I was born and raised in San Diego, a true California girl at heart, and a hopeless dreamer. All my life, I dreamed of far-off places, foreign cultures, new languages, and “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” (Name that Disney movie!) At age 18, I took my first international trip ‘across the pond’ to visit my Dutch boyfriend, Björn — and started this blog. I traveled all over the Netherlands and London with him for 3 weeks over Christmas break, and wrote stories home to my friends and family via a simple Blogspot website. (Remember those?!) I was absolutely in heaven, and when I returned home I knew I needed more.
Over the next four years of college, I visited Björn and his family twice a year, and it was with him that I got my first tastes of Europe – Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Luxembourg, and of course, lots of”Dutchieland.” After I graduated with honors in Journalism from California State University, Northridge in 2011, I moved to the Netherlands to live with him! I had big plans to backpack all over Europe — I had pored over maps and guidebooks for months, planning train routes and circuits.
Alas, budget proved to by my biggest obstacle. Luckily, I freelanced for a U.S.-based travel startup in Amsterdam and took day/weekend trips on my limited budget. My first European venture without Björn was to Vienna with his sister, and from there, I boarded a bus to Prague BY MYSELF.
Prague officially changed the game. It showed me that I was more capable than I gave myself credit for, I COULD travel alone, and more importantly – I LOVED traveling alone. Shortly after I returned from that trip, delays with my residence visa in the Netherlands forced me to go home – and Björn and I ended up going our separate ways several months later.
To heal a broken heart, I resumed planning an epic backpacking trip around the world – this time, including a circuit through Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand before heading to Europe. I lived with my parents back in San Diego and worked as a medical receptionist for a year, saving as much money as I could for this big adventure.
And then I met Trevor.
We fell hard for each other, and my 12-month plan turned into a 6-month plan, and then a 6-week plan. We officially got together on December 7th, 2012, and I left on January 18th, 2013 for six weeks alone in New Zealand and Australia. (I was convinced Trevor wouldn’t wait for me…but he did.)
And while I missed him terribly, those six weeks absolutely changed my life forever. It was Prague times 1,000 — I learned SO MUCH about myself, found closure with Björn, found my direction, and knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life exploring as many corners of this world I possibly can.
I’m not upset that meeting Trevor “derailed” my own personal gap year. I firmly believe in fate, and anyone who knows us can attest to the fact that he and I were absolutely fated to be together. He is the yin to my yang, my other half, my everything. And I mean, 6 years later we were married – so there’s that!
It also taught me the most important thing I needed to learn: despite my daydreams, and no matter how much I would have loved to choose that path, the nomad lifestyle isn’t the only way to travel. I had devoured so many blogs about young people doing exactly what I wanted to do when I was 22: taking gap years, working abroad, backpacking for months through dozens of countries, sharing their adventures on social media and collecting avid followers on their lengthy, global excursions.
But that wasn’t in my crystal ball, even if I had tried to make it so. Instead, my life took the path it was meant to – the one that led me to Trevor, and my career with that travel startup I mentioned in Amsterdam. (Gogobot/Trip.com/Trip by Skyscanner – now permanently dissoslved by Skyscanner) The seasons of my life changed, my time ebbed and flowed, and while I never got to take that year-long global trip, I’ve been able to see and do a hell of a lot for a now 32-year-old American girl.
Worth noting is that Trevor supports my love of travel 100%. He has encouraged me to “stay true to who I am,” because if we aren’t true to ourselves we can never be true to each other. We have taken several trips together: renting a camper van in Iceland, backpacking through Ireland, road tripping up the California coast, weekend road trips to Baja and cruises to Ensenada, exploring Oahu, and living a life of luxury on our honeymoon in Barbados. But when he can’t go, he has wholeheartedly supported my trips with my friend Steph to Portland, Utah, and Italy and Switzerland. And he sat me down this past January, after our world was shattered after losing our unborn baby at 22 weeks in October, and told me to go to Hawaii by myself for a week to heal.
Life has dealt us some hard hands in recent years, and between those and the COVID-19 pandemic, traveling has taken a backseat. I’ve poured my energy into knowing my own hometown of San Diego better, and you’ll find guides for my favorite places to eat, stay, and play here as well.
The blog and website have undergone several renovations and developments in the past 14 years, but the mission remains the same: to share my travel stories and empower other women to travel! I strive to be an honest, inspirational example of how real life doesn’t have to get in the way of traveling. I want to encourage you to strategize your time in the American grind to get out there and taste the world.
I’m a firm believer in education through experience, broadening one’s mind through exploration, and acceptance through exposure. It truly is a small world after all, and each of the planet’s 4.5 billion inhabitants has a story to tell. My love of travel combined with my passion for writing cultures a deep curiosity for that story, and an itch deep within keeps me yearning to find it. My lifetime aspiration is to look back at my past and know that I lived.
Real life doesn’t have to get in the way of traveling.
I now work as a Marketing Manager for a library software technology company, and I’m getting excited to get back into traveling as it becomes safer to do so. When I’m not working, exploring San Diego, or writing new blog posts, I’m wandering around in a childish euphoria at Disneyland with Trevor, spending time with my girlfriends, and explaining the Harry Potter saga to those unfortunate souls who choose to watch the movies without picking up the books.
If any of what I’ve just written sound appealing, you can relate to me in any way, or you just want to follow along and get to know me better, please find me on social media and introduce yourself! I’d love to meet you. xo