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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tues 4/26 - Mon 5/2 Days 117 - 123

It amazes me what can be accomplished when you really dedicate yourself to something and are determined to accomplish that which you set out to do. 

I am finally home and here to stay for awhile after what seems like a whirl wind, mostly unplanned, two months of around the world adventures.  Returning just three days ago from Europe, I was treated with the opportunity to see and experience some of the most amazing sites, Europe, and the world, has to offer.

I got to witness the changing of the guard in Red Square, Moscow, Russia.  I spent hours walking through the streets of Amsterdam marveling at how beautiful the city is.  I fell in love with Amsterdam and cannot wait to go back there again in the future, when the weather is nice of course. :)  From Amsterdam I went to Cologne, Germany, a city famous for its' cathedral (which is spectacular) and even more memorable, at least as far as I go, for its' Kolsch Beer... YUM!  The weather was dreary and cold in Cologne and was soon traded in for the warm weather in the South of France, Marseilles, to be more specific.  With the few precious free hours I had here, I spent hours walking the streets during the wee hours of the morning, trying to soak up as much of the culture as I could.  Talk about an ancient city, Marseilles is as ancient as they come, that is until I landed in Rome, Italy.  Rome... WOW!  I mean this city, every corner you turn, every street you walk down... you can't help but to say WOW!!  In all the history classes I took throughout my educational career, no ancient civilization was talked about more than Rome.  And for me, to have the opportunity to be in this ancient city for just a few hours, I was not going to waste one second.

When traveling with clients, especially this type of trip, my free time is typically the hours between 10pm and 730am.  Most of the time the 10pm hour is shot because we do a lot of group dinners and have the occasional beer or two.  So time is pretty scare.  Depending on the day I can usually sneak out an extra hour in the afternoon.  On Monday, I think that must have been the 25th, the entire group had off and so we were able to visit all the big, more time consuming places, like the Van Gogh museum.  I also have a great deal of work that requires a few hours of me being on the computer each day.  So you can see that of my nine or so available free hours (don't forget I have to eat, sleep, and exercise at some point) there is not a great deal of time available for site seeing.  All of this information is important as I hope to show you all what you can accomplish with desire, dedication, and a little time.

Going to Moscow, I was familiar with the area I was staying in as I had been there once before two years ago, so I had a good idea of what I had and had not seen/experienced. I got to the hotel ran up the stairs dropped my bag off and was out on the street within five minutes... no time for resting, changing, showering, or jet lag... I got a limited amount of time and a tremendous amount of opportunity to see and experience Moscow.  A late night led to an early morning and the choice of either sleeping, or getting up after just a few hours and Experiencing Moscow, I'll give you one guess as to which I chose. 

When I got to Amsterdam on Sunday night (I think, the days all blur together), what better time to experience the Red Light district than on Easter (I am being sarcastic).  Walking through the Red Light district until about 230am local time, I had more than ample time to see, experience, and be frightened by what I saw there ( I am much more innocent than I gave myself credit for).  I went to bed about 3am ( the average bed time for me during this trip was between 2:30 and 3:30am, as I continue in my story you will see why.  Average wake up time was 6-6:30am). 

Monday was the only day off in honor of Easter Monday which means I am presented with a choice, sleep in, or explore?  After a 3am bedtime the night before waking up at 630ish or so was rough, but I wanted to see the city in the early dawn light.  I anticipated being tired so I employed a little trick I have learned to help with the fatigue... I went for a run.  As long as you can just GET UP and out of bed, your body will do the rest.  So camera in hand I set out for a running tour of Amsterdam.  Trust me any fatigue I felt and sleep lost was well worth the sacrifice and soon a distant memory as I got to see the city at this time of day.  It was so beautiful and so peaceful.  Some of my favorite pictures I took over the entire trip were taken during these hours. 

Once the rest of the group got up and moving we charged it: the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam Zoo, and then capped it off with a canal tour by boat, which was awesome!!!!!!  I had a bunch of work I had to do that night so I opted out of dinner and stayed in and worked going to bed around 1230am (the earliest bed time of the trip).  The next day was back up bright and early and headed off to some of the local parks in hopes of getting some cool early dawn light pics (see below :) ). 

I was sad to leave Amsterdam, it was the first place I have been to in Europe that I really loved, I loved all the people riding their bikes, I love the boats going through the canals, it was awesome, if you ever get the chance to go, GO!

Cologne was again a place I had been to before so when the alarm went off at dark thirty running was out of the question as it was raining and freezing (not my favorite combination), so to help wake up I stuck my head out the window then ran out; heading to an area that I had not been to prior.  I went, I saw, I experienced, and then left for the South of France.

Landing in Marseilles after midnight, I was hungry (imagine that).  By the time I finished eating dinner around 2am I was faced with a choice, my friends and everyone else were going to go out and wanted me to come.  I knew we were only going to be in the city for a few hours so if I went out it meant I would miss out on some exploration time.  I chose to stay and instead walked around the city until about 3am taking pictures.  In bed by 4, up by 7:30 (it was a late starting day this day) I ran out of my room and out to check out the Cathedral, Fort, and hang out in the harbor and watch the boats, enjoy the sun, and dip my feet in the Mediterranean.

Arrival time in Rome was just after 11pm we got to dinner about 12am and finished around 1am.  I am not going to lie, I was tried at this point, but again I was faced with a choice go back to the hotel and be in bed by 130 or explore the city... hmmm, what to choose.  I was so close to opting for the hotel, but instead I, along with a few others, roamed the streets of Rome (like the play on words?) until about 330am and boy was it magical.    Hands down my favorite part of the whole trip was these two hours spent walking through Rome in the wee hours of the night.  The city is so dramatically lit up.  We were fortunate that there was no one in the streets so we literally got VIP viewing the the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain and many many more.

Four hours later I was back up and charging through the streets determined to soak up every second I can in this magical city.  Later in the day I was treated with the opportunity to see St  Peter's square and the Colosseum... talk about WOW factor... simply amazing does not even begin to describe both of these places.  I took some cool pictures, which, once I get my computer situation resolved, will be posted on Facebook. I think some of the pics I took are pretty cool, but none do justice of what it is like to be there in person.

That night in Rome, I opted not to sleep.  We had to leave for the airport at 630am and by the time the option of going to bed even became a reality it was after 2am, so I figured the hell with it, I have come this far and I don' t want to waste the opportunity I have been given...

At the airport my body, which had held up for so long was done.  By the time the plane took off for the 13 hour trip back to California I was pooped - I had been up for 27 hours straight and had slept about 8-9 hours in the last 72.  What was amazing though, throughout this entire trip there were only a few moments I ever felt tired... those usually being those first waking moments when I had to make that decision, "stay in bed," or "Carpe Diem and experience where I am."  Once I chose the Carpe Diem route my body was filled with an unbelievable amount of energy.  It was fueled on by the excitement and opportunity in front of me to see new parts of the world. 

I share all the above with you because I learned something about myself and what I am capable of this trip when I am determined and dedicated to an outcome.  The 1000 Challenge is not just a side project for me, it is a way of existing.  I have to average almost 3 a day to make a full 1000 by years end. With many of my all day challenges coming up, there will be many days where I will only be able to do just the ONE challenge which makes it all the more important to really explore the foreign lands I have not been to. 

With the above driving me and me being determined to reach my goal of 1000 by years end, I dedicated every free second I could find to going out and experiencing the world around me.  It was amazing!  A couple of times I found myself asking, "How am I not more tired, this is so weird."  People asked me how I did it, to which I replied, "I have a lot I want to accomplish with very little time to do it in."  And it was not like I was mixing up some magic mo-jo potion, no; I was just living my life to the fullest and my body responded.  It rewarded me with extra energy.  It was fueled on by the desire I had and the dedication that I take into each day to make that desire a reality.

I challenge you all to try it.  To be successful at it, for the "magic mo-jo" to work you must be fully dedicated to it.  You must see and desire your outcome, you must believe in yourself, you must trust yourself, and you must be dedicated to yourself and your outcome.  No matter how big or how small the goal is... desire and dedication ladies and gentlemen... they are the fuel for life.

Enjoy the pics,
(I apologize, but due to my current computer situation and tech un-saviness, I am unable to include pictures on the blog at this time.  I will update as soon as possible.)

Carpe Diem,



  1. I love reading your blogs...I get to live life through your eyes. Thank you <3

  2. Seriously, you make me exhausted just reading...your energy is infectious though.
    Am so glad you got so much out of your trip - and as an ex-pat in Amsterdam, especially pleased you loved my adopted home.
    Thanks for sharing, looking forward to the pictures.

  3. JESSE, I travel with you whenever I read his blog, thank him for sharing and to be so real, it does not stop me amazing his energy, but his enthusiasm is such that I understand, congratulations and he continues enjoying the wonderful life that to created, that well deserves it. My benedictions and My support always for you. CARPE DIEM JULIA B.C.A.

  4. just can't wait the pics :) It's nice to hear that You liked some places in Europe :) You should see more!!!
    Take care (and carpe diem)

  5. Yes I too was exhausted reading this! Wow what a great opportunity ! I have always wanted to go to Italy-top of my list. I love how you take advantage of every second you had. I try to do the same when I am away.Thanks for sharing all your trips with us but would love to know what are you doing when you are working- Im thinking you are doing some personal training and if so do you take it outside or in the hotel gyms etc :)just curious!

  6. hi ! Very nice text Jesse. Waiting for the pics now.(i know your must fix your computer).By the way, next time you're coming in France, let me know, i'm only one hour flight from Marseille and Paris. Cheers.Looking to read you again and...carpe diem.