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New Experiences

This past Wednesday, I had the pleasure of riding in my first ever hot-air balloon ride!

Simply put, it was AMAZING.

I received this experience in collaboration with online magazine, Hudson Valley Happenings. Hudson Valley Happenings serves as an upstate guide for local events, top places to stay, eat, drink and play.

Since flying in a hot-air ballon was something I have never done before, I expected some nerves or uneasiness.... NOPE!

The ride was smooth, and with surroundings of the Hudson Valley, the views were magnificent. I didn't want to come down.

Being up high provided a whole new perspective of the things around you. It was so quiet and soothing; absolutely serene.

After landing, myself and the two other passengers helped the crew pack up the balloon. Being a part of this process and learning something new was another cherry on top to the whole experience. Deflating the balloon and rolling it up was like putting away a sleeping bag.

The adventure was not over yet. Part of the hot-air balloon flying culture is having a post-flight celebration. The crew I was with always keeps a picnic basket in their van to give to the landowners of the property they land on as a sign of appreciation. The crew and guests share a toast along with snacks and beverages to commend and appreciate the journey. As a finale, a hot-air balloon prayer is recited. It goes like this:

The Winds have welcomed you with softness. The Sun has blessed you with its warm hands. You have flown so high and so well that God has joined you in your laughter and set you gently back again into the loving arms of Mother Earth.

If you would like to see the video I made in collaboration with Hudson Valley Happenings, click here!

How did I start working with Hudson Valley Happenings?

It all started with an email. Being home for the summer with the goal to freelance, I knew I had to put myself out there as much as possible. I reached out to a variety of online magazines, small businesses, and organizations offering my video and photo assistance; Hudson Valley Happenings happened to be one of them.

I heard back from one of their employees not much later with interest. We agreed on doing a free trial run with the potential for other opportunities. The free video I produced for them was a success and they brought me onboard! I now serve as one of their freelance videographer/photographers, also known as their "apprentice" for the summer.

I share this story with you as a source of inspiration to put yourself out there toward goals and dreams you wish to accomplish. Remember, no one is just going to give you whatever it is you want; even if you do work hard for it. Sometimes you have to create your own opportunities and attack them to the best of your ability.

Ultimately, don't be afraid. If you fail, so what? It's a learning experience. Grow from it and move forward. You'll become more and more comfortable stepping out of your comfort zone. A stagnant life is boring anyways, so do you and enjoy the journey of life!

If you would like to book me to cover any of your events, click here!

To view samples of my work, head over to

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