Hi, I’m Thomas.
I’m a people person. I enjoy intellectual conversation and mature debate. I admire the great thinkers: those who uplifted reason, scholar, and secondary opinion.
I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, but find i’m nothing like the people there. I’m liberal, but no Democrat; peaceful, but no pacifist; competitive, but no capitalist; ambitious, but no elitist; a Buddhist (simply someone who reads and strives to follow the Buddha’s teachings) raised Christian; and many other dichotomies. In many ways, I’m surprised to be the product I am.
I love the outdoors. I love gardening, sustainable creation and design, endorse creative thinking and problem solving, and strive to learn as much as I possibly can. But most of all, i’m curious.
Here are some “Life Highlights” thus far:
Summer 2015, worked a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. Lived in a barn, chopped wood at 10,000′, road and cared for horses, cleaned stalls, built trails, drove tractors, climbed mountains, cut trees, woke up to absolute beauty every morning. I feel thoroughly blessed for the experience.
(Chopping wood, Climbed Sheep Mt. (12,818′), Working with Cruiser, a Belgian standing at 19.2 Hands (a true monster!), and the Hill Top view.)
Summer 2013: My brother, Daniel, and I biked across the United States. Richmond, Virginia to Portland, Oregon. The most mentally and physically grueling thing i’ve ever done. 67 days, total. Lets just say this trip had its ups and downs. 😉
But, really, it was absolutely amazing. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I learned a lot because of this trip: that the body can and will endure when pushed, the value of perseverance in the wake of suffering, the pains and pleasures of nomadic life, the thrill of cycling 45mph down the backside of the continental divide, the pressures of stress-filled days of traffic, the surreal two-fold feelings of anxiety and relaxation when cycling through a midwestern rain storm, and much, much more.
(From left: Breaks Park, Kentucky; Entering Steamboat Springs, Colo.; Teton National Park; Oregon Summit; Daniel and I crossing the Continental Divide in Colorado; and last, a conquered Montana mountain )
… I also like choir. So, in 2011, I participated in a program called Kansas Ambassadors of Music, which is a traveling choir of high school singers from Kansas. We toured Europe: England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, and Germany. My second international experience.
England (Chartering across the English Channel).
France: Eiffel Tower, Cathedrals, Escargot, Mona Lisa, and Notre Dame.
Venice, Switzerland, and the Matterhorn.
Rothenburg, Germany and Dachau (the first forced labor camp, starting in 1933, (later extermination) in Nazi Germany).
January 2012: Philippines (with Outreach International and SIFE) – Here, planting rice with locals from the community of Samanatayo, outside Cabanatuan City (also known as the “Tricycle capital of the World”).
January 2011 & 2014, traveling Argentina: Danced tango, walked the dilapidated city streets of Buenos Aires, slept in abandoned buildings, trekked through the Andes, hitchhiked from the Perito Moreno glacier, and much, much more…
(From Left: El Bolson, “The Pink House” (Capitol Building), a Kiosco in BA, and the summit of our trek)
… Travel has become important to me. Which is why I shared this above all else.
And, I am humbly indebted and grateful for each and every one of these experiences…
… for they have shaped me into a more open, thoughtful, courageous, and compassionate individual.