Feeling So Thankful for My Family this Holiday Season!

I know I’m a week late on this post, but time just seems to fly by and I barely get a chance to sit down and write anymore. Last week we flew home for a very quick four day visit to see my family back east for Thanksgiving. I normally don’t fly all the way…

Making Soup with Friends

I’m getting in the soup making mood. I love this time of year when you get to put on sweaters and scarves and make soup. Despite the freakishly warm weather we are having for mid October, cough cough global warming cough, I’m still feeling in the spirit to make warm cozy recipes like this delicious…

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…

Responsible Tourism

When you travel are you aware of the impact you are having on the local communities? Do you visit towns known for their parties? There’s a lot of ugly tourism in this world and people ignorant to its impacts on the local cultures. Entire towns, islands, and even regions have developed reputations for party tourism…

Travel isn’t All Umbrella Drinks and Selfies with Monkies!

I was inspired to write this after a friend posted a blogger’s post about how travel isn’t always fun and easy like people think and that we are made to feel bad about complaining when travel gets hard. I completely related to this post, because after years of traveling, I know it isn’t the vacation…

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…

Wedding Advice from a Newlywed!

I literally just got married two days ago, so it is fresh in my head. Lots of married people gave me advice before the wedding and I tried my best to listen to it. Of course, it is hard though in the thick of it to remember all those thoughtful words. So, if you are…

To the Dad that Breaks the Mold!

Every year when Father’s Day is getting closer, you see commercials for Home Depot and Lowe’s advertising grills and tools to buy your father. Stores have sales on ties and belts. The card aisle is flush with cartoonish pictures of men in lounge chairs, playing golf, or fishing. But what about the dad’s that don’t…

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…

We’re Not Settling Down, We’re Saddling Up!

I’ve never liked the idea of settling down. To me it sounds boring and like the end to a fun life. People always speak about marriage and committed relationships as finally settling down. To those who always looked forward to meeting the one, settling down, and having kids, this concept is accepted as an end…

A Letter to All Who are Bullied.

*warning this contains spoilers for the show 13 Reasons Why… I recently decided to watch a new Netflix show that everyone was talking about on Facebook. This show was like a train wreck; I couldn’t peel my eyes from the screen, but it increased my blood pressure and seeped into my dreams bringing back past…

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…

Get Your Hands Off Women’s Healthcare!

I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. Who do these Republican White Men think they are!! Last time I checked, none of you have a vagina. You wouldn’t even be able to handle a vagina if you had one. So, please stop trying to tell me how to take care of my vagina. Stop…

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…

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…

Traditions Make Me Happy!

I realized this past weekend, how addicted I am to keeping my traditions. Halloween just came and went, but I wouldn’t let it go before I at least practiced a few of my favorite traditions. I get really depressed if I can’t practice my traditions for every holiday and season. I made sure to visit a…

Don’t Move to Portland!

My mom grew up in Oregon. She lived in Klammath Falls until she was 3 years old, then her family moved to Portland. They lived in the Hollywood district with 11 kids. There were months when they couldn’t pay the electric bill, so they lived in darkness. My grandfather was a missionary for the Christian…

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…

13 Signs You are Not 22 Anymore

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with accepting my age and I’m not even that old yet. I’m almost 29 years old and I’m starting to miss everything about my early 20’s. People keep reminding me that everything changes in your late 20’s and there is no going back. I’m frustrated with my weight, my…

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…

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…

Weddings: Are They Worth the Stress?

A good majority of little girls dream about their wedding day. They imagine their Prince Charming riding up on a white horse and whisking them off their feet. I was definitely one of them. I talked about getting married on the beach one day or by a waterfall. Of course, I didn’t know who I…

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…

The Rapist is Not the Victim

This weeks top news story, besides the sad primary election, has me really fired up. Reading about the outcome of the rape case at Stanford infuriated me. How is it that again and again, we worry about the future of the rapists’ lives over the victims? It worries me that we still live in a…

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…

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…

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…

Fear Part two: The Barrier Between You and True Happiness

Not only does fear cause xenophobia and racism, but it also stands in your way of happiness. Our fear of the unknown, prevents us from ever realizing our true potential or taking that leap towards greater happiness and opportunity. Fear acts as the silent kidnapper, tying you down to a chair and preventing you from…

FEAR is the Enemy

fear ˈfir/ noun 1. an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. “drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby’s murder” 1. be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening. “he said he…

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….

Cherish Every Moment…

Cherish every moment, because it could be your last. We oftentimes hear this statement made by older people and inspirational cards and in speeches. Do we truly grasp what it means, though? Up until this Saturday, I’d say I’ve done my best at being present in my own life and trying to enjoy every moment….

Money, Money, Monnneeeyy!

If you can afford to meet your needs and still have money leftover, you are faced with two options when it comes to spending that extra money: material good or experience. Do you choose to buy that bigger television set or do you buy concert tickets? Do you take a nice vacation or buy a…

Be Here Now

Be Here Now. One of my biggest struggles in life is being present in the now. I am always daydreaming about my future travel and adventures.