Celebrating the 30 List

It’s hard to believe I’ve already reached the end of thirty, and I’m on to thirty-one. So much has happened it seems like it has only been two days since I was soaking up the sun in Mancora, Peru and blowing out candles to celebrate a new decade of my life. I’ll be honest, there have been lots of major ups and downs and rather than hide those away, I’d rather tell you that life involves both good and bad. Why? Because no one has an easy or perfect life, it simply doesn’t exist, especially when you’re considering possible life changes. Embarking on and exploring new possible career options, I set goals in “The 30 List,” to help me gain some perspective and have a few things to work towards. Did I accomplish all that I set out to do? What improvements did I make to my life? Let’s take a look: Continue Reading ›

Our Incredible Planet

“The earth is what we all have in common.”
-Wendell Berry

I’ve traveled many places and seen many cultures around the world, and the one thing that always inspires and at times perplexes me is how we are all connected by the earth we live on.  Growing up in the southwestern United States, I was used to open spaces with a unique mix of orange desert sand and hillsides of mountains covered with pine trees.  I was always eager to venture to the city and feel its bustling energy and variety of culture and people.  Eventually, I was able to experience what I wanted by traveling to cities like London, Shanghai, Milan, and Paris.  Although I still love visiting a city, I began to wish for a moment in the wide open spaces I had grown up in.  Encompassed by the clouds of pollution while visiting China and recalling the skyscrapers and flashing billboards of Times Square in New York City, I often wondered if the planet would soon become one giant city of smog with advertisements of franchises and corporations.  Cities can give us great opportunity, but I find my creativity and inspiration can flourish just as much in the natural beauty of the outdoors.  If you don’t understand what I mean, take a look at these photos from my travels around the world to inspire you to enjoy and preserve nature for future generations: Continue Reading ›

Peruvian Style Inspiration

Have you been to Polyvore yet?  No, I’m not talking about an actual country.  It’s a website where I have found I can combine my inspiration for fashion and travel.  Having traveled to many countries and states within the USA, I felt the need to wander, but without the time in my schedule, I found my mind in a restless state.  Looking back through some of my photos, I began to find inspiration, but in a different form.  Assisting a fashion company committed to sustainability and women’s empowerment gave me more inspiration as I began to create inspiration style boards on Polyvore featuring my travels and eco-fashion companies.  Take a look at my style sets: Continue Reading ›

In the Ruins

One of my first calls to adventures began in a cold, dark, brick building adjacent to the Catholic Church I attended. Performing with my classmates from a small private secular school, Discovery School, I was excited to have my first leading role, as Aldonza in Man of La Mancha. I felt the urgency build as my co-star stormed the worn carpet waving his hand in the air, “My name is Don Quixote, my destiny calls and I must go.” Watching the blanket of clouds scatter as the sunlight breaks through in Machu Picchu, I wonder if historian Hiram Bingham heard destiny call as he made his way through the thick jungles of Peru in 1911 hoping to find the ruins of Vilcabamba. As Bingham forged through the steep mountains and shrubbery he unexpectedly discovered what has recently been named a new Wonder of the World: Machu Picchu.  On the last leg of our tour, my family and I find wonder in this spectacle and the nearby ruins of Pisac and Ollantaytambo.  Climbing through the ruins I stop to catch my breath as I calm the swelling and pain beginning to form in my chest, but it doesn’t stop me from heading upwards. Don Quixote never let setbacks stop him from seeking his dreams, and neither will I. Continue Reading ›

Clothes for an Emperor

Ever since I saw Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove, I’ve giggled at every line of Emperor Cusco’s sarcasm and repeated while clapping my hands together with enthusiasm, “Yay!!! I’m a llama again. Wait a second…” Seeing sweaters with llama designs in Cuenca, Ecuador only make me more excited at the possibility of discovering llamas while wandering through Cusco and Machu Picchu. My family and I are told groups of women and children who meander through the steep cobblestone streets of Cusco, offering tourists a small price for a picture with them as they cuddle a small baby llama. Steering our way through Cusco’s streets, my mom has adopted the mentality of the game “20 Questions,” confusing the women who approach us as my mom asks about the age of the baby llama and its size at birth. Quickly finishing their answers to my mom’s constant questions, each woman eagerly asks if we’d like a photo, but my mom’s interest has peaked and we set off to explore Cusco as we adjust to the incredibly high elevation. Being citizens of cities in the mountains you’d think we’d be well-adjusted, but turns out nothing prepares you for the unique synthesis of Incan and Spanish culture embedded in the veins of this city’s high elevation. Continue Reading ›