Travel and volunteering

September 24 2016

Travel isn’t just about a place, it’s about the people you meet along the way, and volunteering can be a wonderful way to connect. Not only will you learn more about the community, their culture, their struggles and their celebrations, you can help in a meaningful way — perhaps even leave a lasting impact.

But as a traveler, you have responsibility. You have responsibility for the choices…


13 lessons to be learned from expats

April 14 2016
  1. It’s OK to not understand everything that is happening around you all of the time.
  2. True friends will keep in touch.
  3. Don’t compare your life, your successes, your failures or your progress with anyone else.
  4. Take time to connect with the people around you. See them for who they really are.
  5. Never stop learning.
  6. Use social media sparingly.
  7. Drink alcohol in moderation.
  8. Build community. Seek out and find…

Get lost for awhile

October 22 2015

Leave your phone at home. Lose track of time. Forget your schedule.
Close your internet browser. Call a friend.
Find a new restaurant. Drive out of the city.
Or ride your bike to the nearest town.
Play something new on the radio.
Hold her hand.
Draw, color, paint, read, build, bake.
Climb to the tallest building/hill/rock/mountain you can see.
Kiss his skin.
Cry until you laugh.
Laugh until you cry.
Walk. Skip. Dance.
Savor each bite.


“Live a story.”

March 09 2015

I saw this written on a climber’s memorial along the trail to Mount Everest. It haunted me as I walked the ridges leading to Base Camp. Mostly, it got me thinking about the story I was telling. I wasn’t sure if the way I was living was leaving a legacy. I certainly wasn’t convinced I’d be missed.

What’s beautiful about stories is they are always changing. Like a river,…


What if it felt like heli-skiing from your desk?

February 04 2015

James Altucher recently interviewed Seth Godin on fear, anxiety and doing work that matters. They discuss the separation between the Do-ers and the Sitters, those who put themselves in the game and those who watch from the sidelines wishing they could play.

One of the main categorical differences is fear: the Do-ers don’t let it stop them. They find ways to circumnavigate their anxiety so that slowly, overtime, they can act and…


The paradox of our age

November 10 2014

I found this printed on a banner hanging in a teahouse in Nepal.

We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time.

We have more degrees but less sense;
more knowledge but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines but less healthiness.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet our new neighbor.

We built more computers to hold…


Travel isn’t just about a place.

May 26 2014

It is about the people you meet and the stories they tell.

You don’t have to get on a plane to hear stories.

You just need to be willing to listen.


The best moments of my life began with a plane

March 25 2014

I started writing a post titled “The Best Moments of My Life Began With Getting on a Plane.”

I was thinking about my first memory of travel, the second I knew I had a lifelong relationship with foreign places. I was a young girl visiting my father’s family in Holland, and I was standing in the produce section of a local market with my aunt. The vivid green of the…


Adventure 101

October 08 2013


  • fresh perspective
  • renewed creativity
  • understanding
  • compassion
  • discovery
  • learning and growth
  • to bond, to share, to discuss


  • excursions
  • novelty experiences (something different or new)
  • seeing the familiar in a new way
  • surprise


  • solo
  • with others


  • near (your backyard, your neighborhood, your home)
  • far (a foreign place, a vacation, a getaway)


  • spontaneous
  • planned
  • tomorrow
  • next weekend
  • today


Make up your mind to discover adventure. Begin to write down the dreams that come to mind. Wander through the travel section of your local bookstore and observe which titles you pick up.

You don’t have…



August 29 2013

While fundraising for the Discover Outdoors Foundation, I learned Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. One quarter of its people live on less than $1 a day and barely half of them are literate. After some research and plenty of emails, I found a local agency that places volunteers in projects across the country. My bags are filled with crayons, games and animal balloons,…