40 at 40 – A GringoPotpourri Q&A

North Rim Grand Canyon 20

I turned 40 two weeks ago. The feeling is a bit surreal. On the one hand, most people tell me that I look young for my age. On the other hand, I can’t believe that I’ve completed four decades of living, and I’m disappointed that I’m not “where I should be” in my life considering that I’m a college graduate who has traveled around the world. At least that dreadful phrase “Over the Hill” has become passé.

But (to use another bizarre expression) that’s neither here nor there. I’m alive and in good health, and I’m in my second month at a new job that is less than two miles from where I live!

I thought I’d do something different for today’s post, and open it up to my followers. Whether we’ve met in person or not, I’d like to know what you want to know. At the risk of sounding a) arrogant, and b) like an attention whore, know that I know a lot of things about a lot of things and that I always have a story to tell.

The success or failure of this particular blog entry depends on you. I will answer 40 questions about anything. Of course, today’s web-o-sphere of compulsory registration to comment online about anything  has driven more people away than it has attracted, but them’s the apples.

I’ve written over 140 posts about travel, hiking, movies, Mexico, politics-lite, Tennessee, and California.  Maybe I’m still missing something. Do you want to know what are my favorite countries? Ask. Do you care to learn which places are still on my travel bucket list? Ask. Are you curious about how my relationship with my parents has changed over the years? Go ahead and ask. Are you wondering what are some of the most exotic foods I’ve ever tasted on my travels? Just ask. Hit “Leave a Reply” at the bottom, and ask. (You may have to register at WordPress.com first, but don’t worry – it’s free!)

I can’t promise that my answers will satisfy you, but I do promise that I’ll answer honestly. I also can’t promise that I’ll even get 40 questions, but I do promise that I look forward to the questions.

The success or failure of this particular post depends entirely on you, Loyal Reader. So ask away! 🙂

Indian Gardens day hike 5 - Pipe Creek Beach

Author: gringopotpourri

Gringo - aka Scott - was born outside of Chicago and has lived most of his life in or around big cities. He spent two years of his adult life in Mexico City (talk about big cities!) and fell in love with Mexican food and culture all while weathering the challenges of life in a city with over 20 million people. Life's unpredictable journey has since brought him to Tennessee, where he is close to family and to the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. Scott also enjoys movies, hiking, top ten lists, and travel in general.

24 thoughts on “40 at 40 – A GringoPotpourri Q&A”

  1. Q1. If you can do 3 things differently what are they specifically?

    Q2. At 40, what are 3 things you are most proud of in your life?

    Q3. Wisedom to the young – 3 ‘rules to live by’ – based on your experience?

    Q4. Favorite 3 places in the world you’ve been (this is a hard question I believe). And general.. no specific theme.

    Q5. Top 3 places on your places to ‘travel to’?

    1. Great questions Mark!

      Q1: I would have managed my finances better, I would have handled past relationships better, and I wouldn’t have accumulated so many collectibles (shot glasses, CDs, etc.) All of those collectibles cost money and take up space.

      Q2: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, setting foot on six continents, teaching myself Spanish (más o menos).

      Q3: Spend your money carefully when traveling – but don’t be afraid to splurge on a cool experience, either. Pick a useful college major and make your passion the minor – for example if you like writing but are good with numbers, make writing your minor and make accounting your major. Finally, know the fine line between taking chances and being foolish – in whatever it is that you are pursuing.

      Q4: This a tough one. Mexico City, African game parks, and the Santa Monica Mountains.

      Q5: Antarctica, Iran, Venezuela (in no particular order).

  2. Happy belated birthday. Mark asked some good questions!
    Q6. Top 3 movies of all time.
    Q7. I am wondering what are the most exotic foods you have tasted.
    Q8. And here’s a random one: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

    1. Thanks Mani! More good questions! Let’s see….

      Q6: Off the top of my head, I’ll say The Godfather, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Cloud Atlas, which I’ve seen three times and still can’t stop thinking about.

      Q7: In terms of savory taste, I’d say Indian thali, Colombian ajiaco, and anything from the Middle East. In terms of weirdness, I’d say cuy (Peruvian guinea pig), Singaporean stingray, and fat-bottomed ants (Colombia again).

      Q8: I’m weird sometimes, so while I’m sure that no good would come of this, I guess I’d like to know when and how I will die.

      1. Thanks for your answers! Three of my most favorite things in life are travel, food and films so I had to ask about them. You’ve certainly tasted some weird things.
        That’s awesome that you named Mexico City as one of your top 3 places in the world. 🙂

  3. Q9 – What would be your “dream job”?
    Q10 – Have you ever considered writing a book about your travels?
    Happy belated birthday! (Take it from an old geezer, 40 is nothing.)

    1. Good questions, William…and thanks!

      Q9: Having the funds and the creative control to write and direct the movie of my dreams.

      Q10: I’ve actually started – but not finished – a couple of travel books. One focuses exclusively on the Santa Monica Mountains, and the other one focuses on travel wonders from around the world.

    1. Still a ways to go, William – and thanks for the follow-up question!

      Q11: I’ve been lucky to have mostly positive travel experiences, and I’ve liked every country that I have visited.

      That said, there are “downer” moments. I had camera problems on a couple of occasions that resulted in some lost shots, which is always a bummer.

      Also, I don’t respond well to multiple days of constant rainfall – at least not when I’m supposed to be out and about.

      Great question!

  4. 12. Would you ever consider a missions trip?

    13. If you could live in only one place for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?

    1. 12: I’d consider a volunteer work component as part of a trip, but not a “spread-the-gospel” trip, if that’s what you mean by a “missions” trip. I would rather donate gifts of clothing, dried foods, and school supplies, for example.

      13: A great question and I honestly don’t know. I spent several years each in LA and Chicago and love both cities equally. Some cities are more manageable for certain age groups/income brackets than others, so this must be brought into consideration also.

      Good questions!

  5. 1. What are your top 5 breakfast cereals?
    2. Cubs or Sox?
    3. What is the most ambitious thing you’re planning to do in the next 12 months?
    4. If you could go to dinner with any other living person, who would it be and why?
    5. Paper or plastic?

    1. Fun questions!

      1) Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Super Golden Crisp, Reeses Puffs, Froot Loops.
      2) Sox! (I’m not a big sports guy but was brought up by a die-hard White Sox fan.)
      3) Travel internationally, if possible. And get a better job!
      4) Stephen King. His books have given me more enjoyment than the writings of any other author, plus he’s keen on pop culture. It would a blast to hang out with him for a couple of hours.
      5) Paper.

  6. Q12 What’s the best beer you’ve enjoyed on your travels, and where did you enjoy it?
    Q13 Where would you like to live, if given all the necessary resources to make it happen? (No, I’m not putting you in my will, I’m just curious.)
    Q14 What has been your most exciting or intense (good or bad) travel adventure so far?

    1. I think the numerical count is off now. That’s okay; these are good questions!

      12: If you draw a line that connects Belgium, Germany, and the Czech Republic, you’ll fine three of the finest beer-producing countries in the world. That said, my answer is “Golden,” a light cerveza from El Salvador. Good stuff, perfect for a tropical country, and it goes down like cold water on a hot day!

      13: Coyoacán or San Ángel neighborhoods in Mexico City. They aren’t cheap, and they are a fair distance from the city center, but if I had a nice place there and could somehow manage the long commute, I might be happy. 🙂

      14: In 2009 I spent nine weeks abroad at one time. This included Southern Africa, Greece, and Russia. Talk about intense…it was great!

  7. Q15 – Which country that you have traveled to, have the women that you find the most attractive?

    1. Ah, now we’re getting to the good stuff. 🙂

      Q15: Hard to pick just one, but I’d say India, China, Slovenia, Turkey, Mexico, and Brazil (in no particular order).

  8. Q16. If you could be magically inserted into any Stephen King book, which one would you pick and why?

    1. Great question, Johnny!

      Q16: Although I am most enchanted by the world of Roland of Gilead and his ka-tet, that’s a pretty scary world all the same. I’ll say 11/22/63 – I’ll get to experience time travel and visit a simpler time.

  9. Q17. I’m a hiker and so are you. Any place in the world that you would love to go hiking in the future?

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