Together We Can Change the World

My name is Scott Johnson and my dream was to create an organization that promotes self-improvement through personal reflection, travel, and philanthropy. Why those things? Because I’ve lived and studied in Europe as well as traveled to more than 30 other countries – which has provided the most extraordinary and enlightening experiences. Additionally, I’ve volunteered at various charities and been a Big Brother youth mentor for more than 10 years – which has taught me humility.

I believe the value of these life-changing experiences are truly beyond measure and desperately needed in the world today. The media is often full of fear, hate, and misinformation, creating a perpetual state-of-fear and anxiety for much of the world. We can overcome this though, by supporting good causes, seeking more information and new experiences, and inspiring those around us to do the same.

Win Epic Trips is a nonprofit adventure fundraiser and culmination of everything stated above. The goal is to inspire the world to be more supportive of great charities by offering donors the chance to win amazing adventures. Every quarter we fundraise for a new charity and create new trips to giveaway. Our first charity is Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southern Nevada, a remarkable agency which I’ve supported for over decade and can personally vouch for.

The ultimate reward of travel philanthropy is that you end up living a remarkable life, full of interesting stories, unique friendships, and extraordinary life experiences. You become an Epic Storyteller.

By supporting great charities and going on grand adventures, we can create a culture of philanthropy and personal growth. Together, we change the world.

Join us at https://epic-fundraisers.org/win

Scott Johnson
Founder & Principle Fundraiser   

Valle de Guadalupe – 5 Star Wine & Food

The Best Least Known Place for Wine & Food

Only a two-hour drive from San Diego and a beautiful one at that – hides Valle de Guadalupe.

It boasts over a 100 wineries, dozens of outstanding farm-to-table restaurants, and charming B&Bs all over the place. Sandy roads still connect all these amazing places and usually have few cars on them. The views and tasting menus from the vineyards make you constantly question how so few people know of this place.

Our favorite vineyard was Las Nubes and restaurant was Deckmans – both of which are featured in this Bloomberg article. At Deckmans, we had a 2lb bone-in Ribeye (which dreams are made of) for like $50, and after getting a bottle of wine with dinner, plus one to-go, plus appetizers and dessert, the bill came to a whopping $100.

There wasn’t a negative thing to say about the entire trip, the conversation was how soon can we come back!

Do yourself a massive favor and get here before everyone else does.

 

Bún Chả – A Taste of Hà Nội, Vietnam

Bún chả is a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles, thought to have originated from Hanoi, Vietnam and not found many other places in Vietnam. Bún chả is served with grilled fatty pork over a plate of white rice noodles and herbs with a side dish of dipping sauce. Many places also include Nem, which are fried spring rolls – always say yes to Nem.

Bún chả is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD and relatively simple to make. Food is the way to people’s hearts, so here’s a step-by-step way to influence people and make friends!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZJzTScgB-c

 

5-Days in Hanoi

Sometimes referred to as “Paris of the Orient”, Hanoi is equally as exciting and lovable with every cafes on every corner and street food in-between. There are so many things to do and see in Hanoi, we thought it best to create a must hit list with museums, unique food, and cultural experiences.

  • Stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword), take some nice pictures on the Red Bridge, enjoy some ice-cream on Trang Tien Street
  • Water puppet show, 57b Dinh Tien Hoang Street (show time: 3:30, 5:00, 6:00, 8:00, 9:15 pm)
  • Tran Quoc Pagoda, oldest Buddhist pagoda in Hanoi
  • Museum of Ethnology, Nguyen Van Huyen Street (a must if you want to see a broader picture of Vietnam’s 54 peoples. Closes on Mondays)
  • Temple of Literature (first university of Vietnam)
  • Tan My Design, 66 Hang Gai Street (3 generations of Hanoi’s finest silk and embroidery products) Hillary Clinton bought a scarf here
  • Hoa Lo/Hanoi Hilton prison, Pete Peterson the first ambassador to unified Vietnam and Senator John McCain used to be prisoners here
  • Drink some ‘Bia Hoi’ in Ta Hien beer street. Remember to cheer others with ‘Mot, hai,ba dzo’ (1,2,3 bottom up!) if you want to be like a local
  • The Hung Snake Restaurant – cobras are selected and cooked for you 10 different ways
  • Bun cha Huong Lien, 24 Le Van Huu Street (famous diners include Barack Obama and chef Anthony Bourdain)
  • Giang Cafe, 39 Nguyen Huu Huan Street (famous for egg coffee) (a must)
  • Pho Thin, 13 Lo Duc Street (very famous for noodle soup with chicken)
  • Cha Ca La Vong (grilled fish)
  • Book a cyclo tour if you want (make sure to bargain and agree on the number or hours and price before getting on one)

 

The Food of Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires literally has it all, gorgeous people, sultry underground jazz clubs, spectacular architecture, and heavenly meat.

A Few Terms You Should Know Prior to Eating 

Parrilla: Translates to both steakhouse and the actual grill
Bodegones: Classic Buenos Aires neighborhood eateries serving local comfort foods like grilled meats, pastas, and beef or chicken
Asado: Barbecue, also the shortened term for tira de asado, short or long ribs
Puerta Cerrada: Closed door restaurant, by reservation only, generally in the chef’s home, serving a fixed tasting menu
Cenar: To eat dinner, typically quite late, around 9 p.m. to 11 p.m

Here’s some spots that we drooled over and you shouldn’t miss.

Don Julio

When people around the world talk about eating meat, they are all talking about Don Julio – Carnivore Heaven. While Don Julio is no longer a secret, the upscale steakhouse still captures the hearts and stomachs of locals and travelers. This is the place to experience what the Argentine parrilla is all about: top grass-fed sirloin, rump, and skirt steak, crispy sweetbreads, and Malbec by the bottles. Since eating here, we wake up with drool on our pillow and steak on our minds many mornings…

I Latina

If you’ve eaten enough beef to get the “meat sweats”, yes that’s a thing, then I Latina will round you out with some balanced nutrition that is absolutely delicious. With a refined spin on Caribbean flavors, a seafood-rich menu that features Colombian, Peruvian, and Argentine ingredients, the contrasting flavors will delight your palete. Standout dishes include a tropical play on ceviche served with mango, fresh coconut, and lychee and a deconstructed arepa—pulled beef and citrus avocado salad on top of a crispy patacón—showcasing varying temperatures and textures.

Cafe Rivas

Café Rivas feels like it would be the corner spot that you’d always go to for comfort food, if you also wanted a serious wine selection. Located in a beautiful two-story building on the corner of a cobblestone street in San Telmo, it has an old world ambiance accompanied by live piano music on weekends. It’s an awesome chill spot to grab a bite.