Reflections on Life at Age 31

Yesterday was my 31st birthday and I woke up next to my husband in a very comfortable bed in the Luxor hotel in Vegas. Although slightly hungover from having 2.5 drinks (I know right!), I felt good. I checked my emails and found a letter I wrote to myself in August 2013 sent through futureme.org…

My Next Adventure: Cooking!

It’s taken me several months to come back to this blog. In some ways it just symbolizes this part of my life that is over now. I used to think that a life of travel was all I needed to be happy. I wanted to abandon the 9-5 and be an adventurer for life. I…

Having Gratitude Even When Times are Tough…

It is downright difficult to keep your head up when it seems like the world keeps kicking you when you are down. Sometimes we just go through tough times or tough years and it is hard to see beyond our troubles. One thing I always try to remind myself to do, even when I feel…

How to Beat the Unemployment/Post Travel Blues!

I’ll never regret quitting a job to travel, but it’s returning afterwards that is always super tough. It’s easy to get depressed when you go from traveling and seeing and doing new and exciting things every day to sitting at home applying to jobs and being broke. I’ve been in this situation twice and it…

Patagonia: “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go!”

Patagonia has always called my name. I’m a mountain person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach, but I much prefer a good hike in the mountains. Just seeing mountains with their snow caps in the distance makes my heart warm. One of the main reasons I moved to Portland, Oregon was for that…

Transitions are Hard, but Worth it!

It seems about every 2-4 years, I go through a big transition. Just when things get comfortable in my life, I either decide it is time to shake things up or the Universe does it for me. There is something about routine and comfort, that I just can’t handle. As soon as I start to…

Time Has No Pause Button, So Enjoy it While You Can…

Life is zipping by me. I swear each year time goes a little faster. One minute, I’m meeting Ethan for tacos for our first date and now we are getting married in 40 days. It’s been a whirlwind lately, between planning a wedding, working full time plus extra side jobs, attending multiple pre-wedding events for…

A Letter to My Mom for Mother’s Day

Dear Mom, I love you to the moon and back. I love you to infinity. I love you this much You are my inspiration. You may not have known it, but I was always looking up to you. You turned an at-home daycare into a blossoming business with multiple locations. I loved visiting your office…

Dear Worry: It’s Not Me It’s You…

Dear worry, We need to talk. I think I am finally ready to call it quits. No, this isn’t like the last hundred times when I pushed you away and then came running back to you when I couldn’t deal. This is for real this time. You’ve done nothing but bring me down and it…

Ways to Stay Positive When Life Gets Tough!

Life has not been easy the past two years. Last year, I discovered I had some health problems I needed to deal with. My partner and I also had a head on collision that caused a considerable amount of stress and pain for both of us. Finances have ebbed and flowed. We’ve tried our best…

Valentine’s Day Should Become Random Act of Kindness Day!

I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day. It might have something to do with almost always being single on the holiday and seeing everyone in their happy relationships being lovey dovey. I also just felt like, why do we need a day to remind us to be loving towards those in our lives that we care…

How I Learned to Say Yes to Me!

We live in a culture that encourages us to always say yes. Yes to our boss. Yes to our partner. Yes to the salesman. But, does it encourage us to say yes to ourselves. In the United States, you are valued for how hard you work. If your boss asks you to take on an…

I am Woman! Hear Me Roar!

On Saturday, I participated in something historical and it moved me to tears. I marched in the Million Women March in Portland, in solidarity with the march on Washington, D.C. I joined 100,000 other women in Portland to stand up for women’s rights. In cities across the globe women marched in solidarity and for their…

Take a Mental Picture!

These days most moments are captured by our phones and posted immediately to Instagram and Facebook. No experience seems to go undocumented. We have become so addicted to taking pictures of everything, that we almost go through withdrawal if we can’t. Is this trend about saving memories, or sharing our experiences with the world so…

Snow Days Bring Out the Humanity in Us!

When I was a kid, we played outside until it got dark. We hated when our mother’s would call us inside. Year round you could find us running with our friends from the block or riding our bikes to the local candy shop to buy something with the pennies we’d collected. The internet and smart…

Happy New Year!

Going along with the age old tradition of making New Years resolutions, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone and to list my resolutions for the year. I figure maybe if I write them down, I’ll do better at checking if I’ve kept up with any of them. This always serves as a…

Home for the Holidays!

Going home for the holidays always draws up various emotions for people. If you are someone who left home after high school like me, you either look forward to going home each year at the holidays or you don’t. This really depends on your reasons for leaving. For me, leaving meant finding myself and my…

The Starfish Throwers: We Can All Make a Difference!

Last week, Ethan and I watched a documentary called “The Starfish Throwers,” and it reminded me of a very important truth. Every one can make a difference whether it is to just one starfish or to many. The documentary was about three individuals who had dedicated their lives to making a difference. One was a…

We Need to Speak Out!

I haven’t really known what to write since Tuesday night. I know that I need to speak out though, because sadly we live in a country and world that silences the voices of those who aren’t white, heterosexual males. No matter how loud the marginalized populations scream, they fall upon deaf ears. That is not…

Don’t Let the Rain Stop You!

Last weekend was Ethan and my 1 year anniversary and we planned this lovely day to recreate our 2nd date. On our 2nd date, we went to a pumpkin beer festival at a local brewery, ate lunch at another brewery, drove to Sauvie Island to pick pumpkins, picked pumpkins, ate roasted corn, talked for a…

Stop Being So Hard On Yourself: You are Fabulous!

As my 29th birthday approaches in three days, I am forced to reflect upon not only the past year of my life, but my life as a whole. It is hard to stop and just appreciate all that we’ve done in our lives, when we always feel pressured to be doing more. As young adults,…

Weddings Don’t Have to be Stressful!

I wrote a post two months back about being stressed about getting engaged and having to plan a wedding. I have a tendency towards stress and anxiety. I even started seeing someone to talk to, while working through this process. I overthink a lot of things and I get overwhelmed easily by these thoughts. I…

You Gotta Have Faith!

I am not religious. Faith doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it does to the Christians. I am not talking about a faith in God that he exists. I am talking about faith that everything will work out. I’m spiritual. I believe there is something out there whether you want to call it…

Be a Weekend Warrior: Get Active on Your Days Off.

It is Friday, and the week has finally wound down and you are ready for the weekend, what do you do? Do you look forward to sitting in your pjs all weekend watching Netflix, or do you have a list of chores and errands that need attending to? How about some social events or adventures?…

Reverse Culture Shock

So many people talk about the culture shock you experience when you leave your country and visit a completely different culture, but what about the culture shock you experience when you return home from a long stint of traveling. This culture shock has always been a lot worse for me. I love entering new cultures…

Women Can and Should Travel Alone

Women are not encouraged to do things alone. We are seen as fragile and at threat by the world and dangerous men. As a result, women are left to live in fear instead of feeling the strength to do things on their own. When a woman wants to travel alone, she is strongly discouraged from doing…

Music Can Change the World

Life would be pretty dull without music. I was raised a music lover. My family loves music. I can’t imagine living in a family that doesn’t. No matter what kind of music people like they have a reason for each track they choose to play. Music speaks to them and their experience. It paints a…

Take Time to Watch the Sunset

The common phrase is “stop to smell the roses,” but when my sister Mandie and I were traveling around Australia and SE Asia we decided to change it to “watch the sunsets.” We made sure to pause every evening and wait for the sun to set. We shared libations with new friends, propped ourselves on…

An Active Relationship is a Happy Relationship

It is easy when you are in a long term relationship, to settle into a routine. You get up each morning to the dinging of an alarm, one of you hops in the shower while the other prepares breakfast, you kiss good bye, and then each evening you make dinner and stay in watching your…

Give it a Year: So Much Can Change.

Are you struggling right now? Does it seem like nothing is going your way? Well, I’ve been there. I’m sure we all have. When you are dealing with the world crumbling around you, it is hard to see the light. We feel like there is no way things will get better, but they will. Every…

Take a Break! What it is like Living in a Workaholic Culture

While Europeans are off enjoying leisure time on the beaches of the French Riviera or islands off of Spain and Italy each summer, Americans are stuck inside working unless they are teachers. Most Americans average 2 weeks a year of vacation, but most people don’t even take advantage of their ability to take time off….

Love Conquers Hate!

Reading the news these days or going on social media, makes me depressed. I’m tired of waking up to hear about yet another mass shooting or black man being shot by the cops unprovoked. It happens so often that we have become desensitized to it. We are all up in arms for at least a…

12 Signs You Have the Travel Bug

I have been afflicted with the same disease for 16 years. I can’t seem to shake it. Nothing seems to make it go away. I’m of course talking about the travel bug. The only cure for this disease is more travel. And even then, while I’m traveling, I’m dreaming of more travel. I fear I…

Unplug and Rejuvenate!

It is so easy these days to become addicted to technology. As much as I personally hate how people are glued to their screens, I too suffer from this addiction. If I’m waiting for anything, my phone comes out of my purse and I’m aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or emails. It is scary how…

No Regrets Bucket List

Most people have a bucket list; a list of things they want to do before they are a certain age or before they die. Sometimes they are wild things they wouldn’t normally do or things that force them to overcome their fears, but a lot of times they are just life goals they hope to…

Chronic Illnesses: The Silent Sufferer

I’m going to talk about a topic that I’ve never written about and I barely ever bring up to people, but that has impacted my life for some time.  A chronic disease “is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented…

What is Your Passion?

“What is your passion?” my 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Batt, asked the class, before handing out our new assignment. We all looked around the room at each other with confused wrinkles on our foreheads. What does passion really mean, we thought. Mr. Batt read our expressions correctly and decided to explain. “The next book…

Climb That Mountain!

Life is not easy! Do not be fooled! Life is beautiful, exciting, challenging, troubling, but not easy. Life is like the mountain I climbed this past weekend. And by climbed, I mean hiked, because let’s be serious I’m no rock climber. Anyway, on Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to climb (hike) Dog Mountain. Dog…

My Top Travel Experiences!

Whenever I tell people where I’ve traveled, I always get the same question: what was your favorite place? This is quite possibly the hardest question to answer. How can I select one place out of 25 countries, 100 cities, 1,000’s of experiences? It is impossible. For anyone who has traveled a bunch, you can probably relate…

Best Friends Forever

Having friends in your life is important; having a best friend is essential. When you are growing up you learn that it isn’t really important to have tons of friends or acquaintances. Sure, when you are young it seems like the popular kids are the happy ones. They have so many friends surrounding them and…

10 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling

A lot has been said about the importance of travel. There is a reason for that. People who travel learn more about themselves and the world. It is hard to gain an understanding of the world if you never leave your hometown. Mark Twain said, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many…

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others- Just Be YOU!

It is so hard these days to be content with our own lives. Every time we sign on to social media we see photos of people getting engaged, getting married, announcing pregnancies, having babies, parading their babies around in a cute manner, travel photos, and on and on and on. People have been comparing their…

Top 10 Things I Did Before 30

Everyone has their running lists of what to do before 30, or at least it seems that way when they continually popup on Facebook or Buzzfeed. For most people, 30 seems to be an end to one way of living and a beginning to another. Thirty is when you become a true adult, or so they say….

Stop Waiting for Friday!

“Is it Friday yet?” is probably the most common question asked in offices. Most of us know that feeling, when the weekend ends and we have to face the most dreaded day of the week: MONDAY!! Monday is the day, you have to wake up early and realize the weekend is over and you have a…