Inspiring Life Stories

Learn from my personal journey of love, loss, and rising up while traveling the world alone.

The End of This American Girl and My New Beginning

“All form must end, departing through a portal into the darkness, so that new forms may emerge from the crucible of clear space. But what is emerging in the womb of Now is not knowable ahead of time, and is not subject to our hopes, fears, or fantasies of control....

This is the Magic of Aloha

  Hawaii called to me the same way they all do. In my quiet moments before falling asleep, during long sunset walks on the beach, and in my deepest moments of despair. Hawaii called to me like a mother telling her daughter to come home.   I’ve received this calling...

When Nothing is Ever Good Enough for You

  Do you know that feeling of utter dissatisfaction? It's that feeling of... not good enough. I know that feeling oh so well, and I think it's an epidemic among travelers.   We've got this freedom to be anywhere, do anything, and yet... often it's still not good...

What I’ve Learned From Four Years Without Sex

When people discover that I’ve been celibate for the past four years they always ask me if it’s by choice.   They must be trying to figure out if I’m a) totally repressed (by choice) or b) totally undesirable (not by choice)   And I don’t exactly know how to answer,...

Letting Go of Puerto Viejo

  (This post is part four in a series. Read part one, part two, and part three.)   I spread a thick layer of sunscreen across my right hip and thigh, covering the pale splotches that watercolored my skin. Warm soft sand hugged me from behind and the wind...

Surrender is What Will Save You

  “Ultimate freedom has nothing to do with your life circumstances –it is the freedom of allowing the self to dissolve into the waves of the ocean. It is the freedom that is born through one’s absolute trust in life.” – The 55th Gene Key   (This post is part three in...

When the Jungle Burned Me

  (Read Part One: A Return to the Wild)   My first two days back in the jungle were blissfully easy.   While I felt trepidation as I left Seattle, uncertain how Puerto Viejo may have changed or how I might see it through my new eyes, it actually felt so much better...

A Return to the Wild

  I think I’ve been scared to write this. Afraid that by putting the words on the page I might bring it all back to life. And yet that’s the very reason why I need to write this.   So that I remember to never forget.     I guess you could say the story started... well...

The Beauty of Slowing Down

  You know... I was never a slow person.   As a kid I bubbled with energy and teachers marked me down on report cards for not “sitting still” in class. I would shake with excitement in my seat and it wasn’t uncommon for me to be accused of having ADHD. In middle...

Same Same Everywhere

  An astrologer told me recently that my story was never going to change. She explained that there was no escaping my hamster wheel. No running from the cycle I know so well.     No way out of infatuation into devastation into transformation into inspiration into...

The Way This Story Ends

  Golden light spills across the shoreline as I emerge from the jungle path. I dip into a tide pool and float while the pelicans catch their dinner. Tiny zebra fish nibble at my toes making me gasp then giggle. With one big breath I dunk my head under the turquoise...

What I’ve Learned From Three Years Without Sex

(photo by Sarah Landolt)   The last time I had sex was three months shy of three years ago.   I was in Bali, in a thatched roof bungalow overlooking the ocean, draped atop a fluffy white comforter, in a mosquito net wrapped bed. My heart melted, throbbed, and bled for...

How to Love a Man Like He’s God

  About a year ago I experienced for the first time what many people call "love at first sight." I can better describe it as looking into the eyes of a man and seeing the heart of God. It was one of the most beautiful, transformational gifts I have ever received.  ...

A Heart Open Can’t Be Broken

  Two months ago I returned to Puerto Viejo riding on a rainbow.   I was so high from all of the synchronicities and heart openings during my travels in Guatemala and the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the Yucatan, that everything around me seemed to sparkle....

When I Followed the Jaguar to Mexico

  The door opened and in came another red-hot stone the size of a papaya, illuminating the small tent for a delicate moment. Steam filled the space as the shaman poured liquid onto the glowing surface of the stones. The fire ants ceased their biting for a breath and I...

If You Let a Man In

  I’ve never really been a dog person.     They’re messy, they smell, and more often than not they sniff your crotch, slobber all over your face, and hump your leg.   They’re needy and codependent and can’t handle being alone. They’re desperate for attention and cry...

100 Lifetimes in Palenque

  I stepped out of the taxi and into the dark jungle. The humidity enveloped me in its familiar embrace and my hair went wild from the dampness. When the engine started again, I heard my old friends the howler monkeys roar a warning. Damn, it felt good to be in the...

Everything is Here to Help You, and This is How

  Everything is here to help you. Everything is here to help you. And in one way or another, you always get what you need. You always get what you need.     That’s the lesson I learn again and again on the road. The more I travel the more I recognize that everything...

Why the Ancients Aren’t Afraid to Die

  The trees parted and the golden light appeared in the distance. I escaped the darkness of the forest and emerged onto the bluff, where suddenly everything felt more expansive, more possible.   The sky had turned pink and the ocean reflected a shimming line of light...

How I Found My Soul Mate on the Road

  I woke to the sound of the waves crashing as sunlight spilled into my thatched roof cabana. Tangled up in soft, clean white sheets I can see the morning surfers paddling into the ocean from my bed. And all I can do is smile.     Though it’s more than the view that...

Woah, Oh, Mexico

  Remnants of colorful streamers litter the street beside magenta bougainvillea blossoms and a quiet surrounds me that I hadn’t yet felt in this city.     The altars donned with fluffy marigolds, candles, and sugar skulls have all come down. The parades have ceased.  ...

I’m Answering the Knock at the Door

  I first heard the echo the night I lost my job. My boyfriend had just broken up with me, my two best friends had stopped speaking to me, and to this day I’ve never felt so low. The people I loved so intensely didn’t want me. The job I invested so much energy into...

The Heartbreak of a Free Spirit

  Can you find love on the road? It's one of the questions I receive most often from readers, and it's undoubtedly the most difficult question for me to answer.  I have fallen in love with places and people and most certainly myself while wandering this beautiful...

How I Healed a Toxic Relationship Through Meditation

  Before reading this post, I recommend reading my previous posts A Karmic Love Story, There are Many Shades of Black, and Why I Practice Love.   “Wiricuta, wiricuta, wiricuta, gran espiritu. Wiricuta, wiricuta, wiricuta, gran espiritu.”   We chanted in the darkness...

Why I Almost Quit Blogging

  When I was sixteen, I started making jewelry in my Mom’s basement. I was bored one day and she had trays full of beads in our craft room, so I played. After a few hours what had begun as play, became my obsession.   I looked at gems like they were colorful candies....

Why I Left My Fancy City Life to Become a Globetrotting Gypsy

  I remember walking into the airport at midnight, color blocked in neon wearing hiking boots and a yellow fanny pack with a smile that could have lit the runway. I was on my way to Costa Rica for the first time.   Little did I know when I stepped onto the plane, that...

What I Learned From Traveling to Places Where I Never Wanted to Go

  When the opportunity was first presented to me, there was no way in hell I was going to trade in my bikini for snow pants and head to Europe in the winter. Laying under a palm tree on one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, I didn’t have much motivation to go...

When I Thought That I Was Going to Die

  I’ve been having this recurring dream that I’m about to die.     It all started a couple of months ago, when I finished my winter tour of Europe and arrived in Spain.     In winter I had wandered down snow covered paths to see if I could lose myself. I let an old...

A Rainy Day in London

  It’s a rainy day in London, and I can’t seem to stop crying.   I’m sitting in the living room of my beautiful flat in the city, looking out the window through the rain. In a few hours my flight leaves for the USA, but that’s not why I’m crying. Not exactly anyway....

The Day I Fell in Love With Morocco

  “Goats in trees, goats in trees!” we shouted and pointed.     A few miles back, our driver and surf instructor Ismael, told us to keep our eyes out for goats climbing argan trees, a novelty in this part of Morocco. Sure enough they appeared, and we squealed like...

I Became a Biker in Lombok, Indonesia

  As I crested the rolling green hills, the expansive ocean swallowed the horizon. My eyes scanned the endless sea of cerulean and turquoise, combed with frothy white streaks that crashed into the shore. The palm fringed coastline snaked in the distance revealing...

Lost in Morocco

  The call to prayer echoes off of the stonewalls of the medina before sunrise.     Feral cats roam the wharf, begging for leftover fish carcasses and heads.     Terracotta earthenware spills onto the sidewalk from shops painted in bright blue hues.     Each “hola,”...

Into the Wild

  It had been nearly four months since I had seen Sorrel when we reunited in Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca. That day coincided with the Spring Equinox, the New Moon, and the Solar Eclipse. It was undoubtedly a day for new beginnings.     I met Sorrel this past fall...

What I Learned From Enduring Winter in Europe

  When I headed to the North Pole in the dead of winter, I didn’t really know what I was doing.     I didn’t know the landscape, the history, the language, or the culture. In fact, I didn’t even really want to go.     And I imagine many of you were probably wondering,...

I Burned My Sins at Carnival

  The train doors opened and an explosion of color hit me like a confetti bomb. I turned towards the quiet, gray cabin where I had just spent the last five hours sleeping. The doors closed abruptly. No way to move but forward. I hoisted my backpack on my shoulder and...

Let Me Clear My Throat

  I've had a sore throat now for ten days.     I kept thinking it would go away on its own, but my glands have become so swollen, I look like I have a double chin.     On second thought, maybe I actually do have a double chin. I have been eating a lot of bread and...

28 Years Later

  28 years ago today, I was born a free spirit.     When I was a baby, my Mom caught my sister pulling me out of my crib. She claimed that my eyes told her that I wanted to be free.   As a kid, I ran around naked screaming, “I’m jungle boy” in our back yard, I painted...

Where Have All the Shamans Gone?

  “You sit over there, ya, next to him. He’s your husband now,” the guide said, deadpan, as he shuffled me into the Lappish hut, the fire blazing so intensely it lit the entire room.   I peeled off my thermal suit, the one that made me look like the Michelin Man, and...

Fifty Shades of White

  I never knew that white could come in so many colors.     It’s one of the many things I’m learning in Lapland surrounded by snow.     I’ve observed that late in the morning fluffy white mounds turn lavender under orange sunrises.     That sheets of white ice absorb...

The Hike to the Holy Hill

  “Why do they call this the Holy Hill?” I asked as we reached the base of the trail, nothing around us but pine trees and the heavy quiet of snow. I stepped forward, sinking slightly into the deep white, my snowshoes keeping me afloat.   “For the Sami people this...

So, Now What?

  The more I develop my intuition, the more I notice myself relying on it to feel like I’m in control.   “Yep, I knew that was going to happen. “ “I dreamed about this already, no surprise there.” “This is just that vision I had in meditation coming true.” “My...

A Different Story

  It amazes me how quiet the world becomes in the snow.     Like a soft blessing from the heavens hushing our words to help us hear. Masking our understanding of space and surface with a blanket of white uncertainty. Covering what we think we know in a deep yet...

The Hardest Part About Coming Home

I originally wrote this post on Go See Write when I first arrived back to Seattle after 9 months away in Southeast Asia. It still speaks to my feelings about reverse culture shock today.     One week ago I was living in my sarong and floating in still cerulean water....

What Costa Rica Taught Me About Life

  The greatest gift I've ever received came from eleven trips to Costa Rica over the last three years. Costa Rica has shown me how I want to live.     As a society we seem to have an incredibly difficult time understanding how we’re "supposed" to live. We look to...

A New Moon

  It swooped above me, frantically flying in circles with incredible velocity. I froze. Despite living in Costa Rica off and on for years, I had never dealt with bats and was unsure how to proceed.     “Grab a broom,” I thought. “No, definitely not, what if it bites...

I Dare You to Dance

  Over the last few years I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been accused of taking Ecstasy. Yes, Ecstasy, the party drug that makes people giggle and smile and love the world and dance. If you’ve ever seen me out at night in a club, you already know why.     I’m that...

I Am Beautiful, And So Are You

  If I told you I knew that I was beautiful, would you relate to me less than if I told I thought that I wasn’t?   There are mornings when I look in the mirror, and I think “WOW! That’s what I look like!” Other times when I think “Oh… that’s what I look like?” More...

It Was in the Cards

  I closed my eyes and placed my hands on the deck. “I am so lost,” I thought. “I am so lost.”   The instruction booklet suggested I set an intention before drawing the cards. But how was I to set an intention when I felt entirely confused about everything in my life?...

Why Do We Pave Paradise?

  “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi     My mom has always been a huge Joni Mitchell fan. Maybe because they share the same name, because my Mom...

How Nature Heals Me

  Nature could care less what you do for a living.     It doesn’t mind how much money you make, how many awards you’ve received, or how many possessions you own.     A thorn will prick you just as sharply no matter how much you’ve invested in your 401K. A muddy trail...

Why I Practice Love

(Before reading this post, I recommend you read A Karmic Love Story and There are Many Shades of Black for context.)     The thing about any skill is that in order to maintain it, you need to do it consistently. You need to do it over and over and again. That’s why...

This is What Makes Me Whole

  Everything owns an opposite.     The more I travel the more I see this truth. Sailing across a blanket of turquoise that spans forever. Watching the sunrise over rolling desert hills of terracotta sand. Dancing blissfully in the breeze under the stars. Being burned...

There are Many Shades of Black

  Sometimes shifting your perspective shifts everything. That’s a lesson I learn again and again on the road.     After more than a year away, in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, the USA, and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, I returned to Puerto...

This Jungle Knows Me

  Sometimes I wonder if memories leave residues. If we touch people and places and objects in the moment but we never fully release our grip. I feel this here in Puerto Viejo.     Like the trees all know me because of the layer of my memories they wear on their...

Does it Have to Hurt so Good?

  How do you respond to the delicious moments in life? Do you allow yourself to taste them without hesitation? Do you allow yourself to savor them without guilt? I struggle with letting my life be yummy.     In fact I can hardly remember a time in recent history when...

Pura Vida Again

  First it entered through my nose. The sweet perfume of hibiscus mingled with blades of grass and earthy clay.     Then it spread across my face as the wind kissed my skin, its scent seeping into my pores.     I heard it in the crashing waves of the ocean, in the...

Do I Have to Sell Out?

  I entered the palatial lobby toting my fifty-pound mildewed backpack. I did my best to compose my tangled mane and wipe the pollution residue mixed with excessive sweat from my face. My outfit, like everything else I owned, had stains and holes.     After months...

I Scammed a Scammer in Phnom Penh

  It was one of those moments when your body detaches from your mind. When you suddenly transform from a rational human into an instinctual animal, descending into your most extreme version of survival mode.   Surrounded by strangers, at night, alone, in a sketchy...

How Traveling in Southeast Asia Changed Me Forever

  When I flew to Vietnam eight months ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.     I imagined kayaking among limestone karsts and trekking with elephants and tigers in the untouched jungle. I envisioned deepening my yoga practice and becoming an avid surfer...

This is Not the End

  I woke this morning tangled in the white sheets of a luxury hotel in Bangkok. The sun rose over the skyline and I watched anxiously, aware that for the foreseeable future, it would be my last glimpse of this city.     With anxiety in my gut, I run my hand down my...

A Karmic Love Story

  There once was girl who thought she knew how to love.   She didn’t fall often, but when she did she descended fully, intensely, recklessly. She relinquished her heart with the hopes that a man would become the bearer of her happiness. Her friendships and personal...

What Crabs in Cambodia Taught Me About Generosity

  I remember a time when I thought nothing of treating a friend to a $150 dinner. I hosted holidays and parties that cost more than I spend in an entire week traveling in Southeast Asia. I shared what I had, thought little about the cost, and picked up the bill often....

How Cambodia Broke My Heart

  “Be careful because Cambodia is the most dangerous country you will ever visit. You will fall in love with it and eventually it will break your heart.” – Joseph Mussomeli, former US Ambassador to Cambodia     My relationship with Cambodia bears a striking...

I Spent the Night in Angkor Wat

  I awoke to the sounds of monks chanting. Their melodic chimes echoed against the walls of the ruined temple surrounding the grassy field where I slept. Candles we lit the night before still burned and the sky skirted in a space between darkness and light. I looked...

A Second Chance in Cambodia

  I’m laying on the grass in front of the river while the sun sets behind the old market in Siem Reap. The sky bleeds from opaque coral into soft lilac, subtly entrancing me with its beauty. Motorbike exhaust perfumes the air and tuk tuk drivers incessantly solicit...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VIII: A Chance Encounter in Marrakech

  I'm taking a brief break from my Southeast Asia updates to pick back up on my Morocco series I began last year. Enjoy this short story on the day I missed my bus in Marrakech because of a hangover. Regular Thailand posts will resume in a few days 🙂      I awoke in...

Am I an Attention Whore?

  My whole life I’ve wondered if I’m an attention whore.     I can recall many moments where my level of joy depended heavily on the level of attention I received.     As a child I passionately pursued theater. Perhaps because my mother encouraged it after watching me...

I Guess It’s My Birthday

  This year I’m spending my birthday alone in Kuala Lumpur.   I don’t particularly enjoy cities, and this one seems especially uninspired, but my Indonesian visa expired and I needed a cheap ticket out of Bali.   So here I am.   When I think back on the expectations I...

You Are Where You Need to Be

(This post was originally published on The Freedom Experiment, an inspiring blog by a creative, beautiful, sensitive woman who shares her life struggles and triumphs to help others feel less alone. Give The Freedom Experiment a read, it just might change your day.)  ...

Can We Keep it Au Naturale?

  Right now I am crying. Not just crying, sobbing. Uncontrollably sobbing like a child.   A gecko the size of a kitten just crawled up the wall across from me and I desperately willed it to come cuddle me. It never did.   Now I’m laughing while crying. I have a fever...

Eat . Pray . Love

  You can imagine how often people reference Elizabeth Gilbert’s quintessential tale of self-discovery in my presence.   Single white female flees to Costa Rica to find herself, develops a yoga practice, becomes a writer, and never comes back.   A likely story.    ...

They’re Not the Worst Problems, They’re Just Mine

  When I hit publish, I never anticipated my most recent post would cause such a controversy.     I want to clarify in case there was any confusion: my post was not an announcement on changes to my trip, my style of travel, or my path in life.     No one forced this...

What I Learned From Staying in a Meditation Center in Cambodia

  “Gong! Gong!”   The melodic vibration at dawn reminded me of the freedom I had relinquished.   I slid along my sheets with the enthusiasm of a beached whale dreading the day’s impending events.     I arrived on the rooftop as the sun crept impressively over the rice...

My Release in Chiang Mai

  I felt the large cylinder inflate with heat, loosened my grip, and let it go.   In one harmonious exhale thousands of glowing paper lanterns ascended into the night sky. The beaming vessels soared, liberated, uniting in a sea of glittering stars.   Worries, fears,...

Rockstars and Temples in Ayutthaya

  Silence and stillness enveloped me as I watched the sun set behind Wat Chaiwattharan.     Chapels rose majestically from a manicured lawn. The calm of my surroundings seeped into my skin.     Beheaded Buddhas and pilfered brick walls depicted the city’s tragic fall....

The Land of Smiles

  My spirits lifted when I touched down in the land of smiles.     At immigration I was offered a stamp and a welcoming “sah-wah-dee-kah!” Tour desks and workers eagerly waited to lend a helping hand. Bus drivers, street vendors, bystanders all spoke English?!?!    ...

One Year

  One year can feel like a lifetime.     Exactly twelve months ago I was at a crossroads in my life. I had been accepted to the top universities in the United States for interior design, something I dreamed of achieving for years.     My marketing career had hardly...

All You Have to Do is Ask

  I’ve never had an easy time asking for what I need.   Call it pride, stubbornness, or at best fierce independence, I’ve always adamantly believed that it is my sole responsibility to work for everything that I receive.     Perhaps it comes from being raised by a...

When Traveling is Hard

  Rain hails incessantly, transporting leftover scraps of meat, noodles, and egg along a grimy gutter river. Chihuahuas hide under the eaves of brightly lit shops selling sunglasses, hats, and pajamas. Motorbikes liberate opaque brown puddles. Their masters fly clad...

The Next Chapter

  Today I awoke to the sound of motorbikes honking. They wove past women balancing baskets of limes, ginger, and tropical fruit. Indiscernible chatter in a foreign tongue followed by laughter echoed up the walls to my window.     Good morning Vietnam.     Less than...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VII: The Desert

  The hush of the blowing wind blankets the sea of terracotta mounds.   With no civilization, no development, and no obstruction the wind sweeps the expansive desert with ease.   It has the strength to lift the earth, liberating particles into a swirling breeze, and...

Where Do I Belong?

  I remember when belonging did not matter. I would run in circles naked in my yard screaming "I'm jungle boy."     I had a bowl cut from repeatedly snipping my hair when my mom wasn't looking. I thought shredded carrots with balsamic vinegar was better than candy.  ...

Hi, it’s me.

  Hello you. I hope you're having a great week.     Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I know, you've been busy too.     I've been back in Seattle visiting with my family wandering the city, working on hot dog boats, and watching the sunset running away to cabins in the...

Goodbye Puerto Viejo

  When you live like a nomad the world around you is continuously in flux.   It’s part of why I love to travel.     Stimulating unfamiliarity. Liberation in exploration.     But one of the hardships of travel is learning to let go.   Learning to say goodbye.     I...

What I Learned From Starving Myself For Three Days

  For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my ability to ever feel satiated.     The three months I spent walking every bit of cobblestone in Rome The two weeks I toured Spain and Portugal The years I sat behind a desk “I’m hungry” were the words that most...

How (Not to) Sail from San Blas to Colombia

  Awakened with a jolt, my body crashed violently against the side of the cabin. Sea water flooded through the roof. My eyes sprung open and scanned the room for our inebriated captain as his puppy nested in and ate my hair. They adjusted to the darkness and I spotted...

Restless

  Last night a Caribbean surfer asked me “do you ever sit still?”   It got me thinking.     I have been virtually incapable of sitting still for as long as I can remember.   Hyperactively running in circles around my backyard half naked screaming “I’m jungle boy!”  ...

Am I an Island?

  Is a question I asked recently.   I have certainly stepped foot on many deserted patches of isolated sand and admired how beautiful how pristine how perfect they remain undisturbed, untarnished by the land offshore.   How they manage to be so content completely...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VI: I Had Marrakech Fever

  The van tilted and shook as we continued along rocky mountain switchbacks. My fever broke but its aftermath left me dizzy and borderline comatose.  I regretted my decision to buckle into the van that morning but two hours outside of Marrakech there was no turning...

On Fear Conquering

  By now you probably know my thoughts on fear. How every day I try to challenge myself to do something that truly scares me. That boarding an airplane, which I do with regularity, is one of the most terrifying experiences I can imagine.     Yesterday I faced another...

When the Sun Won’t Shine

  Born and raised in Seattle, Washington one might expect I'd be accustomed to the rain. Greeting each gray morning in a sophisticated trench sporting shades to combat the blindingly white overcast sky stepping into rubber wellies to keep my thick wool socks dry.    ...

I Am (Home)

  I am sitting here writing to you from my new home.   The first space I have called mine in more than a year.   My eyes scan the room and I envision a fresh coat of white paint, Moroccan textiles, and tropical leaves leaning in tall glass vases.     I imagine stacks...

To Fear or Not to Fear: Hiking the Wild Osa Peninsula

  Many of the adventures I have undertaken this year have positively terrified me.     I swore I would never sail again when I almost capsized in open Caribbean waters. Could hardly believe I survived my many bus rides in Morocco. Felt a strong desire to stay solidly...

This American Girl in Morocco Part V: When I Bought a Rug in Fez

  Hi loyal friends, new friends, first time visitors, Mom.   Some of you may have started reading my series “This American Girl in Morocco” and wondered, “what happened?” Well, I’m happy to say that the series is back, and I will (do my best to) post a new chapter to...

This American Girl in Morocco Part IV: To Be a Woman

Continued from This American Girl in Morocco Part III     I was angry.   Angry at the drug dealers for embarrassing me. Angry with Mexico City for his belittling comments. Angry at the women in the hostel who wore shorts without being bothered. Angry with all of the...

The Birthday Post

  Hi.   Today is my birthday.   My 26th birthday.   And I would by lying   if I said   that 26   did not scare me.     It sounds so serious. Like I should have my life a little more figured out. It feels.... old.   Ok I know most of you are rolling your eyes right...

This American Girl in Morocco: Part II, The Cost of Travel

continued from This American Girl in Morocco: Part I, The Ascent      We quickly learned that directions come at a price in Morocco.   Alone on the edge of a mountain, after hauling our luggage off of the local bus, the five of us crammed into a taxi en route to...

How Travel Taught Me to Mend my Broken Heart

  Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary of travel.   One year since I ended my lease, handed over my car keys, strapped on my backpack, and entered the airport with a smile not even the most disillusioned TSA agent could erase.   While most of you know me as the girl...

This American Girl in Morocco

  Hi there. How are you today?   Sorry I haven’t written in a while.   I could site as many excuses as there are beautiful beaches, sunsets, and tropical flowers, but today I will site only one:   I decided to do other things instead.   I decided to spend four...

Why You Should Let Go Of Being Perfect

  Last week in Panama City strolling the streets of the old town, surrounded by stunning Colonial Spanish architecture I was drawn to the dilapidated remnants, rather than the completed renovations.     Peeling patina revealing layers of the past. Empty interiors...

Where I’ve Been Hiding

  Hi.   I've missed you.   Really.   I've been thinking about you a lot.     In fact there are so many things I have wanted to say but could not.     You see I've been away with no internet and at times, unable to even lift my head.     Hopping from one hopelessly...

Treasure Map to Paradise

As a special gift for your journey, download this ten step guide that shows you how to create a life of travel, adventure, love, and purpose. Sign up and you’ll receive instant access!

Inspiring Life Stories

Learn from my personal journey of love, loss, and rising up while traveling the world alone.

The End of This American Girl and My New Beginning

“All form must end, departing through a portal into the darkness, so that new forms may emerge from the crucible of clear space. But what is emerging in the womb of Now is not knowable ahead of time, and is not subject to our hopes, fears, or fantasies of control....

This is the Magic of Aloha

  Hawaii called to me the same way they all do. In my quiet moments before falling asleep, during long sunset walks on the beach, and in my deepest moments of despair. Hawaii called to me like a mother telling her daughter to come home.   I’ve received this calling...

When Nothing is Ever Good Enough for You

  Do you know that feeling of utter dissatisfaction? It's that feeling of... not good enough. I know that feeling oh so well, and I think it's an epidemic among travelers.   We've got this freedom to be anywhere, do anything, and yet... often it's still not good...

What I’ve Learned From Four Years Without Sex

When people discover that I’ve been celibate for the past four years they always ask me if it’s by choice.   They must be trying to figure out if I’m a) totally repressed (by choice) or b) totally undesirable (not by choice)   And I don’t exactly know how to answer,...

Letting Go of Puerto Viejo

  (This post is part four in a series. Read part one, part two, and part three.)   I spread a thick layer of sunscreen across my right hip and thigh, covering the pale splotches that watercolored my skin. Warm soft sand hugged me from behind and the wind...

Surrender is What Will Save You

  “Ultimate freedom has nothing to do with your life circumstances –it is the freedom of allowing the self to dissolve into the waves of the ocean. It is the freedom that is born through one’s absolute trust in life.” – The 55th Gene Key   (This post is part three in...

When the Jungle Burned Me

  (Read Part One: A Return to the Wild)   My first two days back in the jungle were blissfully easy.   While I felt trepidation as I left Seattle, uncertain how Puerto Viejo may have changed or how I might see it through my new eyes, it actually felt so much better...

A Return to the Wild

  I think I’ve been scared to write this. Afraid that by putting the words on the page I might bring it all back to life. And yet that’s the very reason why I need to write this.   So that I remember to never forget.     I guess you could say the story started... well...

The Beauty of Slowing Down

  You know... I was never a slow person.   As a kid I bubbled with energy and teachers marked me down on report cards for not “sitting still” in class. I would shake with excitement in my seat and it wasn’t uncommon for me to be accused of having ADHD. In middle...

I Reached the End of the Road

Before reading this post, you may want to read: The Way This Story Ends Thailand, Three Years Later     “I don’t want to travel,” is all I can think as I land on the island of Sri Lanka at midnight.   After three months in Thailand, taking a six week intensive dance...

Thailand, Three Years Later

  Everything dissolves into saltwater my last night in Thailand.   I’m not sure if it’s because I just said goodbye to a friend I love and may never see again or because I’m saying goodbye to a place I love and may never see again, but I’m overwhelmed with the...

Remember Your True, Wild Nature

  "When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows. Not the flower." - Alexander Den Heijer     Yes, you can find happiness anywhere. You can become it in any moment. Because you are it. All of it. All of the time.     But to anyone who says...

Same Same Everywhere

  An astrologer told me recently that my story was never going to change. She explained that there was no escaping my hamster wheel. No running from the cycle I know so well.     No way out of infatuation into devastation into transformation into inspiration into...

The Way This Story Ends

  Golden light spills across the shoreline as I emerge from the jungle path. I dip into a tide pool and float while the pelicans catch their dinner. Tiny zebra fish nibble at my toes making me gasp then giggle. With one big breath I dunk my head under the turquoise...

What I’ve Learned From Three Years Without Sex

(photo by Sarah Landolt)   The last time I had sex was three months shy of three years ago.   I was in Bali, in a thatched roof bungalow overlooking the ocean, draped atop a fluffy white comforter, in a mosquito net wrapped bed. My heart melted, throbbed, and bled for...

How to Love a Man Like He’s God

  About a year ago I experienced for the first time what many people call "love at first sight." I can better describe it as looking into the eyes of a man and seeing the heart of God. It was one of the most beautiful, transformational gifts I have ever received.  ...

A Heart Open Can’t Be Broken

  Two months ago I returned to Puerto Viejo riding on a rainbow.   I was so high from all of the synchronicities and heart openings during my travels in Guatemala and the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and the Yucatan, that everything around me seemed to sparkle....

When I Followed the Jaguar to Mexico

  The door opened and in came another red-hot stone the size of a papaya, illuminating the small tent for a delicate moment. Steam filled the space as the shaman poured liquid onto the glowing surface of the stones. The fire ants ceased their biting for a breath and I...

If You Let a Man In

  I’ve never really been a dog person.     They’re messy, they smell, and more often than not they sniff your crotch, slobber all over your face, and hump your leg.   They’re needy and codependent and can’t handle being alone. They’re desperate for attention and cry...

100 Lifetimes in Palenque

  I stepped out of the taxi and into the dark jungle. The humidity enveloped me in its familiar embrace and my hair went wild from the dampness. When the engine started again, I heard my old friends the howler monkeys roar a warning. Damn, it felt good to be in the...

Everything is Here to Help You, and This is How

  Everything is here to help you. Everything is here to help you. And in one way or another, you always get what you need. You always get what you need.     That’s the lesson I learn again and again on the road. The more I travel the more I recognize that everything...

Why the Ancients Aren’t Afraid to Die

  The trees parted and the golden light appeared in the distance. I escaped the darkness of the forest and emerged onto the bluff, where suddenly everything felt more expansive, more possible.   The sky had turned pink and the ocean reflected a shimming line of light...

How I Found My Soul Mate on the Road

  I woke to the sound of the waves crashing as sunlight spilled into my thatched roof cabana. Tangled up in soft, clean white sheets I can see the morning surfers paddling into the ocean from my bed. And all I can do is smile.     Though it’s more than the view that...

Woah, Oh, Mexico

  Remnants of colorful streamers litter the street beside magenta bougainvillea blossoms and a quiet surrounds me that I hadn’t yet felt in this city.     The altars donned with fluffy marigolds, candles, and sugar skulls have all come down. The parades have ceased.  ...

I’m Answering the Knock at the Door

  I first heard the echo the night I lost my job. My boyfriend had just broken up with me, my two best friends had stopped speaking to me, and to this day I’ve never felt so low. The people I loved so intensely didn’t want me. The job I invested so much energy into...

The Heartbreak of a Free Spirit

  Can you find love on the road? It's one of the questions I receive most often from readers, and it's undoubtedly the most difficult question for me to answer.  I have fallen in love with places and people and most certainly myself while wandering this beautiful...

How I Healed a Toxic Relationship Through Meditation

  Before reading this post, I recommend reading my previous posts A Karmic Love Story, There are Many Shades of Black, and Why I Practice Love.   “Wiricuta, wiricuta, wiricuta, gran espiritu. Wiricuta, wiricuta, wiricuta, gran espiritu.”   We chanted in the darkness...

Why I Almost Quit Blogging

  When I was sixteen, I started making jewelry in my Mom’s basement. I was bored one day and she had trays full of beads in our craft room, so I played. After a few hours what had begun as play, became my obsession.   I looked at gems like they were colorful candies....

Why I Left My Fancy City Life to Become a Globetrotting Gypsy

  I remember walking into the airport at midnight, color blocked in neon wearing hiking boots and a yellow fanny pack with a smile that could have lit the runway. I was on my way to Costa Rica for the first time.   Little did I know when I stepped onto the plane, that...

What I Learned From Traveling to Places Where I Never Wanted to Go

  When the opportunity was first presented to me, there was no way in hell I was going to trade in my bikini for snow pants and head to Europe in the winter. Laying under a palm tree on one of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, I didn’t have much motivation to go...

When I Thought That I Was Going to Die

  I’ve been having this recurring dream that I’m about to die.     It all started a couple of months ago, when I finished my winter tour of Europe and arrived in Spain.     In winter I had wandered down snow covered paths to see if I could lose myself. I let an old...

A Rainy Day in London

  It’s a rainy day in London, and I can’t seem to stop crying.   I’m sitting in the living room of my beautiful flat in the city, looking out the window through the rain. In a few hours my flight leaves for the USA, but that’s not why I’m crying. Not exactly anyway....

The Day I Fell in Love With Morocco

  “Goats in trees, goats in trees!” we shouted and pointed.     A few miles back, our driver and surf instructor Ismael, told us to keep our eyes out for goats climbing argan trees, a novelty in this part of Morocco. Sure enough they appeared, and we squealed like...

I Became a Biker in Lombok, Indonesia

  As I crested the rolling green hills, the expansive ocean swallowed the horizon. My eyes scanned the endless sea of cerulean and turquoise, combed with frothy white streaks that crashed into the shore. The palm fringed coastline snaked in the distance revealing...

Lost in Morocco

  The call to prayer echoes off of the stonewalls of the medina before sunrise.     Feral cats roam the wharf, begging for leftover fish carcasses and heads.     Terracotta earthenware spills onto the sidewalk from shops painted in bright blue hues.     Each “hola,”...

Into the Wild

  It had been nearly four months since I had seen Sorrel when we reunited in Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca. That day coincided with the Spring Equinox, the New Moon, and the Solar Eclipse. It was undoubtedly a day for new beginnings.     I met Sorrel this past fall...

What I Learned From Enduring Winter in Europe

  When I headed to the North Pole in the dead of winter, I didn’t really know what I was doing.     I didn’t know the landscape, the history, the language, or the culture. In fact, I didn’t even really want to go.     And I imagine many of you were probably wondering,...

I Burned My Sins at Carnival

  The train doors opened and an explosion of color hit me like a confetti bomb. I turned towards the quiet, gray cabin where I had just spent the last five hours sleeping. The doors closed abruptly. No way to move but forward. I hoisted my backpack on my shoulder and...

Let Me Clear My Throat

  I've had a sore throat now for ten days.     I kept thinking it would go away on its own, but my glands have become so swollen, I look like I have a double chin.     On second thought, maybe I actually do have a double chin. I have been eating a lot of bread and...

28 Years Later

  28 years ago today, I was born a free spirit.     When I was a baby, my Mom caught my sister pulling me out of my crib. She claimed that my eyes told her that I wanted to be free.   As a kid, I ran around naked screaming, “I’m jungle boy” in our back yard, I painted...

Where Have All the Shamans Gone?

  “You sit over there, ya, next to him. He’s your husband now,” the guide said, deadpan, as he shuffled me into the Lappish hut, the fire blazing so intensely it lit the entire room.   I peeled off my thermal suit, the one that made me look like the Michelin Man, and...

Fifty Shades of White

  I never knew that white could come in so many colors.     It’s one of the many things I’m learning in Lapland surrounded by snow.     I’ve observed that late in the morning fluffy white mounds turn lavender under orange sunrises.     That sheets of white ice absorb...

The Hike to the Holy Hill

  “Why do they call this the Holy Hill?” I asked as we reached the base of the trail, nothing around us but pine trees and the heavy quiet of snow. I stepped forward, sinking slightly into the deep white, my snowshoes keeping me afloat.   “For the Sami people this...

So, Now What?

  The more I develop my intuition, the more I notice myself relying on it to feel like I’m in control.   “Yep, I knew that was going to happen. “ “I dreamed about this already, no surprise there.” “This is just that vision I had in meditation coming true.” “My...

A Different Story

  It amazes me how quiet the world becomes in the snow.     Like a soft blessing from the heavens hushing our words to help us hear. Masking our understanding of space and surface with a blanket of white uncertainty. Covering what we think we know in a deep yet...

The Hardest Part About Coming Home

I originally wrote this post on Go See Write when I first arrived back to Seattle after 9 months away in Southeast Asia. It still speaks to my feelings about reverse culture shock today.     One week ago I was living in my sarong and floating in still cerulean water....

What Costa Rica Taught Me About Life

  The greatest gift I've ever received came from eleven trips to Costa Rica over the last three years. Costa Rica has shown me how I want to live.     As a society we seem to have an incredibly difficult time understanding how we’re "supposed" to live. We look to...

A New Moon

  It swooped above me, frantically flying in circles with incredible velocity. I froze. Despite living in Costa Rica off and on for years, I had never dealt with bats and was unsure how to proceed.     “Grab a broom,” I thought. “No, definitely not, what if it bites...

I Dare You to Dance

  Over the last few years I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been accused of taking Ecstasy. Yes, Ecstasy, the party drug that makes people giggle and smile and love the world and dance. If you’ve ever seen me out at night in a club, you already know why.     I’m that...

I Am Beautiful, And So Are You

  If I told you I knew that I was beautiful, would you relate to me less than if I told I thought that I wasn’t?   There are mornings when I look in the mirror, and I think “WOW! That’s what I look like!” Other times when I think “Oh… that’s what I look like?” More...

It Was in the Cards

  I closed my eyes and placed my hands on the deck. “I am so lost,” I thought. “I am so lost.”   The instruction booklet suggested I set an intention before drawing the cards. But how was I to set an intention when I felt entirely confused about everything in my life?...

Why Do We Pave Paradise?

  “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” ~ Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi     My mom has always been a huge Joni Mitchell fan. Maybe because they share the same name, because my Mom...

How Nature Heals Me

  Nature could care less what you do for a living.     It doesn’t mind how much money you make, how many awards you’ve received, or how many possessions you own.     A thorn will prick you just as sharply no matter how much you’ve invested in your 401K. A muddy trail...

Why I Practice Love

(Before reading this post, I recommend you read A Karmic Love Story and There are Many Shades of Black for context.)     The thing about any skill is that in order to maintain it, you need to do it consistently. You need to do it over and over and again. That’s why...

This is What Makes Me Whole

  Everything owns an opposite.     The more I travel the more I see this truth. Sailing across a blanket of turquoise that spans forever. Watching the sunrise over rolling desert hills of terracotta sand. Dancing blissfully in the breeze under the stars. Being burned...

There are Many Shades of Black

  Sometimes shifting your perspective shifts everything. That’s a lesson I learn again and again on the road.     After more than a year away, in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, the USA, and along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, I returned to Puerto...

This Jungle Knows Me

  Sometimes I wonder if memories leave residues. If we touch people and places and objects in the moment but we never fully release our grip. I feel this here in Puerto Viejo.     Like the trees all know me because of the layer of my memories they wear on their...

Does it Have to Hurt so Good?

  How do you respond to the delicious moments in life? Do you allow yourself to taste them without hesitation? Do you allow yourself to savor them without guilt? I struggle with letting my life be yummy.     In fact I can hardly remember a time in recent history when...

Pura Vida Again

  First it entered through my nose. The sweet perfume of hibiscus mingled with blades of grass and earthy clay.     Then it spread across my face as the wind kissed my skin, its scent seeping into my pores.     I heard it in the crashing waves of the ocean, in the...

Do I Have to Sell Out?

  I entered the palatial lobby toting my fifty-pound mildewed backpack. I did my best to compose my tangled mane and wipe the pollution residue mixed with excessive sweat from my face. My outfit, like everything else I owned, had stains and holes.     After months...

I Scammed a Scammer in Phnom Penh

  It was one of those moments when your body detaches from your mind. When you suddenly transform from a rational human into an instinctual animal, descending into your most extreme version of survival mode.   Surrounded by strangers, at night, alone, in a sketchy...

How Traveling in Southeast Asia Changed Me Forever

  When I flew to Vietnam eight months ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.     I imagined kayaking among limestone karsts and trekking with elephants and tigers in the untouched jungle. I envisioned deepening my yoga practice and becoming an avid surfer...

This is Not the End

  I woke this morning tangled in the white sheets of a luxury hotel in Bangkok. The sun rose over the skyline and I watched anxiously, aware that for the foreseeable future, it would be my last glimpse of this city.     With anxiety in my gut, I run my hand down my...

A Karmic Love Story

  There once was girl who thought she knew how to love.   She didn’t fall often, but when she did she descended fully, intensely, recklessly. She relinquished her heart with the hopes that a man would become the bearer of her happiness. Her friendships and personal...

What Crabs in Cambodia Taught Me About Generosity

  I remember a time when I thought nothing of treating a friend to a $150 dinner. I hosted holidays and parties that cost more than I spend in an entire week traveling in Southeast Asia. I shared what I had, thought little about the cost, and picked up the bill often....

How Cambodia Broke My Heart

  “Be careful because Cambodia is the most dangerous country you will ever visit. You will fall in love with it and eventually it will break your heart.” – Joseph Mussomeli, former US Ambassador to Cambodia     My relationship with Cambodia bears a striking...

I Spent the Night in Angkor Wat

  I awoke to the sounds of monks chanting. Their melodic chimes echoed against the walls of the ruined temple surrounding the grassy field where I slept. Candles we lit the night before still burned and the sky skirted in a space between darkness and light. I looked...

A Second Chance in Cambodia

  I’m laying on the grass in front of the river while the sun sets behind the old market in Siem Reap. The sky bleeds from opaque coral into soft lilac, subtly entrancing me with its beauty. Motorbike exhaust perfumes the air and tuk tuk drivers incessantly solicit...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VIII: A Chance Encounter in Marrakech

  I'm taking a brief break from my Southeast Asia updates to pick back up on my Morocco series I began last year. Enjoy this short story on the day I missed my bus in Marrakech because of a hangover. Regular Thailand posts will resume in a few days 🙂      I awoke in...

Am I an Attention Whore?

  My whole life I’ve wondered if I’m an attention whore.     I can recall many moments where my level of joy depended heavily on the level of attention I received.     As a child I passionately pursued theater. Perhaps because my mother encouraged it after watching me...

I Guess It’s My Birthday

  This year I’m spending my birthday alone in Kuala Lumpur.   I don’t particularly enjoy cities, and this one seems especially uninspired, but my Indonesian visa expired and I needed a cheap ticket out of Bali.   So here I am.   When I think back on the expectations I...

You Are Where You Need to Be

(This post was originally published on The Freedom Experiment, an inspiring blog by a creative, beautiful, sensitive woman who shares her life struggles and triumphs to help others feel less alone. Give The Freedom Experiment a read, it just might change your day.)  ...

Can We Keep it Au Naturale?

  Right now I am crying. Not just crying, sobbing. Uncontrollably sobbing like a child.   A gecko the size of a kitten just crawled up the wall across from me and I desperately willed it to come cuddle me. It never did.   Now I’m laughing while crying. I have a fever...

Eat . Pray . Love

  You can imagine how often people reference Elizabeth Gilbert’s quintessential tale of self-discovery in my presence.   Single white female flees to Costa Rica to find herself, develops a yoga practice, becomes a writer, and never comes back.   A likely story.    ...

They’re Not the Worst Problems, They’re Just Mine

  When I hit publish, I never anticipated my most recent post would cause such a controversy.     I want to clarify in case there was any confusion: my post was not an announcement on changes to my trip, my style of travel, or my path in life.     No one forced this...

What I Learned From Staying in a Meditation Center in Cambodia

  “Gong! Gong!”   The melodic vibration at dawn reminded me of the freedom I had relinquished.   I slid along my sheets with the enthusiasm of a beached whale dreading the day’s impending events.     I arrived on the rooftop as the sun crept impressively over the rice...

My Release in Chiang Mai

  I felt the large cylinder inflate with heat, loosened my grip, and let it go.   In one harmonious exhale thousands of glowing paper lanterns ascended into the night sky. The beaming vessels soared, liberated, uniting in a sea of glittering stars.   Worries, fears,...

Rockstars and Temples in Ayutthaya

  Silence and stillness enveloped me as I watched the sun set behind Wat Chaiwattharan.     Chapels rose majestically from a manicured lawn. The calm of my surroundings seeped into my skin.     Beheaded Buddhas and pilfered brick walls depicted the city’s tragic fall....

The Land of Smiles

  My spirits lifted when I touched down in the land of smiles.     At immigration I was offered a stamp and a welcoming “sah-wah-dee-kah!” Tour desks and workers eagerly waited to lend a helping hand. Bus drivers, street vendors, bystanders all spoke English?!?!    ...

One Year

  One year can feel like a lifetime.     Exactly twelve months ago I was at a crossroads in my life. I had been accepted to the top universities in the United States for interior design, something I dreamed of achieving for years.     My marketing career had hardly...

All You Have to Do is Ask

  I’ve never had an easy time asking for what I need.   Call it pride, stubbornness, or at best fierce independence, I’ve always adamantly believed that it is my sole responsibility to work for everything that I receive.     Perhaps it comes from being raised by a...

When Traveling is Hard

  Rain hails incessantly, transporting leftover scraps of meat, noodles, and egg along a grimy gutter river. Chihuahuas hide under the eaves of brightly lit shops selling sunglasses, hats, and pajamas. Motorbikes liberate opaque brown puddles. Their masters fly clad...

The Next Chapter

  Today I awoke to the sound of motorbikes honking. They wove past women balancing baskets of limes, ginger, and tropical fruit. Indiscernible chatter in a foreign tongue followed by laughter echoed up the walls to my window.     Good morning Vietnam.     Less than...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VII: The Desert

  The hush of the blowing wind blankets the sea of terracotta mounds.   With no civilization, no development, and no obstruction the wind sweeps the expansive desert with ease.   It has the strength to lift the earth, liberating particles into a swirling breeze, and...

Where Do I Belong?

  I remember when belonging did not matter. I would run in circles naked in my yard screaming "I'm jungle boy."     I had a bowl cut from repeatedly snipping my hair when my mom wasn't looking. I thought shredded carrots with balsamic vinegar was better than candy.  ...

Hi, it’s me.

  Hello you. I hope you're having a great week.     Sorry I've been so quiet lately. I know, you've been busy too.     I've been back in Seattle visiting with my family wandering the city, working on hot dog boats, and watching the sunset running away to cabins in the...

Goodbye Puerto Viejo

  When you live like a nomad the world around you is continuously in flux.   It’s part of why I love to travel.     Stimulating unfamiliarity. Liberation in exploration.     But one of the hardships of travel is learning to let go.   Learning to say goodbye.     I...

What I Learned From Starving Myself For Three Days

  For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my ability to ever feel satiated.     The three months I spent walking every bit of cobblestone in Rome The two weeks I toured Spain and Portugal The years I sat behind a desk “I’m hungry” were the words that most...

How (Not to) Sail from San Blas to Colombia

  Awakened with a jolt, my body crashed violently against the side of the cabin. Sea water flooded through the roof. My eyes sprung open and scanned the room for our inebriated captain as his puppy nested in and ate my hair. They adjusted to the darkness and I spotted...

Restless

  Last night a Caribbean surfer asked me “do you ever sit still?”   It got me thinking.     I have been virtually incapable of sitting still for as long as I can remember.   Hyperactively running in circles around my backyard half naked screaming “I’m jungle boy!”  ...

Am I an Island?

  Is a question I asked recently.   I have certainly stepped foot on many deserted patches of isolated sand and admired how beautiful how pristine how perfect they remain undisturbed, untarnished by the land offshore.   How they manage to be so content completely...

This American Girl in Morocco Part VI: I Had Marrakech Fever

  The van tilted and shook as we continued along rocky mountain switchbacks. My fever broke but its aftermath left me dizzy and borderline comatose.  I regretted my decision to buckle into the van that morning but two hours outside of Marrakech there was no turning...

On Fear Conquering

  By now you probably know my thoughts on fear. How every day I try to challenge myself to do something that truly scares me. That boarding an airplane, which I do with regularity, is one of the most terrifying experiences I can imagine.     Yesterday I faced another...

When the Sun Won’t Shine

  Born and raised in Seattle, Washington one might expect I'd be accustomed to the rain. Greeting each gray morning in a sophisticated trench sporting shades to combat the blindingly white overcast sky stepping into rubber wellies to keep my thick wool socks dry.    ...

I Am (Home)

  I am sitting here writing to you from my new home.   The first space I have called mine in more than a year.   My eyes scan the room and I envision a fresh coat of white paint, Moroccan textiles, and tropical leaves leaning in tall glass vases.     I imagine stacks...

To Fear or Not to Fear: Hiking the Wild Osa Peninsula

  Many of the adventures I have undertaken this year have positively terrified me.     I swore I would never sail again when I almost capsized in open Caribbean waters. Could hardly believe I survived my many bus rides in Morocco. Felt a strong desire to stay solidly...

This American Girl in Morocco Part V: When I Bought a Rug in Fez

  Hi loyal friends, new friends, first time visitors, Mom.   Some of you may have started reading my series “This American Girl in Morocco” and wondered, “what happened?” Well, I’m happy to say that the series is back, and I will (do my best to) post a new chapter to...

This American Girl in Morocco Part IV: To Be a Woman

Continued from This American Girl in Morocco Part III     I was angry.   Angry at the drug dealers for embarrassing me. Angry with Mexico City for his belittling comments. Angry at the women in the hostel who wore shorts without being bothered. Angry with all of the...

The Birthday Post

  Hi.   Today is my birthday.   My 26th birthday.   And I would by lying   if I said   that 26   did not scare me.     It sounds so serious. Like I should have my life a little more figured out. It feels.... old.   Ok I know most of you are rolling your eyes right...

This American Girl in Morocco: Part II, The Cost of Travel

continued from This American Girl in Morocco: Part I, The Ascent      We quickly learned that directions come at a price in Morocco.   Alone on the edge of a mountain, after hauling our luggage off of the local bus, the five of us crammed into a taxi en route to...

How Travel Taught Me to Mend my Broken Heart

  Tomorrow marks my one year anniversary of travel.   One year since I ended my lease, handed over my car keys, strapped on my backpack, and entered the airport with a smile not even the most disillusioned TSA agent could erase.   While most of you know me as the girl...

This American Girl in Morocco

  Hi there. How are you today?   Sorry I haven’t written in a while.   I could site as many excuses as there are beautiful beaches, sunsets, and tropical flowers, but today I will site only one:   I decided to do other things instead.   I decided to spend four...

Why You Should Let Go Of Being Perfect

  Last week in Panama City strolling the streets of the old town, surrounded by stunning Colonial Spanish architecture I was drawn to the dilapidated remnants, rather than the completed renovations.     Peeling patina revealing layers of the past. Empty interiors...

Where I’ve Been Hiding

  Hi.   I've missed you.   Really.   I've been thinking about you a lot.     In fact there are so many things I have wanted to say but could not.     You see I've been away with no internet and at times, unable to even lift my head.     Hopping from one hopelessly...

So Long But Not Goodbye

  Today I leave the magical town of Puerto Viejo Talamanca, Limon, Costa Rica.   Where I have been living for the past two and half months, for the third time this year. Where I met people more brilliant, loving, and inspiring than I could imagine. Where my body,...

The Way This Story Begins

Once upon a time I led an ordinary American life.   I worked three jobs yet always sought after more.     I lived in a beautiful apartment, filled with treasures I collected over the years, where I threw elaborate dinners, cocktail parties, and barbecues for the...

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