Big News: We Are Headed Back to Atlanta!

For those of you that haven’t been privy to my weekly rantings about how horrible the job market is, how saturated the applicant pools are, and how tough it has been to keep my head on straight… I finally found a job. Not to worry, it only took a full year of looking.

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I will be employed by the Westminster Schools in Atlanta as a biology and environmental science teacher for the coming school year. I will be teaching four classes of 11th or 12 graders. The Westminster Schools are one of the top independent schools in the Atlanta area and boasts class sizes of ~15 students, state of the art athletic facilities, copious professional development opportunities for teachers, and unique learning environments (e.g., a greenhouse, organic garden, and a creek running through the property). One of the things I will be focusing on is trying to contribute a projects- and inquiry-based environment to my and other science classrooms based on my experience with those learning techniques at the college level. It will probably take a while to adjust to the high school setting, but I am very excited to become a part of the Westminster community.

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Asa and I are both very excited to be headed back to Atlanta come July. Asa will likely be playing with Chain Lightening again for the club ultimate season and I will hopefully be training for a half marathon with old running buddies. In the coming months we’ll be looking for a place to live in the Atlanta area; hopefully where we can stay a 1 car family. Although it still feels like we are in some kind of limbo, it’s nice to know that we have a place we need to be and a purpose for being there!

Stay tuned for a future post about some observations I made while job hunting.

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Chamblin Bookmine

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When my friend came to visit a couple weeks ago, we also took a field trip to the Chamblin Bookmine. The Chamblin Bookmine is a new and used book store. It’s not necessarily the best place to find cheap books (all of their used books are half off the cover price), but if you are looking for an old or unique title, or 30 copies of Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club, you’ll be sure to find it at Chamblin. It is also a great place to “get lost” in books. There are nooks and crannies filled with titles including a closet without a door containing every Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew novel ever written. I found about 40 copies of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gastby in the classics section. They also have new books and books for every school list in the area displayed prominently near the registers.

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Chamblin also functions as a book exchange. They will accept used books in exchange for a small amount of store credit. They also have numerous rare books that can be viewed on their website.

Wandering through Chamblin reminded me of my first week on campus at UC Santa Barbara so long ago. I went to the campus library several times during my first week. I never went to do actual work (that came later in my college career). I went to “get lost” in the stacks. I found copies of the journal Science dating back to the early 1900’s just sitting there on the shelves, I found a reading room on the top floor with a view of the ocean, I found maps of strange places. It was an eye-opening experience that I could have so many books at my fingertips, and near limitless knowledge within my grasp. I got that same feeling at Chamblin, like I could pick up any title and it would make me smarter in some way.

I would definitely recommend a trip to the Chamblin Bookmine if you are in the Jacksonville area and like books. They definitely have something for everyone!

Jacksonville Zoo

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I had a friend come and visit a couple weeks ago and we took a trip to the Jacksonville Zoo. When I first got to Jacksonville, my mom and I went to the Zoo and were both pleasantly surprised about it’s size, the activity of the animals, the set up, and the quality of the enclosures. They also have a great collection and diversity of animals. The next time I went with Asa and the rest of my family when they were here for the holidays. I picked up a yearly pass with a +1 visitor who can be anyone. It is a pretty fantastic deal.

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Anyway, my friend and I wandered over to the zoo during the only non-rainy part of the weekend. The animals, as always, were happy and active (except for those warthogs, they are always asleep). We high-tailed it out of there when it started to rain, but not before I got some good pictures of the animals.

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Worlds Tryout Wrap-Up

I wrote a bit about Asa’s tryout for Team USA over on our fitness page. Check it out if you’re interested in how he felt about the tryout and want to read a couple great articles from USA Ultimate about the tryout process on the East Coast and meet the final Team. You can find the post over at fitness.halupi.us or just click on the Fitness link at the top of the page.

Back for 2013, Just a Little Late

So I think the last place we left you was with Matt in Thailand and Asa and I in some kind of crazy limbo living situation.

Well, I am happy to report that we moved into a nice two bedroom apartment near the beach in Jacksonville. We are planning on being here until August when I will surely have a job. Regardless of the job situation, we will find ourselves seeking a new abode somewhere.

Being near the beach is great and we are within biking distance of the grocery store, the gym, the bank, restaurants, the beach, and a dog park. Riding our bikes has been great and we hope to keep up the habit regardless of where we end up.

In other news, Asa will be trying out for Team USA (Ultimate Frisbee) in a couple weeks. This year’s competition is called the World Games and it will be held in August in Cali, Colombia. The USA is taking a 13 person mixed gender squad to compete. We’ll keep you posted on any news we hear.

With that, I think I’ve caught you up on the major events of the past couple months (yeah, not a lot going on). I will try to be better with posting fun stuff we do around Jacksonville. I even pulled out and charged my camera in anticipation!

I’ll just leave you with some nice pics of the St. Augustine Turtle Trot (5K) that Asa’s mom and I ran together a couple weeks ago. I won third place in my age group and got an awesome hand-carved wooden turtle medal (that the cat promptly knocked of our table and the dog promptly ate!).

Us after the race!

Us after the race!

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The beach at St. Augustine. Flat, warm, and sandy!

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Cars are allowed to drive/park on the beach as long as they have 4-wheel drive and pay the parking fee. I had to laugh at the little sedan that we saw driving down there. Hope they didn’t get stuck!

Matt’s 2012 in Review

A Year of Uncertainty and Adventure

In January 2012, I left my job, sold almost all of my belongings, and said bye to family and friends to embark on a journey that I had no clue where it would take me.

In January 2013, I’m still on that journey, living on the opposite side of the world. This journey is transforming into a way of life, and different way of seeing the world.

We’re at a point in time that the internet allows us to create our own jobs, live anywhere in the world and work whoever we choose. Luckily, I’ve been able to keep in touch with friends and family online no matter where I’m at in the World. Skype, Google Hangout, social media, and this blog have been great at helping us keep in touch. PS: Thanks Randi for writing so much and pushing Asa and I to write a couple posts! 🙂

Here it is…

January was a month of getting rid of the last of my belongings (thanks to advice from Joshua and Ryan) and saying bye to friends, family, my job, most hobbies. Luckily, friends are always willing to throw a party, especially if it means it’s the last time they’ll see you in many months if not years.

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Thanks for the yummy cookie cake Michelle

I moved down to Palermo, Uruguay with Asa and Randi. They were pretty much the main reason I’m doing this. If they didn’t decide it would be alright for me to join them, I might have never made the trip. Asa and Randi, I owe you guys the World. You guys freakin’ rock! I hope you will come visit one day!

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This is a good hair day!

I became conversational in spanish down there. We could have probably been fluent in spanish in 3 months, but making fun of each other in English was so much fun.

I was bad at taking pictures in South America. I’m blaming it on the fact that I didn’t have a working camera most of the time since the lens’ dinner of choice was sand.

Carnival in Uruguay!!

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Candle Festival in Montevideo, Uruguay. They send boats with candles, flowers, and decorations into the water for good luck.

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I met Carlos, JuanMa, and Maru in Palermo after finding out there was ultimate frisbee in Uruguay. Luckily they spoke enough English to communicate with us.

12-hour travel to play in the Bahia Blanca Beach hat tourney

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I sang karaoke with 4 others in front of hundreds (it was the US National Anthem)

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Champions!

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I wrestled an alligator (crocodile)

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Hey Mom! I’m a foreign TV star… in 2 countries!

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I played in 4 Ultimate Frisbee tournaments outside of the US

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In the voice of 300 Spartans… This is CIMARRON!

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The AFDC and Spin Ultimate made it possible to donate 80 discs and jerseys to help South America further Ultimate Frisbee as a sport

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I learned to salsa in Argentina at 4am. (I wouldn’t call it learning, more like drunken wobbling side to side)

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We played fun tournament games

I learned how to play the piano… with my feet!

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I had another going away party. This time it was for leaving Uruguay.

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Viva Las Vegas!

I got back together with the family in Vegas. I went to my Sister’s and Blake’s (now brother-in-law!) wedding. It was a gorgeous and awesome wedding. It was a lot of fun. I lost money at poker (it was overdue) but had a blast with Derek, Blake’s family and my family! So many good times and fun things happened.

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Yum! In-N-Out Burger with a creeper in the background.

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Ziplining with Dad in Vegas!

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Off to Puerto Galera

After too much excitement in Vegas, I headed out to Puerto Galera, Philippines to get together with a bunch of people from the DC and the TropicalMBA. Joining the DC was probably the biggest game changer this year as far as business is concerned. I won’t talk about that now.

In Puerto Galera, I caught some amazing sunrises, had a birthday applechicken with the crew at Badladz and tried to swim with Dolphins.

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Birthday chicken apple lunch!!

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Taking a short break from work!

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Beautiful view of Puerto Galera from the top of the jungle trek

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Rented a villa with 2 friends for half a week in Puerto Galera. Our Dive master picked us up from our dock!

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Survived a water buffalo ride!

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The crew chillin on the beach

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Tuk tuk transportation

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Trying to swim with some dolphins

After this, I headed back to Manila for a few days to meet with some friends.

I slept on a boat in Manila

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Enjoyed the Manila Skyline at night

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Off to Bangkok, Thailand!

After the Philippines, I flew over to Bangkok for a big meetup of about 70-80 Dynamite Circle members from all around the World.

This was my view for three days in Bangkok.

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We met for three days in a convention center. I met people who hide from the public, well-known influencers, people just starting out on their entrepreneurial journey, and established ballers who are all living the lifestyle of their choice from wherever they want around the World.

I was bad at taking pictures here.

In Chiang Mai

Posing at a temple

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Words of wisdom at a temple

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Met up with Joel within my first few weeks in Chiang Mai. I was introduce to Melina and Orn then, two awesome people. Robert was laughing so hard he forgot to open his eyes.

Sick mustache, Joel.

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Marvin was traveling through so we went to the sticky waters where you can climb them. We decided some sort of Yoga pose would be best.

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Cliff jumping in Chiang Mai.

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Lantern release – sending bad thoughts away. Bringing in good thoughts.

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Thousands of lanterns released at Yi Peng lantern festival during Loi Krathong. This moment was incredible. At one point in time, I couldn’t even see the sky there were so many lanterns right above my head.

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Celebrating Turkey day with Apple Pie Shots

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Temple in Chiang Mai

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Manila Spirits 2012

Cabs R Here losing the 3rd place game to Derek Ramsey in Rock-Paper-Scissors

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Was introduced through a Sam to Sam. Played with him in Manila

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Dancing with the Aussies and Canadian!

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Photobomb #1 – Beer me!

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Photobomb #2 – epic makeout scene

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Photobomb #3 – Like a Boss

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Surviving the Mayan Apocalypse in style!

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Taking pictures of myself… as always

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Cabs R Here!!!

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What the Deuce in Chiang Mai’s first ultimate frisbee league.

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Family sent me awesome christmas presents!!

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White elephant present – awesome Thailand Tshirt

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Meeting up with cousins Jimmy and Janie and friend Sandy after their domination runs in Chiang Mai.

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Coffee at Ristr8o with the #DCCM crew on Christmas day

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White elephant gift exchange

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Christmas day street food dinner with cousins Jimmy and Janie!

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Some lessons learned:

People all around you have a strong influence on who you are as a person. Surround yourself with people you look up.

Different cultures around the World can take a while to adapt to. By having a strong core, open eyes and ears, and the ability to see other’s points of view, you can go extremely far in life and be extremely successful (no matter what “success” means to you).

When you let yourself be open to opportunity, doors start showing up in front of you and you just have to choose which ones your going to open and which path your going to go down.

Learning a language is hard, but you’ll get a lot more respect and your stay will be easier if you learn some basic language and show you’re trying. You’ll also get good mental benefits from learning to speak a new language.

Leverage your hobbies to create strong and lasting friendships wherever you go.

There is something unique about Ultimate Frisbee and spirit of the game. If you play ultimate frisbee, make sure to look for ultimate everywhere you go. You will instantly create awesome friends and people all around. I have made so many friends this past year through ultimate and everyone is awesome in their own way. Whether I was partying in Uruguay at 6am with you, dancing/drinking in Argentina, surviving the Apocalypse with the Aussies in Manila, or playing league in Chiang Mai, you guys have been freaking awesome!

This journey would not be the same without ultimate and all the people I’ve met playing ultimate along the way. If there is anything I can ever do for you guys, you know where to contact me!

The same can be said for anyone in the DC. #DCCM, you guys rock! I’ve had a blast in Chiang Mai. Now, it’s time to move it to #DCPai and get more serious about health, fitness, work, and productivity.

It’s not as easy as it seems…

Going out and traveling sure does seem like fun, but there are a lot things that make it difficult. In the beginning, you have to give up on a lot of things like going out and drinking with friends a lot, skipping over to another country for fun, doing expensive dinners. You really have to be the boring friend sometimes who sits inside on a Friday evening and throughout the weekend getting the work done. Your good friends will understand, but most won’t.

Whatever you do, just make sure you follow Derek Sivers’ motto: it’s either “HELL Yeah! or no.”

Most people won’t understand what you do. They see the great pictures, the travel, the fun, but they don’t understand the struggles and the work you do.

Leaving friends is hard. Sure, I’ve made great friends along the way, but with everyday I make a new friend, that’s a day that’s passed that I haven’t seen an old friend from backhome.

The hardest part is probably leaving family. Luckily I can video chat and skype with my family back home, but it’s definitely hard celebrating birthdays, holidays, especially Christmas without the family. Technology doesn’t always work and frustrating times come along that. You just have to accept the fact that s#!@ happens sometimes and there will be another time to say hi!

You have to be like water in a stream, flowing over and around the rocks, the hard times. I think there’s a Chinese proverb about that.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned this whole trip, and it’s something I knew and learned from Mo, quality relationships are pretty much the most important things in life. Without trust, friendship, support, prodding, and pushing from peers, mentors, mentees, friends, family, others, life can be A LOT harder than it has to be.

Go out and create great relationships. Keep in touch, help others, and connect people when you can! Be good to others.

I could write this post about business stuff, finances, etc, but the most important thing to me is connecting, helping, and having fun with people.

2012 was a year of travel and creating incredible friendships. 

I’m looking forward to 2013 to be a year of creating and deepening relationships and fine tuning my habits and rituals to be more productive and grow my business efforts this year. 
Don’t worry, Mom! I’ll work on taking more and better pictures and keeping everyone updated!

2013 is a year for shipping. Get your work out! Go big or go home (going home isn’t an option here). Do something that matters and the world will reward you for it.

Jacksonville Light Parade

This year Asa and I were privileged to be a part of the Light Parade here in Jacksonville. It is a festival of sorts where local boat owners decorate their boats with lights and parade them around the St. Johns River in downtown JAX. The parade of boats is then followed by one of the best fireworks shows of the year. There are competitions for a variety of boat classes to see who will take home the prize. Rumor has it that in past years the prizes consisted of boat motor oil. While not a very glamorous prize, it certainly is practical!

Anyway, Asa and I were commandeered to help out in the boat of a family friend. She ingeniously decorated her boat in lights shaped like an octopus and needed help moving legs (yes a lot of legs!) and changing colors of the remarkably large octopus body.

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It was certainly a site to behold from the dock and close up on the boat, but was even more astounding in videos taken from the shore.

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“Octopus’s Garden” by the Beatles was also on repeat and blaring from speakers on the deck of the boat, hopefully loud enough for those on the shore to enjoy.

Check out this awesome video of the light parade on youtube!

After we made our two mandatory loops around the downtown area, we settled in at a local dock nestled between two of the downtown bridges to enjoy the fireworks. We had the perfect spot to enjoy the “waterfalls” of fireworks set off from both bridges during the firework finale.

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It was a fantastic night out on the water! Oh yeah, the octopus won first place in the sailboat category!