Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Eric Dalius

Eric Dalius is a marketing professional and entrepreneur who has successfully generated over $100 million since the start of his career in 1990. Through a number of profitable business ventures and smart investments, Eric has become a worldwide leader in the field of marketing. After working at a telecommunications company early on in his career and becoming the top salesman in the nation, Eric decided to bet on himself and start his own business. One business led to another and Eric quickly became an unstoppable force in the world of marketing.

Currently in a state of semi-retirement, Eric Dalius has decided to focus his efforts on helping those in need by starting the Eric J. Dalius Foundation. Through this charitable venture, Eric aims to help under-privileged youth in America attend post-secondary education.

What is your hobby?

Anything to do with cars. I have quite a collection now. I’m a real gear-head.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Well, I’ve been very fortunate in my business ventures with the amount of success I’ve had. I’ve always had an interest in cars but obviously I couldn’t afford the ones that I really wanted until I became successful.

What do you love about cars?

It’s hard to describe really. I guess there’s always a boyish wonder when it comes to stuff that goes fast and looks shiny. Figuring out what all the buttons inside do. Feeling the difference in the handling and the throttle response. Every car feels different and has its own personality and it’s not hard to really make a connection with a car.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

I’d say I’m a lot happier. I know that material possessions aren’t supposed to be the key to happiness, and I agree with that, but I really love my cars and they make me happy. It’s a great amount of fun taking cars to the track for a few laps or going to car shows to talk about cars with other people that feel the same way as me.

What’s your favorite car at the moment?

I always love my Lambos. There’s something special about Lambos that’s hard to put your finger on. Everything about them is just kind of bonkers in the best possible way. That’s what Lambos are about, I think. Just absolute insanity in a devastatingly beautiful package.

What car do you want but not have?

Honestly, I’d have to say a Bugatti Veyron. The speed that those cars can reach is really unbelievable. I’d never be able to actually reach the car’s top speed, but it would still be a cool feeling to own one of the fastest production cars in the world.

 

For more on Eric Dalius, check out these links:

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Eric Dalius on the Value of Continued Education

 

 

Colby Lee Burke

Colby Lee Burke is a popular travel writer based in both Charleston, South Carolina and Portland, Oregon. He has a gift for capturing the essence of the culture in the cities he visits. His work is frequently published by both large and niche travel publications. He grew up in Portland and attended the University of Oregon as an English major. His sophisticated writing style appeals to readers from a wide variety of backgrounds. He is also working on a novel to be published in the coming year.

Burke’s favorite travel destinations include Edinburgh, Scotland, and Florence, Italy. He enjoys immersing himself in local culture and daily life around the world. He has also taken fruitful trips to Germany, France, and Japan. He is planning a trip to Antarctica in the coming months, where he plans to spend time with the scientists who are making breakthroughs in their field.

Burke is well-read thanks to his background as an English major. He enjoys works of literary fiction and criticism. His favorite author is Paulo Coelho. Whenever he travels, he takes a few good novels with him to read in case of layovers.

Burke especially enjoys writing about newly opened accommodations. He is able to provide an objective review of new hotels and bed and breakfasts, giving his readers solid information that they can use to plan their own travel experiences. He is also drawn toward writing about local festivals, enjoying the special activities that make each city unique. Colby Lee Burke is a valued member of the travel writers’ community, and his work is much sought-after by publications at all levels.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is swimming.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I’ve always loved to swim. I learned at a very young age thanks to lessons at our local YMCA. My parents felt like swimming was an important life skill that would keep me and my siblings safe in the future as well as giving us a fitness activity that we could enjoy throughout our lives. I was a member of my high school swim team and I never lost my passion for the sport as I grew up.

Tell us what you love about it.

Being in the water is incredibly peaceful. The water is its own special world, and the troubles and concerns of daily life just melt away when I’m swimming. My life is stressful, and it’s good for me to have a centering activity. I also love that it keeps me in good shape. I need to be in good shape for my job, and for its own sake as well.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I don’t belong to any organizations related to swimming. It is a solitary pursuit for me. Swimming is where I find peace when I am by myself. I might consider joining a group if I could find one in either Portland or Charleston. I do belong to private pool clubs in both cities, where I can get in my workouts in a safe setting with a lifeguard.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Thankfully, swimming is a sport that doesn’t require much by way of equipment. A good quality swimsuit and a towel is all you really need. I bought an Apple Watch when they came out with a model that could be submerged and track your swimming workouts. That has helped me integrate my swimming activities into my total fitness plan. I would definitely recommend that anyone who is serious about working out buy a fitness tracker of any kind.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy most of my supplies at a specialty website for swimmers. It’s called All American Swim. The site has great prices and easy shipping. I also buy things from Amazon and from local sporting goods stores. I do like to try on my new swimwear, and it’s hard to try things on and then return them if you buy online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I would recommend that novice swimmers check out Swimming Made Easy by Ace McCloud. It’s a great primer on the basics of swimming and also helps novice swimmers build their skills. I have used this book for hints on how to improve my strokes. The book also helps new swimmers build their confidence in the water.

How has this changed your life?

Swimming has changed my life in so many ways. It is a meditative activity for me. Whenever I am feeling tense, I try to get to the pool and put in some laps. The repetitive rhythm of swimming soothes me when I am feeling anxious. I also enjoy competing with myself to beat my personal bests in the pool.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

It can be intimidating to see experienced swimmers in the other lanes at the pool, but remember that it’s never too late to learn. I would recommend that you take private lessons if possible so you can be supported by a dedicated coach.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to read and hike. I hope to return to Yosemite National Park in the near future.

Loretta Gallagher

Loretta Gallagher is the President and owner of Gallagher Associates, LLC an IT firm located in Wayne, New Jersey that works primarily with healthcare organizations all over the United States implementing electronic medical records. Loretta started her IT firm just over 25 years ago when the wave of technology was just picking up both professionally and personally. Most people were just getting computers in their homes 25-30 years ago, and internet was still dial up, and AOL was widely used for personal email and internet browsing.  How quickly times have changed.  Gallagher Associates, LLC has transformed as the industry has transformed in the past few decades. Loretta and her team of associates work closely with hospital systems to ensure these large scale projects stay on time and stay within budget. Working with health care organizations that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year can be stressful. Therefore finding time or she says “making time” to decompress and do something enjoyable is important. Keeping the balance between home, family, friends, and work is key to continued sustainable long-term success.  Loretta Gallagher has been married almost 30 years, raised three daughters while running her business; making time to disconnect from work and decompress doing something she loves helps her keep this balance.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY?

Loretta finds cooking with and for family and friends an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. She also loves some down time disconnecting at the beach.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS HOBBY? WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

Not really sure how I got started with cooking.  My mom always cooked, but I do not think she would say it was a hobby or relaxing to her.  My grandmother when I was very young would often gather the family on summer weekends for barbeques and good meals.  Again I do not recall cooking with my grandmother, but always remember what fun it was to have everyone together and looked forward to those weekend meals with them.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT IT?

Loretta loves the togetherness of working in the kitchen with her family and friends, learning other people’s favorites, and making new traditions. Her family has created a few new holiday weekend traditions to share with family and friends. She has an annual Mardi Gras party in New England where she hosts 30-40 friends. They fly in crawfish from Louisiana, make the largest pot of Jambalaya; using a recipe from a dear friend who taught Loretta his family recipe. Loretta Gallagher explains another traditional event is the annual Friendsgiving. She explains as we all see our families during the holidays, making time for friends is essential too. Friendsgiving is a fall event to gather with friends for great food, good wine, and lots of laughs.

Loretta Gallagher explains how she has always loved being in the kitchen, but when her daughters came along it was something they loved doing with her. From the youngest of ages; her girls would pull a step stool over to the kitchen counter regularly. By the time they were three or four years old all three would help with preparation. Loretta explains it was fun quality time we would spend together. It is time they look forward to as much as I do. Even with my three daughters all grown up we still take a fall weekend to make a dozen or so holiday pies and always enjoy a weekend of Christmas cookie baking.

ARE THERE ANY GROUPS YOU’RE A PART OF OR EVENTS THAT YOU ATTEND RELATED TO YOUR HOBBY?

Often on vacation we will find a chef offering a cooking class and will take it.  The Vermont Culinary Institute was a fun winter weekend away where we took a great cooking class.  Another fun one was in Savannah Georgia at a Marriott property we stayed at; The Mansion.  They had a fun interactive cooking class.

HAVE YOU INVESTED IN ANY GEAR OR EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR HOBBY? IF SO, WHAT?

Loretta laughs when asked have you had to invest in equipment? She explains she has just about every kitchen gadget one can think of. She does have some favorites, her pampered chef’s apple corer is a must for pie making, a good lemon press and you never have enough wooden spoons.

WHERE DO YOU BUY MOST OF YOUR SUPPLIES?

Loretta has found some great buys are the William Sonoma outlet and loves her pampered chef items also.

ARE THERE ANY GOOD BOOKS FOR BEGINNERS?

Yes, there are tons – but I do not follow recipes often.  I like to read a few and then put my own spin on them.  Creating my own flavors, presentations and creations are part of the fun for me.

HOW HAS THIS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

My hobby has kept both family and friend near and dear.  The quality time we have all spent together either preparing a meal, or if they are not cooks and just enjoy a meal I have prepared are priceless.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS STARTING OUT WITH THIS HOBBY?

For anyone afraid to try things out in the kitchen, Loretta Gallagher suggests you dive in, learn to laugh, and have fun, she says. Cooking should not be stressful and the more hands the better. Whoever said “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth” was doing it wrong.  Find people you love and enjoy spending time with and make new traditions with them.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER HOBBIES YOU HAVE?

Anything that involves sand and salt water.  Whether it is a walk on the beach or boardwalk, watching the tide roll in, sitting with friends in the sand a catching up or making sand castles with the little kids.  The ocean is my happy place.

To learn more and connect with Loretta:

Juanita Causey

Juanita Causey was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.  At the age of 8, her father died in an accident and she along with 7 siblings were raised with meager means with their mother having to work 2 or 3 jobs to support a family of 8 children.  When Juanita was 16, she moved with her mother to Corpus Christi, Texas where her mother got a job in nursing at a major hospital.  Juanita got married and had 2 children in Corpus Christi before moving to Houston where she went to work for a bank.  After nearly 6 years in the banking business, she decided to start a new career as a Financial Planner/Advisor.  In 1994, she went to work for John Hancock Financial Group where she received training and support for the first few years of her new career.  In 2000, Juanita Causey decided to start her own company “Houston Financial Center” and became a completely independent financial planner/advisor.  She has grown her practice over the years and currently employs three full time and one part time employee to help her manage over 1,000 clients that she has accumulated over the past 24 plus years.  Juanita has a passion for helping people secure their financial future.  She learned first-hand how difficult life can be on a widow and children when a spouse dies without enough life insurance to keep the family in their own world.  It’s her passion that has helped her build a successful practice where she is ranked among the top 2% of all Insurance & Financial Professionals worldwide as stated by the Million Dollar Roundtable where she consistently qualifies as Top of the Table.  Her passion has also drawn her to constant study to be the best that she can be in her profession.  For this reason, she has 7 significant professional designations, namely, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, AIF®, CAP®, CASL® and LUTCF which places her among very few advisors that have reached this level of professional education.  Although Juanita Causey has achieved many awards and much recognition for her accomplishments, she says her greatest achievement is the close relationships that she has developed with her many clients, most of whom she considers her best friends.

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY?

My favorite hobby is participating in group exercise programs at my gym.  They include Zumba, Kick Boxing, Pilates, Yoga, STEP, Body Works and Power Circuit.  In addition to being involved in group exercise, I like swimming, cycling and going on long walks.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH THIS Hobby? WHAT INSPIRED YOU?

For about 9 years, my mother was in a nursing home with limited physical ability to get around due to a fall and a couple of strokes.  In addition to working long hours in my business, I visited her almost every day and would take her on walks in her wheelchair which she enjoyed.  Over time, the long hours and lack of sleep ran me down to the point of exhaustion.  After she passed away, I decided to start taking better care of myself and used the extra time to start exercising, swimming, etc.  I had a gym membership for many years, but before my mother passed away, I had little time to use it.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT it?

I really enjoy the camaraderie that is developed in group exercise as well as the extra incentive it gives me to give it my all.  It’s much more fun working hard in a group, than on your own.  It also gives me a sense of pride that I am doing something that is good for me.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Since I have been working out regularly, I have also done volunteer work for a non-profit group that assists with gymnastics scholarships for children with disabilities, both mental and physical, as well as children from poor families that could not otherwise afford gymnastics memberships.  I have since become a board member for this non-profit foundation.

HAVE YOU INVESTED IN ANY GEAR OR EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR HOBBY? IF SO, WHAT?

Other than my gymnasium membership and workout clothes, my investment in equipment has been limited to a bicycle and a few hand weights that I sometimes use when walking.

WHERE DO YOU BUY MOST OF YOUR SUPPLIES?

I don’t buy equipment or supplies at any particular place.  The clothes and shoes are purchases at various stores in the mall.  The bicycle and weights were purchased at a local sporting goods store.

Are There any good books for beginners?

I have not personally read many books on exercise, but there are literally thousands of books on this subject.  I have gained knowledge about the various programs from the gym and from various articles and sties on the internet, but not any one in particular.

HOW HAS THIS CHANGED YOUR LIFE?

This regular exercise has made me feel better, both physically and mentally.  I have more stamina, my blood pressure has gone down, my weight is controlled and I feel proud that I am able to keep up with others in my groups that are much younger than I am.  I know I am healthier as a result.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHERS STARTING OUT WITH THIS HOBBY?

Start by getting a physical exam and permission from our doctor to start an exercise program.  Then check out the gyms in your area and inquire about their group exercise programs.  Some gyms have very few and others have many.  Some charge extra fees and others do not, so take your time and shop for a good gym that is convenient to your home or work so you will have time to go.  Then try it out before you make a long term commitment or spend too much money on clothes, shoes, gym memberships, etc.

Another hobby is spending time with my grandchildren, taking them to parks, the zoo, museums and places that children like.  I love to do kid stuff with them.  I often keep them overnight to give their parents a break.  I have accumulated a lot of kid stuff at my home so we can play together when they stay over.

ARE THERE ANY OTHER HOBBIES YOU HAVE?

A third hobby that I enjoy is traveling with my husband.  He is a renowned scientist and visits many parts of the world giving lectures and presentations.  By joining him, I have had the opportunity to visit many cities around the world which are too numerous to list at this time.  While he is working, I use my time to walk many miles around the cities, vising points of interest and learning about the various cultures.  I feel that this has given me a vast amount of knowledge, wisdom and understanding that most people are never able to attain.

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Dr. Rohit Arora

Dr. Rohit Arora is the Chief of Cardiology and the Head of the Department of Medicine at the Captain James A. Lovell Health Care Center in Chicago. During his time as a cardiologist in Chicago, Dr. Arora has trained dozens of doctors and authored over 400 academic papers. Although kept busy for many hours of every day with work, Dr. Arora still regularly makes time to participate in clinical research studies with his students and his peers.

Dr. Rohit Arora earned his medical degree from Topiwala National Medical College after attending medical school at the University of Bombay. Dr. Arora had his residency program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and soon after completed his fellowship in nuclear cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Arora’s typical day involves 12 to 16 hours at the healthcare center tending to his patients. While there, Dr. Arora is also responsible for educating residents and fellowships in addition to regular investigative research into various health areas.

What is your hobby?

I have several hobbies that I am particularly fond of, but some of my favorites include: traveling, reading, football, and contemporary art.

How did you get started with these hobbies? What inspired you?

Well traveling is something that I have always loved. I traveled as a child with my family and was always fascinated by other cultures. I was always interested to see how people in other areas of the world lived and how they just went about their days.

I’ve also always been a big reader. My parents showed me what a joy reading can be and how it can transport you to far away places and put yourself in the shoes of others. When I’m not able to travel, reading a book can be a great way to travel in my own mind.

What do you love about traveling?

Traveling is a great way to escape from your worries and to empathize with people around the world. The best way to see how other people live is to go and experience it for yourself. Not only that, but when you travel with friends and family, it can be a great bonding experience.

What was the last purchase you made relating to one of your hobbies?

I buy books all the time. I find myself making trips to the book store or ordering books on Amazon all the time. Sometimes I order books faster than I can read them! Before bed I try to always spend 20 minutes or so reading just to unwind and relax. Fiction books are great to immerse yourself in a story and nonfiction works can be very educational, so I try to find a mix between both.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

Well, I would say that I’m much happier and more balanced because of my hobbies. Constant work with nothing else in life can be a recipe for disaster so my hobbies help me to stay grounded. While I love my job and I love helping people, I think everyone needs activities outside of work so that they can diversify their lives and be more rounded as people.

Do you have any advice for others just getting into this hobby?

When travelling, avoid the really touristy spots. If you want to find the best restaurants, the best views, and the most interesting spots, ask a local. The tourist spots are always crowded, and the food is often nothing special. Find the restaurants off the main strip that the locals stick to and I guarantee the experience will be much better. Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path when travelling because sometimes that’s where the best experiences can be found!

 

For more info on Dr. Rohit Arora, check out these links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-rohit-arora/

https://twitter.com/dr_rohit_arora

https://medium.com/dr-rohit-arora

Jay Eitner

Jay Eitner will forever be a Jersey Boy at heart. Graduating in 1997 from Union High School, Jay received his BA from The American University in Washington DC. Jay’s educational career began in 2002, in which he taught social studies, reading, and technology in Roselle. Jay spent the next 9 years teaching and then went into school administration, first starting off as a middle school vice principal and eventually became a Superintendent of Schools. Being a Superintendent of Schools is one of the most stressful jobs in the US, and Jay found a great way to help relax.

What is your hobby?

I am a huge fan of cooking.

How did you get started with this hobby?

I started cooking in middle school. It was when the Food Channel just came on air, and so many cooking shows began to run. My Father and I began watching show after show; we then started trying to cook what was filmed. Some results were incredible, and some were disasters! I haven’t stopped cooking since.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

I love that my cooking makes other people happy. Over the years, I have been cooking for holidays, friends, and my staff at school. There is nothing more satisfying than feeding others something they like. This is why I’ve volunteered at a soup kitchen since 2009.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

I’ve spent quite a bit of cash buying all kinds of kitchen tools, fine ingredients, and even have subscribed to monthly meal kits. There are so many components to cooking; they all require various steps and pieces to make a finished product successful!

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

I can get lost in Williams Sonoma for hours. Cooking can go in so many directions; that’s one of the many wonderful things about it! I also love to find deals in TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Pottery Barn.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I actually love to collect cookbooks. If one is going to start, they should go to the library and browse all of the selections. Any book from Julia Child is a staple but is very complex if you’re just beginning. I would recommend any cookbook from Martha Stewart or Ina Garten; the instructions are easy to follow and the ingredients used are easy to acquire.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Cooking has allowed me to not only make other happy but relieve stress. I was told once that in order to make people happy, I should go sell donuts, ice cream, or bake something nice. Now I do.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t go in with the expectations that you’re going to make a masterpiece overnight. Like any other hobby, it takes time and practice in order to master it.

Dr. Avi Weisfogel

Dr. Avi Weisfogel is one of the leading voices into the field of Dental Sleep Medicine.  Avi graduated dental school in 1998 and practiced for 15 years.  During that time, Avi developed specific business techniques that led to him becoming the leading producer of oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea in the entire country.  After years of learning exactly what each player in the field of sleep medicine was interested in, Dr. Avi Weisfogel developed a duplicatable system that could be taught to other dentists, so they could achieve the same results.  Since then, Avi has gone on to mentor and coach the top 1% in the field of dental sleep medicine.  Avi is married with 6 kids and two dogs.  Dr. Avi Weisfogel’s aspirations include becoming the President of the United states, taking over the world, and becoming the full time play by play announcer for his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers

What is your hobby?

I am a sports fanatic.  I love all four major American sports: baseball, basketball, football, and hockey.  I watch every single Dodgers’ game. While the game is going on I text back and forth with both my father, now 74 years old, and my youngest son.  One day I hope to take those texts and turn them into a book about the life of a Dodger fan.  My biggest hobby outside of watching sports is skiing.  I spend at least 20 days a year on the slopes with my favorite spot being Aspen, Colorado.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I have been skiing since I was 4 years old. Every year my father would take us to Snowmass, Colorado (neighbor of Aspen) so he could attend the yearly cardiology conference and we could ski as a family.  I live on the east coast and the closest challenging mountain is Killington, Vermont.  I learned how to really become a skier there.  They say this about skiing in Vermont:  If you can ski the icy slopes of Vermont (not to mention survive in their frigid temperatures) you can ski anywhere in the world!

What do you love about it?

There is a feeling of complete freedom that I have while skiing that I do not get anywhere else.  The vastness of the mountains along with the absolute silence while going down the slopes, where the only thing you really hear are your own thoughts, really makes me realize how small I am in the big picture of life.  There is this great giant universe out there and I am like a tiny speck of dust in the whole picture.  This really helps me put things in perspective when something stressful occurs in my life.  It helps me to not take myself too seriously.

Are there are any groups or clubs you’re a part of relating to your hobby?

I am sure there are tons of clubs out there but I don’t belong to any of them.  The one thing that I do a lot of which could relate to hobbies is fantasy sports.  I participate in many fantasy football, baseball, and basketball leagues each year.  I don’t always win but I always compete and have a good time

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

Skiing is not a cheap sport.  Every year they come out with new gear; new skis, better bindings, and of course, better boots.  If you don’t keep up with it yearly, you tend to fall behind.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

A couple things remain incredible to me regarding skiing.  Every year no matter how good I get at this sport, the first day out is just about remembering the muscles needed to do well.  In addition, skiing is a really humbling sport.  No matter how good I am, I always look around and see people that are much better than me.  It reminds me that I can always improve.  The mantra of: “I can always do things better” is one of the guiding principles of my life.  I am never satisfied with the status quo.  I know that I can improve in every aspect of my life whether it be personal, professional, or anything else.

Do you have any advice for others just getting into this hobby?

Take lessons.  Learn how to do things the right way from the start.  If you don’t get the proper foundation down pat, you will never be good at skiing.  During my college years when I could not afford lessons, I developed a series of bad habits that took about 25 lessons with an instructor to undo.   Succeeding in life is about discipline.  Doing your job well is about repetition.  Both of these aspects are so important when it comes to skiing.  So in a way, Skiing can lead you to do everything in your real life better than ever before.

 

Click these links to follow Dr. Avi Weisfogel on social media:

draviweisfogel1.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/avi.weisfogel
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-avi-weisfogel/
https://twitter.com/Dr_AviWeisfogel

Alexis Assadi

Alexis Assadi is the CEO of Pacific Income Capital Corporation and host of the podcast, “Income Investing with Alexis Assadi.” He provides financing to entrepreneurs and real estate investors through Pacific Income and other companies that he owns or operates. Alexis is also an avid writer. He has been blogging at alexisassadi.net since 2014 and has gained tens of thousands of email subscribers. He aims to break down complicated financial concepts and explain them to new readers. Alexis Assadi was born in Switzerland and has lived in Asia, Australia and the United States. Today, he lives in Vancouver, Canada with his family.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy whiskey tasting.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

My father drinks Jack Daniels, so that was the first whiskey I ever tasted. I didn’t like it at first, but I drank it occasionally because he did.

However, I had a friend in university who loved scotch and cigars. We remained friends after graduation. Through him, I discovered different scotches, bourbons, ryes and other international whiskeys. We used to sample them on my parents’ rooftop deck, overlooking the incredible view of Vancouver. We still do each summer.

Over time, I developed a more refined pallet and learned to appreciate the finer tastes. My favorite scotches are heavy with peat, like Ardbeg and Laphraoig. They bring out flavors that I don’t get with other drinks.

What do you love about it?

I associate whiskey with my dad and a couple of my close friends. For that reason, it always brings out feelings of sentiment. You could give me a delicious and expensive wine, but I would still prefer a cheap bourbon because of the mental connection. Obviously, I love the tastes of different whiskeys. But a lot of the experience is in my mind and heart, rather than in my taste buds.

To me, a good evening is to read the New York Times – whiskey in hand, dog in lap – and winding down from a long day.

Are there are any groups or clubs you’re a part of relating to your hobby?

I go to a lot of whiskey tastings around Vancouver. They’re usually held at bars and restaurants, and they’re affordable.

The promoters make it cheap to attend, with the goal of attendees later on buying their products. It works. A few weeks ago, I spent $30 at a tasting event for all the whiskey and chocolate I could possibly consume. The next day, I bought a $60 bottle of Lohin McKinnon Chocolate Malt from a local distillery.

Again, these are social experiences as much as they are for taste. I always go to these events with my family or friends.

Have you invested in any gear or equipment for your hobby? If so, what?

I bought half-a-dozen Glencairn glasses, which are shaped bulbously to bring out the taste and smell of the whiskey. However, I prefer to drink from a normal crystal glass. The fancy ones make me feel pretentious. I only bring them out when we’re trying something new. One of my friends brought over a $400 bottle from Taiwan, so we used the Glencairn classes for that.

Other than that, I have 30 or 40 bottles of whiskey in my office. I guess you could call that an investment!

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

Whiskey tasting has brought a social element to my life that I didn’t have before. It’s an easy way to meet people, relax and have fun.

Do you have any advice for others just getting into this hobby?

Try to get away from the well-known whiskeys, like Glenfiddich and The Glenlivet. They are good, but there is so much more out there. I find that people often gravitate towards what’s popular and never try anything else. As such, they don’t realize how diverse the whiskey space is. I don’t mean that in the “connoisseur” way, where only a refined taster could find daylight between two scotches. There is a profound difference between a bourbon, like Booker’s, and a Japanese whiskey, like Nikka.

Also, don’t be fooled by pricing. I have found no correlation between price and taste. My “regular” whiskey is Evan Williams, a bottle of which costs around $20. My favorite, which I drink maybe twice a year, is Laphroaig 10. It costs $70 for a bottle. Drink what tastes good to you; not what marketers want you to.

 

For more information on Alexis Assadi, check out these links:

https://www.praguepost.com/opinion/alexis-assadi-basics-of-investment-strategies

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexis-assadi-0378b129/

https://twitter.com/alexis_assadi?lang=en

Stephen Andrew Stepaniuk

Travel blogger and professional photographer, Stephen Andrew Stepaniuk is a living testimony of what can be achieved through hard work and persistence. The Connecticut born blogger works for a Boston based consulting firm. His work entails traveling and offering insightful reviews about culture, food and the arts. Stepaniuk has traveled extensively in the US and Europe. He speaks English, Germany, Polish and French, and is currently studying elementary Mandarin. Stephen Andrew Stepaniuk holds a Degree in English from the prestigious Northeastern University in Boston. He receives inspiration from family and the audiences who regularly visit his popular blog. Outside of work, Stephen Stepaniuk enjoys reading, participating in team sports and volunteering.

What is your hobby?

It is incidental that I enjoy traveling, blogging and photography as both career and hobby. The visual art form that is photography gives me the opportunity to immortalize the things I care about. The gadgets I use are also fun and addictive, thanks to fast-changing technology and competition.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Immediately after graduating from Northeastern University in Boston, I took up a travel blogging position offered by a consulting firm based in Boston. Traveling around the world and supporting my stories with photos seemed like a great idea and career for an aspiring young man. To hone my skills in photography, I simply went through the user manual and applied what I had learned.

Tell us what you love about it.

When I was creating the blog, I invested a lot of effort in building a mailing list, which helps me update readers on every development. To track and see the kind of traffic I was attracting, I use Google Analytics. It’s always interesting to see readers from all around the world visit my blog and leave fascinating commentaries. I enjoy blogging about captivating places and places I plan to visit.

Are there any professional groups you’re a part of that are related to your hobby?

Working with other travel bloggers has always been an eye opener since it gives me the opportunity to learn and experience new things. I am a paid up member of the Professional Travel Blogger Association, an entity that formulates guidelines and policies aimed at advancing the trade while encouraging respect for intellectual rights, accountability, and professionalism.

Have you invested in any equipment, if so please share some of the things you’ve bought?

I always have my laptop, notebook, camera, and pen with me. I can recall my first blogging camera was a point-to-shoot, Canon PowerShot G7 capable of shooting 1080p Full HD video. It came with several interesting features like the screen tilt option that allows the user to clearly see the frames. I recently bought a GoPro Hero8 camera, which is highly durable and suited for outdoor adventure. I have also invested in a compact tripod, camera bag and a couple of lenses.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Most of the stuff I use are purchased at the stationery stores and online retailers. We have a couple of stationeries and departmental stores where I live.

Are there any good books for beginners?

The 3 books I would gladly recommend for beginners are the widely popular “Picture Perfect Social Media” by Jennifer Young and Bill Bryson’s “Never here or there”. The other beginner’s essential is the book titled “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts. Bryson’s book is an eye-opener to all travel adventure seekers since it offers a plain view of the travel experience. In her book, fiction and romantic novel writer Jennifer offers readers guidelines on ways to improve their social media and photography skills. These skills are crucial for any aspiring travel blogger. Lastly, Rolf’s “Vagabonding” gives insightful information about practical tour planning.

How has this changed your life?

Traveling and photography has changed my life and perception on various issues. I can quickly mention a few. It’s given me the platform to share my world; opened the doors to numerous networking possibilities and a chance to earn a decent living.

What would you tell others starting out in this hobby?

It is very important to create useful contents, beginning with something people close to you like family and friends will appreciate. As the blog grows, you can add interesting stuff like photos and videos to make your blog more fascinating. Once in a while, you can invite a guest to offer a different perspective on issues. When all is said and done, you’re persistence and hard work will pay off.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy taking part in team sports like lacrosse and baseball as well as volunteering at high impact, communal events.

Dante Michael Anthony Vitoria

Dante Michael Anthony Vitoria is a New York entrepreneur and businessman currently working as owner of The Vitoria Group. Dante credits much of his success and strong work ethic to his parents. His parents were immigrants to the U.S. who taught him the value of hard work, determination, and respect.

After earned a graduate degree from NYU and Columbia, Dante jumped straight into the workforce, quickly making a name for himself on Wall Street and working his way to the top. Dante quickly found himself drawn towards the mergers and acquisitions aspects of finance and put his skills to work.

After a number of successful years working for others, Dante Michael Anthony Vitoria decided to create a business of his own. In 1991, Dante founded The Vitoria Group, a company that offers consulting services, venture capital opportunities, and services in the mergers and acquisitions realm of finance. The Vitoria Group has grown more successful with each passing year and continues to thrive in New York City and around the world.

Although often finding himself working around the clock, Dante still makes time for family and fun. Dante is a season ticket holder to several New York sports teams and enjoys attending games when he can. Outside of sports, Dante always enjoys a trip to the opera or attending a Broadway show.

On top of everything, Dante Michael Anthony Vitoria also owns Links to Legends, a company that specializes in celebrity golf outings and event coordination.

Outside of the business world, Dante is a three-time cancer survivor and the owner of a three-pound Yorkshire Terrier named Chanel.

What is your hobby?

It’s hard to pick just one. While I love cigars and good wine, playing golf and keeping up with soccer are two of my favorite hobbies.

How did you get started with these hobbies?

Well, I’ve been playing golf for years. My father taught me a lot about golf but sometimes the best way to learn is to just go out there and hit a bunch of balls. Sometimes the best thing to do after a hard day is to head to the driving range and grab a bucket of balls to hit.

I watch soccer all the time, too. I was so thankful we had the World Cup this summer because that was a lot of fun to keep up with.

What do you love most about golf?

It’s a great way to blow off some steam and relax. It’s also a great way to make business happen. I can’t tell you how many business connections I’ve made through golf or how many deals I’ve closed. So, it’s great for business but I also find it very relaxing. On a warm summer day there’s nothing better than heading to the golf course with some friends and playing the course.

Do you have any tips for beginners?

Practice, practice, practice! It’s pretty much the most basic advice you’ll ever hear, but there’s a reason for that: it works. The best way to get better at anything is to do it a whole lot. The more time you can spend practicing and playing golf the better you’ll get. It’s not about having the best or the most expensive clubs, it’s about having the most hours of practice under your belt.

How would you say your hobbies have changed your life?

I’m more relaxed, for sure. I think that everybody needs something in life besides work that they can put their minds to. All of my hobbies help to my make my life enjoyable. Playing golf, watching soccer, smoking a good cigar, and drinking a fine glass of wine all bring me happiness. It’s been proven time and time again that over-working can put strain on relationships and your own mental health. I love my hobbies because they allow an outlet for my stress and help me to relax and have fun. Isn’t that what hobbies are all about?

Any additional hobbies you’d like to share?

Spending time with my pup, Chanel. She’s a little fur ball and I love taking her for walks and playing games with her every day.

 

To learn more, follow Dante Michael Anthony Vitoria on social media and read his personal blog: