Why I travel

I travel because it makes me happy. I travel because I’m astounded by the beauty of this world from the smallest critters to the biggest mountains. I travel because I feel truly free when I do, and I travel because there is something out there bigger than myself.

What makes you happy?


True happiness is sometimes hard to find. For some people, happiness means security. Going to school gives a person the avenues to get a good paying job, financial “security,” a nice house and a nice car.

For some people, a family is all they need. Blood runs thicker than water as they say, and so long as someone has their family around them, all is okay in the world. A good family will go to bat for you always, love you unconditionally, and pick up the phone at all hours of the day. A person from a sound and loving family often wants one of their own as soon as possible, and they take happiness from their own flesh and blood.

Health and fitness make some people happy; movies make some people happy; cooking makes some people happy; animals make some people happy. Whatever makes you happy, I tell you this: keep doing it. But just being happy and finding true happiness are two different things.

I love my family unconditionally, but I don’t have much blood left. Working out doesn’t make me happy – I tolerate it because I understand my body is a temple and I need to take care of myself if I am to live a long life. I like movies, books, and love my furry children. But those things alone don’t fulfill my purpose in life, it doesn’t make me unconditionally happy.

Stepping out of the comfort zone


Many of you might think or say that the traditional norms that society places on us are a good foundation for a happy life. I reject that notion completely. Go to school, get 9-5 job, get married, buy house, get dog, have kids, die is normal and it is boring.

For me, normal and boring is the exact opposite of happiness.

What I’ve learned since moving from rural Wisconsin to the Pacific Northwest is that I have an unyielding passion for seeing things I have not yet seen, driving along roads I have not yet driven, and experiencing things, sights, and people I wouldn’t have seen or met if I had stayed in the Midwest. I love to travel and I love to document.

By traveling and experiencing other cultures, foods, and people, I can rid myself of biases I have accumulated by being a white male in white America. I think knowledge, acceptance, and understanding are missing pieces of the puzzle we call life. Some of my happiest memories come from times I felt uncomfortable, afraid, or overwhelmed. What comes out of those situations is beautiful indeed.



Before I came to Washington, I had never owned a pair of hiking boots. I hadn’t explored what my own state had to offer and family camping trips felt like a bore. “I just got my new phone, mom, why the hell do we have to go to Devil’s Lake again?”

What I have found being a millennial in the Information Age is that we are essentially slaves to our technology. Technology was built and formed to give us access to all things, and to make the world a smaller place. You can communicate with someone on the other side of the world in under a second flat. What I have found is that we become dependent on our technology to a point where face-to-face communication and meaningful relationships have dissipated. Everything from relationship to banking has been digitized and you must be plugged in to “function” in our society.

So that’s why when I have my windows rolled down, music turned up, and my phone off, I feel truly at peace. There are no emails to respond to, no time-wasting questions to answer, no desks to sit at, and no responsibilities to attend to. Life is short and nothing really matters. I’m trying to spend more of my time doing things I enjoy so that when and if I have children and grandchildren, I’m not that grouchy old fart regretting the decisions he’s made along his boring life.



Friends come and go, but family is forever. I’ve had thousands of “friends,” throughout my life. I can call about three of those people real friends. Friends to me are those people who are always there for you no matter the circumstances, stay by your side and go to bat for you. Friends you can collect experiences with, not things. These are the people that you can see for the first time in years and pick up a conversation like you just talked yesterday.

I like to give every single person I come across an unbiased, open shot to become someone who can enhance my life. I listen because I want to learn, I ask questions because I want to understand, and I like to give out the kind of aura and respect I want to receive in return. Sometimes I gain an awesome relationship, sometimes I don’t.

Group or solo travel?


I love traveling with others because I can share my thoughts and gain insight from another person’s viewpoint. Traveling together bonds people in a way that buying a couch or TV never can. You don’t go around remembering, “That one time we went to the store and bought some soup and cereal together.” You talk about, “Remember that one time we went to that music festival in the middle of Belgium with 200,000 other people?”

But I also love traveling solo. There’s something about setting a destination, a plan on how to get there, and just doing it because you can. I am privileged more than most this way. I was given the opportunity to be in a place where I can travel where and when I want. I have a car, gas money, and a camera. It also gives me a chance to just be David. That’s all I really need.

I’ve found it’s a combination of many things. As I pass through a small town or a huge city, I take in the geographical landscape and compare it to other places I’ve been. I put myself in the shoes of the family-owned business owner and imagine what his day-to-day life might be like. I take mental notes about the makeup of the town, city, people, and structures. I call the gas station clerk by his or her name in hopes I make a small difference in that person’s day. I stop at viewpoints and soak it in, go to a local area favorite for food or drinks, and actually live in the moment for once.

“Worrying about the past is pointless and worrying about tomorrow takes away from the beauty of today.”

A lot of people, myself included, have a hard time living in the present. They worry about their past mistakes and worry what people think of them. You can’t change the past. Learn from those mistakes, forgive yourself if necessary and use that as a guide what not to do moving forward. A lot of people also, myself included, worry about tomorrow’s presentation, meeting, ballgame, or rent check. You only have one right now, use it wisely. When you travel, it’s almost impossible not to live in the present. The journey really is more than half the fun.



I travel to prove to myself that I can do the things that make me happy without regret. I used to feel that if I enjoyed myself, someone else would suffer. After spending a majority of my adult life looking out for others, I can finally just focus on No. 1 for once and it feels spectacular.

I’ve found that there are few things more rewarding than setting a short- or long-term goal and accomplishing it with flying colors. You got to have some serious cahones planning a 30-mile backpacking trip in the Candian Rockies and completing it. The rush you get while planning the trip is beaten by not only the vistas (if you’re in nature) but the sense of accomplishment you feel after doing it.

“It’s not the mountain you conquer, but yourself.”

The natural high you feel after completing a trek, race, or climb with your feet bleeding, stomach growling and back aching might feel insane to some. It’s pure bliss for me.



Perhaps the biggest reason I travel is for the natural beauty. I love photography more than most things, and I hope my work inspires others to get off the couch and see some of what this crazy world has to offer.

Once you round that turn and get the first view of that lake, ocean, mountain, river, tree, or waterfall you’ve worked so hard to get to, there is not only a sense of accomplishment but of awe and beauty, too.

Where do you want to go to today?



Why you need to go to Arches NP in Feb.

Looking to escape the winter weather and go exploring in February? Look no further than Arches National Park in eastern Utah.

I first moved to the Pacific Northwest from a small town in Wisconsin. When I did, I didn’t know oceans, forests, or mountains. All I knew was that I really liked the Packers and that there were a lot of farms in Wisconsin.

When I realized how much raw beauty there was in Washington’s Cascade mountain range, I immediately fell in love with exploring, with adventure, and with pushing the limits of my mind and my body.


The radius of my exploration grew from Washington state to the entire western United States. I have been to more than a dozen National Parks in just over three years, and I have to tell you, there is a special place in my heart for Arches National Park.

February and March is the perfect time to go!

Most states in our country are cold during the winter months of February and March. (Duh!) In Wisconsin, it is likely that there’s about four feet of snow on the ground. In contrast, the daily highs in southern and eastern Utah creep into the 50s. Once the calendar flips to March, those temperatures get even balmier.

Skip the summer crowds when there are so many people at the parks that it feels like you are walking on top of people. You can realistically have this park all to yourself if you plan your winter trip correctly. The silence of the park in the early morning hours is hypnotizing.


Place to stay

With zero percent hesitation, my recommendation for a place to camp near Arches is a little gem called Dead Horse Point State Park about thirty minutes away. This state park has a view of the Colorado River and is at such a high elevation that you look up at night and practically touch the stars. Book your spot at Kayenta Campground before time runs out!


If you’re a nighttime or galaxy photographer, this will be something of a paradise for you. It may be a little chilly up at elevation in comparison to the temperature down in Arches. Easily solution: bring a lot of blankets. If you’re not one for roughing it and dealing with the elements, check out the yurts where you can go glamping.

Other places to stay

Places to see, things to do

Set your alarm clock for nice and early in the morning. Arches is best seen in the early light of morning, and if you need proof, check out my Instagram page for pictures of the beautiful orange sandstone in the morning light.

At the very end of the road lies the Devil’s Garden trail. You’ll see seven arches if you opt for the 4.8-mile loop, and can see up to 10 if you do the full 7.8-mile trail.


Two of my favorite sections of the park include the Windows section and Balanced Rock – here you can see some of the most iconic places the park has to offer. Pick up a park map at the gate and do whatever you can to spend a full day at the park.

Side trips

I’m partial to Arches because of the unique geology that is on display. What makes the Moab area such a great destination, however, is that it is home to two national parks. About a 15 minutes away from Dead Horse Point State Park lies Moab’s second National Park – Canyonlands.

This land of tiered and layered canyons is breathtaking in its own right and is home to one of the most famous photos in eastern Utah: Mesa Arch. Get to this gem at sunrise for a great photo opportunity, but get there early to get a good spot. On a clear day, the arch radiates a bright orange, perfect for a landscape shot.


Moab itself is a destination in its own right. The tourist town is good for outfitters for all kind of extreme sports (skydiving, rafting the Colorado, rock climbing), shopping, and pizza. If you like a lot of pizza, go to ZAX.

Getting to Moab

I like driving to places across the United States. The freedom of the open road, especially in the western and southern parts of the United States is an amazing way to see this great country. That being said, I understand not everyone can hop in a car from where they are and drive to eastern Utah. If flying in, make Denver or Salt Lake City your home base,  and rent a car from there! Check out my favorite way to book flights here.

Arches and Canyonlands are a great destination if you only have three-seven days you can get off from the dreaded 9-5. Grab the tent, a few sleeping bags, and a load of blankets and pillows and just go. Who’s stopping you?

All the photos in this post are mine.

How to get to Tomorrowland 2018

Before my friend Jay and I saw this video I had no idea about Electronic Dance music. I had never been to “a rave,” and I really didn’t have any interest in going to one. But the beginning soliloquy in that above video spoke to me on so many fundamental levels, I started researching the festival and it immediately rose to the top of my Bucketlist.

I finally got the nerve to start working online so I will be able to get back to the Boom festival grounds that changed my life for the better!


How to get tickets?

The process to get Tomorrowland tickets is extensive. There are multiple steps you need to do before the Worldwide ticket sale, and even then, it’s somewhat unlikely you will be able to push the same button faster than millions of people around the globe.


If you’re looking to go to Tomorrowland 2018, pre-registration will start on Tuesday, January 9 at 17:00 Central European Time. For my friends in the states, that means 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time or 8:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. The first 10 people from each country will secure their place at the festival just like that. But don’t hold your breath on that one, there’s less than 1 percent chance you will get this honor if you live in countries with reliable internet service.

Pre-registration gives you an access code to get into the Worldwide Pre-Sale, and without it, you won’t be able to enter the ticket portal. Pre-registration will continue through February 2 at 20:00 Central European time (2 p.m. Eastern, 11 a.m. Pacific).

Learn how you can work from the road and travel the world!

*UPDATE* After extensive research, I have found more information about getting tickets during the Worldwide Sale! The Tomorrowland ticket portal refreshes on a cyclical loop. The exact refresh rate is unknown, but amongst cryptologists across many disciplines, it is widely agreed the number is whole and a multiple of 2 or 5. 

For this example, we will assume the Tomorrowland ticketing portal refreshes itself on a 60-second loop. Because we know the page MUST refresh at the top of the hour, here is an easy way to have one of the best shots to get Tomorrowland tickets this Friday:

As you should already know by reading the entirety of this post, even if you have one computer or just one IP address, you should have at least three shots at tickets; one on Internet Explorer, one on Firefox, and one on Google Chrome/Safari. BETTER YET: if you have two computers with three browsers each, this gives you six chances.

Going back to the above example and assuming that the Tomorrowland ticket portal refreshes every 60 seconds when the second-hand hits :00. If this is true, what you should do is the following:

Open up the official world time clock on your browser by typing in https://www.timeanddate.com into your URL bar. This is the official time of the world and will give you the most accurate reading. Two minutes before the top of the hour, go through your browsers refreshing them at :58:01, :58:11, :58:21, :58:31, :58:41, and :58:51. The thinking behind this is that by staggering your refresh rates, you account for a 10-second refresh cycle, a 20-second refresh cycle, a 30-second refresh cycle, a 40-second refresh cycle, and a 45-second refresh cycle.

If you want to prepare for the chance that the Tomorrowland ticket portal refreshes every 90 seconds, stagger your browsers by 20 seconds. This assures you a maximum of a nine-second delay of reaching the queue.

Some problems people have by using only one browser, is that, for example, you refresh the page manually at :59:56, and the portal is on a 60-second loop. That means you are 56 seconds late to getting in the portal, get what I’m saying?

Read here for more information.

Worldwide Pre-Sale

The Worldwide-Pre Sale is the first time people who have pre-registered have at securing tickets. Last year, this is how my friend Jay and I got tickets. This year, that date and time is on Saturday, January 27 at 17:00 CET. In a nutshell, everyone who has pre-registered sits around on their computer (or computers) and wait for the clock to strike the top of the hour. All at once, people around the world click the same button, hoping to be one of the 100,000 or so people lucky enough to get to the ticketing site.

But don’t worry if you don’t get tickets in January! There is another chance!

Worldwide Ticket Sale

If you were late to the game and just found about Tomorrowland 2018 after the Worldwide Pre-Sale, you can still pre-register until February 2 for the Worldwide Ticket Sale on Saturday, February 3. This will be your last chance to get tickets for this beautiful event of love, peace, and happiness. The same basic principle applies, and from my experience, the more computers you have, the better.

If you are going to Tomorrowland solo, this may be harder for you. If you have a group of people, get on a Skype call and all push the button together. If one of you gets in, get tickets for the whole group and the other will pay you back (I would hope!).

Global Journey

There is another way to make sure you get your tickets for this crazy festival, and if you are willing to fork over the extra cash, Global Journey may be for you. Global Journey packages include travel from certain cities around the globe either by plane, train, or bus and guarantee your tickets. There are different types of Global Journey packages, so make sure you check the link above for what suits you and your needs the best. These packages tend to be more expensive than “winning the lottery” of the Worldwide Sales but punches your ticket immediately.

Types of accommodations

  • Magnificent Greens
    • Jay and I got Magnificent Greens tickets for Tomorrowland 2017 which basically means you get a patch of grass with your name on it. Think of the Magnificent Greens as a campsite in DreamVille. Buying this ticket will force you to either bring your own tent from home or buy a tent voucher that you can pick up upon arrival into Dreamville. This is a great economically-friendly option for those backpacking around Europe or budget travelers.
  • Easy Tent
    • Easy Tents are located in the Friendship Garden area of Dreamville. These are previously-pitched tents complete with mattress and bedside table and can be purchased in two or four person tents. Easy Tents are more expensive than Magnificent Greens, but are closer to the festival grounds and mitigate the need to pick up tent vouchers. The atmosphere is similar and many festival goers are in close proximity to everyone else. It has to feel nice to have an actual mattress underneath you.
  • Relax Room
    • The Relax Room is set up for two people with a lockable tentlike structure and two beds. These give you access to certain parts of the festival other campers will not have access to. Expect these prices to be higher than the Easy Tent.
  • Dream Lodge
    • The Dream Lodge packages are about $2,000 USD for two tickets the festival and the following accommodations:
    • You get: Access to your own lockable DreamLodge tent; 2 fully equipped bed; 2 DreamVille relax chairs and a table; An USB power outlet, interior lighting, and a locker; 24h reception staff; Separate sanitary facilities only for DreamLodge visitors; Access to The Montague – DreamLodge Chill out zone.
  • Kokono Romantic Suite
    • This is about the same price as the Dream Lodge, but I think this has better bang for the buck. This is probably best for couples, as there is one firm foam mattress and sheets. Think of a four-star hotel in the middle of DreamVille.
    • You get: Access to your own lockable Kokono; Raised wooden deck with canvas roof; Bed(s) with foam mattress; Duvet(s) & pillows; Cotton bed linen; 2 Bath towels; Small mirror; Battery operated lanterns; Jute doormat; A power outlet (220 volt – EU outlet), interior lighting and a locker; 24h reception staff; Separate sanitary facilities only for DreamVille Kokono visitors; Access to The Montague – DreamVille Kokono Chill out zone
  • Mansion
    • If you have about $25,000 USD to blow, check out the Mansions in Dreamville. These mansions can fit up to 12 people and is fully stocked with a kitchen, bathroom, living room, sofas, and a fully-customizable living area. It is at the top of the accommodation food chain and is located in a private area of Dreamville nearest the festival grounds.

Getting to Boom

Getting to Boom can be done a bunch of different ways, the easiest of which is to train to Boom from Antwerp Centraal Station. If you are coming just for the festival and are not a part of Global Journey, I recommend not making Brussels your home base, as there are no great trains that go directly from Brussels to Boom.

Getting a train ticket to Boom from Antwerp is easy: go to a self-kiosk or the counter and find a ticket for your desired time. There are about three or four trains per hour that depart Antwerp bound for Boom.

If you are flying internationally, I would suggest flying into either Amsterdam or London to get the best airfare, and then book a separate domestic flight to Brussels or Antwerp. If you want to get the most out of your travel experience, train from Amsterdam or London into Belgium. You will get to see the lay of the land and you will likely meet people on your journey you will remember for a long time.

Weather in Boom

Although it is summer in western Europe during Tomorrowland – which usually happens on the second and third weekends of July – you will likely encounter some rainy weather during the festival. On Saturday last year, the rain was whipping so violently during Jauz’s mainstage set that most of the festival’s participants flocked to a nearby shelter to wait it out. Luckily, the rain tends to be intermittent and stops rather quickly. In contrast, when the clouds part and the sun shines down it can heat up in a hurry.

A few scattered thunderstorms are a small price to pay for one of the best times of your life.

What to bring to Tomorrowland

Packing minimally will benefit you in many ways. It will save you shoulder and back pain, save your wallet a few Euros to get a smaller storage locker, and will let you enjoy the actual festival instead of always wondering where all of your things are. That being said, here are a few essentials to bring along for the ride.

  • Clothes! Clothes are one of the aspects that makes Tomorrowland a unique experience. There are people from over 200 countries in one place for the weekend, and the styles, color combinations, and themes are fantastic!
  • Sunglasses. Obviously.
  • Sunscreen. Unless you want to look like a lobster after Day 1.
  • Good walking shoes. The festival is a little more than a mile away from DreamVille and you will be very sad if you only pack flip-flops. As awesome as Tomorrowland is, there is trash everywhere on the grounds. I brought a pair of Nikes and my ankles still swoll up to double their normal size.
  • Power bank. If you’re like me and love to document travels and experiences, you will need an external power bank charged up to the brim before you show up to the festival. You can buy an external power bank at the festival, but it will cost you about $20 Euros.
  • Headache medicine. Trust me on this one. Tomorrowland is a huge party and you won’t be getting much sleep. Take care of yourself.
  • Water. See above.
  • Open mind, heart, and soul. If you check your prejudices, preconceived notions, and ego at the door, there is a very slim chance this will not become the favorite weekend of your life.

Food at Tomorrowland

You can literally eat whatever the hell you want at this thing. There are stands from all over the world. I had everything from pizza, to lasagna, to chicken patties, to fried Ethiopian, and many things in between. Stay away from the breakfast chicken bagels, though, they were not good.

Artists not to be missed

If you’re like me and really didn’t have any idea about EDM artists or what to expect, you may want to know about some artists that are at the top of their craft. In my humble opinion, the following artists made the biggest impact on my trip to Tomorrowland:

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What am I getting myself into?

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

David copy

The term wanderlust is described simply as “a strong desire to travel,” but I’m not sure that describes but the tip of the iceberg. I first got a taste for this strong desire when I was in my last semester of college. At the end of my ninth semester, I was two credits short of graduation. To fulfill my degree requirements, I decided to take a Civil Rights Pilgrimage into the heart of the American deep south.

What I discovered in Memphis, New Orleans, Selma, Ala., Birmingham, Montgomery and Little Rock was a world quite different than the one I was used to in Wisconsin. I learned about happiness, grief, love, despair, injustice, and compassion on a whole new level. That trip changed me and the way I view the world.

I then stumbled onto the show “Departures” on Netflix. The thought of galavanting around the globe meeting people of different ethnicities, religions, colors, and creeds seemed more appealing and more doable.

Then, in the summer of 2017, my friend Jay and I went to Europe on a 14-day backpacking trip. Highlighted by the Tomorrowland festival in Boom, Belgium, we visited Amsterdam and the Swiss Alps. I discovered what a true borderless community looks like when I stepped onto the Tomorrowland festival grounds for the first time and found that fundamentally, we are all the same. There were no wars, politics, or arguments. Just people coming together for the same cause: love.

I want this site to be an inspiration for others looking to do what I will do; to prove it’s not impossible. I know there is more for me than sitting at a desk and if you’re reading this, likely you feel the same in some capacity.

I hope you’ll follow my journey as I try to give you travel tips, travel guidance, information about specific destinations, and ways to follow me into the nomad lifestyle. Buckle up, it should be a fun ride.