Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I'm documenting my volunteer work and travels through a series of letters to family and friends while on the road. I hope you can stay a while - make yourself at home. 

Andy - 9,084 miles, 508 hours

Andy - 9,084 miles, 508 hours

Dear Andy,

A quick Google search for the word bland returns the following definition: “lacking strong features or characteristics and therefore uninteresting.”

My recent stop-over in Los Angeles served as a bit of a vacation from my sabbatical. Kind of an absurd thing when you think about it given I am working far less during my trip than before. But I think it served as a much-needed time to relax, and solidify my understanding of that which I really enjoy doing on a daily basis. In talking to one of my colleagues that took a sabbatical a year or two back, he said one of the most impactful parts of his sabbatical was to just take it easy and recharge a little bit, and I couldn't agree more. 

For the four weekdays that you had to head into work, my daily routine was close to the same each day and ideal if I do say so myself. Every day started with me waking up fresh off of seven to eight hours of sleep. Getting proper amounts of consistent sleep is something I've never done in my entire life up until this trip. I was always the guy that could run on three to five hours a night. While I think that helps to accomplish goals at times, doing it consistently really takes a toll on one's health. I hope to continue to get at least seven hours a night when I go back to work, and to keep seeing the improvements in physical health that I feel are attributed to it. 

Once I wake up, I begin my morning routine. It starts with checking my email, socials, and the news. Lame, I know, but it's one of the few things I've found that kicks me out of my hazy morning mood without getting out of bed. After that it's on to breakfast, followed by meditation, breathing exercises, and positive affirmations. The last is really just reading quotes I've handpicked that I think will set my mind right for the day to accomplish whatever it is I'm chasing after. This morning practice is something I've long wanted to do and it feels good to finally say I've made it a habit. It only takes anywhere from a half hour to an hour depending on how much time I have, but I've really found it making a profound impact on how I tackle the day and interact with others throughout the day.

After the morning routine is over I'd head out to the cafe to work for a few hours and grab lunch, and then off to the climbing gym or yoga studio for a couple hours. If there's been one single thing in the past two years that I've gotten large amounts of happiness and stress relief from, it is most definitely working on my fitness (he's my witness). I'm feeling stronger and healthier each and every day, and I think I can confidently say I've found a habit that I intend to keep for life. After the gym it was time for healthy eats for dinner followed by some kind of hangs with you and friends around LA. Cap the night off with an episode of Stranger Things and then we're back to getting eight hours again.

I recognize that few days in LA were idealistic and unlikely to keep up once I get back to work, but I'm happy I was able to better understand what I truly enjoy in my everyday. I'm going to do my best to keep things up, and if I start to falter you better believe I'll be coming back to you to set me back on the path. Health and happiness over work at all costs; that's something I'll always be able to take away from the book of Andy. 

Given you are probably still riding high on nailing that Fergie reference, I'll try to close things out here so we can end with that big Andy Bear smile still on your face. To say my most recent time spent in LA was bland, would be an incorrect statement twice over in relation to the definition I stated before. As detailed, my day to day was most certainly not lacking strong characteristics, and I don’t think there is such a thing as an uninteresting moment with you chief. Especially when the road to the Second Annual Dunit Convention takes place at 8,000 feet. 

Love,

Jonathan

Gram - 9,242 miles, 508 hours

Gram - 9,242 miles, 508 hours

Mitch - 8,164 miles, 508 hours

Mitch - 8,164 miles, 508 hours