About Me

Hello and welcome to The Rocky Safari! My name is Rocky Trifari, but you can also call me by my Chinese name: 泰山.

In 2009, my Chinese teacher gave me the name Tàishān based on my English name, “Rocky Trifari.” The inspiration behind my Chinese name comes from the famous Mount Tai mountains of China.

While “Taishan” technically means “big mountain,” it also translates back into English as “Tarzan.” So whether you prefer to see me as a safari adventurer or like Tarzan the jungle man, the bottom line is that I love to be in and around nature. I gravitate toward birds and I have had a passion for travel and exploration from an early age.

Using that play on my name, I was inspired to create The Rocky Safari: a wild place where I can blog about all of my weird, unusual, and unexpected adventures.

A multi-topic travel blog built for nomads and nature lovers.

In terms of my educational background, I graduated from Rutgers University where I studied psychology and entrepreneurship. My life experience has shown me that through harnessing the full power of our minds, we can become capable of accomplishing absolutely anything.

Since our mindset plays the single most influential role in guiding our journey through this unpredictable life, why not choose to have a positive mental attitude?

In Swahili, “safari” means “journey.”

I love to test my own limits and I’ve come to realize I’m the happiest when I’m trekking far beyond the border of my comfort zone.

People are sometimes surprised to learn that I identify as an introvert because I also happen to be very outgoing. (A distinction I discuss a lot about on my blog.) As a matter of fact, I love meeting new people and discovering new things. I’m definitely not shy. I frequently speak to large audiences for work and I readily introduce myself to strangers. I guess it’s because I love to learn and I’m curious about seemingly everything.

In 2013, I graduated from a vocational high school where I studied graphic design and spent my senior year taking all of my classes at a local college. While I decided not to pursue digital design in college, I continue to treat photography and web design as two hobbies I deeply care about. That’s why I have continued to publish original, new content on here since 2013. I love to travel and blog whenever I have any free time.

Aside from that, I am also a huge fan of foreign languages (as you may have guessed from the intro, namely Chinese!) Then in 2019, I moved to Spain where I studied Spanish. You could say I’m somewhat of a “polyglot-in-training.”

A few things that are interesting about me: I volunteered as a tour guide at a Chinese Summer Camp for over two years and led approximately 200 Chinese students to famous landmarks all along the US East Coast. At the age of 15, this was one of my earliest experiences with leaving home to travel independently.

We ate at 14 Chinese buffets in a row during our travels (but they never warned me about that when I signed up!) Each day as our tour bus would pull up to the next Chinese buffet, I would turn my head to the window and shed a tear. This opportunity allowed me to gain both a large amount of experience and weight. 😉

Some of my other interests include birdwatching, drinking different types of tea, and of course, traveling! So you’ll probably read a bit about all of those things on my blog.

To help pass the time while flying and moving about, I also enjoy solving Sudoku and reading books on my Kindle. I have now visited more than fifteen different countries around the world (as of the time of writing) and I have no intention of stopping there! My goal is to eventually visit every country on Earth!

This blog chronicles that journey.

You should also know that I adore birds! I’m wholeheartedly obsessed with them. When I was a Resident Assistant in college, my hallway was bird-themed and I even hung a bird feeder outside of my dorm room window. I’d like to think that the random bird feeder dangling out from my window was somewhat of a landmark on campus during my time there. Maybe? Okay, maybe not.

While living in Spain for a year, my fascination grew and I was oftentimes called “Señor Pajarero” [meaning Mr. Birdkeeper] because the locals would see wild birds constantly flying and landing on me.

Anyway, I am definitely getting a pet bird in the future! (Still in the process of deciding which kind. I’m thinking maybe a Cape Parrot!)

In 2018, I set off on a trip to travel the world with nothing but my backpack and a one-way ticket to Athens, Greece to start.

Using money earned from this blog and other digital nomad gigs, I was able to pay for my entire trip in cash without creating a cent of debt afterward. On my blog, I teach others how to make this possible by making money online.

Please remember to follow my blog and connect with me on social media so we can stay in touch. Especially if you would like to know how all of this unfolds!

Remember, you’ll always get the WHOLE story from me. The good. The bad. All of it. Every single time.

I know my trip overseas is going to be the craziest adventure imaginable. You can read more about my plans for the future: here.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and say hi! I blog to reach and connect with people so I’d love nothing more than to connect with you now that you have ended up here! 🙂

For those of you who know your MBTI personality type, I am an INFJ which is the least common of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, especially in men. They say INFJs are the old souls, the listeners, the caretakers, and the advocates who seek to create a better world.

I was surprised to learn that male INFJs make up less than 1% of the global population. More specifically: gay, male INFJs represent less than 0.25% of all people in the world.

With stats like those, you can imagine why I might feel like a bit of a square peg in a round hole trying to fit into society. But what makes us unique can also be our greatest strengths. So much like a bird, I’m going to do what comes naturally to me, spread my wings, and fly.

Ironically, the MBTI personality type “most suited to travel the world” is the ESTP (the complete opposite of what I am…) So once again, I guess the stats are stacked against me in that regard. We’ll see how it goes!

JUST A HEADS UP, MY BLOG IS REALLY RANDOM. AND WEIRD.
But that’s why I love it.

Enjoy!

Rocky in 2013

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159 Comments

  1. Ferdi Mori

    woahhh finally i find another infj gay boy. u know the world, we r so alienate. u really2 hav a so f*cking GREAT life, Im envious of ur good fortune(literally) . im trying to change from gay to straight, we know its hard T.T wish me luck. and u, keep writing! really love ur blog (sorry for my bad english :’) ) lol

    1. Hi Ferdi! Thank you for the kind words. Please do not be envious! I have problems just like anyone else does. Use that energy towards bettering your own situation. Also, I’d advise against trying to change from gay to straight since I’m fairly certain that that’s both impossible and psychologically damaging. In the meantime, let me know if you need help with anything! I’m here not only to write but also to listen. 🙂

  2. Olivia S

    ROCKY! I randomly found your blog (I was googling Rutgers and TCNJ because I’m transferring lol).. Small world. Also, I’m an INFJ too! Hope you’re well! I might be seeing you next fall!!!

    1. Olivia!!! Hi hahaha! I’m cracking up – that’s so funny. You must have found one of my old posts from back when I was still in high school and trying to determine which college I wanted to attend.

      I hope you choose Rutgers. I’d love to see you around here! Obviously I can’t speak about TCNJ but I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about life at Rutgers! 🙂 Good luck deciding!

  3. Craig J Golbach

    I find you very intriguing. I can’t quite put my finger on it but I sincerely feel that I could sit and talk with you for hours and never know all that I would want to know about you. I’m curious that way. I like the way your mind works. To me, there is so much more to you behind that adorable handsome face. 🙂 It’s like there’s the whole rest of that “iceberg” beneath the waters surface that would be fascinating to know.

  4. Evan Lindberg

    Hello! Fellow Infj here! Just wanted to say that your blog is wonderful, honest, simple (in the absolute best way), and very relatable. Thank you for being your brilliant, infj self (never change!).
    – Cheers

  5. Jennifer Luo

    Hiya Rocky,

    First things first: belated congratulations on snagging that seat for Personal Psychology!

    A while back, I stumbled across your blog searching up study tips for INFJs, and I’ve been following since. 😀 Bless your soul for indirectly introducing me to Rice Dream (I’m addicted to the vanilla flavored one).

    I’m a sophomore in high school with a career research paper called the I-Search, and I’ve chosen psychiatry as the profession I’ll be researching about. This paper requires three in-person interviews with psychiatrists, but I’m also looking to interview students who intend to pursue it, too. I wanted to ask if I could interview you over Skype (if you’d be willing to do so).

    Either way, thanks and I look forward to future blog posts. ^-^

  6. Hi Rocky, I stumbled upon your blog because of Rutgers. I did my undergrad there. I can see that it’s still as crazy and fun as I remember. haha

    I was able to read a couple of your posts and just wanted to say Congratulations on all of your hard work. It is great that you’re making the most out of your time there. I enjoyed spending time with my friends and participating in health education there at Rutgers.

    Good job on tackling your premed classes! I still remember those so vividly esp. the crazy 5 hour orgo lab. haha Good job on getting through calculus, I know that was a pain for a lot of people. I’m guessing you won’t be embarking on the wonderful world of Calculus 3, Multivariable Calculus? =p Don’t forget your math though or else General Physics will be very painful! You’ll have to remember to find the value of the plane’s position from time (t=0) to (t = 1 minute/hour) and then use the law of sines when calculating the altitude of an airplane taking off. Fun, right? General Physics + Orgo is like going to Disneyworld. haha

    However, the upper level science classes are more fun since they’re specialized. Cancer, pharmacology, systems physiology, neurobiology, human parasitology…those were fun since the people taking them were the ones interested and it wasn’t weeding people out like the general science classes. I had to take a lot of math though, going up to calculus 4 and linear algebra haha I don’t think you’d want to take those.

    Make sure you do your best in orgo (but I’m sure you will). When I was a grad student, one of my students was premed and she called me after her med school interview. She was really intelligent and hard working. However, she got a B in orgo, but aced everyting else (bio, general chem, physics, calc, statistics, etc.). During the interview, the doctor interrogated her on why she just got a B in the course. She got through it though because she was also a volunteer EMT and tutored biology so he just nodded his head and smiled. Many of my former students actually asked if I could repost my science notes on my site which I’m doing right now. I feel like I’m preparing for recitation again. haha

    In terms of pursuing psychiatry, that’s a very noble profession. During my clinical training, I would work together with the behavioral team (I was in pediatric oncology/hematology), and I got to see cases with the social worker and psychiatrist since they were the patients and families that I had to work with also. It’s really tough because there are so many emotions involved esp. dealing with sensitive and painful topics. You’re the person that they will come to when things seem to crumble. With healthcare changing, it’s becoming too fast paced and people can’t get the individual attention that they need. The focus is mainly on the physical ailments while the mental issues don’t get as much attention. So, I think it’s great that you’re pursuing it.

    Good luck on your studies and I look forward to reading more about your adventures!

    -Kevin

    1. The Rocky Safari

      Hey Kevin! Sorry to randomly respond to this comment over 3 years later but I wanted to get back to you! My apologies, I actually recall reading your comment the day you wrote it but I don’t see a reply listed on here. I don’t know if it never sent it, if it got lost in the shuffle, or if I was just really busy studying and doing work for my classes at the time. Either way, it is so cool to hear from someone else who also went to Rutgers! A lot has changed over the last few years and I actually did not end up pursuing the whole medical school thing. While taking orgo and physics, I was like, “NOPE. Not doing this any longer.” I couldn’t see myself going to medical school for the amount of money and time it would require me to invest upfront. I decided to finish my college years studying psychology and business instead. Now I am making money doing totally different things (funny how often it happens that way) focusing more on business-type ventures. I’m more entrepreneurial-spirited so I think this was important for my own happiness. Thanks again for leaving your really nice comment! Again, I’m so sorry for the crazy delay in getting back to you! Hope you are doing well all these years later! lol

  7. ericooo

    Haha its so nice to know that you are into chinese and i know that Chinese people are awesome! Plus i love your chinese name its really cool!! And im also crazy for world languages and my dream is to go on a backpack world tour one day thats super cool haha!! Nice blog dude! 😀

  8. Michael P.

    I just stumbled on to your blog today, after googling “INFJ Study Habits.” As a (late-blooming) gay INFJ who has gone back to college, I found the tips to be extremely helpful. I am also very excited to explore more of your posts, and I have signed up for email update. Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for sharing your journey and wisdom with us.

  9. Danika

    Hi Rocky!

    I fortunately stumbled upon your blog while I was having an internal conflict on how to start my personal blog. Your blog has given me some hope towards multi-topic blogging and reading your post about visiting your boyfriend in Spain got me in the feels. 🙂 I’m glad things worked in your favor and I hope you have a wonderful time in Spain!

    PS: I thought it was cool you have a Chinese name cause I’m Chinese, but I have absolutely no proficiency in speaking Mandarin, haha!

    1. Hey Danika!

      Haha woww! If I may ask, do you remember specifically what led you to my blog? Pretty cool stuff! The internet works in interesting ways. I am so excited to hear that you’re trying to start a blog!! You can do it! If you have any questions, let me know and I will try to help. 🙂 Oh and I can even try become your first follower! Best of luck and hope to hear from you again!

      -Rocky

      1. Danika

        I remembered looking at another blog with a post talking about multi-topic blogging (I can’t remember whose, sorry), found your comment and here I am now 🙂 The internet makes anything possible!

        I am very indecisive so I may take a loong time to really get into blogging but I am definitely going to stick around your blogs and throw in comments here and there 😀 Looking forward to your future adventures!

  10. Hi Rocky

    What a great blog you have. Your little tale about eating 14 Chinese buffets reminded me of a tour I went at 15 with my parents to the west coast of the US and doing that self-same thing for every meal!

    Thanks for coming by to mine and leaving a hello.

    Sally/Amy

    1. The Rocky Safari

      Thanks Sally/Amy! Imagine if we were a part of the same tour program? Sounds awfully similar hahaha. Memories like those are unforgettable. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂 Hope to hear from you again.

  11. Rocky, thank you for visiting my blog, Retirement Made Simple, which I have been neglecting for a couple of years. Your comment has inspired me to reactivate the blog, which will happen within the next few days. BTW, I have not done much traveling in my life, but I recently decided to change that. I’ll never be a world traveler, like you. But I hope to see the USA the inexpensive way, traveling and even sleeping in a Toyota Prius. Wish me luck. Thanks, John Hayden

    1. The Rocky Safari

      Hey, John! Thanks for visiting! Haha that is such cool news to hear ? you know, you absolutely SHOULD bring it back! I find a lot of bloggers give up on their websites (sometimes as early as their first month!) and never fully run with it. You have an interesting topic and I totally think you should revive it! The frugal travel in the USA idea sounds like fun and I’d definitely like to hear about that! Best of luck to you! Keep in touch. Rocky

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