Fort Myers, Florida

Fort Myers, among other popular Florida destinations, is known for its beaches, shopping centers, and fishing lifestyle. You and your loved ones can experience fun-outdoor activities whether that’d be swimming, kayaking, or sightseeing, dine at delicious ocean-side restaurants and wind down at the end of the day with a beautiful sunset view.

If you plan on visiting Fort Myers, this article is for you! This past May my friend and I made our way down to Estero island, where Fort Myers Beach is located, to spend much needed time under the sun. For us, this vacation was something we talked about for a long time and when it finally arrived we were ecstatic. We only wished we could stay longer. Down below are photographs from our three night stay.

We stayed three nights at Island Hideaway Luxury Suites

Fort Myers Sunset Dolphin Tour

Location: Snook Bight/ Bayfront Marina
Duration: 90 minutes
Cost: $25 per person

The instructors recommend you arrive 30 minutes early. You can enjoy the scenery and treat yourself to a drink from the outside bar while you wait. The sunset dolphin tour was worth it in every way. I didn’t capture many photos of the dolphins but we saw a lot of them!

preparing a healthy snack/ drinks for our kayak trip!

Fort Myers Kayaking Adventures

The next day we spent the first part of our morning/early afternoon in the pool enjoying ourselves. When we got back to the house we looked up kayaking in Fort Myers and came across multiple options.
Cost: $50 for 2 person Kayak
Duration: All afternoon

When we arrived the instructor went over the map and told us different spots to check out. We were able to paddle into the bay and through mangrove tunnels. If you love spending time in nature and getting in some exercise kayaking is a perfect option!

Fort Myers Pier, Food and Ice Cream!

Film for food, We shared a slice of some of the best pizza Ive ever tasted. Afterwards we grabbed ice cream cones to bring with us on the pier! Butter Pecan/ Vanilla
More film

Right in front of Lani Kai resort is Yo! Taco, a small colourful hut serving absolutely delicious tacos, burritos, nachos and other hispanic foods. We ate here more than four times and when we didn’t, we wish we had. On our last day before jumping on the highway to leave Fort Myers, we took Yo! Taco on the road with us because it’s that scrumptious. Get the hard shell taco, trust me.

Big Donkey Steak Burrito
Happy to be here

Chasing Sunset At Fort Myers Beach

Ending the day with reflection
The man who worked at the Cigar Hut told us every cigar tells a story. This is mine.

Notes From My Travel Journal

Sunday May 19, 2019

“Jessica and I arrived at Fort Myers Beach on Estero Island Friday night. We planned for this trip a few weeks ago, but the idea initially came up as we walked by beautiful oceanside homes lined down Holmes Beach. We were at Siesta Key’s Village when the idea seemed more feasible, like something we could actually obtain. How great would it be to wake up, look out the window and view the vast ocean and sky as your neighbour?

Now that we finally made it happen, we don’t want it to end.”

The Next 35 Weeks.

What can happen in 35 weeks? Your whole entire world can change.

The last 35 weeks in Florida has been both depressing and up-lifting. It’s interesting to look back at how I fluctuated through such a broad spectrum of emotions.

My experiences were both positive and negative, yet I also see that my experiences just are; that which makes me who I am writing this now. I suppose my interpretation of my experiences are different than the experiences themselves, like Shakespeare says,

“Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” And at the same time it is the duty of the individual to conceptualize one’s life in order to live with purpose and meaning.

Now that I’m living in the Azores and don’t plan on returning to Florida anytime in the near future, I find myself asking, What am I doing here? 

  My plan for the next 35 weeks is to continue on the path towards my goals and further more, to my dreams. 

For the past four years I’ve been able to travel a few months every summer. One of the many lessons I brought home with me was how inadequate a month or two is if you really want to understand a foreign culture. Imagine you’re a foreigner visiting the United States for a month, would that be enough time to visit and enjoy all 50 states, speak English fluently/conversationally, and understand the variety of customs, beliefs, and lifestyles throughout all 50 of them? Absolutely not.  Each time I come home and process my trip I always think how much more there was to experience and learn about.

One week in Cartagena, for example, is enough time to fall in love with the city. Two weeks in Cartagena is enough time to see its flaws and routines. Three weeks in Cartagena, well, I’m not sure. Last year I spent two months traveling through Colombia and Ecuador which was only enough time to spend no more than a week in each city/town. I started in Cartagena, then went to Medellin, Bogota, Pasto. I stayed overnight in Ipiales before crossing into Ecuador to do the same thing. My return flight was back in Cartagena so I ended up spending an extra week there. My perception of Cartagena changed dramatically during the second week and I wondered once I got home how much it could’ve changed if I had spent the entire two months in Cartagena instead of jumping around every week. 

What I’m trying to express is how I would rather spend a longer amount of time living in a place getting to know the ins and outs, than hostel hopping one city to the next. This is what I’m looking forward to doing here in the Azores and in Portugal, once I make it to the mainland. The first time I went to Pico, Azores I stayed a little more than six months. I had just graduated high school, spent the summer working and come autumn I was off to the single place I wanted to travel to since I was a child listening to my dad’s stories. I was always intrigued by how he explained his childhood, from playing soccer around the island to the vast green landscapes. He would tell me about the volcano rising above the clouds, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, always present like a guardian protecting his kingdom. Those six months I spent in Pico were fundamental to my character. It felt like it was the first time I truly answered the call to adventure. When I finally returned to Florida I remember feeling like a new person. I became self-aware of how my mind worked, how other’s worked, I tuned into my senes in a way that I wasn’t before. I could view the world from different perspectives without latching onto a single one and that’s helped me throughout the years in various circumstances. 

Ever since I started traveling I feel my purpose is to travel. Whether that started when I first moved to Florida from Massachusetts or when I visited Pico for the first time  I’m not sure of. Regardless, there’s no better way to put it: my purpose is to travel. I need to live my passion and that’s what these next 35 weeks are all about. I’m working towards my goals, following my dreams, knowing I’m doing everything in my power to live a life I’m happy about. Right now I write this from a small town called Lajes do Pico. Not five years ago this place was only an idea in my mind. Now its a familiar place. Part of me will always be right here by the ocean. The rest of me will find itself all across the world in due time. 

Pico Island, Azores, Portugal

Day 1

I arrived in Lajes do Pico last night around nine.

I was here two summers ago with my family and before that I lived here for a little more than six months after I graduated . Coming back to this island for the third time feels normal now.

My first visit was unlike anything I experienced in the past. When I stepped outside the airport doors I felt a profound sense of adventure. I heard stories about this island growing up but now that I was here in the flesh it was completely surreal.

Everything was a subject to my curiosity those first few weeks. The simplest of things were fascinating to me. For one, I couldn’t get enough of the fact I was on an island and at anytime of my choosing I could look out and view the seemingly infinite sea. I spent a large portion of my time walking along the wall (the locals here call it ”o muro”) listening to the ocean and watching the sunset behind mount Pico.

A montanha do Pico at sunset
Lajes Do Pico

At first I was totally enveloped by the natural beauty and as time passed I eventually became conditioned to routinely sight seeing. It wasn’t that my surroundings were any less beautiful, no, definitely not. It was more so that I was familiar and less intrigued with them.

When I stepped out of the airport doors last night I wasn’t filled with the same profound sense of adventure I experienced say, the first time I arrived more than three years ago, or when I arrived in Cartagena, Colombia last summer. Instead I just felt normal ,which isn’t a bad thing but it isn’t as exciting.

This time around I know the landmarks, I know the town names, the bakeries, the restaurants, the architecture, the roads, the street names, the people, the language. I know this because I’ve spent close to a year here and after awhile an unknown place becomes home.

As a traveler I seek that sense of adventure or “wanderlust” but I also understand that constantly seeking adventure elsewhere greatly limits our ability to notice it right here. With that said, there’s an abundance of opportunities here for me that I can’t wait to experience and share with you!


This collection was taken last month when my friend and I decided Clearwater was our next beach destination.

When we weren’t enjoying Clearwater’s calm waves, we searched through all the gift shops for nic-nacs and souvenirs.

There was an abundance of stores/hotels/restaurants lined along the main street, but the best thing by far is the tall palm trees leaning into bright blue skies.

Remembering Quito, Ecuador: Essential Questions on Travel and Purpose

I forget her name- that German girl I met at the Blue Youth Hostel in Quito, Ecuador. She spoke excellent Spanish and English. She held herself with a confident presence. She told me she found herself in Cali: the salsa capital of Colombia.

Some of the most interesting conversations happen in hostels with people who’s names you never acquire either because you never asked, which is a shame, or due to the sheer numbers of travelers you come across while hostel hopping.

This German girl stayed months in Cali, Colombia learning to Salsa. The only reason she was in Ecuador was to get more time on her visa so she could return to Cali and continue dancing. She spoke about Cali as if it were imbued with magic. It was the best place in the world.

I could feel how passionate she was about Salsa by the way she searched for adequate words to describe her emotions. She said it was the first time in her 20 something years that she felt like she belonged. It was her genuine calling.

The energy she felt dancing was cathartic. When she salsa’d she never felt more beautiful or free. That was the most important thing to her- to feel free to be herself.

-So there we were at three o’clock in the morning outside of a nightclub in centro Quito, ears buzzing, stomach growling for something other than cerveza-

She told me something I’ll never forget. It’s something I look back on from time to time because It made me question myself and my reason for traveling.

She said,

“Everyone is either looking for something or trying to run away from something.

What are you searching for?

What are you attempting to escape?

Why are you here, Ryan?”

I took a few seconds to think. A few seconds went by.  I couldn’t come up with a definitive answer.

I deflected the question back to her.

She tells me she’s on a search for meaning and passion outside of her normal, everyday routine. She found Salsa and that’s what she needed, it was that thing missing from her life.

People travel in either search of, or escape from something . Sometimes it’s both, but it’s important to find out what those things are so you can come to terms with them.

It’s been well over five months since Ecuador and still that conversation stays with me. I’ve had alot of time to think about what I should’ve said to her that night.

To start I should’ve said I was there to meet her. I was there to partake in that exact conversation with her in order to start questioning my reasons for traveling in the first place.

I mean, Initially I went to South America on a mutually shared whim to see a new and exciting part of the world. I had goals to learn the language, history, art, and the customs of the people. I wanted to be fully immerse myself to get a good idea of the culture.

I wanted to accomplish these tasks, but why?

Replaying in my mind: You have to ask yourself, what are you searching for and what is it in your life that youre trying to avoid or don’t want to deal with?

These are personal questions. They’re difficult to answer because they require deep digging.

Traveling for me has always been about expressing my curiosity for the world and about confronting myself.

I seek to express myself and meet people who change the way I look at the world. I desire change and that’s what travel does for me. I’m more observant and aware of not only the external environment, but the internal landscape in which everything is perceived and interpreted.

If I could go back and tell that German girl- I really wish I could remember her name right now- I would say I’m seeking expression, to expand who I am.

I learned a lot about myself on this trip to South America. I know it’s cliche to say it was life changing but it’s true, It really was in ways I’m probably not even aware of yet. Every time I’ve ventured outside of my known surroundings, my comfort zone, my home, I learn an incredible amount about myself and the world around me.

The morning after our conversation, I left Quito to go to Latacunga, Ecuador. I wished her farewell and good luck on her travels. I hope she found her way back to Cali, back to where she felt wholesome.

I won’t forget what she told me. I can’t.

When I plan for my next trip I know her words will appear before me guiding my reason and intent. With that said I extend her words to you, dear reader.

Everyone is either looking for something or trying to escape something.

What are you searching for?

What are you attempting to escape?

Why are you here?

Street Photography In The Heart of Bogota

Bogota was one of the three major cities I visited in Colombia this past summer.

When I was there I didn’t have a precise objective. Everyday I ended up walking around the center of Bogota taking photos of the architecture, the graffiti and the liveliness of the streets. Of course there were certain things I wanted to see as a tourist like the world famous Gold Museum and the spectacular view atop mount Monserreti, but they weren’t my main focus. Aside from the tourist attractions, I really just enjoyed wandering around. 

Bogota was cold when I arrived mid August. Unexpectedly cold. Coming from the summer heat of Cartagena and the refreshing mountain air of Medellin it really threw me off when I got to the high-altitude capital of Bogota. I must say however, the people I became friends with in Bogota were warm and welcoming. That made all the difference.

Continue reading Street Photography In The Heart of Bogota

El Peñol: The Astonishing 360 View of Guatape, Colombia and How To Get There

How to get there?

The chances are you’re in Medellin.  

  1. Take the metro or taxi to Caribe Station. From there go to the North Bus terminal (Terminal de Transportes Norte).
  2. Buy a ticket to either Guatape or El Peñol at the ticket booths. There’s one or two bus companies that go there. It should cost between $12,000 – $14,000 COP each way or around $4 USD. Total: $25,000 COP = $8.00 USD.  
  3. The bus will stop for passengers along the way, expect between 1 ½ to 2 hour drive. 
  4. You can either get off at the base of El Peñol or you can go to Guatape if you plan on exploring the town.

Continue reading El Peñol: The Astonishing 360 View of Guatape, Colombia and How To Get There

Florida Destination: Redington Shores

At Redington Shores, you’ll find everything you need to unwind and relax. For miles there’s an abundance of natural beauty stretched along the Gulf of Mexico. I come here often usually to watch the sunset by the pier and catch up with needed alone time.

Continue reading Florida Destination: Redington Shores

What Matters Most When Achieving Personal Goals?

IMG_0302I wanted to write about what it really means to achieve personal goals because I think we sometimes loose sight of what’s really important. I was talking to a friend the other day about how people are so achievement oriented that they value the end result more than the process leading up to it.

This reminded me of  how the same ideology is applied to the accumulation  of material things in western society. We are tricked into thinking that more things equals more happiness and therefore higher quality of life. As we know though, placing our sense of worth in material objects only leads to frustration and a false sense of self curated by the ego.

Continue reading What Matters Most When Achieving Personal Goals?

A Few thoughts On Why Travel Is Important

I don’t know a single person who doesn’t want to travel. I think its within the human psyche to want to go to places we’ve never been. We are explorers by nature. We are curious to see the unknown.

Traveling is important in whatever form it takes. A road trip to the next state over can be just as valuable as a flight to a foreign country. To be more accurate however,  it’s more so the mindset of the traveler than it is actually traveling.

At the same time though, traveling in general has the ability to shift one’s worldview, which brings me to my first point.

Continue reading A Few thoughts On Why Travel Is Important

Slack lining in Sarasota, Florida


I met Ben Schneider a few weeks ago down in Sarasota, Florida. 

When I saw the epic view of  someone doing back flips on a trick line between two palm trees and in front of the water, I knew I had to pull over and strike up a conversation!

Ben told me he was passing through Florida and only had a few days left. We exchanged contact information and planned to meet up in Turtle beach a few days later.



This was a new experience for me. I had never seen someone perform dangerous tricks on a thin elastic band and now I had the opportunity to take photos of it.

Watching Ben slack line was exhilarating because there’s a certain level of risk which puts you in a heightened state. There are so many ways to mess up but with his skill, his balance and commitment to the sport  it made it even more exciting to capture!

Here are some photos I took of Ben

Continue reading Slack lining in Sarasota, Florida

Narraganset, Rhode Island: A Week in the Ocean State

the ocean state

T.F Green Airport


Elevator selfie


We took a trip to Colt State Park in Bristol, Rhode Island












One of my favorite photos from the trip. Walking along the shoreline at Colt State Park on a brisk April afternoon.

While I was in Rhode Island  I met up with a few friends! Here are some photos of our time together.











Narragansett, Rhode Island 










Venice Beach, Florida: A few hours under the sun


One hour and 10 minutes south of Tampa.

I hopped on I-75, rolled the windows down, blasted the music and cruised to Venice Beach.

The only plans I made were to  walk around, sight-see and take photographs of what I found interesting. I arrived at Venice around 4:00 p.m which gave me a few hours of sunlight.

I parked in the Historic District and walked right over to the beach.

Continue reading Venice Beach, Florida: A few hours under the sun