had a spare roll of film for his camera and enough subway tokens to take him wherever in the city he wished to go. This early support helped Rocco secure the scholarships and grants that allowed him to attend Emerson College and the California Institute of the Arts. Recognizing how his own career has been so thoroughly influenced by the support of others, Rocco now dedicates a great deal of his time and energy to providing a similar level of support to anyone hoping to enjoy a successful career in photography.

1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Every place I visit has its own unique energy and palette of colors interacting with and affecting everyone and everything in the most fascinating way. I always look forward to uncovering the nature of that interaction and finding ways to document it with my camera.

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

It’s a lifestyle that started when I accepted my first assignment as a photojournalist.

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

Okinawa is the most beautiful place I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.

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

I’ve been offered a few interesting assignments, but lately I’ve tried to focus on my work at my studio. I’m sure I’ll be jetting off to some far-flung place sooner or later.

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

Photography is a passion of mine, but I’m always careful to make sure my camera doesn’t become a barrier between myself and others. It’s important to be mindful of each specific moment and place, especially while traveling.

6. Where would you like to go?

I’d like to pack up a motorcycle and travel south down the Pacific Coastline until I reach Chile’s southernmost point. Somewhere along the way I’d have to hop on a few boats to check out the Falkland Islands and the Galapagos Islands.

7. Where would you like to revisit?

Okinawa and Tibet were magnificent in every possible way.

8. Do you travel alone? Why?

It depends on the assignment. Sometimes I travel with several others and sometimes it’s just my camera and I.

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

Japan, Chile, and Bali

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

Other than my photography equipment, I try to bring as little as possible wherever I happen to go.

Janet Sirmon

As the owner of Janet Sirmon Fine Art, Janet Sirmon has become a prominent figure in the fine arts industry known for her specific expertise in 19th and 20th century photography, especially American Social Documentary photography and Czech photography of the 1920s through the 1940s. It was Janet’s lifelong devotion to the fine arts that served as the initial inspiration to found Janet Sirmon Fine Art more than 20 years ago, and the success she has enjoyed during the time since is a clear product of her passionate dedication to a beloved medium such as photography.

A longtime student of the arts — with a particular focus on photography and sculpture — Janet actually pursued a degree in economics during her undergraduate years, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in the subject from James Madison University. Even though economics was her primary academic focus at JMU, Janet’s interest in the fine arts hardly wavered, and following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she earned acceptance to the Pratt Institute to study photography and sculpture.

With an MFA in photography and sculpture from the prestigious Pratt Institute — not to mention a degree in economics from James Madison University — the pursuit of an entrepreneurial endeavor involving the fine arts seemed to be an entirely logical step. After thoughtful consideration, Janet made the decision to open Janet Sirmon Fine Art in Los Angeles, and her business has thrived in its Southern California location throughout the two decades since its initial opening.

In order to meet the needs of a client base comprised of museum curators and serious art collectors, Janet travels to countries all over the world on a regular basis. Due to her status as an expert in Czech photography, Janet is especially familiar with Central Europe and is a frequent visitor to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

1. What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Artists are inevitably influenced by their surroundings, so I deeply enjoy any opportunity to gain additional perspective regarding a particular artist’s work through my frequent travel.

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

I consider it a lifestyle, at least for the most part. My interest in the arts led to a deep desire to travel and to see the work of the world’s greatest artists in person.

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

Prague, in the Czech Republic, is the most beautiful place I have ever been to.

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

Since I mostly travel on an as-needed basis, I don’t plan anything too far in advance.  However, Bali is next on my list.

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

Inexperienced travelers might want to consider choosing travel destinations that possess a unique history or those that might offer a valuable learning opportunity.

6. Where would you like to go?

Sao Paulo, Brazil.

7. Where would you like to revisit?

I’ve only been to Japan once, and I would very much enjoy spending more time in Tokyo.

8. Do you travel alone? Why?

Yes, since I am usually traveling for professional reasons I mostly prefer to travel alone. On the occasions in which I travel for recreation, however, I like to bring along friends and family.

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

Prague, Florence, and London.

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

My preference is to travel light, but this is usually possible only as I travel to my destination; the return trip often involves traveling with a number of carefully protected packages.

Rachel Kugel – Founder, The Kugel Law Firm

 

Rachel Kugel is a lawyer, entrepreneur, and mom. She is the founder of The Kugel Law Firm, a criminal defense law firm with offices in New York and New Jersey. When she is not defending clients, appearing as a legal analyst on TV, or raising two little girls she loves to travel.

Tell us about a favorite trip you’ve taken.

There have been so many great trips over the past few years. I love to go to new places and see the joy on my little girls’ faces as they experience the world. Our most recent trip was to Riviera Maya, Mexico and it was incredible.

What attracted you to Mexico?

I love all-inclusive resorts for the best family value and for sure Mexico has many to choose from. I also chose Mexico because I love the idea of having adventurous things to do (Rio Secreto for example), cultural things to experience (Tulum), and beachy relaxation.

When did you travel there and who did you go with?

We went over the Thanksgiving Break and I took my whole crew husband, two kids, and grandma.

Please share your memories from the trip.

I loved that Riviera Maya combined learning and culture with adventure and relaxation. We had the opportunity to visit Tulum which was amazing and so interesting for the adults as well as the children. The ruins were incredible and our guide was so knowledgeable about the history and politics of the ancient place.

The greatest part of Tulum was taking a dive in the ocean that the whole ancient city sits atop. What an incredible moment if you ever have the opportunity to visit this place take my advice and wear your bathing suit under your clothes.

Another incredible experience was a visit to Rio Secreto, which is literally, and figuratively a secret river discovered underground about a decade ago. The experience was thrilling and something that you can’t even imagine you are seeing. You swim and walk through a cave 2000 feet below ground and experience some of the most incredible crystal waters and views. Words cannot describe. We all partook even my mom and four years old and all of us agreed that it wasn’t easy but it was well worth it.

As with any trip, my greatest memories come from simply being together. It is so rare in our fast-paced double income lives to get to just be together when the parents don’t have work and the kids aren’t in school and the daily grind is far behind you. The ability to reconnect with your family is the reason to make these trips happen year after year.

What other places have you visited?

Dominican Republic, Curacao, Aruba, Costa Rica, Kosovo, Hungary, Israel, Vienna, Italy, Paris

What advice would you give to a first time traveler?

Just do it. Go with the flow and realize that this is an opportunity to see the world and reconnect.

You can follow Rachel at:

https://www.facebook.com/rachel.kugel.7

Www.youtube.com/kugellaw

https://www.linkedin.com/in/rachel-kugel-95b03137

Michael Asimos

 

 

When it comes to choosing wine, one stroll down a wine aisle can confuse the average shopper. There are so many choices, and it is hard to explain the differences between each wine. Michael Asimos decided he wanted to understand the intricacies of wine and all it has to offer.

This passion led Asimos to travel more than he ever imagined. The reason there are so many wines is because there are many types of grapes (somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000). It gets even more complicated because each grape can differ due to the region, soil, temperature, altitude, and the way it is processed.

Mike had to go to the source to understand the true differences, and he is not close to being done. He seems to like wine produced in Portland, Oregon. He has also traveled to the alps in different parts of the world to taste wine that was made from grapes grown in a cooler climate.

Mike Asimos was more than delighted to taste a light-bodied, less-grippy, and overall elegant wine from these regions. Asimos discovered that this happens because grapes in this region develop thin skin to absorb as much sunlight as possible since it is very cloudy.

Every region that Michael Asimos travels to offers a different kind of wine and experience. Traveling and sampling the creative way mother nature produces each wine variation has enlightened Michael in ways he never thought possible.

His fascination with wine was, at first, merely about taste, but it has become an electrifying experience that continues to enrich his appreciation for the subtleties of life.

What is your favorite thing about traveling?

Besides all the amazing wines I have had the pleasure of tasting, I am not sure. The truth is that this is a big question because there are many positive things to say about traveling. For one, I enjoy meeting the different people I meet on my travels. I have become a pretty well-rounded chap.

I have also learned to appreciate things, like those subtle changes in the weather or enriching soil practices. I did not care about how growers treated our earth before I took an active interest in wine, but now I know that all this matters.

Every region I have visited has offered me something special. For example, Portland is an exciting place to visit. It is perhaps the fourth largest wine producer in the United States, and there are so many fun wine-centered festivals. You gotta’ believe me, their Pinot noir could take your breath away.

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

I know that most believe that wine was the reason I began traveling, but this is only partly true. I was interested in traveling for a long time, but I just could never find the time.

I was already visiting places in my mind long before I stepped onto a plane. I did not think I would have the opportunity to take my passion for exploration and make it a lifestyle rather than a hobby.

This lifestyle really took off because I have a passion for wine, and I made some good financial decisions that I attribute to a little luck.

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

I am not sure that I can answer that question. I see beauty everywhere. I do not equate those moments directly to the places I have visited. I have just been lucky enough to experience beautiful moments.

I remember waking up one morning before the alarm turned on. I was groggy and determined to go back to sleep. I caught a glimpse of a reddish ray of light from my window. I got up and opened the curtains and saw a fiery sky full of reds, yellows, and oranges. I think I was in Greece at the time. In all honesty, I felt like a thousand flowers bloomed inside of me. I saw this sunrise that nature had prepared just for me.

I wouldn’t say that Greece was the source of beauty, though, but rather life is, and it happens everywhere.

Are you planning to go on any exciting trips in the near future?

I do plan a few things before I take off, but the final location is chosen at random. I have a glass jar on my desk that is filled with sheets of paper. On each sheet of paper, I have written down a different country with good wine, of course. I just stick my hand in and go wherever the paper leads. Choosing in this manner is much more exciting to me.

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

Oh, I am not the person to give out practical advice. I am good at reviewing wines and telling people what is special about a particular wine, but traveling advice is beyond me.

Well, I guess I could say a few things. I want to say that you should always check the weather before heading off to a new place. I like hitting a new region, no matter the temperature, but it is good to know what to bring, you know? I need to know if I should bring an umbrella and rain-resistant shoes. I need to know if I will need extra sunblock.

Where would you like to go?

Visit regions I have not had the pleasure of visiting, which includes the Middle East and some regions in Asia. I have heard some good things, but I have not pick them out of my bowl yet. Still, these places are definitely on my radar. I hope to randomly choose one of these regions soon.

Where would you like to revisit?

Oh, there are so many places I would love to revisit. Italy is up there due to there robust red wines. The grapes there grow thick skins, which makes a full-bodied wine that I simply cannot resist.

I would also love to revisit Portland. The culture there is simply amazing, and I just cannot get enough. You will find out what I mean if you go visit.

Do you travel alone? Why?

Yes, I have not found a victim to bring along with me. I say victim because this person will be subjected to my horrible jokes and all the stories that I cannot stop retelling.

In all honesty, I find traveling alone to be liberating because it forces you to get out of your comfort zone and interact with people. Still, I will not lie to you and say that I do not want a little company, but I just haven’t found a person who would want to tag along.

Can you share 3 places that you think every person should visit?

Portland, Italy, and Greece. The reason is because all of these locations give you totally different wine experiences. Greece is cool and has high altitude vineyards, while Italy is warmer and low altitudes. Portland’s ecosystem is pristine and different from other regions, producing exquisite wines.

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

I travel a lot. I used to pack the whole house, but I cut down on that simply because it is hard to travel with a lot of luggage. So I guess you could say I pack light due to laziness, but is there a better reason?

Follow Mike Asimos on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikeasimos/

 

 

Mindstir Media Owner J. J. Hebert

 

As a best-selling author and the owner of Mindstir Media book publishers, J.J. Hebert has had the opportunity to travel extensively over the years. Whether it’s for a book signing or meeting up with clients, he’s often seen out and about. His love of sports has also played a major role in his travel history. He has attended many professional sporting events in various cities in the USA.

Tell us about a favorite trip you’ve taken.

One of my favorite trips would have to be my excursion to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 2000. That was before my writing career had taken off and also before the inception of MindStir Media. I had never been to Cooperstown prior to 2000, so this was definitely an eye-opening experience. Baseball has such a long and rich history, being America’s favorite pastime. I think we only spent a couple days there but we could’ve easily stayed there for a week or two.

What attracted you to the Hall of Fame?

I grew up a huge Boston Red Sox fan. Carlton Fisk was being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000, so my dad and I and some friends decided to visit Cooperstown to watch his induction speech and also take part in the festivities. I also played baseball through high school and it was easily my favorite sport growing up. I had always wanted to go to the Hall of Fame. It’s kind of like Disney World for baseball fans — you have to go at least once in your life.

When did you travel there and who did you go with?

I can hardly believe that it’s been 17 years since I’ve visited. I’m from New Hampshire, so we drove to New York state. If my memory serves me correctly, it took us about seven hours to get there, give or take. By “we,” I mean my father and a couple friends of ours. One was my former baseball coach and the other was a former baseball teammate of mine.

Please share your memories from the trip.

I didn’t really know what to expect going into it. As I said earlier, this was my first time — and only time thus far — going to Cooperstown. I thought we were just going to go for a couple days and see the induction speech from Carlton Fisk and also visit the the Hall. To my surprise, when we got to the Hall of Fame there were event tents lining the streets. I quickly realized that each tent housed a Hall of Fame baseball player who was kindly signing autographs.

That day I met numerous Hall of Famers. But first, we went into a local shop and bought a ton of Major League baseballs. We had to be equipped for this! So we went around with our baseballs and had them all signed.

I met up with Pete Rose, the 17 time all-star and three-time World Series champion. In my opinion, he’s one of the best hitters who has ever lived. I was a little nervous approaching him with my baseball in hand but he quickly showed his sense of humor when he looked at the ball and saw that it said “American League” on it. He kind of joked that I had given him the wrong ball because he actually played in the National League, but he signed it anyway and it was a funny experience.

I also spoke with Luis Tiant, also known as “el Tiante” to Red Sox fans. He spoke in broken English but was a really funny guy. Very smiley and welcoming. He’s really well known for his unconventional pitching wind-up and delivery.

We even met Willie Mays, one of if not the greatest centerfield who ever played the game. Of course, fans swarmed him so I don’t really remember much dialogue between he and I but he was friendly enough. Just to shake his hand and have a ball signed by him was good enough for me at the time. Not many people can say nowadays that they met the legendary Willie Mays!

We also met Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew, and Bob Feller. These players were all amazing in their own right. Robinson was one of the best third baseman ever; Killebrew was one heck of a power hitter with almost 600 career home runs; and Bob Feller was a flame-throwing righty. They called him Bullet Bob and he pitched three career no-hitters. Ted Williams said that Feller was the fastest pitcher he had ever seen. I actually didn’t get an opportunity to meet Carlton Fisk, the main reason we were in attendance, but we were OK with that, ultimately…

The highlight of the trip would have to be when we had dinner with Warren Spahn. Anyone who knows baseball is familiar with the name. He has the most wins of any left-handed pitcher in Major League history. My former coach set up the dinner. He knew Warren’s business manager, apparently, so we had dinner together at the Otesaga Hotel, where many of the Hall of Famers stayed on their trip. Warren was fairly reserved but definitely exuded confidence. We all had lobster and cracked some jokes. My friend and I were going to play wiffle ball after dinner on the front lawn of the Otesaga and we invited Warren. I honestly believe that he would’ve joined us if his wife didn’t chime in and object. Now that would’ve been an amazing experience, playing ball with Warren Spahn!

Looking back, I wish that I had owned Mindstir Media, my publishing company, back then. I probably would’ve offered to write Warren Spahn’s biography and publish it for him. Unfortunately, he passed away three years later.

What other places have you visited?

Some highlights would have to be Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida. I met up with one of my author clients from Mindstir Media while I was out there in Florida. A beautiful resort in Punta Cana was also a very nice experience. Downtown San Francisco was amazing as well. I got a chance to go on one of the trolleys there and see the area. Nevada was a blast, too. I spent quite a bit of time at Lake Tahoe. I’ve also been to a few wineries in Napa Valley. I’m not a wine connoisseur, but it was still an amazing trip and experience. I’ve never had wine taste so fresh.