The Decision

So my solo days of traveling are over. And at one point, I thought my traveling days were over! Just taking vacations here and there, whenever whatever job I had gave me time off.  That’s not the life I wanted.  So I decided to make a big decision, luckily, my husband Stratton agreed with me.

Follow us! Here is my first blog post from our new blog Our Wandering Roots:

Travel is something that is always on my mind. Its been there for a long time. When I was 22, I decided to quit my job and move to Thailand to teach English by myself. That might not sound to weird to some of you because I know a lot of people choose to go abroad and do something like teach English. That’s why teaching English is so popular and you can get your TEFL online in a few days. Its something a lot of people just do.

But not me.

I had lived my life by the book. I played softball my whole life, which granted me a scholarship to the University of Michigan. Amazing. Best decision of my life. Loved every second of it. But after college I was left with a small “going abroad” sized hole that wasn’t filled because I was playing softball and couldn’t choose a study abroad program.

So when I got my chance, I took it, and had the time of my life, on my own. I wrote about my adventures here as The Traveling Dreamer.

When I came home from my travels, literally the day I came home, I reconnected with my high school crush, Stratton, and we’ve been together ever since. Cute right? And 5 ½ years later here we are. Making the biggest decision of our lives.

About to become a pair of traveling dreamers.

A few months ago we were planning a trip to Iceland (awesome by the way, there will definitely be some blogs about it so stay tuned and we’re actually going back in a couple weeks). I had gotten back into the backpacking spirit as I was plotting our course throughout the island. I would go to work and come home ready to keep planning.

Side note about my work. I love it. I’m a psychotherapist for mostly children and adolescents. I also love working with parents and transitional aged young adults. I pretty much get to help people grow and heal and with the young ones I play all day. I mean doesn’t that sound like a great job? It is. I decided that I wanted to build myself a private practice and had achieved a good sized caseload pretty quickly. I love my job. To see people make progress, to see the smiling faces of the kids who are dying for connection, to be a sounding board for a teenager just trying to figure life out, I mean it’s the best. So please don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, and I have tons of ideas of how I want to expand on it in the future.

So anyways, I come home one night after maybe 6-7, maybe 8 clients, which is a lot. I’m tired. Probably a little cranky, definitely hungry, getting close to “hangry” at the time (hangry is our word for what happens to me when I’m really hungry, you know the feeling…). Stratton looked at me and said, “You’re not happy.”

This honestly surprised me. I loved my job. I had actually just had a great day. I had gotten to play kickball, smiled and laughed, helped a client talk about difficult experiences, I mean, all in a days work of a therapist. I really honestly had had a good day.

But something was wearing on me. And of course, my husband was going to notice it.

I fought him a little bit on the idea. “No, that’s not true. I had a great day. I love what I do.” But he saw right through it. And then he asked the question.

“What would you do if you could do anything?”

If your Dreams don't scare you they aren't BIG enoughWithout hesitation, the Iceland map sprawled open on the living room table, guide book next to me, I said, “Be a perpetual traveler. I would have our family on the road. Live in other countries. Learn languages. Be a part of the world.” Honestly, he was mad at first, and I’m hoping he’ll share his side of how he came to agree with me. But here we are. Almost 6 months later, ready to go for it.

Leaving my job and my clients were two of the hardest things I have done. They were my family. And even though I know I will continue this work in my own way, it was still heart-breaking to say good bye. But I had to.

Life is about living.

Its not about just getting by, living day by day, waking up going to your job, making money, and doing it all over again the next day. Its about happiness. Its about finding love. And not just love of another, but love of yourself, love of life, love of the world.

Its hard getting “stuck” in what we’re “supposed to do.” We’re supposed to go to school, graduate, go to grad school, then get a job. ugh. And when we veer from the path, often people scoff at the idea or judge you, at least that’s what they do where I’m from. But that’s not what life is about. Sure we need money. Unfortunately that’s the world we live in. And that is often what stops people from following their dreams.

That’s why we’re here. We’re hoping to inspire you to live your dreams. Whatever they may be. But go for it. Make it happen. Because we are.

Week #1 & Week #2 on Juice Plus+

WEEK #1:

After 1 week, I can already feel slight differences.  Now, I’ll tell you right now, I don’t feel drastically different by any means, that wouldn’t be authentic, but I can feel small changes that I know will have a big effect.  First, I’m drinking way more waterthan I was before and I drank a good amount before.  My husband also noticed that effect and our large Brita filter is having to be refilled almost every couple days, when we used to not refill it for weeks.  I’ve very rarely seen him go and get a cup of water and now I see it all the time! Second, my cravings for sugar and sweets has decreased.   My husband has also noticed this and this is a huge surprise as he has a pretty intense sweet tooth and has a history of eating ice cream for dinner.  Third, I want to eat more fruits and vegetables.  I used to have cravings for Cheez-its, chips, puffed popcorn, you name a bad food for you, I would crave it.  This past week I found myself saying, “Man I could really go for some carrots right now” or “I wish we had oranges in the house.”  I’m going to definitely have to change my shopping habits! Lastly, and possibly the most important for me, is the lack of pain in my lower back.  And I say it that way because I live with back pain.  I had back surgery when I was 20 and have had pretty constant and sometimes intense back pain (especially when I’m not taking care the way I need to: strengthening my core, using the inversion table daily, and exercising regularly).  I can usually tell when my back is going to hurt after a long day of walking.  The weekend after I started JP I went to Santa Barbara with some girlfriends and walked A LOT, with very flat sandals, and I just knew that after 2 full days of walking, my back was going to hurt on Monday…and it didn’t.  Barely felt it, there were times when I wouldn’t even have known that I had trouble with back pain.  I was blown away.  That felt like absolute PROOF to me that JuicePlus+ is the real deal!

I have difficulty taking pills (small Advil even gives me a problem!), so I was a little disappointed that I had trouble with taking the capsules as I really wanted to use them.  I had to put in an order for the gummies as I was having to resort to opening the capsules and putting them in food/drink (took a long time!).  I’ve been getting better at swallowing them, but I’m excited to get my gummies.

WEEK #2

I started the gummies this week, since I was having so much trouble with the capsules (I am probably the ONLY one who I’ve talked to that has this problem, but so be it!)

I haven’t craved or even wanted something sweet like chocolate, or any of the bad food I’ve always wanted to stuff my face with.   There is a box of Mint Cremes from Trader Joes (DELICIOUS – and one of my favorite treats) sitting right on my living room table and I haven’t even wanted to open the box.  I also have a bag of Powerberries (also from Trader Joes…sorry Trader Joes I’m not doing you justice right now!) that I haven’t opened either.

I was out at Cheesecake Factory the other day and I was in the mood for a light snack.  I perused all their “small plates” and saw zucchini fries, crab cakes, mozzarella sticks, and anything/everything fried.  I thought, “thats what I would normally order, so might as well” but none of it sounded good.  I then landed on the beet salad, and that, all of a sudden, sounded delicious.  I can definitely, confidently tell you, I have NEVER ordered a beet salad before, let alone ordered one when I could have easily ordered something fried.  I’mmaking better/healthier choices when it comes to the question of: what to order?

Also, I’m not sure if you know this, but I’m a therapist that works with children and adolescents.  Over the past few months I have had some pretty tough cases and although I love my work, I was coming home tired, dejected, and disheartened every day.  Over the past few weeks, my attitude has changed.  My clients have not, but I can feel an improvement in my mood.   I’ve been enjoying my work way more.  I’m not sure if I have more energy (which I have heard is a benefit of Juice Plus, but I’m not ready to make that claim yet), but something has changed.

And I like it.

New (and revamped) Blogs coming!

As you’ve noticed, I haven’t updated my blog in awhile.  Well, #1 its because I haven’t been traveling like I used to, #2 I went to graduate school for social work and started a new career as a therapist for children and adolescents, and #3 I just didn’t make the time!  I’m going to be changing that (not the part about being a therapist, but definitely the traveling and making time part!).

When I was traveling in 2010, I had stopped blogging due to meeting friends and not having any alone time like I had when I was traveling earlier that year.  There is a big gap in what I did on my travels and what I told you about! So I’ve decided to do something a little different.

I’m going to be taking a specific picture and tell you my stories, memories, and thoughts that are associated with that picture.  I’m not going to be blogging about my entire experience in a certain country or city (like I did before), but rather the individual, unique, special moments that I captured while I was there (and I have a LOT of them as most of you know I love to take hundreds and hundreds of pictures).

I have also been on recent travels (honeymooning in Maldives) and have a trip planned to Iceland in a couple months that I am so excited to tell you about.

I hope you enjoy!

Apologies!!

Most of you may think I got lost somewhere in the jungle in Laos (where I went zip-lining with the Gibbon experience, more on that later).  Some of you may think I assimilated into a hilltribe in Chiang Rai.  And maybe some of you think I decided to become a rice farmer in Vietnam.  Whether you’re thoroughly convinced of the former or the latter, I know that ALL of you are wondering where the heck I’ve been!

Well, let me give you a brief rundown before you get inundated by posts of the specifics.  Last you heard from me I was climbing a volcano in Bali.  Well…. that was almost five months ago.

In a nut shell, I braved the protests in Bangkok, participated in the biggest water fight in the world during Songkran in Chiang Mai, went trekking and rode an elephant in Pai, zip-lined through the jungle in Northern Laos, took the slowboat to Luang Prabang, took the 28 hour bus ride to Hanoi, relaxed on a boat trip through Halong Bay, climbed Mount Fansipan in Sapa, visited the tailors in Hoi An, soaked up the sun in Nah Trang, surfed the sand dunes in Mui Ne, and crawled through the tunnels in Ho Chi Minh City.

So I’ve been pretty busy…. and you had no idea!!

I apologize.

But now I’m home.  And I want to write again!  I have so much I want to tell you.  And of course, pictures I want to share.  So stay tuned.  Much more is in store!