Aside from my family and health, the thing I am most grateful for is living in an age of accessible, fast travel, the privilege of my resources to be able to continually do so and the time off from my job to travel to various parts of the world. My husband and I both work in public education and almost as soon as the last school bell rings, we board a plane.

I do not travel for relaxation or comfort. I travel to learn, grow and connect. I live for those first confusing moments when I step out of an airport and into a new country where the smells, sounds, faces and sights are new to me and telling of an adventure ahead.

I love going to new countries and visiting their cemeteries, grocery stores and watching the kids in the school yard, in the most non-creepy way possible. I live to taste the local beer, fumble through a menu in an embarrassing-version-of-a-new-to-me-language and humbly request a vegan meal. I love seeing how responses vary to that request in different parts of the world.

 

I have learned so much from being completely lost, confused, disoriented and in fear of offending cultural norms. I am energized by the conversations I have with people I meet and cherish learning how they interpret God, how they approach marriage, how they raise their children and converse about politics.

I have learned to slow the eff down in Spain, how to feel music (fado!) in Portugal, how to be at peace amongst chaos in China, how to step up my manners in Japan, how to appreciate indulgence in Italy, how to savor art in France, what true devotion is in India and how to smile in Nepal. Mexico continues to teach me the tempo of my own soul.

You can read recaps of some of my trips below:

Six Pack of Peaks-Mt San Gorgonio

Mt San Gorgonio was the last peak left for us to summit to complete the Six Pack of Peaks challenge by the September 30th deadline. We chose September 23rd to hike, hoping that the heat would have subsided and we would have a cooler hike. We chose to hike on the South...

Six Pack of Peaks-Cucamonga Peak

We conquered our second peak in the Six Pack of Peaks challenge! Last weekend, we crossed Cucamonga Peak off our list! This hike was definitely challenging, but not as mentally confronting as Mt Wilson. Just like Mt. Wilson, the actual mileage we hiked was more than I...

Six Pack of Peaks-Mt. Wilson

I finally checked off one of my peaks in the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge. I thought Mt. Wilson would be a good peak to start off with. I thought it would be one of the easier climbs since the elevation is only 5,710. I thought it would be a 14 mile hike. I was wrong...

Six Pack of Peaks

One of my intentions for this year is to spend more time pursuing my passions & inspirations and surrounding myself with things, people and activities that infuse me with vibrancy. The flip side of that intention is to spend less time planning, cleaning, worrying...

Yoga Journal Conference-Estes Park

I am fortunate enough to have a mother in law who lives in Estes Park and offers her home to me whenever I want to visit. I was even more fortunate to be able to attend Yoga Journal's conference that was held in Estes Park, last month. The conference was held at the...

Backpacking North Inelt Trail

After our return from Nepal, we spent about one week at home being punished by our dogs and visited by our friends. Soon enough, we were packing up again for a road trip. We spent a few days in Las Vegas for a work conference, then got out of the extreme shifts...

Nepal and Namaste

Namaste. I say this multiple times per week at the end of yoga classes that I both teach and attend. The light within in me sees and honors the light within you. I easily recite this. I have given some reflection here and there to it's meaning and it jived with me,...

Kathmandu, Nepal

The sentence we repeated over and over in Nepal was "we have to come back here." We stayed in Kathmandu for a little over a week and it was not nearly enough. There was so much more we wanted to explore and one day we will return during trekking season to hike the...

Varanasi

Even at the airport in Varanasi, I felt the difference. There was a shift in the energy and it felt much calmer than Delhi. The cab ride from the airport to our AirBnB took us about an hour with traffic. The road into the city was more rural and there was a pervading...