What a ride it’s been. When I set out on this adventure a few months ago, I knew I was going to have the experience of a lifetime, but I could never have predicted what would come of it. I’ve come back from what I hope is only a very small part of what will become a lifelong adventure, and at this point I honestly have more questions than answers. The one thing I do know, unequivocally, is that this is what I am supposed to be doing. This is the way my life is supposed to go. I’m not destined for a cubicle. I’m probably not destined to live a life of luxury and riches either. Both of these sit well with me. I am, however, destined to be happy, and happiness is what I’ve found.

I still have a ton of writing to do about my time in Brasil. I have some things already written that just need some editing and I hope to get those published soon. Since I’ve been back in the United States I’ve had a whirlwind of a time jumping around to catch up with friends while simultaneously trying to figure out things like where I’ll live and how I’ll live there. For most people this stress I’m assuming would be unbearable, but that’s part of what keeps me going I think. I’ve also started more classes in my Master’s program, so that will take up quite a bit of my time as well.

I can say that I do have a portion of my first book completed, which will be a tourism and culture guide to Rio de Janeiro from my point of view. I hope to release it within the next few weeks, and hopefully all of you reading here will be interested enough in my writing to give it a chance. I don’t like writing as a job, but instead as a passion. The problem with writing as a passion is that if it’s not there, well, then it’s not there. You have to have that creative spark. I think I started to become mentally exhausted with moving back to the states and some other things going on, but the spark is back, and I’m excited to get my thoughts out to all three of you who actually read my blog!

All jokes aside, I’m happy to announce that my next trip will be back to Brasil, and it will be within the next few months. I had planned on going to Thailand to train in Muay Thai, however I’ve now realized my true passion is with grappling, no matter how bad I may be at it. I do still have aspirations of competing in mixed martial arts as well, but I’ve decided that the grappling portion of my game is where I want my focus to be, and I can gain plenty of knowledge in the standup game in Brasil as well, whereas I don’t feel like I can have the best of both worlds in Thailand.

This trip will not, however, be to Rio. I’ve decided to travel to Curitiba for my next trip. There are a few circumstances that have led to this decision. One, I like to visit new places. I will definitely make a stop in Rio for awhile to visit Dennis and everyone else at Gordo Jiu Jitsu and Connection Rio, but I feel like I want to expand on where I’ve traveled. It will provide more content for my writing, but it’s also just more fun that way. The training in Curitiba is top notch as well.

The other reason I’m traveling to Curitiba is there is a very special lady there that I can’t wait to see. I’m not very vocal about my dating life on this blog. This is mainly because I gave up on dating awhile back when I decided to undertake this adventure. I can’t write about things that don’t exist in my life. Well, I’m happy to say I am giving it another go. I met Milena my last week in Rio de Janeiro so our time together has been very limited, but I’ve never been more attracted or drawn to someone in my entire life. That isn’t just in the physical sense either. It may seem crazy to some people, but I believe if you feel strongly about something, you should pursue it with every means you have. It’s the premise of my adventures in writing and mixed martial arts, and it has become the mantra of how I will live my life. So, for that reason, I’ll be off to Curitiba for both the great training and a chance at a very special relationship.

I’ll finish out this blog with a training update. I have only had the chance to train one day since I’ve been back in the United States. I ripped my foot open pretty bad and I didn’t tend to it correctly, so it became infected. I’ve been on top of it the past week, and it’s healing up nicely now, but the break has served me well as I’ve had time for both my body to recover as well as to catch up with everyone. I plan to get back in the gym this week though and get on a similar training schedule to the one I had in Rio. The IBJJF Chicago Summer International Open is coming up in August, and I plan to finally get my first tournament match win under my belt so it’s full speed ahead from here.

Thanks to all who are still sticking around and patient with my lapse in writing as I returned home, and as always I look forward to any questions or comments from my readers!


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