AROUND THE WORLD
WHY ARE YOU SMILING AT YOUR PHONE?
Texting a girl? Nah. It all started with a text from my friend Ben McPhee, who also happens to be the brand manager at YoYoFactory.
I was living an average day pretending to do meaningful things at work -- meaningful things such as slacking off and taking yet another break for coffee, Philz coffee to be exact (hello to all my mint mojito lovers).
Then my phone buzzed.
The conversation was simple (and a little PG13):
McPhee (left) lives an adventurous life that I have always admired. Alec (right) is one of my creative inspirations (just check out his Instagram). And Chris (middle), who would later meet up with us, is the owner of one of my favorite brands, CLYW.
I wanted there to be a way people could understand what goes down during yo-yo trips asides from just yo-yos. I've traveled my entire life to places like Honolulu, Tokyo, and Budapest for yo-yo events, but these trips have always been more than just yo-yo. Shocking, I know.
I wanted to highlight my real experience: building friendships, spreading what we're all passionate about, and really having fun with and without a yo-yo.
As we started driving up to the mountains, I told my friends about this idea I've had for quite some time: a travel series doing the yo-yo trick 'Around The World,' around the world.
My friends looked at me and said, "do it."
Thus, the idea was born.
With the help of my friends, we threw Around The World in over 11 locations that week, shot over 600 photos, and produced one of my favorite videos.
The idea didn't stop there. A few months later, I was invited to perform in Tokyo; however, just two weeks after would be the Shanghai Toy Fair. So the world-traveler Ben McPhee pitched Tokyo to Osaka to Bangkok to Siem Reap to Shanghai aka Around the World Asia.
I know there is a time for work and a time for play. But could I do both at once?
I wanted to find out.
I challenged myself to travel for 15 days and produce 15 videos. I'm no full-time vlogger nor do I plan to be, but I did want to try and take my subscribers on my journey throughout Asia.
I got served in Japan, was nearly scammed in Thailand, gave away all my yo-yos in Cambodia, and tried to teach 100 people 'Around The World' in China.
The full playlist is here:
Mission accomplished - 15 days of shooting, editing, traveling, teaching and performing. Exhausting, but well worth it.
SURE I'LL TAG ALONG
We often find yo-yo contests as an excuse to visit new places. No one said there is anything wrong with that.
The European YoYo Championships were around the corner and my friend Gentry Stein was planning to travel around Europe prior to the contest.
His itinerary was Paris to Prague to Slovakia.
Without hesitation, I was on the next flight out.
Sometimes when you travel, jet lag kicks in, you eat something wrong or you forget to let yourself sleep... after leaving Paris, I caught stomach flew and was pretty much out for the rest of the trip. I stayed in bed for five days in Prague and could barely move in Slovakia.
For anyone looking to explore the world, don't forget to take care of yourself too!
I don't know where I'll be next, but I will never stop traveling around the world. Neither should you. Traveling offers new perspectives that allow you to really understand and appreciate what you have today. Travel on your own. Travel with good company. Travel to places that scare you. And that excite you. It's not always easy, but a fresh perspective in your life and maybe a new little Instagram selfie never hurts anyone.