Why Tina Fey is Wrong – You Shouldn’t Have It All


The other day I was clothes shopping and spent close to a millennia in the store…but only 3 things. SHOCK. Despite what my American upbringing echoed in the back of my mind:

“You should have bought it all!”
“You’ll look better walking out with overflowing bags on your arms.”
“How do you call yourself an adult without being able to splurge on payday?”

I wasn’t “sad” that I had “only” found a few things – I was elated. Why? Because what I bought was what I really really wanted. It wasn’t because I was broke, it wasn’t because nothing else worked, it was because I only bought what I was really passionate about.

I know, crazy.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store. And while I was there I had to wonder: Why are American grocery stores the size of small villages? Have you ever been in a European grocery store? There’s like 8 aisles and one option of each thing (Yes, even in Paris). Why? Well for one thing, it’s because they don’t have to worry about organic – it’s all organic. The other is because life in general is more straight forward. You get what you need and then you move on with life.

And while we’re on the topic, have you guys seen that “Impulse Buy” Tina Fey commercial, if not watch it, below.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a BIG Tina Fey fan, but every time I see this commercial I think about how intense the culture of, “I can, therefore I will,” is in the U.S. Not saying it’s always a bad thing, just that it’s problematic, in that it creates this idea that all that is going to make you happy.

Clarification: I am no proponent of the kind of minimalism that Scandinavian countries advocate for. I know that works for some, and high-five to them, but that is NOT my aesthetic. I love having tons of art supplies, and bookcases overflowing with vintage/sketch books. But, something that I think has really stuck with me, from living in France, is that you don’t NEED to have every version and every color and every brand of something, in order to be happy. I mean, I basically lived out of two suitcases for A YEAR (and one of those suitcases was just art supplies) and I was perfectly functional.

During that year I had a lot (probably too much time) to think, and I was able to really analyze what was and wasn’t important/necessary in my life. Essentially, I learned what makes me happy. And, the emphasis here is what makes me happy (this is not a guide to making the world happy, again).

So, here’s what I learned and continue to implement in my day to day:

Languages are my passion:
I’ve always loved learning other languages (except Spanish, which for some reason I CANNOT pick up) and I love exploring the cultures that come with them. Studies show that learning/speaking other languages can actually make you happier for a multitude of reasons, including reducing stress, helping you feel more connected to other people and of course there’s the “chocolate cake high” that comes with learning new words. Regardless of what the motivation is, I love the idea that we can add so much value to our lives for (especially with online resources like Duolingo etc) little or no money.

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.” –

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Art makes me whole:
While I was in France the two things I chose to spend my pitiful allowance on was postcards (another passion of mine!) and art supplies. Why? Because I literally start losing my mind if I can’t create art. Whether it’s painting or drawing (I learned in France, I actually can draw) I love having art as a meditative part of my life. Hop over to my Facebook page if you’d like to see what I’m currently up to, or you can check out my Pintrest board to see some of my drawing projects from France.

Learning new things enriches me:
Three words: Khan. Coursera. Skillshare. These are the trifecta of my learning (with perhaps some PBS worked in there) and I love taking classes, picking up new skills and learning about the world around me.

Khan Academy
was one of my favorite resources when I was in France, because it’s totally free and you can take classes on a million different subjects, including Pixar animation (also, because I’m a Trekkie – ha). I’ve taken ALL the history classes, and I regret none of the time spent. They also have science, art, coding, and math (gross – but if you’re into that kind of thing).

I also love Coursera, although now they’re starting to charge (but you can find hacks by Googling how to get the classes free). Coursera allows you to take academic classes from universities and professors all over the world, which I also think is amazing.

And lastly Skillshare is amazing for learning new creative things like drawing, photography and even cooking! I’ve learned so much from this resource, and the monthly subscription rate is about the same as Netflix/Hulu (but way more valuable, in my opinion).

Books are beautiful:
The Christmas before last I spent my day wandering Paris, and buying a bunch of classic literature. Why? Because for some reason, in Paris, the cheapest books to buy (we’re talking like 1 euro) are the classics in English. Needless to say, I’ve now read pretty much all of Jules Verne and Jane Austen. Books don’t have to be super expensive (especially if you’re finding them used) and yet they have the amazing ability to transport you all over the world and on a million different adventures. I’ve always been such a bookworm, but I think there was definitely a post college (or even during college) period of time when I forgot how much I loved them. I don’t have as much time now, because obviously I’m not a kid running free, but I do try to make sure to carve out 30min-1hour of reading time, each day. What am I reading right now? The Outlander series, and it’s making me want to go back to Scotland real bad.
WARNING: These books are mammoth.

I don’t need a million friends:
Okay, so let’s talk popularity contest. Why, oh why, do we have to feel like we need a million people who you’re “best friends” with? Unknown. But it’s a thing. And, as a proud introvert, it’s a lie I’m not buying into, anymore. I love me time, and I love alone time. It’s when my brain is settled and happy and free and I come up with my best ideas and creations. I do love the friends that I have, and I do love meeting new people, but not under the pretense that if I don’t have 12 friends I’m Snapchatting every night I’ll shrivel up and die like a raisin. Nope. I’ve had to fight hard for it, but creating that space, and bringing in only people in who understand that I need alone time has made me much happier than a thousand friends ever could.

My faith is really important to me:
My faith, like meditation or exercise, is something that keeps me whole. While I’m not sure that I would describe myself as specifically one denomination, Christianity is a really important part of my life, and one that inspires and strengthens me, daily. It’s not perfect, and neither am I, but it’s something that no one can buy, trade or take away and that makes it an invaluable treasure in my life.

What about you guys? Yeah, shoes are awesome, but what else makes you really glow with happiness? Comment below!

You Can Call Me A Seattleite


Well, it has been far too long since I wrote a blog post, but mostly that’s because I’ve felt like I was becoming the walking dead, and not the cool Game Of Thrones kind. Switching countries always sounds much easier than it generally is. Switching continents adds a whole new level of crazy to the mix.

Today is the first time that I feel semi-conscious, so I think I should update all of you lovelies on what has been going on in my life.

On June 8th I hopped aboard a plane, leaving my house at 5am, because apparently that’s the only time frame I can ever seem to find flights. I was pretty happy to have a smooth trip from the house to the airport, but that ended quickly when I got a 113 euro charge for having to check my “over-weight” carry on. The problem with moving, though, is that you reach a point when if you get rid of anything else you’re going to start losing things you actually care about. So, I took the penalty and climbed aboard with Iceland Air.

I’ve never flown Iceland Air before, but I would definitely recommend it. The staff was great…although I might just have been overly happy to speak English to people. I ended up having a 9 hour layover in Reykjavik, which actually is a completely gorgeous (if completely empty) airport. And then it was off to Seattle. The movie selection on the plane was limited so I ended up watching Shawshank Redemption and Titanic, neither of which I’ve seen before.  The first movie made me want to stand up and cheer, the second made me want to punch the back of seat where it was playing. How was Titanic ever considered a “brilliant” love story/movie? I mean, come on.

Anyway.  I flew into Seattle on a beautiful 80 degree (FAHRENHEIT!!!) day that was clear and perfect and allowed me to see the mountains as I came in. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a landscape in my life. After a boring routine through security, I was off to my friends house, which I would love to tell you all about if I remembered anything other than falling asleep and waking up the next day and falling asleep and waking up the next day… until the last few days. Jet lag is rough.

But here I am, now! I’m officially a Seattle resident, again and despite there being more bumps in the road than I could have ever anticipated, I know that I am back where I belong.

This is also the part of this story where I tear up and tell you all how amazing my friends have been over this whole process. I literally don’t know what I would have done without them – there is no way I would be happy, healthy or housed. So thank you to each of you darlings who have supported and loved me on a level that has been so much more than I could have ever imagined, expected or deserved. Thank you for being my family when others have fallen short and for building me up when I’ve fallen down. Someday I hope I can repay you darlings for everything you have done. *cue tissues*

12 Favorite Moments

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This year has been full of so many crazy amazing experiences, that I thought it would be appropriate to look back over the last year and  show you all some of my favorites. As this chapter comes to a close I’ve really been trying to take a few moments to reflect before I hop on the plane back to the U.S. The whole last week has seemed so surreal, and I can’t even believe that in only 3 days I’ll be back in Seattle!

While I am (of course!) so excited to be coming back to the U.S., it still is a bitter-sweet experience to be packing my bags and leaving Europe. I have definitely not taken the ability to hop on planes and visit places I had only ever read about in books. During this experience I’ve learned SO MUCH about myself, and no matter what my was happening in the smaller picture, I can now look back and say “That was a great adventure.” I feel so amazingly blessed to have been able to travel the world, meet amazing people and live a life some spend their lives dreaming about living. So without further adieu, here are my top 10 beautiful memories (in no particular order)!

1. I got to see the Berlin Wall!Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 10.51.52 PM

2. I got to visit a 14th century REAL castle (with its original moat!!!)! DSC_0837



3. I saw the Mona Lisa (and, like, all the original art I could ever wish for) and probably should have just moved into The Louvre.DSC_0008

4. I went to 3 scifi/manga conventions and met the real life (okay, Cosplay, but damn awesome) TinTin!1424510_10204495246754590_986803764695503958_n


5. I became part of, and viewed, original Miyazaki sketches from all of my favorite movies! 10850296_10204622487375526_4532807605400135729_n


6. I made beautiful friends and we made beautiful memories all over Paris.1528591_10204755801748302_6677248749756096313_n




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7. I WENT TO THE VAN GOGH MUSEUM, and almost died from an art love overdose!! Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 11.04.52 AM

8. Galway, Ireland stole my heart and Ireland won the “Most Visited” award for the year!DSC_0683

9. I went to Normandy and saw history in real life (also biked 22 km)!DSC_0082


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10. I spent Easter weekend in Rome and went to the Colosseum! DSC_0234


11. I went to the Cliffs of Moher and unintentionally spent my Spring Break falling in love with Ireland.DSC_0526

12. I went to Versailles gardens/Palace and became the little Marie Antoinette fangirl I always wanted to be.10421139_10205851538021024_2635329984024940649_n (1)

Thanks to all who have made this such a crazy wild experience. Cheers to next time!

Homeward Bound: June 8th, 2015

 This year has been so confusing. 

So much has happened, and yet it feels like nothing has happened at all. I know I am different, but at the same time I feel like I’m going back home exactly the same. 

I have learned the value of friendship. They are my family, these bunch of strong minded beautiful women who kept me going when I was on my knees ready to give up. They lifted me up, they encouraged me – they called out lies I said and gave me the strength to stand up for myself. 

This year I’ve had to defend what I value and believe in so many times. I’ve had to take a stand. I’ve had to make hard decisions I never wanted to make. I’ve had to cut loose things from my past that were inconspicuously dragging me under. I’ve had to move forward. 

I learned this year just how strong I am. Not because I’m unbreakable, but because when I am broken I recreate myself into something new. Something wholly different and just as beautiful. 

This year I learned what I valued. In a world that ignored me, I learned to make myself heard. I found my voice, and I used it to make myself heard. 

I travelled around the world, I met some amazing people – friends who, while I may never see them again, will be tattooed on my heart for the rest of my life. I was uplifted by strong women of all ages who travel solo, tattoo themselves and cut their hair “too short” – together we make up a kind of tribe, wandering the world searching for a place to call home. 

Strangers have become friends, I’ve learned to dance and cook and laugh and drink, to throw darts and sneak into skyscraper buildings. I’ve stayed out until 4am and curled up to sleep 9pm. I learned to be alright by myself, I learned not to fear what others thought of me and to be comfortable letting my hair down…literally. I’ve seen works of art people dream about, I ate Spaghetti in Rome and watched sunsets in German mountains. Part of me wants to say that I gained so much strength, but I think it was always there – I just had to discover it. 

This year has been one of the hardest, most troubling, most stressful, most tear filled years of my life – and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It has given me so much and has taken me from the girl who got on a plane out of her city to the woman who will return to it. 

I am infinite. I love deeply, cry with anger and walk for miles while praying out to a God I know is listening. I sing songs that no one will hear and paint pictures that no one will see. I build dreams that only I know will come true. Before me there is a path that only I know the direction of, and that’s okay. I no longer need the approval of others in order to walk it. I am fear, I have faced terror and it has been tattooed onto my heart, a talisman of things overcome and conquered. 

I am not to be trampled, looked over or pigeonholed into the plan and ideals of someone else. Life challenged me to a test of courage and fortitude – and I conquered it. I am strength, broken and bleeding, tear filled eyes and a grin on my face. Because I know the end of this story: none of us come out alive. But, at the end, some of us will have some pretty amazing stories to tell. 

Kid Friendly Recipes Worth Keeping


If you’re an au pair like me, or even a mom or dad who just wants to get your kids to actually eat a meal, you know that feeding kids can be tricky. Eating healthy while eating yummy aren’t always two peas in a pod, but over the past year I’ve picked up some recipes which have proven to be fail proof with my kids.
I’m not gonna lie, this year has been especially challenging for me because I’m feeding an age range of 5 to 21 years old, so the taste buds are anything but similar. But regardless of how difficult, each night I have four ravenous boys pacing my kitchen for food. What’s a girl to do!?

At this point I can honestly say I don’t know what I would have done this year without Pintrest. It has been such a help when I’ve had no idea what to do, or what to feed this family. Because let’s be honest, it’s not only important to find food that tastes good and makes everyone happy. We need meals that also work with the very real issue of time constraints!
All of these recipes I’ve found I can make into a dinner in 30 – 45 minutes (total – cooking + prep time) – because let’s face it, no nanny has 3 hours to dedicate to feeding her children. Sound familiar? Here are my top 5 go-to recipes for kids (just in case you find yourself swamped with salivating children).
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Whoever was the first person to come up with the idea of fajitas (or their cousins burritos/tacos) deserves a nobel peace prize. Not only do my kids love to eat food they can use their hands with, but they also like the independence of being able to put whatever they like on their plate, wrapping it up in a tortilla and calling it good. I really like being able to find recipes for copying store-bought items, so this recipe has been great for seasoning chicken, turkey and hamburger to wrap our little tortilla blankets around. CLICK HERE for the recipe!  Note: I usually throw in some canned diced tomatoes with the seasoning, to help with flavor/consistency.

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Everyone has their favorite pancake recipes, and I don’t want to add to the clutter of the internet, but this recipe makes simple honest to goodness buttermilk pancakes which are easily matched up with some eggs and bacon to make the perfect meal of breakfast as a stand in for dinner. This is a great meal to have when you don’t know what to make, can’t make it to the store, need something your kids love and want to use things already in your house. In my book (and my kids minds) it’s always a win. NOTE: This recipe is liquid heavy, so make sure you only add in enough of the liquid ingredients to moisten the dry ingredients to a silky texture – no one likes watery pancakes. CLICK HERE for the recipe!

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I actually made this with regular (boil to prepare) ravioli and my boys loved it. Again, it’s bringing together really basic items (ravioli, pasta sauce, meat and cheese) and making something wholesome that kids love. The prep time wasn’t much, but it does take a bit of time to cook, so make sure that you have some chopped veggies for your littles (or bigs) to munch on while it’s cooking, if you get a late start! CLICK HERE for the recipe!

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Okay, so this one isn’t really a meal, so much as just a life saver. Sometimes slapping a piece of cooked meat and some vegetables on a plate isn’t quite enough to fill the stomachs of your hungry children, and this is one of the easiest filler items you will ever find (not to mention, super fun for kids to help with). Add in a plate of these bad boys and you’re on a smooth path to baking your way into your children’s hearts. Just don’t expect leftovers – these things fly off the plate. CLICK HERE for the recipe!

IMG_1814b copyWarning: Once you cook this recipe your kids probably won’t stop asking for it. I’m not a crazy creative cook, but I do love to put food in front of my kids that is filling, wholesome and leaves them with smiles on their faces. This recipe does it all. Not only will it make your house smell mouthwatering, but while the chicken is cooking (with only a 10 min prep time! Hallelujah!) you can be putting together a salad, mashing some potatoes or making some buttermilk biscuits ( *wink *wink). By the time the chicken is done, you’ll be in good shape to have everything for dinner ready to go! CLICK HERE for the recipe!

What are your favorite recipes for kids? Let’s share!!


Versailles Gardens

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There has always been something beautifully captivating, to me, about Marie Antoinette. Aside from the political issues, I’ve just always been a fan of hers. I’m pretty sure I spent an entire year of my childhood just studying her, her life and history (for fun. Nerd alert.). This whole year, while living in Paris, I’ve been about 15 minutes away from Versailles palace (by train) but I’d never gone because I wanted the experience to be perfect. I wanted the gardens to be beautiful, and the palace gold to be glistening in the sun. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, that wasn’t quite how things happened. See, it would appear that Paris is on a cloudy, rainy and cold stint that we can’t seem to shake, and the weeks are winding down quickly until I’ll be returning to the U.S. So, yesterday one of my friends and I decided to just hop on the train and go. It was cold. It was cloudy. But the beauty of the gardens still shone through the experience and I’m very happy to say that overall it was pretty magical.

The gardens are absolutely huge. And I know you might think that’s a given, but until you start to walk around them, you don’t really realize just how enormous ‘huge’ actually means. After two hours we still hadn’t seen everything, and trying to fit in the palace on the same day would have been exhausting, so Part 2 of this adventure will be happening (hopefully!) this Tuesday! So excited! I’m going to go eat some cake.

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The Essence Of Home

Is it possible to travel too much? Some might say a resounding no. But today I found myself shooting this question around in my mind.

You see, I’ve been gone from the US for almost 9 months, now. And as odd as it sounds, the best way to describe my longing for home is that I’m just so tired.
Something to recognize here is that being tired doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong. Sometimes being tired just means you’ve toiled so hard at something that all you want to do is find a place to rest.

I think the biggest thing I took for granted when I was in Seattle was the ability to have a launch point, or to have a place I could call “home.” What I wouldn’t give to be without the homeless feeling that sometimes just settles into the pit of my stomach. Paris is not my home. These places I travel to, while temporarily lodging me, are not my home. Even Seattle, which I love so incredibly much, is not my home anymore. I am, in essence, a homeless wanderer. Lots of temporary places, but no place where I feel at peace.

Then I come to Ireland. And call me crazy, but somehow an entire country feels more like home to me than the bricks and stones that make up my house of residence. I am, and always will be a firm believer that every person has that place/city/country where the just feel a deeper connection than anywhere else, and that’s how I feel when I’m in Ireland. Which is probably why I just keep coming back.

This week has been Spring Break for me so I had made plans to go from Germany to Dublin to Copenhagen to Oslo all in 2 weeks. I made it to Germany and had a great time, then came over to Dublin…and accidentally fell in love with the city. So much so that I threw out my plane ticket and stayed.

And while I wouldn’t necessarily suggest doing this, for obvious financial reasons, it was something I thought a lot about before coming to the conclusion that it was necessary. See, 5+ years ago I was flying back from India and landed in Heathrow airport. Since some of my group decided to stay there before returning to the US, I had a bit of a split second decision of whether or not I would stay there too. My heart was pulling me toward the city, but it was the first time I had traveled internationally and I was terrified. So I got on the plane back to the US…and I’ve regretted that decision ever since.

Sometimes we have to take risks. Sometimes we have to ignore the “rules” and follow our gut feelings of what the next step in our journey is. It’s not always the safe route, and the outcome is often unknown, but as we strike out on these paths, pioneering them as we go, we learn that following the plans that others have written doesn’t always result in our own happiness.

A man in my hostel yesterday, who hardly spoke English, perhaps explained it the best when he said, “Can I tell you a secret? You’ll never see ‘enough’ [of the world].”

Travel is beautiful and wild and untamed. It draws us out of our comfort zones and refines our deepest selves, BUT it is not the answer to happiness. And that’s something I’m starting to understand.  We can visit every beautiful location, we can check off every major city, but when it comes down to it, it’s the people who we love and who love us that create the essence and fulfillment of belonging.

Because home isn’t the place where we grew up, or live now. It’s not a building or an address or a city. It’s where we feel loved, where we feel accepted and where we feel whole. Home is our place to be unapologetically ourselves. It’s where we find rest. And while you can see all the monuments and glories the world has to offer, finding that place starts with acknowledging that it might be right where you’re already standing.

Easter Sunday: Rome, Italy


They say that to truly feel alive you should do things that scare you. Today is my day.
I’ve been pretty terrified to go to Rome for a while. Big cities in general terrify me, but with other cities like LA, London or Paris I’ve always felt a little more at ease since I speak the language of each of those places.
I don’t speak a word of Italian. In fact, I can barely spell Italian (I keep writing it the French way). When I was in the airport I actually had to stop and mind swap over because the people boarding with me were (of course) speaking Italian and I seriously had to stop and think about what Italian sounded like. When was the last time I heard actual (not 9th generation Italian-American, sorry guys) Italian? I honestly can’t think of a time. Which kind of makes me sad, because I really like Italian as a language. It just really isn’t that prominent in the past of the US where I’m from, but I never realized that until today.

This morning I woke up at 5am with birds chirping and a full moon outside my window. It was eerie, but also kind of nice to get to watch the Easter sunrise. HE IS RISEN!
I love Easter so much because it’s just a huge party – it is hard not to be with my family this year because this is one of the three times per year that I usually get to see everyone. What I wouldn’t give for a plate of Morehouse deviled eggs. Yum.

But this is the year of doing things a little different. So I’m currently sitting on an airplane to Rome, Italy. Which is insane. The trip was pretty sporadic because I just found out earlier this week that I had a three day weekend off. While I was looking up places to go I knew Italy was next on my list of places to visit, but I was torn between Venice, Florence or Rome (or Milan just because it’s close and cheap) but after thinking it over, and looking up each city, I realized I would never forgive myself if I didn’t go to Rome.

So I bought the hefty ticket (everything was overpriced for the holiday weekend, but in comparison to traveling from the US obviously it’s like nothing no matter how high you buy flying from Paris) and I immediately knew it was the right choice. The hostel situation in Rome this weekend is madness. It took me two hours of sifting through every possible place before I finally found a hostel that fit what I was looking for. It was the last bed in the place, and I can only imagine what the city itself is going to be like when I actually get there. It’s funny, but I already feel like I want to go back to Italy and I’m not even there, yet.

About the airline I’m flying: This time I decided to try out the Spanish owned airline Vueling. I honestly had no idea what to expect since the airline is fairly new and there wasn’t a lot about them online, yet. But I love it (especially in comparison to RyanAir). The staff is so nice, and they actually seem to like their jobs. The atmosphere of the plane is great, hipster approved music is playing and everyone seems to be having a great time. The one warning I would state is that, if you’re on the taller side, make sure you have an aisle seat – the leg room is the only not so impressive aspect of this airline. If you’re smaller, though, you’re good to go. The nice thing to remember, also, is that the flights are only around 1-2 hours long. So if you do end up feeling cramped, it will only be for a short while. I lucked out this trip, though, because both of the seats next to me are open, so I’m the queen of row 29 A-C (also window seat – eeeeee! 🙂 )

The one downside of this trip is that Paris is gorgeously sunny today, and Rome has supposedly inherited the rain we’ve had all this week for today. But it is supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so I think it will still be a great trip! Ciao!

‘Livin On A Prayer


Before I left for France my aunt told me “Come back happy, or don’t come back at all.” To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what that meant. But whether or not she wanted it to stick with me, it has for the past 7 months of me living in France.

Thinking back over the past months, there are so many reasons I could have left. So many experiences that would have validated buying the next plane ticket to the U.S. and not looking back.
But to grasp at those opportunities would have been to do so out of fear.

And whether or not she meant this, I think I understand:

Come back stronger than when you left.

Come back wiser. Come back with stories to fill volumes in the family history books. Come back renewed. Come back knowing yourself better. Whether it’s in one week, or one year, come back because it’s time for you to come back, not because someone or something tells you to come back (or to stay there). Come back satisfied. Come back more fully you. Come back happy, or don’t come back at all.

It’s kind of incredible to think about the transformation that can happen to a person over a period of a year. I’m just approaching 8 months and I’m still in awe of how different I feel, compared with when I moved here.

The biggest change, I think, is that I feel like I know my own mind so much better, than I did before. Whereas I used to be constantly worried about the backlash of actually making a decision, I think I’ve reached the point where I know – but more importantly trust myself.

Although I’m a pretty stubborn person, truth be told I hate conflict more than anything. I want things to be relaxed, smoothed over and easy for everyone involved. But the reality is that if you’re always trying to make other people happy, you end up getting trampled underfoot.

There’s a quote I heard once (although I can’t remember who said it – shame on me) that said something along the lines of “If you’re not writing your own story, someone else will write it for you.”

And while this might seem kind of morbid, I think of it as a reminder that we know ourselves better than anyone else in the world. It’s having the strength to assert that knowledge, which is where life gets a little tricky.

This year I’ve noticed that, in the abundance of spare time I’ve been given, I’ve really reverted to a lot of things I had forgotten I loved. My top 3: Art, reading and travel. (And geeking, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

Art and reading are pretty self explanatory, but today I was thinking about the actual “why” of my traveling.
Like if I was sitting in a job interview, and they asked me why I love to travel, what would I answer?

I mean, there are easier ways to get an adrenaline rush. There are closer places to run to if I wanted to escape my life.

Why do I think it’s important to hop on 5, 10 or even 20-hour plane ride to see the world beyond my own city or country?

Well, I think it comes down to a pretty simple answer.

Because I can.

Now I don’t mean that to sound cocky, although some of you might read it that way. And I don’t mean it to sound condescending (duh – I’m not a bitc-…mom, cover your ears).

But when I step back and categorize the priorities in my life, I see travel hitting the top because, simply put: I have the opportunity to do it. And I know and acknowledge that isn’t an opportunity afforded to everyone.
Secondarily, although not unconnected, I travel because for a good portion of my life people looked at me as someone who not only wouldn’t but couldn’t.
When I was growing up a lot of people said some pretty dismal things about my future. After all, what could become of a mixed girl born into a non-traditional household? My gender, family status and race were all a “problem.” Or, at least that’s what my mom was told.

Luckily, I have a badass (sorry for the swearing, mom) mother. And I’ve had one of the most stubborn upbringings known to humankind.

So, when I say I travel because I can, I don’t mean because I am somehow superior to others in my ability to do so. If anything it’s the reverse.
I mean that when I travel, it isn’t really about me.

It’s about the lives of people back home who sacrificed so much so that I would have the opportunities to lead me to this place. They didn’t get to go backpacking, or Couchsurfing or jump on planes at the drop of a hat (and some of them never will), so when I do – it’s for them.

It’s a way of me honoring the sacrifices made, and the people who made them. Because I’m not naïve enough to think my own freedom to travel wasn’t paid for before I was old enough to understand the currency. I know that when I’m buying plane tickets, or booking trains, it’s because of decisions made out of loyalty and love.

Traveling is a way of me saying, “Thank you.”

So, whether I’m standing in India, or Ireland or Italy know that I’m bringing all you amazing souls with me along the way. I’m sending my love and a heartfelt thank you via postcards, silly souvenirs, phone calls, Snapchats, video messages, emails, letters photos or while collecting stories to send back. Because I freakin’ love you all!

Why do I think it’s important to travel? Because I don’t have a lot to offer in the form of tangibly making dreams realities. But I can be the feet that imprint a little piece of home, and all those dreams I carry with me, wherever I go.