Honorable Mention: Exploration & Self Discovery

I’m a regular guy from Ohio. Not special. Not rich. My whole life I heard a lot of “You can’t do things.” In my 20’s I suffered to get my Bi-Polar disorder under control and had some setbacks and was told I could do even less.

When I was 29 I decided everybody was wrong.

I sold all my stuff, quit my cubicle job, saved up money, and got a teaching gig in South Korea and pursued my life’s dream of traveling around the world. I spent 2 years backpacking around Asia & Europe.

I lived and trained with the Shaolin monks in China, trekked over 100 km through the Himalayas in Nepal, road motorcycles around Vietnam, saw an exorcism in the desert in Mongolia, road the Transiberian railroad across Russian, saw a water burial in Tibet, met Santa Claus in Finland, watched the sunrise on the temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and then watched it set on the temples of Bagan in Myanamar, but most of all blew the ceiling off every expectation/limitation everyone (including myself) had ever set for me in my entire life through spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional (r)evolution.


After 2 years I came back to the US different, wiser. I applied what I learned, became a travel writer, started a website called ShamelessTraveler.com. I channeled T.S. Eliot’s words, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” I began exploring America and Canada, falling in love again with new eyes. When I sufficed what I wanted to see in the East I moved West. The adventure will never end. I’ll continue experiencing the west coast and probably head back over seas in a few years.

I wake up every morning and remember John Irving, “If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”

For the Fifth Annual Athletic & Outdoor industry celebration, we called on all entrepreneurs, athletes, designers, outdoorsmen and women to tell us their A&O stories. We will be featuring four of the seven winning entries on the website in the days to come. The top three storytellers will be presenting their tales at the December 3rd annual event. Come hear their adventures and join in on the fun. Register Today