Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Author: patrick-hobbyjam (page 1 of 6)

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.

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.

Brandon Oda

With an unusual combination of skills in photography and software engineering, Brandon Oda has become one of the top photographers in the San Francisco Bay area. He is involved in both portrait and landscape photography. Unique among photographers in his field, Oda has created his own photo editing software. With complete control over the creative process, he is able to create stunning works of art.

Brandon Oda is a Los Angeles native. In high school, he was interested in both the arts and the sciences. His parents supported him in pursuing an artistic career. In college, he studied photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. His time at RISD helped him to come into his own as an artist. He sold his first photographs to galleries while he was still a student.

Oda settled in San Francisco and opened his own photography studio. He is continually inspired by the fantastic beauty of California. With his wife and friends, he takes road trips around the state and photographs its diverse landscapes. He has a special interest in sunset and evening photography.

Portraits are a more recent addition to Oda’s portfolio. He photographs models and ordinary people, creating insightful images that reveal the subject’s personality. In his San Francisco studio, Oda hones his craft while fine-tuning his photo editing software. He has achieved great success in the photography world at a relatively young age.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is mountain biking. I love to get out on the trail.

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

I enjoy hiking, but I was looking for an outdoor hobby with more adrenaline. A friend got me into mountain biking. There are so many amazing landscapes to explore in California. I feel like I’ll always have new places to go.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love being out in nature most of all. I love the quiet of mountain biking. It’s something I tend to do alone, and I love having the time and space to myself. I love the physical challenge, and I often stop to take photos along the way. I’m not the fastest mountain biker, but I enjoy every mile.

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

I belong to a local trail riders’ club. We get together for social rides, and we raise money to help preserve the wild places we bike in. I’ve made many friends in this group, and I recommend that every mountain biker join a club in their area.

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

I’ve invested quite a lot of money in my bike and supplies. It’s not a cheap hobby, but if you take good care of your gear, it will last a long time. I recently purchased a new bike. It has made my rides so much more enjoyable. I also bought a new bike rack for the back of my car. That way, I have room for my bike and my wife’s when we go out together. I am trying to get her into mountain biking, but she is more interested in hiking.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy nearly all of my supplies at my local bike shop. I believe in shopping locally, even if some items may be cheaper when you buy them online. A local bike shop is a fixture in a community, and it helps bring riders together while outfitting them for great rides. My favorite thing about shopping at the local bike shop is the knowledgeable staff. No matter what kind of problems you have, the local bike shop can help you. They are also great at maintaining and repairing my bike when necessary.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend The Mountain Biker’s Training Bible by Joe Friel. This book breaks down the process of training and makes it easy for novice riders. Getting fit to ride a mountain bike is uniquely challenging, but it’s worth it when you can ride longer and faster.

How has this changed your life?

Getting outdoors feeds my soul. I spend a lot of my time indoors editing photos, and when the week is over, I just want to get outside. Mountain biking has brought me a lot of joy. It also brings me a feeling of inner peace after I finish a ride. The “biker’s high” is strong and keeps me coming back for more. I love to get out on the trail at sunrise and enjoy the whole day in the woods.

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

Make friends at your local bike shop. You can be properly fitted for a bike as well as ask any questions you might have. Bikes need regular tune-ups, so you will need to take your bike into the shop a few times a year. When you become a regular at the local bike shop, you’ll make lasting connections.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to swim. I swim several times a week as a means of keeping fit.

Ronnie Brown Mansfield

Ronnie Brown Mansfield is an agent for change in the school administration of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the course of his work as a middle school vice principal, he has been responsible for creating a safe school environment for all students. He has also been involved with teacher training, making sure that each educator has the resources to help students succeed in school and in life.

Brown attended the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He majored in Elementary Education and took his first professional job as a fourth- and fifth-grade math and science teacher. While he found being an educator rewarding, he gained an interest in joining the administration. Studying at night and on the weekends, he was able to receive a vice principal certification. His strong work ethic enabled him to attend night school while working a full day at school.

In addition to his work as an assistant principal, Brown coaches football, softball, and basketball. He believes strongly that athletic pursuits enhance a student’s experience and teach lessons that can only be learned on the field. He has also been an assistant football coach on the college level, working with wide receivers.

In his career as an educator and as a principal, Ronnie Brown Mansfield has upheld strong principles of hard work, respect, and communication. The teachers and staff members at his school respect him and look up to his example.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is photography. I love to capture new ways of looking at the world around me.

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

I got started with photography when I was a teenager. I used to take pictures for my high school newspaper. I learned to develop photos in the darkroom, and I took several art classes to develop my eye for composition. My newspaper advisor recommended that I take photography classes in college, but I wasn’t able to do so due to the demands of my Education degree. I am largely self-taught as a result.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love capturing special memories of the places I’ve been. I love RV travel with my family, and I take many photos of the landscapes in the places we visit. I also enjoy portrait photography with my family and pets. I especially love to capture majestic landscapes like those in our National Parks.

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

I attend a local photographer’s club. A few times a year, we get together to share a meal and enjoy looking at slideshows of each other’s work. It’s nice to have a place to share photos, other than online. I feel like I post so many scenic photos to Facebook, my friends and family are overwhelmed with them. My photography friends truly appreciate each shot.

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

I have a lot of specialized photography equipment. Photography can be an expensive hobby. Since I’m an educator, I don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on these things. I do as much research as I can to make sure I am getting the most value for my dollar. Recently I bought a new tripod which has enhanced my ability to take landscape shots.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy most of my supplies online through Amazon. I like the deals and I like the Prime shipping. I also visit a local photography store from time to time.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson to all of my friends who are thinking about trying photography. It can be a little bit technical, but it walks novice photographers through the inner workings of their cameras. It’s a great book for when you are ready to graduate from taking photos with your smartphone to using a proper digital camera.

How has this changed your life?

Photography gives me something calming to focus on. Life as an assistant principal is stressful. There are always various conflicts that need to be managed. When I look at one of my photographs on the wall of my office, I’m reminded of the serenity I felt when I captured the images. This helps to ground me on the most difficult days.

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

I would advise that anyone who wants to start photography should take a beginner’s class through their local art school or adult education center. There’s no substitute for an expert’s guidance. I am largely self-taught myself, but I wish I had had the benefit of a teacher’s knowledge when I was starting out.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Travel is my other major hobby. I love to take my wife and four kids on the road in our RV. Six people in an RV is a little bit of a squeeze, especially now that two of my children are grown. Even though we live in close quarters on the road, we enjoy spending time together. I usually plan our trips around the best photo opportunities, while my daughters suggest that we stop in cities with music festivals.

Brian Setencich

Brian Setencich is a General Manager with First Service Residential, a property management company in San Francisco. He has a background in public service, beginning on the Fresno city council. He was elected to the California State Assembly where he spent time working on issues that are important to all Californians. He then went on to work for the 911 Emergency Response Project for the City and County of San Francisco, ensuring that all citizens had safe and effective access to emergency services. After working in public service, Setencich made a move into the private sector. He managed Market Square, a major development in San Francisco.

Brian Setencich played professional basketball, developing his knack for teamwork. He has been involved with fundraising for Valley Children’s Hospital as the Donor Research Coordinator. Another charitable project includes volunteering for animal rescue organizations.

Setencich is a seasoned businessman and deeply connected to California. His business experience and charitable endeavors enhance the San Francisco community.

What is your hobby?

My hobbies include exercise, reading and cooking, albeit simple cooking.

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

I taught myself to cook. I have always been interested in simple healthy food.  My palate is very simple so I wanted to make simple healthy dishes that were still tastey.  Since I’ve been cooking for several years now, I feel like I can a variety of dishes that are simple, healthy and still taste good for others who try them.

Tell us what you love about it.

Cooking is a great way to relax. When I’m in the kitchen, I stop worrying about work and other obligations. I love putting a great meal on the table for friends and family.  Whenever I eat out, I take note of ideas to try in my own kitchen.

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

I enjoy attending some cultural food festivals.  Not only is the food good but it’s a good way to learn more about different cultures and have fun at the same time.

Have you had to invest in any equipment? If so, please share the things you have purchased.

Well, not too much but when I do,I try to avoid buying things that have only one purpose.  For example, instead of specialty cutters and slicers, I have invested in a good quality set of chef’s knives.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I’ve bought supplies at and Williams Sonoma.  They always have a creative assortment of products, and the higher price is worth it in terms of quality.  I have also purchased some things at the local hardware store, which has a surprisingly good assortment of things.

How has this changed your life?

Cooking is a fantastic hobby because I can use it every day.  It’s brought me a lot of confidence and has also taught me a lot about the world through various cuisines. Sharing food with my friends is so satisfying.  Cooking also teaches patience and the ability to follow directions. Baking is more precise than cooking. When you’re cooking, you have the ability to improvise a little more, but with baking, you really have to follow the base recipe or you’ll come up with something strange.

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

Don’t be intimidated. Start small, using basic recipes, and work your way up. Before long, you’ll be cooking big meals for everyone to enjoy. I do have a piece of cooking-specific advice.  Clean as you go along. If you clean as you go along, you won’t be left with a messy kitchen at the end.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy reading and staying fit.  I played basketball professionally when I was younger but now I just like to shoot baskets by myself if I have a little time.

Sean Seshadri

Sean Seshadri is a tech blogger and computer programmer based in Seattle, Washington. His broad experience in the technology sector, as well as his love of teaching, makes his blog required reading for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of today’s market.

He attended Central Washington University, where he received a degree in Computer Science. In college, Seshadri frequently helped others with their computer science coursework through his work as a teaching assistant. His experience with explaining complex topics to a variety of students of all ability levels has enhanced his blog.

Sean Seshadri is an avid traveler who frequently attends tech conferences around the world. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with a wide variety of people, and he constantly adds to his skill set by interacting with others in his field. He believes in enhancing the travel experience through the newest apps and gadgets. Using travel apps, he can find the best hotels, restaurants, and activities in his destination cities.

Outside of work, Seshadri spends time with his wife and two daughters as well as their two rescue dogs. He is involved in volunteering for an animal shelter with his family. He plays the guitar and is an avid amateur chef.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is cooking. I enjoy making new and exciting dishes for my family and friends. It can be challenging to find new dishes that my girls will eat, and I’ve taken that on as a personal challenge.

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

I’ve always been interested in food and cooking. When I was a kid, I used to watch Julia Child on PBS. My mother wasn’t much of a cook, and she was amused that I spent so much time watching food shows. As I got a little older, I became interested in experimenting in the kitchen. I made a lot of messes and made some bad food before I started to learn what I was doing.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love introducing my friends and family to new flavors. I am constantly looking up new recipes to try. I love to entertain, and I am happiest in the kitchen with friends around me. It’s so satisfying to see someone enjoying one of your dishes. If I find a new dish that my girls enjoy, I’m especially proud of myself. They can be picky eaters.

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

Not as such where cooking is concerned, but my wife and I are members of a rotating supper club that moves between members’ homes. I’ve picked up ideas for exciting new dishes from the supper club.

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

I have an entire kitchen full of equipment. My wife is constantly complaining that we have no more storage space and that I should stop buying things for the kitchen. Recently I bought a large mortar and pestle to grind spices by hand. I also recently purchased a new chef’s knife. A good chef’s knife is the cook’s best friend in the kitchen.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy many things at Williams Sonoma. They have an amazing variety of baking and cooking equipment, appliances, and serving ware. The store at our local mall knows me by name. I also buy things through Amazon, especially the smaller and less expensive gadgets.

Recently I bought a food dehydrator, and I intend to make healthy homemade jerky for a travel snack. My daughters are excited about making dried fruit. Another recent purchase is a sous vide machine. This cooks food in a warm water bath which brings the food to an exact temperature so that it is always fresh and moist.

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are so many great books out there for beginners. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it might be wise to start from scratch with the basics. My favorite beginner level cookbooks are I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown and How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. I turn to the Bittman cookbook frequently when I’m looking for recipes to adapt.

How has this changed your life?

Cooking has enhanced my life since I was a teenager. I truly enjoy feeding people and giving them exciting new dishes to try. My wife claims that my food convinced her to go out with me, so it has had true life-changing effects.

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

Don’t be afraid, just jump in. Follow a simple recipe at first. Be sure that you have all of your ingredients and equipment ready before you cook – this is called a mise en place in French. One of the biggest beginner mistakes is to crash around the kitchen doing prep while things are cooking.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love playing the guitar – though I’m not very good at it – and spending time with our dogs. Taking the dogs for long walks and hikes is so relaxing.

Tana Taylor

Tana & Rose Photography is one of the fastest growing boutique studios in California. The founders of the studio, Tana Ava Taylor, and Rose Hamilton have been friends for many years and decided to open their photography business because of a shared love of capturing images of their family and friends. The growth of the business has been based around capturing whimsical, fun images along with the popular Tana Taylor adoption packages. Tana Taylor comes from a family history including the adoption of children which makes her decision to create user-friendly Ava Rose Taylor adoption packages a personal project. Growing across the state of California, Tana & Rose Photography is one of the most popular startup studios in the U.S. for the impressive work being done by the founders.

What is your hobby?

I don’t get a lot of free time, so when I do, I like to relax with my family. Recently, I have been exploring the many options in California for hiking around some impressive mountains. Getting out into the open air allows me to spend time with my children away from cell phones, games consoles, and the other daily distractions of modern life. Hiking is a great way to stay fit and make sure my kids are staying active on a regular basis.

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

My family spent a weekend in Washington State, and we decided to take a hike up Poo Poo Point. It wasn’t a very long hike, but it was steep and difficult for us to complete as novice walkers, but we did find our love of hiking when we reached a viewing area giving us a clear look at the impressive Mount Rainier. After we completed the hike, the kids were bitten by the walking bug and wanted to find more every weekend.

Tell us what you love about it.

For myself, it is the chance to enjoy some quiet time in the natural world. Of course, I do love spending time with my family, but I also love the silence I can find on the side of a mountain. We also love the fact there are many hiking opportunities close to some major cities offering great photographic opportunities for me to enjoy.

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

My children are school age with a major interest in history which we try to encourage and recently joined the Oregon-California Trails Association. This group finds trails and hikes based around the passage of pioneers to and from the Northwest and California. The group is also looking to preserve many of the trails threatened by deforestation and construction which is of great historical importance.

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

Sturdy walking shoes are a must when you are looking to become a serious walker through difficult terrain. On our first hike up Poo Poo Point, we wore sneakers and had sore feet and blisters by the time we made it back to our hotel. One item I did purchase recently is a hydration pack similar to a backpack which carries water. I am trying to reduce my footprint on the planet by not using plastic water bottles, and a hydration pack is making this an easier task to complete.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I enjoy going to sporting goods stores and small hiking stores in the areas we visit, but I do buy some items Online. I think it is important to support small, independent stores providing more than just equipment. I like to find small stores and make a purchase which allows me to talk with the owners who usually know where the best trails are located.

Are there any good books for beginners?

After we finished our hike up Poo Poo Point, I quickly looked Online for a book to help us be better prepared for our future trips. I ordered “The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide” by Andrew Skurka which gave us a little knowledge of the safety equipment we needed and how to choose real hiking boots.

How has this changed your life?

Running my own business can be difficult and stressful when it takes me away from my family for long periods of time. Hiking is a great way of connecting with my kids in the natural environment and allows me to limit my stress. After heading back to work after a weekend of hiking, I am more relaxed and focused on the challenges of operating Tana & Rose Photography.

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

Get out and get walking. It is as simple as that. If you are unsure of where to go to stay safe hiking, it is a good idea to find a small outdoors store and have a talk with the owners.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As a mom, I spend much of my time taking my kids to various activities including soccer which I have grown to love on the TV. We recently took a vacation to Spain and watched a live soccer match in Barcelona which was the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of.

William Bronchick

William Bronchick is one of the leading private chefs and caterers in Denver, Colorado. His special events and dinner parties attract a wide variety of prominent guests, including celebrities, sports figures, and local dignitaries. He expertly blends world cuisines including French, Thai, Japanese, and American food.

William Bronchick attended the Culinary Institute of America where he graduated at the top of his class. He opened his private catering business only a few years after graduating from culinary school. Taking such a personal and financial risk paid off in a short time. Satisfied clients spread the word about Bronchick’s quality catering, and his bookings took off.

Bill Bronchick prides himself on a well-run event. His impeccably trained staff provide excellent front of house service for the most discerning clients. His kitchens provide consistent, delicious meals for any event, large or small. His special events are regarded as some of the best in the Denver area. Charities and celebrities regularly engage him to provide food for their parties and fundraisers.

Bronchick’s company also provides private chef services to busy executives and families in the Denver area. His chefs create both healthy and luxurious meals for their clients to enjoy at home. Bronchick works with each chef to ensure the quality of their meals and recipes. Bronchick’s company has many satisfied customers in the Denver area. With a dedication to client service as well as a fresh, creative approach to food, William Bronchick has become an important part of the Denver food scene.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is backcountry hiking. There are so many amazing places to explore in Colorado. It is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

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

I started small, with day hikes in the mountains. As I began exploring, I found that I wanted to spend even more time in the outdoors. Backpacking is a special challenge since you need to carry everything with you: water, food, and shelter being the most important. I gradually worked my way up from one-night excursions to long-distance hiking trips.

Tell us what you love about it.

Getting out in nature is amazing. There’s nothing like the peace of a night spent out in the wilderness. I also love the social aspect of backpacking. I don’t like to go out alone, so I coordinate trips with friends from my hiking club. I love being self-sufficient. It’s also nice to get away from the pressures of my daily life. I love my job, but it can be a high-pressure environment.

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

I’m part of the Colorado Mountain Club. I’ve made several friends through the club, and we enjoy taking trips together. I’ve gone on excursions outside Colorado with these friends as well. Recently we went rafting in the Grand Canyon.

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

Backpacking requires a lot of specialized equipment. It’s not a cheap activity. Hiking packs, hiking boots, cooking equipment, hydration gear, and special clothing are all important. The nice thing is that once you invest in equipment, it should last a long time with proper care. I buy a large part of my gear at REI, as well as online through stores like Eastern Mountain Sports.

Two items I’ve bought recently are a new Jetboil stove and a commercial food dehydrator. The stove allows me to heat water for my meals rapidly. The food dehydrator lets me make my food for the trail. With the dehydrator, I can create my dishes and dry them so I can carry them in the great outdoors. For long trips, I sometimes take prepackaged meals because they are freeze-dried and keep longer without refrigeration.

Are there any good books for beginners?

When I was starting out, I relied on The Backpacker’s Guide by Chris Townsend. It is full of great information for the beginner. The book covers all the basics of backpacking, like how to plan for weather, how to decide what supplies to carry, and how to pack your bag most efficiently. I’ve heard that some people consider the book to be long-winded, but I think it’s great.

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

Start small with hikes around your area. Build up your endurance, putting more in your pack each time you go out. It’s important not to overextend yourself or go too far from civilization before you know what you’re doing. A lot of novice backpackers wind up in trouble when they don’t follow sensible guidelines.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I also love to ski. Skiing satisfies my urge to get out in nature in the wintertime. Skiing also gives me a great excuse to get out of Denver and try new restaurants around Aspen, where I like to ski. Whenever I spend a weekend skiing, I come back rested and refreshed and ready to start another difficult week in my catering business.

Denis Mackenzie

Denis Mackenzie is the COO of an international marketing company. His company is largely focused on marketing wine and spirits across the United States and Europe. While he is only 40 years old, he has been in the business since he graduated from college and had risen rapidly through the ranks of his firm.

At the beginning of his career, Mackenzie worked in a small marketing firm concentrating on local advertising and promotions. He started at the bottom as an assistant and later came to hold several accounts of his own. He helped several small companies build their brands and expand their reach.

He was later offered a position in his current firm. He traveled extensively for work, spending time in wineries in France, Italy, and Greece. He speaks French and Italian, enabling him to deal directly with business owners and colleagues.

Denis Mackenzie’s dream was to open a winery in his hometown near Erie, Pennsylvania. He purchased a small, struggling winery in 2001 and worked to make it profitable again. His marketing expertise helped him grow his business through local connections. In a few years’ time, his winery became successful and self-supporting. He visits his winery whenever he can, hoping to turn it into his full-time business.

Denis Mackenzie is a valued local business owner who contributes to many charitable causes. His winery hosts sip and paint events to support local charities. He enjoys opening his winery for tours, showing off his hobby to locals and travelers alike.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is owning a small winery in the Lake Erie wine growing region of Pennsylvania. It has grown a lot over the past five years.

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

I’ve always had an interest in wine and spirits. Whenever I entertain, I try to introduce my friends to something new. When I traveled around Europe, I grew to have a solid understanding of how vineyards work and how to make one profitable. I hoped to open a winery one day, and when someone wanted to sell one near my hometown, I found the perfect opportunity.

Tell us what you love about it.

Having a winery is a fascinating hobby. I love the farming aspect, and I love the process of making wine. My vintner handles most of it from day to day, but he has taught me a lot about it. Improving our product is a challenge that I enjoy.

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

I am part of a local wine business group. We help each other with marketing and special events. I’ve been able to apply my marketing skill to help my local colleagues. We have a website where we post events and visitor information. I find it rewarding to work with other wineries in the area. Of course, the local wineries compete for visitors and sales, but we work together as a group.

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

Owning a winery is an expensive proposition. We have had to buy a lot of equipment over the years. Our biggest purchase so far has been a new bottling line. We have produced a lot more than in the past, so we’re not able to hand bottle our wines anymore. This has sped up our production and made us more efficient.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like the Vintner’s Vault website. They have reasonable prices and knowledgeable staff. They can always help you with any questions you might have. My vintner and I make all of our purchasing decisions together.

Are there any good books for beginners?

First Steps in Winemaking by C.J.J. Berry is a great starting point for the home winemaker. It is a practical book that breaks down the steps and shows you how easy it can be to make wine at home.

How has this changed your life?

I’ve enjoyed giving back to the local community. Since I grew up near my winery, I’m able to involve my family in the business. Since I spent so much time abroad, I missed spending time with my family. Rebuilding those relationships has changed my life.

I’ve also learned patience. It’s a long process between growing and harvesting grapes and making wine. Wineries are always focused on the future because our product has to age before it’s served.

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

Winemaking at home is a rewarding hobby. You will need plenty of space and a good source of fruit or grape juice which will make great wine. Make sure you follow your recipes closely at first.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Languages are my other hobby. I already speak French and Italian, and I’m learning Greek. Greek is more difficult than French and Italian since it has a different alphabet. Next time I travel abroad, I’ll be able to surprise some of my old friends when I greet them in their language.

Luis Enrique Coll

Luis Enrique Coll is a system analyst and developer based in Seattle, Washington. His multiple points of experience include systems engineering, web development, and social media strategies. He is a respected freelancer who works with a wide variety of large and small companies, enhancing their use of technology to leverage their business development.

Coll specializes in coding new software from the ground up. His expertise allows him to develop quality solutions for any need presented by a company.

Luis Enrique Coll has taken it upon himself to teach young people to code. The position of systems analyst is expected to grow by 17 percent by the year 2024, meaning that many new coders will be required to fill the industry’s needs. He believes that young talent is sorely needed in the world of software engineering, especially young minds that have no preconceptions about what a piece of software should look like.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is international travel. I spend a lot of time in Central and South America, where I enjoy learning about the local culture and history. My favorite countries to explore are Peru, Ecuador, and Argentina.

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

I first began traveling with my family when I was a young boy. We made trips to visit family in Peru and Argentina. My first travel memories are of traveling high in the mountains, where we saw many indigenous animals like llamas and alpacas. I loved the thrill of driving on winding mountain roads, even though my mother was nervous. Being welcomed by family in a new country gave me a lot of confidence in exploring on my own.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love exploring culture and history. There are so many rich cultures in South America; it would be difficult to experience them all. Each region has its special charms, from the food to the art. I have a special interest in the Precolumbian cultures of Peru and Ecuador. I am fluent in Spanish. I am also beginning to get a foothold in Quechua, the indigenous language of many people in the Andes and the surrounding areas.

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

I have been involved in a local club for travel enthusiasts. We can get together and share the best stories and photos from our journeys, as well as helping people plan their adventures. I have encouraged many of my travel club friends to go to South America, even if they don’t speak Spanish. The travel club has enhanced my own travel experiences by pointing me to places I would not have otherwise traveled.

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

Most of what I invest in are good quality backpacks and hiking shoes. I like to explore the natural environment when I travel. I spend a good amount of money buying supplies for travel. I recently bought a new hydration system. When you are traveling in the high mountains, it’s doubly important to make sure you are well hydrated. I also buy comfortable but presentable hiking wear. I had outgrown the age when I backpacked around in my worst T-shirt and shorts. This way I can hike during the day and visit good restaurants at night.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I mostly shop for my travels at REI, though I buy things from LL Bean as well. It’s crucial to try on backpacks and hiking boots, so most of those purchases are done in person. Seattle is the location of REI’s flagship, so they have an excellent selection at my hometown store.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I am a big fan of the Lonely Planet series of books. I would highly recommend them to novice travelers who want to get away from the crowds. I don’t need them in many of the areas where I travel today, but whenever I go to a new place, I try to pick up a Lonely Planet guide to give me ideas.

How has this changed your life?

Travel has opened my horizons in amazing ways. My job is demanding, and freelancing can be lonely. When I travel, I can interact with a wide variety of people from around the world. Getting away from the keyboard is also a valued part of travel. Like most tech people, I do use my phone a lot while I’m traveling, but mostly for taking photos and sharing them with my friends at home. Many of the mountainous areas where I travel have no cell service, and that provides me with a perfect reason to unplug. I am planning a trip to Antarctica.

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

Don’t be afraid to stay in small hostels or bed and breakfasts. You’re not getting the full travel experience if you stay in American chain hotels.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Art is a hobby of mine that I’ve recently picked up again. I am learning to paint landscapes of the areas where I’ve traveled.