Saturday, 11 January 2014

Real Girl Travels - Love for the Seahawks

    Hey everyone Chris here. I am here to wish you a happy NFL playoffs and also to introduce you to Alyssa. Alyssa and I met in Ireland and became friends over our common interests Travel, football and booze. She wrote a story for us and I am happy to share it with you.

    Alyssa grew up moving all over the United States and couldn't ever get the travel bug out of her. After a few years of having steady jobs, she discovered her passion was somewhere else and decided to follow it. Therefore, she sold all of her worldly possessions and set off to travel the world. She's currently on a 3-year journey with the goal of facing her fears, opening her mind to new things, and learning from the world.
     Alyssa has become more than just a traveler, she's become a writer, photographer, cinematographer, producer, travel planner, and cultural researcher. She hopes one day to channel her skills and utilize it to better help the travel world and the people in
When you have a designated goal set in your mind, you should always expect things might not go the way you think they should. Of course, returning right back where you started is a whole other encounter you’ll likely never expect.

You can check her out here at

    For me, I left the beginning of January in 2013, setting off with expectations to travel around the world for three solid years. What I didn’t expect was to return home much earlier for a couple weeks to encounter my old life mixing with the new one I have set out creating for myself.

I carry Seattle hometown pride with me everywhere I go. I love talking about how astonishing my city’s accomplishments are. The biggest part of my Seattle pride is our Seattle Seahawks team. I’m proud to say I am part of their 12th Man… well, woman.

For those of you who don’t know, eleven offensive players face eleven defensive players on the field for a football game. In Seattle, it’s our fans that complete the Seahawks presence on the field. We like to believe we give serious contribution to the wins the Seahawks earn. Regardless of that opinion’s actual truth, we show the team that we’re right there with them, doing all that we can, to contribute our love of the game and our team.

Traveling has never prevented me from watching a single Seahawks game. Whether it’s 7p.m. in Croatia or 6a.m. in England, I’ve managed to show my 12th Woman support through and through. Every single game, I’m there cheering loudly, halfway around the world, often passionately screaming at my computer screen.

Wide receiver Percy Harvin started his career with the Minnesota Vikings. As a rookie player, instantly he had amazing potential as a dangerous offensive weapon competing against the best NFL players. Last season, while playing in Seattle against our mighty Seahawks, Harvin injured his ankle and was out for the remainder of the season.

Over the 2013 NFL off-season, the Seattle Seahawks acquired him from the Minnesota Vikings’ for a first round draft pick. This added the versatile wide receiver to the already potent Seahawk’s offense.

However, before the season started, Percy’s accumulative injuries once again overwhelmed him. Resulting him to be out for the first eleven weeks of the season after required surgery to his hip.

In week eleven of the 2013 season, Percy Harvin was returning to the field to play again. However, it was his new team facing his former team; the same team matchup, in the same city, for his season debut, as his first game since his 2012 season ending injury.

I related to that eerie feeling of familiarity. So much seemed the same, yet so much was clearly now different. This familiarity stemmed from the fact that I was coincidentally returning the very same week as Percy Harvin. As our old lives and new lives were melded, undeniably my own life felt it was paralleling his story.

Stepping into the CenturyLink Stadium sent the energy through my veins hearing the excited voices and shouts before kickoff. The crowds roared loudly shaking the concrete ground. The team is our heart, and we, the fans, are the blood that fuels its beat.

It was that moment I knew returning to the starting point of my global journey did not mean I was backtracking. It made me realize what I wanted and where I felt the happiest future potential resides. Travel is my new life, but as I move forward once again, I still will always hold respect for my roots.

The Seahawks dominated the Vikings during Harvin’s return to the field. I knew forward is the only true direction life must go, even if it meant crossing old tracks. Going back to my old life will never be possible. Therefore, I move forward with a smile on my face – old faces and past memories continually supporting my new life. Fighting for true happiness, I had to switch things up and once again pull away from my roots.

Saying that I know how this man feels seems exaggerated. However, knowing his story and sensing life’s tendency for full circles had me relating many aspects of his life to mine. Unmistakably I sensed nuances of the returns to familiar faces and places.

As I cheered loudly, pushing my Seahawks to another win, it was obvious both Percy Harvin and I have lots in store for our futures. It felt good to be back in the game ready to keep playing my heart out. Go Hawks!

Friday, 3 January 2014

2013 - Real Man Travels Year In Review

2013 was a roller coaster ride of a year, Its was a successful year and I have my friends to thank for it. I look forward to 2014 and I hope the year treats you well. I leave you with an Irish Cheers Sláinte!!

Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario: This Photo was taken on our way to the St. Mary's rapids to try our luck and new found skills at Fly Fishing. This was a great adventure that introduced me to some great people. Thanks Again to Soo North Fly Shop.

Bushplane Museum- Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario: This is my top mate Dylan in a small coin operated space shuttle. For those of you who do not know him, Dylan is 6'3. So you can Imagine how funny this would be in real life. 

Elmavale Zoo, Ontario Canada: This was at a school trip with my daughter's class and I will tell you that Giraffe tongues gross me out. However my daughter was not so squeamish as the Giraffe licked the food clean off her palm.

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario Canada: I was lucky enough to be hosted by Parks Canada for a couple of days. We stayed in a Yurt which is an excellent way to camp. This photo was taken at Indian Head Cove right next to the grotto. 

Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario Canada: The final shot of our homemade "Man Of The Year" competition where we compete in various outdoor events such as Fishing, Washer Toss and the Xtreme Challenge! 

 Brampton, Ontario Canada: This year we experienced Tree Top Trekking. It turned out to be quite the test of the mind and body. I remember feeling so proud of our group not one of us lost our balance and fell off during the whole course. This is not easy by any means.

Canadian Space and Aviation Museum - Ottawa, Ontario Canada: This past summer the kids and I took a road trip to Ottawa. When I look at this picture, it scares me a little. It actually looks like they know what they are doing...

Bon Echo Provincial Park Ontario, Canada: After hiking to the top of the cliffs, My hetero life mate Mike and I boarded the Mugwump Ferry and I captured this photo on our way back to the mainland. It was one of the best weather days of the year.

Dublin, Ireland: I went for a few walks in Dublin one was to the Temple Bar to drink beer and the other was an early morning stroll to St.Patrick's Cathedral.

Strandhill Beach, Sligo Ireland:  We were on our way for dinner and when we arrived this was the scene as 20 Travel Bloggers unloaded out of the bus and started taking pictures. The weather gods were smiling down on us the entire trip.

Streedagh Strand Sligo, Ireland: This photo was taken along a guided hike with SEATRAILS our guide was Auriel Robinson who is a Marine Archaeologist, While showing us amazing fossils along the shores, She told us many interesting stories of the unforgiving coastline.

Glenevin Waterfall, Ballyliffin Co. Donegal Ireland: This small but very picturesque waterfall can be found along a small pathway with sheep wandering free a few tiny bridges cross the stream along the way. We followed up this brisk fall walk with a stop at Nancy's Barn which we were served hot soup and coffee and delicious home-made treats.

Malin Head Donegal, Ireland: This was on a small hike at the most northern coastline of Ireland. Besides the swimming seals and breathtaking views of coastline, the wind also tried to take our breath away on many occasions.

Farren's Bar- Donegal, Ireland: This personalized pint was served up to us just after our hike at Malin Head at the end of our Ireland press trip. The location was Farren's Bar it is Ireland's most northerly pub I enjoyed unwinding with 20 new friends at the end of an amazing journey as we all posted our beer photos on instagram.

TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, Minnesota: This photo was taken as a gag to re create an old Three Stooges photo. The representative of the Gophers stood there shaking his head like "you have got to be kidding me, are these guys for real?" But he took the picture and we love him for that.

Target Field - Minneapolis, Minnesota: The host of the 2014 MLB All Star game, The Twins have it all in this stadium. The tour of the stadium is one of the top rated tours in sports on We were allowed to take a "special" tour and this is the view from the home dugout. Minneapolis is a great sports city.

TCF Bank Stadium - Minneapolis, Minnesota: Gopher Game Day, we were given 3 media passes to a Big Ten College football game so we showed up early to watch the players warm up and we were awarded with this photo. Yes I was laying on my stomach for this one.

Algonquin Provincial Park - Ontario, Canada: The girls and I took a fun little road trip to this picturesque little spot along the way we seen our very first Moose! When we reached this campground the sun was just setting over the lake as I started getting our supper ready on a camping stove on the tailgate of my truck.

Drysdale's Tree Farm - Utopia, Ontario: This was my last adventure of 2013, and one of my favorite because, it really shows off how happy I am making memories with my family.