Hello, my name’s Daniel Gillaspia and I’m the creator of UponArriving.com.
I’m a former attorney turned entrepreneur with a passion for exploring and building things.
I grew up in the Lone Star State, also known as Texas, where the people are friendly, the summers are scorching, and the Tex-Mex food is to die for. After graduating from Texas A&M, I shipped off to the West Coast for a bit of a change of pace. There, I spent three years living in the hippy haven of Berkeley, California for law school. Berkeley — as crazy as it can be — exposed me to a whole new world of ideas and way of life. I fell into the hobby of photography, grew fond of the beautiful natural scenery in sunny California, and after being exposed to polar-opposite political ideologies at A&M and UC-Berkeley, I found myself developing a keen insight and appreciation for differences in opinion and outlooks that I think has been invaluable in getting the most out of my travels… and life in general.
I’ve “lived” for at least some time in three different countries besides the United States. I spent a summer living in Oaxaca, Mexico, a beautiful capital nestled in a mountain valley where I discovered the wonder that is mole and mezcal. I later lived in Bondi Beach, Australia, just outside of Sydney, for an Aussie winter and got in touch with my adventurous side by trying things like skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef and swimming with sharks! Finally, just recently I spent about a year living in the United Kingdom munching on fish-n-chips, minding the gap, and doing my best to seek out as much Vitamin D as humanly possible while living there.
Throughout those years, I worked tirelessly on my “side hustle” of travel blogging while balancing the work of grad school and being an attorney. In 2014, I started the national parks travel blog, nationalparksandmore.com (which is now merged with UponArriving.com) and it inspired a travel book I published in 2015, Hidden Gems of the Western United States.
My interest soon shifted to credit card rewards and I got hooked into flying around the world in first class and staying in luxury hotels for virtually no cost. The more I blogged about travel and checked off my bucket-list experiences, the more interested I got in making that my full-time job.
Don’t get me wrong, I liked certain aspects of the law. I got to work on some really interesting cases dealing with things like white collar crimes and fraud, but I had known for some time that my heart just wasn’t in it. It was obvious to me that it would only be a matter of time before I’d need a career change in order to truly be happy.
So for the next three years, I worked… and worked… and worked to make that dream a reality. It took a lot of time but today I’m a full time digital entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of UponArriving, LLC. In the future, I hope to show others how to pursue their own digital paths to freedom and teach them how to avoid some of the mistakes I made in the process.