Inspiration

Earth Day – a tribute to the “blue planet”

Today is Earth Day. I’d like to share a bit of my personal journey around the blue planet. Over the past 20 years, I’ve been a fortunate witness to a fraction of it…a small fraction on an absolute scale, but one that has routinely reinforced to me just how lucky we are to be able to call this place our home. Normally I only share images of nature on Earth Day, along with a message about being environmentally conscious. But this year I decided to include some images that express the human spirit as well. It’s the one thing that connects us all. The indelible humanity that I have witnessed is what inspires me the most. We are a product of nature too, and are the primary custodians of our planet. As such, we have a collective responsibility to take care of it. It’s the only home we have…and a really awesome one, to say the least!Β 

Please turn up your speakers, click HD and enjoy the photo journey…and never forget how beautiful our world is! πŸ™‚

Music: “Down to Earth” by Flight Facilities

 

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Flying over La Paz, Mexico with the “G-Bird” drone

The G-Bird soars over La Paz, Mexico and the Sea of Cortez. Filmed with a DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone. #GringoWithAGreenBag

Music: “Flower” by Sunsphere

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Winter Wonderland (Bryce Canyon, Utah)

Just digging thru some of my 2017 favorites. Bryce Canyon had been on my travel radar for decades. Not only did I finally get to visit this national treasure of nature in March of this year, but I was treated to a bonus version of it with the fresh coat of snow that blanketed the hoodoos and the surrounding environs, making for a double dose of bucket list bliss. Took ’til Summer for my hands to thaw out, but the numbness of a mind blown by such stunning, natural beauty will never wear off.

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A Galaxy…far, far away

As I usually try to do while up in the mountains, I set the alarm for 3am the other night and got up to do some hand-numbing astrophotography at 9,000 feet. I captured something I have never captured before in what was one of the clearest of clear night skies I have ever witnessed. The “cloudy” vertical band going through the center of this photo is our Milky Way Galaxy (which we are swirling about as we speak). Every bright dot you see is a star in our galaxy, stars similar to our sun (and there are hundreds of billions just in our galaxy alone, and trillions of planets among them). But if you look inside of the red square, you will see a bright object with a slight blur (or halo) around it. That is not a star. This is the Andromeda Galaxy. It is our closest neighboring spiral galaxy, about 2.5 million light years away (1 light year = nearly 6 trillion miles, so you can do the math – hardly “close” at all, only relatively so). It has taken 2.5 million years for this light captured in this image to reach Earth, so what we are actually seeing in that square is the light that left Andromeda 2.5 million years ago…seeing back through cosmic time.

This is the first time I was able to photograph Andromeda. Think about what we are looking at here. Contained inside of that tiny little pinpoint of blurry light there is a gathering of over a trillion stars (suns), and an uncountable number of planets (and that’s just ONE galaxy among hundreds and hundreds of BILLIONS out there in the observable universe). Fascinating! Would you agree? (Now your minds are probably as numb as my hands were while fumbling around with the camera settings in the piercing cold of mountain night.)

Andromeda is on a collision course with the Milky Way. We know this by observing and measuring the wavelengths of blue light shift. Two galaxies, heading straight towards one another at astronomical speeds (a cosmic pun I just dropped there). Due to the unfathomable distance, it’ll take about 4 billion years before our galaxy collides with Andromeda and begins a long, swirling cosmic tango which will restructure both galaxies as they merge into one. The really amazing thing about it is that, due to the unimaginably vast distances between all the individual stars, it is unlikely that any of the trillions of stars will even come into contact with one another during this collision.Β 

Before this cosmic event happens in an estimated 4 billion years, our Earth will have long been swallowed by our own expanding sun, before the sun finally explodes into a white dwarf. Either way you slice it, it’s a temporary existence we have here. But for now, we have an amazing opportunity to enjoy our planet and appreciate all that we know and have learned about the universe, and our place in it, all because we became aware of our selves and of our ignorance long ago and began to ask the questions that would lead to the expanding of our minds. Let’s be sure to take care of Earth while we have her (or while she still has us) and be grateful each time we look up into the night sky, knowing that each one of us belongs to the one lucky species among millions that beat inconceivable odds to even be here in the first place…and be grateful that our ancestors decided to look up at the night sky one day and ask the age-old question that still keeps us staring up in awe and infinite wonder: “What else is out there among the stars?”Β 

#GringoWithAGreenBag

 

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The Cook Islands…where paradise finds you!

Kia Orana! I’ve just returned from a week in the incomparable Cook Islands. My mind is still processing the visuals and sensory of it all. Once I can reactivate my island-induced narcotic pulse to a bpm high enough to type for more than a few minutes,Β you will hear (and see) all about this magical, magical place…

Cook Islands

#lovealittleparadise

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Lucha Libre training in Oaxaca, Mexico!

You know how when you go to some places, people like to tell you “don’t drink the water”? Well nobody ever advised me not to drink the mescal with scorpions floating at the bottom. So I did. On a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico – along with my tag team partner “El Gran Queso” – the Gringo With A Green Bag had a no-holds-barred experience in the excitingly cultured city of Oaxaca! Once the mask comes out, it’s game ON! Check out how it all went down right here…

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A virtual tour through Eleuthera, Bahamas – “Freedom”

“What ya sayin’ man!” Here we go island lovers, my NEW promo video for the Bahamas is a wrap! πŸ™‚ I had the sensational pleasure to film this video on my last stop on the #FreedomTour a few months back. What a gem of an island! Let’s please keep it a “secret” though, cuz Lenny Kravitz (who lives there part time) told me to help keep it that way. True story. Nice man.

So, relax your mind, unwind and enjoy my virtual tour through the island of Eleuthera. *Please don’t view this video while operating any machinery…or if you are required of a productive day at work. πŸ˜‰

 

 

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Happy NEW Year 2016!!

New Year 2016

I’d just like to take a minute to wish everyone a really great year ahead. I always tend to get a little introspective with the beginning of each new year. It’s a great time for that. This is a good year for me to reflect on many things. 2016 marks 20 years since I first stepped foot outside of my country, thus being 20 years since I first got bit by the travel bug and began my life’s journey. Travel has been the most continuously rewarding thing in my life. It’s been my education, my growth, my inspiration and the architect of all the perspective that I have obtained. It’s shaped my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I’m so grateful for the experiences and opportunities that I’ve been very fortunate to have had over the past 20 years. I’ve learned so much, and it always fills me with joy to reflect on it all. I just wanted to say “thank you” to anyone who has ever paid attention to, read, liked, shared or commented on any story, photo, video or blog that I have ever posted (even if you were searching for the “dislike” button, lol). One of the very best parts of seeing the world is the excitement I get upon sharing its story with you all. I really do. Our world is a fascinating novel that we can all benefit greatly from by taking the opportunity to read a few pages from time to time. I can never wait to see what the next chapter will bring.

I’m not sure if this year will be “better” or “bigger” than any other, and to be honest, it doesn’t have to be. I just want it to be new. New experiences, new friendships, new inspiration…a new story to be told. Perhaps just something different that I haven’t done before. I think it will seem bigger and better just by trying new things, pursuing new goals, going new places and interacting with new people…all which result in new experiences and fresh ink in the diary of life. We all have a story to tell, and it is unique to each and every one of us. It’s our experiences that make up the content of each page of our life. Those last forever. At the end of the day, that’s all you can take with you when you’re gone…not your social status, your possessions, your money, your “followers” or “popularity” on some social media website. None of that matters because anybody can have that. Not everybody can have the unique life experiences that you create for yourself…and no one can tell the same story as you can.

So, this year my goal is to reflect on the past 20 years and to share some of the most inspiring things, people, places and life lessons, etc. that I’ve been able to experience on my personal journey. I hope to continue to have opportunities to tell the World’s story, one which will continue to shape my own. I hope to connect with people in a way that will inspire them to go out and create wonderful new experiences and stories of their own.

Cheers to new experiences and many great new stories for all of us in 2016!

Damian

#GringoWithAGreenBag20

 

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Merry Christmas…Happy Holidays 2015!

Looks like I’m not the only one with a green bag this year… πŸ™‚

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The Gringo – and the Santa – With A Green Bag would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas (Feliz Navidad) and a wonderful Holiday season! Β Let’s all make great memories!

-Damian

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Life’s Journey…

Life's Journey

Words to live by.

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