Travel

Here’s to you, Tokyo. 

Have you ever smelled airplane food?

I mean if you have been on a flight that last more than three hours then of course you have.

The smell radiates through the air vents along with a plethora of crazy airborne germs and diseases — oh, I feel like I’m back in college. 

Mix that smell with alcohol and an old lady snoring, that pretty much sums up air transportation. 

It may have been the absurd amount of vodka or the two sleeping pills; but for a moment, I felt like a real life Don Draper. Staring at international ad campaigns on a small television screen strategically placed in front of me while I was 30,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. 

The planes altitude was probably so I didn’t contemplate jumping because of the immense amount of consumerism being figuratively shoved down my throat. 

Where am I? Well, I am in the sky on my way to the biggest city in the world… Tokyo, Japan. 

It is truly unforgettable, the first time I stepped foot in Tokyo. 

It is a odd place; full of loud sounds and bright lights. There is street food, robot bars, arcades, even an Irish pub or two.

Tokyo is a picturesque city, where you can go and drink the night away while finding new friends along the way. You may catch a buzz and wander down alleys and side streets; such as piss alley, where stopping for ramen or other types of cuisine is a must do for any traveler. 

This city is huge. Bigger than one man can explore, yet many try. 

I can’t conjure up the words to explain the worlds biggest city and I don’t think I need to. The place speaks for itself; with its people, culture, nightlife, and culinary successes. 

Tokyo will always have a piece of my heart.

It is a place which shows people that strange is ok. Everyone is accepted, anyone can experience it, and some may call it home. 

Here’s to you Tokyo; stay crazy. 

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Travel

Two tickets to LAX?

You may start out on a plane.

You may end up at an airport bar, sucking down your preference of sedatives.

At least that is how my journeys start out.

When you at last arrive at the airport and realize your layover is going to cost you about two days then you start to question things. Things like: where am I going to stay, why is my phone dead, why is my uber driver talking so much and will there be alcohol at my final destination.

But sometimes you have to not worry about such trivial things — throw caution to the wind. Maybe you find yourself in Los Angeles, maybe you stay with an awesome friend, maybe you take the metro through sketchy parts of town and then hike four miles barefoot. Yet this is what makes it amazing. This is what you live for if you are into this lifestyle, the hard ups and downs. 

It’s the free dirty martinis and casual conversations that make the road that much better. 

And it could also be dipping your feet into an arctic cold Pacific Ocean, yet who really knows.

Whatever you may want in life. Well, it is out there.. Just board a plane and fly away. 

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Travel

Diary of a Nomad

The morning light rises over the hills and hits my face. I awake to witness highway signs whizzing by out the window.

People are scurrying about inside of this high-speed metal container; I have no destination in mind. It is almost as if I am on a midnight drive to clear my head, yet I have been on the road for months — maybe there is a lot to clear from my mind. Days merge together and time evades me, such as the sun eludes the moon. I have become accustomed to a lifestyle, maybe one that was forced upon me. 

Forced upon me by the world.

Humans were not made to be stranded, alone, with no hope. We are like trees, with roots, but we are ever reaching towards new heights. With each passing year our branches grow into the sky and bring about new understandings.

Let us grow, let us reach, until the day our branches become too weary and we wither at our roots. For this is the day we shall nourish another buddying tree; sharing our growth by giving it back to the world.

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Travel

30,000 Feet

“Wake up, they are serving breakfast” the old man in the seat next to me mutters enthusiastically.

The captain comes over the loud speaker and announces the decent into Frankfurt, Germany, as my hangover slowly sets in. You see, planes are not my strong suit. Being in a giant metal bird at 30,000 feet or above is just an absurd notion to me.

As polite as the old man next to me was trying to be, he still woke me up with a good half hour of turbulence left en route to Germany. I shovel some sort of nourishment into my mouth and begin to stare out the window at a boundless horizon. I thought as if — for just that moment — I could be anyone I wanted to be. 

That is the beauty of travel. 

It frees one from the shackles of modern society and allows us to explore our inner selves. For once in my life I was no one, a stranger in a vast and endless world, a true adventurer.

There is something euphoric about staring out a pane of glass at what is passing by. Lakes, trees, cars, buildings, everything is almost as a still life drawing or photograph. It is immovable, timeless, yet life goes on inside of this “object”.

Before long the screeching of rubber against the earth brings me back from a vivid day dream. Head pounding and nausea ridden, I step off the plane onto a bus, then finally to the main terminal.

I have made it, but yet again reality kicks in as my stomach over takes me. All philosophical thoughts have to be put on hold until the dreadful feeling from the consumption of toxic liquid subsides.

How can James Bond do it? I have had gin, and let me tell you, that is a very quick way to let dehydration overtake your body.

Luckily there is a five hour layover. Time to find a spot to rest, hopefully no good hearted old men wake me up for lunch.

 

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Food, Guilty pleasures, New York, Philosophy, Travel

Life Begins on the Road

Road trips are full of twist and turns, ups and downs, or even heavy storms.

These factors contribute to the overall outcome of being out on the road. They mold you and teach lessons that can be carried for years to come.

For me, being on the road is home, I feel like I need to be out there somewhere in the world.

So many things have been checked off the bucket list in the last few days: Eating a Philly Cheesesteak in philly, staying in a apartment in West New York, and even staying out consuming libations until four in the morning.

There was food, cooking, vintage wines, craft beers, jazz clubs, enticing conversations, and a list of other things too long to explain.

There is a place between the plane flights and bus rides – a middle ground. Maybe it’s out on the open road or at a grungy dive bar in a foreign land.

This is the place that I exist, the place I’m happiest.

I’m a stranger just walking these city streets and it’s a pleasure to meet you.

 

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Food, Travel

Food Review: Dalessandros and Chubby’s

Cheese, meat, and carbs.

There is a special place in my heart for any combination of these three ingredients. Yet, there is only one way to eat these godly components if you are in Philadelphia. Of course I am speaking of the illustrious Philly cheesesteak.

Traveling through the Philly area I had to stop and hunt for a luscious cheesesteak. I was turned on to Dalessandros in Roxbourgh, PA. It’s a counter style restaurant, which implies you must sit at the counter to eat. The smell coming from the kitchen was that of legends, but that was where the legend ended.

The sandwich was bland, to say the least. It lacked salt, or maybe acidity, or… I don’t know, maybe it lacked love.

Luckily there was another competitor right across the street, Chubby’s.

They had bathrooms, accepted debt cards, and had a very lovely and entertaining staff.

I started out with some French fries and a pint of shandy. A few friends were digging into some of the cheesesteaks from this joint, so I had to compare.

It wasn’t even a comparison because as soon as the sticky, bitter and rich American cheese and meat mixture hit my palate I knew I had made a mistake. That mistake was that I bought and ate a cheesesteak from Dalessandros. The thing that baffles me the most is that Chubby’s is not on any of the “best of” Philly cheesesteak reviews, yet Dalessandros is. So Chubby’s is the place to be. This sublime establishment hands down has one of the best cheesesteaks that I have ever had the pleasure to consume.

It is pretty clear that people who publish “best of” awards have the palate of a tongueless four-year-old child.


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