A Year of Growth: 2018 In Faces

Let me preface this post by saying a few things. It’s currently December 31st, 2018 at 11am and I’m still not finished this piece – I started it two different times over the last month, hence the disjointed storyline that you might notice. Aside from the crippling writer’s block over these last 10 or so days since I’ve been home, I think I was waiting for some sort of momentous ending to summarize this year for me, or perhaps some sort of gloriously clear lesson I’d be able to share with you. That ending never really came, but I think there’s a few #hosphilosophies worth checking out in here. I made a lot of mistakes this year, but the sun still came up this morning so maybe that’s the greatest takeaway of all? 

A Year of Growth: 2018 In Faces

(A photo essay, by hosp)

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When my eyes opened on January 1st, 2018 I was immediately overtaken by an overwhelming sense of dissatisfaction. I was with 2 of my best friends, we went out on an adventure the night before, and I was in a city that wasn’t my hometown – previously, these are 3 things that I was sure were the only catalysts that I needed in order to evoke a feeling on content. We walked around downtown Vancouver looking for feel-good food before eventually settling for breakfast at Tim Horton’s (not exactly the extravagant brunch we set out for), and then making our way back home, sat around a little quieter than usual. Everyone has bad days, and hangovers usually don’t help anything, but there is something extra-sh*tty about bringing bad energy with you into a whole new YEAR.

I listened to a podcast recently that explained the importance of pushing through discomfort the purpose of self-improvement – ‘the lessons you learn through struggle’. This is more reminiscent of my thought process on January 2nd, 2018. I decided that I wanted to take control of a certain few aspects of my life, namely some things in my personal life like my relationship with other, the relationship I have with myself, and the rejuvenation a happy person intersecting the rebirth of a mindful person (an area I felt I had been seriously lacking in). I decided that it was important to me to get a strong start to my year and begin implementing some of these changes immediately; there would be no quick fixes – only big hurdles, and monumental leaps (hopefully).

Never in my life had I set resolutions for myself but I decided now was a suitable time to start. I wrote about those 3 resolutions back in May, and honestly, I feel like I did a pretty good job making an effort with each of them and that I’m probably better because of it. (RE: #3)


Let me add some context though because whether you’re just joining or you’ve been following my story even remotely it might sound like up until this point my life was a spiraling sinkhole. Quite the contrary. 2017 was an amazing year – I lived my first year of freedom and spent time in one of the most beautiful countries I had ever laid eyes on, before heading off to work for my favourite rapper and eventually launching a business. Dandy, I know. Dandy, but largely out of control.

Diving even deeper, contextually, control isn’t everything. You can never be in control of everything, nor should you wish to be – that’s just life. However, the way I see it, there are two types of things that happen:

  1. The things that just happen (the majority of things)
  2. The things that happen as a direct reactionary result of the choices you’ve made for yourself.

In life, #1 accounts for the majority of things, while in comparison #2 seem quite rare, probably because they are. #2 accounts for those super specific moments that feel a lot like you’re experiencing nostalgia in real-time. My argument is that we should be doing as many things as possible that lead us to the moments described in #2 (I really need to come up with a name for my #2’s…) by taking control of the things that we can by choosing to be around the people that make us feel the happiest, and doing the things that make us feel the freest. An example of this would be a day that spent somewhere unfamiliar, with no plans to follow aside from a possible destination. How you spend your time is your choice; How you navigate and where you stop along the way is your choice; The people you’ve decided to spend the time with were completely dependant on how you chose to structure the day. Funny enough, the moment might not actually take place at the final destination because even the time constraints of that may not be your choice, but somewhere along the way you’re sure to feel one of those ‘eureka’ moments worth cherishing. (I’ve had this idea floating around for a while, but I think we finally mastered the principles of it during my trip to Amsterdam last month; thanks #airforcegang)

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Today I find myself in Gatwick airport waiting for a delayed flight to California again.

6 days after my epiphanic first of the year, I spent my birthday on the road with my mom heading stateside. I made the choice to move to LA for 2 months and begin my year on a high note in somewhere unfamiliar yet thrilling. Today will be my first time heading back, though under very different circumstances. More on that another time though.

In the time between then and now I’ve seemingly seamlessly lived in 3 countries for at least 2 months, spending the last 6 months in London, UK – my first ever time in Europe. I’ve been to 7 countries this year all in all, and I’ve had an incredible range of experiences in each. From All-Star weekend in LA to my first ever office/agency job in London. I took road trips on the West coast and enjoyed beach days on the Amalfi coast. I Facetimed friends back home while sitting in front of a twinkling tower in Paris, and helped a friend from high school move into his new home in Barcelona. 2018 was a collection of moments, whether 1’s or complete 2’s, I got make some good choices (and bad decisions) with some astounding people.

Everyone in this photo essay represents someone that was there during one of these moments or had something to do with creating one of those moments. Some people who should be in here simply aren’t (should’ve smiled for the camera!); some people who are probably going to find it weird that they are included, are in it – Oh well; and most people probably will never read this piece anyways.

Intertwined with the visuals you’ll probably see some stories or words or poems or anecdotes, and finally goals for next year. Fair warning: there is a lot of photos but stay until the end.

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2019 will be about the idea of ‘show and prove’; taking control. It’s the mindset that 12 months of focused execution could literally set you up for the rest of your life. That doesn’t necessarily mean in a monetary or notoriety sense, but sh*t, it might. As best described by Elliott (pictured below), 2019 is all about “BIG LIFE SHIT – ya feel?”

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The beginning of 2019 is about all of the same smiles from 2018, while leaving behind the pain. There will be new trauma, but once again you will transcend it. The start is as important as the finishline (Hint: there is no finishline)

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Resolution #1: Make better big-life decisions. There are choices that act as an extension of everything that was laid down in 2018, but furthermore, consider the future you hope to manifest.

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Your past experiences are dormant software; install more changes (more corny #hosphilosopies in 2019)

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Resolution #2: Challenge myself professionally. Stop coasting. While there is nothing scarier than being so damn close to a goal yet still having no actual guarantee that you’ll succeed, stop being afriad. Compound this hunger with a resurgengce of creativity (@shotbyhosp prints coming soon)

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Good people always find good people.

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Sunset hours are when I’m the happiest.

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Tales worth telling are typically full of terrifying things.

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I got 3 tattoo’s this year. One represents the idea that you’ll never become ‘old’ until the day you stop learning, and the second was an ode to RLGT on the 3rd anniversary of its inception (something that changed my life). I got my most recent tattoo alongside one of my best friends, in London. It’s a shortened excerpt from a line by Welsh poet George Herbet that states “fool not; for all may have, if they dare try, a glorious life or grave“. I read that line on my way to work almost every day for 5 months before I returned to the pursuit of a glorious life of my own.

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Resolution #3: Help myself first. Whenever I’m on a plane and the flight attendant says “if at any point the mask falls from the ceiling, please assist yourself before assisting others” I tend to twist my face in humble dismay. Hey, captain save-a-**, everyone is going to be better off if you stop trying to calculate the best way to please others by limiting yourself. (This is an obvious exaggeration, but in case you don’t get the point, click here for clarification)

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Quit smoking. But if you do gotta do it, sprinkle some sage in the blunt. (Elliott really be dropping gems tbh)

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The almighty Joe Rogan said that a successful and happy life is a series of lessons that we learn through really hard sh*t. I learned this year that even when things aren’t going that well, the non-linear progress is really what counts. As recent as September I was in shambles, but here I am, still tippin’ and flossin’ (word to Mike Jones). The biggest thing this past year taught me? I’m fine. None of my successful resolutions that I made required any expansive, expensive or external treatments to fundamentally alter my genetic state. It’s all been there, and it’s been best when I’m myself.

The final #hosphilospy that I’ll leave you with: Stop suppressing who you really are for the perceived benefit of others. 

Stay weird,
-A how-to by hosp.

Throwaways: London

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75660003We have a big canal – well, we call it a river but I think its a canal.
I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t so big. I like feeling connected.

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No words. Just pictures this time. But I hope these photos provide some insight into how each of the moments in my first 2 months in London felt in the best way possible, of course. If you care to keep up my journey as a fake photographer, check out my photography account, shotbyhosp.

That’s it for now. (words soon)

-Hospey

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!

Interlude: Resolutions

Interlude: Resolutions

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Until this year, I’ve never been the type of person to set “resolutions” for myself.

I think that the majority of society feels like setting New Years Resolutions are corny and subjective to a made up concept of time-keeping. Furthermore, I kind of see setting resolutions the same way I look at goal-setting: what is the purpose of setting an arbitrary goal with a never-ending expiry when I could just wake up daily and set out to achieve what needs to be achieved? Basically, contrary to the reason people usually set goals, I see a list of goals as an excuse to put off chasing something that isn’t even necessarily unattainable at the very moment; redundancy. Can’t score until you start shooting, right?

Anyways, what I’ve been attempting to allude to is that this year I decided to set a few resolutions for myself. Not necessarily because I felt like I needed them to achieve a higher level of living in 2018, but moreso as a semi-realistic check-up and reflection on how I’m really doing right now. Nothing career or exercise related, or any of that corny stuff. Just personal happiness, enjoyment, and fulfillment based.  January 1st, 2018 was such a dreadful day that it made me want to literally chase my own happiness.

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As a second comparison, resolutions are also kinda like opinions: you should probably keep yours to yourself because people might think that you’re weird (I think I scared off the first girl that I told my resolutions to this year for a little bit). BUT since rules are meant to be broken and because no laws can hold me, I’m going to share mine with y’all anyways. As a reward for sitting thru them all (/skipping all the way to the end but still giving me the click), I’ll include a special playlist at the end, just for y’all. ❤


My 2018 Resolutions: 

1. To Infiltrate The Art, Culture, & Photography Community
An argument could be made that I’ve been slowly but surely making my way into the music community (when an artist from Chicago reached out and told me that people at his recording studio recommended me, this was confirmed), though my local presence in the local community has been weak at best.

My first resolution for 2018 was to get more involved with the local cultural communities, including the music scene, but namely the strong art and photography core in my city. Within 2 months I got accepted into my first gallery show for film photography, but unfortunately, I was living in LA at the time so I didn’t get an opportunity to participate. We’re still working on that one. Fortunately, within the same time frame, I was able to meet some great musicians and a group of kids out of Victoria looking to put the city on the map with a new wave of music and talent coming in and out. I’m looking forward to working with them more as time goes on!

 

 2.  To Try HARDER To Be Social
I’m the type of person that loves to pretend I don’t know anyone, or that I have nothing to be doing. In reality, not to sound like as big of a tool as I’m about to, but I know A LOT of people and I consistently have things that I could be doing (that aren’t as solitary as my preferred pastimes)… I just don’t be doing ’em. I didn’t use to be like this, but this last year definitely bore down on me in many ways.

Very simple resolution: stop looking for excuses to not go and do something. Accept invitations. Send invitations. All in all, my hope is that this will lead to me meeting new people – since university I haven’t had many periods of actively meeting new people. This resolution also intertwines with the first one nicely.

 

 3. To Re-gain An Impressive Level of Music Knowledge
THIS is probably the most important one to me. Sure, outward goals are great, being social is amazing, but at the end of the day, internal achievements will always be the most rewarding.

For 3 years I actively ran a music blog. Even when I wasn’t that active with writing, I was always on top of all the new music. Always looking for leaks, always sharing new stuff, and always asking people what they were listening to. At one point, I can honestly say that I was a modern hip-hop encyclopedia (specializing in Drake album leaks and random Chance the Rapper facts), now, I don’t possess much more music trivia than your average radio listener. This culminated when I went to LA in October and couldn’t name any of the big songs that were being played at the convention I was at; I blamed it on being Canadian and not being exposed to good hip-hop at home, but as an internet kid we all knew this was a cop-out. In 2018 I aim to get back in the know about what all the kids these days are listening to. Old man Hosp back at it again.

A big part of why I was always actively seeking out the best new music, was because I loved making playlists (big 8tracks guy over here). So, to officially make good on this resolution, I’ve included a new Soundcloud playlist below with all of my favorite music that I’ve found recently. The HHT Interlude, volume 5. And please, next time we speak, show me your favorite song!

Here’s to more to happiness in 2018

Different Day / Same Hangover

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2 Weeks / Different Day, Same Hangover

[April 29th, 2018]
I’ve said my goodbyes, so I guess my latest trip officially starts right now.

Though I don’t actually head out to London for another 2 weeks, mentally I’m already checked out. Last night was my best friend’s 24th birthday (rightfully themed to the 2000’s – a time of carelessness we all kind of wish we could revisit). It was one of those instantly nostalgic feeling get-togethers; I’m not sure if it was the theme or the people, but everything felt like it never skipped a beat. I call this effect “different day, same hangover”. Regardless, it will serve as a pinpoint on this group’s rocky existential timeline that will probably continue along until we collectively become the 10th season of Friends and become too highly paid to care anymore. This morning followed suit with a ceremonial group brunch – truncated by my early exit – and now I’m on the ferry back home.

I think the last set of goodbyes before long-term travels are always kind of weird because no one really knows what to say. Like, “bye [for now?] – hope you don’t die somewhere exotic, I guess”. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one who thinks like this.

Skiptracing by Mild High Club is playing, and it seems very suitable all the way down to the name of the band.

Anyways – 2 weeks. Since starting this little pseudo travel blog a year ago, I’m a lot better traveled than before. The last 16 or so months have been eventful (ideally, by now I’ve just published my year in review, and you’re able to read that HERE. If not, well, this is awkward), and even though life constantly feels slow, part of me knows that I’m probably going to be in for an incredibly eventful summer. You know, ‘the best summer ever’ type vibes; the way that the lead up to every summer usually feels.

I’ve spoken about the idea of an endless summer before, so I’ll try to spare the resonance, but I think I’m finally starting to get excited. I’ll be heading into Europe and the UK for my first time ever, setting up shop in London and hoping to make it out unscathed (well maybe a little scathed). I don’t have any jobs lined up besides a few leads, I have no place to stay yet, and if we’re being realistic I probably don’t have enough money in my bank account to be entering a foreign country with the type of plans that I have.

A year ago, I still wouldn’t have been terrified, but I would’ve definitely been wary. Seeing as ‘planning’ didn’t do me so well the first time around, and that most of my more spontaneous outings have played out well in one way or another, I’m very okay with it this time.

I spent the first two months of 2018 living in Los Angeles. (Also, I hate how much I’ve used the word “I” so far in this – I’m gonna get to back to my regular how-to style for the next one. Bare with me, I’m trying to get myself excited to document life again. I had to get myself excited about life again first, so this is merely the second step). L.A. was one of those trips where people would ask me what I was going out there to do and I would tell them “basically the same thing I do at home – but it’s sunny there”. In all reality, it was probably the best solo trip that I’ve had so far. I think I realized how helpful it is to be around other starving creatives. It turned the theory that most of my internet friends are willing to help me out more than my real friends into law.

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me, recently.

Where was I again? Oh right, 2 weeks left. (Repetition is a drug, according to Jermaine). Packing, preparing, praying… and push-ups? Honestly, I don’t think any of this stuff will directly correlate to a good trip as much as an open mind and a shot-shooters touch can, but hey, I’d be remiss not to leave my mother with a little peace of mind before I fly the coup.

I don’t really have anything else to say besides that I don’t actually know anything about UK culture besides that a peace-sign facing the wrong direction means a bad word and that my tea game is about to be ELEVATED. Can someone inform me what context to use the word “Peng” in? Because it sounds rad and I intend to use it as much as possible.

But yeah, if you stay out in London and want to link – maybe go for a photo walk – hit my line. Otherwise stay tuned, and hopefully, I’ll find some time in between life to tell you some more stories. I have a lot of good ones from this past year, though you’ll probably never hear them.

(I believe in life’s parallels, so if you were wondering by the end of this entry has been so awkward and sudden then scroll back to up to the first point I was making about weird goodbyes.)

Bye for now – don’t die somewhere exotic,

-hosp

12 Months Later; What A Year

Hello? Is this thing on? It’s been a while.

It’s been a crazy year. I spent most of April 2017 somewhere on a beach in Australia as a largely directionless post-grad degenerate who spent a lot of time writing and seeking; now, I’m still a mostly directionless degenerate – except now I’m one with a semi-successful business venture and a few more items crossed off of my bucket list. Not writing as much (unfortunately), but still seeking.

April 26th marks the day many could argue was that my life changed. The 72 hours, before, after, and during April 26th, 2017 was spent in 2 continents, 6 cities, 1 arena, and 1 tour bus. Although most people didn’t know it yet (in fact, no one would really know until about four months later), this was the day I would start my dream internship with Chance the Rapper. Since you’ve heard that story far too many times, and I’ve told that story far more times than fathomable, we’ll fast-forward past that.

Anyways – one of my favorite YouTubers, Jon Olsson, recently published a quick-flash recap of his 2nd full year of vlogging. I know my life is nowhere near as exciting as Jon’s (yet), but I figured today would as good a day as ever to publish a year in review of one of the greatest years of my life (note: this was meant to drop on April 26th, but, you know how it goes). In a lot of pictures and a couple of words, I’ll be recapping some of the best moments of my year – as briefly as I can, with a couple inevitable long story longs, of course. What a year.


A year in review. April to April. 2017-2018

(Sometimes we forget to slow down and realize the greatness of a moment while we’re in it. This is something I’m guilty of. Consider this a tool of recollection)

Since April 26th, 2017, I have visited 34 cities and lived in three of them for at least two months. I have logged 12,588 Kilometers (7821 Miles) over four major road trips – not including the Miles I logged on the tour bus. I took 16 plane rides and nearly as many ferry rides. I saw 28 concerts and went to seven music festivals. I shot 24 rolls of film, the equivalent of about 720 photos. I drank a lot of beers, but probably still less than the April to April before this one – I miss college. I grew close to a lot of new people and grew apart from twice as many. I was happy a lot, and sad a lot, but usually, the pace of the year left little time to compartmentalize most of these feelings.

Evidently, the past 365 days were… eventful. Here’s what I did:

April 26th, 2017: 8am. I woke up in Victoria, Canada after arriving from Sydney, Australia less than 20 hours earlier. Hopped on two planes and eventually arrived in San Francisco. After the longest Uber ride of my life, I arrived at Oracle Arena. The Be Encouraged tour was underway.

Two months, 29 cities. From Oakland to Dallas, Denver to Boston, Seattle to Orlando, and everything in between. Somewhere in that time frame I lived like a hippie for two days in what can only be described as the rebirth of Woodstock, Bonnaroo 2017 – the best music festival I have ever been to.

I said my goodbyes to my tour family and took a flight to San Diego to meet my friend Deji for one of his modeling gigs. To me, it felt like the beginning of some coming-of-age tale. Beachy vibes; cool place. I’ll go back one day.

Back to Canada, back to Victoria.

Victoria is the type of place that is so beautiful you never want to leave, but so frustrating that you’ll be forced to. Road trip to Calgary? Tour money in my pocket… why not.

Four weeks in Calgary went from “chill relaxation & recovery with some friends from college” to “holy shit Pigeons & Planes just wrote about me and my twitter page just got two million views and everybody suddenly cares about my internship that ended a month ago” real fast. Not many people can pinpoint their cloutal acquisition to a single moment – but yeah, that’s kinda how it went.

I guess during that commotion I mentioned that I was gonna start a business, so that meant I should probably start a business. I leave my car in Calgary and fly back home to start my aforementioned business. (Starting a business isn’t easy… but it’s also not as difficult as I expected. I guess I just like teaching myself stuff). Two weeks later, my business is registered and launched. Made by Hospey is born on August 14, 2017.

Back to Calgary.

Deji and I jump in the whip again, this time headed to California for ten days – another modeling thing but a little more important this time (congrats). To those considering going on a California road trip with your best friend: do it. It’ll be stressful at times, but the Chick-fil-a and sunsets will more than make up for it.

From there I spent another three-weeks in Calgary – the last time (so far) that I spent working for somebody else. Another 11-hour road trip later and it was back to BC for a few (lowkey uneventful) days in Vancouver and then back to home once again.

(We’re only at October 1st… tired yet?)

Victoria is one of those places that is so incredibly slow that I get a lot of good work done while I’m there, but when I’m back from more than two weeks I start to slowly go crazy (seemingly counter-productive). What does this mean? Lots of sunsets. I live for sunsets. Oh yeah, this also meant lots of excuses to take short trips.

October through December accounted for two more trips to LA: once for Complexcon and once for a music video shoot with my good friends, Thirdstory (see if you can spot me), and a couple more trips over to Vancouver, including an… unexpected end to 2017, albeit alongside a couple of my best friends. Cheers!


January 1st, 2018 was spent in contemplation. It was a slap in the face in many ways. While all the “new year, new me” headasses were out on their morning runs breaking in the Asics they got for Christmas (2 years prior), I spent my New Years morning incredibly hungover, with an empty wallet, eating a toasted Tim Hortons bagel that looked like it was cut & buttered by Stevie Wonder. While I’m not one to typically give into the incredibly manufactured confinements of the calendar year (I’ll get to this later), the start of my 2018 felt like an adequate time to grade my first 12 months since University graduation. Yeah sure, I was doing alright, but I wanted to be doing much better. Not professionally, or even financially, or whatever people are supposed to measure themselves on; I just wanted to be happier in general. I’ve never set “resolutions” for myself, ever. It seemed like a good time to start. (More on that another time, of course, you know the drill by now!)

Seven days later, I spent my 23rd birthday crossing the border into the States. A three-day road trip with my mom was capped by moving into my new place for the next two months. Yep, Los Angeles: part four.

The next two months were two of the best months of my life thus far. No cap (that felt weird to say, but all the kids are saying that this day). I can’t offer much about the experience, besides another thank-you to everyone I link with out there, as well as another photo tribute composed of some of my favourite captures to date.

All-Star Weekend 2018. My LA experience came to a close with a surprise show from Kid Cudi & Childish Gambino (perhaps the best concert I’ve ever seen). My friend Tony came out from engineering school back in Canada to take in the festivities from a weekend and then join me on the road trip home through Oregon and Washington. Basically, think of longest photo-walk ever taken in one of the most beautiful parts of the world; Blissful.

Minus an epic four-day music-tour experience between Portland and Vancouver with my best friend and my favourite band, my final stretch of time before April was spent broke again and slightly bored in Victoria, relaxing and preparing for my next adventure.

And here we are. April 26th, 2018.


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You know how for the first 20 or so years of your life, the calendar year doesn’t really mean much? September, when school begins and summer comes to an end, marks the start of a new year. Well, consider April to April my new calendar year. And within those confines as a standard, I had a pretty wild year.

As far as plans for the future? No real plans, no real goals. Shit changes every day, b. My only mindset for the longest time has been “make this day better than the last”, and that’s the only standard I know how to live by at this point. I’m nearly certain that in the near future some of my visions will start to materialize and some goals will start to become more clear, but for now, all I want to be able to do is live a life led by free-thought… and buy my mom a house before I’m 30-years-old (check in with me in 7 Aprils from now on that one).

Okay. That’s it.

Speak soon,
-hosp.

Throwaways: Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, the city the angels creativity.

Since April, I’ve been in and out of California on 4 different occasions, with the 2 most recent coming via a road trip with one of my best friends in September, and an impromptu journey to Complexcon (no thanks to Delta..) to reconnect with some old friends and formally meet some new ones – both in Los Angeles. Every excuse I have, I try to go. It’s just one of those fairy-tale places for a creative, that is somehow just as good as advertised (at least on the surface).

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Everywhere has its fakes and foes, and legitimate drawbacks, but there’s a reason that the California dream has been attracting dreamers for generations on end. Vintages sales on this corner, spontaneous photo shoot on the other three; A music festival one weekend, and streetwear convention the next; Daytime meetings at Capital Records, evening networking over some Korean BBQ, and a legendary studio session to close the night (more about that story, soon). Its as if everyone here does something. And of course, the weather doesn’t hurt.

L.A. based dream-chasers have had their fair shares of tragedy, and every broken-down, weary face will make you wonder what their failed choice of medium once was – but the thriving pretenders that make appearances daily, personifying the proverb “fake it ’til you make it”, will provide more than enough reason for you to deliver your best work yet.

I have a feeling I’ll be back soon. Thanks, L.A.

-hospey

(P.S. I’ve been working on a lot of new stuff; more soon. Check out my medium page to see some more of the my recent work.)

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!

How to Get Paid To Write Online

Every creative has a dream of one day being paid simply to keep making what they love. For some, this may mean in a workplace setting, for some this means freelancing, and for those chosen few that are deemed important enough, their audiences alone can provide enough funding to survive happily. Learn about a new way for writers to make money online WHILE building up their followings.

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Here is how to get paid to write and publish online:

When I started this blog almost 10 months ago, it was basically an “anti-travel-blog” travel blog. I hated the ideas pressed by travel blogs, and I hated the idea that somehow flying 14 hours away from home for a few months would change me.

10 months later this still isn’t a traditional travel blog in any sense, and flying to Australia didn’t change me. With that said, this isn’t a travel blog because it’s less about the travel itself, as it is about the stories. Being physically located in every place I’ve gotten the chance to see over these 10 months (a list way bigger than I ever anticipated) didn’t change me, but the people, the scenes, and the moments certainly did, and I’ve never had a more waking urge to become generic travel blog guy #408.

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I’ve found myself planning no further than a month or 2 in advance, freelance wise, in the realization that most of my plans are naturally going to fall around the mini-trips I can budget for until my next adventure. This time around though I’ll have a better idea of all that can truly be found out there with a little searching, and a bigger audience to share stories and grow with.

While traveling requires quite a few ducats, and blatant creativity isn’t always the most lucrative, last weeks Medium announcement was a blessing in disguise. Sent to me by a friend in a Twitter chat (shoutout to my MMC family), was an article that explained that Medium’s paywall has officially been opened up for anyone to sign up for and start publishing for pay. What this means essentially is that you can sign up in about 10 minutes, give your bank info, and publish “locked” articles that basically only paying members are able to see (note: this is NOT an ad in any way, shape, or form. In fact my Medium estimates for my first month are still reading “$0.00”). Based on time spent reading, and “claps”, an estimate is given and you can get paid out simply for having people read your content. It seemed kind of too good to be true, with online reviews stating an average of ~$90 for Medium paywall writers (I’m assuming this is a skewed mean average, not median), but the fact that you could essentially re-post articles that you own the rights to meant that I could basically try it out risk free.

I started by re-posting my “How to Work For Your Favourite Rapper” article just to see if it would be able to pick up any steam without much promo at all, and how much it would make me. It’s been about 10 days and the views are still reasonably low (with $0 in estimated revenue as mentioned), but I’ve noticed that every day the stats are improving, and I’ve even managed over ten followers. For the time being I want to see how it goes, so I’ve decided to post a few more of my think-pieces on Medium, namely the content that doesn’t exactly fit here or re-posts that I want to monetize (this blog is currently 100% revenue free; I just do it because I love it in all honesty)

This week, I wrote about why the creative community has the same destructive tendency as the generic society that we tend to avoid, in terms of limiting its members to an idea of singular success (choosing one thing to be good at, and one thing only). Check out a piece of the article below, and click on excerpt below to read more! (If you sign up for a completely free account you can read 3 of these “locked” articles per month – justtt enough to read all of mine, haha)

An excerpt from Us, creative”: An Argument Against Picking Mediums

Within our own society, us, creatives claim to hate bland binaries BUT are outwardly as anti-modularity as our generic counterparts. Our equivalents of “So, what do you do?” or “What degree did you graduate with?” are “So, what do you make?” and “What’s you medium?”; As pathetic as “well,I’m a creative” sounds to the rest of the world, “well, I don’t really have a medium I just make whatever” sounds just as lame to all of us, creatives. If you create, there is some sort of expectation that at some point you’ll be notable enough in your preferred medium that you’ve effectively ‘made it’. If you shoot photos but don’t have x number of Instagram followers, you’re not a photographer, you’re a hobbyist. If you publish writing, but you don’t have x amount of notable bylines, you’re not a writer, you’re just another asshole with a free blog. If you write poetry, but don’t get at least 2 minute finger-snap ovation (I made this one up, admittedly I haven’t been to a slam poetry event yet but I imagine it’s something like this), you’re not a poet, you’re just an angsty post-teen. Sounds familiar, right? (See: “Ah, so you’ve been working at the company for 10 years, but you aren’t a manger yet? Maybe you should focus on your career a little more”). Even in popular music, not until recently did we start to see vocalists begin to hone their production and instrumental skills en masse. Besides the obvious drawbacks, what this type of destructive ideology does is effectively box many of us in. Creatives who decide to branch out across many mediums, perhaps limiting the focus of any particular area, give off the perception of less success, focus, and purpose in their respective fields.

-a how-to, by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey!