Follow Me At Finding Tom!

Finding Tom

That’s the new title of my blog. I honestly want to thank everyone that reads this on occasion. I’m not getting as many hits as Google yet (not even close), but it’s nice to know that my words often inspire visitors who swing by.

The reason why I decided to buy my own domain is because of the people that like, comment, and visit my site. You’ve given me the confidence to make the jump and get this site live.

What can you expect moving forward?

Much of the same, just more blogs about my travels. I’m very much a “travel blogger” that hasn’t really travelled yet, but that’s going to change on June 6 as I make my way from Orlando to San Francisco.

You can also expect the typical content that seeks to inspire those recent graduates or college students who feel a little lost. I want to encourage those who are like me, most of all.

If you follow this blog I’ll share my thoughts, learning experiences, and methods to help you live a live that you’ll love.

If you want to travel on a budget I’ll show you how. If you want to feel less lost, I’ll show you how. If you want someone to talk to, I’ll always respond in the comment section.

I hope every now and then you’ll ask yourself, “Where’s Tom?” and you come visit my site to find out just where I am.

Are you ready for an adventure? I sure am.

Visit me at findingtom.com

Thank you for reading.

 

 

Why We Should ALWAYS Make Time For Our Friends

This past week I went to Phoenix on business.

One of my friends from the Disney College Program lives in Phoenix, and this was my chance to see her again after a one-year hiatus.

I did see her in Vegas, but that was like a blur, and we were so busy I didn’t get to talk with her too much.

But not this time.

Despite living an hour away she drove to see me–how lucky am I? We went downtown to Phoenix and while we didn’t even do anything too crazy it was still so much fun to see her again.

We both have this dry sense of humor so around every turn there was yet another hilarious comment being made by either one of us.

It didn’t take long to slip back into our comfort zones. In fact, I was in my comfort zone the whole damn time.

As I walked around the city with her I got this odd feeling that this must be what life is all about. I used to be so shy, so secluded, and never made much effort to see my friends even when I was near them.

I’ve been blessed because I think I’m the only one of the infamous 2909 Disney group that’s been able to visit pretty much everyone over the past year.

My friend in Phoenix and my best friend in San Francisco have a hard time seeing anyone because the rest of us are on the East Coast. That’s definitely understandable.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m so thankful for that. I’ve wanted to put my friends higher on my priority list lately, and it’s nice to see that happening.

Our friends are everything. It’s not easy to find a great friend. Sure, meeting people is easy, but finding a friend that will do anything to see you? That’s rare.

That’s why we should ALWAYS make time to see our friends.

5 Not-So-Crazy Things On My Bucket List

Bucket lists are normally chock-full of crazy things, such as:

  • Skydiving
  • Climbing Everest
  • Going on a cross-country road trip

I mean, I want to skydive, but I also don’t want to have the prototypical bullshit bucket list that everyone’s seen a billion times. So here’s a few things from my own bucket list that’s not so crazy yet distinct in it’s own way:

  • Go up to a perfect ten at the bar and talk to her – And I’m talking PERFECT 10. I’m talking like Victoria Secret model worthy. This seems so stupid for a 23 year old guy to say, but I still get shy, what can I say?
  • Rent a Dodge Charger with my Dad – This is moreso something I want to do when I meet my parents out west this summer. It’d be cool to take a day and roam the West with horsepower instead of horses (see what I did there?). It would be a great day I’m sure.
  • Buy a homeless person lunch and talk with them – This one kind of scares me. I can’t even pinpoint why. I’m scared because of how bad I’ll feel for not helping more. I don’t know. I want to get to know them, and hopefully write about it to share what I learned, and maybe even start a paypal donation and hand him/her some money if I raise any!
  • Pick up strangers at a bus stop and take them to where they need to go – I think this would be fun. I kind of want to film this! I want to get to know some people, but I’m also trying not to have the wrong person step into my car. I also feel like people are gonna be super wary to hop into a car with a stranger. Whatever. Just an idea.
  • Surprise my best friends with a cruise – I really want to monetize my blog so I can travel and do my own thing, but I also want to do it to help those around me. It would be so cool to treat my best friends to a cruise one day. I don’t know, it’s just a thought.

Anyway, those are a few of my not-so-crazy bucket list items. What are some things on your bucket list? Comment below!

Getting Over Loneliness While Travelling

I was scared. It was my first trip being alone outside Maryland, and I didn’t know what to expect. My destination? Pittsburgh–Baltimore’s sworn enemy–for a film camp. I was going to learn how to become a better filmmaker or something.

I flew in to Pittsburgh, stumbled into a taxi (which lost its way like thirteen times), and had to barter with the driver to lower the rate because he spent 20 minutes basically asking everybody in town about where my destination was.

Then I walked into a room of about 90 people–all creatives–who looked intimidating. I was weird. I didn’t look like a creative person–I looked like the quarterback of the football team. These kids honestly didn’t look like they ever played a sport in their life. But they knew how to be creative. They knew graphic design, culinary, film, etc. I felt so out of place.

Pretty soon they placed us in groups to do some sort of ice-breaker thing, and all my insecurity went away. I was forced to talk, forced to get outside my comfort zone. I was forced to be myself. Pretty soon I made friends, did things with those friends, and I still see them to this day on my Newsfeed every now and then.

I learned something on that trip. If you want to beat loneliness while travelling, there’s a few things you MUST do.

  1. Thrust yourself into the fray – Attend an event and get around people. Go to Meetup.com and find out about a few things you can do! This is so much easier than walking into a bar and trying to strike up a conversation with someone cold. At events people are there to socialize. They want to be talked to!
  2. Be yourself – Just trust it. Trust that your joke is going to make everyone laugh. Trust that you’ll find something about somebody else that’s captivating. Trust that it’s going to be an incredible experience–and it will be! You have friends back home that love you, and there’s bound to be people there that’ll love you too.
  3. Take chances – Take some chances, dammit. Get some balls and go talk to some people. Sometimes it’s literally as simple as that.
  4. Play to your strengths – I love sports. One time I made a few friends after asking to join a volleyball game on the beach. Since playing sports is more comfortable to me, it helped me to calm down and ask to play.
  5. Be open – The flip side to playing to your strengths is to just be open. Walk into every situation with positivity. Don’t necessarily keep thinking about making friends, just focus on being yourself, having fun, and make natural comments when they come to you.
  6. Get distracted – Call your friends, skype somebody, or watch a movie. Get your mind off the fact that you’re out on your own and that might help give you a boost in confidence.
  7. Realize that loneliness isn’t a bad thing – Loneliness doesn’t mean something’s wrong with you! Sometimes being lonely is good. We get to sit with our thoughts and listen to ourselves for a moment. It helps us to reset. Now you have all that time to write, explore, or take pictures of wherever you’re at.

Those are a few ways I get over loneliness myself. How do you get over it while travelling? Feel free to comment below!

 

Things I Want To Do In Tucson

Tucson, I know nothing about you. Until now!

Arizona is gorgeous, people. Basically every single thing I want to do in Tucson revolves around being outside. It’s gonna be freakin hot, but I’ll manage.

  • Sabino Canyon – Located north of Tucson. Apparently it’s gorgeous.
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park – This cave system is considered one of the top ten in the world, and it’s located just south of the city.
  • 4th Avenue – You know, the nightclub scene.
  • The Summit Hut – This local shop sells gear for people that want to hike and stuff. Yeah, I’m gonna need to stop in there.
  • RoadRunner Hostel and Inn – I want to meet some people in Tucson to go hiking with, so I plan on checking in to a hostel this time around.

As I’ve said, I’ll be working all week while I’m in Tucson. That’s five days to work and then two days to explore. Phoenix is just up the road so I can afford to possibly hike the Sabino Canyon on the way up. On Saturday (my first off day), I’ll go check those caves out, which cost $23 per tour.

I plan on seeing some good coffee shops in Tucson. I need to work somewhere, right? I guess I can park down in the city or explore the surrounding areas.

Tucson is a weird one. I feel like it’s really out in the middle of nowhere, but that’s Arizona. I’ll be far from home and far from my friends on the West Coast. That’s why I’m going to check-in to a hostel. I’ll need the company, I think.

Then in Phoenix I’ll go right back to couch surfing, and recharge my batteries before making the last leg of my trip out to Los Angeles.

It was nice to make this part of the trip a little more clear to myself. I still don’t have all the dates set up, but I know the general jist.

 

2 Months Until My Road Trip

It’s now exactly two months until I’ll be going on my road trip. Freaking A.

I’ll be departing Orlando and cutting west across the country to cities like New Orleans, Austin, Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and finally San Francisco.

I’m most excited for New Orleans and San Francisco and I’m not so sure about Tucson. What’s there to do in Tucson, anyway? Maybe I’ll find out when I get there.

With that said I better start putting some things in motion if I’m going to really get this going. One of the things I need to do is launch my blog already and buy hosting. I hope to do that by the end of this month.

Here are my goals:

  • 200 Followers by June 6th. Stretch goal – 300 Followers
  • Buy hosting by May
  • Start an email list by May
  • Begin a Facebook page/social media pages by May

I’m so dead set on this. Wish me luck.

Travel Blogging: Taking The Leap

I got to speak to my Mom today about my plans to leave. I was so worried that she might think I was crazy. I mean, who wouldn’t?

I have Crohn’s, I just had a major operation last year, and I’m paying a fraction of my student loans currently. I’m a freelance writer, which means I make really crappy money, and I’m not thinking about my future by putting off getting my foot in the door of a major company that has benefits, salaried positions, and etc.

But, like she does every so often, my Mom surprised me. She was extremely supportive of my wishes. She’s never been one to shame any of my dreams anyway, but I thought with the development of my disease she might have a few concerns.

She didn’t.

What followed was an outpouring of excitement for the trip. Now I wait. Now I sit back and see if I really follow through with it.

How do you just take the leap? What makes us say goodbye to our comfort zones in search of new places and people? It is crazy, isn’t it? It’s certainly not logical.

My guess is that whatever’s out there looks so much more appealing than what’s right in front of us at home. The thought of staying in the same place all our lives scares us more than the thought of being all alone out in the middle of nowhere, travelling.

To everyone who’s chosen to live this lifestyle: You got balls.