Welcome to This Is Youth.
I’m Daniel. That’s me, up there, thinking.
I’m an American climber, dreamer, traveller, and romantic.
And a storyteller
You could call this a travel blog — but you wouldn’t be quite correct.
This Is Youth is… me, and the people I surround myself with. Here you’ll find true stories, creatively told. They are mostly presented from my point of view. Sometimes, I am the protagonist. More commonly, I am not.
As the name of the blog says: these are stories of youth — full of mistakes and hubris and lacking perspective. This is different from what most bloggers are doing. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
I left the USA for the first time at age 23. I spent six months in Asia, and it took the top of my head off. There was so much that was similar — and so much that was different.
Since then I’ve been a bit obsessed — traveling to something like 30 countries on five continents. I’ve worked remotely as a digital nomad, volunteered in a hostel, backpacked Europe, learned a language, trekked in Nepal, gone on a whirlwind romance throughout Italy, and met many unforgettable souls along the way.
I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, a unique town surrounded by climbing. In downtown Boulder, you are much more likely to encounter people dressed in spandex and Gore-Tex than tailored suits or designer clothing. I don’t mean to be derogative, but rather, descriptive, when I tell you: there are no fat people in Boulder.
My father introduced me to the outdoors, hiking and camping and such, but it wasn’t until university that I found my own love for climbing. That started with working out at the indoor climbing gym, then progressed towards multi-pitch trad climbing, mountaineering, and ice climbing.
Climbing is my passion. In nature, I find the peace that is so often lacking in these words, my thoughts, and my life.
When I write about climbing on this blog, I try to make it as accessible as possible to non-climbers. Although there is some jargon and technical detail that only climbers will understand, I believe the experiences and emotions of climbing ARE universal. I encourage you to read some climbing pieces and let me know if I’ve succeeded.
Love is the most universal experience in life. It is a lens all of us are familiar with, to varying degrees of intensity, success and importance. I tend to experience love quite intensely. I’ve been lucky (or unlucky) enough to have two very dramatic loves, which I’ve written about extensively.
Here, you will find two love stories which double as travel memoirs:
- My memoir of trekking in the Annapurna region Nepal, after leaving my long-term university girlfriend in the Hong Kong Airport
- And “Keeping it Light“, my multi-country memoir of falling in love and throwing my plans to the wind for an Italian woman I met while in Morocco.
They are good reads for a rainy day.
I lived in Vail, Colorado, for a year after graduating college. That’s when I started this website, so if you dig deep into the archives (or if Google brought you here), you may find some content about that town, Vail Resorts, and the ski bum lifestyle in general. I wouldn’t expect to see new ski town content too frequently, since I no longer live there.
Pieces of Life
My Instagram feed dumps into the “Pieces of Life” column on the right. If you like what you see, please follow me on Instagram at @thisisyouth.
I hope you find something here worth considering.
If you want to get in touch, leave a comment or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.