Hobby Jam

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Adrian Rubin

Adrian Rubin is an established freelance creative director based in Brooklyn, New York. Adrian has been the main freelance creative director for several types of companies, both high-profile and startups. He has been in the creative industry for more than a decade and is deeply interested in the fast-evolving pace of arts and design.

 

Now that there are more opportunities to express art in different forms and means, Adrian Rubin is looking forward to generating more ideas for his clients. At present, he focuses on digital design and marketing, which allowed him to hone his skills aligned with the present modern culture.

 

Having a passion for the arts has allowed Mr. Rubin to develop strong creative hobbies.

 

What is your hobby?

I do what I love, and I love what I do. My life has been art and art has always become a part of my life. I enjoy sketching as my past time, both through a drawing pad or in my digital tablet, which I have been using to help my clients for the last couple of years.

 

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

I can remember being young as 6 years old and asking my parents to buy me the biggest set of Crayola. I loved having art materials as a gift, whether they were drawing pads, oil pastels, paint brushes. I love being in the quiet and making the sketches come alive. I guess starting out at a young age has developed my skills over time. Some people would be into sports, reading, or music to de-stress. I guess I could say that sketching has always been my go-to to relieve stress from daily responsibilities.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

The difference between drawing or sketching on my own compared to fulfilling a client’s order is the creative independence I get to have. Although a lot of companies that I have worked with allow me to express my creative side, of course, I had to abide by their rules. It’s not all the time that I get to have that personal touch. With my hobby, this is something that is “truly me”, and I get to fully express my artistic side without having to follow through another person’s wishes. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with my clients. It’s just that an artist also needs time to develop his craft independently.

 

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

Back in college, I used to join an art organization. I enjoyed it a lot because I got to meet with other artists whom I’ve learned several creative styles from. We would have exhibits sponsored by our organizations showcasing our art, including paintings, photography, or video presentations. A good friend of mine became a museum curator, and some of them also focused on the digital design industry.

 

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

As a freelance creative director, I have to invest in a lot of high-technology design tools. At present, I own the latest Wacom Intuos, and it has helped me greatly with conveying sketches and design ideas for my clients. I currently work with a T-shirt company who consistently asks me for new design ideas. This is where my Wacom Intuos is put to use, and it has been a great convenience for me.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I purchase most of my products online, especially when it comes to gadgets. As for specialty tools, I go to my local community art store in Brooklyn to get the best deals for my supplies. The owner knows me, and he gives me a special discount on my usual needs.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

If you’re an absolute beginner trying to draw or sketch, I recommend a book called Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson. This book is about learning how to sketch more proportionately and being able to integrate your touch depending on the style that you want to achieve.

 

How has this changed your life?

This book has allowed me to note the slight differences that make a drawing style different from another one. Since I have clients which have varying preferences, this book has helped me adapt from these style shifts.

 

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

My advice to beginners is just to start on it. A lot of people are hesitant to try out a new hobby fearing that they won’t be as good as they expected. I’m telling you, the passion is what makes the hobbyist, and not the skill. The skill is only developed over time.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love incorporating nature into my art, so recently I have enjoyed hiking and trekking during my travels. It gives me a fresh perspective and allows me to be physically active which is very helpful as a freelancer.

Ismail Sirdah

Ismail Sirdah is a Miami-based photographer who owns his own studio that specializes in wedding, travel, as well as retail photography. Unlike most businessmen, he started his endeavor at the age of 20 and worked his way up to become one of the most prominent experts in this market. Having started with nothing more than an SLR camera, Ismail Sirdah had to improvise angles, lighting, effects, and countless other aspects of photography to make his work stand out. Given the success that he was able to achieve, he recently diversified his entrepreneurial career and opened a school of photography for younger people.

 

What is your hobby?

As you can probably imagine, photography. I always traveled armed with at least one of my smaller cameras as the professional ones can be bulky and impractical to carry on-the-go. Thus, regardless of what I might be doing, I will always make a quick stop to capture a photo that I believe can be astonishing. So, photography could be classified as my job and my hobby.

 

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

Years ago, one of my friends was given a high-end camera as a gift. Although they liked it a lot, I became amazed by everything that this device could do and the type of photos that I was able to take were amazing. Although it took me a while to understand that it was not just the camera doing the work by itself, it only took a few weeks for me to realize that this might be something I could do for the rest of my life!

 

Tell us what you love about it.

The never-ending list of perspectives that something can be captured from. Think of it this way, if I capture a black and white photo of a landscape, it immediately implies an oldish and somewhat sadder nature. If I do it with a full brightness and intensified colors, on the other hand, it becomes an inviting scenery that is very different from the previous one. Not to even mention everything that you can do once you start playing with the angles and effects.

 

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

Most of the events that I attend are related to the school of photography that I recently established. I used to be a member of many organizations related to this industry but, as I got more involved with my projects, I had to prioritize things.

 

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

I bought quite a few different cameras. As with every photographer, those tend to be the main source of unexpected expenses. Also, since I have my own studio, I had to invest in the actual rental space that needed to be equipped with some furniture and decorative tools.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

It just depends. A lot of the things that I buy are straight from the internet. That enables me to save time by not having to pick any of the items in person. Sometimes, however, I enjoy spending some time browsing the things that I want to purchase. Thus, seeing me at a store like Best Buy would not be surprising!

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

There are quite a few that people can use. I never used many books as most of the things that I know were self-taught. Nonetheless, those interested should look into “Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera” by Bryan Peterson as well as “The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos” by Michael Freeman. Of course, there are many other books that might work better depending on the specific type of photos that you might be trying to take.

 

How has this changed your life?

The biggest impact it had is in the way that I look at the world. Nowadays, everything that I come in contact with is analyzed. I seek subtle signs that something could make a beautiful photo. Although this can be quite distracting at times, it helps me see things in a positive ways.

 

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

Do not be afraid to experiment. If you are planning on becoming a world-renowned photographer, taking ordinary photos will not get you there. You need to learn what types of photos are easy for you to take, what do people react to positively, as well as what type of surroundings you enjoy. For example, if you are a natural talent at wedding photography, it would make no sense to spend time doing nothing but nature shots. Similarly, if you enjoy taking one type of photos yet people around you do not express much interest in them, you may need to question your work. Although you could be doing everything right, the fact that your work might be “ordinary” is very detrimental to your career. Thus, be creative and try new things!

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I do have other hobbies that come alongside my photography. For instance, since I have a business to run, one of my hobbies is reading entrepreneurship-related books from professionals who built their organizations from

Andrew Knight New Canaan Developer

Andrew Knight New Canaan is an established front-end developer based in Connecticut.

 

Now having served over hundreds of clients, Mr. Knight was able to create software for businesses with excellent Graphics User Interface and optimized web pages. Since his main focus was in the real estate industry, he hopes to help realtors and other land developer businesses to get their ground in the online space. He believes that all companies need technology to succeed, especially now that almost everything can be done digitally.

 

Andrew Knight New Canaan enjoys making art and playing video games during free time. Art is one of his innate passions even as a young child, but now, he has the right resources to develop this craft.

 

What is your hobby?

I enjoy making hand-made paintings and graphic designs. I have always been interested in art and how it evokes thoughts and emotions to people. I guess it’s one way to express myself, and an outlet because of the mental demands of career life.

 

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

I started going into this hobby when I was working and graduated in college. My young college-self was so immersed in studying that I almost had no time for hobbies. When I had my own means to purchase materials and schedule my time for work and play, that’s when I decided I would get back to my roots and continue doing art again. I have always enjoyed going to local museums when I travel. I learn a lot about artistic styles and this is where I get my inspiration from. Whether it’s painting, architecture, or just the beauty of nature, I make it an inspiration for my pieces.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Art for me is a form of expression. Without art, life loses its beauty. And I guess that’s the part I love about it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the routinary tasks that we forget to stop and contemplate about the really beautiful things in life. Art is one way of capturing that beauty in physical form. Whether its purpose is to express emotion, provide inspiration, or just for aesthetic purposes, art is what brings the life of people.

 

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

Since I travel very often, I don’t have the chance to be a part of the local community. However, when I go from place to place, I always take the time to do nature sight-seeing or going to a local heritage area. If there’s a local art museum nearby, I always take time to go as well. I also love to support local artists. Sometimes, I would just look into Google and find events in a place where I’m at. There was one time, an art exhibit was held for local artists in Minnesota. I decided to attend even if I had no contacts. The artists were so thankful to see a stranger show support for their craft.

 

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

I actually own a Wilson Bickford signature brush. It’s one of my biggest investments in painting that I purchased a year ago. It’s a complete set of high-quality brushes that I use for canvas paintings. As much as possible, I take care of my hobby tools because I prefer to purchase the good brands. I think they’re a great investment.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I buy most of my supplies online. Since I often travel, I don’t have to time to go to local shops to see if they have my specific art tool in mind. I just make sure that each product has top notch reviews and it comes from a verified supplier. Buying online also helps me because I just have them ship it to my home even when I’m away.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I recommend a book called “Color and Light” by James Gurney. I’m a fan of realist paintings. This is because such type of art needs a high skill. When I read the book, I learned about tips and techniques to make my paintings as close to the real thing as possible.

 

How has this changed your life?

This book changed my life because I used to be frustrated with my skill. I think I’m a pretty good impressionist painter, but realist paintings were my weakness. It really helped me gain confidence in trying new styles.

 

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

My advice is to just do it. Some people are afraid to try new things because they’re afraid to fail. There’s no failure in a hobby. When you do the things you love, you’ll get better at it no matter what.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love playing video games! I know it may be unrelated to painting, but it’s also my way to de-stress myself. Like most guys, I would be pretty much into playing League of Legends.

Blake Rubin

Blake Rubin is a mobile developer who lives in Los Angeles, California. Since he earned a college degree that combines the field of technology and business, he possesses extensive skills when it comes to helping start-up companies grow through innovation. Most of his projects pertain to employee training and implementation of mobile resources. Moreover, as a leader of this industry in Los Angeles, he has built a reputation as an influential mentor for young professionals and a reliable business partner. Besides working, Blake Rubin spends a lot of time skiing. Although this is only a hobby, it has helped him visit some of the nation’s prettiest mountains.

 

 

What is your hobby?

Skiing. Although I learned when I was fifteen and have been skiing ever since then, I still enjoy it like the very first time that my parents introduced me to the sport. It started off as a basic alpine style, which stands for downhill skiing, but I eventually learned more advanced techniques.

 

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

My family and I visited Colorado almost every year for about a decade in the early 2000’s. During these times, everyone took up learning a different winter sport. We had some who were studying snowboarding, some were practicing ice skating, and I decided to go with skiing. In retrospect, the only reason why I picked this particular sport is the fact that I have seen too many movies about it. Although it may seem ridiculous, it was these Hollywood scenes that inspired me to stand on a pair of skis and try to go downhill without breaking my neck. Ultimately, I turned out to be quite good at it from the beginning and my neck never suffered any injuries.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

You could call me a speed junkie. I enjoy getting an adrenaline rush while I go down a steep mountain. The snow that splashes from underneath my skis, the sticks that I use to increase the acceleration, the momentum that must be properly handled to make a solid turn, and everything else related to this sport excites me. Also, I absolutely hate almost every other sport that involves a ball.

 

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

I did a few team competitions in amateur skiing. I never placed high in the rankings, however, as our team was quite mediocre. Regardless, our goal was to have fun while others were chasing imaginary titles and trophies. I would probably not trade with anyone who won many prizes as the memories I gathered seem more valuable than any wall plaques.

 

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

As with any other sport, I had to buy some basic tools to work on my craftsmanship. Besides the obvious purpose of my VolkiMantra skis, I also invested in some professional goggles, skiing suits, helmets, sticks, and other items that are mandatory in order to enjoy my hobby without worrying about safety hazards.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Either online or in stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors. For the most part, it just depends on the offering. There have been instances where the in-store purchases would not make sense as their prices were too high compared to those of online retailers. This concept also applies on the vice-versa basis. I must admit, however, that it is more convenient to buy things over the internet as one does not have to worry about picking up heavy supplies.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

Besides the mainstream books that try to teach people how to ski, there are very few readings that will be related to this topic in an entertaining manner. Some of the selected works include the “All-Mountain Skier” by R. Mark Elling, “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain” by Bruce Tremper, and “Fifty Places to Ski and Snowboard Before You Die: Downhill Experts Share the World’s Greatest Destinations” by Chris Santella. The last book also makes a great bucket list for people who do not already have one.

 

How has this changed your life?

It helped me remain positive during difficult times of adversity. Also, I can now channel my energy in a very efficient manner. This enables me to minimize the amount of stress in the workplace and host an inclusive and productive atmosphere.

 

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

Take a few classes from experienced instructors and practice the basics. Skiing can either become an amazing sport or a gravely dangerous activity for those involved. Consider, for example, that every skill which you practice on flat land without speed will have to be executed perfectly while you slide at life-threatening speeds. Thus, you want to ensure that your abilities are up to par and that you will not be a risk to yourself or others.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I like learning how to snowboard. Generally speaking, it has a lot of touching points with skiing. Nevertheless, I have still not mastered the art of the board. The fact that the center of gravity is completely shifted in snowboarding has made it almost impossible for me to learn. Regardless, I will keep trying until I finally succeed.

Mark Alvarado

Mark Alvarado is a graphic designer with a long history of popular projects. After graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007, he purchased some property in Texas. There, he often engages in one of his favorite hobbies in the world, archery. Although he is no stranger to the Lone Star state, Mark Alvarado still resides in California. His home is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in the city called Palo Alto. His talents as a graphic designer include everything from simple logo campaigns to more complex branding projects that help firms establish their identity in the market.

 

What is your hobby?

Although I enjoy following sports that involve some type of a ball, there is nothing that I love more than archery. It has been my number-one hobby for as long as I can remember.

 

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

I am proud to be one of the few bowmen that began practicing this ancient skill long before popular TV shows and movies turned it into a mainstream activity. The way I got started, however, is slightly ironic as it was mainly accidental. After finding a bow and half a dozen arrows while hiking with some of my friends about a decade ago, we decided to have a friendly competition and hit the “stop” sign down the road.

In retrospect, this was not the wisest decision we have ever made. As they took their shots, it became apparent that archery was not really in their DNA. In my case, on the other hand, I was able to hit the pole of the sign which topped everyone else’s attempt. This inspired me to keep practicing and archery soon became one of my favorite ways to unwind. Not to mention that my shooting from that day won me the bow and arrow that we discovered laying in the dirt!

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I enjoy every single second of firing an arrow. Starting with a calm and steady arm that must support the bow forces me to slow down my breathing and completely focus on the target. Then, upon putting hitting the mark, I must become one with the weapon and wait for the perfect moment to release my shot. That split second is probably the most relaxed state of mind that I could ever be in.

 

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

Generally speaking, I do archery as a way to decompress after a long day. I have not reached the level of competitiveness that would require me to take part in some championships. Occasionally, however, I use my property in Texas to set up a mini course with a few targets where my friends and I practice.

 

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

Yes. Thus far I purchased a PSE Anthem recurve, Cabela’s Dash RTH compound package, and was given a Samick Sage 62″ takedown-recurve bows. I originally started with the PSE Anthem as it is the very basic, beginner-like bow that had no fancy additions or gear. After a while, I upgraded to Samick Sage that had a custom-made, bear hair rest and plate.

But both of these are nothing compared to the Cabela’s Dash that I was gifted recently. That one looks like something that the famous superhero Green Arrow would use. It has so many different tools that it is practically impossible to use them all in one session.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Usually online. I shop for arrows or targets on Amazon as there is a seemingly unlimited number of options. I am not a fan of commercial sellers that overcharge just because they have a popular brand name.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

“The Witchery of Archery” by Maurice Thompson is great. It is actually the first book ever written on the topic of hunting with a bow and arrow. Having been around for 140 years, it is amazing to see that most of the principles discussed by Thompson still apply to modern-day archery.

 

How has this changed your life?

It has helped me diversify my short list of hobbies. Besides graphic design, there has not usually been too much that I am interested in. As I began my amateur career in archery, I learned that my job is not the most important thing in the world.

 

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

Practice far away from anybody, especially if you are just starting out. Although an arrow may not look lethal, it can pick up speeds north of 150 miles per hour when it is fired correctly. This is enough to go through wood, glass, and even some metals. Adding the fact that most arrows have sharp tips made of metal, making it very dangerous for bystanders. In other words, be very careful!

Bill Michelon

Bill Michelon is a leader in the world of entrepreneurship and digital solutions. His extensive background, both as an employee and now a business owner, has given him more than a decade’s worth of valuable experience that sets him apart from others in this field. Michelon’s recent forays into the world of cryptocurrency and tailored digital marketing strategies for clients are just two of the exciting new directions that his professional career is taking. Bill believes in mentoring students and those new to the digital marketing space, and has a special place in his heart for philanthropic causes, especially those that impact veterans and young businesspeople.

What is your hobby?

Right now, I’d say two: Traveling and immersing myself in the world of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But to be honest, the latter is really more work and career oriented, so travel probably is my actual hobby.

How did you get started with this hobby?

I took a trip to the Bahamas as one of my first major vacations and it really gave me the bug for exotic, unusual travel. I realize a trip to the Bahamas is not all that unusual, but it led me to literally fall in love with travel as a way to unwind and give my brain a deep rest from the rigors of a high-speed work life.

What inspired you?

Just watching other international travelers and seeing how much they enjoyed going to unusual, hard-to-reach spots made me want to see what it was all about.

Tell us what you love about it.

Traveling to little-known, interesting places takes you out of yourself, and helps you actually stand back and see your entire life in perspective. A trip to Iceland, for example, and getting to know some of the locals while spending time in the hot springs was an unforgettable experience.

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

I’m in a few travel clubs that offer discounts on tickets to exotic, relatively unknown or little-visited places.

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

Quite the contrary, extensive travel teaches you how to get by on less, whether that means material goods, food, creature comforts, and all the typical consumerist stuff we tend to rely on in the industrialized world.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I either make or purchase travel-specific items. When I buy things that I can’t make, like rain ponchos, energy bars, or camping equipment, I look for bargains online, in local shops or in my closet.

Are there any good books for beginners?

“Video Night in Kathmandu,” by Pico Iyer is one of the best books on travel. Not only does Iyer convey the essence of what travel can teach us, but he is able to do so in a humorous, intriguing way.

How has this changed your life?

I think travel gives me a deeper perspective about live and makes me a better entrepreneur because my mind always feels so sharp and ready to work after a good trip.

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

Research a few places that you’ve always wanted to go, and keep an open mind about the fact that your research might lead you to other spots.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I am currently exploring how to become more philanthropic, and learn more about crypotocurrency and the best ways to invest.

Ali Mayar

Ali Mayar is a successful business owner and entrepreneur based out of Long Island, New York. As the CEO of Platinum Rapid Funding Group, he and his management team offer small to mid-sized companies working capital. Through his work of helping professionals and businesses succeed, he has become one of the leading figures in the merchant cash-lending industry, as well as a mentor for his management team.

Ali Mayar‘s entrepreneurial success is highlighted by his vast experience of working with businesses to ensure their financial success. As a business strategist, Mayar assists professionals and companies in their progression by working together to come up with strong business platforms. Mayor is known within his industry to share his strategies and experience of reaching entrepreneurial success; thus he exemplifies the mentoring ideal within Platinum Rapid Funding Group and is an ideal financial resource for businesses needing assistance in forming successful business strategies for the future.

What is your hobby?

Aside from the obvious answer of spending time with friends and family, I love music. I also love cars, cooking, and fine dining. As of the past few years I’ve taken an interest in boating and being on the water. Long Island is one of the most beautiful places to explore, especially on the South Shore. There’s nothing better than taking friends and family out on the water to enjoy a sunset.

How did you get started with these hobbies?

Music has just always been a big part of my life. I love how different songs start to represent different times in my life, bringing back memories and emotions. It’s nice to shut the mind off sometimes and slip into a good song, enjoy a quiet moment while you are listening and escape the stresses of every-day life. When it comes to spending time with friends and family, I have to wonder what I’m working so hard for if I don’t make them a priority.

What inspired you?

Friends and family are a priority in my life and always will be. They inspire me to help others and stay true to those who are there for you and matter the most in life. I’m the type of guy who believes if you take good care of the people around you, they will take good care of you. Much of my inspiration comes from the people around me and

Tell us what you love about it.

The strategies of helping businesses succeed and take steps toward financial success really fascinate me, but it also doesn’t completely define who I am. Music, cars, friends and family, and my fascination for business; all these things together define me.

How has this changed your life?

My hobbies have enriched my life because they have enriched who I am. I believe that what we do, say, and what we love in life all work synergistically to form who we are as a person and a businessman. I enjoy helping businesses get off the ground and find their place in their chosen industry. I advise people to follow their passions, whether in personal life or when it comes time for professionals to decide which industry will be their niche. You can have skills, but if you are not passionate about what you are doing, success is just not as attainable as if it’s in a field you are passionate about.

Saleh Stevens

Saleh Stevens is a Bitcoin expert and entrepreneur from Los Angeles, California. With a background in computer science, he is an up-and-coming name in cryptocurrency today. He is also a seasoned traveler and meets with cryptocurrency proponents around the world to assist them with this exciting new part of the knowledge economy.

 

His computer science background enables him to take advantage of the newest trends in gaining wealth, including blockchain technology and Javascript innovations. Saleh Stevens first farmed Bitcoin several years ago while the price was low, and now his investment has skyrocketed, giving him the financial freedom to devote time to his favorite hobby.

 

 

What is your hobby?

My hobby is international travel. I spend several weeks per year exploring Europe and Asia. I haven’t yet been to Africa, but it’s on my list for 2018.

 

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

I have always wanted to travel. I’ve been taking international trips for about seven years now. Before my Bitcoin investment took off, I was restricted to more affordable destinations around the United States, but now I have a lot more freedom to choose where I want to go.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have wanted to be a world traveler. We lived near the Los Angeles International Airport: I would watch the big planes fly over the house and imagine where they might be headed. I was always envious of the people on those planes.

 

When we did get to travel as a family, I was always one of those little kids with my face pushed up against the glass, looking at all the planes. I used to collect airplane models as a kid.

 

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

I love the unpredictability of travel. I don’t like to plan my trips too far in advance. I prefer to fly to a central destination and then take local ground transportation. That way, I can explore as the whim takes me. I rarely stay in one place for more than two nights.

 

Train passes in Europe are so affordable, and the service is so much better than you’d receive in the US. Traveling by train gets me down on the ground with the everyday people at my destination. I enjoy striking up conversations with fellow travelers: I have even gone for drinks with people I just met.

 

Sometimes I think about starting out with luxury travel, but I’d rather have my boots on the ground than go through an endless parade of hotels that look just the same inside.

 

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

Not so much. Traveling is a solitary pursuit for me. I do visit travel websites like lonelyplanet.com for tips and resources. My family would probably prefer it if I spent more time in the US when I’m not working, but I feel like I should do all my traveling now while I’m single and don’t have responsibilities beyond my job.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I haven’t invested that much in equipment for traveling, per se. I do spend money on clothing and gear for my trips. I probably spend more on comfortable walking shoes than on anything else. Since I travel mostly by bus and train, I tend to pack just one backpack or rolling suitcase.

 

Again, I don’t really buy supplies for traveling. I tend to pack light. I do leave room in my bag for the occasional gift for my nieces and nephews.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

Definitely the Lonely Planet series of books. Rick Steves’ Europe is also fun, but geared more toward couples and families traveling, so I don’t use his books as much.

 

How has this changed your life?

It’s made me more spontaneous. I’m much more likely to eat in a new restaurant or make friends with someone I don’t have much in common with. I worry a lot less about my possessions and more about my experiences. Travel has also developed my curiosity and my ability to get along with different kinds of people.

 

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

Pack light, shop around for airfare, take advantage of your frequent flyer miles, get a gate lounge pass if you can afford it, (you’ll soon have enough miles that you will be able to get one much more easily), and be open to new experiences.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

When I’m traveling, I like to see classical music concerts. I have often thought that I would enjoy having a saltwater aquarium, but I travel so much, I don’t think I would have the time to appreciate it. Perhaps I’ll have one someday if travel isn’t as appealing anymore. I have thought of taking up snorkeling to see the ocean that way.

Mark Polelle

Technology and Web-based technology expert, Mark Polelle has been one of the leading figures in Silicon Vally for almost a decade after being one of the first to spot the possibilities available in Blockchain technology. It was during his childhood in his home of Atlanta, Georgia that Polelle begins to feel his future lay in the developing computer technologies of the period and prompted a move to California and the innovative environment of Silicon Valley. The entrepreneur has seen the focus of his career shift with the changing technology on offer throughout the world from basic Web design during his first years in California to the huge level of success achieved by Polelle in developing Blockchain technology. Mark Polelle now lives in Oakland where he feels he has easy access to the best technology companies in Northern California but also allows him to enjoy the benefits of the success he has achieved throughout his career.

What is your hobby? 

I rarely have a large amount of free time as my company has seen new clients arriving to explore the benefits of Blockchain technology on a regular basis who I try to give my time to freely. Living in California with the wide range of landscapes on offer has inspired me to explore digital photography as a hobby. I love the blending of my artistic side with a push to find and use the latest technology to make sure my images are of the highest possible quality. My personal favorite is to take a hike into the mountains and find some nature or landscapes to photograph and relax alongside nature. I recently headed into the Pacific Northwest and hiked around the Cascades Mountains where I found the snow-filled landscapes beautiful and relaxing which allowed me to return to work relaxed and chomping at the bit to continue my business development.

How did you get started with this hobby? 

To be honest I just started taking pictures with my phone before I even invested in any equipment and set out to explore any specific skills. Once I began looking at SLR cameras I realized the marriage of technology and artistic freedom was a good fit for me and my own interests.

What inspired you? 

Originally I don’t know if it was an inspiration or simply the fact my mind would turn away from work for a short time as I began taking photos around my office and home. Since I’ve become more interested in photography I’ve been researching the great photographers of the past and present including the beautiful work of Juergen Teller and the classic crime photography of Weegee from the 1940s.

Tell us what you love about it. 

Like I said earlier, I think modern photography speaks to my love of technology and a largely untapped artistic side. Taking the chance to manipulate an image using Photoshop is something I love doing and speaks to me on many different levels.

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

I haven’t really set out to join any groups or attend many events but I did recently submit some work to the Southern California Photo Expo and plan to attend this year’s event.

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

I’m somebody who likes to explore the various options available in technology for any sector of my life including my career as a Blockchain developer and for my hobby. Initially, I invested in a Nikon D3400 which was an excellent camera for a beginner to start their career with. I recently invested in a Fuji X-100F body which gives a completely different experience more closely related to the traditional manual photography of the 20th-century.

Where do you buy most of your supplies? 

I’m a technology enthusiast so the majority of my purchases are made Online through Amazon but I do love visiting stores such as Best Buy to handle equipment before buying. I remember there used to be photography stores on Main Street in Atlanta when I was growing up and would now love to visit one of these shops to talk to the experts and share my love of this art.

Are there any good books for beginners? 

One of the books I have referred to recently is “The Art of Photography” by Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard which gives a good overview of composition and simple techniques. Although I feel a lot can be learned by simply looking for books by photographers you personally admire. I enjoyed “Christian Dior in the South of France” by Laurence Benaim with stunning images by Manuel Flores-Vianna.

How has this changed your life? 

In general, I find I am more relaxed and focused after spending some time in nature taking photos which can be important in such a high-intensity business as Blockchain development.

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

Get out and take some pictures and you’ll be amazed at the beauty you can create as a photographer.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia so I’m a sports fan with a love for watching baseball and football. On a recent business trip to the U.K., I had some free time in the North of England where I began exploring old churches around the Lake District area and began looking for my ancestors in old records which have sparked an interest in genealogy I’m beginning to explore.

Jimmy Stice – Kalu Yala CEO

Kalu Yala is a sustainable city currently being built in Panama. It is one of the latest offsprings of dedication to nature and limitless creativity. Placed in the middle of a jungle, the community is only half an hour away from the airport and seconds away from beautiful designs, fresh business ideas, and a welcoming neighborhood of people from all over the world. The underlying truth about Kalu Yala is further reflected in the roots of the movement which echo with excited cheers of adventurous people who visit. Those are usually the individuals that are not afraid to replace a prestige university environment with a green surrounding of nature.

 

What is your hobby?

Our hobby is building a community and connecting remarkable people. Since we welcome guests from all over the world, one of the first tasks is getting past any language or cultural barriers. This is easily achieved through nights with live music, long walks, bonding around the fire, team-building exercises, and more. Hence why there has never been Kalu Yala criticism aimed to discredit our ability to turn strangers into life-long friends.

 

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

Kalu Yala was originally an idea to merge complex business concepts like economics and sustainability with beautiful nature found in Panama City. We were inspired by the need to push the limits of what others have done in these fields. At first, we had a small team of no more than a handful of individuals who shared the passion for the end goal.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

All of the people who decide to take up this challenge are usually in love with adventures. We are no different as we crave excitement and feed off the surprising, sometimes shocking, discoveries found in the jungle that is now our home. Also, all of us are fierce proponents of things like socialization, intercultural relationships, as well as diversity. Some individuals list the fact that they learn so much about other cultures as the primary benefit from this experience.

 

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

Given the closed-community idea we have, all of the participants are members of the large group. This helps get to know nearly everyone. Also, given that the goal of this project is designing and building something extraordinary, most of the events are organized to either brainstorm the blueprints or discuss the most efficient methods of construction.

 

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

Yes and no. Of course, we obtained some basic tools like electric drills prior to starting the project. Nevertheless, there is no state-of-the-art technology because everything is made from scratch using basic materials like wood. Some other items people tend to invest in prior to coming here are instruments while we do provide microphones and speakers that are needed for the mini-concerts.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

We do not! Since the entire idea revolves around sustainability, we find a lot of our supplies in the nature that surrounds us. Although it sounds like a challenging notion, people do not view this as one of the Kalu Yala problems. It is because the landscape is the number one building block of the community. After all, finding ways to get around the obstacles of simple life is the primary reason why a lot of our members joined in the first place!

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

We generally advise those who commit to our project to learn the basics of nature survival. There are plenty of books that teach them how to make that transition from modern life to old-fashioned and simple methods. Some of them are “Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide on the Art of Wilderness Survival” by Dave Canterbury and “Camping and Survival: The Ultimate Outdoors Book” by Paul Tawrell. The majority of the techniques that participants learn, however, come from real-life experience once they get here.

 

How has this changed your life?

In more ways that we can describe. Being a part of something that is above anyone’s individual needs has taught us about selflessness and dedication. People who are successful here often speak of life-changing friendships that they formed, new knowledge that they now possess, as well as the new-found view of the world and its beauties.

 

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

Try to overcome the beginning hardships because these stages are the most difficult ones. People are bound to be skeptical of any similar endeavor because it pushes the limits of what might be viewed as achievable. Thus, it is important to align oneself with those of similar mind and work together to come up with a failproof plan of growth.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Anything that requires one to be creative. Some people here are great musicians, some can draw anything and everything, and others can build marvelous pieces of furniture with nothing but a small hammer and a pocket knife. The spectrum of hobbies that our members are known for is so wide that it is almost impossible to depict every single activity you are likely to see when you walk around the camp.