“I won’t tell you how to get from point A to point B but I will tell you about what happened to me between point A and point B,” Andrew explains in the “About Me” section of his website:beatthegrind.com. He travels the world, with the self-appointed mission of avoiding his comfort zone en route.
In other words: he’s left his fish tank to swim in the ocean. That’s how he words it in the biography section of his Instagram account, @beatthegrind, anyway. And a quick glance at his gallery of photos — with images from Mostar to Melbourne, from Myanmar to Mexico City — seems to confirm the claim.
Could it be true, then? Has Andrew really figured out how to “beat the grind?”
Wit, Depth & Daring
I personally first came across @beatthegrind, aka Andrew Schultz, on Instagram. What made me a follower? He’s an adventurer and a good photographer, for sure. But there are plenty of adventurous folks who take nice pictures on IG. Therefore I’d say it was something extra.
Today is a special day because it marks a big milestone for me. It’s the one-year (plus one day!) anniversary of my having published my very first blog post. In other words, it’s my very first blogiversary. YAY!
That very first post was aptly titledIt’s About Damn Time, because it took me so long to launch the dang thing. But anyway, I thought I would celebrate this feat by doing a quick and dirty year in review and also by looking ahead at new goals for the future.
Well, for me, the fact that I even started this thing at all was a huge accomplishment! I knew nothing about creating a website when the debatably brilliant idea came to me that I should make one. So, I had to learn. Luckily there are lots of tutorials and articles online to help someone like me. I’m still quite the novice at this website stuff, but hey, I’ve made it work for my purposes so far.
Sometimes, shit comes out of my mouth, and I don’t know where it comes from. I’ll be thinking one thing, but something completely different will escape my gob. Usually it’s something embarrassing.
Does that ever happen to you?
A random Intro!
Maybe that’s why I like writing as a form of communication. It gives me time to think about and to craft exactly what I want to say. I’m not a fast enough thinker to be able to come off as elegantly in verbal communication!
Therefore, I really admire those who are gifted orators. For example: the genius that is Russell Brand. I appreciate his quick wit and the vast trove of vocabulary he has at the tips of his clever-little neurons.
See exhibit A: an interview improvisation where Brand brilliantly impersonates Willam Shakespeare. True genius. (He really starts to get warmed up a few minutes into it — worth watching the whole thing if you’re fascinated by verbal gymnastics and equally captivated by the bizarre.)
Perhaps I have a somewhat decent-sized vocabulary (nothing compared to Brand’s), but at times it takes me ten-plus minutes to think of the word I want to use! Which isn’t very conducive to verbal dexterity! The darn words often get stuck at the tip of my tongue, and — “ain’t nobody got time for that!”
“Coffee or tea?” Abdul asked when I entered the breakfast room. It was November 30th. I had woken up, gotten ready, and gone to breakfast as usual that morning — although it was anything but a usual day.
“Coffee, thank you.” I sat at one of the breakfast tables and unwrapped a few slices of my gluten-free bread on which I generously spread the butter, honey, and jam Mohammed had laid out.
Abdul came later, with the coffee. And I thought, as I sipped, about what the day might bring. Abdul had been helping at breakfast that morning and was also there to ensure everything went smoothly for my excursion.
Not your typical excursion: after breakfast I was scheduled to meet the English-speaking driver Abdul had organized to assist me on my mission. We would depart the Fez Medina and head east to try to find the forty-plus-year-old address of my birth father, who passed away thirty-seven years ago in Germany at the young age of thirty-two.
Half way through breakfast I realized I was feeling fairly tense. I really did not know what to think that morning. It’s only natural that I was full of the feels. After all, I had only been wondering what I might find at that address since I was eight. What would the day bring? I had no idea. Continue reading “Morocco Beckons: Finding My Roots”
Recently I found myself back in Germany, only two-hundred kilometers northwest of my birthplace (Mainz) in the city of Düsseldorf, strolling along the Rhine River with my friend,Tracy. I’d first met Tracy at a German-language meet-up in Seattle over seven years earlier, before she moved back East, to Boston.
These days Tracy’s been living abroad in Deutschland, working on her PhD, and exercising her general awesomeness in day-to-day life. So, I was super-excited to be able to catch up with her in Düsseldorf — a Germanic metropolis I hadn’t yet visited. Being able to explore a new town and meet up with an admired friend makes a great travel twofer in my book!
Wilkommen in Düsseldorf
I arrived in Düsseldorf on November 20th, and my plan was to spend a little over a week in Germany, visiting family as well as some parts I hadn’t wandered through in over 18 years — back when I was learning German in Limburg an der Lahn and in Wiesbaden.