a solo traveler in asia

I couldn’t wait to learn to scuba dive while traveling solo in Thailand. But within two days of arriving on the island of Koh Tao, I threw in my fins and quit my open-water dive course. Yep. I’m a scuba-school dropout. I learned that I don’t like to breathe underwater, sure, but I also …

Feeding elephants at an ethical elephant sanctuary

If you are anything like me, when you think about your dream trip to Thailand, you are thinking about splashing in a river while you frolic and bathe a grateful elephant. But please… Don’t. Do That. And please, for the love of all things wild, don’t ride an elephant in Thailand, or anywhere. Note: …

two women hug at santiago cathedral

The day we completed our pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago was surreal. We couldn’t believe we were heading out on the last day, the 35th day of our pilgrimage, and that that we would arrive in Santiago de Compostela that very afternoon. We woke up in Pedrouzo giddy with excitement and literally skipping …

Woman meditates on the Camino de Santiago

Walking Away, Coming Home My fiancé was diagnosed with cancer on Valentine’s Day of 2018. I still think of the day as “Diagnosis Day.” A day when everything about our lives changed. A day that foreshadowed the darkest day that I would ever know when – just four months later – Jeff took his …

cycle for survival

Update April 2020: Thanks to all who contributed to the Cycle for Survival 2020 event. Our team raised $10,000 and teams nationwide raised $40 million for rare cancer research. THANK YOU. Since my partner died of cancer in a Northwestern Hospital bed on a sunny day in June of 2018, every return to our …

biggest moments in a big year

No doubt about it, 2019 was a BIG year for me. I backpacked SE Asia, traveled much of Europe, walked the Camino de Santiago, and moved home to Portland, Ore. for the first time since I moved to Chicago for “one year” some 15 years ago. It was a year of change, a year …