My name is Daniel and I am currently a graduate student at Florida International University, studying to receive my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as Rehabilitation Counseling. I graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2014, where I majored in Creative Writing and double minored in Spanish and Hospitality Management. I recently completed my first bookβ€”a self-help for teensβ€”with hopes of it being published in the near future. This blog is meant to bring you along on the journey of my travels, writing endeavors, and road to achievingΒ Happiness.

161 comments on “About

  1. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors. I have a friend that just recently self-published a self-discovery book for women. It is an amazing accomplishment.

  2. Hello hurdles πŸ™‚

    You have a really nice blog & a great talent in writing. I wish you every success in your studies & achieving your goals. Keep writing, i look forward to reading more.

  3. Hi,
    Thanks for signing up. Good luck with your book and blog projects.

  4. likeitiz says:

    Hello, Dan. Thanks for visiting my blog. I wish you the best of luck in your journey through the creative writing world. I myself have only very recently ventured into it. When I was in high school, my friends told me I should pursue writing because they thought I expressed teenage angst so well. But I decided to do something else instead. That was years ago. Three years ago, my daughter gave me for my birthday gift, an easel, charcoal pencils, pastels,brushes, and oil paint with a few canvases. She encouraged me to write by inviting me to guest in a writing blog she had set up with her friends in college. I realized that this is a side of me I had ignored all these years. I’m telling you this because I think you should pursue your creative passion while you are still young, when your voice is still fresh, not jaded, not colored—yet. Good luck to you, Dan. I’d love to follow your growth!

  5. I wish your dreams come true soon!
    Keep it up πŸ™‚

  6. Hello and thank you for the follow. I have returned the kind gesture and wish you a happy weekend. πŸ™‚ Kind regards.

  7. Shira says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for following my blog! I am so happy to connect with fellow bloggers (and writers) looking inside and out at how we can truly attain happiness (and what that actually means). I personally enjoy a little creative writing myself – it’s funny trying to edit things down to ‘blog’ length – but I am learning! Looking forward to checking in πŸ™‚

    • danbalva says:

      Hi Shira,

      No problem, and thanks for following me too! I definitely know how you feel trying to edit things down to “blog” length; it has been quite the interesting task to do. I look forward to checking in on your blog as well!

  8. Insightful posts, very interesting reads.

  9. jcurtinca says:

    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for following my blog. Wish you the best in your publishing goals!

  10. GJ Scobie says:

    I have nominated yourself for the Versatile Blogger Award if you should wish to accept it. Details are at


  11. GJ Scobie says:

    You are very welcome!

  12. Just stopping by to let you know that i’ve tagged you in a game but it’s no big deal if you don’t want to take part – if you do – follow the link here http://nocturnefirefay.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/tag-games-everyone-is-welcome-to-play-and-take-part-no-pressure-either-way/
    and have fun with it.
    Enjoy your sunday!

  13. Thank you for following my blog. Wow, such an old soul to have such wisdom. So jealous your book is written, I hope you get it published! I am still working on mine.

    If there is anything I’ve learned that I can share, happiness is not the destination, it is the journey. And often we have our sights and focus in the wrong place because it’s what’s around us, not what we can obtain, here everyday and not in the someday but most importantly, it’s a choice.

    I wish you the best, I’ll be stopping by often.

    • danbalva says:

      Thanks Christine! I appreciate the kind words, and hope you enjoy the book-writing-process. It may seem difficult at times but it’s definitely worthwhile! And I couldn’t agree with you more. I look forward to checking out your blog more often as well!

  14. Dear Dan, I am so happy you stopped by my website so I could find yours. Keep on writing. I love your style and would love to read or have my teens read your self help book. So please do let us know when it gets published. This is a difficult time for most young adults as so much going on and so many decisions to make it can seem daunting. Thanks so sharing your experiences. Take Care, BAM

  15. hodgepodge4thesoul says:

    Hello there, just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger Award πŸ™‚

    • danbalva says:

      Sorry for the late response but thank you so much! I will get around to posting this one soon! Thanks again, as it is greatly appreciated πŸ™‚

  16. Subhan Zein says:

    Hello Dan Balva,

    You have finished a book? Great Job! πŸ™‚

    Wow, I’m so jealous! I’m still working on mine and still haven’t finished it. So congratulations, I’m happy for you! πŸ™‚ I wish you will find an agent who will land you into a publishing house.. πŸ™‚

    And thank you for following my blog. I hope you have a joyful ride in each of your visits! Thank you and have a lovely day, my friend! πŸ™‚

    Subhan Zein

  17. What an amazing accomplishment to have completed your first book! Your studies sound fascinating. Wish you all the best through your educational journey and know you will do exceptional well. Education is a lifelong journey combined with real life experiences and how nice we grow and flourish with this combination.

  18. Lisa Winkler says:

    Thank for liking my French food post. Have a great trip!

  19. boomiebol says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the follow.

  20. rurimadani12 says:

    thanks for following me, Dan πŸ˜€

  21. It sounds really great that you have already completed a book with your thoughts, Dan. Wish you all success bro!
    God bless!
    Cheers…\m/ πŸ™‚

  22. Hello Dan,Thank you for liking my post. I’ve been a way for a while but pleasantly surprised to read your post on Guatemala. I have visited twice with youth mission groups and enjoyed it very much also. I also hope your book gets published. It sounds like a very good resource for teens.

    • danbalva says:

      No problem Rev. Whitfield! Thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad that you were also able to experience mission trips, as they are some of the best experiences one can have!

  23. Thank you for stopping by my blog and following it, i appreciate it. I have also started reading yours and really can echo what you said. All the best to you for publishing your book!

  24. The Gumption Project says:

    Hi Dan, Thank you for visiting and following my blog. I think it’s great what you are doing to make a difference. Congratulations on finishing your book. I look forward to reading your posts and gaining insight for myself. Kristy

  25. iRuniBreathe says:

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for finding me and following my blog. It’s great to meet other bloggers finding their own path to happiness. I think we can all learn from shared perspectives. It’s so easy to be absorbed by what goes on in our own lives that we forget to see what’s going on around us. Thanks for some well written posts. I look forward to seeing you again.


  26. southernwild says:

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and enjoying it enough to follow me. I really hope you like my future post. I have looked over your blog post and I in return LOVE your blog too! Have a blessed day! πŸ™‚

  27. P. C. Zick says:

    Good morning – I’ve just nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. Check out my blog at http://www.pczick.wordpress.com. Congratulations on a great blog.

  28. R C Norman says:

    Dan, thanks for following my blog “In My View”. I appreciate your interest. Look forward to checking out your site and reading some of your posts. Sounds very interesting. — Rob

  29. Greetings, Dan, fantastic blog! Thanks for following mine, as doing so has led me to you. And I’ll add that when I landed on your site it “felt” masculine to me, in a good way; first I thought that might have been because your post was about Father’s Day, so I checked out my hunch to see whether the author was indeed male. Intriguing, huh? And I look forward to reading more of you…

  30. ramshazia says:

    First off, thank you for visiting my blog and then proceeding to follow it. It means the world. Like you, I too am a student: photography/film making and creative writing πŸ™‚ so it really is nice to find someone else within the same…area? sphere? line? I have trouble categorizing what it is that people like us do because for me, I just do what makes me happy. Another similarity: I am about to finish my first book, except it is fiction. I commend you for writing a helpful book that will surely prove to be a guide for a lot of people. Hope we can keep in touch and share notes some time, keep up the good work!

    • danbalva says:

      No problem! And oh nice, how do you like it? I go to school in Orlando. How about you? And I couldn’t agree more with you! It’s awesome to hear that you also wrote a book; especially fiction cause that’s something I’ve always wanted to try. In the meantime, I look forward to following your blog!

      • ramshazia says:

        haha Im flattered that you chose to follow me πŸ™‚ I have traveled around quite a bit, my dad was an engineer (projects only) before he retired. I did my first degree from Pakistan in cinematography and writing. Now Im heading to Malaysia at the end of the month to try some thing new. Orlando is lovely, I’ve visited twice and have family there.

  31. Thanks for following. I need to read your posts as well because I need to learn from you, I’m a mother of a teenager..this is life, we get inspiration from others and we inspire others as well. All the very best

  32. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for finding me!

  33. Bob Othman says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for following. Love your work and thoughts, and congrats on your book on teenagers (my favorite topic). Best of luck

  34. K. says:

    Hi, thank you for stumbling upon my blog and hitting the follow button. Which led me to discover your beautiful blog. Thank you again πŸ™‚

  35. Very nice to ‘meet’ you! You have a lovely blog!

  36. Paula says:

    Good luck Dan πŸ™‚ and keep sending those positive vibes πŸ™‚

  37. yogaleigh says:

    Thanks for following my blog! Have you checked out Kickstarter.com for your book?

  38. Ganesh says:

    Great effort! All the very best!!

    Thanks for following my blog. πŸ™‚

  39. alslaff says:

    Dan, just stopping by to thank you for your recent visit and follow on “Shift Key” – and reading your blog. Writing and working with kids and teens is always a worth every second, every word invested. Young people deserve our best, to help them bring their best.

    • danbalva says:

      No problem! I look forward to stopping by your blog more often, and I couldn’t agree more! You have a great message to share and I can’t wait to see more!

  40. reneeboomer says:

    Thank you for following my blog. All the best in everything you do. Have a wonderful day. Renee πŸ™‚

  41. charinabrooks says:

    Wishing you all the best of luck Dan and thank you for following me over at Pondered Thoughts πŸ™‚ Stay blessed!

  42. beebeesworld says:

    than you for reading my blog, Dan. I will follow your and hope you will mine as well. Learning spanish has been a life long goal-frustration for me, I continue to try…I wish you success! beebee

    • danbalva says:

      No problem Beebee, and thanks! I look forward to following your blog from now on! And I definitely know how you feel about the frustration of learning another language πŸ™‚

  43. Margarita says:

    Thanks for visiting and following my blog. I look forward to getting to know you more! All the best, Margarita

  44. I admire your goals! Keep up the good work. Lovely blog – thank you for visiting mine!

  45. Beverly says:

    Hi, Dan. Thanks for following me. Congratulations on finishing your book. That’s quite an accomplishmet. Best of luck to you in your writing career. Have a nice evening.

  46. ltownsdin says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for following my blog. I’ll be checking yours out often!

  47. leamuse says:

    Thanks for the follow. After reading a bit of your blog, I know you will find a number of those hurdles to happiness addressed on my posts to date and future. I am a survivor and now know just what happiness is! πŸ™‚
    If you enjoy travel, europe… perhaps you would like to check out my other blog? http://foundinfrance.wordpress.com
    Bon courage et bon chance,

  48. Thank you for following my blog. I am wishing you good luck in your endeavors!

  49. jumeirajames says:

    Hi Dan, thanks for reading my blog. I admire your positive attitude and your will to do good in the world. I’m a pretty old geezer and I can tell you that it’s not an easy road to follow, the world is full of pitfalls and traps for the unwary. I would say the biggest trap of all is a love for material things, i would say it’s what got us where we are today. As a wiser man than I said ‘The love of money is the root of all evil’

    My strategy is to hope for best and plan for the worst.

  50. leamuse says:

    Thanks for signing on with Found in France! As you read the other blog, you will begin to understand why I didn’t believe life could be as wonderful as what I have found here.

  51. Hi Dan! Thank you for stopping by my blog! Please let me know when you publish your book – I would love to purchase a signed copy of it. Also, I invite you to list the link/site where we can purchase it on my upcoming directory http://empoweredresults.org/2012/06/27/blog-community-day/

  52. PJ says:

    Dan, many thanks for following my blog, hope you enjoy some of my future posts. Good luck with all your projects & travels, I’ll be dropping by to read more.

  53. Thanks for following my blog, Dan! And I also want to encourage you to follow your writing dream–don’t let life interrupt it too much. I have just turned 59 (today) and although I have been writing on and off since a very young age, am finally having a novel published, a process which is exciting but also hard work and daunting. Best of luck! And congratulations on your trip to Spain! What a wonderful opportunity.

    • danbalva says:

      No problem! I look forward to stopping by more often!! And happy belated birthday! I appreciate your kind words and congratulations on your novel as well! I’m sure it made your birthday even better πŸ™‚

  54. Hello Dan,
    so good to meet you, and I just love your title to your Blog, Hurdles-to-Happiness… I remember my own teenage years, and more so, my children’s teens, and any help to overcome those teenage hurdles gets a Big Thumbs Up in my Book.
    Good luck with your Studies and I know with writing of such good quality as you have shown here, that First Publication will not be far off.. Keep focused upon your Intent with positive energy, and your Dreams become reality..
    Thank you for subscribing to ‘Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary, I hope you find many interesting posts on their… To help you find what you want scroll to my categories section on the right column.
    Blessings~ Sue Dreamwalker

  55. Hi Dan,

    thanks for the follow, I’ll be checking in here often with a cup of tea. You are a very talented writer, I really enjoyed your nursery rhyme poem.

  56. augusto Machado says:

    Hi Dan, first of all thanks for follow my blogger, and as an old guy I tell you something neveer give up to reach your goals. As for me, iΒ΄m just an ordinary man who loves to make friends, nature and music (good one of course) and I have a filosophy of life, the more I live the more I learn. Again wish you all the lucky in whatever you do.
    Greetings from Brazil.
    Augusto (Frankie)

    • danbalva says:

      Hi Augusto, no problem! I love your outlook on life, and couldn’t agree more with your philosophy! I look forward to stopping by your blog more often!

  57. sahbinahvioletflynn says:

    I’ve nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Check out the details here: http://sahbinahvioletflynn.wordpress.com/2012/07/16/be-inspired/

  58. origamiraven says:

    Thank you very much for following my blog. It’s a little sparse at the moment, but knowing someone is watching and reading is so encouraging to continue writing.

    Congratulations on writing your first book! I hope it does get picked up soon. Your writing is impressive, and I wish you all the luck with your endeavors. I don’t really think you’ll need the luck, though. I think you’ll make it based on pure talent and dedication.

    • danbalva says:

      No problem and definitely! Keep writing because even though we may not think so, someone is reading our work πŸ™‚ And thank you!! Your kind words truly mean a lot and I really look forward to stopping by your blog more often! πŸ™‚

  59. sharechair says:

    Thanks so much for following my blog! I am very grateful and delighted that it gave me a chance to look around, here. I love your uplifting attitude and enthusiasm! I’ll be a regular visitor. πŸ™‚ Nice to meet you!

  60. lisarrrr says:

    Thanks for following my blog so I could also find yours. Good for you in finishing your first book. I am working on a book myself. I also found your trip to Spain fascinating.

  61. Erin Leary says:

    Hi Dan – Thanks for following my blog. I’m interested in knowing how you came upon it – I never know how / why someone finds me. I’m heading to Europe shortly for a few weeks of vacation. Looking forward to a change of pace. Safe travels!

    • danbalva says:

      Hi Erin, no problem! I like go look at followers of those who I follow every so often, and that’s how I found you. I don’t need to say it because I’m sure you will, but have an awesome time in Europe!! It’s going to be amazing πŸ™‚

  62. Penny says:

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for visiting my blog! I just stopped by to have a quick look( gotta get to work) and see what you are up to. I am looking forward to reading your stories on Spain, as I have been to all the same places. Except for the bulls part. πŸ™‚
    Nice writing. Congrats!

  63. Riba says:

    Hello. Please forgive my tardiness, but I took two short trips and have lost track of keeping up with my blog stuff. I stopped by to (finally!) thank you for following my blog. This always lifts my heart, and I appreciate it. So—thank you. πŸ™‚

  64. Riba says:

    Oh, and I ADORE the title of your blog. And wish you tons of success with your book!

  65. Lovely to meet you, Dan, and well done on completing your first manuscript! I once dreamed of writing my first by 18 – I didn’t actually get there, so kudos to you, and best of luck on the publishing journey πŸ™‚

    • danbalva says:

      Thanks Alarna, same here! My goal didn’t work out by the age of 18 either, but it’s a good thing we’re the ones who set our goals and no one else, because this way we can alter them if needed πŸ™‚

  66. George Hayward says:

    Hey Dan! Great to find another student blogger (I’m from Penn State). Coincidentally, self-help for teens is my future career path! I want to speak on personal development in schools, so it’s pretty similar to your interests. That’s terrific you are trying to publish a book already. Keep up the great work, love your blog.

    • danbalva says:

      Hey George! Thanks for the kind words, and what you’re doing is awesome! I just started following your blog and it’s incredible so keep on inspiring fellow bloggers! And coincidentally I was going to go to Penn State too, but ended up staying in state at the last minute lol.

  67. You are one of several new blogs I have had the recent pleasure of getting to know and thought others might like to get to know you as well. So I have nominated you for a Reader Appreciation Award. The acceptance rules are rather simple (should you choose to accept) and can be found on my blog site crustybreadblog.com. You have many followers and I do enjoy reading as well. I know many more will enjoy it also. Blessings.

  68. […] teenage men with ambiguous notions World scholars dealing in happiness potions Peace-loving fellows with wheels for their wings Yours is a world fit […]

  69. Thank you for following my blog. I’ve been here before, but I forgot to sign myself in, because I like to read all the tips for teenangers, and of course about your life πŸ™‚

  70. I went to Florida Southern BA ’71 in Lakeland and Barry College MA ’80 in Miami Shores. I live in Aventura now very NE corner of Miami Dade County.

  71. Hi Dan, thanks for following my blog! We lived in central Florida until we became Arizona residents – absolutely loved it there! I hope I can inspire you to fulfill your dreams because setting your mind to something and accomplishing goals is exactly what New Creations Ministries is all about whether it is weight loss, overcoming stressful situations or setting goals that can be reached.

    I’ll look forward to seeing you progress and your future posts. Thanks again!

  72. babso2you says:

    Good luck to you on your book! And, thank you for signing up to follow my blog! I hope that you find it entertaining and fun!

  73. sakuraandme says:

    Hi, and thanks for checking out my blog! πŸ™‚
    Back blogging in 1 weeks time!
    Have a Happy safe New Year!! …….Paula xx

  74. aparnauteur says:

    Hi Dan,
    Thanks for checking out my blog πŸ™‚ I wish you the best for your book. I look forward to reading more of your work! Cheers πŸ™‚

  75. ajaytao2010 says:

    Nice reading about you Dan

    Thanks. For visiting my blog Ajaytao2010@wordpress.com. Browse through the category sections, I feel you may definitely find something of your interest.

  76. Thanks for the follow πŸ˜€

  77. cherylfoston says:

    Great blog Dan! I would love to read your book for teens once it is published. Thank you, for reading my blog. It is appreciated!

  78. globalunison says:

    Hey Daniel,
    Thank you for stopping by my blog. It’s greatly appreciated.
    I wish you a very good day.

    Kind Regards,

  79. Rati says:

    Hi, your blog looks great!!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and like my post on IndianSpaghetti! πŸ™‚

  80. Hi Daniel. Firstly thank you for the ‘like’ on my Apple, Pear and Nut Cake which has led me to your amazing site. Congratulations on your book and everything ! What a fantastic accomplishment. I will be going through all your posts and look forward to reading more about your journey. Well done, once again πŸ™‚

    • danbalva says:

      Hi Lynne, the cake looked incredible and I can’t wait to continue following your blog and the great recipes you provide! Thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad to have come across your blog!

  81. Hi Daniel, thank you for your kind words, and thank you for the follow. I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes. Have a great day.

  82. Hi

    Thank you so much for finding my blog and liking a post. Hope you come back again soon

  83. Jam says:

    Hi Daniel, thank you so much for liking my post on my mini beef pastries! Thanks for stopping by! πŸ™‚
    I can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog

  84. ohiocook says:

    Thank you for dropping by my blog.

  85. ohiocook says:

    …and thank you for following my blog!

  86. vinnieh says:

    Your blog is really inspiring and thanks for dropping by mine.

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