Maximizing post-travel inspiration

I’m just back from a trip where I spent time with my parents, a bunch of crew at our 17th annual yearly camp out, and my sister and her 3 awesome kiddos.

Here are 6 reasons I’m freshly hyped and how I’ll use these travel vibes to crush it.

1 – Coming home

Years of jobs, relationships, and everything life has thrown my way lead me to my current house in Tucson, living with my amazing wife and our dog and cat. As much as I love the vacay vibes – coming home is kinda the best. It represents returning to my intention – the space in the world I’ve worked hard to create.

Our place feels like vacation sometimes, from the homemade blue curtains my wife made out of fabric I thrifted in northern AZ flapping in the wind, to the outdoor cast iron tub in our backyard, to the shed my friends helped deliver, fix up, and paint into the trippiest/hypest creative space.  We laugh and remind ourselves “This is real life!”

Coming home is a reminder to maximize this inspiring place! Oh you have a rad recording studio? Use it! A dope bike – hop upon! An amazing parnter – hang out with them a ton!

2 – Unreal friend/family support 

Sharing space and time with a crew living vastly different but inspiring lives is like reading 2,000 self-help books at the same time while swimming in the coolest waterfall you found on a cross-country road trip with your dog.

It’s such a great challenge to do you to the utmost.  The crew isn’t going to check up on me when I get home – “Hey, Nick are you still feeling super inspired by your trip, I hope so!”  It’s more like – go forth and kill it – we believe in you, and that should propel dopeness until we hang again and re-up the hype.

A couple years ago at the same campout 2 of my main dudes took me aside and thanked me saying they might not be here if it wasn’t for me. Both are incredible artists, musicians, friends, and humans. Thinking about it still makes me shake a bit. When doubt comes up I go back to this memory and know if these 2 have my back this hard I’m 100% good.

3 – Kids

Kids are better at living in the moment then every adult who’s ever preached or read about it.  A couple years ago the first thing my then 6-year-old niece said to me after not seeing each other for more than a year was something like “If you close your eyes really hard it looks like a laser light show.” Hells ya it does!

Same kiddo this year was going super hard jumping off the dock and boat like it was no big deal. She didn’t brag about it – just wanted to do it over and over and over again! Reality is she humbly conquered a fear and it’s f’n incredible! Last year she was scared to do both. Now it’s second nature. Killing it ✓ moving forward ✓ and having fun ✓

4 – Sacrifice

Crew-ups like this get you thinking about people who couldn’t make it. As an avid hater of FOMO, I get inspired by the sacrifices they’re making to do what they need to do.

My brother is killing at work and couldn’t come. It would have been dope to hang but he needed to keep crushing it for his life and that’s exactly the choice he made. Same with my wife. I missed her a lot but what an amazing person she is to prioritize the incredible work she’s doing.

My sister had to take off to go run the summer reading program at the library she started – DOPE! My best bud had to roll early to get back to Detroit and prep for leaving to go cook on the Drake tour. Fun Professionally amazing!

5 – Passion

My 14-year-old nephew is so down for this new X-Box game its crazy. When I told him I didn’t know what it was he stared at me blankly for the weirdest 10 seconds we’ve probably ever had. Totally cracked me up and reminded me how down I used to be for stuff at his age!

I was into vids, basketball, Wu-Tang, and Tribe. I remember listening to every song on every CD I owned with a best friend – carefully deciding that Award Tour was the greatest song in the world. It was for sure the most important thing to do that afternoon – and we questioned it Ø!

6 – Parents

I’m incredibly lucky to get to learn from parents who’ve been married for 46 years. They’re so inherently down for each other at this point it’s one of the sweetest and inspiring things I witness.

They have a small sailboat and are the coolest team for getting it set up and out on the water. I got to be their boat hand which mostly meant watching them carefully rig the boat and make sure their partner stayed safe while hopping on and off during the process.

They eat together, volunteer together, and talk about the future together. They live each other’s dreams realizing how much one partner benefits from the other’s – whether it’s living on a lake in a small town, or traveling to a specific place to escape the cold Minnesota winter. It’s a version of compromise that isn’t really compromise at all, but being down for your partner and knowing them being happy will make you happy too.

What motivates you post-travel? How do you use it to do more of what you love? Comment or send that hype my way! 

Jam of the Week #31: Something (On My Mind)

Something (On My Mind) by Jack J off the 2014 Looking Forward to You 12″ 

I just really love this song! It’s such an uplifter for me, hope it hits you with the same. King kong heartbeat props to DJ Roane Namuh for putting this on Roane Zone #9 and introducing me to my new lifestyle of vibing to Jack J! Love you!

Full Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

Jam of the Week #30: Kanstructivist

Kanstructivist by Kankick off the 2002 Mad Men LP ft. Declaime, Kan, & Poppy

This is the most beautiful rap song I’ve ever heard. Kankick beat x Kankick singing/rapping/existing effortlessly in his art. I don’t know of a producer or rapper with a more soulful vibe in hip-hop than Kan. And soulful not meaning all the tracks are in this vein… more like guttural-soulful. Lots of his music is a heavy, gritty, garage sale funk.  If you’re peeping the back catalog start here.

Full Jam of the Week playlists on Spotify YouTube

Have a killer weekend 🚀

Jam of the Week #23: Yeah Bud

Yeah Bud by Motëm (2017)

This track was released in the same year my Rap Van crew and I was lucky enough to hang with Motëm in Hamilton, Ontario at the Gebbz Steelo Research Centre (where arts research is conducted). He took us on a nice tour of the city which included a few of the places this video was shot.

It wasn’t an easy trip. A show we booked was canceled last minute and we had artists from neighboring cities in town to perform in the van.

This is where Motëm’s kindness, leadership, and maximum chill took over. He brought us past all the negative energy that was hanging around and took us out to his favorite local dive bar. He never gave any play to the bad vibes from the canceled gig, only focussing on fun stories and cool future ideas. The next morning he gave us a tour of Hamilton including the first Tim Hortons. It sounds simple now, but at the time it was EPIC.

Motëm straight up changed my life this trip

Now about 90% of my bike rides are spent repeating lines from Yeah Bud. ‘Ya bud you know I like to keep it positive / Ya bud you know, I can live and you can live.’ He reps for the fun and weird, and anyone breezing past negative energy.  ❤

Check out the full Jam of the Week playlist on Spotify YouTube


I met a guy named Kit at the co-op yesterday. Wouldn’t have met him if I wasn’t listening to the audiobook for Peace is Every Step by Thit Nhat Hanh. Wouldn’t have started that if it wasn’t recommended by Patrick Rhone in this awesome read

Reading this stuff has hyped me to stay more present, and specifically to eat food without a phone or computer in my face. Just chilling and eating. It feels really weird at first, like if you’re trying to quit drinking while hanging out on the patio at a familiar bar.

So Kit and I were sitting next to each other staring at 4th Ave. We watched a skateboarder cruise past dipping down 4th. He told me the point of life is to find something you like doing as soon as you can, something that brings you joy, and do it as much as you can. He said do YOU, not what you’re told or expected to do.

He repped this knowledge is the most chillest of ways. Having tamales and a kombucha, and talking about joy. Happy I stared at the world instead of my phone for this meal. 🤙

Jam of the Week #9: Use Ya Mnd (Twentyfourseven)

Less literal than other Jam of the Week selections (no diss McFadden & Whitehead!), this track is here for what it does

Use Ya Mnd by Mndsgn off his 2016 Body Wash LP

I put it every time I enter my studio, and let it play while I get organized and start feeling what I’m about to get into. By the time it’s over I’m usually ready to start a project, that or I lift the needle keep the song on repeat until I am. Somehow it’s become an anthem of entering my art.

It’s also an inspiring track on the level of what Mndsgn did and continues to do musically. He went from experimental, tripped-out beat maker to so much more on this record, creating songs that are harder to explain than to vibe to. Still beats, but laid down smooth enough to go unnoticed in the most complimentary way… less rap banger, more soul vibes.  The lyrics stay ultra-positive, often-literal, and forever real.

Try jamming Use Ya Mnd while getting ready make something cool, and lemme know if it works for you like it does for me in Xanadu ⬇⬇

Check out the archived Church of Hype: Jam the Week playlists on Spotify & YouTube