Friday, December 4, 2015

Renegades - Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Enjoy aerial footage of Stand Up Paddle boarding in Laguna Beach, CA. 

Video montage is mixed to Renegades by X Ambassadors. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Fall is a breathtaking waterfalls located bout 2.5 miles past the Devil's Postpile in Mammoth, CA. It's an incredible beautiful backdrop to Mammoth's natural setting.

Rainbow Falls

Devil's Postpile 

Devil's Postpile 

Devil's Postpile 

Mammoth River

Back of Rainbow Falls

Devil's Postpile 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Victorville Airplane Graveyard Visit

Airplane graveyards are interesting cultural landmarks. In some ways, it’s difficult to imagine that new planes costing over $350 million dollars, can eventually be left in the dessert. In other ways, the remote landscape juxtaposed against modern machinery, creates a unique photography opportunity.

This particular graveyard is near the Southern Logistics Airport in Victorville, CA.  

Victorville Airplane Graveyard

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Paramount Ranch

Paramount Ranch

Enjoy various images of Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, CA. Paramount Ranch was a former movie set and the backdrop to several iconic Western movies, such as The Cisco Kidd and television shows, including Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.

The property is maintained by the National Park Service and is open to the public for tours. Parking is complimentary.

Paramount Ranch Western Town Setting

Paramount Ranch Barn Window

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Condolences

Treasure Island @ Night
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and loved ones of Hunter Schwirtz. Although I didn’t personally know him, he has left behind a strong impression and impact on our community. I’m always amazed at how strongly, quickly & cohesively Laguna Beach can rally behind individuals mourning incomprehensible loss. I have felt this same love and support over the last ten years since Max & Mark passed away.
Although we miss our departed daily – no matter what age someone is when they pass away, it’s comforting to know that our community can help, embrace and support those grieving grieving and in need of comfort.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or share from your personal experiences to those grieving as our personal experiences can often help provide some guidance and possibly even some comfort. ‪#‎onelove‬

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Let's Fly!

Enjoy drone video footage of stand up paddle boarding near Seal Rock & Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach, CA. Video footage captured by Andrew Gabell of Backyard History; soundtrack "The Ocean" by Led Zeppelin. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mission Accomplished!

A HUGE THANK YOU! Thank you to everyone who contributed to my brother's memorial foundation scholarship fundraiser! My family and I are very humbled by your generous donations and support for our mission to help provide financial needs scholarships to graduating high school students. 

If you contributed the scholarship, the 2016 calendars will be delivered near the holidays. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

OC Register Article Feature

A big thank you to the Orange County Register for publishing an article about Mark's memorial scholarships and our efforts to help provide financial needs scholarships to graduating high school students. To read the article, please click here

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mark Tiner Memorial Fundraiser Update

The momentum for my brother's memorial scholarship continues to grow! Please take a moment and visit our IndieGoGo Fundraiser page to learn how you can make a difference! The campaign ends August 28, 2015. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 Mark Tiner Scholarship Fundraiser

I've organized a fundraiser for my brother's memorial scholarship.
I'm asking for a $20 donation for a 2016 calendar featuring my photographs with proceeds benefiting the fund.
If you have a moment, please watch the 1-minute video above and learn how you can help make a difference. Let's impact our community together!

Every donation helps makes a difference! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 Mark Tiner Education Foundation Recipient

2015 Mark Tiner Education Foundation Recipient

Last May, I presented the 2015 Mark Tiner Education Foundation Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 to Teresa Rivera from Buena Park High School. Theresa will attend UCLA this fall.

It was rewarding to present the scholarship with my wife, Ashley Tiner, and some of Theresa's school counselors. The Mark Tiner Education Foundation, is a fund of the Orange County Community Foundation, a California 501 (C) 3.

2015 Mark Tiner Education Foundation Recipient - Teresa Rivera from Buena Park High School

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Surf City Marathon Discount Code

After 7 consecutive years of running the 1/2 marathon, I'm excited to be an official ambassador for the 2016 Surf City USA Marathon! If you would like a special discount code, use "SCMTINER10" at checkout to save 10% the entry fee. The code is valid for both the 1/2 and full marathons!

Click here to register. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

More Lessons From #Workcation

This post is #16 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

What moments in our life, will we remember when we are old? …Will we see our entire life flash before our eyes in a 20-30 seconds shortly before we pass away? ...What moments from that montage will we remember? More than likely, it will not be the time we spent working away in our office or cubicle. It will not be the moments spent inching away in the rush hour traffic or the time folding laundry and cleaning house. More than likely, we will remember the times we spent with our friends and family. It will be the individual accomplishment share with ourselves, family members, and friends that we will cherish, revere, and remember. 

There are various professional, romantic, and life milestones in life. Professional milestones, such a high school graduations, getting a first job acceptance letter, or a promotion are milestones that make our feel accomplished. Romantic milestones, such as a first kiss, a wedding, and new childbirths, make us feel complete and loved. Family milestones, such as annual thanksgiving dinners and holiday family photos, make us feel whole and part of something bigger thank ourselves. Lastly, rich life experiences, such as eating ice cream on a hot summer day, watching Fourth of July fireworks, learning to ride a bike,  going sky diving, running a marathon, completing an Ironman, or learning a new language make us feel accomplished, because we are push ourselves forward and expanding our understandings. All of these new experiences enhance our outlook on life and help develop our innate ability to move forward. When we pass away or slip closer to our deaths, I feel it will be romantic, family, and rich life moments that we will remember and share with our loved ones.

It’s amazing that as I started to take workcations, my eyes were opened more of my surroundings and the world around me. As I wanted to go hiking or mountain bike more frequently after work, I discovered new trails in my local vicinity. Part of me felt childish for not discovering these trails sooner in life, but part of me also felt rewarded for discovering them. As I continued to see expand my local horizons, my focus also started to shift internationally. My thirst to experience new and deeper life experience increased. I started to pursue vacation ideas that were on my bucket list. My bucket list started to transform into an accomplished list. I took my vacation time for a real vacation and ventured to places like Thailand and Italy. My travels were fueled by lifestyle decisions I had made earlier in life to save more money, generate more passive income, and ultimately explore more of the world around me. 

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Expand Your Potential

This post is #15 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 
  If you are looking for ways to enjoy more luxurious or cost-intensive workcations that are outside of your budget, there are two ways to create additional income: 1) reduce your monthly expenditures or 2) create additional income streams. As you divide you list into two different categories listed below, determine which ones you can revise, add or subtract to help you make the most of your lifestyle.

1) Reduce Expenditures
        From enjoy a Starbucks latte to paying for cable TV, there are one-time and monthly expenses that can overpower our lives. At times, our expenses can overwhelm us and make us feel like we can never get ahead.  In order to reduce your monthly budget, it’s important to divide your expenses into two categories: one-time and recurring expenses.

                One-Time Expenses: These expense typically are lifestyle charges, such as new clothing or dining out at a restaurant. Sometimes, these feel as “must-haves” and sneak into our budgets. It can be helpful to always sleep on it for a night and not feel pressured to buy on a whim. There will always be a deal around the corner and realizing that spending to save, actually doesn’t make the spender the winner is a good strategy to follow.

                Recurring Expenses: These are monthly expenses that take away from our income. Expenses, such as a mortgage, cable bills, car insurance, gym memberships, and cell phone bills, are all monthly expenses that fight for a share of our monthly paycheck. Some of these are billed monthly and we may not even be aware for the details of our bill or don’t use all of what we are paying for. If we spend time looking at ways to reduce or bills – either by reducing a service or possibly evening removing a service, such as cable TV, we will find new ways to have additional income.

2) Create Additional Income Streams
        Let me be frank. Most, if not 99% of all “get rich” schemes are not overnight successes. For every, “once in a lifetime opportunity,” there are tens of thousands of individuals who are either trying to create the same “once in a lifetime opportunity” or did not reach success working towards it. Most online people who share the secrets of achieving great wealth have very little practical information to implement into your own ventures.

        That being said, there are opportunities that are you can explore to help create additional streams of wealth. Today, more and more online marketing gurus are sharing their success and building resources and communities dedicated to helping people achieve their own online success. Although there are several of this “industry leaders,” it’s important to focus on individuals who are 1) transparent with how they make money, 2) interview other successful entrepreneurs and 3) if possible, provide this information for free. It can be easy to be curious and purchase additional information from some of these industry gurus, but some of the best individuals share their advice for free (yes, FREE!) with the hope to make additional income through affiliate purchases or advertising revenue.

        One of the best, online areas for knowledge, is Smart Passive Income ( Established in 2008, Smart Passive income chronicles the personal successes and failure of Pat Flynn as he tries to increase is the revenue he earns passively each month from online ventures, such as creating mobile applications, websites, or eBooks. Additionally, Flynn interviews successful online entrepreneurs, such as Tim Ferris, and shares their success and industry secrets on a weekly podcast. The podcast is extremely helpful and allows individuals to learn some step-by-step approaches that they can incorporate into their own personal lives.

        It took Pat several years to create a successful online empire, which currently earns between $50,000-60,000/month “passively” from various online projects. Although extremely successful from today means, Pat’s road to success was paved slowly and through necessity. He will be the first one to tell you that we was not fired from his architecture job, but laid off. After no success finding a job, Pat was determined to build his online empire by writing about the experiences he had attempting to create revenue online. It took him several years, before he earned a monthly income of a few thousand dollars a month, which help him support his wife and eventual two children at the time.

        Pat’s journey is inspiring, because it shares the value of hard work, built over time. Implementing similar passive income channels may help you to slowly expand and evolve your passive income opportunities. Overtime, I have learned to embrace these passive income generating opportunities, both as learning experiences to expand my professional skillset and ways to earn additional cash for workcations and vacations. For example, after reading about how to publish an eBook, I decided to turn my photographs into calendar. I spent time learning how to create an eBook, refined my knowledge, and ultimately published my eBook online. Overall, the calendar doesn’t make me rich, but it earns a small amount of passive income each month to help support a mini-workcation each month.

Now imagine if you have a few different sources of passive income? How many doors would open for you to expand your current lifestyle? As you start to think of additional revenue generating ideas, make a list of your creative passions. If this includes taking pictures, writing, or singing, making your list will give you can idea about what to explore. Knowing your passions first will help you translate these into revenue generating ideas. For example, if your passion is singing, maybe you could record some of your songs and submit them through iTunes or Pandora Radio for distribution. If you passion is writing, maybe you start a blog about a topic close to your heart and you display banner advertisements on it. No matter what the end goal is, it will be your passion that helps fuel your determination and success.  

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Workcation is the New Norm for Retirement

This post is #14 / #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Retirement sounds boring and in many cases unfeasible. Are we really expected to stop work completely and resort to a life of relaxation? On the flip side, why do we have to wait until we retire in order to have the freedom to pursue our passions? Let me pop the bubble of waiting until you have worked 30 years and are living off fixed income in order to start living your dreams. If we continue to live a balanced life and enjoy workcations at your discretion, we will be able to enjoy a balanced and accomplished life now, instead of waiting for a lifetime to pass.

                If you are planning to wait for retirement to enjoy your free time or afternoon, just how prepared are you? Several studies have found many Americans are not prepared for retirement. In fact, The Federal Reserve shared in 2014 that just under one-third of US households reported having no retirement savings or pension, including approximately 20% of households aged 55 to 64. The study also found that out of the people who have started to plan for retirement, 25% don’t feel that they will have enough to pay for their monthly expenses. Our culture has been engrained to work hard and spend hard. The focus on saving has shifted to the immediate satisfaction of spending in the moment to provide for our current lifestyles. As we start to plan our lives and plan out future interests, such as workcations, we can start to plan for the future as well as be okay with working for an extended period of time. It’s a cold hard fact that many of us will have to work well into our 60’s and even longer to provide for ourselves. However, if we enjoy workcations along the way, it will help make our daily lives more enjoyable as we are able to experience and enjoy life in the moment.

                When I had my bicycle accident, I realized that life is just too precious to spend it working the entire time. I want the ability to travel and do anything at will. However, part of me also enjoyed work. I enjoyed the team collaboration, being part of something bigger than myself, seeing progress in the advancement of a company, and achieving goals. I realized that work fulfilled me as much as taking time off. It was the balance of both that brought satisfaction to my life.

As we continue to advance at various stages in our life, it’s important to realize the importance of finding balance in yours. The reality is many of us will not be the next Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, or Elon Musk. And, if we do have the foresight, strength, and aptitude to become one of these elite revolutionary business minds, the reality is we will more than likely continue to work hard and not retire. These business leaders all have enough money to stop working completely, but it’s the pursuit of exploration and creativity that drives them. They are able to pursue their individual and company goals, while finding time to relax during their busy work schedules. In fact, some of these leaders have been known to take breaks during their workweek to pursue athletic escapades, such as sailing extended distances, running marathons, or enjoying outdoor festivals, such as Coachella and Burning Man. The key is that they have found balance and are taking their own workcations in the midst of their lives.

           How are your life goals shaping up? Do you want to pursue outdoor pursuits? Do you want to work for the rest of your life? Well, phrased like that it may sound like an endless pursuit. However are you ready to work to accomplish your goals while finding time to balance and pursue your lifestyle goals? If you are, you are ready to explore a workcation and take full advantage to what life has to offer.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Don’t Talk Yourself Out of It

This post is #13 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Hopefully, by now you feel motivated and encouraged to plan and take a workcation. However, if the thoughts of going hiking after work is suddenly being conflicted with prohibitive thoughts, such as “how am I going to find a babysitter,” or “I just have too much to do,” well let me encourage you to stop those thoughts!

Let’s take a few moments here to look at common objections to a workcation and understand how you can move forward through them. These objections are simply mental speed bumps that you simply need to drive over and not look back. Let these positive rebuttals fuel your tank and help you continue to stay full of hope and accelerate over any hesitation, doubt, or reason to not take a workcation.

Commons Objects to “Workcations”
Objection: “I Don’t Have Time”
Make time! Yes, we are busy. We are ALL really busy. However, constantly telling everyone how busy we are just makes us busier and doesn’t help solve the problem of creating additional time for you. It all starts with making a time budget. Similar to allocating financial resources each month to various categories, such as mortgage, gas, food, and electrical bills, making a time budget will help show how much of your time you are actually spend. You may be surprised how much time you spend watching TV or just being busy by texting, viewing emails, and surfing the Internet. Lumping these activities into a grouped budget will help you maximize your time and find additional time to pursue relaxing activities. For example, you may decide to check & respond to email only twice a day (in the morning at 10AM and early afternoon at 3PM), to help free up time.

The vital essentials: As you make your time budget, think of the following main lifestyle categories. Each of these categories are vital to our life’s existence and are typical to most life schedules.
1.       Work
2.       Commuting
3.       Shopping & Errands
4.       Household Chores
5.       Eating & Meal Preparation
6.       Exercising

Low-level time drainers: Now think about the following additional “time draining” activities. These activities can seem important, but often take away from life essentials and opportunities to pursue a vacation or workcation.
1.       Watching TV
2.       Playing Video Games
3.       Writing and responding to emails
4.       Browsing social media sites
5.       Texting

High-level life enhancing priorities: Now think about important, sacred, and high-level pursuit that you value. How much time are we allocating or budgeting towards these pursuits. Your list make look different below, but here are some ideas to help your dream life continue to soar and reach new heights.
1.       Family
2.       Friends
3.       Religious interests
4.       Resting and relaxing
5.       Pursuing physical, mental, or spiritual goals

Objection: I don’t have enough money.
Save or create additional income. Your solution to this will really depend if you are a gather or a hunter. If you are a gather, you will meticulously save to acquire enough resources to enjoy an activity on your list. If you are a hunter, you will identify new revenue generating opportunities to increase your cash flow. This may include starting a blog that generates advertising revenue, driving as an Uber driver in the nights, or babysitting for friends on the weekend. No matter your personality time – either a hunter or gather – your ability to find pockets of money to help support your life and workcation pursuits depends on the willpower and dedication to make it happen!

It doesn’t have to be expensive. Last time I checked walking was free! Unless, you are walking on a treadmill at a gym. Then you may have to pay a monthly gym fee. Many, activities, such as visiting a local park, swimming at a lake, or walking at the beach are free or very inexpensive. If your workcation list is too expensive and beyond your current budget, it’s okay to scale it back and purse activities that are within your budget and spending threshold comfort levels.

Objection: It’s too much effort
Breaking bad habits requires willpower. Establishing new habits require less. According to the adage, it takes 21 days to establish a habit, but new studies actually find that it takes closer to 66 days. The “21 days to form a habit” seems to have evolved from University of Southern California’s Maxwell Maltz’s book, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, which states it “would take about 21 days of practice for an old mental image of ourselves to dissolve and a new one to ‘gel.’” It may take some of us 21 days, however it, may only take some of us 18 days to establish a new habit. On the other end of the spectrum, it make take others 254 days to establish their new habit. The ability to establish a habit really comes down to how your new habit will impact and evolve in your current lifestyle. Ask yourself how much willpower do have to achieve your habit or goal?
Taking a workcations doesn’t have to be a regular habit. Try one first. If you don’t like it or don’t see the benefit, then it’s may not be for you. However, I would encourage you to try a few, before you simply throw in the towel. Additionally, workcations are something that can be integrated into your life at various points to help enhance it. They don’t need to be regular occurrences or if they are, they can be strategically added to your life’s time budget.

Object: It’s not worth it to me.
You simply may need more time. The timing may not be right for you right now. Maybe your priorities and responsibilities are spread too thin. No matter the reason, it make take more time for you to be open to explore one.   
         Understand your needs. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we have various needs that need to be filled before we pursue higher needs. For example, basic needs, such as air, water, nourishment, sleep, and safety, need to be fulfilled before we pursue and fulfill higher level needs, such as the need to give and receive love, self-respect, and achievement. Ironically, Maslow placed self-actualization needs at top of his pyramid. These needs, such as truth, justice, wisdom, and meaning, are classified as peak experiences and only experienced by a small percentage of the general population. If your desire to continually stay at the level of pursuing lower level needs, that is fine. However, if you pursue a workcation, your eyes may be opened to higher level needs as you fill your heart socially, and you fill mind and soul with self-actualization. 

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ideas for a “Workcation”

This post is #12 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

      Workcations don’t need to be elaborate and require a lot of money to enjoy. From enjoying a picnic in a park to taking a stroll along a hiking path, workcations are meant to get outside and enjoy nature, while unplugging from technology and connecting with others around them. Below are some additional workcation ideas to help you make the most of your experiences and share a range of opportunities for workcationers of all budget levels!

Low-Cost Workcations Ideas:
Takeout picnic in park. Instead of eating at that fast food restaurant or quickly in your car, take a few moments and enjoy your next takeout meal at a park.

Walk along beach. You may be geographically restricted to this, but if you leave near a beach, take advantage of it! Ditch the work shoes, socks, and enjoy the soothing feeling of sand beneath your toes.

Visit a Lake. Not a beach fan? Check out your local lake. Maybe you dust off your old fishing pole, bring some bread to feed the ducks, or just take a few moments to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Hike a trail. You may be surprised how many nature, walking, and hiking trails exist in your area. Check out or for a comprehensive list of excellent hiking trails.

Mountain bike ride. Riding takes some coordination and endurance, but if you are feeling brave, check out a local riding trail.

Volunteer at a charity. Although this may be considered “work,” volunteering at a local charity may be a refreshing give back and integrate a philanthropic element to your life.

Medium-Cost Workcations Ideas:
Overnight camping adventure. Most campsites cost anywhere from $15-50/night and require advance reservations. If you are planning on camping during the summer, plan early!

Athletic lesson, such as a standup paddle board lesson. Check the daily deal sites, such as Groupon or Living Social, to help save money and find the best deals in your area.

High Cost Workcations:

Rent a RV. Kick up your camping adventure and trade your tent for an RV. You may find yourself tempted to stay plugged in, but the RV can at least provide some more shelter, allow you to enjoy an overnight workcation in all seasons, and have a kitchen for meal preparation. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

How to Make your Own Workcation

This post is #11 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Experiencing your own workcation simply doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a little time to plan, prepare, and get ready for your first experience. The simple steps below are to help you make the most of your experience and help you appreciate each and every workcation moving forward.

Write it down: The easiest way to start your workcation is to write it down. You may already know what you want it to be or you may have a list of several workcations that you would like to explore. If your list is long, you may need to prioritize it to help you focus. There is a magical element that happens when we write something down. It becomes tangible, brings to fruition the ideas and life and helps us rationally explore something we may just be thinking about.

Research additional ideas: You may think you have the best idea for a workcation, but there are other ideas that may be available. Spending time on family, travel and outdoor websites and blogs can help stimulate new ideas to explore and pursue. Additionally, social media sites, such as Pinterest and Instagram, may help bring to life other ideas that you can explore during a workcation. Searching particular hashtags on Instagram, such as your location or a particular theme, may introduce new ideas to explore. For example, after spending time on Instagram searching the hashtag #CrystalCove, I saw pictures of backpackers in the local area. Seeing remote pictures of tents in the local state park, inspired me to pursue and plan a local backpacking trip with friends. Prior to seeing the hashtagged images, I wasn’t familiar with the possibility of backpacking less than 10 miles from my house and after doing the research and seeing the images, it brought for a new opportunity to add to my workcation list.

Prioritize & Schedule it: We are all busy. Ten years from now, we will even be busier. Each year, as we accept more responsibility and advance in our life path, it seems there are more commitments and obligations for our time. No matter what is thrown our way, it’s important to find time to relax and enjoy some personal time pursuing the activities that interest you. Your calendar may already be planned out for the next three, five or ten months. However, marking off a few hours, one night or even a couple of nights now for the activity of your choice, will help make your workcation a reality. Scheduling has two powerful impacts. It gives your something to look forward to and gives your workcation plans a timeframe to help make it a reality. The goal is to plan your strategic downtime, in order to have the workcation ready for you to take advantage of it.  

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Benefits to Time Off/Workcation

This post is #10 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

As you continue to define and expand upon the reasons behind your workcation, let’s look at some of the leading studies about the benefits of taking time off. According to Alertness Solutions, an independent research firm, the benefits of a vacation respite can help increase worker performance by 80%, and reaction times of returning vacationers increased 40%. As you take breaks from work, your ability to reconnect actually increases!

Imagine that! Productivity increases as we take time to play and reconnect with your true passions. In fact, Stuart Brownfounder of the National Institute for Play in California shares that active play increases the responsive, flexible, skilled aspects of our brain. All of these qualities are excellent for the workplace and help us be more well-rounded and flexible employees.

Additionally, if you have a family, the social benefits can extend beyond the workplace. The Disney Time Survey, an independent research study conducted by Kelton Research, found that quality family time not only increases while on vacation but the family members are able to learn more and new things about each other during this time period, compared to when at home.  This helps family members feel more relaxed, calm, and even more affectionate. 

The benefits of taking breaks from work – either the form of a traditional vacation or workcation, simply don’t stop at productive level. These benefits can help your overall health. In fact, the distinguished Framingham Heart Study discovered that vacations actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly in men. Specifically, men who didn’t take a vacation were 30% more likely to have heart attacks then those who did. The study found that even if you plan on skipping one year to create a bank of vacation hours, the effects of not taking a vacation can increase your risk of heart disease. Taking breaking helps refresh the soul as well as improve overall health!

Now, as we have seen from earlier chapters, Americans are not taking vacations and leaving substantial amount of days in their vacation hour bank. A workcation is not about making you take all of your vacation time, although these stats may make you reconsider using more of your banked vacation days. It’s about helping you identify how to take more prolonged breaks in your life. If it’s an hour walk at a park or an overnight camping adventure, a workcation, however you define it, can add productive, health, and social benefits to your life.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Why versus the What

This post is #9 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

It is easy to focus on a goal without understanding the reason behind the goal. If you don’t focus on the motivation behind accomplishing the goal, then it can be a struggle to set in motion the plans and initiatives to accomplish the goal. For example, your goal may be to run a half marathon, but if there is no why; it may be harder to push forward with accomplishing the goal. However, if the goal is to run a half marathon to raise money for a charity, lose weight or increase distance from the last race run, then it can become a lot easier to step forward with running the half marathon.

The why behind our goals is as equally as important as the what. In the case of the workcation, the why may be to spend more time with family, take a break from TV or your cell phone, or not feel like a rat in a rat race. No matter you why, just spend some time thinking about the reason or the reasons why you need a workcation. If you don’t truly understand your reasons, then you are doing something just to do it, and the feeling of accomplishment will not be the same as if you had a clear and defined reason.

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Experience & lessons from my first Workcation

This post is #8 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

The idea of having a bonfire, sleeping in a tent, showering, and returning to work may not excite everyone, but it warmed my spirit! I felt I became so accustomed to the comforts of my house – running hot shower, comfortable bed, and toilet – as well as the comforts of technology – including watching programmed DVR television, perfectly arranging my Netflix queue, responding to email at a moment’s notice  – that I lost touch with unplugging during the workweek. The idea of going somewhere local and unplugging for a few days, while still going to work and contributing during the day, made me feel I could have the best of both worlds – a stable career and dedicated time to relax.

My first workcation was spring 2013 for two days at Doheny Campground, a surfer’s campsite retreat along the beach in southern Orange County. It was from Tuesday-Thursday. I was reluctant to tell my coworkers what I was doing outside work, as I didn’t want to worry about how the lingering smell of campfire may distract from team meetings and projects. I invited a few friends to join me on the adventure. Although the idea seemed too radical or irrational to most, one of my best friends, Wally, joined me in the adventure and we were off!

On Tuesday night, Wally and I arrived at the campsite after work around 5:30PM and had sense of giddiness. For the first time in a long time, we were breaking out of our comfort zone by simply breaking upon our tents on the beach. An activity that is supposed to be enjoyed during “vacation hours” or “on the weekend” suddenly became an adventure, as we broke out of our normal routines and found time to relax. We turned off our phones, made camp, and enjoyed a bonfire complete with BBQ and s’mores.

We woke up the next morning with a sense of reawakening to our senses. Instead of turning on the coffee pot and heading into the shower, we jumped into the Pacific and went for a swim. The ocean’s chill temperature refreshed the body and the pounding waves helped awaken the senses. We were alive! The day was fresh and full of opportunity!

The first full work day after the workcation was exciting. I felt like I had a secret. The real secret wasn’t that I went camping the night before, but that I knew of a way to recharge, refresh, and reclaim a feeling of independence and hope. I felt that I had unplugged from the life around me and was able to reconnect and replug with a fresh perspective and sense of engagement. The lingering, but small odor from campfire didn’t slow down my workday. I actually found myself more productive during the day – both as motivation to return to the campsite again, as well as having the time to be unplugged from our constantly plugged in society. These were only the feelings after the first night of the workcation! I was excited for night two!

Wally and I returned to the second night of workcation with a larger crowd. Several of our friends, including Ashley, my beautiful girlfriend and now wife, joined us for a bonfire. Some of our friends were amazed that we returned to work after camping the first night and others thought it was a little crazy. No matter what our friends thought, this is what their own opinion. I had learned to be less concerned with their thought and appreciate my own experience, which was that it was refreshing, different and placing me more in touch with my friends and myself.

We finished the second night of the workcation, returned to work, and put behind our past as we started to focus again on our future. The workcation was almost a respite and restart button that helped trigger a new sense of purpose. Similar to starting the New Year fresh with a clean slate of resolutions, the workcation was an opportunity to evaluate our life direction and put into focus what was important to us.   

It’s amazing how vivid the memories of that experience still are. I’ve probably worked hundreds of days since then and I may not be able to tell you what I did last week during the work week, as it falls into my normal routine. However, when we break out of our comfort zone and routine, we are able to enjoy more of ourselves and create lasting memories that carry on for years and possibly even a lifetime.

I can go on and on about the details of the first overnight workcation, but this book is not about me, it’s about YOU! And the rest of this book is to help you get started with your own workcation! Even if it’s a small workcation, such as a short walk in a park after work, or an extended overnight adventure, it’s time to get started!

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Introducing the Workcation

This post is #7 in a #17 post series about workcations. The learn more about workcations and see the full eBook, check out Workcation. Have the best life now! on Amazon. It's free to borrow, if you have a Kindle device or Amazon Prime. 

Our comfortable culture of working hard, not taking vacations, and taking forced “staycations” continues to transcend into the habits of our daily lives. Today, more and more Americans are dining “al desco” and enjoying “no resco.” Our culture is engrained to go, go, go! But at what cost? We need to take time for ourselves in order to have a balanced life and be refreshed.

Frequently, it can be major setbacks in our life that cause us to question our purpose and open our eyes to what we are really pursuing and if that matters to our life goals. I’ve endured various physical injuries, including my bicycle accident and lost close family members in my life, including my brother. These moments are all very painful –both on physical and emotional levels.  Having elements of your physical health removed from you or loosing loved ones to cherish these experiences with, causes your mind to value and cherish each prior experience. It also slaps your face and electrifies the mind to value each and every day as we don’t know what is around the corner. These various life moments taught me to identify moments in our life, where we can pursue our dreams and take full advantage of the time we have.

Sometimes major setbacks and also cause a person to quit everything and have an extended time to pursue their dreams. This may involve going on a cross country drive, visiting several countries in Europe, or starting a new job. My setbacks didn’t cause me to revolutionize my life, as I more than anything just wanted my old life back.  I didn’t quit my job and start to ride my bike across the United States to bring advocacy for safe streets. However, it did open my eyes to how I spent my time and what activities I valued.

As my face was slapped with the fragility of life, I realized that I needed to take more advantage of my after work time. I realized that I could explore my natural surroundings and have “mini-vacations” or workcations during the workweek. I started to go on hikes after work, or stop on my commute home to go for a walk on the beach. It was these moments that I spent in outdoors and with nature, which awakened my senses and caused me to reflect upon my life as the world also reflected on me. I was unplugged from technology and distractions of our hyper connected society. These “workcations” became the highlight of my workweek.

As I started to explore more and more, I wanted MORE. I wanted the ability to extend these feelings of nature’s solitude for a longer period; but I didn’t want to quit my job for it all. On the side, I tried to create my own line of successful mobile applications to fuel my early retirement, but it was met with mixed results. It provided the opportunity to enjoy more lattes, but not enough to buy a new house. I quickly realized that having a stable career and income was still important to me too!

As I tried to research opportunities to see more of the outdoors, I realized that camping may provide the best opportunity to be in the outdoors for an extended period of time. The experience of sleeping in a tent could provide the ability to be surrounded by nature and away from technology devices that kept me “connected.” I wanted to detach from technology and connect more with myself, thoughts, and nature.

       As I started to explore available campsites, my visions of sleeping under the stars, enjoying a hike under the moonlight, and contemplating life by a campfire quickly dissolved as I saw that the majority of local campsites were reserved for the next 6+ months. As my frustration increased due to the lack of unavailable campsites, I felt a sense of hopelessness. This sentiment caused me to rapidly click through the reservation calendar only to see occasional openings during the workweek. Could it be possible that I could go camp during the workweek? Could it be possible to camp and work? …And the first overnight workcation was born! I made a reservation for a two night stay at local beach campsite and the workcation was on!

To learn more about how you can enhance your life, check out Workcation. It's available to borrow for free via an Amazon Kindle.