More than you'd ever want to know about Me!
My name is John and I currently live in Orlando, Florida. I am American and grew up in southern New Jersey however I have lived in Orlando for most of my adult life. I am 5’7″, 132 lbs, 1/2 Italian and 1/2 German.
Depending on when you read this, you may find me temporarily living in either Italy, Germany, England, France… or anywhere else in Europe for that matter. I came over to Europe in the summer of 2004 for what started out as a 2 week holiday to London. Those 2 weeks somehow turned into 5 weeks; those 5 weeks turned into a trip back to Europe just weeks after that for ONE YEAR; and that one year has now turned into NINE YEARS!
In this time I lived in London for about 2 years; I lived in Italy for about 1.5 years (in both Rome and Florence); and I’ve now lived in Germany (in both Cologne and Berlin) for a year as well. And in between all of these timeframes I have traveled quite extensively all throughout Europe. I have now visited every single country in Europe! Actually, I’ve visited most countires two or three times.
Europe is so inspiring to me and made me realize my passion for writing and photography. These years of traveling have been all about exploring new countries; learning new languages; meeting new people and making new friends; learning more about myself; placing myself in challenging situations; and traveling all around with my camera to see what I can capture and my laptop to see what I can write.
After spending almost all of 2005 and 2006 in Europe, I ended up back in the states (in Orlando) for most of 2007 for what I found to be quite an adjustment back to my “normal” life. During 2007 I took several smaller trips back to Europe, however in the summer of 2008 I left once again on a longer-term trip, keeping me in Europe almost non-stop ever since. (Actually, since 2008 I have only been back in Orlando for 3 trips: a 3-month period from Jan 2010 thru March 2010, a 4-month period from Oct 2010 thru Jan 2011; and a 2-month period from Oct 2011 thru Nov 2011).
My goal in all of this traveling has been to make a long-term move to either England, Italy, or Germany – however I can’t seem to decide on a place to settle down. Every time I think I’ve made a decision, I end up taking a side trip back to one of the other countries and I fall in love with it all over again. So, for the near future I will probably remain a sort of gypsy – floating around from location to location, LOL.
I am both a real estate broker and a mortgage broker. In 2003 I started my own company called ‘Metro Realty & Mortgage’. My company’s main area of focus is on the downtown Orlando area, and more specifically on all of the new residential high-rises. My company provides both real estate and mortgage services for my clients and provides a “one-stop shop”, eliminating the stress of buyers and sellers to deal with a separate realtor and mortgage broker for their needs.
Eventually once the real estate market recovers, I plan to expand my business over here to Europe, where I will work with foreign investors who wish to purchase investment property in Orlando. For the time being though – while the real estate market is practically dead and we are in a recession – I have been dabbling in stock daytrading while overseas.
REAL ESTATE INVESTING
Besides being both a realtor and mortgage broker, I am also into real estate investing. In 2000 I had my dream house built in a suburb of southern Orlando (Hunters Creek). After living in it for 2 years I realized that if I sold it and lived very cheap for a year, I could use that money towards a jump start in real estate investing. So I sold it in 2002 and had 4 houses built (also in Hunters Creek) as rental properties.
It was shortly after that when I learned of the real estate/residential boom in the downtown portion of the city. After owning these properties for only about a year, by 2004 I ended up selling all 4 of them and purchasing 4 condo units (2 penthouses and 2 smaller units) in a high-rise building downtown (The Waverly at Lake Eola). One became my primary residence and the others become rental properties.
My European traveling started shortly after this. In 2007 though my investing plans became much more aggressive as I signed contracts to purchase several units in a new highrise condo being built in downtown Orlando (The VUE). This is also when the real estate market fell apart and everything has been in a downhill spiral ever since. I survived a very difficult period in 2008 and 2009, and I had to restructure most of my investments in order to be in a much better position to handle the recession and nose-dive in real estate values.
In the end I walked away from my investments at the VUE and have continued to focus on my other investments at the Waverly. This allowed me to refocus my efforts and attempt to get back on track. It’s been a difficult couple years however my strategy has completely changed and so far 2012 seems to finally be looking up. (More on that in future updates).
MY HOBBIES AND INTERESTS
In the couple years leading up to my trip to Europe, I had started working quite a bit on my body and physical appearance. I was overweight throughout most of my 20’s and had a very low self image and self esteem. Then, between 2003 and 2004 I had lost over 50 lbs and dropped my pants size from a tight 34″ waist down to a loose 28″. 🙂 Now that all the weight is off (and I’ve kept it off ever since), I’ve focused more on building muscle/weight training. I’ve been very happy with the results I’ve been seeing.
When I am “home” in Orlando and not involved in my business (or obsessing about exercise and eating healthy), you will usually find me either working on things around my place or out to dinner or the parks with friends. I am a very casual person and live mostly in boxers and tank top when home. I love exploring new parts of town, traveling, and quiet nights at home with someone special. The adult side of me loves wine and trying new restaurants around town; and the “kid” side of me loves the theme parks and rollercoasters. I am also into photography along with being quite the computer nerd.
I am very into music and play the piano/keyboard. I have a digital baby-grand with 32 track sequencer and have made a few home-made CD’s. I also enjoy landscaping and yard work, watching HGTV, and going around when I am bored looking at houses under construction and walking thru model homes. I am also into writing and have a bad habit of always typing too much (typing 110 words per minute I can get carried away quickly, haha).
I am not a big club person but I did enjoy going to a very interesting disco (Mannequins at Disney’s Pleasure Island) on a weekly basis during the couple years prior to heading to Europe. This is the place that really helped me loosen up and learn to dance – and also learn to be pretty outgoing. I rarely drink unless I am attempting to dance (alcoholic father) and do not smoke. I am into all sorts of music ranging from typical Pop – Dance – New Age – Country – Contemporary Christian… almost anything except for rap. I am very open and honest with my feelings, very much into communication and appreciate the same with my friends.
I love finding a good friend on the weekends to hop in the car with me and just drive anywhere with no destination in mind and see where end up, and then find a hotel and spend the night. As far as sports, I am not into much but I do enjoy playing racquetball and swimming. I also love to go biking or running late at night before bed and relax my mind.
Sometimes I think I am the luckiest guy in the world to have the type of job I do, my condo, my friends, my family, my independence; and other times I feel really lonely and get really sad – just wanting someone to come home to at night time and share my life with. I am very much a romantic and very much into geeky, romantic things like kissing and cuddling.
WHY AM I SINGLE AT 40?!
I only label this last section as such because I get this question all the time.
In case it hasn’t been obvious in my writing so far (or in other parts of my website): I am gay. After hiding this for the majority of my life and never being at peace with who I am, I am finally to a point in my life where I have nothing to hide!
I spent my entire 20s being extremely closeted; full of social anxiety; bad self image; and rarely meeting anybody or making friends. I never accepted myself as being gay yet deep down I knew this was something I could not change, as much as I tried. It has taken me years of work to get to the point of being this comfortable with myself and my 9 years of traveling throughout Europe has definitely helped with that. This is a story for another time though and not something I will bore you with in this “getting to know me” section.
Slowly over the last few years I have been meeting more and more people; being honest about my sexuality; and actually becoming pretty outgoing. Although I no longer have a need to hide who I am – on the opposite side of the scale, I also do not make a point to tell everyone I meet nor make it that obvious. I LOVE who I am! (And that is something that I could never say until the last few years).
With all of this being said though, I have still only been romantic with very few people, and I have had very few “relationships.” I put the word ‘relationship’ in quotes only because as I look back, I’m not really sure what I would call them. I’ve definitely had my share of heartache over the years and I’ve also learned some very valuable lessons. My life is a continuing journey and it’s fun to continue to learn more and more about myself. I have a huge interest in psychology and I am always evaluating things and re-evaluating what I think about life; fears; relationships; temptation; etc.
Although I am very happy being single and it is hard for me to picture my life any other way, I am very open to the possibility of meeting somebody and spending my life with them. It would take somebody who is fun; intelligent; honest; stable; masculine; romantic; caring; doesn’t live at the club; loves travel; is open to living overseas; huge sense of humor; goal-oriented; knows how to communicate; and CUTE! Is that too much to ask?! LOL.
Okay, enough gay talk. 🙂
Anyway, now that I have shared way more than you ever wanted to know about me, I think I am through for now. I love meeting people so feel free to send me a message or e-mail. It doesn’t matter to me if you are male; female; straight; bi; gay; or whatever else you could possibly be. If you are looking to make new friends and you think we’d get along great, then I’d love to talk.
My life has taken me on an amazing journey and I’m very excited to see what it will bring over the next couple years. Perhaps we will become a part of each other’s journey. 🙂