I am going to start this blog by explaining my “foundation” – who I am – before I dive into the vibrant, exciting, travel side of the blog. I want to begin with this so people understand I am not entirely fearless, or in any way, an indestructible superhero. I am just human, and I have my flaws just like everyone else.

Actually, I’m more like a delicate flower (thank you, Teddy) who happens to have an insatiable curiosity of the giant, intimidating world around me. I’ve called many places home, and I’ve had 3 different cities that I spent enough time to really immerse myself. I gave myself the ability to commit to jobs, living situations, and relationships. Of course, with finding these small niches, I can hold my head up high and create an image for myself. Whenever I jump to a new place I can be whoever I want to be; I can create the ideal persona that I always wished I had the confidence to become. That persona is fine as long as there is a time limit, eventually I need to exhale and slouch my shoulders.

I moved to Asheville over two years ago with only a backpack. I arrived on the porch of BonPaul and Sharkys with no intentions of staying longer than a few days. By the way, If you are unfamiliar with this porch, you’re seriously missing out. The idea of working in a hostel seemed almost surreal, but I applied, interviewed, and moved in the following week. After that first month, I made a few friends and started working at a restaurant two blocks away. Everything was indescribably perfect. For the first time in my life, I created a home for myself. I love being a neighbor to the mountains. There’s something purely magical about escaping down a strange trail in search of a place where you can gaze out into the never-ending wondrous valley of mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains have a way of putting you back into your place. When I found myself getting overwhelmed with life I would wrap myself in a blanket of cold mountain air and see just how small my problems really were, while still having the impulse and inspiration to move mountains.


Asheville, the beginning of this blog is dedicated to you. You know when you hear a song for the first time and you think “How did I ever live without hearing this?” You spend a few days, or weeks, listening to it on repeat. When you start showing everyone you know, you get slightly upset when they do not understand your excitement. I mean, if you don’t like “Dearly Departed” why are we even friends? Then one day you put the song on for the 847th time and you’re suddenly unmoved. That song you used to love has lost its spark, you overplayed it and now it’s absent from your driving playlist. Eventually you know that you will come back and enjoy it because at one point in your life, it meant everything to you. That’s you Asheville, for the past year I have been replaying you over and over again in my head. I am leaving a shard of my heart here and it’s simply time for a new song.

On my 22nd birthday, a dear friend gave me a scallop shell and a tree seed. I’ll save the significance of the scallop shell for another post. He told me to find a home for that seed whenever I feel ready to plant roots.  Immediately I thought I had to plant it here, but instead I hung it up in my bedroom.  I may not be ready to set roots, and you may never  be that place for me but I’ll hold onto that satchel until I find the perfect spot.

Even if the tree doesn’t sprout here, whenever I finally plant those roots, I’ll be thinking about you, Asheville.

“You are stronger than the world
has ever believed you to be.
The world is waiting for you to set it on fire
Trust in yourself
and burn.”
― Clementine Von Radics


As I’m getting ready to embark, I feel light. In a few hours I will be leaving town in a Craigslist ride-share to Boulder, CO with two women and a one-eyed dog. That is the only plan I have for my future. I’m painting myself into a summer of uncertainty, my ever-storming mind has cleared past the fog. I feel as if someone opened the latch and that window is finally accessible. I feel human again. I quit both of my jobs, all of my personal belongings now fit into a single storage bin and my backpack. I feel uncluttered, I am tied down to nothing. I have friends and family that I’ll miss dearly, but I can only imagine those I have yet to meet. Those unknown friends are responsible for liberating the window, just in time to invite the soft embrace of summer to infiltrate my thoughts.

I’ve noticed my usual patterns are transforming into something unusual. I’m slipping out of the depression and I’m not letting this revolving door of ups and downs become the norm anymore. I will not welcome the depression and anxiety like an old friend. This will be the Year of Me. We all have done things we are not proud of, and we have all struggled with our own personal demons. We all have skeletons in our closets, and its finally time to bury the hatchet with myself. I’m going to start out with one of the darkest skeletons in my closet. I tried to tuck away a certain period of my life because I wanted to believe that I never allowed myself to go so low. When I was 17, I attempted suicide and I’ll save you the details but trust me, I was very close. I woke up the next day in a hospital bed with a nurse “congratulating” me on my survival. If I remember correctly, I had 15 minutes. If you want to put that into perspective, think about what you were doing 15 minutes ago. It just took me 15 minutes to eat a cashew butter sandwich, so if my parents decided to enjoy a cashew butter sandwich before finding me in the hallway, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. When that nurse told me how close I got, I was furious. 15 minutes.. Really? Thinking about it now, I can not begin to describe how lucky I am. I do not believe in destiny or fate but for some reason I am still here. I’m not done with this world and I’m going to glow, I’m going to show it just how bright I can shine.


At the age of 23, I can happily say I’ve traveled across the world on a shoestring, with no college degree, moved to a new city, and most importantly, I survived. The most beautiful thing I’ve picked up over the past 6 years is whenever I start to feel unhappy, or bored with where I am, I get up and start walking. I wander because I know there’s more to life than going numb while serving tables, dealing student debt, or staying in the same city because I’m comfortable. You will not stumble upon a package of happiness on the sidewalk, you have to go out and create it. The world is a wonderful, terrifyingly massive labyrinth, and chances are that you’ve seen less than a fraction of a fraction of what there is to offer. In regards to unhappiness, my Dad once told me “If you’re not happy, and you truly think there is absolutely nothing left for you, move to San Francisco. Change your name, start a new life where no one knows you.” Go out there and find your personal legend. There will never be a perfect time to travel so get up and go. There’s a huge difference between being a drifter and a wanderer so make sure you’re doing things that make you feel alive. Things that make your hands tremble. Get over that fear of heights, do anything that scares the life out of you and only then will you realize how damn magnificent you really are.


This is how I continue to find that light everyday.
– Travelling made me fall in love with myself. Somewhere along my first road trip I saw my reflection and smiled for the first time in years. I fall in love with myself everyday, where ever I am, in every moment. Not just the ones where the world around me is more exciting than myself. I am just as beautiful as the memories I hold onto for inspiration. I am vibrant, alive and full of soul just like every place that I’ve scattered the bits and pieces of my heart. You know that old saying, home is where the heart is? I rip through the layers of pain, stitched up with bad memories just like I tore through the pages in my passport. I will move mountains. I travel to satisfy my own curiosity, not to drown out my own reservations.

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– I learned how to love my own skin. I absolutely adore my bare, naked skin as much as I love the art I chose to put in its place. I used to get tattoos to cover up every inch of my body that He has seen, touched or even thought about. When I think about those fingerprints, I can almost feel them as flames burning like a wildfire across my barren lands. He left me with scars that only I can see, but he did not scorch his name into my skin. It was never my fault. My body is not an enemy, I shouldn’t feel trapped.

– Humans are created to feel compassion. I am not going to be afraid to let others in. I am not incapable of forming relationships. I am not going to be afraid to leave bits of my heart with other humans. We’re all looking for the same things and it should not always be a solo journey. I used to be content with knowing that I will never fall in love with another person because people will always change, I preferred falling in love with the permanence of physical places. The Grand Canyon will always be there, The Long Island Sound isn’t going on holiday, and if Angkor Wat has been around for centuries I highly doubt it will abandon ship anytime within my lifetime. Those things are all grounded, they can not abandon us so It’s safe to fall in love with them. Although I cannot say the same about human beings, they deserve compassion too. We all push forward, we all need to extend our arms, we need to be able to gift love instead of only desiring it.

Photo Cred: Lucas Cipkowski

– Addiction is like an old cow path. I heard an analogy the other day and it really resonated with me. Imagine you are standing tall somewhere along a grassy meadow. You see an apple tree across the way that you’ve never seen before. You find your way through the grass, you let your feet guide you and eventually you make it to that apple tree. It is the most succulent apple you have ever tasted. As you look back to your original spot, you see the grass rising up from the footprints you just created until your path is gone without a single trace. You find yourself back in the same spot the following morning. You spot that apple tree, and once again you navigate towards that tree, creating more footpaths for others to see until this has become so routine that you’ve created a solid trail. There is no excitement, or wonder just a simple dirt road towards a barren tree that once held an abundance of apples, more than you were able to count. That is how addiction works. You keep going back to that spot every day, because it’s comfortable and you can’t remember what brought you joy, or even what originally drew you to that meadow before discovering that tree.

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-After I recovered from a pattern of self-destructive habits, I learned how to take care of my body. That one person did not ruin me. My mother can not destroy me. They did not light the match. I created a paper body for myself, and my guilt was the flame. I am responsible for everything, except the trauma itself.

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– I am still learning how to control my thoughts, especially when they start heading down a destructive path. I am learning how to live outside of my own head while also learning how to live inside of my head. When I’m in a new situation, I will not base my actions off of similar events that already happened. I will not be afraid to dive into my own uncharted territory. My heart desires sovereignty, and I’m done being a sheep to the shackles of my fears and anxieties. I will find that balance.

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-I am learning how to be comfortable with letting others inside. Not every person is out to hurt me. I will not hide behind a locked door until the human on the other side proves themselves safe. I will learn how to accept love, without question. I will learn how to build a friendship, without fear of abandonment. People want me in their lives, I just need to let myself be there. I need to feel permanent, I am not a placeholder. I am exactly where I need to be.

– Most importantly, you are not small, you never were and you will never be.
This will be the Year of Me.

I am beyond happy to be here, and thank you for reading.

You won’t be disappointed


One Comment Add yours

  1. foximhof says:

    I know I already know you a little bit, but this makes me want to learn everything I can about you as you also connect new neural p athways in your mind on this journey to self! This is a very bold, truthful and elegantly stated post about trauma, victimization, post-stress and finding your bliss through it all. Thank you for sharing this and for being so personal. Look forward to hearing your tale.


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