This blog marks 5 years in a row of writing my yearly review
Every year I do a recap on this blog. It’s been a good way to remind myself of how I spent my time and it usually makes me very grateful when reflecting.
This year was not my most financially productive, but it was my most adventurous.
Every year of everyone’s lives include ups and downs. For me this year was the most surprising of each, I had some very difficult downs, and the most unsuspecting ups.
Miss Kate and I got engaged
I traveled more this year than most people will in a lifetime
I moved to Charlotte
The people I spent my time with (networking) are some the best humans and most accomplished humans I’ve ever met
My dad died
I bought zero new investment real estate
I wrote the fewest blogs or newsletters
I’m in the worst shape of my adult life
The job with Climb Capital didn’t work out
The word of the year is BIGGER
On January 1st I decided my word of the year would be BIGGER and I had it in my mind every day. Here is what it means to me:
Think of our comfort zone as a circle, my goal in life is to expand that circle as big as possible. The more time we spend in one small place on earth with a small group of friends and a small world view, more things become scary to us, more things offend us or make us insecure, and the smaller our dreams become.
I want big dreams, I want to solve big problems, I want to be scared of very few things, and I want to have the most abundant mindset possible. To do this I must expand my comfort zone relentlessly, I must make it bigger.
The year of Bigger is not about more money, more things, or even bigger goals, it’s been about creating the biggest possible world view. If you have 2 friends in life and they are both toxic, your world becomes toxic. If you’ve never left the united states, you only understand how 4% of the world population lives, you have no idea what life is like for 7.7 Billion other people. If you say no to everything that is scary, you will always be scared.
I’ve seen a bit of the world before this year, but in 2022 I traveled more than ever. I did a lot of new and scary things, I made new friends that are far far (hilariously) more successful than me, and I thrived during all of this.
You can thrive in a bigger world too, you just have to be a little uncomfortable
The 2022 visual journey
I was incredibly fortunate to spend most of the year traveling the world with my camera and for most of it getting paid to do so
The final tally was 5 foreign countries and ~22 US cities
Let it be said that this year came with a cost: I didn’t make as much progress in real estate or my net worth as I would have liked, but each person will have to decide from these pictures if this is a worthy trade.
Also, I’m pretty sure most people want money for financial freedom, not to become a super wealthy mogul. If this is you, I want to remind clearly that the point of this blog was to document my journey of going from BROKE AS SHIT ONLY 8 YEARS AGO to being able to spend an entire year galavanting the earth with my camera while living off real estate income.
THIS IS POSSIBLE FOR ANYONE
First stop in January was Pensacola to see the team at Climb Capital. I was really hoping this opportunity would work out and it just wasn’t as good a fit as I had hoped. I am not designed to work remotely and the team and I didn’t mesh as well as anyone had hoped
At least I got this gorgeous panorama from it 😉
I flew to Los Angeles to see TOOL, who has been my favorite band since I was 16 years old and continues to be my favorite band today. A friend of mine told me he had 2 nearly front row seats already and was waiting for the universe to give him a Tool superfan to come with him, a very TOOL fan thing to do, and now we are lifelong friends.
I got this epic shot of my friend Clint Harris standing at the Gaylord Oprey hotel in Denver.
Like most of my shots, this was unplanned. He was standing there, it was sunset, and he was deeply pondering this future
This shot ended up representing a pivotal moment of change in his life, which makes me incredibly grateful I was able to capture it.
It’s every photographers dream to capture the northern lights and this year I was able to do exactly that when I went to Iceland
I also saw a ton of waterfalls and had a friend snap this unbelievably epic picture of me standing in front of a cave waterfall
I went back to Denver for the BiggerPockets Rookie Conference where we hosted our first ever official LobbyCon!
LobbyCon is what happens when all the cool people at a conference leave the event and hang out in the lobby bar and drink
This is my very very good friend Alexandra, she hosts all the events for BiggerPockets
Ever been to Milwaukee?
I never thought I would go there but a friend asked me to fly out and take some pics of an event he was at so I went and it is LOVELY city. Highly recommend
I went to New Orleans for a wedding
Then anothir big trip came
In late 2021 I was dating Miss Kate for a while, and her dad asked if I wanted to go on a 6 week hike in Spain called the Camino de Santiago. He and I had never spent much time together and we were concerned that 6 weeks with a stranger can manifest a lot of hatred, so 1 week was probably more appropriate
We hiked 80 miles from Ferrol Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. We slept in group hostels, lived out of our backpacks, and made international friends. It was a life changing experience to say the least
We used our hike to gain some attention and raise $6,000 for Children’s Cancer research and one of the perks for the top donors was a large photo print from my trip. This ended up being the photo I sent out
From Spain I went right to Germany and met up with my lovely Miss Kate. Look at this castle we found!
We also went to a REAL German renaissance festival. In America we can only do kitsch recreations of renaissance, but in Europe it’s quite authentic and surreal.
My friend Pam took this picture of us dressed up there
I went to the magnificent Renault Winery in New Jersey to make some content with my buddy Josh McCallen and caught this sunrise shot on the golf course
I went on a road trip with my Dad to Gettysburg, a place he’d always wanted to go. We had a great trip, but this would ultimately be the last time I saw my father. I didn’t get a single picture of us together on this and I regret it deeply.
I don’t say this to be bleak, but as an important reminder that money will only ever fix money problems. The rest of life’s problems are much more complex and difficult to handle.
I moved to Charlotte NC!
for the last 2 years I’ve lived in Fayetteville, a small town in NC that I’m not super excited about.
I’m too big for a small town, I’m really excited about the opportunity that comes from living in a city full of growth
In 2013 I found BiggerPockets and it changed my life in unspeakable ways
In 2018 I was a guest on their extremely famous podcast
and in 2022 the (no ex) host of that podcast Brandon Turner asked me to come to his house in Maui for 2 weeks and create some content with him
It was unbelievable
San Diego for BiggerPockets Conference 2022
This is easily my biggest event of the year
November brought us to Cartagena, Colombia
It wasn’t my favorite trip of the year due to rain most of the time we were there. That said, I’m a master of capturing small magical moments like this one.
My favorite picture of Miss Kate yet. A completely unplanned picture of her twirling and dancing down the streets of Colombia. Her optimism and enthusiasm are busting at the seams and the colors are fantastic.
On the very last day we went out for pictures despite the rain. My friend Lily captured this epic photo of me dipping Miss Kate
We intend to recreate this image throughout our travels for years to come
I was home for ONE DAY after Colombia and immediately went to Eugene Oregon for a road rally down to Mexico and all the cars were ~$2,000 beaters. It was ultimately cut short before finishing but I made some wonderful friends and got some great shots along the way.
In late November I went to Guatemala for a project I put together called “The Beacon”. An adventure networking retreat that turned out to be a wild success. 11 people came to Central America to climb a grueling volcano, go zip lining, ride ATV’s through crowded city streets, and more!
I got some of my best shots of the year while here. Guatemala was never on my bucket list but now it’s one of my favorite places on earth
and Miss Kate and I recreated our dip in downtown Antigua
If this seems like a whirlwind of travel I assure you it was even more difficult to enact. Lots of airports, lots of lost habits, lots of chaos, and I didn’t even include all of the places I went.
That said, I’m so grateful and I hope this can be a motivator for you to travel or just live a bigger life, one on your terms
The word of the year 2023
2022 was the year of Bigger and I feel confident that I accomplished it to the highest possible degree
I saw the earth, my network grew to unbelievable new reaches, I proposed to the love of my life, but life (at least for me) is not about galavanting the world. These were all incredible growth processes, but travel and networking can just as easily be outlets of escapism as they can be tools for growth.
I don’t want to escape, I want to grow, so
In 2023, the word of the year is Homestead
This means staying home and getting back to the basic habits of fitness, finding and investing in new deals, participating in the local community here in Charlotte, building a life with Miss Kate, writing more on this blog, and trying to solve problems for people in my social group.
How can we work together in 2023
I am a hyper social person and I recognize deeply that everything I’ve ever been successful at has been due to a team effort.
This year I’ll be producing more content, writing more newsletters, buying more real estate, and trying to add value to you each week, but also trying to express exactly how you can participate with me
I will have investing deals in 2023, so if you want to invest in multifamily real estate, reach out to me
If you want to join my book club and read philosophical fiction about humanity, morality, and culture, you can do so HERE
Stay tuned for more!