Djembes and Sunsets

Sunday nights at Treasure Island Drum Circle is the perfect end to every week; the best way to gear up for a new one. The beach is captivating and offers some of the best sunsets I’ve seen. The drums are plentiful and fill the air with rhythm from the late afternoon to sunset. The entire island seems to crawl out for the experience. It restores my faith in humanity to see so many people coming together and enjoying the beauty in those moments. There is a spiritual feeling similar to a church gathering. People of all walks of life come and dance, play music, and watch the sun part ways with the earth. It reminds me a lot of old practices such as chasing the sun and praying it returns tomorrow. As the sun escapes, the glowing paraphernalia comes out. The sky is now lit up again with vibrant colors. There are drum circles all over the world with good vibes and good people. You don’t need to be afraid to check them out alone or with your own group of friends. To find a drum circle near you visit http://drumcircles.net and check out the plethora of information it provides. When I first began exploring these experiences I started there. Below are some pictures of the Treasure Island Drum Circle in St. Petersburg, Florida as well as a link to a video from June 7th’s circle.264528_10150669213045440_5266418_n 266623_10150669273845440_3216914_o

Sounds of the Circle

Jammin'

Jammin’

Treasure Island Sunset

Treasure Island Sunset

Advertisements

Twin Thing

((Short Story written by me, Sam, in 2011))

Before everything I was still a child, innocent and happy. We were both happy at one point splashing in the water, the wind blowing salt through our hair. But one day our world shattered as if it were a thin stained-glass globe at the wrong end of a rocket launching. Funny thing is, I can’t quite pin point when it was. It all happened so fast: the drugs, foster care, mom came back, more drugs, dad came back, the violence started, and my sister couldn’t handle it.

I just found my happy place, I tried to take her there but she couldn’t see it. She was always afraid they were coming back to get us. So we left, and every time we left we had to leave where we went because they were still coming. The problem was that they never stopped chasing us. Instead of enhancing our lives, we lived on the run.

Continue reading

Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel By: Rolf Potts

     ‘Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so-called certainties of this world. Vagabonding is about refusing to exile travel to some other, seemingly more appropriate, time of your life. Vagabonding is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate.” – Rolf Potts writes in Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel

Rolf Potts’ explanation of vagabonding is absolutely on point. Forget about social networks and lavish apartments, embrace the realness of the world around you. As you sit there in your chair millions of wondrous things are occurring in different places around the world, don’t you want to experience the spectacle?

Vagabonding is about letting go of the things that hold you back from these experiences. Refusing to believe that the world has borders that cannot be broken; embracing your inner citizen of the world. Go on youtube and look at some satellite footage from NASA or any other reputable source. Look at how the land is aglow with light, the water dark and vast. Marvel in that glorious sight. Did you notice any borders? Anything except water separating us from one land to another?

Refusing to let your circumstances hold you back from any dreams you hold, vagabonding preaches minimalism. If you really want to spend a long period of time traveling the world that is set out for us, then stop putting so much emphasis on the ties holding you back and cut back on your spending. Live frugally where you are and save. Prove to yourself that you deserve this trip. Nothing good ever comes easy, but it is proven to always pay off in memories. If you can’t afford expensive trains or taxis, walk you’ll see much more.

Don’t sit by and let life hand you whatever it chooses, grab life by the balls and decide your own fate. At the core, I believe that is the spirit of vagabonding, deciding your own fate and living it through. Experiencing as much as you can and sharing your insight with all those interested. I think the hardest part for me will be not getting too attached to any one place. There is so much to see and I’ve only got one life to see it.

He also gives many resources for cheap travel, work abroad, and other valuable information that you can find in his book. I purchased it at Barnes and Noble for $15 but for all you bargain hunters I’m sure you can find a steal. I’m not trying to sell you anything but it’s a lot of information that I’m not ready to get into quite yet. This is just some thoughts I had after reading halfway, once I finish the book I will give you a proper synopsis.

Until next time bloggers, remember, vagabonding isn’t a verb it is a state of mind so go suck the marrow out of life!

xxx Sam

Flashback: Cannes 2010

Interning at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 was the first experience with world travel I came upon. Tom Garrett organized the trip and taught me everything I needed to know about maximizing my adventure. The lovely folks at Summit Entertainment helped push my dreams along by giving me an internship with them. It just so happened to be a year that they held the only American film in competition (Fair Game). Deborah was in charge of choosing the two interns out of a myriad of applicants and so it is to her I owe many thanks and memories. Another notable person which I feel I must mention is Ms. Annasivia, she taught me so much about the business of film as well as about myself and the world. She is another woman whom my mind always wanders to when I think of inspiring people. American born, worked hard and studied hard to land herself a job living and working in London traveling with Summit to different festivals and handling a plethora of other tasks as well.

During the fifteen days we were in the Cote D’Azure provence, I spent most of my days waking up before the sun. Dressing for the day included hanging the night before’s clothes on the balcony to dry and bringing along a red carpet ready dress for the end of the day. One of my fondest memories is sharing the lift with Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) and enjoying a very pleasant conversation with him. He asked me how I landed the internship and where I was from. He was very friendly and an interesting man. For all you Twilight fans, I was given the opportunity to see a distributors showing of Eclipse and see how these men and women view and assess a film for their particular country. After I got home I saw it again with my sister and noticed differences in the edits, it was exhilarating to be among the few people to be privy to that.

There was a moment where Three Musketeers was on the business agenda and I got the privilege to put together head shots of many great and talented actors. While marveling over these young pictures of actors I’ve been watching for years, the CEO comes storming through with all his majestic power. He demands to have Mr. Bloom signed to the project immediately. I’m certainly glad he did because Orlando did such a fabulous job in the film.

The best way to describe my time is the perfect mix of exploration, hard work, and new knowledge. Not only did I learn so much about how the film industry works as a business; I learned a lot about myself – drinking freely in public was even new! I learned how to be tough when it came to my dreams, how to be assertive in my aspirations, and to be willing to take on any task that comes along. Whether it be organizing head shots, running a bar at a party, or picking up the dailies; being willing to take on any task and completing in a timely manner is a quality that shines through in anyone’s eyes. In an industry as cut-throat and swarming with new fish as Filmmaking, it is important to give it everything you have and grab life by the balls. Take in every experience and every contact, learn and network. You never know who you may run into again in your future.

(1)End of Festival Luncheon with Summit Entertainment&Professors (2)Closing Ceremonies with Peers (3)Closing Ceremonies Award Winners (4)Rooftop filming at the office (5) Doug Liman on the Palais’ banner (6) Posing with some peers after the red carpet (7-8) First night Soiree (9) With Tom Garrett on the Red Carpet (10-11) Conversing with my professors about the festival at Luncheon (12) On the Red Carpet (13)Tile Palm d’Or (14) Tim Burton Walking the Red Carpet

Cannes Luncheon Summit Closing Ceremonies Closing Ceremonies Peer's Trip Documentary Doug Liman The Guys and I after the Red Carpet College Roommates Conversing on night one Tom Garrett and I on the Red Carpet Serious discussion with my professors Deep Discussion Tom, Daniel, and I @ The Palais Palm d'Or Tim Burton Head Juror 2010

Twenty-Four Weeks, Twenty Countries, Three Continents

Now that we have had our introductions, I feel that I can let you in on my extravagant plan. I’m currently working as hard as I can to save a proper amount of money to go on a six month sabbatical where I will walk the Camino De Santiago (30 days) as well as Cinque Terre (12hrs).

On this trip, I plan to continue blogging, write some travel articles, and I also plan on purchasing a GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition camera to film the trip and make a documentary about my travels. Ideally this trip will take off in spring where I will land in Ireland and walk some rolling hills before splitting for England. I’d also like to check out Wales, as my father’s great grandmother originates from there before being banished from her family and falling in love with a Cuban dentist. My goal is to uncover some more information about her and the family my dad really comes from.

After what I foresee as about two weeks, I shall leave the islands for the mainland and visit The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Switzerland, and Italy before tackling the Cinque Terre adventure. After Cinque Terre, I shall head to the south of France where I plan for it to be around May and I can attend the Cannes Film Festival once again. I won’t attend the entire two week festival however I will get a pass for a few days to see some films, say hello to some old friends, and acquire some business meetings about the documentary as well as a few other projects I have in the works.

After Cannes, I will head up to Paris for the first time (insert happy dance) and spend a few days wishing I could transport back to the roaring twenties when Fitzgerald and Hemmingway frequented the block. Hopefully I will get to take a walk in Paris while it rains – I always imagine that to be the most beautiful sight.

After a few days in Paris, I’ll be heading to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port where I will collect my shell and  pilgrims passport to begin my month of walking. I shall not tell you about the time on the camino as I cannot predict what my pilgrimage will bring. I do however predict that the end of the camino will mark the end of the fourth month or the middle of the fifth. At this point, I would like to go to Morocco for a while and enjoy Casablanca, Tangier, Rabat and everything else Morocco has to offer.

After that adventure, I’d like to hop a flight to Cairo and spend a week in Egypt. After Egypt, I can head to Israel for some enlightenment and travel back to the states from there. So there it is, twenty-four weeks, twenty countries and three continents.

**Next week I will break down the trip further to prove how realistic it really is.**

xxx Sam

Twenty-four weeks, twenty countries, two continents.

Introductions Are Necessary!

Hello!

 If you have stumbled here perhaps you have had the good sense to start at the beginning of the journey. I bid you good morrow and good luck on your travels through my adventures.

First a little bit about me: I am a twenty-four year old woman with a passion for exploring, writing, and images both still and moving. As an adolescent I spent my time writing, climbing trees, performing in plays, and playing on the beach. While I attended a magnet program in my high school years for theater, I also pursued a position on the school’s Lacrosse team and a longstanding job at the local movie theater where I fell in love with the moving image and photography.

When first looking at colleges I thought I would be a psych major. I toured a few Florida schools, looking at their programs and still exploring their more artsy sides. When straying off from a guided tour at the University of Tampa, my mother and I stumbled into a tall man wearing a pair of combat boots, a trench coat and a fedora smoking a cigarette. He quickly introduced himself as Tom Garrett and began hypnotizing us with stories about the Film & Media Arts program and how you took classes in filming narratives and even documentaries and experimental film – not that I knew what that was at the ripe age of seventeen. He even mentioned an acquaintance he has in Cannes and how he takes a group of students over to do internships every year.

I remember the most amazing feeling sweeping over me. I knew that I must learn everything I could from this man. He had found a way to do what he loved, travel, and touch the lives of others. One could say he inspired my future in a way he may have never known. Eventually Professor Tom Garrett became my advisor and taught me many things about life, professionalism, and the film industry as well.To this day I treasure the time I was able to spend at the University of Tampa.

I have been abroad twice at this point in my life and visited France, Italy, Belgium, and Great Britain. I spent three months living in Bergen Op Zoom, Netherlands where I was employed as an Au Pair to a lovely family and learned how easily I could live abroad and love every second of it. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today and I am beyond determined to take many more trips in the future and eventually visit every country in the world.

This blog will take you along on my adventures – past, present, and future – as well as through the planning process of what it takes to be a travel writer and live on the road which has always been a dream of mine.

Dreams are meant to come true, if you see it and you want it bad enough you can make anything happen. Now if you are still with me, perhaps a little about you? I would love if my readers would share a bit about themselves and travels that they have done or wish to do.

xxx Sam