The Journey to Suva

The charter bus had the air conditioning full blast. I reached for my sweater that I hastily shoved into my bag days earlier. It had been a practical effect for Australia, but who would have thought I would have wanted it while in Fiji?

The TTF bus clamored along. I wrapped the sweater around me, hugging my knees into my chest. I selected some Dave Matthew’s on my iPod and rested my chin on my knees, looking out the window. The coastline inched by. This was going to be a long four hours. Luckily I had more than enough thoughts to occupy my time. Continue reading


How A Year of Blogging Changed My Life

Here I sit in a coffee shop in downtown Brisbane marveling at the artwork that is my cappuccino. I absolutely love foam artwork, probably because it’s both beautiful and delicious. This is such a perfect moment.

As I survey my surroundings, I start thinking of all the steps I’ve taken to get to this particular place, at this particular moment, in this particular region of the globe. It’s been a long journey and isn’t anywhere near done. But really, how did I get here?

I mentally rewind the moments in my head, backing them up through the preceding months. I watch myself walk backwards on the plane, unpack my suitcase, repack my suitcase, fly backwards in time to the Northwest, skip my way down the steps of Montmartre, slide up the side of a volcano, and perfectly seal all the rejection letters from the psychology graduate programs and place them back in the mailbox. Wait. Play. I watch myself cry and use the envelopes of the letters as tear-catchers. I watch myself log onto WordPress and write my very first blog post. Wait. Pause. Has it really been a year since I began this unconventional journey? Continue reading

In Memory of Talei Jones

Two weeks after saying goodbye to the inspirational women on our retreat, we were struck with tragedy. Talei Jones, my bunkmate and fellow adventurer, had been killed in a horrific car accident in Jamaica.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

We were all stunned by the abrupt end to her beautiful, compassionate, and young life. I think it impacted each of us deeply. When you spend that much time with such a small group of women, you can’t help but leave tightly bonded to each other. Having her taken from this world was like fraying the ends of our collective fabric. We would never be complete without her, though we would always carry her memory in our spirits. She was a part of us. Continue reading

New Eyes and Bare Feet

It all seems like a vivid dream.

I can fully remember the experience of being on a Nicaraguan beach. I remember how the ridges of the sea shells felt against the bottom of my feet but I can’t seem to get back there again. Like those sweet dreams that are interrupted by screaming alarm clocks; you can’t return to the same magical land no matter how many times you reposition your pillow.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

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Nicaragua Adventures- the movie

Thanks to Holly Beck for putting this together.


I will forever remember how badass I felt when I caught my first wave. I now realize how stupid I actually looked, but that’s okay. One day my surfing skills will match the emotions I experience when I pop-up on a board (I hope). Continue reading

Heading Home Somewhere Over a Rainbow

I mulled over my peanut buttered bagel. This trip had been so enlightening, inspiring, and nurturing; I had never met such a spectacular group of women. Everyday was such a great experience, even eating breakfast seemed like an adventure. It was hard to believe we were sharing our last meal in paradise.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

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One Last Sunrise

I opened my eyes as the first beam of light peered in through the curtains. It was around five in the morning; the stillness of the day was only broken by the breaking dawn and a the sound of a lazy rooster.

Talei was still sleeping. I noiselessly crept out from my mosquito net and grabbed my camera. My ninja skills were surprising, and I actually didn’t make too much noise until I opened the cabana door. With a giant creak of the hinges, Talei rolled over. Mentally apologizing, I slipped out and flip-flopped down the shell-strewn path.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

I made my way to Andrea’s cabana. She was already awake and just finishing her packing. Waving a hello to Jen, I waited for Andrea to finish. We headed down to the garden gate and out to the beach. Continue reading

Cerro Negro Part 1: A dune buggy, lightning storm, and thoughts of eminent doom

Today was the day we were going volcano boarding (more accurately, volcano tobogganing). This was the event that had sold me on Holly’s retreat and I was so ready to go. How often do you get to hike up and then board down the world’s most active cinder cone volcano? My point exactly.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

We had taken off around noon that day to drive out to Leon. Holly had business to take care of in Chinandega so she would not be joining us. As we left El Coco Loco, she would wave goodbye and shout to us, “Remember, slow and steady wins the race!” Holly had changed her tune since she wiped out on the side Cerro Negro on her last trip and busted her ankle. I wasn’t planning on breaking any speed records that day, especially riding down a 45 degree slope, but I was stoked nonetheless. Continue reading

Coincidence? I Think Not.

So as I continued my Nicaraguan adventures, I couldn’t help but feel like my decision to take this trip was more than just crazy random happenstance.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

The more time I spent getting to know Holly, the more I realized how much we had in common. And it wasn’t stuff like we both love our time in the ocean or like the color blue. It seemed as if everyday another commonality would pop up (unlike me on my board). I started to think that these weren’t just coincidences and because I’m me, I started writing them down for analysis later on. Continue reading

Pounding hooves and heart beats

It was lunchtime at El Coco Loco when Bodhi arrived. He had come up to the restaurant to let Jamie know that he was here to drop off the horses. We were going to ride along the beach later that day and he was providing the livestock. Holly wasn’t there; she had taken some of the more experienced girls out to an advanced surf spot. I was the only one at the table so I introduced myself. Bodhi sat down and we lunched together.

Bodhi was from California but had been in Nicaragua for five years chasing adventure and love. He happened into the horse business and was now providing all the horses for Holly’s retreats. He inquired about my riding background and guaranteed me that I would enjoy today, claiming his horses were mild-tempered, responsive, and above all, fast. When we finished lunch, he asked if I wanted to go down and check out the horses. I agreed and followed him down to the meadow where they were tied.

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