Bing.com: Making Great Travel Decisions With Dhani Jones

Last Wednesday, I made the trip into New York City to attend an event sponsored by Bing.com.  Bing had as their special guest Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Dhani Jones.  Dhani has pretty much seen it all when it comes to travel, and he has partnered with Bing Travel to provide his tips, recommendations and personal stories on traveling the world.  Go to www.bing.com/travel for video interviews and personal photo slideshows from Dhani’s travel, as well as more recommendations and his “Wish List” for future destinations.

Dhani Jones – NFL superstar, author of “The Sportsman: Unexpected Lessons from an Around-the-World Sports Odyssey” and former host of the Travel Channel’s “Dhani Tackles the Globe” – is not your average linebacker. Sure, he stands 6 foot 1 and weighs 235 pounds, but when he’s not on the field with the Cincinnati Bengals he is folding himself into an airplane seat and flying to wherever his abundance of curiosity takes him. Dhani began traveling at an early age with his parents; his father was in the military based in Southeast Asia, and they took family trips to Kenya, Thailand and Bermuda, among other places. It instilled a sense of wanderlust in Dhani that continues today.

Bing’s purpose was to let people know they could use Bing to find anything they needed when it comes to travel.  From choosing a destination to securing a hotel.  When it comes to travel, Bing will provide you information you need to answer any question to make your next vacation or day trip the most enjoyable.

One’s Past is Motivation For A Future

I wrote this last night when I came back from the Bing.com event.  It took a lot for me to get it out and put it here.  I usually hold back and do not share thoughts like this.  But with what is going on in the economy, I know others feel the same.  Others wish they could change professions but lack the means or experience to do so.  Many do it for free in the hopes to one day be paid.  That is my case.  Determination and motivation propel me to never quit at what I set my mind to.  My goal is for someone to see what I am able to and takes a chance to make me a part of their team, and get paid:

Good evening all.  I just got in from the Bing.com sponsored event with Dhani Jones of the Cincinnati Bengals.  I will have more of a write up soon.  I have a lot of thoughts going through my head as I left the event and on the way home.

I enjoy attending these events.  It gets me out there amongst those I get to network with and show my creative side.  A side of myself that has been neglected for so many years.  A side of myself that is true to who I am and the path I should have chosen years ago to follow.  Now this could be the six Jack Daniels and Diet Cokes in me but then again, it could also be the  true voice I have kept inside for too long.

I always enjoy attending these events.  This is the second one I have attended from Bing.com.  I enjoy writing for FootballReportersOnline.com and ProFootballNYC.com.  I enjoy filming my documentary and the places it has taken me.  I enjoy doing the radio show on Tuesdays for Football Reporters Online that focuses on NYC football and other football topics.  But in my case, I seem to enjoy doing the things I do not get paid for more than the things I do.

Here I sit, a part time worker in the retail industry.  A casualty of the economy as I was one in the financial services field.  I was not happy.  In high school, I made many small films as extra credit in almost every class I was in.  I liked to write and be creative.  I had such a cloud over my head I could not see the path I should have gone down in front of me.  Today , at age 36, I am trying to change careers in a down economy and attempt to make a living and get noticed on what I love to do.

Tonight at the Bing event, I realized a few things that made me feel proud and disappointed at the same time.  Here I sit, trying to make something of myself with a checked past.  I network, overhearing everyone talk about their positions at People magazine, Sunshine Sachs, Bing.com, American Airlines, and other notable fields.  I inform those I am conversing with I am a sports blogger and documentary filmmaker.  I may not be being paid for it, but it is what I consider myself.  If I could be paid for what I do, I would be a happier person.  It always makes me feel a little down when I hear others talk about their profession when I know they get paid for what they do while I strive to get noticed to get paid for what I love to do.

Now my resume may not look the best or have detailed experience on what I want to do for a living.  That does not mean I am not determined to learn and strive to achieve my goals to make it in the field I want to earn a living from.  I am a fast learner.  I can tell those I networked with tonight are younger than me and made the right decisions to get to where they are now.  I dd not.  I am making up for past mistakes.  I may not have the right internship of job experience, but I have heart and determination and some do not look upon that as enough.

Tonight’s focus was about how to use Bing.com for your travel purposes.  I heard many talking about their recent trips to Paris, Thailand, Barbados, and a few other destinations.  Some did it for work.  I am frustrated I am stuck where I am.  In an economy where the job market is horrible.  A job market where you have to know the right people and bypass certain resume readers just to be considered for some positions.

I can not change my past.  I can only learn from it and take the right steps now on where I want to be in the near future.  I enjoy writing, filming, and marketing via social media.  I may not have major experience behind me or the right educational background, but that does not mean I should be overlooked.  I know I am not old, it just feels that no matter how hard I try it seems like a tough hill to climb to get to where I want to be with my checkered past.  I can not go back and change anything, but I can work my hardest now to make things right for the future.

Tonight made me realize where I want to be.  It is not an easy road for me to get there.  But it is attainable.  I would like to get back to a position with a salary.  Where I can have a vacation, a 401K, and other perks that make me want to go in everyday.  I would like to have the kind of career That makes me proud to be in the industry I work hard and not get paid for now.

I want to support my family.  I would like to be the one that makes more than my wife.  Tonight was the kind of night that makes me strive harder to accomplish my goals.  To be the one that talks about the places they traveled to for their job.  There are thousands in my position now.  Wishing they could make a change but they do not have the means or experience to do so.  I just have t keep plugging and hope one takes notice of me and sees enough to give me the chance someone else will not give.

Am I jealous of those I was around tonight, no.  Am I envious of the paths they took to get to where they are, maybe.  I just look back and wish I did things differently.  It just sucks I have to make up for lost time and do all of this in a down economy.  I am sure my words echo many who think along the same lines.  All I can do is continue along writing and filming, and get my work into the right hands of those who decide on weather to hire or fire.

Sometimes it is easy for me to keep my feelings inside.  Others times I want to shout them from the rooftops.  This time I could not keep them in any longer.  I felt the need to speak my mind and use this as a way to talk about more than just football and my documentary.  Some say hope is a powerful thing, others say hope means nothing without faith.  At this point in my life, I hold both close to me knowing there is a light at the end of the tunnel that is my journey today.

Lockouts Showing Who is Always On The Losing End

Allow me to speak for every NFL and NBA fan (which I am not really one of) when I say, end the lockouts.  I know there is a supposed end to the NFL lockout coming next week, but are we sure that date is set in stone?

Get it figured out, do not miss any of the season and just play ball.

While I understand the reasons for the work stoppages & lockouts, as a fan of football I want this to get settled and figured out as quickly as possible.  For basketball fans, you have a little time but not too much time.  That one should be over soon as well.  But all fingers point to non-favorable odds.

In the same breath, I am not going to stay glued to the television, internet and newspaper like this is some breaking news story.  Just get these issues solved and let all of us fans know when you are done so we can watch our teams again.  Let us know so we can prepare for fantasy leagues and get our gear together for tailgating.

When the battle is millionaires (players) versus billionaires (owners), it is difficult to pick a side. Most of America and myself are on the side that ends these lockouts and gets them back on the field and court ASAP.  More importantly, I am on the side of the fans who are always the silent majority in these cases.

Maybe if our side had seat at the negotiating table then these issues would get solved a little quicker.

While these lockouts are more complicated than strictly millionaires versus billionaires, money is basically what is keeping the leagues from operating as normal. But it is hard for fans to care about millions of dollars being exchanged when some struggle to make ends meet on a weekly basis.

Reaction to the lockouts have been mostly passive so far but if regular season games are missed due to the work stoppage then expect the fans to ignite with anger. Fantasy football owners are already starting to undergo anxiety and withdrawal symptoms because their annual shot to look like a football genius with a witty team name is in jeopardy.  But in one week, that could all change, supposedly.

With the NBA only entering a lockout a few weeks ago, the NFL has seen the effect that the work stoppage has had so far. One year after setting an NFL Draft record of 8.3 million viewers, viewership fell to 7 million for the first round this year. Ticket sales are down and NFL.com’s traffic has decreased also.

Luckily for football fans, the NFL has too much to lose for them to miss some, if any, of the regular season. As America’s new favorite pastime, NFL reigns king over all other American sports in terms of viewership, revenue and popularity. Missing regular season games would kill part of the momentum that the NFL currently has.

With most training camps supposed to start soon, these next few weeks will be essential in ending the NFL lockout so that the season can semi-start on time. There has yet to be a free agent period and once that happens mayhem will occur with teams scrambling to sign players. If you are upset about preseason games possibly being missed, well you are on your own there.

For the NBA, things look even bleaker. Former NBA legend and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley recently stated that, “It’s going to get ugly. I’ve already been on the record saying I don’t think they’re going to play at all next season.” Those cannot be good words to hear for NBA fans.  The last time a league halted play was the NHL in 2004-2005.

But with the NFL and NBA lockouts in full swing it gives other sports attention they might not have gotten before. The MLB slides into the top sport and should be able to continue to build off of its strike in 1994-1995. Other sports organizations such as the NHL, MLS, WNBA, NASCAR and PGA all stand to benefit from the NFL and NBA work stoppages.

Entering this fall, the NCAA counterparts of the NFL and NBA will garner most of the attention and might be the only national exposure of both basketball and football if the lockout continues.  NCAA Football 12 was just released for all game systems.  Madden 12 comes out in a few weeks.  Some might look forward to that more than the regular NFL season.

But hopefully for the sake of both sports’ fanbases the players and owners work out their issues and not only do what is best for the sport, but for the people who help support and fund them, the fans.