Goodbye Maui, Thanks for the sunset.

adventure, photography 2 Comments »

Maui Sunset by Ori BengalKyle said “I’m glad you liked Hawaii. Its a very powerful place. Visiting Hawaii helped me to appreciate the basic things to be grateful for.”

I replied “You speak truth! The things I’ve learned have been really deep life changing lessons… and I stumbled across them without having to do something really stupid and painful for once :)”

There’s so much to say — and so much to blog about.  I can’t believe the stuff that happened “inside” while I’ve been here.  I can’t believe 2.5 months has gone by already.

I can’t believe that I haven’t had a car in that long, and haven’t noticed.

I got a plane to catch, but I thought I’d share a photo I took of my last sunset — 1/2 a mile from where I was staying.

Aloha!  Big blog post coming next week about Hawaii.

p.s. click on the picture to see it in more detail.

Arriving in Costa Rica

adventure, photography, travel, Uncategorized 2 Comments »
Looking out at Costa Rica through the plane window

Descending into Costa Rica

What is your destination city?

Ummmm… Guarante or something? Hmmm… If only I can get on the internet…. Do you have the Wi-Fi Key? Can I use your phone perhaps?

Apparently, you can’t zoom out a Google Maps map without being on the internet, and since it seems that people don’t have addresses in Costa Rica, Brendan just gave me a Gmaps link when I asked where to go.

Am I not going to get to enter the country now? Read the rest of this entry »

Thanksgiving and such

adventure, announcements, Get to know Ori, Information, rant, travel 2 Comments »

This is my last post from America this year.  This afternoon I take the Greyhound from Austin to Dallas, then I fly to Costa Rica (Got a nifty blog post about how that came up) at 5am. I’ve spent most of this month sleeping on a dog bed, although Bentley the St. Bernard didn’t always want to snuggle.

That dog bed is so comfortable. I started sleeping on it as a joke, because I was protesting the amount of time it took to inflate and deflate Craig’s air mattress, then I realized it’s really comfy, there’s nothing to set up or clean up, and Bentley makes a great pillow anyways.

I’m writing my “Thanksgiving and stuff” blog a few days after Thanksgiving, because I am grateful every day.  I’ve got a great family (regardless of how much we annoy each other after a few days.  You know what they say “Family and garbage.. they both start to stink after a few days.” :)  ), I’m traveling, I’ve met the most amazing people, I work on projects that engage me intellectually, I Read the rest of this entry »

Change your people, change your life

Information, Inspiration, opinion, rant, Tutorials 2 Comments »

Change is good, they say.  I agree.  Toll ways are a bitch without it.  I still get perplexed when I see Parking Meters without credit card (or cell phone) usage. It is a good piece of bullshit to promise people when you’re running for office. But the change I’m talking about is initially hard, and these days my life is all about it.

You see, there’s a chapter in my book called “Ditching Heavy Baggage” — and it’s about how in order to keep living my passion (traveling, meeting new people, learning all I can, finding mentors, having a blast, taking great photos, having adventures, changing peoples’ lives) I had to get rid of people that were weighing me down (hence the baggage metaphor… get it?  I travel, and it’s extra weight).

I’ve heard – and then had proven through experience- that you are the sum average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Read the rest of this entry »

I am Siddhartha! Not your average book review!

Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Marketing Lessons, misc, opinion, product review, rant, summary, travel 4 Comments »

A picture of Siddhartha's friend

I’m  warning you in advance, this is not your mother’s book review (takes me a tiny bit to get warmed up)! It has a lot of really personal stuff from my life as I reflect on the book, and is discussed in my fun (and language filled) manner.

Siddhartha, by Hermann Hesse is a book that does not fit in my normal reading list. As with all things in my life, this too has a fascinating story and reflection.

It all started with Jaime. Read the rest of this entry »

Resources page

announcements, business, Information No Comments »

As many of you know, I am full of it…. where “it” is useful information.  I am always in consulting mode, and I’m always learning.  I share a lot of information in my blog, but that is difficult to browse to find “that one link you mentioned was a great way to deal with stupid questions!” or “The person who was on your radio show that was talking about Sprouting!”  Well… I’m addressing that!

I’m creating a resources page to make it easy to find links based on categories, etc…. I’m going to feature my favorite companies, programs that can save you thousands of hours, tools, tutorials, etc…. not all stuff by me.  Mostly stuff I recommend.

-Admission- I am currently swamped!  So many projects fell on my lap out of nowhere… so I don’t have time to fill it in today.  The link will be  – I’ll be filling it in later.

Let me know if there’s something specific you’d like to see more links to, or need resources for.

How to be Epic

Get to know Ori, Information, Inspiration, Tutorials 22 Comments »
Epic picture of Ori hanging over a lava pit

A most Epic picture of me over a fiery death

My friend Elizabeth was writing that she’s not feeling very Epic.  That she had a blog post in her head, but it wasn’t coming out the way she wanted.  Sounded like she was being harsh on herself.

Most people would (and did) say “It’s ok… even writing about having nothing to say is saying something…” or “your observations are great, something that isn’t Epic for you, might be for someone else.”

My good friends can rely on me though to give a unique perspective, and Elizabeth has been relying on me to call her out on her excuses or bullshit.

So, when I read this cry for help, I had to put in my 4 cents.  So here it is, what I wrote in response to Elizabeth’s Post on not being Epic. (With italicized & colorful commentary for y’all):

you’ll listen, damnit! :)  ( Elizabeth said that despite that people would leave advice, she probably wouldn’t listen )
How to be epic: Read the rest of this entry »

Couchsurfing Radio – The very first Couch-Cast!

couchsurfing radio, Couchsurfing Radio Episodes, Get to know Ori, Marketing Lessons, News, rant 11 Comments »
Couchsurfing radio - the show graphic

The Couchsurfing Radio Host- Couch Surfing Ori

Have you ever felt you were destined to be on TV or Radio?  Yeah… me either.  But I sure was told it often that I should have my own show.  At least for 10 yearas now.  So… here it is :)

I present to you CouchSurfingRadio, my latest creation. Right now it will be on Monday nights at 11pm EST, with replays available for your downloading pleasure (so you can hear it again and again… have it on as you clean, drive, work, jog, poop, etc..).

The show will cover many topics, but most of them will be what I often blog about: adventures, travel, incredible people and places, marketing, life lessons, motivation, design, jokes, and of course, my odd perspectives on everything.

Here is the very first episode.

Download the episode for home/car/plane/etc.. listening.

It’s a great story… the forming of this radio show:  I felt like putting on a radio show, I tweeted and facebooked that in 2 hours I’ll be putting on a radio show, and then I put on my radio show.  Exciting, huh?  There was more to it than that, of course. I didn’t figure out how to log-in to the host number until (literally) 3 minutes before showtime. I was a distracted spaz.  I didn’t know how to read the questions that were coming in through the show’s chat-room, through twitter, and through skype. So.. yeah.. I was all over the place.

The feedback thus far has been great though!

For next episode, I will have a surprise guest, someone to filter the questions/chat for me, and segments… so, some kind of structure.

Take a listen, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show (Leave a comment below please)

A couchsurer’s view on “Stuff” (worldly posessions)

Get to know Ori, opinion, product review, rant, video 34 Comments »
CouchSurfingOri surrounded by STUFF at Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

CouchSurfingOri surrounded by STUFF at Cathedral of Junk in Austin, TX

Stuff!  We all have it! The thing is that it means different things to different people.  Some people think that we are nothing more than what stuff we’ve accumulated.

Have you ever been to soeone’s house that looks like a museum? Shelves upon shelves of little crystal figurines, and nice china, and walls of DVDs, and shelves full of books, and tons of walk-in closets, etc… ?

I wonder if they actually enjoy their stuff.  I wonder if they eat on that fine china… I wonder if they watch every movie.. I wonder if they read all their books.

You see, I have a lot of stuff too.  We all do!  But, do we actually use it after the first few weeks?  It’s a shiny object, and my marketer friends probably made the ad that made you want it…. but after you spent your money, or were gifted it, you probably got bored with it.  Clearly, there’s exceptions– computers, cell phones, televisions, but even those gather dust after we find a shiny new model.  The Ipod got replaced by the Ipod Nano, which got replaced by the Iphone / Touch – which got replaced by the Iphone 3G, which got replaced by the Iphone 3GS.

What’s my point?  I just realized that a lot of my stuff I have because people think I should have it.  What do I mean? I guess I should tell you my big plans first.

(If you’re in a hurry, just scroll to the video at the bottom) Read the rest of this entry »

Tetris + Dreams = Independent Lady Magazine decision.

announcements, business, summary No Comments »

Robert Stickgold and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School in 1994 actually proved that the Tetris Effect exists. You can read about it in Scientific American. The term can be seen in Wikipedia as well. What Stickgold and associates proved was a new understanding of what dreams are…. that the brain is actually solving problems while you sleep. If you play Tetris for a while before going to sleep, you will actually see it in your dreams…. you’ll see the pieces falling, even as you close your eyelids. The Tetris Effect has expanded with more research to show that people who play A LOT of Tetris will actually start seeing every day items as 4-block items, and try to figure out how to rotate them, and even halucinate a little and see Tetris pieces falling in their periphery. What does this have to do with anything? Read the rest of this entry »

My NEW adventure!

adventure, announcements, business 1 Comment »

Where in the world is Couch Surfing Ori?   That’s what the text message often says.  Joe of Couch 56 sends it every month, sometimes more frequently.  His wife recently took to Couch Surfing, and was even my 1st guest at my new place.  So… based on the fact that you know my definition of adventure as doing new things that you haven’t done before….. Read the rest of this entry »

CouchSurfingOri – influencing young minds!

business, events, Information, photography, Press 1 Comment »

When I started this trip, one of my intentions was to speak to school children about adventures, about living your dreams, about photography, and of course about making sure you question authority! I have to admit that I’ve been sort of slacking in that department (pursuing the presentations), but as you all know, I got mad-crazy luck (See the Brooklyn-speak :) ) and what I want usually happens through coincidences. So.. couch 60 (Q) works at Brooklyn University, teaching Digital Studio Recording. I went with Q to work one day, and he introduced me to the program director, and when she told me what they are doing, I volunteered to do a lecture. Turns out they were actually in the works on a guest speaker series… So,I’m excited to say that I am the launch lecture to that series. Read the rest of this entry »