Up Close and Personal

Outside my academic and professional life, I have some interests that include cycling, travel, and photography.


I’m not the fastest but I’m faster than many of my friends, so there’s that! One thing I love most about the Chicagoland area is the vast number of trails in and out of the forest preserves. I believe it’s pretty unparalleled among big cities in this country. For short rides, I ride west to the North Channel Trail and ride up to Green Bay Rd and back (about 18 miles round-trip. For longer rides, I ride further west to the North Branch Trail and depending on my stamina, ride up to the Botanic Gardens and sometimes even further north. My personal best was in summer 2022 when I rode 65 miles. It was an achievement I won’t soon forget.

I find cycling to not only be great for keeping active but also for mental health. When I am on the bike, I can focus more on the beauty around me rather than what might be taking up real estate in my mind.

I lived in Miami from May 2021-May 2022 and had some really great rides there as well. I counted over 30 alligators during a ride at Shark Valley in the Everglades National Park. Black Point Marina, Old Cutler Road, Pinecrest, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables are some areas I particularly enjoyed.


I don’t travel nearly as much as I used to (thanks, Pandemic!) so when I have the opportunity, I take advantage. I will be adding more details here about some trips I have taken.


I studied photography by self-learning and taking classes at photography centers around Chicago. I got rid of my bulky camera a while back and now mostly take photos with my iPhone. I will include more images or links to galleries for you to view at some point.