Wandering Solo Safely

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Dear Reader,

After years of traveling alone as a woman, I’ve collected a few tips and tricks. I share some special secrets in my E-book, Breaking The Chains, but I wanted to give you some additional insight here today.

Many of you may know that I am currently more sedentary than usual, hunkered down in a homestead in the middle of a national forest. But folks, solo-travel tips carry you along as you wander the winding roads of the world, and they also serve great purpose when you find yourself alone in a cabin with a bat flying around and the power flickering out.

So here’s what I have to say to you, whether you’re living alone for the first time, taking a weekend trip to the Eastern Sierra’s solo, or trekking around the world without a companion, these tips are FOR YOU.

May this journey bring you closer to yourself, may it introduce you to your unmatchable strength and unending power. You will learn incredible lessons on this trek, you will understand what you need and when you need it, you will discover how to keep yourself safe, and you will cultivate both the greatest joy and the deepest sadness you have ever known. It is a gift, this solo journey, and I am here to get you started.

Know Before You Go

  • You can never anticipate how alone you’ll be. Some days you’ll find yourself at campsites or in hostels that overwhelm you with socialization. Other days you’ll drive or hike roads without even a whisper of another soul. Find your balance. Embrace the freedom of being alone when you can, and the comfort of new friends when they come your way.

  • Traveling Alone = FREEDOM. Who doesn’t love freedom? You are in control, maybe for the first time in your life you are not required to answer to anyone but yourself. It may be tricky at first, but slowly you will learn to go where you are called, eat when you body asks for nourishment, and dance when the music moves you.

  • Get Right With Yourself (as much as you can). Practice being alone before you hit the road, no matter how long you plan to be gone. Give yourself a few hours to go for a solo hike, or journal at the beach. Learn what it feels like, lean into it as much as you can when you still have resources and people near by.

  • You always have yourself. Chances are, traveling solo will introduce you to someone new…yourself. A part of you you’ve never known. Get to know this person. I bet you’ll fall head over heels in love with them, have rad sing alongs, and cry soul-shaking tears on mountain tops together.

Safety Baby

  • Blend in with the locals. On a basic level, avoid holding google maps up in the air as you traipse through new towns. Additionally, if you’re going somewhere with entirely different customs, do your research, learn about barter, religious respect and restrictions and any unique customs and cultures.

  • Be smart with your social media. If your Instagram is public and you have followers around the country and/or world you don’t know personally, think before you post. There is no harm in rolling out your photos after you leave your destination. You can still share amazing stories without geotagging your exact location in live time.

  • Create a cover story. I know, lying isn’t the best habit to get into. But if I’m ever approached by someone I can’t entirely read, or don’t feel comfortable with my cover story always comes out. “Oh my boyfriend is just checking us into the hotel down the road while I get some fresh air” or “My girl friend and I are having a weekend away, I meet her for brunch in 20 minutes.” Trust your gut and think about reading The Gift Of Fear (it’ll cut the guilt and give you some great insight).

  • Share your location with friends and family. Smartphones make it super easy. Drop a pin and send it to your parents. Text a girl friend and share your plan for the day. Spending a few minutes updating someone you trust is worth it. Otherwise no one has any idea where you are, and while that might feel amazing, it can be a little risky.

  • Conceal your money and valuables. Don’t bring your dimond studs with you, leave the designer jeans at home (even if they are from a thrift store), and store your cash in a money belt.

  • If you must bring your valuables, lock them. Car or van living? Invest in a good alarm system, park in well lit places and lock your car. Backpacking? Bring a sturdy lock with you and bury your laptop deep in your bag out of sight.

  • Grab travel insurance. It really is worth it. A trip to a local doctor is all too common, and you don’t want to be stuck turning right around to come home because you blew all your travel money on medical bills. You can also insure your bags, flights and belongings. I don’t go to this length but I also purchase super cheap flights and brings a small amount of luggage - so pick your poison.

  • Exhibit Confidence - even if you don’t have it. Walk the walk babes! Folks want easy targets and if you show people that you won’t be easy to push around, then they won’t waste their time and energy. You are strong, embrace that strength and exude it ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE.

Favorite Beginner Destinations

  • National Parks. They are super well maintained, filled with people and resources and if you go off season you won’t be flooded with crowds.

  • The Southwest is my favorite solo travel destination. You will find, climbing camps, well- frequented BLM land and neighboring hot springs. You can find solitude and maintain cell reception all at the same time. It’s a rad place to drift in and out of connection.

  • England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia or New Zealand. You wan’t to hop on a plane but you’re stressed about the language barrier? Go to English speaking countries and enjoy the incredible scenery or abundant history. Honestly though ya’ll, if you’re an English-speaker you can go almost anywhere — this is not something you should take for granted, and while you’re at it maybe learn another language anyway.

  • Wherever your passion calls you. I love to travel around and hop from one Ecstatic Dance community to the other. Follow your own spanning community, whether it’s yoga, painting or jamming on the guitar.

I am jazzed continue my own solo travel journey and collect more tips to share with you. In the meantime, comment with your own tips and tricks so we can build our community of empowered wanderers!

Sending love and wishes for safe solo journeys!




Joy - A Poem About Happiness

Dear Reader,

Last week I wrote Stamps On A Passport. I wrote all about traveling for joy, rather than meeting others expectations. And ya’ll as you know the last week of my European backpacking trip was about chasing that bliss, about listening in and seeing where I was truly called to go. And I ended up having the best last two days of backpacking possible. Both days consisted on 10 mile walks, wild nature trails, blue skies and Italian food, and I remembered how much joy travel brings into my life.

Not surprisingly, I wrote a big old poem all about joy in my little leather notebook, and I want to share it with you!

So here we go…as always, I’m leaving it raw and unedited, messy and full of the bliss present as I wrote it! Hope you enjoy!

Joy is

alcoves sheltered

from the wind,


perpetually too cold

to write,


in bathroom stalls,

Pee breaks,

by fisherman’s boats,


of warm focaccia,


stinging with tears,

And waves that crash into the shore

like little boys colliding with their grandfathers,

as they rush off the bus to hug them,

unable to tame their eager joy.

I am eager too.

Joy is,

closed walkways.

They are wiser,

than my eager body.

Joy is,




Joy is,

Florence and The Machine

blasting in my ears,

a phone turned on airplane mode,

and no need to turn it back on.

Joy is,

chomping on carrots

and talking to myself

as I skip down

mountain paths.

Joy is,

salt water

sprayed on toes

and sea air

gulped lovingly

into lungs.

Joy is,

a pen that moves

unwilling to stop.

Joy is,

stopping that same pen

to take in the moment.

Joy is,

gazing into a mirror

and discovering beauty,

awakened by happiness:


flushed cheeks,

crazy hair,

runny nose,

goofy smiles

and sparkling eyes.

Joy is,

hands finally warm enough

to write,

and skin,

kissed by sun

it had almost


Joy is,

trails that “open”

just for you,

and fences

that are too easy to hop.

Joy is,

sweaty, tired feet

doused in sea water

and massaged by sand.

Joy is,

shady spots to sit.

Joy is,

attempting to breath again,

like you did as a child,

without weight,

Joy is,

finding places

that make breath easier.

Joy is,

thinking you’d write

a pretty good book

of poetry.

Joy is,

cat sanctuaries

on seaside mountain tops,

and cats that meow,

like your grandma, with dentures.

Joy is,

putting the pen down,

to pick it up once again,

Joy is,

only going where you’re called,

even when you’re called back home.

And joy is,

setting back out once again.

Joy is,

solo travel,

and the ability

to do whatever you please.

Joy is,

being held,

after so long without touch.

Joy is so many things.

Joy is opposites and


Joy is hoped fors

and unexpecteds.

And Joy,

is a dance

you share

with your heart.

So, there you have it! I really have nothing else to say, I feel like that big long poem does the damn job! I hope you love it! It brings me joy to read it. May it inspire you to search for and write about your own joy! Please share your words and experiences when you do!

With love,


Stamps On A Passport

Stamps On A Passport - How to Follow Your Bliss Instead of Traveling for Bragging Rights

Dear Reader,

Two weeks ago I met a man at a hostel in Bruges, Belgium. I spoke to him about Empowered Wanderer, explaining how I’d quit my full-time job to pursue my passion.

Apparently my description was intriguing enough for him to hop online and read my words.

A few hours later our paths crossed again, and he said, “I can tell you’re not the kind of person who travels for the Instagram posts, for the bragging rights, or for the stamps on your passport. You travel because you love it.”

First of all, I was like: "Damn homie you see me!”

But secondly, his statement provided this beautiful barometer of authenticity. I set out on this journey to pursue freedom, to bring unabashed joy into my life, and to grow and care for myself through wandering.

Additionally, I started Empowered Wanderer, to share this power, to inspire others to lead lives that felt in alignment with their passion, happiness and power.

It was never about how many stamps filled my passport.

It was never about how countries I could list on my Instagram bio.

Or continents I could traverse for my tinder bio.

Last night I sat awake until 2 AM stressing about money, about where I would go next, about how I could get to Prague, Austria and Germany in one week.

And suddenly I was brought back to that man’s comment. I realized, I was losing track of myself, of my passion. I was falling into the “stamps on a passport” trap.

18 countries, 20 states, 4 continents.

That’s what my Instagram Profile says.

I wanted my countries and states to match, by the time I turned back state side.

20 counties, 20 states, 4 continents.

That was my goal.

But why?

When the hell did THAT become my goal?

Somewhere along the way, I got caught up in other traveler’s Instagram profiles.

Profiles that said: 40 states, 50 countries, 6 continents.

If I could reach their level, we could collaborate.

If I could reach their level, I would make more money.

If I could reach their level…I would be successful.

It became a comparison, a competition, in the same way we compete with other women instead of empowering them, in the same way we compete with co-workers instead of collaborating with them. I was falling back into the unhealthy patterns I had left behind.

And just like that, I knew I needed to shift my mindset once again.

Why would I go to big cities, when I kept being called back to nature?

Why would I spend extra money to pursue sights I could come back for when I truly wanted to see them?

The answer was, if I was really being true to myself, I just wouldn’t.

So, I pulled my computer back out with a new mentality, with my original mentality: “Where do I want to be? What makes me feel good? What makes me feel alive?”

And just like that a $2 flight popped up. As if it were meant for me!

The flight was to Rome, a city I’d already explored. And just that, another big city. But then I started to unpack my options. 6 hours from Rome tucked away on the coast, was the small town of Genoa, a 10 minute train from Cinque Terre (one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been).

I realized I could spend the end of my trip hiking towering hills, winding in and out of vineyards, gazing upon the sea.

And a few moments later, my flight was booked.

I’d love to say everything has gone smoothly since I clicked “book”. But honestly, It’s kind of been a whirlwind of travel mishaps. Nonetheless, even with the struggle I believe I am heading to the right place, for the right reasons.

My mission is to wander this world, to breath in wild air, and step more deeply into my untamed soul.

Empowered Wanderer is unique, it’s not about checking the countries off a bucket list, about stamps on a passport, or about going to incredibly unattainable locations to post on IG.

Empowered Wander IS about WANDERING (go figure, right?) Sure, full-time and international travel are ways of wandering, but so is returning to the same park you’ve walked your dog at a million times and TAKING A NEW ROUTE…and everything in between.

May each of you follow your own unique bliss, and wander in your own ways, not to gain stamps on your passport, photos to brag about, or postcards from far away cities; but instead to fill your heart with joy and your soul with growth

I endeavor to lead by example and hope that you see the same spirit in my writing, as the man in my hostel in Bruges! And mostly, I hope it empowers you!

With love,


The Weight Of Each Winter Brings Discovery Closer

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Dear Reader,

I have now been living out of my backpack for a month and half, a lifestyle I thought I knew well, a practice that I expected to come easy.

Yet it feels changed this time around.

I quit my job five months ago, left my entire life behind and set out to travel and embraced the constant change of car life.

I surprised myself with my openness to change. All the moving parts of my life shifted in sync with one another, and everything just fell into place. No force needed.

But this past month and a half, all the constant change has bred resistance deep within me, and try as I might to fight it, it’s there.

So, instead of fighting resistance, I’ve decided to listen to it, to learn from it, to let it move through me. My method for listening to my resistance is dance.

I’ve spent the past two weeks trekking from one Belgian city to another by train. And every single city I have stepped foot in is home to an incredible dance community (5 Rhythms and Ecstatic Dance —> conscious dance).

Conscious dance is about stepping into your body and breath and feeling, instead of thinking.

Every dance floor around the world is different.

I’ve danced at home in Bellingham, down in Olympia, WA, in Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Switzerland and all over Belgium.

There is something about European dance floors that pull you deeper into yourself and community.

Dance has been a magical part of this backpacking journey for me, and really helped me to dance through my resistance and truly understand the gift it’s giving me.

Five nights ago I danced in Bruges, Belgium and I pulled a tarot card with a beautiful illustration of a woman wandering through the changing colors of the mountain ranges alone and my breath caught in my body.

This was my card. This was my journey. Wandering through the changing colors, landscapes and cities to arrive home to the mountains.

After dance closed, a man read the flemish words on the card to me in English, and they read the following…

Transition Rites 

Changes of many winters 

mark the cycles of the Wheel 

The lines on my old face 

show everything I feel 

Because in the bottom of my heart 

there is my destiny. 

When I was only a child 

at the beginning of time, 

Was every discovery 

a miracle for me. 

Now that I am old, 

I know once more: 

Weight of each winter, 

brings discovery closer.

This winter has been full of weight for me.

  1. From negative attitudes, people, and vibes upsetting my flow.

  2. To a lack of human touch and connection leaving me feeling depleted.

  3. And finally, to my resistance, making each step feel sticky, as if I’m wading through tar.

But as I read that card, in the middle of a room full of strangers, in a country thousands of miles from home I felt clarity:

  1. This year is about positivity. People’s negative vibes are simply present to challenge my commitment to positive vibes. With each obstacle placed in my path, I have the opportunity to test my strength, to step outside of other people’s emotions and into my own. I have the power to shine my light, regardless of the darkness around me.

  2. This year is about pleasure. Human connection is a beautiful and essential part of humanity. I am all deserving of love, touch and pleasure. I am worthy. I am capable. And I can heal and seek unimaginable pleasure and connection.

  3. This year is about change. As my tarot card said, the wheel is ever shifting. Each new turn brings change. It took entering unfamiliar cities (some of the most beautiful in the world) to realize my heart belongs in the mountains and to the sea. It took wandering up to a Chalet in the French alps to fall in love with a log cabin in the woods of Washington. A cabin I’ve never even been drawn to, and now feels like the perfect place to return.

I am forever grateful for each change in my life, that is why I love travel so much. With each change the destiny in the bottom of my heart clarifies.

I deeply look forward to the next change, to moving back towards nature, to living in Luna once again, to traveling a new and unfamiliar part of the country, to more dance, more pleasure, more positivity, and the change of creating a magical and secluded home base in the mountains for myself.

Sometimes it takes big changes to help us see the blessing and opportunities in our lives clearly.

So, here’s to change, here’s to travel, here’s to clarity!

Big hugs from Belgium! I’m off to Budapest today and in a little less than two weeks I’ll be heading back to the states!



Lessons Learned In Large Cities

Bruges, Brussels Lessons and Insights

Dear Reader,

I am writing to you from a cozy table, tucked in the corner of the restaurant beneath my hostel. The sun is shining in the window to my right, and in front of me sits a plant, unwinding to reach out and welcome the sun, and all at once I can feel myself start to breath again. Slow and steady, welcoming the calm back in.

I find myself in the small Belgium town of Bruges. The building across the street is adorned in red brick, matching red shutters and a chimney spouting smoke. Bikers ride past, bouncing along the cobblestone streets and the air smells of the sea, chocolate and beer.

While not as small as Bellingham, this city feels manageable. It feels authentic and grounded. It holds the spirit of home. And for this, my homesick heart is grateful.

I have chosen a life of full-time travel, and while I love it, there is also something to be said for grounding in, there is something to be said for a home base, whether it’s your car, your favorite campground, your best friends couch or even a home of your own which you return to from time to time.

Sometimes, you have to find those home bases on the road. And for me, Bruges feels like a home base.

Originally, I had planned to spend a day or two in Bruges, a quick stop over, after exploring the large city of Brussels. But as always, the places I wander through hold greater knowledge about what I need, than I could possibly imagine.

So, sitting in Brussels two days ago, on the steps of Parc Mont Des Arts, wind whispering around me, I listened to the city and wrote. And the words I wrote sang with the honesty I have been turning away, they revealed my desires, and landed me here in Bruges. And here they are:

Litte legs

clamber down steps

too large,

to traverse.

Sax music

fills the air


the whispers in the wind.



too cold

to write.


alive, sprouting

red and green

in the winter wind.

City scapes


reaching out

to touch grey skies.

A business card


from my journal.

As if it needs to escape,

and I realize,

so do I.

A city of perfection

surrounds me,

yet something inside me shouts,




My legs long to

climb mountains

that make them feel

small once again.

My body longs to


to natures music,

the song she creates

when her waves

embrace the shore.

My hands long

to warm

above a wood fire stove

all my own,

hundreds of miles away

from buildings tall enough

to touch the sky.

I can tell I am reaching the end of my time in Europe. I long to move away from the bustling cities, they will always be here waiting for me. And I will be back for them soon. But for now, I long for quiet countryside side towns, for magical national parks, for the wild mountains, and solitude, shared only by mother nature.

Every leg of my journey teaches me a new lesson.

Large cities remind me of the energy I can gain from time spent in large groups. They remind me stimulation has it’s place. They teach me that beauty lies in the most unexpected corners. And boy do they remind me how convenient public transportation systems can be — haha.

Large cities also remind me that they are a great one-night stand for me, but they are not my life partner. They urge me back to the solitude, charm and spirit of small towns.

Small towns remind me how much I love tiny winding streets, thrift shops filled with surprises, and cozy cafes. They give me a taste of fresh air, and show me how it feels to breathe deeply once again.

And yet, small towns still leave me longing. They know they can satisfy me longer than a large city, but eventually I will leave them in search of something better.

In search of mountain air, wood fire stoves, dinners made on the hoods of cars or the dirt of the earth and oceans I can swim naked in without disturbance.

Learning is essential. Travel has taught me more lessons than I could ever learn by staying put.

Sometimes I travel and my soul sets on fire, I know I am meant to be exactly where I am.

And sometimes, my soul calls out, begging to escape (just as it did in Brussels).

Both situations are equally important.

And here’s what I’ve learned: I will always wander wildly, in pursuit of the places I am meant to unravel in and soak up, as well as the places I am simply meant to pass through, and every where in between.

But, I also know, true learning is putting our lessons into practice.

And ya’ll, right now, I am learning when we need to return to our the places that speak to our souls, when they call us back, we should listen!

May we travel to every corner of the universe, may we learn the lessons they have to teach, and may we always follow the call of the universe.

With love,


Holiday In Geneva - A Winter Guide To Switzerland

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Dear Reader,

First of all, happy 2019! What an incredible year it will be. Read more about my 2018 gratitude and 2019 goals on Friday. For now, I want to talk about the city I spent the past 3 weeks exploring. Can you believe it?! I stayed in one spot for more than a few days — it’s wild!

Well, you all know it’s rare for me hunker down in one spot, so there must be a story behind my sedentary stretch, right? There sure is…


Well, as you might remember from last weeks post, I have not been alone in Geneva. The moment I set my sights on full-time travel, I knew I wanted to spend the holidays with my family overseas. I saw a holiday filled with Christmas Markets, foreign language learning, tarte de pomme eating, and city street roaming. So, I set the ball in motion. At every opportunity I painted the picture for my family, I shared my vision, and slowly but surely they hopped on board. We generated a ton of positive and exciting energy about a whole new kind of holiday.

And by the middle of December we found ourselves cozied up in a tiny apartment in the center of Geneva, Switzerland.

Being in one spot for so long really allows me to give you a full overview of my favorite spots! So while I am itching to get on the road again (next stop Belgium), I am thrilled to have this experience to share with YOU!


**Do yourself a favor and watch in HD!


Bain du Pâquis

Quai du Mont-Blanc 30, 1201 Genève, Switzerland

Open 7 days a week

Okay ya’ll talk about the hub of Geneva. If you go no where else please go here! There is always something happening at Bain Du Pâquis. In the summer folks are swimming, bands are playing and kids are doing flips off diving boards. But we are focusing on winter, and let me tell you winter is EVEN BETTER. During the winter months Bain Du Paquis opens the saunas and steam room. For $20 you can detox, relax and cold plunge into 4 degree celsius the lake all day long.

Not good enough? You can snag a fantastic massage for under $60 franks!

Oh, that’s not all. They have the most incredible Plat Du Jours, filled with unreal protein, veggies and bread for $14 franks which is a steal in Geneva. Also, pro-tip, definitely get the Gingembre (a super tasty hot ginger drink).

Happen to stay at the Bain Du Pâquis all day long? Believe me, it’s easy. Reserve yourself a table for fondue and watch the restaurant come alive with live music, wood fired stoves and hundreds of people!

I loved it so much, I went four separate times — so be careful, you’ll get hooked!

Here are some things to note:

  • They only accept cash

  • The Saunas and Steam Room are clothing optional

  • Tuesday’s are women only days

  • They will ask for your ID or CC as a deposit for the key to your changing room (not to worry you’ll get it back when you return your key)

  • They have towels for rent but they are 5 franks each, so bring your own

  • They have warm showers, so bring some soap with you so you can get cozy and clean afterward


NOËL AUX BASTIONS - Christmas Market

Prom. des Bastions 1, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Looking for an authentic Swiss Christmas Market? You’ve got it!

Parc Des Bastions, a centrally located Parc near old town transforms into a winter wonderland in December. Find hand knit sweaters, street food, bars bustling with people, super tasty drinks and Raclette (another insanely good cheesy dish, you should not leave Switzerland without devouring), magical illuminated chandeliers hanging from tree branches, carolers, an ice rink, and oh yeah a CBD dispensary pop-up shop!

It’s the place to go for a quick snack, shop or smoke during the holidays! 10/10 would recommend.



Avenue de Chillon 21, 1820 Veytaux, Switzerland

Interested in a day trip to another Christmas market, charming lakeside town, and ancient castle perched upon Lake Léman (otherwise known as lake Geneva) with views of Mont Blanc? Then Montreux and Chateau Du Chillion should be on your list.

The castle is insane, the student price is $12 franks and you can tour all day. On the weekends they have vin chaud (hot spiced wine) and traditional meat pies (super tasty). They also have performers (seen in my video) and a barn full of animals, candle making, and super spooky prison. Bundle up nice and tight because the castle is obviously not insulated, but it’s worth it!

After the castle make your way to the Montreux Christmas market, fit with a ferris wheel, and at least three times as large as the market at Parc Des Bastions.

Things to Note:

  • Parking is tricky, but there’s a parking garage below the market for 1 frank/hour

  • Again, dress warm, it’s chilly in the castle and by the lake



Okay, I could not endorse the french alps more. We stayed at a family friends Chalet in Samöens. Even if you just go for the day, you can’t miss it. Samoens is an hour from Geneva. Whether you ski, board, snowshoe, dog-sled, hike, or parapont, you will not have a bad view. The alps are like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Bonus points if you stay in a cabin without electric, or plumbing and catch the starry sky uninhibited by human light.

There’s an incredible restaurant at Samoens 1600 called Chalet L’Aero. Also a hotel! Their food is off the charts incredible and their vin chaud is the best I've had my entire trip! Here’s a link to their website!

I highly recommend hiking the snowy french alps, the views are insane, the air is crisp and you might meet some mountain goats along the way!

You may also enjoy popping down into Samöens proper, where you’ll find shops filled with cheese and salami, a charming Christmas market and plenty of snow gear if you need to bundle up!

Things to note:

  • You can get to Samòens by car, or bus

  • Bundle up!! You’re heading to the mountains, snow pants, jacket and snow boots are highly recommended

  • Remember you’re heading into France, so bring Euro’s and your passport!


Rue de la Corraterie 17, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Looking to relax after all the Christmas market shopping, mountain hiking and polar bear plunging? Okay, I understand! Head to Cine 17 right next to Parc Des Bastions for a film in ENGLISH!

We saw 2nd Act (which was incredible and hilarious by the way), had the opportunity to purchase drinks from the in theater bar and then reclined in cozy seats in a charming theater!

Please note that the price is a little steep $25 franks per person, but it was a splurge we felt good about!

Click here for tickets!



Place du Bourg-de-Four 24, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Open until 5 PM October 1st - May 31st

This is an important stop in Geneva. The view from the top is wicked and it costs $5 franks per person to climb.

From the cathedral you’ll see the Geneva City Scape and have an incredible view of the lake and the Jet d’Eau (which you should probably check out on foot too).

Things to note:

  • The bathrooms are outside and underground, kitty corner from the cathedral - no cost

  • The stairs are spiral and narrow - so be wear if you get dizzy or claustrophobic

  • Be ware of the bell ringing on the hour - it can be pretty darn loud

  • Wander around old town - it’s absolutely charming, and much more quiet than downtown Geneva


LA CANTINELLA - The Best Pizza You Can Find in Geneva

Rue de la Tour-de-Boël 2, 1204 Genève, Switzerland

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, your last suggestion, and it’s pizza?! In Switzerland?! But trust me! Just two blocks away from the Cathedral, snuggled in a charming corner of old town lies the best pizza I’ve had outside Italy. La Cantinella is Italian owned and the pizza is BEYOND.

Thin, chewy and crunchy crust all at the same time, check!

Fresh ingredients, check!

Incredible service, double check!

Affordable prices, you betcha!

This is a must for me, we went twice and I was beyond impressed both times!

The pizza will run you about $15 franks and can easily be split between two. It takes about 10 minutes to cook and a free appetizer is included during the dinner hour, while a dessert of yummy oranges is provided at lunch!

Oh, and you can order pizzas to go! So if you’re feeling like cozying up with some Netflix and the best meal of your life, probably order from La Cantinella.


** Looking for a pharmacy, department store or restaurant open on a Sunday, late at night, or on a holiday —> Head to Cornavin the train station in central Geneva.

*** Geneva is super easy to navigate on foot, grab a hostel, hotel or air bnb in central Geneva and you’ll be set on foot

**** Okay finally, for my fellow Open Floor and 5R dancers, the dance scene is wicked here! I had the most insane dance of my life with these folks! It’s seriously a must, and $20 franks per class.

And with that, my time in Geneva is wrapping up. I’ll hop on a plane and jet off in just a few days, but I will most definitely be back. In the meantime I hope to live vicariously through your Geneva stories! Let me know what you think and if you uncover any other essential spots!

Big hugs and HAPPY 2019!



Carrying Your Traditions With You - White Envelope Christmas

Learn how to stay connected to home during your travels through tradition!

Dear Reader,

This Christmas was my first spent away from home.

I’ve spent many Thanksgiving’ away, as well as Birthdays. But never a Christmas.

For our family, Christmas is full of tradition. Christmas cookie decorating with mom. Stringing gingerbread ornaments made in my childhood on the tree. Christmas singalongs whilst driving around the neighborhood to look at lights. Big family get togethers. And an elaborate Christmas morning breakfast brought in with the sound of clinking mimosa glasses.

When I chose to travel full time, I knew I would not be spending Christmas 2018 at home. While, I knew I would miss all the traditions listed above, I felt most torn up about a Christmas Tradition many of you aren’t familiar with.

This tradition began in our family with a newspaper clipping that shared a story about the true meaning of Christmas.

The newspaper story was entitled: White Envelope

And it goes like this (it’s a tearjerker so be ready for a lengthy emotional read)…

It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years.

It all began because my husband, Mike, hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it, overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry, and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way. Our son, Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended, and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in the spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. As the match began I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light weight helmet designed to protect a wrester’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish one of them could have won” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids, all kids, and he knew them, having coached little league, football, baseball and lacrosse. 

That’s when the idea of this present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I has done and this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition, one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers who’s home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was a always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipated as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its’ contents. As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.

You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around I was so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to one another had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide eye anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

- Author Unknown

Well, what Mike’s family might not know is that their tradition has spread. Much further than they might have imagined. It has become our families tradition too. And now I have the privilege of sharing it with you.

Each year our family donates our time to support folks in my Grandfather Bob’s name.

I remember sitting at my kitchen table in Elementary School helping my mom choose farms animals to donate to families in need through Heifer International (that was over 15 years ago and I still remember the name of the organization, it’s a kind of tradition that cannot be easily forgotten).  

Years later I watched my grandfather tear up as he read the letter we wrote detailing that years donations.

Last year, my family made their way around downtown Seattle to hand out “Bob Bags” filled with hand-warmers, chapstick, tissue, McDonalds gift cards and so on, to folks who found themselves without homes.

And this year, I felt myself torn up about missing my favorite Christmas Tradition.

Low and behold, my mom, my step-dad and myself ended up in the same place for Christmas (with a fair amount of persuasion on my end).

While, we all made it to one place for Christmas it wasn’t quite the same. Instead of breakfast, we had Christmas dinner. Instead of cookies, we ate cake. There was no tree decorating, no light gazing, and no mimosa clinking.

But there was the White Envelope.

As we sat down around a wood burning stove in the French Alps late Christmas night, my mom read the same letter from the newspaper clipping transcribed above.

We cried, as we always do, argued about who would the letter, because none of us can make it through in one piece. And rejoiced in the tradition we all loved.

About the same time, back at home in Washington State, my Grandpa was reading the same letter, and another letter addressed to him to explain what had been done this year.

So even though, this years Christmas was unlike any I’ve ever known before, my most valuable tradition was carried on, 5000 + miles from home. 

The tradition of the White Envelope has not only been carried with me to the French Alps, it comes with me in the back of my mind through all my travels. When I handed a freshly purchased sandwich to a man living on the streets of London, or when I shared my beignets with a man sorting cans in New Orleans.

Tradition, especially tradition filled with spirit, love and intention is incredibly easy to carry along with you as you roam the world. It takes up absolutely no room in your backpack (or suitcase), it reminds you of home when you feel far away, and it allows you to share something near and dear with others around the globe.

So in the spirit of the White Envelope I wanted to share my family’s tradition with you.

I have immense gratitude for my mother who keeps the tradition alive year in and year out, some years with great support from the whole family, and other years on her own. I have deep love and appreciation for my Grandfather who has a spirit much like Mike’s, who inspires me to be grounded in the true meaning of holiday tradition.

This year has been a whirlwind, a Christmas unlike any other, but I feel so lucky to have a little bit of home here with me, in the form of tradition!

May you always bring your traditions with you, may they inspire your wanderings and wonderings, and keep you company as you roam!

With love,


Parisian Adventures - Why Paris is Best Traveled Solo

Parisian Travel - Why Paris Is Best Traveled Solo - A Complete Guide

Dear Reader,

I write to you from a tiny bed, crammed in the living room of a two room apartment in Geneva Switzerland. The windows before me overlook Lake Geneva and the Jet d’Eau, shooting beams of water high into the crisp winter air. I am grateful to be here with my family, all cozied up for the holidays in charmingly close quarters.

Yet, just one short week ago, I roamed the streets of the most romantic city in the world, solo.

People often stare at me flabbergasted when I tell them I’d prefer to wander through Paris alone.

“It’s the city of love” they say.

“Don’t you feel lonely?”

Or, the classic: “But wouldn’t it be better with a partner?”

To all these questions I grin and say, “nope!”

Paris is the perfect city to fall in love in. But ya’ll, the best person to fall in love with is always YOURSELF.

I yearn for days spent wandering the streets of Montmartre, vin chaud in one hand, my journal in the other; completely free and totally inspired.

I long for nights spent on Printemps roof, love songs trickling softly through my ears buds as I gaze upon the Eiffel Tower and realize how lucky I am to have this magic moment all to myself.

Cities of love are not simply for couples, families, or friends, they are for us too. They exist for the solo travelers of the world as well.

They exist so we can write our own love stories, realize our worth, and laugh out loud as babies chase pigeons, or moan with delight as we bite into sandwiches crafted from french baguettes.

These cities of romance should not be passed up simply because we choose to go the road alone. Rather, I encourage you to seek them out, to explore these cities and in turn explore yourself, knowing all the while that you will find deep magic reserved only for you, magic you would otherwise miss.

So, as I often do, I will share my words with you.

Words from my journal pages. Words filled with magic and love. Words that remind you: you mustn’t be what anyone expects you to be, you mustn’t walk hand in hand with another to be valuable, you mustn’t be in love with anyone else, to simply be in love with yourself!

And here we go…

Stolen pens

on the steps

of Sacré Coeur

Blue skies


of clouds


for nothing

A neck,



by sweat.



by love songs

on a playlist


just for her.



bright, and


in the afternoon




as they often do

when her heart

is full

and longing,

for nothing

but maybe a glass of

vin chaud.

A journal

too small

for her abundance.

Her thoughts

spill over,


to be contained.

She came.

She listened.

She followed.


turned away, the others

and took

her journey back.

It’s hers,


as few others are.

If you’re not yet feeling inspired to travel through Paris solo, let me share a roadmap to help you feel more prepared and inspired

These are my favorite solo stops in Paris, France.

1). Stay in Gare Du Nord —

  • I stay at St. Christophers Hostel each time I visit Paris. It will run you about $20/night. They have all female rooms if you’re looking for peace and quiet. They provide a pretty good free breakfast (french bread, ham and cheese, fruit and yogurt), and they have a ton of good resources like free walking tours if you need to get the lay of the land.

  • If hostels aren’t for you there are also some lovely hotels in the area as well

  • Gare Du Nord is the best place to be in my opinion, it’s super easy to get to and from both Paris Airports (CDG and ORLY), the metro and train station are super central, and there are great restaurants and super markets all around you. Oh, and you’re walking distance from my favorite part of Paris: Montemarte.

2). Montemarte — is a charming neighborhood 15 minutes on foot from Gare Du Norde. It is an art district once home to Picaso and Dali - pretty incredible right? Artists still gather here to share their work, the corners are home to cafes and restaurants, and musicians can always be found strumming and singing through the streets.

  • Visit during the afternoon AND at sunset — walking around during the day is charming and you’ll get the full artist experience and heading back for sunset is sure to gift you with street performers galore and a beautiful skyline view

  • Grab a glass of vin chaud (hot spiced wine) if you’re there in the winter

  • Bring a sandwich for your afternoon excursion - the restaurants are hit or miss and all pretty spendy

  • And DEFINITELY visit Sacre Coeur

3). Sacre Coeur — is an incredible church and the highest point in the city. It’s packed full of beauty and history.

  • Did I mention it’s the highest point? The view is breathtaking!

  • Looking for a place to people watch? The steps beneath the church are for you!

  • Despite being the 2nd most visited landmark in Paris it always feels calm to me, there’s always a spot waiting to cozy up, write and take in the city!

4). Printemps Terrace — this spot is a hidden gem, with the most wicked view of the Eiffel Tower I’ve ever seen, but it’s a little tricky to find.

  • Head to Printemps (40 Boulevard Haussmann 75009) and enter through the Hommes (men’s department) building, take the elevator up to the 8th floor and there will be a stairwell up to the terrace on the 9th. I got totally turned around the first time I went — not to worry you catch on quick.

  • The balcony was once completely open, a place to take in the city and purchase food if you wished. But now the majority of the balcony is occupied my a restaurant and only a small silver is available for those who do not wish to eat. It’s still magic and I recommend soaking it up while you still can!

  • I mean check out this view…

5). Notre Dame — is a gothic cathedral! It’s quite incredible, I’ve only been twice, once most recently, but I enjoyed it!

  • Notre Dame always makes me think of Disney, the hunchback, and eating lentils on my best friends couch in elementary school — so it’s hard for me not to love it

  • If you can’t vibe with that nostalgia, here are few great things about Notre Dame:

    • It’s insanely beautiful — like damn, American’s could never dream of building cathedrals like that

    • It is right on the Seine River — this is my favorite part, it’s lovely to stroll along the river on your way to the beautiful gothic church

    • It has a free bathroom in the back courtyard — SCORE!

6). Eiffel Tour — from Notre Dame you can take the subway or walk to the Eiffel Tour. Honestly, I prefer to walk on The Seine.

  • The Eiffel tower is a great lunch or writing spot, there is a park called the Gardens of the Trocadero which provides the perfect spot to gaze upon the tower without tourists buzzing in your ear.

  • It’s worth a trip up if you’ve never been before — I went up in 8th grade and remember it being incredible but have never felt the need to spend the money of time to go again

7). Champs Elysees and The Arc De Triomphe — both are worth seeing, but best to combine into one trip with such close proximity.

  • The Arc De Triomphe is rad and super easy to get to by metro — I’ve actually never been up in it but you can cross under the roundabout and gaze at it from directly below for free

    • If you want an amazing photo just be patient eventually the cars looping around it will break and if you’re fast enough you’ll get a good shot — I was less patient this trip than the last, or perhaps just less lucky.

  • The Champs Elysees is trippy, it’s full of luxury shops and a Five Guys — the weirdest combo — but a good place to browse around

    • Catch a beautiful Christmas Light show if you’re there during the winter, it’s quite elaborate!

*Pro Tip #1: If you visit during the winter months — particularly December — there should also be iceskating, multiple Christmas markets and incredible and elaborate holiday displays at Gallerie Lafayette and the surrounding department stores!

** Pro Tip #2: McDonalds bathrooms are clean, plentifu,l and free. If the McDonalds if more than two levels the bathroom is often on the top or basement floor

*** Pro Tip #3: The metro system is mostly great, each line will have a map in the actual car, if you have questions you can always ask and/or consult Google Maps (it will outline your stops for you).

So, there you have it, a poem full of inspiration, magic and self love; a roadmap to the best spots for solo travelers in Paris; and a huge reminder that no city is off limits to you!

Unlock yourself from judgement, worry or expectation and explore the cities of love around the world; knowing, with each step you take, you will fall more deeply in love with yourself!

Sending wishes for a beautiful journey,


Why I Travel - An Ode to Tiger Cave Temple

Dear Reader,

It has been too long. Since I last posted I have traversed the jungles of Thailand, traveled on countless planes, and explored Parisian streets with love songs singing in my ears. And now, I find myself at a dining room table, covered by a plastic floral tablecloth, high above the city of Geneva, Switzerland.

It has been a unique experience shifting back into full time backpacking. I feel tired, a bit woozy, constantly as if I’m fighting a bug, yet nonetheless ever enlivened!

My shift back into a 55L pack has been about self care, about remembering why I chose this lifestyle, and seeking out the moments that remind me why I travel.

One of these moments occurred without warning.

As I dragged my butt out of bed at 6 AM in Krabi, Thailand, to take a tour my friend had booked for us without my consultation, I felt unsure, rushed to get food, and anxious about a very steep climb on tired feet.

I did not anticipate magic, restoration, or spiritual awakening. But ya’ll that is exactly what I found.

My time atop Tiger Cave Temple brought my soul back to life.

As my group of temporary travel companions trekked back down the 1,260 steps,

I stayed to write in solitude.

As always, I feel it is important to share my raw and unedited words with you. I believe in real moments, in imperfection, in rain that drenches the ink on your paper, or wind that steals your breath away.

I believe authenticity and honesty truly empower. For, the more we are able to share our true selves the closer we step toward self love and self acceptance, not only as individuals but as a community.

So, without further adieu, here are my messy, beautiful, imperfect words about why I travel, written atop Tiger Cave Temple.

It is odd

to write in ink once again.

My pen protests,

begging me

to stop,

and take in

the wonder before me.


is why.

This is why

I travel.

For incense filled temples

for prayers,

whispered to the wind.

For views,

blurred by tears

of wonder.

Mouths agape,

hands on chest,


I travel for

bare feet

on sacred ground.

For unmatched spirit,

for blessings chanted

to the gods.

I travel for,

stray dogs

loved unabashedly by strangers.

For sloppy journal pages

and too many words to write.

I travel for,

moments that ask only for gratitude,

moments when my heart screams:

“Thank you!”

I travel for,

families in heaps

on tile temple floors.

For fathers

who nudge their children

to make room, and

for children

who refuse to move

from heaps of love.

I travel for

thieving monkeys,

and steps that make your head spin.

I travel for

moments of entrapment

unwilling to release you

from their beautiful power.

This is why I travel.

This is why I live.

If I’m being 100% honest I would do Thailand different next time. I would spend more time in one place, I would move slowly, I would go totally solo, I would spend my time with elephants, in rainforests, and on sacred ground. I would prepare more, so I could stress less.

But, my time atop Tiger Cave Temple was unchangeable. It was a moment painted by mother nature herself, laid out by the universe just for me. I was overwhelmed with energy, spirit and love. My pen moved a million miles a minute, as my eyes focused away from my paper on the lush landscape in front of me. All my stress, all my wishes for change, faded away as I was reminded why I travel.

So, here’s to taking the good with the bad, to trusting the universe, and keeping your heart open to inspiration. Because ya’ll, those magic moments make it all worth it.

And as I welcome those moments of magic, I learn how to Cultivate and create them; and all of a sudden they are around every bend!

Also, if you’re anxious to get in on a little bit of the Tiger Cave Temple Magic check out this super short, pretty imperfect, video of my Thailand highlights (PS probably watch it in HD so my phone video looks as great as possible — haha).

Or, these images…

Ya’ll know words are my expertise, but I hope you enjoy a little photo and video magic too!

Sending love to each one of you, may you embrace your moments of magic and create the life you love. May you write your own poems with tear filled eyes and remember why you travel and why you live!

Happy Holidays,


Traveling Away From Worry

Overcoming your worry and traveling the world!

Dear Reader,

It’s been a minute, a week exactly.

I am clacking away on the keys of my laptop from a nearly empty hostel room in Krabi City, Thailand. I am cozied up in my little pod-bed, still adjusting the completely flipped time zone. It’s currently 7:31 AM here in Krabi, while in Tampa (where I spent the last two weeks) it is 7:31 PM. Talk about transition.

Anyway, many of you might believe this transition is a piece of cake for me. After all, I am a travel-blogger, I lived out of my car with a very loose plan and not a lot of prep, and I am an empowered woman.

NEWSFLASH: travel is not always easy for me.

A lot of the time my anxiety steps in and takes over. I sit in my plane seat spinning about how any moment my motion sickness is going to take over and the next 13 hours will be unbearable. Or lay awake in my hostel bed, like I did last night, frantically researching if the four hour ferry from Krabi to Koh Lanta has bathrooms (PS, I still don’t know, and I’m still sort of freaking out about it).

Honestly ya’ll, the start to this years round of international wandering has been wrought with lots of stress, second guessing, and worry.

Chances are, I’ll always worry in some capacity. But for me, my worry is a pattern, a cycle I built for myself long ago and got used to.

It goes like this: I worry, I manifest horrible things, said horrible things happen, all my worry is validated, so I continue to worry and bad stuff continues to happen.

My trip abroad in 2016 was pretty reminiscent of this pattern, I stressed a ton about my health (a consistent worry for me) and I was sick a lot, I was even hospitalized for 3 days. It was not until the end of my trip that I just started loving my body without expectation or worry, and because of that the end of my trip was magic.

Now, heading out across the ocean once again, I find myself falling back into the same pattern of worry.

This pattern actually kicked back into gear when I was in Tampa, FL, temporarily living at my friend’s house. I was living a life I was accustomed to: sleeping in a bed at night, watching TV while eating breakfast in the morning, heading to the gym mid-day, etc.

And all of a sudden as I stepped back into a routine similar to my life in Washington, I simultaneously stepped back into worry. “I’ve gone pee 3 times in the past hour — I have a UTI.” or “I am going to Thailand — therefore I am going to get bit my mosquito and die.” On and on, the worry went, and it hasn’t stopped.

Worry is my constant companion. We are homegirls. But not the kind of homegirls that build one another up. Not the kind that yell: “Yasss Queen” or share the other’s latest instagram post because sharing is caring, and most definitely not the kind that pick one another up off the floor after a horrible day.

Instead, we battle, we tear each other down, we compete to see who will win, and ya’ll she is hard to beat. But I put a ton of distance between myself and my girl, worry, when I left Washington in Luna.

When I drove out of Washington, I drove away from worry too. I drove away from a pattern I knew so well. I totally switched my life up.

Very little about my routine was familiar. I went to bed in an entirely different place at an entirely different time. I woke up with the sun to make breakfast with my frozen hands. I moved my body more and had far less stimulation. And as a result, I let my pattern of worrying go. And guess what? I felt so free, I didn’t get sick, not once (and it was the Fall, and I ALWAYS get sick in the Fall), I started to listen to myself more, and I didn’t sweat the small stuff.

But as I stepped back into the familiar, into a life in a home, into travel abroad, I stepped back into my pattern.

My point in sharing this is:

  1. To be real — because I am so totally imperfect, flawed and kind of a hot mess a lot of the time, and I don’t want to hide it. I want you to know that you’re not alone, if you feel like a hot mess too. (X, that’s done, moving along to the next one).

  2. To talk about how pushing yourself outside your comfort zone can break patterns that do not serve you! (XX, that’s done. And PS you don’t have to live in your car and travel cross country to break your patterns, just switch up your routine).

  3. To share the ways I’m practicing self care now and attempting to shift my pattern. (Whoops haven’t covered this one yet, let’s dive in…)

Alrighty, so you’ve let me rant and rave about my worry, my cycle, the ways I’ve broken it and the struggle I’m having currently. But let me provide some solace.

Yes, I may be worrying, I may be brushing my teeth with bottled water and googling bathroom breaks at 3 AM. But in these moments instead of buying into the worry, I work on shifting it with mantras.

One I really like right now is: “You and your body are safe and healthy.”

It’s pretty rad, if I just repeat it to myself, while using my breath to calm my body, I am able to step out of the spin.

My mantra doesn’t work forever, I usually step back into worry a few hours or days later. But the more I do it, the more I break my pattern. The more I embrace the feeling I had while living out of Luna, the feeling of freedom and trust.

So if you’re spinning in a cycle of worry too, I encourage you to switch up your routine, break the pattern you have fallen into, and sooth yourself with a mantra that works for you!

If you have questions, if you want to have a conversation, if you think I’m totally wack and mantra’s are silly, whatever it might be, feel free to reach out, to comment, to share. I am always open.

Sending lots of love to you today,