I never liked being told what to do. My whole life I was told I wouldn’t be able to do many things. At a young age I was told that, “I would never be normal.” You see I was born with a slow draining kidney that was four times the size then my other kidney. My family opted out of surgery for me and decided to monitor my kidneys closely. As I got older I developed a love, I’d say obsession, for basketball. Eat, sleep, and dream may be an understatement. By three I was running around the house with a Fisher Price basketball hoop mimicking moves I’d see on television. It was rare or unheard to catch me wearing a piece of clothing non basketball related. By the time I was five I started playing in recreational leagues. I remember when I made my first basket in my first game.
As I trotted back on defense I remember clear as day thinking to myself, “this is going to be easy!”
My love for the game only continued over the years and my parents provided me with all those tools to maximize the most for love. At certain points they allowed me to play 7 different recreation teams around South Florida. My passion for the game could be seen in the way I played. I wanted everyone to see that no one wanted to win more than me. No one would do more during the allotted time then I would.
However as you get older, like any sport, the game moves faster, and the players get taller and stronger. I wasn’t your stereotypical looking basketball player. I was scrappy short white kid who was almost taller than both his parents. Either I was naïve, blind, just in love. I never let my appearance or physical ability dictate my performance. I always made sure I performed my best whenever I stepped on the floor. As I looked to play collegiately or professionally I ran into the same lines. “Well you aren’t that tall” or “you don’t look that strong”. It made finding a collegiate opportunity playing or professionally difficult.
In college I signed as a walk on basketball player at Syracuse. While being a great experience that introduced me to a lot of different people it prohibited me from traveling. When I finished college it was time to get a job. I worked hard at Syracuse and when I graduated I wanted to continue to chase my dream of playing professionally. However life happened and a friend invited me on a chance to backpack Europe and I agreed to join with no hesitation. My thirst for adventure and travel hasn’t been the same since. I had been on vacation with family before but not strictly with a few of my peers. I met people from all over the world and was able to hear and share so many stories and experiences. After signing with Maccabi Hod Hasharon in Israel I now was able to incorporate two of things I held dearest to me, travel and basketball. Over the next year and half I was able to use the game of basketball to take me many strange and distant lands. It may have not always been paid jobs but I was not endorsing my travel habits through my basketball career.
“Purpose of life isn't about discovering truth but discovering meaning.”
The day I had to stop playing basketball came sooner then I imagined. A string of head, neck and back injuries sidelined me indefinitely. However through my diverse basketball network I came across a job in search of a basketball coach in Kuwait. This was it! A job where I could divert my time training and practice towards traveling, health and wellness. During my time in Kuwait I was able to explore places from the Salt Flats of Bolivia to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. My traveling experience is unique because I look to optimize the most of every place I visit while sticking to as loose of a schedule as possible. My trips are unique because I never know where my travels are going to take me from one day to the next. To me it's all about human interactions and having incredible experiences without having to spend astronomical amounts of money over the past few years I have developed a deep and sincere passion for travel combined with a more holistic and healthy style of living.