NO&YO’s first Ambassador Sammy has been providing some great images from his travels for almost a year. He’s a New York City native with a thirst for the outdoors. He finds that the more he travels, the more he explores and challenges himself, the more he strips away outer layers and uncovers the core of his being. That’s what drives him.
Find out little more about him in our initial introduction.
What does “adventure” mean to you?
Going into the unknown and meeting the challenges and obstacles that any real adventure will present head on with eagerness and an open mind to learn from the experience. Pretty much every adventure I have been on personally has changed me in some capacity. I’ve always said, if you’re on your return flight and your body isn’t beat up, bruised and just physically exhausted, then you haven’t pushed yourself hard enough. I want to be sitting in that plane beat up, but with a huge smile on my face thinking about what I have just accomplished, what I have just experienced and how fortunate I am to even have the opportunity to experience such things.
What’s your favorite adventure to date?
I’ll break this answer down to two parts, it might help some people who are thinking about a trip inside the country or some that are looking into doing something outside for the first time.
#1 I simply love Southern Utah and Zion National Park and to date it is my favorite U.S. national park. It’s a huge playground. Canyoning is such a great way to explore and get drawn into the feeling that you’re on a real adventure. On the trails you’ll find obstacles that will present challenges and all the while be surrounded by incredible beauty, rocks that have taken such unique forms sculpted by wind and water — the greatest artist of them all, Mother Nature.
#2 Outside the U.S. I would have to say El Cocuy National Park in Colombia is the most interesting and has the most challenging trails I’ve come across. It felt as if I was hiking somewhere different every half hour. The terrain would change from muddy and wet to dry and dessert like inside of an hour. Sure footing would change to loose micro pebbles, it’d be sunny and warm for ten minutes then it’d change to cold with rain and snow. The landscape was different from what I have experienced before, and I saw plant life I didn’t know existed. Crossing a glacier in the fog with wind and ice rain coming from clouds that were just feet above me was an experience in itself. Drinking from small crystal clear ponds at high elevation and listening to the deep sound of ice breaking and collapsing off nearby glaciers from inside my tent late into the night.
What’s your largest accomplishment (by your standards) in adventure and exploration?
Accomplishment? Well I haven’t set any records so I don’t know about “accomplishments” in that sense. I must say, however, that I have been in situations more than a handful of times where I was just physically and emotionally beaten down trying to make it up certain peaks or fighting the elements, and even in some cases recovering from food poison to just finish what I set out to do. Those are accomplishments for me again, meeting challenges head on, such as a trail or a peak, once completed there is definitely that sense of accomplishment. Which is my “largest?” I couldn’t’ even tell you, because so many different places offer a variety of challenges so I can’t pick just one.
What do you want to explore in the future? Any plans?
The two places that are next up on the list of “things to do” are Iceland and Patagonia. These are a must. Ice climbing is also something I’ve been itching to do and I’m hoping to do so later this year.
How do you like to explore?
I love embarking on solo trips. Walking into the unknown alone. My senses become heightened which helps me absorb my surroundings. I could be walking a trail on the side of a mountain and be thinking about someone back home, having full blown conversations by myself that always turn out well.
This doesn’t mean I’m not one for travel with like-minded friends. You’d be surprised how friendships with strong bonds can be made stronger with experiences together in travel, but the reverse effect can happen as well.
When it comes to adventure style I’m one that likes to make sure I get as much done before I return home, try to experience as much as I can wherever I am. Like I said earlier, bumps and bruises on the return flight.
Why did you want to be a NO&YO ambassador?
Simple: the company represents the adventure seeking, outdoor loving folk which is reflected by the graphics on the clothes. To be an ambassador for such a company is a real thrill.
What was the last “road less traveled” for you?
I hope this makes sense, being less uncomfortable in the ocean is a goal of mine. And a recent trip to Belize was a bit of a “road less traveled” for me. The idea was to snorkel like crazy in the week I was there and then snorkel again while in Panama. Just trying to get comfortable in the water with animals like sharks and rays around me and to eventually build up to diving and conquer that uncomfortable “not in control” feeling I get when in the water.
What’s the most important freedom to you? What makes you free?
I can never be free enough. I’m a bit uneasy right now thinking that I’m not somewhere in the world feeling free. For me, being a native New Yorker, I’m always thinking about an outlet, being somewhere organic where I do feel so free. A place where I can look around and say out loud “look where I am!”
What’s your passion at the moment?
Traveling and adventure seeking have been what I’m most passionate about. I’m always passionate when it comes to living a healthy positive lifestyle and bringing positive energy to this world.
You can follow Sammy’s adventures on his IG @sammy426.
BECOME PART OF THE NO&YO TRIBE: