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.
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.