Exploring the Coromandel Peninsula - Beaches and Coves

Made a friend at the airport in Auckland and we made plans to explore the Coromandel Peninsula over the past weekend. It’s an area about 2 hours east of Auckland with some stunning hikes and beaches. Over the course of 2 days we explored New Chums Beach, Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach and did the Pinnacle Hike. I keep hearing the South Island is much more scenic than the North Island of New Zealand but that’s almost hard for me to believe because I was blown away at the natural beauty I encountered this weekend.

Day 1 - Beaches and Coves:


We were planning on doing a hike on Saturday but it was raining so we decided to explore some beaches and other spots on the peninsula first. We drove through rolling hills and passed a lot of sheep

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Finding Pockets of Home Abroad

It’s been a week since I left home to go on a long term trip around the world, and being a homebody, I know that not having a place to call home for a while will take it’s toll on me if I’m not able to manage it. But even though I don’t have a physical place to ‘go home to’ as I bounce from hostel to hostel, I think that I may be able to find little pockets of ‘home’ in everyday things. If I can do that, it’ll allow me to enjoy all the new things without being overwhelmed, and keep the feelings of homesickness at bay.

So far I’ve been looking for and finding these pockets of home in:

  • Music - Reviving and listening to my old playlists.
  • Food - Taking my time to cook warm hearty meals and buying food and snacks that I used to eat a lot back home.
  • Friends - Messaging friends back home, and making new friends and connections.
  • Rituals - Drinking a cup of hot chocolate or tea in the morning or taking my time to wash up and get ready for the day.
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Auckland in Photos

My photo journal of Auckland, New Zealand:

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Goodbye Home, Hello World

Destinations: As many as I can
Trip Length: ~1 year
Vacation Days Used: N/A (I’ve quit my job)
Trip Cost: $20,000

For a long time now I’ve been feeling like my life has been too predictable. I’ve grown up and stayed in the same city in Southern California for 20 years and I knew what I was going to do the next day, the next week, the next month, even the next year with a pretty high degree of accuracy. Although the days themselves weren’t bad, it was suffocating feeling like my life had already been written.

So I decided to make a change and write the chapters of my life the way I want it to be.

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Packing My Life for Long Term Travel

Over the past month I’ve been getting ready to go on an extended trip, country hopping around the world. Figuring out what to pack has been a lot of fun and an eye opening experience. I realized how much random stuff I had and how little of it I actually needed to live, especially since I wanted to travel light with just a carry on 40L backpack. It motivated me to get rid of a lot of my things in my house before leaving on my trip.

In the end I donated about 80% of my clothes and threw away a ton of random boxes/trinkets I had been hoarding. A lot of things were hard to part with because I had initially kept them as ways to remember little bits of my past, but I figured that those experiences and memories are either in my head or have become a part of me, so it doesn’t mean I’m letting go or forgetting those things, I just didn’t need all those little trinkets piling up in my garage and closets.

In the end I was pretty proud of the way I simplified both my house and my backpack. I’ve included my long term packing list below:

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The Last Month of my Comfortable Suburban Life (for now)

Since I submitted my resignation and finalized my plans to leave, I’ve been living my days in Irvine a lot differently. I feel more motivated than ever to live fully every single day, whereas before I felt like I was on autopilot and weeks would pass without me realizing it.


1. I feel like I’ve connected with more people and in more meaningful ways in the past month than I had in years previously. Knowing that my friendships and connections will soon lose the benefit of convenience has motivated me to put more effort into strengthening them now before I go. I also don’t want to make the same mistake I’ve made many times before and lose great connections and friends after a change in my life because I was afraid to put in effort that I didn’t have to before.

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Quitting my Dream Job at Blizzard

In my first post on this blog I wrote: “I want to document my journey to try and prove that I don’t need to quit my job, give up my current life for an extended period of time, in order to travel and see the world.”

My how things have changed, because I’ve decided to quit my dream video game job, give up my current comfortable life for an extended period of time to travel and see the world. The only difference from what I wrote is that I’ll also be taking this time to start my own business and pursue working for myself instead of a normal 9-5.

Here’s how I changed and ended up doing a complete 180:

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Solo Camping and Hiking in Death Valley

Destination: Death Valley, California USA
Trip Length: 2 days (April 15-16, 2017)
Vacation Days Used: 0 hours
Total Cost: ~$223

  • $40 Tent
  • $30 Food
  • $80 Sleeping bag
  • $30 Sleeping pad
  • $3 Camping matches
  • $40 Gas

My trip to Alaska had given me a taste of seeing and traveling the world, and it also gave me the confidence boost I needed to start checking things off my bucket list on my own. I realized I had been waiting for a partner to come with me on my trips but it didn’t seem like I’d have someone to travel with anytime soon and I wanted to make the most of my 20’s which meant not wasting anymore time waiting. So I decided to go see the Milky Way, which was something I wanted to do for a really long time but never took the initiative to make happen. I figured I needed somewhere remote, away from city lights, with clear crisp dark skies, and I’d have to camp overnight. I decided on Death Valley, California.

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