1. Where Did it All Begin?


I’m not quite sure where my love of travel came from, to be honest. I can’t pinpoint an exact moment where I said—how fun! I want to do this more! I just think it’s been in my blood, in my DNA, since the moment I was created. My first overnight adventure was to Lake George when I was three years old with my parents and grandparents. We stayed in a little cabin near the water and traveled to local attractions. Obviously, I don’t remember it, but my mother said that even back then, I showed a thirst for being on an adventure, and I didn’t mind being away from home; I adjusted just fine.


She said I was a very quiet child, taking it all in. We went to the North Pole to visit Santa Claus, which she said I loved. We also explored Magicland, where I was enamored with all of the fairy-tale characters. (Go figure—I am not surprised, as a Disney aficionado, Renaissance lover and all around wannabe princess.) She said I also enjoyed going down to the water to go fishing with my dad, but wasn’t a big fan of the Fort. Clearly, even at the tender age of three, I wasn’t a big fan of traditional history.


Although I do not remember it cerebrally, there is something that keeps calling me back to see where it all began. And it’s a nod to the type of traveler that I am: I seek adventures with places that feel close to my heart, not necessarily the “must sees” of the world, although I am sure those are wonderful experiences as well. When I let my heart guide me to my explorations, I am never led astray. I remember when I planned my Euro-trip, I yearned to see Switzerland, and added in Paris “just because.” And both experiences certainly remain memorable ones.


When I first incepted the idea for this book, I had no idea of the places I have already traveled to—or how often I did. Wow, I must have been a happy little nomad in a past life somewhere. I do love having a home to come back to. I definitely am content being rooted in a safe, loving haven. But I do also adore being on the go, exploring, learning new things. I have a deep, deep respect for other cultures: their language, their arts, their customs. I honor how others live and what they believe. It’s what guided me to major in International Business to begin with.


Funny aside: when asked what I wanted my college major to be (note: not what I wanted to be when I grew up) all I could respond with is: something where I can wear pretty business suits and travel the world. So when International Business popped up on my radar, it seemed to be the perfect fit. And in many ways, it was. I had an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study abroad, and lived in Barcelona, Spain for six blessed, life-changing months. It was a dream come true. (Although not dressed in suits, I learned some new fashion and sported it, which worked just as well!)


So as I created an outline about my adventures for my story, I was surprised by the number of chapters—the number of adventures—I have taken over the course of my 39 years. I knew I had a decent amount under my belt, but I had no idea how travel was truly a part of my life. It’s proven to be a foundation for creating who I was, and for understanding others.


A few years back, when I really began to study the innerworkings of astrology and my own chart, a mentor pointed out that my spiritual blueprint was all about adventure. For you astro junkies —I have Jupiter in Aries in the 9th house: a natural explorer, student, teacher and traveler; a lover of knowledge and wisdom; a seeker of all things curious. Once I heard that this was true to who I was, and that there was nothing wrong with me for always wanting to take a “vacation” somewhere, I embraced it wholeheartedly. It felt so right. It all made sense.


Looking back on my journeys, I can see that every single one held a message for me. Sometimes it was just as simple as appreciating those with me. Other times, it was a ground-breaking transformation leading closer to the truth of who I was. All were beautiful; even the difficult ones. So I share my experiences with you with love, truth and trust.


And although there are many chapters in this book, and many adventures, I kept them short. I didn’t feel the need to function as a travel agent and sell you on why or why not you should visit a particular place. It’s not about the specifics of where I was and what was around me and who I met—unless they aided as part of the grander story. It’s about the journey, the lessons, the transformations, and the experiences. Buckle up, readers—you are about to take a roller coaster ride through my life. All I ask is that you sit in the front seat with me, and raise those hands up for every twist, drop and loop-de-loop you feel that resonates with you.


Let the adventure begin!


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