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Oh hey there! Remember me?
It’s been a while! 15 months to be exact…
So, what’s the deal? Why did I just suddenly disappear, abandoning this blog, and stop responding to (or even approving) comments on posts or answering emails?
Well, I don’t have any great answer for you other than the simple fact that I’ve become completely engrossed in “Mom-hood.”
Those initial months with my baby girl were intense – in a magical way (as any mom- or dad- can attest) and life-changing. I wanted to focus 100% of my time, attention and energy on soaking up every moment with her with NO technological distractions … other than the obligatory 300 daily iPhone snaps uploaded to Facebook. Sorry. Not sorry.
And if I’m being honest, I started wondering – questioning – the whole “travel blog thang” – and thinking to myself, “Well, how am I going to jaunt off to a new country or a cool city and continue to blog about traveling? I’ve got this new tiny human that consumes every single last morsel of my time!”
Wellllll- that really hasn’t been the case. 😉 (insert lopsided smirk). Since Eleanor was born, she’s been on 26 flights, traveled to Montana, Louisiana, Florida, Austin TX and the Virgin Islands…
And I’ve traveled sans baby to the Dominican Republic, Iceland & New Orleans with friends and family . . . So, the reality is, I could have been blogging about “travel” this whole time.
But I got my hands in to something else entirely along the way…
A Healthy Digression
A little over a year ago, I reached out to a dear friend who announced on Facebook that she became a health and fitness coach. Specifically, a Beachbody coach. I didn’t know anything about it. I just knew that I needed to do something to change so much in my life: my outlook, my physical look – and feel – my strength, energy, will-power, soul power, girl power 😉 , mom power, happiness, self-fulfillment, self-actualization, place in the world, finding an answer to that pesky “what’s the purpose of life anyway” question… or is there any one answer??
I digress (as usual). Looking back, now, it was a serendipitous decision to dive in, become a health and fitness coach myself, and join a team of amazing, empowering women who were laser focused on helping others while becoming the best versions of themselves along the way. It was the tribe that I needed and craved, and these sisters helped guide me through some very choppy waters along the way.
When I think about my life journey – holistically – this health and fitness venture wasn’t really a departure from “me” at all. It was – IS – a necessary aspect of my mission to change – heal – grow – overcome – HELP – embrace HOPE …. and celebrate LIFE – every day, NEAR and far along the way.
Travel … Writing?
Now I find myself being drawn back to this blog. Not necessarily to continue to write about the Top 12 things to do in Luang Prabanag (for some reason that’s one of my most popular travel posts) or to create a Guide to Exploring Santo Domingo on Foot – although occasionally these types of posts could be fun + informative. 😉
I’ve been thinking long and hard about what this website – and I – can contribute and about what I want to build here. More than anything, I hope to provide a community of adventure + excitement + exploration + a renewed zest for life (if that’s what your cravin’).
You see, life has thrown me some of the most painful curve balls … we’re talking some really – really – really – reeeeally difficult stuff – over the past 5 years. To be frank, I’ve been through the shitter. Every time I started to catch my breath after a wave knocked me down, a rip tide would come along and pull me under again.
Not to compare. You may have it worse. You may be on the streets (although I’m not sure how you’re reading this… from your iPhone?). You may have cancer. Or your child may have cancer. That- THAT is the worst. I have friends fighting such battles, and I honestly… I can’t even begin to imagine what they’re going through. I think about them. Every- single- day.
None of my words are intended as complaint or self-pity but rather as an “Ahhhh. THAT’s what life’s about. Now that I’m on the other side of SOME of this stuff, maybe I can talk about it. Some of it. Process and move on. Share and help others along the way who may feel stuck- like they can’t quite see the light yet.” Does that make sense?
LIFE Writing… Yeaaaah.
I remember days when I would jog on the hilly streets in my quiet neighborhood (supposedly training for a half marathon), tears blurring my vision, uncontrollable sobs bringing me to my knees. And strange, pitiful thoughts of “if a car came by at this moment, would my misery end?” would creep to the outskirts of my mind… Scary.
I feel like I’ve been in some dark places. But I’ve learned to focus on the light. I’ve practiced + worked those mental and emotional muscles over and over and over again, and now the light seems brighter than ever before. Was it always there? Was there brilliance I just couldn’t see because of the heaviness around me? (And make no mistake, the “heavy” is still there. It’s just a matter of grappling with perspective, learning healthy coping mechanisms, and literally flexing your mental muscles to exercise a positive mindset- constantly).
I know this is “my blog” – but it causes me to squirm to make it all “me, me, me” – yuck. That’s just … No. Not interesting. Not helpful. BUT I would love to come to the table as someone that perhaps you can share your story with. Maybe some of my experiences resonate with you? Is it possible that some of my stories or methods for overcoming tragedy – or even just daily “overwhelm” could help YOU navigate the often murky waters of life? Because, let’s face it. Life.Is.HARD. Period.
BUT it is so BEAUTIFUL …. And sometimes we need help from others – or ourselves – to get past the hard to see the beauty.
What has helped me? Connecting with like-minded people who are interested in embracing the positive in life and constantly striving for self-betterment.
What I LOVE to write about – what I yearn to share and shine out in to the world – is the continued HOPE that no matter how dark life can be at times, there is always light there for us to harness. Let that light fill and warm you up from the inside. Then emit – let it SHINE through you – out to the universe.
My most popular posts on this site have been ones where I’ve been very candid and emotionally vulnerable about my grief and processing my mother’s death. That people have reached out to me, felt that they could connect with my emotions, and that I helped people feel HOPE again – THAT is what draws me in and pulls me to be here.
I have more stories – one in particular – that I’m aching to share but simultaneously terrified to put out in the world. I don’t care so much about how people will perceive me. I just worry about the affects that being so “public” with such private information will have on my daughter in the future. But how many people could my story HELP? This is what I have to weigh.
I think there needs to be a safe place for people to come together and talk about processing the negative things we encounter in life and to troubleshoot how to use inner-strength, fortitude and grace to overcome them.
Since travel IS my passion (second to being a mom, now) … I’ll of COURSE continue to write about adventures, give travel advice & tips when warranted, and even take the occasional press trip or two 😉 (sha!)… However you maaaaay find me tippy-toeing towards some:
– Storytelling — about people from different countries, or in this country- from different cultures.
– Advocacy — around “issues” I’m passionate about or that are hot-topics. I may challenge you to try to see things from various perspectives. (think::: refugee crisis, human trafficking, resource scarcity).
– Awareness —- See above. Through storytelling – or letting others tell their stories – and sharing experiences around issues I’d like to advocate (or YOU would like to see advocated!), my hope is to bring more awareness to you and in to your homes.
– INSPIRATION. Perhaps the most important. What does despair teach us? For me, it’s the importance of every little moment – and finding grace, joy, happiness, peace anywhere and everywhere you can in life. Life is too short. It’s cliche. But it is so true. And some of you may have already had that realistic epiphany, as I have. Our mortality is real. So savor each day. And the ones you love. Every second. OK- enough from my soapbox. I’m stepping down.
I’m glad to be back in this space, and I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being here with me!
Please let me hear from you! Leave a comment about anything! Topics you’re interested in, places you want to know about for traveling, your story…. Perhaps you want to share YOUR story? Let me know!!