I have an extreme zest for life. I try to live my life to the fullest, striving to do as many things I can that make me stop and think, “This is what it feels like to be ALIVE.” I am responsible in my everyday life and plan for the future, yet I really DO try live as if there may be no tomorrow . . . because, afterall, you really don’t know if there will be.
In 2004, I was dating a very worldly and open-minded guy who introduced me to foreign travel. We ended up in Rome, Italy and Barcelona, Spain for an amazing and eye-opening week in foreign places I knew very little about beforehand.
That trip sparked an interest to explore more of the world, and then in 2006 after frustration of not being able to find a travel buddy to join me on a trip to Germany, I ended up traveling ALONE (for the first time in my life) around Europe for one amazing trip: I made it to 10 countries in 6 weeks, which opened a whole new world for me! From then on, I was absolutely HOOKED . . . I had officially caught “the travel bug.”
Next, I decided that one of the things on my “life to-do list” was to LIVE in a foreign country. After a lot of research, preparation, and frustration, I made my way to San Sebastian, Spain in 2008 for a 10 month adventure of a lifetime! In Spain, I studied by day and telecommuted (for my US job) by night, and along the way also got myself swept up in what ended up being a 2-year relationship with a great guy from Finland (side note: I actually ended up living in Finland for a couple months with him as well, and afterwards he moved to LA with me and lived there for 9 months.) I returned to Los Angeles in 2009.
Finally, the BIG trip came to be: A one year trip AROUND THE WORLD! In February 2013, I set out on a trip of a lifetime with my boyfriend at the time–James–and we hit 17 COUNTRIES (and also five cities in the US) in 12 months! (Read more about the trip and our itinerary here.)
I currently reside in Pasadena, California, and in my every day “normal” life, I usually embark on a new international trip once a year or every other year, depending on vacation time and savings available.
At the time when I began this blog, it was a way to keep my family and friends updated on my pictures, stories, and discoveries in this brand new “traveling world” I had discovered. Now, I continue the blog, adding updates about my life, new travels I have embarked on, and thoughts and stories that have stemmed from my experiences with other countries and cultures. The site was redesigned in 2012 by yours truly: I’m a graphic designer and web programmer!
The purpose of this blog is not only to update family and friends on what’s new in my life, but to also educate and entertain anybody who stumbles upon my page about the culture and differences of other countries. . . and perhaps motivate and inspire all to travel to foreign destinations, reach high for their goals, embrace their personal independence, live life to its fullest, discover new people, places, and things, and take a chance on life once or twice –or a thousand–times!
James was a big part of my life, of this blog, and is featured in many stories from 2011-2015, so this section includes his information and posts.
You can read the posts he personally wrote here
You can read posts and stories he’s included in here
And you can read his bio below 🙂
As a child and adolescent, my father taught me one virtue that I attribute as the cause for my personal and professional success: hard work. Not on the starting lineup for the 6th grade football team? Dad’s response: “Work harder.” Can’t figure out an equation in my math class sophomore year in high school? Dad: “Work harder.” And if that hard work didn’t pay off, my father’s solution: “Well, James, then work even harder than you were before..?”
So when it came time to pursue a career, that’s exactly what I did. When I was eighteen years old, I realized that I loved video editing and wanted to cut film and television in Hollywood. I had no contacts in the industry and very little editing experience. Seven years later (after hundreds of sleepless nights and even more cups of coffee), I received my first upfront editing credit on Burn Notice (USA Network) and continued as an full-time editor for Necessary Roughness (also on the USA Network). In addition, I launched my own visual effects company and have worked for major studios such as Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., and Fox Television Studios.
After eight years of being in “overdrive” with regards to my professional ambitions, I definitely hit a wall from a personal standpoint. Since I moved to Los Angeles in 2008, I had only two weeks off and have moved from one dark computer editing room to another. While I felt fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for so many great people; I had begun to lose perspective on what was really important in life.
BreAnn has a really great perspective on life and it is one that I have been fortunate enough to learn from. She has consistently told me, “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Because who knows? Life may not go according to plan. While the work I have done so far will allow me to one day own a home, support a family, and experience greater professional success; the opportunity and health to walk the Great Wall of China, scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, and visit the wonders of the world may not always be present!