My passion in life is finding a way to combine three things that I love–entrepreneurship, travel, and philanthropy–whenever and wherever I can.
I spend much of my time traveling to interesting locales around the world, looking for business opportunities and setting up various entrepreneurial ventures. I started off doing web development and tech consulting for the first few years of my professional journey, then expanded into other fields as my interests grew.
My current line of work is promoting adventure tourism–primarily African wildlife safaris in Tanzania through my company Pamoja Safaris. I’m also setting up a culinary travel company in Japan called Eat Japan, expanding on a service I’ve done for friends and family over the years into a full-fledged business.
I also enjoy giving back to others through assisting in various charitable causes, mainly those having to do with education, or clean water and sanitation for developing countries (e.g. through my work with non-profit A Vision For Clean Water).
In my free time I enjoy participating in somewhat ludicrous charity-minded adventures, such as driving an old car from London to Mongolia to raise money to build a kindergarten, spending months heading from the UK to South Africa in a pair of cars dressed up like sneakers to raise money for schools and orphanages along the way, or spending weeks at a time piloting an auto-rickshaw a total of 11,000 miles through India while raising money to support a variety of causes throughout the country.
How I Got Started
I was born and raised in Metro Detroit, along with my younger brother and sister, and lived a comfortable life throughout my first eighteen years on the planet. I didn’t enjoy school all that much, and spent a lot of time just reading books and playing video games, or solo adventuring around the suburbs where I lived.
Things really started to change when I was accepted into a year-long work/study program in Japan right out of high school. I proceeded to spend my first year of university overseas–learning Japanese and living for the first time on my own, thousands of miles away from home–and loved every minute of it.
When I returned back to the states everything just seemed so dull. I wanted nothing more than to just go back to Japan, and spent much of every day daydreaming and scheming of how I could make that happen. One of the main barriers being lack of funds, I returned to my old job, selling electronics at one of the big-box retail stores, but soon realized that things weren’t the same as they had been a year earlier. The environment hadn’t changed much, but I definitely had.
I quit after a few months and started a web development company as a sort of temporary measure until I could find a “real job.” I knew how to do it, having taught myself in middle school when the web was just starting out, and enjoyed the challenge. After a few years developing my company, I was making enough to support myself, and quit looking for the “9-to-5” employment that I thought was the only path ahead for me.
I spent the next few years racing through my university degree as quickly as possible, just so I could go back to Japan, rejoin my friends, and continue my fun life there. But, by the time I graduated I was already regularly spending two to three months every year overseas, and the business outlook was promising, so I wasn’t about to give everything up for a corporate job–in Japan, or anywhere else. The money coming in paid the bills, and more importantly, allowed me the freedom to travel whenever and wherever I wanted as long as I had my laptop and an internet connection.
By 2009 I was spending upwards of half the year overseas, and my travels only increased from then till the present day (currently averaging around nine months of every year outside of the U.S.).
So, Now What?
Nowadays it’s more than travel for travel’s sake–I’m spending more time on my businesses, and charitable projects, both in Detroit and abroad. My primary focus now is growing my companies, as well as assisting others achieve success through their various endeavors.
The goal? To create successful businesses; to have a meaningful, happy life; and to create lasting, positive change in the world through whatever opportunities and resources I’m presented with.