I am a hard worker that throws passion into whatever I do. I take pride in my work and am motivated to make a difference in the world. I possess the skills to gain results and look to use those skills to leverage your business. I will do whatever it takes to get the job done and done right. Above all I am fun to be around and enjoy working hard. It is something ingrained from within.
I am going to come out and say it: Prior to going to Jordan I was scared shitless. I organized everything at home “just in case” and backed into a car before leaving for the airport. I was a nervous wreck. I write today hoping to be on a plane back to Jordan as soon as my finances allow and that is thanks to the amazing hospitality of Mohammad Quardan and his family.
We were told that we were going to be doing homestays in Jordan and I think my heart dropped. What the hell was I going to do? I had no clue what the situation was going to be like! Would I be safe? Would I have my own bed? Could I even shower? It may sound like a bit much but put youself in my shoes. I had little trust in my professor at the time but went with the flow and the outcome could not have been any better.
I was paired up with Mohammad due to similar personal interests and ages. I had emailed him once or twice before heading to Jordan but that did not calm my nerves much. When we were waiting for our homestays to pick us up I felt like I was in the Hunger Games. One by one they left. Mohammad finally showed up and we were quickly on our way. We got in his car and to be honest, we could have been back in the United States. We were speaking English, listening to American music, and driving around a major city. To make a long story short, we clicked right off the bat.
His family was absolutely fantastic. Their hospitality beats that of Marriott and it made my experience in Jordan exponentially better. When at “home” I truly felt at home.
The bonds formed in Jordan will last a lifetime. I still talk to Mohammad and his younger sister Sara from time to time and hope to one day host them here in the United States. They truly provided a sense of comfort for a very uneasy American. Their hospitality will always be remembered and I know that I have a brother that lives halfway around the World.
Many people say that your college years will be the best of your life. I think I may have to agree with all those people. Heading towards my final semester at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont has caused a surge of emotions both good and bad however with this surge has come reflection on the past three and a half years and all I can say is how lucky I am to have chosen a school that fit me so well.
If I had a dime for every time someone asked me why I chose Champlain I would be a millionaire. Looking back I now know that I chose Champlain for all the right reasons. I wanted to go to school in Vermont as it is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country. Check. I wanted a small school with focused attention on real world situations. Check. I wanted a school where I would be Adam rather than a number on a paper. Check. I wanted a school where I could thrive and where I could really learn what I want to do to make a difference in the world. Check. Champlain continues to evolve as an institution however it still fits the original criteria that I had set forth as a high school senior looking to find his place in the world.
I must say that one thing that has really made a huge difference at Champlain is the interactions I have had with the faculty, staff, and administration. I look at many of them as friends and colleagues rather than superiors. I have a respectful relationship that is professional but the simple fact that there is a relationship is what sets Champlain apart. I know that if I need anything I can reach out to a number of people and they will be there in support. In fact, I was in need of a paperclip one day before class for an assignment and President Finney was nice enough to lend me one. Things like that do not happen anywhere else.
One of the greatest experiences that Champlain has provided me with is traveling to the Middle East. In your third year at Champlain the curriculum is designed to foster world travel and exploration. Since I did not want to study abroad like my peers I chose to take a class that included a spring break trip to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Words cannot describe the amazing things I saw in the ancient part of the World and never did I think that I would be saying that I want to go back to the Middle East. I look at that trip as a transformational point in my college career. I even experience a bit of wanderlust thanks to that adventure.
All I can say is that John Tierney of The Atlantic was right in saying that Champlain is the vision of an ideal college because to me it couldn’t get any better.
For those of you who don’t know Burlington, Vermont was just ranked the nation’s best college town by Travel and Leisure. Having lived here for just about four years now I thought I would share some insight that the ranking services forget to include when ranking Burlington in the top 10 in just about every poll.
Here are my five favorite things about living in Burlington, VT.
- The People: Burlington would not be Burlington if it were not for the people that live here. It is a community of well educated people who care about their community. They work hard and play harder. They are there for you in the good times and in the bad and the community as a whole is extremely supportive. My college career has led me to some of Burlington’s finest. These people know who they are and have truly made a difference in my life. I could have transferred out to another town for college however the people of Burlington kept me here.
- The Views: Travel and Leisure mention that Burlington is a lakefront town but they forget to mention how amazing the views are and how each sunset is even better than the one before. Lake Champlain may have some pollution but it it hard not to get lost in time just staring out over the water towards the Adirondack Mountains of New York. If you ever find yourself in Burlington on a clear evening, go down to the waterfront and watch the sunset. It gives Hawaii a run for its money.
- The Lack of Fast Food: Burlington may be Vermont’s largest city however you’ll be hard pressed to find a true chain fast food establishment here. The former McDonald’s is now one of the best restaurants in town (The Farmhouse) and the Burger King has been dethroned. Burlington fosters a healthy lifestyle and offers more fresh local food than anywhere I know.
- The Dogs: Yes the dogs. Burlington is a dog loving place. Having grown up with dogs the thought of having none around while at college was a bit upsetting. Luckily just about every other person here has a dog and they are treated like royalty. Just take a stroll down Church Street and you will encounter some of the best looking animals you will ever see. Lucky for me I have gained a niece and nephew Golden Retriever up here and they give the show dogs a run for their money.
- Church Street, At Christmas: Most shots you’ll see of the famed Church Street are in the middle of the summer, with full trees, crowds of people, street performers, and the sun shining. Although this paints an awesome picture for the city it to me is not when Church Street is truly at its best. My favorite thing: going down to Church Street on a snowy night and taking in all of the lights. I would venture to say its magical especially since it is one of the few times you will find yourself practically alone in the bustling downtown shopping district.
The thought of graduation and leaving this special place are starting to cross my mind and emotions are mixed as ever. Over these next few months it is my goal to take in all that Burlington has to offer and to truly live in the place I now call home. If you have not had a chance to visit yet, the time is now. Oh, and all the pictures were taken off my phone. I’m not joking.
Have you ever been to Westford, Vermont? Do you even know where Westford is? Let me tell you, on my first trip my Iphone was not even sure where Westford was located. Well little did I know that Westford is home to Rovers North, a Land Rover parts supplier. I had heard a little about Rovers North through my friend but really was unaware of the gem hiding in the quiet town.
Rovers North was founded in 1979 by Mark and Andrea Letorney. Mark’s passion for Land Rovers led him to start the business which he and Andrea still run over 30 years later. Today, the Letorney’s sons Graham and Calef have returned home to help run the family business. I was fortunate enough to start an internship at Rovers North in May and continue to work as part of the team today.
Prior to starting at Rovers North I had no clue that a market existed for Land Rover parts, specifically ones for classic models. I must say, it is quite the robust market and extremely fascinating. It also helps that I have a huge love of Land Rovers, so being surrounded by enthusiasts at Rovers is like a dream come true in many ways. Rovers North specializes in offering parts support for the older Land Rover models which are pretty foreign to me however after being there for a few months I am starting to feel the need to own a Range Rover Classic, very much like the one Taylor Congleton owns of Congleton Racing and Restoration.
I show up to work everyday excited to be a part of the team. One of Rovers North’s biggest strengths is that it publishes a magazine that has quite the unique following. Rovers Magazine is a mix of Land Rover editorial and parts that Rovers North offers for sale. It is an interesting balance and is loved by many. One of my main roles at my internship revolves around sending the magazine out to customers and fans alike and I must admit how amazed I am when requests come in from every continent except Antarctica. One of my largest accomplishments thus far has been an article for Rovers Magazine about my trip to the Orvis fly fishing school in Manchester, Vermont. You can check out the article HERE. Never did I think that I would be published but it has been one of the most exciting moments for me at Rovers North thus far.
I look forward to diving deeper into the world of Land Rover and am very fortunate for the opportunity that Mark and Andrea Letorney have given me at Rovers North. To me, it’s not work, because it is enjoyable. As Jerry (of Ben & Jerry) says, “If it’s not fun why do it?”
Where can you find a picture perfect downtown, the real Von Trapp family, craft beer, farm to table food, first class accommodations, and world renowned skiing? Stowe, Vermont. Before beginning my college career in Vermont I had only heard of the wonders of Stowe… little did I know then that I would be going into my fourth winter as an employee of Stowe Mountain Resort. If you are looking for a true Vermont experience, Stowe is the only choice.
Having worked at the resort now for over three years I have gotten a sense for what really makes Stowe, well Stowe. It can be a bit daunting for a newcomer so I decided to come up with a list of my top five things for a first timer to do while in Stowe! Any comments and feedback are welcome and this post is no way endorsed by the resort or any of the entities mentioned, just a compilation of my years as an employee at the Ski Capital of the East.
In no particular order…
- Stay and Save: The best deals are found when staying on property at Stowe Mountain Resort. The resort offers two options: the Stowe Mountain Lodge or the Inn at the Mountains and Condominiums. The two properties differ from each other but both offer a great atmosphere for a Vermont ski vacation! The Stowe Mountain Lodge sits at the base of Spruce Peak and offers 360 degree views of the entire resort. The Inn at the Mountain and Condominiums at the other hand is based at the Toll House Double chairlift, the start of what is the modern resort. Stay midweek, non-holiday for the best rates and make sure to ask for some ticket specials! By the way, nothing beats going right to your room after a long day on the slopes, the traffic at the end of the day can sometimes be, well, terrible.
- Stop at the first bar downhill on the right: The Matterhorn. When leaving a long day on the slopes one might notice the traffic moves slow once on Mountain Road. This most likely is due to the large number of people pulling into the Matterhorn for some après. The Matterhorn is a Stowe landmark for many visitors and ski bums alike. Make sure to check out the music schedule and a round of wings and Vermont beer is a must!
- Drink lots and lots of hot chocolate: Hot Chocolate is God’s gift to the cold skier and child alike. Stop at the Hourglass Bar in the Stowe Mountain Lodge for this frothy treat! It has a great atmosphere to it in the grand lobby and provides a quick stop in if you are on the Spruce side of the ski resort. Also, keep an eye on the resort calendar- they do free hot chocolate and smores outside by the fire pit on certain days, which is a crowd favorite!
- Get up early and catch first chair: ask anyone, nothing beats being the first to hit the fresh corduroy on the mountain. See the mountain in all its glory while truly experiencing what life is all about. Pro Tip: shoot for Nosedive.
- Grab a good meal: Stowe offers boundless opportunities for a great meal! If you are looking for pizza, Piecasso is a great option. They just expanded so the restaurant is much larger than in the past. Don’t want to dine in? They offer take out. If you are looking for something a little more romantic it’s Harrisons or the Whip on Main Street in town. They offer fantastic food and a romantic feel. Tip: the Whip makes a great Hot Toddy. Looking for some grub on the mountain? The Waffle Cabin is a must. Not feeling waffles? Grab a bread bowl chili at the Octagon atop Mount Mansfield.
The opportunities are boundless in Stowe. While in town don’t forget to stop by the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, Shaw’s General Store, and make sure to have fun. Stowe is a place where memories are made and families are brought together. Debating where to take your winter ski trip? Stowe is the only way to go.
In early October I turned 22. What a boring age to turn. The excitement of 21 is gone and my car insurance is still at its premium. I am starting to see why adults do not like their birthdays but I am working to keep an optimistic outlook. To me, 22 is a new year, a fresh start, a time for change. It is my time to finish up my college career, to get into even better shape, and to figure out how I am going to make a difference in the world. I hope to make the most out of this year and look to graduation with excitement. I want to get out into the world and make something out of myself. I am hungry to learn and ready to dive right into the workforce. I look forward to what is to come and know that I am ready for 22. Here’s to a great year. Cheers.