I remember sitting in the 200 section of the 2005 All-Star Game in Denver. Watching Dwayne and LeBron represent themselves on that court on one of the biggest nights in sports wasn’t easy to watch. I have to admit, I was jealous of my future teammates. I played in the rookie sophomore game for the second year in a row and it was a huge accomplishment, but I wanted more. I was so disappointed that I didn’t make the All-Star team.
I’m pretty sure they don’t know this, but LeBron and Dwayne have always been big motivators for me when we were coming up in the league. It drove me crazy seeing them have huge success in the prime-time games during the season when it counted. I wanted accomplishments and recognition and they were getting plenty of it because of their stellar play. I watched them compete—in that All-Star game and then in the playoffs—and it fueled me beyond belief.
I felt like my dreams were right in front of me but I couldn’t reach out and get them. I wanted to be mentioned with my peers. I wanted to be on the big stage playing while everyone was watching. That desire pushed me to get back to working out every year after the season was over. I would take about two or three weeks off and then be back at it. Working out in the Texas heat while I watched the playoffs was huge for me. By the time the finals were underway, I was playing pick-up basketball almost every day.
The next year, the All-Star game was in Houston, Texas, and because Texas is my home state, I wanted that to be my first time making the team. I worked so hard and believed so hard that I would make it. It’s all I thought about. Back then, media coverage in Toronto rarely passed south of the border and I wanted badly to change that.
I remember getting the news that I would be an All-Star. It was a cloudy, cold day in Toronto and my cousin was driving me to an event after practice. We were calling everyone we knew trying to figure out the process and get the inside scoop on who the coaches had picked. I wanted to find out before it hit the media but that was impossible. There was a lot of anxious waiting that seemed to go on forever. I was super nervous because our record as a team wasn’t that good and winning is always a top priority when it comes to this type of selection.
I didn’t want to sit in the stands and watch Dwayne and LeBron again. I wanted to be right there in the locker room, at the events and doing everything that the big dogs—the All-Stars—did during All-Star Weekend. I couldn’t see it going any other way. Our head of PR told me when it was official. I just remember being relieved and super excited to be participating. I’d earned a spot on the East Team, and it did so much for my confidence as a player and as a person. It showed me if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it. No one expected another All-Star coming out of Canada so soon, especially after Vince Carter got traded to New Jersey. No one told me I should give it a shot. I made the decision on my own after seeing my peers be successful and I’m glad I did.
Participating in the weekend as an actual All-Star felt surreal, like I was watching a movie. I was obsessed with the NBA as a child and I loved watching the dunk contest and the All-Star Game. Those dreams that I’d had were becoming real! One of my favorite parts was the All-Star gear: the sweats, T-shirts, hats, my custom shoes, anything you can wear. Wearing those clothes made me feel special—that and actually being in the locker room with my heroes, being there with Vince as an equal, with Shaq, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace. As athletes, we rarely get to talk and hang out with other guys from different teams. It’s always super serious on the court in the NBA, especially competing against the great players. Seeing how funny those guys were was such a shock. And then putting on that jersey and playing in front of my friends and family was the cherry on top of the whole experience. Taking the photos, doing the media and wearing that star like a badge of honor was a total rush. After that, I became even more obsessed with ball. I wanted more! I thought to myself: If I can accomplish this, what else can I do?
It felt amazing to accomplish my goal of making the All-Star team. I had been playing against LeBron since I was 17 and Dwayne since I was 19 and I wanted to be on the same path they were on. I thrive off of competition and I’ve always been that way. I don’t think those guys know how much they drove me to work hard, to try to be great. It was a surreal experience playing for the Heat with them because they’re amazing players and amazing guys. You come into the league thinking about individual accomplishments and goals, so you never really think about who will be by your side on that journey. Watching my dreams unfold with guys I’ve known since we were teenagers made it incredible.
I always hear people say that college is or was the best time of their lives. It’s that time to enjoy being young, to enjoy life right before the big responsibilities hit. I didn’t get the opportunity to experience college for very long. After a few short months at Georgia Tech, I moved on to the pros. I know I made the right decision, but sometimes I feel like I missed out on the whole college experience. I didn’t really expect to go so quickly, and to be honest, it kind of caught me off guard. My dreams were within reach. But I never imagined that transition would be so difficult.
My adjustment to college was rough at first, but when the opportunity to go pro came up, I was finally getting the hang of things. The weather had gotten warm and I was feeling more comfortable on the court. I was starting to have more fun and get used to being away from home. I had friends around campus and great teammates. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t expect to be regarded and scouted as such a high pick, so it was a crazy twist to reality. I’d always wanted to make the NBA. It was my dream. Then all of a sudden, people were telling me I’d be the fourth pick if I entered the draft.
During my rookie year in the NBA, I watched my friends on the 2003 Yellow Jackets team go on a phenomenal run to the Final Four. When I’d been on the team the year before, we weren’t that good. We were a very young team, just trying to figure out how to work together. So needless to say, my experience on the court wasn’t always very much fun. It wasn’t fun in my rookie year either. Don’t get me wrong—it’s amazing playing basketball. But being 19 years old, playing and interacting with grown men with families wasn’t fun all the time, especially during a grueling 82-game season. That mixed with Toronto’s freezing winter climate made me miss my buddies back at Tech even more.
I remember watching them beat Kansas in the regional finals to clinch the Final Four bid. Seeing my former teammates—my friends—hug and smile while they cut down the nets was surreal. I couldn’t believe they had accomplished what they did after our rough season the year before. I used to talk to my old roommate, Jarrett Jack, about what was happening on campus and the experience of March Madness. He made me feel like I was there. I was happy for my friends—and I was sad because I wanted to be there, too. I didn’t expect to feel that way after accomplishing my own dream of making the NBA. But we weren’t having a very good season in Toronto at the time. I was running into the rookie wall constantly and I was tired.
I wasn’t used to the demand of being a full-time athlete at that level of basketball. I remember not being able to sleep because I was thinking about that three-hour practice that was going to be insanely hard. The body soreness, the injuries. It’s a part of basketball, but crossing over into a different level is tough. The better the talent gets, the more demanding it is on the body and the mind.
In the transition to the pros, you go from playing about 35 games a year for your whole life to playing 82 games plus preseason. You’re on the road a lot. You start forgetting your room number because every hotel looks the same. It’s just the consistency of the games. Playing every other day is a grind. Plus, you’re used to being the best wherever you play, so it’s humbling when you realize an NBA veteran is so much better than you are. Guys are stronger and tougher in the NBA and at the time, they were beating me down every night.
I look back at those times as growing pains that ended up helping me build resilience and strength. In the moment, I was feeling sorry for myself. I wanted badly to be with my friends and have fun, to make that run for a college championship with them, but that wasn’t my reality. I had to be happy for my friends and keep working on my end to be a better professional.
At the end of the day, I looked at my options. I wanted to be in the NBA. I wanted to pursue my dream. It was my choice. But sometimes just for fun, I think about how it would’ve been if I’d stayed in college.
Lincoln High School, right at the corner of Malcolm X and Hatcher in sunny south Dallas—that was where a lot changed for me. I experienced some of the best times in my life there.
Lincoln was always known as a school where basketball was very important and winning was expected. When you walked into the school’s main entrance and looked immediately to the left, you’d see a brick wall with two gigantic panoramic pictures of the back-to-back state champs from 1990 and 1991. “Tiger pride” wasn’t just an expression; it was a reality. Guys who graduated 30 years prior would come back, demanding the best as they cheered us on from the sidelines and benches. To this day, people still come up to me and tell me they went to Lincoln followed by the year they graduated. Tiger pride is always there.
As a freshman, I was primed and excited to elevate myself as a basketball player, motivated and eager to prove myself. I was determined to make varsity that year, but it didn’t quite work out that way. When sophomore year started, I knew that I was returning as a better player because I’d worked my butt off during the summer. I got the opportunity to start and gained a ton of experience that year. Our team surprised a lot of people that season because no one expected us to make much noise, but we won our fair share of games. We even got within one game of the state tournament and lost to our crosstown rivals, Madison High School. That loss hurt more than anything and still to this day leaves a bad taste in my mouth every time I talk about it. The next year—junior year—we made it to the state tourney. This time, we were full of ourselves and expected to win it all easily. You can probably guess what happened. We lost to Lanier High in the semifinals and Ozen High, led by Kendrick Perkins, ended up winning it all. That experience taught us all that you still have to go out there and play the game. You don’t win by just showing up.
In our senior year, we were humbled and motivated to make our community proud. A state title was our goal, and anything less than that would be considered a failure. We blew through the first part of our schedule and made it to the holiday season with an unblemished record. We stacked up wins against big-time teams with some of the nation’s best talent. Lamarcus Aldridge, Deron Williams, Acie Law IV, Donald Sloan, Ike Diogu, and Jason Maxiell were some of the local talent you could see on any given night. We even got a little national attention as we continued to win game after game, surpassing other teams we’d only read about in the national rankings until Lincoln was right there at #2 behind Oak Hill Academy.
The day Tom Brady won his first Super Bowl was a bittersweet day for me. I’d made a bet with my friend that the Patriots would lose so we watched the game closely. Everyone was talking about the football game, but something else was on my mind. I knew that Oak Hill was going out west to play Mater Dei and if there was any day that they were going to lose, this was the day. I sat there tirelessly in front of my desktop computer, continuously hitting refresh to get updates on the score. Back then, there was no livestream or highlights of high school basketball. We couldn’t even get internet without a dial tone. After hitting refresh for the hundredth time, I saw that Oak Hill had actually lost their game and I was no longer upset about losing that Super Bowl bet. I ran to call my friend and tell him the good news, but I had to wait because my dad was using our phone. When I finally called, my friend kept interrupting me, saying how he’d told me the Patriots were the best, not giving me a chance to deliver the historic news that we were a part of. After countless minutes of heckling, I just yelled it out to him over the phone that Oak Hill had lost. We hung up and immediately called the rest of our teammates.
The very next day, people were coming to school with newspapers in hand, talking about what had just happened. News trucks were parked outside, and anchors we’d only seen on TV were there, reporting on what we’d done and waiting to get an interview from one of us. It was surreal. Nothing like that had ever happened in our community before. Usually, if the news teams were there, it wasn’t a positive thing. We went from playing games in front of about 20 people during my freshman year to playing for 20,000 people in sold-out arenas. That year, we ended up winning the 2002 state and national titles and finished the season with an undefeated record of 40-0, achieving the goal we’d set four years prior.
It’s been 15 years since I played my last high school game and every time I return to my hometown, someone reminds me of what we did. When I’m in Dallas, I’m more likely to hear “Hey, Tiger” than any kind of NBA reference. It’s funny how you never truly realize how special something is while you’re experiencing it. My time at Lincoln has a greater, deeper meaning to me now. I’m happy that I was a part of something great, a part of our community. I’m proud to be a TIGER.
Wow, what a ride! I’ve been reflecting on my time in this great city and want to thank you for being a constant during a period of change in my life. I’ve experienced a few finals appearances, a couple of championships, several weddings (including my own), the birth of four kids, bonding with an entire community and a ton of ups and downs along the way.
It was scary leaving Toronto, a place where people really loved and supported me, and I wasn’t sure if that great feeling would follow me. When I arrived in Miami, I was just hoping for glory and mention amongst the immortals of basketball. What I got was so much more.
Since coming to Miami, I’ve become a husband and then a father for the second, third, fourth, and fifth time. I still vividly remember the day my son Jackson was born. We were in the playoffs against New York and we had just landed in the Big Apple late that afternoon. I got the call and immediately made a mad dash back to the plane. I arrived at the hospital with 30 minutes to spare and got to see my baby boy come to this earth.
The next day, I made it to the game right as Spo was giving his pre-game address. The guys all saw me come in and started clapping while they gathered around and hugged me. Spo had just told them he wasn’t sure if I’d make it and I did. It felt like a scene out of a movie. The guys in that locker room always made me feel special. We helped each other through life because we were more than just teammates. We later won our first championship and I was able to bring my baby boy out on the court with me to celebrate. That was one of the happiest days of my life. Accomplishing personal and professional dreams that I never thought would be possible, all in the same summer—it was amazing.
For my daughter Dylan’s birth, I was actually in town so I was able to stay close and not panic. We later won another championship against one of the greatest teams of all time, and to get there, I can say that I took part in one of the most competitive finals to ever take place. Man, luck must’ve been on my side. But I also have to think that my family helped me get there too.
My wife and kids have been so strong for me in moments when I was not. My wife has picked me up off the ground more times than you know and I am so thankful to have such a great support system. She’s a lot like you, Miami—nice and mellow with that special touch of Latin passion and fire. Sometimes I wonder what I did to deserve a woman who loves me unconditionally and has my back through everything.
This community has welcomed me with open arms from day one. The city’s rich tradition and culture is unique and you can feel it from the moment you land in Miami. The fans have always greeted my family with positivity, just trying to put smiles on the kids’ faces. That’s the thing I love about the community. You all have shown appreciation every time we were out for events or just walking through the streets. I’ve met people who have had lifetime season tickets, and I can see the pride in their eyes when they tell me. I’ve also picked up a great deal of Spanish and now have a tool for life to help me communicate with more people around the world. Learning how to order a cafe con leche o ropa vieja on Calle Ocho has become natural to me. That’s amazing!
Thanks for coming to the games and cheering us on to win. Making you proud was a priority every time we stepped out on the court. It felt so good to share that championship feeling with you. While we grabbed the trophy, you grabbed your pots and pans and celebrated like no one else in the world can. Warm home games are a luxury in the league. Being able to stay with you and actually win a couple games made everything that much better.
THE UPS and DOWNS
Man, losing in the finals is one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in my life. It was definitely a huge lesson in humility. Losing to the team from my hometown and then experiencing a postponed season the next year was very difficult. I was so embarrassed, I was reluctant to go out in public. It was so hard to face everyone.
Coming out of that time, I learned about perseverance. You never really know its true meaning until you have to go—and grow—through tough times. But you stayed positive, Miami. You stayed with us and supported us and reinforced that belief that we could do it—and we did! That’s what makes those moments so special. I saw my teammates, my friends and brothers, shine brightest in the darkest moments of their lives. It wasn’t about coming through with a great play or winning a crucial game on the road. It was the fact that these guys did it with so much on the line. We beat the odds so many times.
And then came not being able to play the game I love, the game that I’ve spent a lifetime working to master and evolve with and find success in. I was very upset for a long time. They say you just have to play the cards that you’re dealt and that’s another lesson I truly understand now. Learning that information about my health during All-Star Weekend was extremely tough, especially during a time of celebrating the league and its great players and fulfilling dreams. While I’ll never take those things for granted, I learned not to take other things for granted—like being in the hospital.
I was in there for six days and had surgery on my left lung. I sat in a room that whole time with tubes sticking out of my ribs and started to pity myself. But then I realized there are so many people dealing with things much worse, and once again, I was humbled. To all those who think it’s not going to get better and are feeling those walls close in on you, keep fighting! Envision yourself walking out of that place on your own two feet and work every day to achieve that goal. My short six-day hospital stint felt like a lifetime, so I can’t begin to imagine the strength of those who are there for much longer.
That Toronto weekend was so special to me, not only because I was back where I’d played and lived, but also because I was going to do things I had never done before, like participate in the Three-Point Contest. It felt like my reintroduction to basketball as a different player, being able to evolve into something else and still be successful. I have yet to fulfill that part but that’s to be continued.
I’ve learned how to dream again. I’ve learned how to appreciate the game of basketball and all the things I’ve experienced even more now. People will always see the trophies and banners and think that’s the whole story. But it’s only a piece, only a moment in time. I’ve learned that no matter what happens on the court, the game continues. Even when things changed for me and I couldn’t play, people still supported me and let me know what basketball in Miami meant for them. I truly cherish those encounters. Those good-luck chants or someone simply caring enough to ask about my health—they might seem like small gestures but they are some of my fondest memories.
We went through life together, Miami. You showed me how to stay strong and push through in the toughest moments. And although I didn’t like it at the time, it made all the difference in the long run. It made me a better man, the person I am today. Thank you.
Thank you to everyone—here in Miami, across the nation and around the world—who has been a part of #TeamBosh. I hope you will continue to follow me on my journey, wherever that leads me.
It’s funny how things change. All I have right now associated with basketball are my friends and memories. And I’m so thankful for those things.
I remember just a few years ago when the Big 3 were together and we were having a ball playing the game we love with some of the most professional, talented guys the NBA has ever seen.
I remember the fans of Miami coming out to see the show every night. The love, the compassion and the energy we felt was second to none. I want to thank the city of Miami from the bottom of my heart because things may change but the good times will last forever in my memories. Thank you!
Things are different now and Miami has incredible young talent with a tremendous upside. These are not only talented ball players but great people and friends. I enjoyed playing with those guys and doing my best to mentor them by being an upstanding role model and veteran player. It’s their time to go through the ups and downs of the game with this great city.
I want to thank not only the fans of Miami but everyone around the world who has supported our team and who has supported me through this time. I see you posting with #BoshRebuilt on social media every day and I receive the love that you give me. Thank you so much. I couldn’t make it without your support.
I’m just opening myself up and letting you into my life a little bit, which isn’t easy for me, but putting yourself out there is never easy. I hope you guys have enjoyed Episodes 1 through 4 of #BoshRebuilt, available anytime on www.Uninterrupted.com. Thank you for taking in this project of mine and making it all well worth it.
The Summer Olympics are here. I had the chance to go to Brazil and visit Rio de Janeiro for training camp a couple of years ago. While we were there, my wife and I had a beautiful experience at Christ the Redeemer at sunrise. Our hotel offered a private tour, and it was early—we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning—but seeing the view from that point was unbelievable. We ate breakfast and took everything in before the day got too hot.
This year’s Olympics got me thinking and reminiscing about my own Olympic experience. It’s such a fond memory, participating in Beijing in 2008 and winning a gold medal. I had the opportunity to play with tremendously talented guys—some true basketball legends—and help get USA back to the top.
Beyond playing basketball, I really immersed myself in the whole Olympic experience. It is so much more than competing. It’s a place where athletes represent their respective countries and compete against other top athletes from all over the world. It’s a place where people’s dreams come true.
My favorite part was hanging out in the Village and talking to other athletes. It was interesting because I play basketball as a profession, but not everyone does that. Not everyone does archery or weight lifting or whatever event they’re competing in as a profession. I talked to so many people who were also police officers, firefighters, lawyers, doctors, mothers, fathers, construction workers, office workers—so many people from so many different walks of life. My time at the Olympics allowed me to connect with people of the world and discover those commonalities we all share.
Along with the conversations and connections, trading pins is a huge thing. Each athlete receives pins representing their country to trade with other athletes. The pins I collected—I need to find them in storage and look through them again—are from all over the world. I’d say the most unique or surprising pin I received was from Micronesia, a group of islands in the Pacific. I had never heard of Micronesia before then, but thanks to the Olympics, I met someone from there who was competing in swimming.
Participating in the Olympics was such a special time. It was really a life-changing time for me, and I’m very appreciative of that experience. Yes, I had the chance to go to Beijing and represent my country. But for me, it was also about personal growth. It was about taking in all the beauty and passion the USA has and seeing how we share that beauty and passion when the world is watching. It was about seeing firsthand how amazing Beijing is—the culture, the people, the history. And I got to play with LeBron, Kobe, Dwayne, Carmelo, great basketball minds like Tayshaun Prince and Jason Kidd. I got to play ball with my friends.
Now, this summer, watching the USA basketball team compete at a global level and seeing that look in their eyes, seeing that it’s so special to them—it brings me back. I know that feeling. Being a part of the Olympics was a dream come true for me. I watched the Summer Games every four years as a child. I watched the Dream Team and envisioned myself up on that podium winning a gold medal. So to do that—to step up on that podium and hear the national anthem and win a gold medal—was completely surreal. Today, I wish all the athletes well and I continue to hope that their own dreams come true in Rio and beyond.
As a parent, I’m responsible for guiding and teaching my kids. But I’ve learned a lot from them. Their innocence and honesty are refreshing. Their fresh perspectives are inspiring. And their energetic spirits challenge me in a very positive way.
The absolute, number-one thing I’ve learned from raising five kids under seven years old is patience. I’ve learned to be understanding of who they are and where they’re coming from. My oldest son, for instance, is only four years old—he’s only been on this earth for four short years—so I have to remember that. Everything is new to him.
When the kids misbehave, I’m responsible for teaching them the difference between right and wrong. They need to learn those important lessons. But I have to do it in a way that keeps in mind their age, their experience, their mindset. I try to look at each situation through their eyes.
As a result, I’ve become more understanding with myself too. If I’m struggling or facing failure, I think about how long I’ve been doing whatever I’m trying to do. For example, I’m learning how to play the guitar. When I get frustrated, I remember I’ve only been playing for a short time. I’m like a child. With that in mind, I give myself some grace, just as I give it to my kids.
Looking at the world through their eyes has also kept me from becoming jaded. As adults, we get busy and move through life so quickly and don’t really see the world around us. We forget to appreciate the small things—or the big things—and get caught up in our emotions. But kids aren’t like that. They notice a glorious sunset and say, Look at that! and get our attention. To them, the world is an amazing place with new, awe-inspiring experiences around every corner.
I’ve learned that kids do listen. They do learn. They’ll repeat back to me different things I’ve said to them. One time, my son overheard me on the phone. I was having a pretty candid conversation—not cursing or anything, but I got a little aggressive—and when I hung up, he said, “Daddy, be nice.” Or I’ll often remind the kids to be careful when they’re being adventurous and possibly moments away from cracking their heads open. And they’ll say it to me—“Daddy, be careful.”
We are examples for our kids. We influence them in the way we live and act. Adrienne says she catches my son watching me and imitating me. I don’t always see it, but that’s an important lesson for me. It’s a reminder to view myself from a child’s perspective and to act accordingly. They’re listening, watching, taking it all in. I need to live up to that responsibility. I need to listen more, watch more, take it all in, just as my kids do.
While our children are still young, we’re just getting started on building traditions. Part of that involves the kitchen—making and enjoying good food.
When I was growing up, my family would always cook Tex-Mex at my aunt’s house on Christmas Eve. The neighbors down the street would make authentic Mexican tamales to share with the whole gang, and we’d all eat and open presents.
Those memories have inspired me to start incorporating more food-related traditions into my own family, whether that means cooking or baking together, gathering around the table to eat a certain type of meal or creating special recipes that we make over and over again.
Holiday time can be tough with traveling and work obligations, but summertime is perfect for family barbeques and eating meals outdoors. I feel like we’re starting a tradition of sorts with grilling. It’s an easy way to cook and serve up a meal, and it’s a crowd-pleaser when it comes to the kids.
Our children love to cook, even if they’re doing something as simple as boiling water or stirring a bowl. It’s fun to get them interested in food and spend that time together. We actually make cupcakes at least once a week in our house. It’s sometimes the first thing we do at home after we get back from a trip, even if it’s only 10 a.m. My oldest daughter absolutely loves cupcakes, and now that we make them so often, the kids are starting to want to do it themselves without any help.
I appreciate food and enjoy learning about new recipes, flavors and techniques. To be able to pass that love of cooking along to my kids and make it something we all do as a family is even better. Family cooking traditions and those shared meals of my childhood are a part of who I am today. I can’t wait to create the same type of memories with my own family.
Music and I have a bond, a relationship that’s grown and evolved over the years. There wasn’t really just one moment when I fell in love with it; it was something that started when I was young and then developed with each phase of my life.
My earliest memories of music involve my parents. They’d listen to all that oldies style stuff—Motown, Al Green, Patti Labelle, Aretha Franklin, Kool Moe Dee and Cameo. My dad also listened to music as a way to relax, especially as he headed home from work in the car. He’d tune in to “The Oasis,” a smooth jazz station in Dallas, which introduced me to musicians like Wes Montgomery, Sade and Kenny G. And his record collection was eclectic—everything from old school rap to rock and roll, Led Zeppelin and ACDC.
After my parents introduced me to their music, I started to expand my tastes and learn about different genres myself. Growing up, I listened to a lot of hip hop and R&B on the radio with my brother and friends. I’d say that’s kind of my musical foundation. The first album I bought with my own money was “Enter the Dru” by Dru Hill and it was a cassette! Then in the late 90s and early 2000s, I got into alternative music and some of those songs and bands from MTV and the movie soundtracks of the time. As I traveled, music revealed more about the culture of each new place. For example, in Toronto, soulful music with a reggae and Caribbean influence was everywhere, so I discovered a whole new genre while I was there.
My relationship with music then grew alongside my relationship with my wife, Adrienne. While we were dating, we’d send each other a “song of the day,” which usually clued us in to how the other person was feeling that particular day. I shared some of the hip hop and jazz I knew and loved, and she exposed me to a lot of pop and classic rock, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, White Stripes, Fleetwood Mac. She also loves 90s era alternative, so because I’d had a taste of that genre earlier on, we had some common ground too. Music was a conversation starter and a way to learn about each other’s backgrounds and interests.
More recently, I’ve become really interested in live music—concerts, festivals, other venues. Seeing performers and bands like ACDC, The Weeknd, Florence + the Machine, Drake and others and hearing their music live has given me a completely new approach to experiencing music. We recently went to Glastonbury, a huge multi-day music festival outside London, and got to see so many incredible performances—from Kanye West to The Who. We saw Steel Pulse live and they’re awesome! And I found out about an artist named Tricky out of England. The music is electronic mixed with hip hop, and even though there were only a few people in the crowd, it was a good show.
Beyond that, I’m also learning more about electric music and great DJs. I got into electronic/trance music when I was going out a lot more and hanging with friends. I still enjoy it now—though I don’t have to be at a rave or a club to enjoy it—and I’m finding out about more DJs too. This genre and culture is newer to me, but I love that the world of music is so large and varied.
There’s always something new to discover. The lyrics, the melody, the harmony, the rhythm—it all works together to communicate something. If you just open yourself up to it, you too can fall in love.
For me and my family, travel always has to include some kind of adventure. To really take in a new place and explore all it has to offer, we have to get outside of our comfort zones a bit. Experiencing a different culture, environment, history, foods and wildlife makes traveling that much more fun.
When I reflect back on some of the spots we’ve visited, I can’t help but notice all of the opportunities for adventure. Some of these are experiences I’ve personally had, while others are simply cool things I’ve seen or heard about. As much as I’d like to try anything and everything, I also have to play it safe sometimes to prevent possible injuries and keep myself healthy.
In Italy, the varied landscape—with all its mountains, valleys, beaches, cliffs, islands—lends itself perfectly to any type of activity. Whether you enjoy swimming, boating or fishing, you’ll find an ideal spot to do just that. Or you could put on the scuba gear and check out the coral reefs and other sea life. And there are plenty of ancient ruins, beautiful architecture and historical places to tour. When you get hungry from all your adventures, Italy offers some awesome authentic food—so far, in my opinion, the best in the world. The bottom line: Italy is one of those destinations that can fulfill your vacation wishes no matter what they might be.
While visiting Sri Lanka, we stayed right in the midst of the jungle. Being a part of that environment gave us an up-close-and-personal view of the country. Speaking of “up close,” we also got a chance to feed baby elephants. These not-so-little guys were each the size of a massive truck and could guzzle five gallons of milk in about 15 seconds—definitely a memorable moment. Of course, we also enjoyed the adventure of climbing Lion Rock, which turned out to be the highlight of our trip.
Seeing different animals in their natural habitats is such a cool experience. On a safari in South Africa, we spotted all kinds—lions, hyenas, gorillas, rhinos, giraffes, even a rare sighting of a honey badger. The African elephants were huge, the size of a bus. And surprisingly, the hippos were the most dangerous animals we saw. Their mouths have the ability to crush basically anything, so they’re deadly.
The key to creating your own adventurous getaway is as simple as saying yes to any and every experience that comes your way. Take advantage of opportunities to try something new. Explore, experiment, branch out. No matter where you go, you can always find a way to incorporate a little taste of adventure.