“Princess” Life 

I have been on this planet for 29 years and been called “a princess” too many times to count. What is it about me that makes me a princess exactly?

Could it be because I have lived a very comfortable lifestyle in one of the most sought after states in America?

Or because I enjoy shopping?

Or because I like to rock a full face of makeup and extensions in my hair?

Or because I prefer to eat vegetarian/vegan?

Maybe it’s because I have a true love for anything sparkley or  the color purple…

Or maybe even because I have literally dressed up in Disney princess costumes….many times.


Whatever the explaination may be, I embrace it!

But, before you find yourself surprised by this princess diving into the backpacker lifestyle in South America-let me fill you in on some of the circumstances I thrived in last year in Indonesia and Thailand.

Shipping myself as cargo on a boat to save a buck 

I don’t remember exactly how much money we saved, but my travel buddy Heather and I decided to forego the normal boat journey from Bali to Gilli T and instead literally ship ourselves on a the slow boat.

We were shocked to learn this was actually a cargo ship, not your regular ferry. We did not see many people on the ship, and the few that were there happened to all be locals. We each had a little pod we stayed in for the entire painfull long five hour journey. Was it worth it? Any time I could save a dollar-it was worth it!

Dying from a plague in Gilli T 


It is not always glitz and glam when you arrive on a beautiful island. Heather and I didn’t leave our room for three days after coming down with one of the nastiest sicknesses I have ever come down with. The owners of the building came to check on us because they were worried they hadn’t seen us leave our room. We only left our beds to slowly crawl to the restroom, and I remember us both crying in pain thinking we weren’t going to make it another day. It wasn’t until the owner climbed the coconut tree outside our building to knock down and crack open two fruits for us to drink did we finally begin to recover.


My room with Ashley in Koh Tao

My home for a glorious two months with my favorite Canadian, Ashley, was the absolute worst, but also THE BEST!

There was only one room key, so when we separated for the day the one who left without the key was left with a laborious task. We would have to hoist ourselves up and climb into the window-which wasn’t a problem because we just had to take the screen off and dive in, head or feet first depending on our mood, and land in the bed inside. This became a normal daily task that neither of us questioned it.

Here is the full size bed we both shared for two months with zero complaints!


Now let’s talk about the bathroom. First off, there was no plumbing in the sink. That’s right, see that bucket underneath?  That is what we referred to as “The spit bucket.”

Not only did everything from the sink just drain down to this bucket….we had to empty the bucket every few days….in the toilet. Hahaha Talk about glamorous! I had our spit splatter all over me in my first attempts at emptying the “spit bucket,” and it wasn’t pretty.


Let’s discuss this toilet for a minute. The back part that is supposed to fill with water for flushing… well, there was no water in there. We had to place the shower head behind the toilet, turn on the shower, and fill it for about 30 seconds before flushing.

Notice the close proximity of the shower head and the toilet. This meant that every time you shower you are basically showering on the toilet.

A few personal touches that made our house a home:

  • We borrowed a bench from the opposite side of our complex and used it for our belongings.
  • We also found some rope and had a makeshift closeline across the back of the room.
  • Ash hung some lights with mini lanterns that I must say really created a relaxing ambiance!



Our last night on the island we actually discovered the room directly next to us was fully functioning without ANY of the same defects listed above. The owners moved us to that room because our fan had broke.

While laying in bed in the shiny new room, Ashley and I decided our “broken” room was truly home and jumped back in through the window to spend our last night in our beautifully crappy little oasis.

My bed at the mediation retreat

Behold, my bed for 13 days. This bed consisted of a piece of foam about three inches thick, on top of a wooden slab, with a mosquito net around it. Those two weeks were by far the most zen I have ever been in my life and, believe it or not, my back felt amazing afterwards. I am telling you there is something to this simple model!

My shower at the retreat

The Bucket Shower-the best way to conserve water! The shower consists of trash can filled with water from a spout in the wall-ice cold of course- and a small bucket.

See directions below.

Fill, rinse, lather, fill, rinse, repeat….


Hostel life

Hostels are a way of life for a backpacker, and nothing out of the ordinary for most travelers. Here is a glimpse of my typical shared dorm accommodation.



Living amungst geckos


Those darn squatters, they never contributed to the rent. Not only do they roam around the inside of your home freely, they also make a loud chirping noise. I think they are absolutely adorable when they are babies. Once they get past 8 inches in length they get a little creepier. Either way, a run in with one of these guys is more than likely in Thailand and other parts of South East Asia!

Air conditioning, or lack thereof


See that glamorous fan?  Often times, this is it folks! Quite a luxury I might add. I did in fact come to prefer fans to Air Con. I got to a point where any AC would give me a cold because I was so used to living without it.

Food

In order to sustain my my life the road, a budget was necesssary.


I have been known to be a picky with food due to my dietary restrictions, but when hunger hits, and you’re broke as a joke- a homemade PB&B or a 7/11 toastie are the only way to go! This was actually a super fancy homemade version, bread and cheese and voila-a toastie.


So you see friends, this lifestyle of “roughing it”  is nothing new to me.

I will gladly admit I am a princess, but when you call me a princess just remember not to underestimate me.

This princess has no problem taking off her tiara at any time! 

Going Global

Here we go again! 

I am flying out of San Francisco tomorrow with a one way ticket for the journey of a lifetime. 


First destination -Peru 

Personal belongings– One suitcase and a carry on backpack

Partner in CrimeHeather Marie Ditmars 

Itinerary– Unknown


Two California girls taking on the world!

The “No Plan” plan is about to unfold. The universe is taking the wheel and I am ready for the ride. I feel so free knowing it’s all unknown from here! 

I am so ready. Ready to feed my soul in new ways. 


January 1st 2016 was when it all initially changed for me. For those who don’t know, that is the date I hopped on a plane to visit my seasoned world traveler friend-Heather. 

What was supposed to be two weeks in Bali, turned into me quitting my job via email and deciding to not return to the states. 

My six and a half month journey was packed with new lessons that have impacted my life in monumental ways. I claimed my independence. I learned how to feel confident in my own (natural) skin. I learned that simply being present is the most important thing I could do. I learned to connect with my spiritual power. Just to name a few.

When my finances couldn’t take me any further, $200 I think was all I had left in my account, I made the journey back home to “reality”. 

This last year back in my hometown has been a major learning curve for me. Taking these amazing lessons I learned abroad and implementing my new learnings in my ‘old’ environment hasn’t been easy. I do have to say coming back with a new outlook has made this one of the happiest years of my life. 

It was so important to me to keep the zen. I am pretty proud of where I am spiritually. Yet, while I have learned how to adjust my life back home with the intention to be more grounded and more of my authentic self-I know there are still major lessons waiting for me over the horizon, which is why I made the decision to go travel. 

I knew I wanted to get back into the world, but it was actually during a hypnosis session where I knew without a doubt what needed to do. 


My healer asked me “What do you need to do next in order to achieve your destiny?” 
My response: “Travel.” 

South America was the first destination popped in my head once I came out of my hypnosis, so I am trusting my instincts. That is how I plan to live every chapter of my life from here on out-instinctually. 

I am off to be a child of the world and lead a new way of life for myself, and I am open to anything the universe has to throw my way. 

My journey is not about running away from something, I am running towards something. I am making a giant leap to get me closer to my destiny. 

How amazing is that that I get to jump into this adventure with my Soul Sister Bestie?! 


It is time for us to let our internal compass lead the way! 

Heather founded the website and female travel group-She Goes Global. We will be co-blogging, and even more excitingly posting video of our journey as well.

Well there you have it, She Goes Global 2.0!

I don’t know what the future has in store, and to be honest I am not even thinking that far ahead. I am so grateful for this opportunity, so blessed to have the freedom to roam the world.  I am ready to live one step at a time with my bestie by my side! 

Stay tuned….

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever You Go, There You Are
Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
By Jon Kabat Zinn

The book that started it all.

I picked this book up on a business trip over a year ago when I was killing time roaming the bookstore at the airport before my flight home. I saw it on the bestsellers table and felt gravity pulling me towards it, something about it was calling my name. The letters on the cover enticed me, and the reviews on the back reeled me in. I knew I needed to buy it.

I opened the book once the plane took off. I read the first chapter, and closed it right back up.

I wasn’t ready.

The reading material I really wanted to buy in that bookstore was Cosmopolitan or People magazine, but I was actively trying to break my smut/celebrity gossip reading habits.

I had just wrapped up a very long and stressful weekend working and I needed to wind down. I didn’t think I was in the right state of mind to soak in the message of this book.

I had really gotten caught up in the “I’m too busy” whirlwind that so many of us find ourselves in. We get wrapped up in everything around us and not really taking time to break for yourselves, and when we do its to zombie out-not do anything productive.

I’m too busy to read. I’m too busy to meditate. I’m too busy to take time for myself. I’m too busy to pause.

Oh if I had only known then what I know now!

A year later I decided to bring the book with me on my flight to Bali. It was now that it was really calling my name. With a twelve hour flight–> twelve hour layover–>and then a five hour flight ahead of me as well as ten days planned in Bali-I had more than enough time to compete the 275 pages and become ‘more enlightened’ by the time I came home.

This book was absolutely everything I needed at the time, and so much more.

Since that day I took that book with me almost everywhere in my tote bag my entire 6 1/2 month journey-referring to it constantly as a mini reminder for myself or whipping it out for a fellow traveler in need of advice.

The cover is completely torn and tattered after joining me on numerous adventures. It was coated in sand and sea water on a daily basis.

On the inside pages there are many sentences that have been underlined intently in so many different colors.

Some of those lines are neat and straight.

Others are more like crooked slashes or squiggly lines.

And then there are the lines that can’t even be considered ‘underlines’ because I was so excited (or moving on some type of bus or train) they are just scratched through all the letters.

imageBlue pen, black pen, red pen, stars, boxed paragraphs…it is the definition of a hot mess. My insightful mess.

The premise of the book is all about being present in the present. I have made this is my mission.

The concept is so simple and natural, yet it takes so much practice to truly achieve being in the moment. Our society has unfortunately lost this skill. We are so on the go, so in our own heads, constantly busy distracting ourselves with thinking and planning.

When was the last time you were 100% immersed in the moment, with no expectations for an outcome?

Just enjoying what is. Being rather than doing. Not thinking about the past, not concerned with the future-living completely in the now.

This is how we should be living. And the truth is-we all need constant reminders of this.

Wherever You Go, There You Are is full of quotes that are easy daily reminders. Here is a small taste of some favorites from the first couple of chapters:

1. “Watch this moment without trying to change it at all.”

It is so simple. Why is there always the “well it would be better if….”?

Why are we always needed more? This moment is a gift and we should always be grateful rather than wishing for more.

2. “Remember over and over again to be awake and be aware.”

We really do need to constantly remind ourselves of this, and that’s OK! We have been trained to be robots in this matrix of a life we are living. We need to re ground ourselves to our roots, and this is going to take daily work!

3. “Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.”

I absolutely love this one. Our intentions should be to understand rather than judge. We are all different and have something beautiful to bring to the table. We don’t all have to get along-but it is amazing how far a little compassion can go.

Wherever You Go, There You Are is also a guidebook into meditation. It offers user friendly steps to implementing your own meditation practice. Jon Kabat Zinn included multiple techniques and allows the reader to dabble and then assess what works best for them. His relate-able examples make the reader feel at ease with their own ‘trial and error.’ I have personally found his quotes throughout the book double as fantastic mantras while mediating.

The themes in this book were constantly reoccurring for me. I met so many beautiful souls on my travels that were practicing the same thing.

From the party crew in Koh Phi Phi that said, “We love Blancos Beach Bar SO much that we are going to get ‘Blancos for Life'” tattoos!

To my buds on Koh Tao that said, “I’m going to dress all out in a crazy theme today, because I can!”

Along with the many I joined at Wat Kow Tham that decided, “We are going to take a vow of silence for one whole week!”

To some of my favorite times at Haad Chow Pao when we all sat in a circle and played “truth”, really truly getting to know the deep inner working of the people sitting next to us.

image
Wherever You Go, There You Are was the theme of my journey. This book reminded me what is most important, and that is living in the moment to always ensure you are living the most fulfilling life possible. When you enjoy every moment, you cannot help but be happy!

I feel so blessed to have found this book and highly recommend it to anyone looking to further enrich their lives and striving to be present in the moment. Let’s face it, we can all use a reminder!

Here I Am

Exactly six months ago I hopped on a plane. 

The moment that plane took off I could feel in my bones that something big was about to happen. 

I saw the entire outline of my journey play out in my mind on that plane.I knew my life was going to be forever changed. There was going to be so much more to this trip then soaring in the air and landing in a tropical vacation destination to party. 

This was going to be different, I knew it. I felt the massive change coming on, I knew a shift was about to take place. 

It started with fear. 

What was I about to do? 

Was I about to screw up my life by abandoning responsibly back home by following a feeling?

An intense feeling I had to stay, stay abroad-not to return home.

The initial fear of the unknown, fear of the “impossible” (insert massive air quotes there) luckily didn’t last long.

I discovered that all I ever need to do is follow these feelings-it is my intuition leading me. 

The moment I let go of fear, the whole world started to unfold itself. 

The moment I let go of ‘doing’ and started ‘being’ is when it all shifted.

The moment I stopped looking outside for satisfaction and took a deep look inside is when everything that was, has, and will be became so crystal clear. 

I was always supposed to be right here. 

Here, sitting on my multi colored tie dye sarong, right on the beach, with my bright pink chipped toenails buried in the sand. Right here, wearing my “Good Time Adventures Beach Hostel” sleeveless shirt XL that wears like a dress, my sun bleached hair in a messy bun on top of my head with bronzer skin and fresh face that hasn’t had a stitch of makeup in months. 

I’ve never been happier in my life, I’ve never felt more whole. 

Each string of moments in the last six months has led me to this absolutely perfect moment and I am eternally grateful.

My experiences have been out of this world (literally), and I have learned an infinite number of lessons along the way.

I have seen how other cultures live. 

I have befriended unlikely suspects.

I have opened my eyes to many new spiritual experiences. 

I have practiced everyday mindfulness.

I have adapted to many different conditions.

I have practiced non judging and acceptance. 

I have learned to listen to my body. 

I have become aware of my internal compass.

I have tapped into my intuition. 

I have discovered what I am truly capable of accomplishing.

I have learned to let go. 

And so much more. 

Most importantly- I have learned to truly accept myself, and love myself unconditionally. I am ready to share my entire journey piece by piece-starting from the very beginning. 

After the infamous “Eat, Pray Love” people love to make connections between Elizabeth Gilbert’s experience and my travels. I know this is nothing new to the travel culture, as her story inspired so many women to travel solo. 

As a tribute to this, my journey can easily breakdown to three distinct parts as well. 

“Beach, Beach, Beach”

Just kidding! 

Well not entirely-I really have spent the last six months living on islands with the beach as my backyard. It breaks down into four parts really.

It all started with spiritual and cultural exploration in Bali: meditation, mushrooms, Reiki healing, jungle trekking, nightmare travel, and squat toliets-to name a few.

Next, came the partying in Gili Trawangan and Koh Phi Phi: Joss shots, hostels, Australians, getting paid to party, beer pong, and pool parties.

Then, it was all about balancing fun, work, and self discovery in Koh Tao: Caturday, villa parties, Songkran, working in a hostel, renting paddle boards on the beach, spending time alone, observing more, digging deep into understanding myself and my actions.

Lastly, there is Koh Phangan-where my spiritual awkening has fully taken off: seven days in silence, meditation breakthroughs, yoga, rebirthing, more Reiki, cacao ceremony, astrology, insights, and so much more to come in the next few weeks.

Whatever you want to call it, these four progressional phases of my journey have brought me to the present moment, and continuing to bring me to my destiny.

I am currently coming into my last three weeks abroad were I am reflecting and enjoying every last moment. 

I am in this moment with all of my heart.

My soul and been awakened and my spirit is on fire. I am present and aware.

Mental Snapchats and Real Life Check-Ins

What was life like before social media?

Do you even remember? 

I am talking before MySpace, chat rooms, and even AOL Instant Messenger.

I find myself wondering what life was like for twenty-something-year-olds before social media existed. 

How did they reach their friends if not instantly?

How did they spend each waking second if not refreshing a little icon on a hand held device? 

How did they manage to go about their day without knowing what every single person they have had a connection with over the last 10 years is doing in every waking moment? 

The answer is: they survived. Not only did they survive, but I’m sure they thrived. 

I often wish we lived in a time where ridiculous social media pressures didn’t exist. The unfortunate reality is that we do, so now it is all about adapting in a healthy way. I have been abroad for over three months now, yet this entire journey I feel as if I am on a teeter totter rocking back and forth trying to find the balance between two worlds-my current reality and my previous one.

Life abroad has completely changed me for the better. Lately though, I have struggled with expectations from others back home, specifically regarding my social media. 

I am exploring absolutely beautiful places all over the world where I am constantly growing stronger, and coming more and more into my own as a human being. 

Just because this isn’t accurately portrayed on my social media does it make it any less real?

“Social media” is a complete oxymoron now more than ever.

Throughout my travels I have noticed myself putting my phone away, and keeping it away more and more on a conscious level. I have become aware that in many moments taking out my phone to Instagram or Snapchat could actually cheapen the authenticity of the present moment.

Photographing a feeling is no easy feat. Many photographers are successful because of their ability to achieve this. But I am not a famous photographer, nor do I have a desire to become one. I am watching the world unfold in front of me, and I am standing here with an iPhone 5c in hand. I cannot capture these moments that are shaping me as a person and show it to you on my social media sites, it goes beyond the photographs.  

Viewers see a post and begin to perceive the image however they wish without really knowing the story behind it. This is why I have chosen to post less and less as my travels go on. It feels impossible for me to capture my current reality, not one of my photos truly does justice to what I am witnessing first hand.  Lately I have been practicing taking “mental Snapchats” in moments I want to remember, I am able to save these and refer back to them whenever I want. These images are only vivid if I am completely present in the actual experience-therefore using my brain to record these precious moments. 

I found that so many backpackers I met along the way have adapted this mindset too. We are not constantly seeking approval from society-we are actually often avoiding it. If anything, we receive backlash from our social media posts because our friends and family back home are consumed with many personal emotions regarding our travels (mostly missing us and wanting us to return home). 

My life may look like a party on my social media, but that’s because it is. 

Why shouldn’t life be a party? 

I am surrounded by amazing people that I am so honored to know, and we have so much FUN together! All of us are here to experience the world and better ourselves in one way or another. 

What’s wrong with us being silly just because? 

What’s wrong with dancing the night away? 

What’s wrong with enjoying the sunshine? 

We are here to truly enjoy life!  Every Saturday in Koh Tao is ‘Cat-urday and we become cats, just because! 

It is tagged photos like these on my Facebook that give people the impression I am just “partying” all the time. What upsets me is that people in my life are judging me primarily based on what I decide to post (or not post) on my social media. They think that just because the last few pictures are tagged photos of me out at night that all I must be doing is partying. I am using my energy to be mindful each day and not planning my social media moves-for some reason this has offended people.

What you don’t see is the previous day I worked at the hostel for half the day and then walked three miles across the island and spent the rest of the day reading and writing in nature without my phone. The social moments are the ones you are seeing on social media, but there is so much more behind this experience that isn’t being captured and posted. 

I’m not going to take time away from my precious day to contrive my photos to be what I think others want to see. If this makes me less “social” on social media then so be it. I am not going to lose my authenticity because I am supposed to have some cliche inspirational images on my Facebook and Instagram. 

I’m just going to continue being me and striving to be the best I can be-with my social media presence having nothing to do with it.

M.I.A

I have been M.I.A for a while now. Who starts a blog and abandons it for weeks?! I know, I know! I am on the ride of a lifetime, and the last month and a half has been such a whirlwind. I am in paradise where the days seem to last forever, yet never long enough.

This journey began in Indonesia: Seminyak-> Ubud-> Gili Trawangan-> Kuta. 

Then came Thailand: Bangkok-> Koh Phi Phi. 

  
Here is an update of just 20 random things I have been doing over the last month and a half!

1. Writing in my journal 

I am never worried about anyone getting ahold of my journal and reading it because I have the worst chicken scratch handwriting imaginable that is nearly impossible to decipher. I do not write in it every day, but it is always handy for when I feel inspired or have something to say. I am learning more and more about myself each day through everything I am experiencing, and my journal is a place I can bring all my thoughts and ideas together. The must common reoccurring entries are self reflection related or daily recaps. 

2. Adventuring outdoors 
In Bali I trekked through the jungle,hectic town streets, and beaches. In Koh Phi Phi climbing to the viewpoint is the extent of physical activity anyone finds aside from dancing the night away. Of course, there has been ample amounts of beach time with a little snorkeling involved! There is so much beauty to find in nature-I am looking forward to continuing my explorations!

3. Doing 75 squats in the hotel room (some days)

My friend Heather is so great about doing these every day. Some days I sit back and cheer her on, most days when I am feeling strong and motivated I join in!

4. Teaching English on ‘Nice Talk Tutor’
This app has been one of the channels to pay my way through Asia. I sign on and receive video calls from people in China. I get paid by the minute to chat and assist them with perfecting their English. This is rated G, before your mind even goes there! It is a great way for them to get immersed in English and it is a cool teaching experience for me! I don’t get paid a lot of money, but it does help pay for my meals. If you use my referral code to sign up you get $10 automatically-and I get cash too! 
    

5. Eating heaps of Pad Thai 
TONS! It is available fresh on every street corner and each time I eat it I say, “This is the best Pad Thai I have ever had!” And it’s true, every single time. $2 can buy you heaven on a plate! I have to have some at least every other day.

6. Getting to know the locals
It’s so interesting to learn how others live around the world. I love hearing the culture differences and getting to know someone’s story. It is easy to get caught up in making assumptions about people before knowing what they have been through. I have had the chance to meet some of the sweetest people on the planet on my travels so far. On one hand, there are some locals that will take advantage just to make a buck. On the other hand, I have been surprised how helpful people are and just how generous they can be. 

7. Playing with monkeys

If I could be any animal, I would be a monkey. My favorite place in the world so far is the ‘Monkey Forest’ in Ubud! I know they have a bad rep for stealing water bottles and other belongings-but I am so fascinated by their intelligence and playfulness! I love the monkeys! 

 8. Reading 

I have a book I am loving so much that I have underlined it and keep going back and reading what I have highlighted. It is about mindfulness and meditation that is highly inspirational and keeps me level. My mom also sends me many articles though Facebook messenger so I always have informative articles to read daily! 

9. Getting the flu (twice)
In Gili T and Phi Phi I caught nasty fevers. I guess that is just what happens on small islands-one person gets sick, then everyone gets it. Yuck!

10. Chasing geckos around hotel rooms

I am so happy to find these cute little critters running around! I take these over spiders ANY DAY! They are just come in and out of the hotel rooms like they own the place, I don’t mind sharing! 

11.Eating amazing free breakfasts 
In Indonesia everywhere I stayed included free breakfast. You best believe I was up early every day grubbing on omelettes-with extra chili sauce and ketchup of course!  

12. Eating Pringles 

I had a week long love affair with Pringles. I always had them in the room for late night munching. Now I never want to eat another Pringle-ok maybe just not for a while! 

13. Consuming many fresh fruit shakes

Fruit shakes are a daily necessity. On every corner you can find a stand that mixes fresh fruit with ice-they are delicious! The mango shakes are out of this world! I always get them with no sugar to ensure they are strictly nutritious.

  
 14. Singing karaoke 

It is no secret that I have an absolutely terrible voice-but that has never stopped me from busting out karaoke has much as possible! My friend Heather has a beautiful voice, and mine sounds like nails on a chalkboard-so we balance each other out well. I have been ‘entertaining’ to say the least! 

15. Enjoying fire shows

There are fire shoes everywhere in Thailand-while on Koh Phi Phi we watched them on the beach every night. Not only do the performers throw fire in the air, they get the audience involved as well. They play ‘flaming limbo’ and ‘flaming jump rope’-I have seen so many drunks get lit on fire trying to play these games! My first day on the island I was a part of the fire show and managed to come out unscathed! (Video on my Instagram)

16. Trying not to shop
This is torture. Everywhere I turn there is a cute dress, shoes, shorts, purses…anything you can ever imagine-and for SO cheap! Despite the price tag, I have refrained from purchasing much of anything. Bangkok MBK mall was the most tempting due to its sheer size and how cheap everything was! This whole trip I did purchase a tank top from Monkey Forest, and well as a pair of flip flops after mine broke. I am very proud of my willpower to not go on a shopping spree-you can’t understand the strength that takes until you see it all for yourself! 

17.Going on dates with Australians

(Ok it was one time, with one Australian) I could listen that musical accent all day! Swoon!

18. Taking boats and buses to new destinations 

I have really put my motion sickness to the test. To travel from an island on one side of a main land to another requires a boat, a bus, and another boat. We have had multiple all day travel days like this, one included a 12 hour overnight bus. Luckily, these were nice charter buses! The boats are chaotic and stressful but somehow we always manage to come out alive!

19. Working at Blanco Beach Bar

  
By far one of my favorite experiences of the trip. I showed up to the bar the day I arrived on Phi Phi and got a job. I met so many amazing people and had the time of my life here! The bar is like a frat party on the beach and by far the coolest place to hang in Phi Phi. They also do amazing pool parties and the best boat party on the island. 

20. Picking up trash around the world 
I have have seen some of the most amazing beaches on earth and it breaks my heart to see how some have the nerve to trash them with their trash. I have made a conscious effort to pick up litter when it crossed my path in attempt to keep this world beautiful. 

As you can see I am alive and well! 
The food is endless, the activities are priceless, and the people are fabulous!

This is only a sneak peak into small details of my trip, I could go on and on! Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for more updates 🙂

Redefining Beauty 

It is so easy to get entangled in a superficial life. We live in a digital age where we are so wrapped up in the illusions we see on a little screen in front of us, we miss the bigger picture. 

The perception people have of us is often influenced by simply a glance- a quick look at person, a scroll on the Instagram feed, a glimpse on snapchat. Our generation has unfortunately reverted back to judging a book by its cover. 

According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary ‘beautiful’ is defined as:

1. Having qualities of beauty, exciting aesthetic pleasure 

2. Generally pleasing

Based on this definition there a million ways to interpret who (and what) is considered beautiful. Beauty is completely subjective; and as they say, “in the eye of the beholder.” 
Society is taking this open ended interpretation of beauty and trying to twist it by attempting to pinpoint the perfect depiction of beauty. So many people in cyber space are trying to conform to this ‘ideal beauty’ that is beyond skewed- it’s virtually impossible to achieve. 

There is no universal image to define what beauty means no matter how hard we try to pinpoint it-this is the beauty in beauty. So why do we find ourselves getting so obsessed with trying to fit this illusive mold? 
I found myself in this very place for many years. I spent hours on end perfecting the hair, the makeup, the outfit…. just to end up looking like a version of myself I thought the world wanted to see. The long luscious weave, the sky high false lashes, the Victoria’s Secret push up bra-I began to rely on these things to feel beautiful. These enhancements to my image began to define me. 

Don’t get me wrong here, I still LOVE all of these things. Being to clip in hair extensions and feel like a mermaid makes me giddy! Taking a smokey eye look to the next level by adding lashes completes the look! Filling out a gorgeous low cut shirt with the perfect bra is so empowering! Every one of these things are so glamorous, so fun! Being a woman is FUN! 

The devastating mistake I fell into was letting these material things define who I am as a person-which couldn’t be further from the truth. 
I felt this overwhelming surge of energy that led me to where I am right now (in Asia). I know the lessons I am here to learn are going to unfold in spectacular ways. The first one, is letting go of this falsified imagine of beauty.

Confidence has never been my downfall, but something has recently shifted. Now, I have a newfound assurance that doesn’t come from how perfectly my hair is curled, or how on point my smokey eye is. It’s an inner confidence that I cannot falter from. This confidence cannot be taken away because it is something I have found as I am completely striped bare- makeup free, hair air dried, any outfit thrown on. If I can walk down the streets like this and feel truly happy and feel complete-this is something everyone has the right to feel.

I have come across so many women in my life who don’t realize they are beautiful. They are so stuck on this vision of what is considered “perfect” or even just “pretty.” The more they look in the mirror the more their vision is skewed. Instead of focusing on what they like about themselves they focus on what they feel society wants them to look like and how they are lacking this ideal. It has always made me so sad that these beautiful souls cannot see how they radiate and are not able to find that inner confidence within themselves.  

The beautiful shift is about redirecting how beauty is defined-how we define it in ourselves and others. This is not something someone can tell us but rather a lesson we must learn ourselves. 

There is beauty to be discovered every day, every where, in every one. Let’s go find it.