To See the World

As a millennial, and a college student, and someone who loves the idea of seeing as much of the world as humanly possible, I love the idea of traveling.

 

This isn’t exactly newsworthy, I would venture to guess that at least half of the undergrad population at Louisville wants to travel at least a little bit.

Last year, I did it. Just a bit. Nowhere too far, or wide, but a couple places that were at least a plane ride away.

 

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I saw Miami, Myrtle Beach, Panama City, New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, and Gatlinburg.

 

Like I said, none of these places were too far, but I loved visiting them all the same. I climbed the smokies, went to so many (mostly Jon Bellion) concerts, saw Wicked on Broadway (wow what an experience), and gained a greater appreciation for the country that I live in.

 

Out of all of those places, I would say that Chicago was my favorite. I went for a concert and, don’t get me wrong, the city was expensive, but it was great. The concert was lively and blew my mind, and the food after was great, and the hostel we stayed in was pretty great all things considered.

 

New York was, honestly, not great. The people were rude (I know you’ve heard that all the time and I should’ve expected it), the prices were unbelievable, and we had tickets to a movie at a time at night when the theater was closed. Yes, closed.

 

I saw a lot of great things with a lot of great friends last year, but I’m not even close to being done.

 

I just got back from Gatlinburg for Spring Break (my preference to a beach because, honestly, I find beaches boring).

 

I currently have plans to go to Denver on May 7th for a concert, and a 4 day trip to New York on May 2-6, just to give it another shot.

 

I still have plans to see Portland, Washington, Houston, and Iceland. One of those is not like the other, I know.

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I want to see and swim in the blue lagoon, in Rejkavic, Iceland.

 

I want to See the World.

 

And I intend to do so.

 

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Sports are fun

My favorite person in the sports world and quite possibly any celebrity in general, is Steph Curry.

For tons of reasons.

For starters, he is in many expert opinions, the best shooter the NBA has ever seen. He is quickly climbing the career list of made 3’s and is shooting them at a career rate of 44%, which is absolutely staggering. He is also a family man, with two young children and a beautiful wife who he met at church.

 

These are just some of the reasons I love Steph.

 

And I can remember the night it all started. Sitting in my friend’s basement, we had the tv on watching basketball because it was a Saturday night and we were just chilling. We could start to hear the announcer’s getting louder and louder, so we actually gave our attention to the television, and what we looked up at was something awesome:

 

 

This (relatively) small and skinny guy absolutely making it rain for 54 points on basketball’s biggest stage, Madison Square Garden in New York City. I had heard of Steph before, but I had never really paid close attention to him.

 

That was about to change.

 

That was my junior year of high school. Fast forward to my freshman year of college, and I’m deep into the obsession. I’m watching Steph every time he’s on television, I’m googling his stats before and after games, and I’m starting to get into r/nba, which is an offshoot on the site called Reddit, which makes it very easy to follow things you like, including sports. This was the year where I legitimately watched every game, from start to finish. This also happened to be Steph’s breakout year in the NBA. The Golden State Warriors had been knocked out of the playoffs in 7 games by the Los Angeles Clippers the year before, but they were ready to make a run.

 

And Steph came out on fire. Before a month into the season was up, he was leading MVP discussions. This was absolutely mesmerizing to me. My favorite player is now the talk of the league.

 

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More months pass, and Steph is still leading the NBA in MVP buzz. His team, the Warriors, are leading the NBA with the best record. And there I was, fully engrossed into the NBA for the first time in my life.

 

*side tangent: now, I had watched the NBA prior to this. My first ever experience with professional basketball was turning it on in ’06 and watching Dwyane Wade and his Miami Heat take down first the Detroit Pistons, and then the Dallas Mavericks to win a title with Shaq by his side. So I grew a little bit of an affinity for Wade, and a little affinity for the Heat. But this was nothing like my obsession with Steph. Anyway…

 

There I was, watching every game, even carving time out of my college social life to sit and watch basketball. I can even remember a night where I had 4 or 5 friends packed into my tiny dorm room to watch movies, and I was on the top bunk of our bed, headphones in, watching the Warriors play the Sacramento Kings. I remember that night because it was the night Klay Thompson, the starting Shooting Guard for the Warriors, dropped 37 points in a quarter, which was an NBA record.

 

Fast forward another couple months and the playoffs are beginning. I’m all the way invested. I’ve bought jerseys,

 

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shoes, surprise-party-currys

 

keychains,

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bobbleheads,

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and more.

 

The NBA announces the MVP award right after the playoffs start. Or at least they did until this year. So here I am, watching Steph and the Warriors take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans, and I hear them announce that it is final.

 

Steph Curry is the MVP of the NBA.

 

I watched the entire press conference, and re-watched it several times after that. His speech blew me away. This small guard from Davidson College who was lightly recruited out of high school is now the MVP of the NBA. His character is also right there, being a devout Christian and a family man, and one who knows exactly how to talk to the media without stirring up any trouble and still providing insightful knowledge.

 

And there I am being blown away by him game in and game out, always wanting to watch more.

 

It didn’t hurt that Steph and the Warriors also won the championship that year, taking down LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

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Nah, it didn’t hurt at all.

 

Sports are fun.

 

Euphoria

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I think the goal of any fun activity is to do just that. Have fun. But the best kind of fun is the kind where you totally forget what you’re doing and you completely lose yourself in the activity. You are removed from reality and completely lose track of time, something that in my opinion is increasingly difficult in this day and age. Some call this phenomenon Euphoria. Or maybe it’s just me.

 

My “Euphoria” is concerts.

And movies.

And sports I suppose.

But today we’re going to focus on concerts. If you enjoy music, and you’re under the age of 40, or over the age of 40 for that matter, you have probably been to a concert. In my opinion the best kind of concerts are intimate ones, maybe in a small club or a bar-turned-concert hall where the capacity is literally challenged by the bodies crammed inside it.

Without a doubt the best concert that I have ever been to was one put on by a man named Jon Bellion.

 

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Still a relatively small name, his reputation is growing. He is currently opening for the 21 pilots on their tour, and I can imagine his name and fanbase will grow exponentially as the tour continues. His biggest song, “All Time Low,” though released technically more than two years ago, just went certified platinum as he released it on his first album as the leading single.

 

 

But I caught him right on the good spot.

If you’re a hipster about music or anything at all, you know that the best time to find something is riiiiight before it blows up. Right before it starts to really get popular and all the “everyday” fans get ahold of it.

I found Jon on Youtube almost three years ago, and I have been absolutely obsessed with his work ever since.

All that leads up to the concert.

On November 23, 2016, I went to see Jon Bellion on the second part of his Human Condition Tour in New York, New York. Originally from Brooklyn, this was supposed to be his biggest and best crowd.

Oh boy was it.

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There were about 3,000 people packed into this little concert hall called Terminal 5.

 

 

 

It was definitely at capacity. We were on the second floor balcony because we wanted something to lean against after a long day, but that didn’t stop it from being one of the best nights of my life.

If you’ve ever found something that you¬†really enjoy, and you really connect with, and then gone and seen that thing performed or enacted in person, than you probably know what I’m talking about right now. The goosebumps on your skin that can only come from an experience like this are truly contagious. Once you experience that, you want it over and over again. This concert, from beginning to end, was just that. As Jon stepped on the stage for the first time that night, he quietly announced, to that sellout crowd of 3,000 +:

 

“This is the first time in my life that I feel like I’ve made it.”

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You can imagine the absolute roar from the crowd at hearing something like that. We were experiencing something, but so was he, and dammit it was magical. The concert went on, the lights and band matching the energy that he displayed performing and on his beat pad throughout the night. Jon was born to do this. And I was born to consume it.

Probably one of the best parts was at the end of the concert, when he does his scheduled encore. Before he was finished with his “last song”, the crowd began chanting the lyrics of the encore song. Everyone in that building knew it was happening, and he ate it up. As the chorus drops and everyone in the crowd goes crazy, Jon and all of his hometown friends came out on stage and threw water everywhere, enticing the crowd into an even bigger frenzy.

 

I will never forget that night.

 

My Euphoria.