Justin Ferriman


You know how people say time flies? I’ve never been one to buy into that concept. From my experience, this is the case when you don’t take time to appreciate the moment you are living.

Two years ago today, Lorena and I were married. It’s our second anniversary, but the amount of life we have lived could easily be packed into three or four years. Over that time, I have taken the time to stop and appreciate our time together, be it watching Netflix on a random Tuesday night, or celebrating holidays with family.

Another year together and we continue to grow even closer.

And just as it was on our first date, her smile makes me melt.


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As Lorena and I looked at the calendar this year, we decided that we should go somewhere to celebrate our anniversary. We had fun discussing various destinations, from Europe to tropical islands.

While we would have undoubtedly enjoyed those locations, we both preferred something a little… slower. A trip without the busy distractions, allowing us to connect to one another and to nature. We really liked our time visiting Lake Tahoe, so with this in mind, we landed on Big Sur.

We have just returned from the trip, and I must say, it was really special.

If you haven’t been to Big Sur, then you owe it to yourself to spend some time there. The landscapes are both stunning and peaceful. You have mountains, tall pines, redwoods, cliffs, and the ocean. There is plenty to do outdoors, and we took advantage of it.

Some of the activities we did during our trip:

  • Went on several hikes.
  • Discovered local herbs and plant life (including the dangerous ones).
  • Enjoyed some massages.
  • Relaxed by the various pools.
  • Learned about bees and tasted the local honey.
  • Learned how to make cocktails with natural herbs.
  • Just rested, appreciating nature.

We stayed a total of five days, and that was just about right. We plan to come back again next year, but will stay at another hotel to get some new experiences.

Here are just a few of the hundreds of pictures we took!


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This past week, Lorena and I made a trip across the country to Connecticut to visit her older sister. As a bonus, we also saw her younger sister (who lives in New York), and it also gave us the opportunity to see our nephew, who is also our Godchild, for the first time this year.

Connecticut holds a special place in my heart. Back when Lorena and I started our relationship, COVID was just starting. It wasn’t until that Thanksgiving that I was able to finally meet her family in person, and we did this in Connecticut.

Since then, we’ve made several trips out east to celebrate holidays and birthdays. I’m becoming quite acquainted with the area that the familiarity is comforting on some level.

The trip was quick, just shy of a week, but still very enjoyable.

We have done a good job getting to see family this year, already having spent time with my brother and his family, my parents, and now Lorena’s sisters. Next up will be a trip back to Mexico to spend time with Lorena’s parents.


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Physical activity has always been a part of my life.

When I was young, I played many sports, including soccer, baseball, basketball, track & field, lacrosse, and tennis. I eventually settled into soccer and played that through college.

I continued to play in highly competitive men’s leagues with former collegiate athletes, until one day in 2013, that changed. I was hit from behind while jumping for a header, and I herniated a disc in my neck. To this day, I still don’t have complete feeling in my left pointer finger.

Eventually things healed with my neck, and I started to incorporate other cardio workouts (namely boxing and Muay Thai) into my strength training.

10 years later, and my body is telling me to make another change.

Over the past two years, I have been constantly battling nagging injuries as a result of my current workout routine. I have injured my hand, wrist, elbow, groin, and (as of writing this) I am dealing with a pretty significant shoulder injury.

Some of these were the direct result of kickboxing on the heavy bag, others were exasperated by that activity.

I am frustrated, and I have realized that I can’t keep doing what I am doing, or this cycle is just going to continue. I need to change my activities.

So, now I am officially a White Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

I needed to give my body a break from the high-impact striking that I have been doing. At the same time, I also wanted to learn a new skill – and so after a lot of research, I landed on BJJ.

I’m excited, and nervous about this journey. I have never done wrestling or any kind of grappling activity in my life, so I am literally starting from zero. That said, I am energized by this decision for a few reasons, specifically:

  • BJJ is both useful and practical.
  • I’m learning and working out at the same time.
  • Goals are built into the journey.

It sounds silly, but my first goal is to get my first “stripe” for my white belt. To me, this signifies that I am starting to gain an understanding of the principles of BJJ, and these principles will be my foundation going forward as I work towards one day reaching blue belt.

So far, I have already had three classes, and I am ready to dive further into the world of BJJ.


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At the end of last year, I suffered an injury to my shoulder from overuse. I was lifting heavy, and doing this for months on end really messed it up. As a result, I can’t do any weightlifting for my shoulders or chest. It also has meant that I’ve been unable to do my favorite cardio: Muay Thai.

This has been hard for me. I’m someone who needs variety in my workouts (both lifting and cardio). Sitting on the sidelines while letting an injury heal takes a ton of patience and is incredibly frustrating. To make matters worse, I just came back from a tennis elbow injury which took seven months to heal. I feel like I’ve been held back for some time now.

My shoulder is not 100% better, but I have been able to incorporate some weightlifting (back, arms, and legs) and even some Muay Thai on the heavy bag – albeit more controlled and for less time.

Still, I feel like it’s time for me to get back on the horse!

No fancy apps, just using Google Calendar to send me reminders every day of my workout. It’s a one-week workout that I created (with two rest days), so the reminders will continue every week until I’m ready to switch it up.

Something I know about myself is that I need mini-challenges, or goals, to stay motivated. This will do the trick for now, but I am also searching for something a little more regimented and long-term, and will report on that (hopefully soon).


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Lorena and I just returned from a four-day trip to San Carlos, Mexico. The purpose of the trip was to attend the wedding of our friends (who just visited us in January). We rented a stunning Airbnb right on the water’s edge, located a little north of the wedding venue.

It was my first time seeing the Sea of Cortez. I find it beautiful in an untamed way. Steady breezes made for a choppy, deep blue surface. The sky was always blue with an occasional puffy cloud, but those usually blew through rather quickly. I enjoyed drinking coffee in the morning, watching the pelicans swoop down again and again to catch fish.

It probably goes without saying, but I had an opportunity to practice my Spanish quite a bit, especially during the wedding reception dinner. I met a lot of Lorena’s friends from the time she lived in North Carolina. Speaking became more challenging when the DJ put the music on volume 10.

Luckily for me, everyone was bilingual, and their English was better than my Spanish. This made conversations over the loud music more possible. I hope to get to a point where I can continue interacting effectively in Spanish in very loud bars or parties, but I fully recognize that is a very advanced level that will take years to reach. One day!

The plan was to get back to California late Sunday night, flying from Hermosillo to Tijuana, then using the Cross Boarder Xpress (which is amazingly efficient). However, our flight was cancelled due to weather. It was a bit hectic and stressful as we figured out what to do, but ultimately we were on the first flight out the next day.

I really enjoyed the wedding, and San Carlos. Perhaps one day we will return for another visit, but if not, I’ll always remember it.

Here are a few memorable scenes from our trip!


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Prior to the new year, Lorena and I talked about taking the initiative to travel more. Sticking to our word, we just returned from a quick trip to Seattle.

For close to a year we have discussed the possibility of going to Seattle, so when we saw a gap in our schedule, we purchased tickets for a four-day trip.

Lorena and I are similar in the way we like to travel. We don’t plan many activities ahead of time, but rather “go with the flow” once in the location. Our idea prior to going was to walk around a bit, go to Pike Place Market, try some coffee shops, do a little shopping, book a nice restaurant, and to just discover Seattle’s beauty.

It was a brief visit, but we were able to:

  • Stay at a nice hotel that was centrally located.
  • Have a Washington wine tasting and food in the Space Needle.
  • Walk around the Chihuly Garden & Glass museum.
  • Participate in a guided seafood tour of Pike Place Market, where we got to sample amazing seafood and learn the history of Seattle.
  • Ride the Seattle Great Wheel.
  • Walk around the city and try new restaurants.
  • Drink coffee at the original Starbucks and try other Cafés with incredible coffee. Seattle is known as a coffee hub, and it was some of the best that I’ve ever had.

Of course, it rained, it’s Seattle after all. I’m a sucker for sunshine, but didn’t mind it so much. I feel like it wouldn’t be a proper trip to Seattle without a little gray skies and rain. More than anything, we really liked the vibe of the city. There is a big emphasis on sustainability, organic, and nature.

We are back in California now, and we are recharging our batteries quickly before we head out again, this time to Mexico for our friends’ wedding.


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I use this blog for a variety of topics, one of which being a way to document my progress learning Spanish. Today is another one of those posts!

Recently, Lorena’s good friend from North Carolina came to visit us with her fiancé. We will be going to their wedding in March, and they were kind enough to come out to California for a weekend visit.

They were both incredibly kind and fun people, and I can see us having a strong friendship for many years to come. We are already planning a trip to go out and visit them.

They are both from Mexico, so as you would expect, they are bilingual.

Something that is important to me is that I don’t want other people to automatically switch to English simply because I am in the room. This is why I bust my ass learning Spanish – so that I can be part of Lorena’s culture, including the friendships she formed before we met.

As such, we spent the entire weekend speaking a mix of Spanish and English. I’d probably say it was about 50/50. It was a surreal experience for me, participating in deep conversations in Spanish, jokes and all. Yes, I sometimes screwed up conjugations, genders, and word order – but that didn’t matter. What mattered is that I got to know them better in their native language. It made it fun and easy for them.

A highlight for me was the last night when we went out to dinner. At one point I realized that we had all been speaking Spanish for the majority of dinner, and it wasn’t a struggle at all. Maybe it was the glass of wine that loosened me up a bit more, but everything was flowing easily.

This has encouraged to keep up with my studying, and to practice the more advanced structures as I work towards the C1 level of fluency (as of writing this, I am at B2).


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Another eventful year is in the books, and I’m starting to think more about the coming year and what to expect.

If I’m honest, the past few years have been a whirlwind of activity for me and Lorena, with some huge life events. This coming year feels like an opportunity to slow down slightly and just enjoy life.

I am not one for making hard-set resolutions for a new year, but I do have general goals that I wish to achieve (or continue working towards) from a personal and professional standpoint.

The year of GapScout.

Since August of last year, I have been working on building GapScout. My goal for 2023 is to launch and grow the initial user base, ending the year in profit.

It’s hard to pinpoint a dollar figure for the business because there are still so many factors that I don’t know yet. That said, I think my first goal is making the first $100,000 in revenue for the business.

The beginning of the year will be quite eventful as I anticipate the release of the beta version, and finally getting real-world feedback from people. The one thing I am struggling with currently is pricing, so hopefully that will become more clear during that time.

Oh, and I want to do is stay small for as long as possible. I plan to use contractors to do this, and will likely do this all through 2023. To achieve this, I have been focusing on creating simplified processes that don’t depend on me specifically. Ultimately, I want GapScout to be a useful little tool that isn’t resource heavy.

A little side hobby.

While I am energized by GapScout, I don’t want to burn out from focusing on it every day, all the time. I like to learn new things regarding online business, and so this year I’m giving myself permission to pursue small side projects. For example, I enjoy building websites. Years ago (in my early 20s), I had success selling them too.

What is nice about this kind of hobby is that it’s not so technical. I can enjoy the process without the complications of building and selling software. I love that too, but sometimes my mind needs a break.

Paying it forward.

This is something that I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. When I was running LearnDash, I felt like I didn’t have the headspace to do anything else. I had obligations with employees, customers, and getting more customers. Then, I had to work on the sale of the business (which took about a year).

At the end of it all, I was burnt out – and I still had to help with the transition.

I started to reflect more on what I wanted to do with my time, and something that I have always enjoyed was teaching. I used to give presentations at conferences about areas of entrepreneurship, and I always felt energized by them afterward.

I have travelled a path that many wish to travel, but don’t know how. I have learned so much along my entrepreneurial journey, and I wish to share these lessons learned.

I am looking into ways to teach formally, starting by looking at adjunct professor openings at the local universities in my area. That said, I am open to bringing the world of entrepreneurship to children as well.

I am still working through what any of this will look like, but I do know I am feeling a calling to teaching, and I intend to explore that further.

Finally taking the time to travel just for ourselves.

Lorena and I first met just before the pandemic started. In a way, the lockdown significantly progressed our relationship, as we were isolated with one another without any of the typical distractions.

During the first couple of years, we couldn’t do much travel. Our trips always involved going to see family. I enjoyed the prolonged stays, but now that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, we finally feel that we are in a position to take trips for just us.

It’s not that we haven’t had some vacations. We have, but they have been more local to the U.S. or Mexico. We are excited to explore Europe, specifically Portugal and Italy. We also have an interest in going to Japan, as neither of us have been to Asia.

In addition to some of these longer trips, we intend to travel more around California, and the West Coast in general, such as to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Salt Lake City.

We have the time and the ability to travel this year, and we intend to do so. Of course, we are also looking forward to seeing family as well in Mexico, Michigan, Illinois, and Connecticut this year as well.

My Spanish journey to C1 fluency.

I think last year will always be the year of my biggest progression in Spanish, and I won’t lose sight of that. It was the year that I finally reached fluency!

But fluency is not perfection – and I am far from perfect. I need to learn more vocabulary, get more comfortable and quicker with certain verb conjugations, and improve my general conversational understanding.

The point is, I do well today, but I could get better. I sometimes fall into a habit of saying the easier thing than what I really want to say because the grammatical structure is more complex than what I am used to.

This year, I plan to work with my online tutor four days a week. I started this process in the middle of last year, and it really helped me get to that next level. I reached the B2 level, and now my eyes are set on C1. I think realistically, being a strong C1 is the best I can hope for in the language. I am aiming to reach this level within one to three years. My tutor thinks that by the end I’ll be in the early C1 phases. We’ll see!

I’ll need to know more words (vocab will never stop), practice advanced grammar, and ultimate expose myself more to the language via television, books, and conversation.

Most importantly, I will try to embrace every moment.

As I approach 40, I am starting to better understand that every single moment in my life is a blessing. Nothing is guaranteed, and time is so precious.

I am more patient than I have ever been in my life. I am now taking the time to appreciate the small moments that I have with Lorena, my parents, her parents, and our friends. I want to grow in this outlook. Like many people, I sometimes have trouble keeping the small things small – but I am aware of this, and I am trying to improve.

Overall, I am optimistic and excited to live life in 2023. I anticipate that it will be a year full of memories, laughs, and love.


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Last year was a great year regarding my Spanish learning, finally reaching fluency in the language. Today, I reached another achievement that I never would have thought possible only a few years back.

In January 2020, I didn’t know any Spanish besides the very basics. In February 2020, I started my one-on-one lessons on iTalki, which led me to study more relevant vocabulary lists and to practice reading using books designed for language learners.

It’s January 2023, and I just had my first business meeting completely in Spanish!

It was a conversation with the designer working on the GapScout website redesign. He is from Spain and needed clarification on my feedback, and requested a meeting in Spanish, since he knew that I could speak it.

We ended the meeting with more clarity on the direction going forward. That was great, but more importantly, I felt extremely accomplished.

I’m far from perfect, and I still have a lot to learn. But it’s these little victories that both encourage and motivate me to keep up with my vigorous Spanish study schedule.


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