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Optimal Living

Maximizing Your Health and Happiness: An Idea of What Optimal Living Is

What is “Optimal Living?”

Optimal living is a theme you’ll begin hearing as my client and reading more often in my posts. It’s the perfect phrase to describe your own overall bio-individual health and wellbeing, tailored to what you want. No, it doesn’t have to mean switching to a straight vegan diet, but it could mean adding more vegetables to your diet. Living optimally can also mean your gauge of overall happiness and wellbeing based on stress, sleep levels, and other factors in your life. Seeing as we literally are what we out down to our very cells, it’s clear that one of the first things to get right when beginning your journey is getting optimal nutrition from your food. Believe it or not, food also has an impact on your hormones, nervous system, immune system, as well as many other important functions that holistically comprise of who we are.

Breaking Down Optimal Nutrition

Food belongs in what we at IIN call the Secondary Nutrition group. This is the actual food we put into our body, whereas the Primary Nutrition group focuses more on holistic health. I’ve studied Nutrition for over five years and can honestly say that I’m confident in what I know in terms of which vitamins and minerals our body needs. My year at IIN introduced me to literally hundreds of different diets, all designed for a specific purpose. However, my focus is primarily on the diets that give us optimal nutrition. What I mean by this is examining factors such as: What’s your family history of certain chronic illnesses/diseases? Where at in the country/world do you live? How often do you go to the gym? Is your job physically demanding? Are you vegan/vegetarian? By answering these questions, I get a good idea of what kind of nutrients you’re currently taking in, where you may be deficient, and what you may need more of based on current diet and physical activity.

One of my favorite subjects is food. It’s a big reason I got into the nutrition field. In fact, I love food so much, I expanded my knowledge into learning how to cook and locating places in a new town to try new foods and beverages (“good” or “bad” food). Being a Health Coach means I can eat whatever I want to eat and live the way I want to live as long as I am mindful. This means as long as I have a clear goal of what want to make me happy and I have the general knowledge to make my own healthy choices, I’m free to eat what I wish.

Optimal Living Through Secondary Nutrition

To give you an example of this I’ll use my typical daily diet. I eat a mostly plant-based diet because I wish to clear up my skin, boost my immune system, gain and maintain energy throughout the day without coffee, and keep unnecessary body fat off. My diet consists mainly of at least three leafy green salads, greens, and a little bit of chicken meat. I make a deal to eat like this for the whole eight hours I’m at work. This means I always make sure my food is packed for the next day. After my eight hour window and I’m home, I’m free to eat whatever I want. But by the time I’m home, I’ve already consumed most of my energy from healthy foods, and my desire for other foods is limited.

Optimal Living Through Primary Foods

Living optimally goes legions farther than just adjusting your diet. You can eat all the kale you want to, but the truth is if other areas in your life aren’t right, i.e. relationships, work, lack of physical activity, and spiritual/interpersonal misguidance, then you’re not going to be functioning optimally. And when you’re not functioning optimally (stress making you irritable, depressed, anxious, worried, etc.), you’re not in optimal health. It even becomes physiologically evident sometimes when we’re so stressed out that we break out into hives or shingles, for example. As cliche as the saying is, we truly aren’t meant to pay bills and die. There’s a reason diagnoses such as anxiety and depression are so high in America. We work ourselves into bad health. And when we’re not working, we add our own unnecessary stressors to our lives. That may be in the form of a toxic relationship that requires strength and clarity to move on from. Or it can be in the form of a dead-end job that’s just not fulfilling to you.

Where My Passion For Health Coaching Lies

In my mind, this is the fun part of my job. I enjoy listening to my clients talk about their stresses with complete confidentiality. It’s important that I listen to what they do for a living, the relationships in their lives while asking high-mileage questions that get to the root of what’s truly the stress barriers keeping them back from an optimal life. From here I start asking questions about how he/she would prefer certain situations be, allowing them to come to their very own conclusions. These high-mileage questions also help us get to their true desires: what really gets them excited and up and going. That could be more traveling, for instances (I’m currently working travel resources into my 1-month curriculum!). It could also be going out and connecting with nature more. Or going shooting more. Maybe it’s simply spending more time with friends and loved ones. Whatever they are, these are the true things that keep a soul thriving. Guiding my clients towards this level of clarity and ultimately freedom is what I live for. I just know the feeling of discovering my passion too well to not share my excitement and knowledge.

What’s your idea of optimal living? How do you envision your life? What are some unnecessary stressors you know you can get rid of like right after reading this? Comment below or email me at for questions about my health coaching services. Follow me on Twitter @Anthonyjrich11 and my FB page by the same tag!

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved

Horizon Air at Alaska Airlines

Back in the Airline Industry

This Time It’s for Horizon Airlines

A buddy of mine from Piedmont at American Airlines once told me the airline industry’s addictive. We’d both just been hired and were going through orientation. The only difference was he’d already been in the industry before, whereas I was brand new. This being my first job since getting out of the Air Force, I was just excited that my efforts paid off.

And boy did they.

When I first applied for the position at Piedmont, I hadn’t really explored the travel benefits. I’d heard about people in the industry flying around the world for free before. I just figured it was more of a too-good-to-be-true sort of deal. It was only when I received the official offer and went on to the onboarding process that I began to realize what was in store for me. The recruiters and onboarding members went on and on about the travel benefits. They told colorful stories of different adventures they’d gone on by flying standby. I was just in complete awe.

And Thus Marked the Beginning of My Love for The Airline Industry

Once out of training and officially on the clock, I began with a simple, short trip to San Francisco. I was with an ex of three years, and the domestic partner benefits extended to her. We chose San Francisco because 1) I’m a die-hard 49er fan 2) I’d been there once before and I’d told her how beautiful it was there 3) This flight commonly guarantees standby seats back home.

It was crazy to think I was there for free. Just hours ago we were at Sky Harbor sipping on margaritas. Next thing we know we’re at the famous Pier 40 eating clam chowder from a bread bowl and sipping on margaritas. What was even crazier was that we were initially planning on traveling to Hawaii. Unaware of how the system worked at that time, a coworker talked me out of it. He noted I wouldn’t make it back in time for work. We decided to let those seats go and instead chose San Franciso. But we were far from disappointed, and damn if it wasn’t an amazing experience.

Brief Hiatus

About six months into working at Piedmont, a combination of school, another job, and maintaining a struggling relationship began to consume a considerable amount of my time and energy. Since our trip to San Francisco, we’d only been to Santa Barbara, CA, San Diego, and Ogden, UT. The physicality of the ramp job in that scorching Arizona heat had taken its toll on me physically and mentally. The stress was honestly wearing on me. I’d rather have been home much of my free time. A few more trips to San Francisco later, the ex and I had decided we were long overdue for something more exciting. Her birthday was coming up in about a month, so I decided to really do some planning and put these benefits to good use. Before you know it, we’re poolside at a local hotel on Grand Cayman Island with a stunning view of the infinite turquoise ocean, sipping on margaritas.

My Separation from the Airline Industry Was Only Brief

Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances forced me to choose between the amazing world the airline industry has to offer or the job that paid the bills. On August 2016 I put in my two weeks notice at Piedmont. Believe me when I say it was one of the toughest decisions I had to make in life. Here I was blessed with a golden second opportunity to take advantage of traveling cheaply (the first being the Air Force) and I didn’t even do that. I allowed my toxic relationship, school, and work to consume my time and energy.

I ended up moving on from that security job to bigger and better things, but neither filled that void like the airline industry. The excitement of seeing giddy passengers every day, knowing they must be on their way home or on vacation. The rewarding feeling of knowing you damn near did the impossible physically to load up that quick turn flight and send it on its way on time. Knowing that through all of that hard work and effort, I’ll be in another state or another country when the weekend rolls around sipping margaritas.

I’m Baaaaaaack!!!

I’m proud to say I am now part of the Horizon Air Lines family, a subsidiary of Alaska Airlines. After over a year out of the industry, I’ve been given a third chance, and dammit the third time is always a charm. I’m more confident than ever that because of the amazing stories I’ll be able to tell from adventures, and the people I’ll connect with along the way, including the new veterans and clients I’ll now have more access to, thus completing a piece to the larger goal of expanding my health coaching services, that I’m on the right path.

I love to pass on resume and interview tips as I constantly tweak my work. If you’re interested in getting a few resume, cover letter, and interview tips, please leave a comment or email me at for my resume-building part of my health coaching services. Also, be sure to follow me on my Twitter @Anthonyjrich11 and my Facebook page by the same name!

Road Trip to Olympia, Washington.

Road Trips Through Washington State the Unconventional Way

I Took A Road Trip Today.

It wasn’t your typical road trip though. Recently I left my temporary job to pursue something more related to my field (health coaching) now that I’ve officially graduated. Today marks a full month since I’ve been on the job hunt. There have been some downs, but plenty of pending ups. It’s been tough at times, especially when the savings dwindle and you’re not where you want to be just yet. No doubt the month has been trying. However, there have been some silver linings, although it took plenty of mental willpower to see it. The best part of my job search adventure isn’t what one may normally think when you think of job searching though.

Since moving to Washington, unforeseen circumstances (vandalism leading to subsequent towing of my car) led me to rely heavily on public transportation, i.e. taking the bus or the Sounder everywhere I go. This has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences since moving to the beautiful PNW. Of all the places I’ve been in my life, and I’ve been to quite a few places being military, nothing compares to the Pacific Northwest. From the plush green coniferous trees to the endless bodies of water, all the way to the elegant mountain ranges that surround the area, there isn’t anywhere else I’d currently want to live at the moment.

Washington State’s Beauty Can’t Be Matched

Washington state fits perfectly with my personality as well as represents everything holistic health stands for: the great wide open outdoors and a perfect place to connect with nature, all while honing a peaceful state of mind. I use each bus ride as a time to delve into a meditative mindset. I get on the bus, backpack in hand as always and full of resumes, DD214’s and all that good stuff, go over interview routine for 5 minutes, then tune out of my mind and focus on breathing and being present in the moment. Washington is just too damn pretty not to do so.

As I focus on my breathing, I become very mindful of my surroundings: the people in the bus from different walks of life, the traffic on the road representing the typical hustle-and-bustle of American life, the color of the leaves on the trees (right now many are leafless due to the changing season), the random bodies of lakes and rivers we ride by, the majestic mountains in the background with Mt. Rainier ominously looming over the landscape. Washingtonians, be very thankful for where you live. You won’t find this kind of beauty anywhere else in the country.

Of course, those from places like the Rocky Mountain area and Appalachians may beg to differ, and it’s certainly debatable. I just know there’s nowhere else on the mainland you’ll find a place with so much geographical diversity, down to the 5 active volcanoes that speckle the lands here.

Nope. And I guarantee that much.

Studying holistic health forces me to practice it as well. That means practicing techniques like deep breathing and meditating to bring me to a mindful state. Don’t get me wrong, Arizona, where I come from, is beautiful land in its own right (nowhere else will you find brilliant pink sunsets and open, golden skies). But Washington…..I just can’t get enough of that green (and noooo not that “green,” although certainly a perk for this here veteran).

Take A Step Back. Focus On The Present. Count Your Blessings.

Even though the job hunt still continues, I’m not at all stressed anymore. This is the time to take a step back from the hustle and appreciate where I am not just geographically, but in life. This past month has allowed me to stop and think about just how far I’ve gone, especially considering where I was last year physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Once a modest lost soul in life, through humble perspective, I’ve really come into my own and have learned to appreciate the finer things in life, as cliche as that sounds.

Parting Knowledge and Call-To-Action:

My advice to you if you get nothing else from this post is to take a step back from the busyness and stress of life and really look where you are in every way. Count your blessings, because believe me when I say it can be a hell of a lot worse. As someone who has to listen and observe for a living, I’m more than interested in hearing others’ personal experiences with their location, whether if it’s where you’re from or somewhere you just moved. Please share any experiences or tips in the comments! Also, for holistic health tips and posts related to travel, job search, and social awareness, and overall feel-good posts (lame, I know!) be sure to follow me on Twitter @Anthonyjrich11 as well as my Facebook page by the same tag!

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved.

Travel Backpacks from Amazon

Small, Cheap and Sturdy Travel Backpack

Cheap and Sturdy Backpacks

Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack: $20.99

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Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack

Features of the Ventura Pal Lightweight Durable Travel Hiking Backpack

  • Extremely durable. The material it’s made of prevents tears and is water-resistant, keeping it from getting soggy.
  • It provides great comfort, with adjustable shoulder straps and buckles to keep them in place in case you pack slightly heavier than usual.
  • The Ventura Pal Travel Backpack has multiple compartments for storage. It has one main pocket, two front zipped pockets, and two side pockets. Furthermore, you can fold the backpack into a very small pouch. This is ideal for plane travel to avoid excess travel bag fees.
  • Extremely Lightweight (0.7 lbs) with plenty of room. Nothing’s worse than lugging around a bag that accounts for a sizable portion of the weight you’re carrying on your back or as luggage.
  • Promise lifetime warranty exchange.
  • 4.5/5 stars on Amazon

Large, Roomy, and Durable Travel Backpacks

OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L Amazon’s Choice: $36.99

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OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L

Features of the OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L

  • Very spacious. There are many pockets, among just a few features, to store many of your travel items on the road, such as water bottles, snacks, an umbrella, or a change of clothes.
  • Waterproof. Excellent bag to have for rainy destinations or when unexpected storms hit while on your adventures. The OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack comes complete with a 15.6″ padded laptop compartment.
  • Extremely durable. It features padded shoulder straps and mesh ventilation, maximizing your comfort.
  • Compartments, pouches, and pockets galore, complete with external attachment points for all of your essential traveling and hiking gear, such as tents and sleeping bags.
  • You’ll also get a 6-month 100% satisfaction guarantee warranty courtesy of OutdoorMaster

Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L: $69.99

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Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L

Features of the Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack 40L

  • It’s made of waterproof polyester with polyester lining.
  • The Hynes Eagle Travel Backpack is 40L, which is the approved maximum size for an IATA flight. This allows it to fit in both the overhead compartment and underneath your seat snuggly.
  • Easily converts into a duffle bag from a backpack within just a few seconds.
  • The Hynes Eagle Travel bag also includes a large pocket that easily fits a 15.6 laptop in it, among just a few valuable items you can bring with you with no trouble, awkwardness or discomfort.

I receive a small compensation from Amazon for any items bought from this page.

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved

A quick guide to travel for the recently separated.

A Quick Guide to Travel for the Recently Separated Veteran

Some Things I’ve Learned About Travel After Separating from the Military

One of the primary reasons people decide to join the military is for the travel. This aspect highly appealed to me, and as soon as my recruiter picked up on it, he took it and ran with it. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly appreciated him selling me on this. In the Air Force, travel is almost guaranteed, particularly for the AFSC I was in (Tactical Aircraft Maintenance,  or Aircraft Mechanic in layman’s terms). Not only did we have superb duty stations such RAF Lakenheath in England, Spangdahlem, Germany, and Kadena, Japan just to name a few, but we had the opportunity to TDY with our jets, giving us the option to basically travel anywhere there were U.S. training operations.

I Totally Choked Away My Travel Opportunities in the Military. . .

Needless to say, all the traveling I did in the military spoiled me. And the worse part of it was that I didn’t even take full advantage of my opportunities because I simply took them for granted. However, I quickly figured that travel opportunities do not end upon separation from the military. As a matter of fact, it’s arguably easier to travel when you’re out. Why? You’re not tied down to things like getting your leave approved or sudden unexpected deployments.

Since getting out of the Air Force, I got a job at Piedmont at American Airlines for about a year and a half. Working there, I quickly re-discovered my passion for traveling. I’d learned about the many different places in the country and around the world that I could travel for free or discounted. Through experience flying standby, I’d learned all the odds and ends of traveling wisely. This includes researching the weekends with good discounts on cars and hotels, such as Veterans Day weekends and other holidays. I’d also quickly learned how to travel lightly and the things I considered a necessity on my adventures.

You’ll Learn the “Life Hacks” As You Travel More

For example, after my first trip flying standby (just one of many benefits for working for an airline!), I learned that bringing things such as an extra pair of shoes was unnecessary, as they took up a large amount of space in my travel backpack. I also learned what not to forget, such as phone chargers (whoopsieee!!), my computer charger, and hygiene items such as my toothbrush and hairbrush. Now I know the latter really aren’t that big a deal, but when you arrive at your destination and realize you have no toothbrush to neutralize the dragon breath within, after hours of being on a flight, and you’re just ready to get the vacation weekend started, it can be quite inconvenient making a trip down the local CVS for these things. Although I also learned that many hotels actually have these items downstairs. It just depends on what time of the day you arrive and check in at the hotel.

A few key things to keep in mind as you explore your many different travel opportunities as a newly separated veteran:

  1. Travel lightly

    – This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly your travel bag starts to fill up with unnecessary items. Leave the extra pair of pants and shoes at home. I guarantee you’ll find a way to make it work if you arrive and feel you don’t have enough outfits.

  2. Travel cheaply

    – Try and base your adventures around certain deals and discount packages going on at the time. For example, I found excellent hotel and car rental deals for Labor Day weekend in Ogden, Utah. The deal was so sweet I couldn’t resist the offer. I’d never been to Utah before either, so this was just a win-win situation all around. And if you’ve never been to Utah before, I highly recommend it. My word what a beautiful state.

  3. Travel with the right company

    – Even if this means traveling alone. There’s nothing worse than traveling with a buzzkill who wants to do nothing but drink their night away, sleep all day, then wash, rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the nightlife, but when you’re hungover all day from drinking yourself into a stupor and unable to truly experience where you are, regret quickly consumes you. That regret is even worse when peer pressure is a large factor in that. The most important thing about traveling is experiencing new things, different cultures, and immersing yourself in different lifestyles you’re not accustomed to. Why not just save the heavy drinking for when you’re at home?

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With whom you travel with makes all the difference in the world. And you’re never too old for Disney.

Travel Wisely My Friends

These are just a few tips for traveling wisely. I’ve been to quite a few places on my journey to finding my passion and calling. I’ve also written a few pieces on the ins and outs of traveling. As an Integrative Health and Life Coach for Transitioning Veterans, part of my amazing job is to guide my clients towards their passion and freedom, which often includes travel and exploration. If you enjoyed this article or have any questions regarding the airline industry or cheap travel deals, please leave a comment below and I will be sure to get back to you. You can also email me at for any questions about this as well as any inquiries about my 1-month health coaching program!

I do not own any photos in this blog post.

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved

Proud Veteran Health Coach: My Background and Integrative Nutrition

Hello and welcome to I’m an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a proud U.S. Air Force Veteran of seven years. I became a Health Coach to fulfill my desire to keep the comradery and bond only found in the military while also serving as a guide to my brothers and sisters through a pivotal point in their lives. I decided the best way to achieve this is to develop a 1-month program to work with transitioning veterans to improve their health and guide them towards clarity as they embark on civilian life, a new and exciting chapter in their lives flooded with opportunities!

I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I received in-depth training in nutrition, health and wellness, coaching skills, and business development. I lead workshops on nutrition and resume building and offer individual health and nutrition coaching to veterans entering the civilian world again.

Contact me today to schedule a free consultation!

(803) 609-7940


Integrative Nutrition Health Coach for Transitioning Veterans

Education Background:

Institute For Integrative Nutrition:

1-Year Program Covers:

  • Primary Nutrition (Relationship, Career, Spirituality, Physical Activity) and Secondary (Food) Nutrition
  • Importance of Nutrition to our Health & Wellbeing
  • 100+ Different Diet Theories
  • Healthy Eating Habits
  • Meal Planning
  • Bio-Individuality (One person’s medicine is another person’s poison)
  • Healthy Habits for Energy and Better Sleep
  • Importance of Physical Fitness to Wellbeing
  • Fitness Planning
  • Self-Care
  • Breathing Techniques
  • Benefits of Yoga
  • Meditation Techniques and Benefits of Meditation
  • Coaching Techniques and Practices
  • Business & Entrepreneurship Growth
  • Marketing Techniques and Social Media Marketing
  • Legal Business Practices and Contracts

Arizona State University:

Nutrition, Health, and Wellness Related Classes:

  • Advanced Human Nutrition I
  • Applications in Human Nutrition
  • Applied Food Principles
  • Community Nutrition
  • Cultural Aspects of Food
  • Food Services Purchasing
  • Health Communications
  • Human Nutrition
  • Intro/Plan Therapeutic Diets
  • Intro/Prof/Nutrition/Dietetics
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Nutrition Management & Leadership
  • Nutrition In the Life Cycle
  • Western Diet

Business, Marketing, and Finance Related Classes:

  • Accounting and Financial Analysis
  • Essentials of Selling
  • Macroeconomic Principles
  • Management and Strategy


Why I Carry a Travel Backpack With Me

Why I Never Leave The House Without A Travel Backpack

Travel Backpacks Make Life That Much Easier

If you know me you know I’ve always gone everywhere with a backpack. Not just any old backpack though; a rather large one that seemed to carry everything I own. In the military, my buddies used to bust my balls about it all the time. They used to often call it my “life bag” because anything I needed I pulled from my bag. Whether you call it a “life bag,” travel backpack, or simply a backpack, they are some of the most simple, yet valuable inventions we’ve been blessed with. In this article, I’m going to share why I feel backpacks are so important in our daily lives, and the different kinds of backpacks that I use for different occasions.

Travel Backpacks Epitomize Convenience

Ever been out on the road or out with friends and all of a sudden needed something to snack on, like ASAP? Or maybe it’s cold and you’re feeling a nice, warm sweater, but unfortunately, when you checked the weather, the temperature looked good and you didn’t keep in mind the train or bus may be cold. It’s little stuff like this why I always have a travel backpack on me. It seems it’s when it’s not on me that I need it the most. For this reason, I pack my bag as if I live on the road. For the most part, I do live on the road.

Different Travel Backpacks For Different Occasions

Just like you wouldn’t wear jeans and a tank top a boss’s engagement party (well at least I wouldn’t), not all travel backpacks are for the right occasion. For the most part, when I’m out, it’s on my own time and the setting is informal. Subsequently, my backpack of choice is usually nice and casual. It has plenty of space to keep my writing journals and diaries in. The backpack here, for example, is the primary one I use for my travels through Downtown Tacoma.


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What I like about this particular travel backpack is that is extremely spacious for a bag so cheap. One of the previous travel bags I had cost about three times as much as this one. The funny part was it wasn’t even waterproof like this one is. Inside the backpack, there is an open compartment. It’s not quite as big as the main compartment, but it’s big enough to hold say a full sweater without taking up too much space. Of course, this all depends on what you prioritize when you pack, as there is still only limited space with this travel bag. It has a nice sized pouch at the top that zips. It’s great for putting things like pens and pencils, candy, lighters, gum, or anything of that size. Altogether the bag has about five different compartments not including the two side pouches for drinks.

Me personally, I like to live a minimalistic lifestyle and spend as little as possible while traveling comfortably, so my priorities when packing my travel backpack are: 1) Things I may buy on the road i.e. snacks and instant coffee, and 2) Things I need for bodily comfort i.e. sweaters, neck pillows, travel-sized deodorant, and things of that nature.

“Life Bag” For Life On The Road

Nevermind the jokes from friends, having the freedom to have virtually anything you may need right on your back and within reach is such a liberating feeling. It gives me a sense of security that I’m in control of. Ladies, I know you already have your purses and pouches for most of your stuff, but it never hurts to have a little more on you (make the hubby carry the backpack if need be)! Fellas, nothing wrong with having access to some of the things you personally feel would be ideal to have on you at all times. The convenience of having a travel backpack with you far outweighs any inconvenience of carrying it around. Even if you’re not one to travel heavy, consider carrying with you a backpack you may already have from your old college days. Then make a list of things you wish you could keep on you at all times. Now pack and spend a Saturday out with some friends in the town. Who knows, you may even set a trend within your circle!

For more on traveling, exploring, and finding yourself, view some of my other blog posts related to the topics on this website. Otherwise, if you have any questions or inquiries regarding my Health Coaching Services and 6-month program please never hesitate to reach me at!

No pictures in this article belong to me.

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved


The Gift Of Travel From A Different Approach

Have a baby steps approach to traveling. The world is really ours to see. There should never be a reason to say you haven’t been able to travel anywhere new in a long time. Outside of time (more articles on time management coming), money is the primary factor holding many of us back from traveling more. Sure, you may live in California and New York isn’t necessarily a short bus ride, but you have to think smaller first. Think baby steps; where in your very city have you not been? A certain district? Maybe there’s a museum you never got around to yet, or a new Greek restaurant around the corner your co-workers have been raving about.

Unlocking The Next Level Of Traveling. . .

Once you’ve experienced more of what’s around you, then work your way to your longer term goals. For example, while sticking to local places to visit this weekend, set your sites on a point of interest in a nearby city or town within the next month. I live in Tacoma, Washington. There is plenty, and I mean plenty, to do in this city alone. From parks to boat rides in the Sound, Tacoma has it all. But every once in a while I get out to Lakewood, which is about 15 minutes away, by local bus ($2.75) just to view beautiful American Lake and the other bodies of water around the area.

Travel cheaply
….and this was only $3.75

Once you’ve hit the weekly and monthly milestones (and hopefully were wise with your money in that time frame), you can start setting your sites on quarterly trips that require flights. Even then, start close. I’ll keep using myself as an example: From Sea-Tac, I’ll be flying out to Vancouver, Canada for New Years (fingers crossed, but currently in the works!), which is about an hour long flight. Then in April of next year, I plan to fly out to New York (for my first time ever!).

When you break your traveling plans down like this, it makes it a lot easier to see just achievable it is to maintain that traveler’s high!

Travel Cheaply

Now that you have a better idea of a travel blueprint (more on my blueprint as I go out and create more experiences) not burdened by finances, let’s talk about saving money and traveling cheaply. While you’re out trying something new that’s close to you and you want the full-on experience (meaning you’ll be partaking in activities that render you incapable of legally driving), try walking part way, then taking an Uber or bus the rest of the way. This way, you won’t feel obligated to walk the whole way and you’ll be saving money by shortening your Uber or bus distance. Personally, I recommend using Google Maps Transit to find your nearest bus stops and utilize this handy way of cheap transportation if you’re blessed to live in a city or town that offers this service. Even better if there’s a train or light rail available!

Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier
Port of Tacoma/Mt. Rainier

As you start to expand out and travel fares logically go up, you can still keep the traveling cheap. I plan on taking bus route 605 all the way to Olympia for only $3.75. This beats the hell out of driving in traffic, plus, as I mentioned earlier, it gives you the option to have a few alcoholic beverages without worrying about driving!

Travel Can Be Affordable

You can travel at will. Don’t let money hold you back. This article was focused primarily on being financially savvy while traveling, but it does need to be noted that time is really the only thing that can truly keep us from experiencing the world around us. But with that being said, you have to ask yourself: whatever it is that is devouring so much of your precious time, is it worth it? Is it even worth the money you can’t spend experiencing new things around you? Only you truly know the answers to those questions of course. Not to mention only YOU pay your bills!

For my Holistic Health Coaching services related to travel therapy and money management, email me at Otherwise look for more articles about travel here on!

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved

What Traveling Alone Does For Your Soul

Everybody gets the traveling bug, but how do you feel about traveling alone? You finally muster up the courage to actually invest in a trip you’ve been planning for months. You start getting ecstatic as the plans become more in place. So much so that you begin extending invites. Soon a coworker is in for the ride. Then a close friend within your circle suddenly becomes available. Before you know it, you’ve got at least two cars worth of people ready for an awesome weekend!

But then you guys start coordinating plans. All of a sudden the way you imagined your trip going, it’s now quite the opposite. On the road, friends and coworkers start suggesting ideas and stops that were neither in your plan or budget. Of course, to keep the peace, you go along with the suggestions. Hell, some of these suggestions don’t even sound half bad.

However, despite branching off from original plans and having fun with your friends’ suggestions, you can’t help but feel like you didn’t really get out of the trip what you wanted. Maybe you imagined more bar hopping. Or you might have wanted to stay put in a town a lot longer than the time actually spent there. When it’s all said and done, these are the little details you can’t help but recall.

This is why traveling alone can be such a good thing.

How Traveling Alone Can Be Therapeutic

When you think of traveling, you often think of memories; all the goofy things that either yourself or your company will do. The new things you’ll see and explore together. The random, sometimes insane conversations on the way there and back. These are all, of course, valid reasons to invite the buddies. However, what if you just took off all by yourself? What if you just hit the open road with no one to worry about but yourself?

When I was stationed in England, I used to never imagine traveling by myself. For one, I was a youngin’ (18-20). Since the legal drinking age in England is 18 and our military abides by the host nation’s drinking laws, my attention was focused elsewhere. But when I did travel, I was never the one to come up with the idea. I never had the plans. I was always along for the ride if I were invited and always had an incredible time. Despite the good times, I never thought about just picking up and traveling alone when I had the chance. I mean, I was only stationed in one of the most popular well-known and historical countries in the world; one with neighboring countries just as rich and diverse in culture and history as itself.

Just Hit The Open Road

It wasn’t until I was getting ready to separate from the Air Force that I discovered the euphoric appeal of traveling alone. To get out of the house I stayed at in Vegas, one with four other residents, I had to drive. Just drive.

Sometimes it was just to run errands at the Wal Mart across the town in North Las Vegas. Other times it was to hit The Strip, have a few drinks, and talk with the tourists and locals. Then there were the times I just needed to hit the open road. I mean get the hell out of dodge.

Traveling alone in East Washington
Nothing better than being to yourself, music up, on the open road!

There aren’t too many things that beat being on the open road at 2 pm, your own choice of music blaring, and no destination in mind. All of a sudden your mind is unshackled. When you were once thinking of simple, obvious trips that tourists often go on every weekend, now you’re realizing that the world is truly yours to explore.

The Endless Possibilities Discovered When Traveling Alone

I’m drawing mostly off of my driving experience, but make no mistake I’ve done my share of alternative traveling as well. As majestic as it is to see the beautiful landscape from the air, there’s just something about being on the open road that can’t be beaten.

For one, you have the option of completely traveling alone when you’re on the road (unless of course, you’re a pilot). You have the complete freedom to be on your own time. Literally nobody to alter your plans and no other outside factor other than local weather to stop you from just doing.

After I got out of the military, one of the first things I did was use my new-found freedom to explore via driving, travel backpack in hand of course. With my hometown of Yuma, AZ only a 5 1/2 hour drive south and Phoenix only about 4, I was always hitting the road. Not to mention Los Angeles was only 4 1/2 hours west and San Diego 6 hours.

Some of us don’t mind solitude. In fact, most of us need that solitude. There is no other place you’ll find solitude, peace, and answers than traveling alone on the open road. Sometimes all I’d bring is another pair of underwear and shirt and call it a weekend. It wouldn’t even have to be that far from Vegas sometimes. One weekend, I spent the night out at the Red Rock Canyon Casino near the national park of the same name, about 25 minutes west of Las Vegas. There I had one of the greatest nights of my life just enjoying the luxuries of the casino and the surrounding beautiful scenery. Nowhere in the country will you find sedimentary rocks so finely colored and layered. All this and it was cheap and all by myself.

Discovering Yourself, Your Surroundings, And The World

Traveling alone definitely has its share of perks. Not only are you in control of your trip, you’re also in a judgement-free zone. Unless of course, your hardest critic is yourself, which isn’t a bad thing. Being by yourself while getting away, whether you’re the one driving or you’re taking other means of transportation, allows room for introspection.

And plenty of it.

Especially en route to somewhere new where you’re subjecting yourself to a different and unique experience. When you’re alone and exploring new places, you gain a level of respect and understanding of that place and culture. This is even if you’re just traveling only thirty minutes away from where you stay!

I’d say my favorite part about traveling alone is the “me time” I get. It doesn’t matter how I travel, whether I’m driving or if it’s by bus or airfare, I always figure so much out when I’m out there and undistracted. Undistracted is the keyword. There’s something to be said about the freedom of having an unoccupied mind. You add this to the fact that you’re about to go on a whole new journey with new pictures and experiences to share, and you can see how traveling alone can be therapeutic.

Try It Out For Yourself!

Discover the amazing, therapeutic experience of traveling alone. It may sound nerve-wracking at first, but when you wake up that morning already packed, do your final walk-around to check house security, and head out the door, you’ll quickly see that euphoria fills your mind, body, and soul almost instantly. Of course, I’m not saying don’t travel buddies. That too is one of the greatest joys on this blessed Earth. I am, however, saying don’t underestimate the beauty, pleasure, and unique experience traveling by yourself. Appreciate the break from your regular reality as well as your solitude and independence. Take this time to regroup, meditate, breathe, and focus on the moment. Come back to yourself and cherish your current situation. Then come back home and share your experience through pictures, writing, and stories!

I hope you enjoyed my reasons why traveling alone is good for the soul. For more stories and articles like this one and other lifestyle story and tips, be sure to follow my lifestyle and recreation blog at!

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved



3 Simple Tips For Traveling Light

Traveling light is more challenging than many of us think. We could literally come up with a laundry list of things to bring with us on our adventures. Some things that come to mind include books/magazines, travel pillows, and half of our wardrobe. Sure, traveling with a cozy neck pillow is ideal as is having options to wear at your destination, but do you really need it? How much space would you save if you just used a sweater instead?

Although most of the time we could bring half of our homes with us, it winds up being counterproductive. Have you ever gotten off the plane to your destination, giddy with excitement, only to realize you still have more luggage to carry on top of your carry-on? There have been a few times where I arrived at my destination with two carry-ons and two larger pieces of luggage waiting at baggage claim. Why?

With that being said, there are good reasons why traveling light is a great idea. You may be wondering exactly what would be the best items to bring. This question doesn’t have a right or wrong answer, but I will share with you key things that I bring with me on my regular endeavors.

Image result for traveling light

Always Have Toiletries

This may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much travelers spend on small item toiletries. These items include toothpaste, a toothbrush, tissues, toilet paper, brushes, combs, deodorant, cologne/perfume, etc. Of course, not all of these items apply for every trip you take. For example, you wouldn’t need to bring toilet paper with you to a hotel paid for by your company, but you would need a roll or two for a weekend out at the lake.

To keep your toiletries light, remember to bring only what you feel you will definitely use. If you’re only gone for the weekend, there’s no need to bring with you a full stick of toothpaste and deodorant. This is where buying the mini travel packs come in handy. Believe it or not, packing the pint-sized versions of these toiletries goes such a long way in saving space in your backpack!

Bring Your Chargers

Nowadays, it’s pretty tough to travel anywhere without bringing any of your electronic devices. Whether it’s your laptop, smartphone, tablet, or a combination of the three, our electronics have become a part of our daily lives. I dare say that it’s a necessity in this day in age to carry at least one of these technology devices. With that being said, it’s important that you always bring your chargers! There’s no worse feeling than hitting the open road and double-checking your backpack, only to suddenly realize you didn’t wrap up your laptop charger.

Well, maybe you’ll luck out and there will be a computer room at the hotel you’re staying at.

Invest In A Good Backpack

Last, but certainly not least, when traveling light, be sure to invest in a really good, sturdy mid-sized backpack. The backpack should have at least 2 medium and large-sized compartments with a few front and side pouches. The reason these items are a must when buying a backpack is that these compartments will be absolutely stuffed. Every nook and cranny of space will be filled. Why? Because this is literally the only bag you’re going to bring.

Sounds impossible right? You may be thinking this can’t happen on a week-long business trip: Sure it can! Remember you’re bringing only what you need. Think about it: You’re already wearing some clothes and a pair of shoes at the airport. You may need just another pair of shoes, two pairs of work clothes, and maybe another pair of hotel clothes, and you’re all set! Despite the seemingly heavy load, this all can fit in a nice mid-sized sturdy backpack.

Traveling Light Is Not As Bad As You Think

Traveling light can be easier said than done. However, when you put it in perspective, all of the things listed above are really all you need. You have your toiletries for hygiene, your chargers for all of your electronics, and a sturdy mid-sized bag that you can still bring with you as carry-on luggage. When laid out like this, what more could you ask for?

For more travel tips as well as health and fitness articles, be sure to explore more of my lifestyle blog site at!

For transparency purposes, this article includes affiliate links. I will receive compensation from purchases resulting from provided links.

I do not own any photos in this article.

Copyright (c) 2017, All Rights Reserved

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