Not Another Blog! Why?!
Good question. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I’ve been reading way too much about being a digital nomad. Maybe I think I have something interesting to share. Maybe it’s all of the above. Honestly, it’s probably all of the above.


My mom and I on an overnight study trip to Florence in 4th grade. This began my love affair with Florence and all things Italian Renaissance.

Ever since I set foot on that first Delta flight from Montana to Italy by way of Georgia at the ripe age of 8 I caught it. I caught the Travel Bug. Despite the shock of jet lag and waking in the middle of the night naturally wanting to play Barbies with my mom or the next day learning how to pay a woman 2 Lire at the bathroom door to pee in a hole on the floor, there was something magical that I couldn’t shake.
Travel makes us stretch our consciousness, it makes us question our norms, it allows us to better empathize, it forces us outside of our comfort zone, it can be exhausting and restorative all at once, and it can change our lives forever. It is a high that I crave time and time again. I want to share that with the world. I want to share it with you.
One of my favorite quotes by Oliver Wendell Holmes captures beautifully how I feel about travel and, in the grander scheme, how I feel about life.


“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

I often wonder if I had stayed in Montana and grown up there, would I be a much different person? Perhaps it’s the question of nature vs. nurture, but I can tell you that living in Italy as a kid for three years changed me as a person and set me on a trajectory in life that I may never had come close to had I not had that experience.


Me with a group of Afghan kids, men, and an Afghan Naitonal Policeman in Laghman Province, 2006. This little girl’s future was unknown and statistically did not look great. I thank God every day that I was born a woman in the United States. We take so many things for granted in this free nation.

Similarly, I changed after spending one year in Afghanistan. I was a 22-year-old Military Intelligence Officer charged with responsibilities that I’d hypothesize 99% of American 22-year-olds couldn’t fathom. I was fortunate never to have been involved in combat, but in my military career I lost brothers and sisters in arms. These experiences change a person irreversibly. For better or worse. It is what it is. If nothing else, I value the blessings of life so much more now than I did before I spent time in Afghanistan.
I digress. Not to get morose in my first blog post, but my point is experiences shape who we are as people. Traveling to new places provide new experiences for which we will likely not return the same, especially if we are open to it and mindful in each moment.
Speaking of being mindful, that is one of the best things about travel if you ask me. When you go on vacation, you leave behind your daily (most likely meaningless in the grand scheme of things) distractions and have an opportunity to focus on yourself and the people you are with. For that time you can live without looming deadlines and morning commutes and just be in the moment.


My husband and I on a snorkeling trip in Maui for our honeymoon in January 2009. We actualy got married in May 2008, but he left for Iraq two weeks later. This honeymoon was not only a celebration of our wedding but a reunion after six months apart. 

I have used travel as an opportunity to reconnect with my husband on several occasions. During the first three years of our marriage, he was in Iraq for 18 months. At almost every opportunity, I planned vacations for us with the goal in mind to reconnect. I’m not saying these trips solved all of the challenges we faced with reintegration and time apart, but they certainly helped jump-start the process.
To sum it all up, as I go through this journey of life I strive
to live mindfully in each moment, especially for my daughter. With that I want to be open to each experience and I want to create and share new experiences with her, my husband, and other loved ones so we can all grow as individuals and in our relationships together even more. I think I’m on to something here and I’d love to share the continuation and growth of this adventure with you by starting this blog!
Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.
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