Warning: Use of undefined constant REQUEST_URI - assumed 'REQUEST_URI' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /var/www/u1113497/public_html/bigdopex.com/wp-content/themes/twentynineteen/functions.php on line 74
Travel – Big Dope

Every Next Level of Your Life Will Demand a Different You

We bumped along a rutted dirt road in a rented SUV, parking a quarter mile from the trailhead leading to the summit of Mount Democrat. The four of us hoisted backpacks stuffed with water, food, dry socks, and extra clothes onto our backs. The thin, 38-degree air nipped at exposed hands and faces. Winded by the […]

And a Lonely Stranger Has Spoke to Me Ever Since

When I saw the old man waiting by the pond with his camera my heart fractured a little along the fault lines, already weak, still vulnerable. He was counting on the cormorants, their wings spread wide, and waiting for the mating beavers, swooping under the surface, staying underwater longer than you’d think they could possibly […]

The Scariest Moment is Always Just Before You Start

When I was young I would pore over National Geographic magazines and dream of adventures like this — train hopping through the Sahara Desert on one of the world’s longest trains. I had dreamt of the oceans, of the sand, the loud clattering noises of the train, the cold, the wind, the scorching sun. The unknown smells […]

The Expert’s Guide to Surviving Long Haul Flights

Whoever said “It’s not about the destination. It’s the journey” never flew on a long haul flight. Those flights can be painful, tiresome, jet-lagging, and not to mention absolutely boring despite whatever Disney movie is playing above you on the TV screen. As someone who has flown from Europe to the USA countless times, I’ve […]

Adjusting to Your Home is no Different than a New Country

I’ve been home from China for nearly three weeks now. While it hasn’t hit me that I’m not going back to China any time soon yet, there’s one thing that both countries have in common. Adjusting to each place can be difficult. First, there’s the jet lag There’s a twelve-hour difference between Michigan and China. […]

I Moved Across the Country and Never Looked Back

There are these moments in your life where you don’t know where the power is coming from, but you find yourself making a choice, a choice you never imagined you would make — even in your bravest daydreams — but somehow, you choose, and everything changes. Gainesville, Florida is small, but radical — like most college towns […]

No Fixed Abode: Quitting Home Ownership

A little over a year ago, I quit my job, sold my home and gave away 99% of my possessions so that I could travel the world. It was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. To me, quitting a great job was very scary (No more income! A large gap in my employment history! […]

The Day I Lost My Child in Charles de Gaulle Airport

I heard the timid voice from the seat behind me, followed by a flight attendant handing over a miniature can of Coke. The accent was almost perfect, the delivery immediate and flawless. It was only five words, five words in the course of a day that was supposed to span nearly half the globe, one […]

Slice of Tokyo: How Japan Became a Pizza Hotspot

Tokyo is home to some 6,000 Italian restaurants — and a growing community of chefs crafting some of the finest pizza in the world. Tsubasa Tamaki didn’t dream of pizza. He dreamed of architecture, of following in his mother’s footsteps and designing buildings in Okinawa, where he spent the first 18 years of his life. […]

How to Find Hidden Cameras in Your Airbnb, and Anywhere Else

In recent months there’s been a number of alarming reports of Airbnb hosts installing hidden cameras in their properties but not disclosing them to the guests staying there. Back in January Fast Company reported on a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who discovered two hidden cameras recording him and his family in an Airbnb. And […]