Dear Mom

Dear Mom,

You gave me breath, and I know you often wanted to choke it out of me.

You gave me rules, and loved me even when I broke them.

You taught me to walk, and let me come home after I ran away.

You dragged me to church, and made sure I knew the real meaning of unconditional love.

You let me yell, scream, and pout my way through my first 18 years, and stood by me.

You were my rock, as I struggled to become an adult and a mom.

You have never failed me, even when I failed you.

The words "thank you" seem so lame in comparison to what you've done for me.

But, thank you.

Happy Mother's Day!

All my love,


Evolution of a Wanderer's Soul #travel

Dead Sea, Israel
I have always had a wanderer's soul. As a child, I did quite a lot of domestic travel with my family. My parents loaded up the four of us girls into our station wagon to journey from our home in Missouri to Florida, Michigan, and many of the states east of the Mississippi. We usually camped, first in a large tent, then a pop-up trailer, and finally in an RV trailer. When I reached the rebellious age of 17, I hitch-hiked from Missouri to California and back -- okay, in reality I was running away from home and then realized my stupid mistake, but it still counts as travel.
Island of Nevis
As a young adult, I was offered the opportunity to go to Hawaii and stay with a friend for six weeks, so I took a leave of absence from my job as a hotel desk clerk, and spent the time exploring the island of Oahu. It was incredibly difficult to leave the beautiful island and go back to a minimum-wage job in Missouri. While sitting on the plane during the return flight, I vowed that I would someday see the world. I enrolled in college to get a degree that would allow me to be a fashion buyer so I could travel to markets Milan, Paris, and London.
Angel Canyon, Utah
Shortly thereafter, I became a parent and I put all my dreams of world travel aside to raise my kids. My husband, the kids, and I have taken a few trips to visit family over the years, and I've won a few amazing trips through sweepstakes, but it hasn't been the travel lifestyle that has always tugged at my soul. The kids were raised in Texas, where I finished my college degrees, and now they are all grown adults. When I started my blog in 2011, I never dreamed I'd have the opportunity to visit wonderful places across the globe and write about my experiences. I have been so incredibly blessed to travel to Israel, Nevis, Mexico, New York, Utah, North Carolina, and many other places I'd never seen.
Cozumel, Mexico
Yet, as I sit here writing at home, I'm still dreaming of traveling. I scour websites for travel stories, watch travel shows on television, and take virtual trips through online interactive maps. There is great difference between living and existing. For me, now, living is experiencing all that this amazing planet has to offer. As I've gotten older, I have realized I've probably lived more than half of my life and I feel an urgency to live with more enthusiasm. I've successfully raised my kids to adulthood and the only responsibility I have now is to finish my life with a story that will engage, encourage, and inspire others. I am not slowing down, I'm just getting started.
New York City, New York
You can read some of my travel stories HERE. And stay tuned, because I'm ready to live and there is so much to see!