The Road to Italy
With a wedding and baby on the way, my siblings and I embarked on one “last” international adventure together to Italy. Our goals were simple: experience culture that we couldn’t find back home, make time for relaxation, and eat really (really) good food. First, we made our way across Sicily, where we climbed volcanos, ate the best carbonara in the whole world, and found a new love for aperol. It wasn’t until we drove all the way up to Positano, where our senses had no limit. It’s as if every stress melted away into the Tyrrhenian Sea and all that mattered was getting one more glance at this city scripted straight out of a storybook.
During our time in Positano, we heard of celebrity chef, Anthony Bourdain's passing. Coming from a “food-first” family, we all looked up to him for years, serving as a constant reminder as to why travel (and eating) is so important. That morning we dedicated the entire day to him. The city became impossibly more beautiful than before — the cobblestone streets more storied, the bougainvillea more vibrant, and the gray sand beaches even warmer.
It’s these moments where we find deeper meaning and gratitude for what’s around us, which is by far the best souvenir to bring home with you.
Anthony Bourdain has one of my favorite quotes, “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” As someone who builds her life around goals and planning, travel is a way for me to let things come as they are meant to. I continually remind myself to put the camera and recommendations down and be completely present. It’s these moments where we find deeper meaning and gratitude for what’s around us, which is by far the best souvenir to bring home with you.
The Road to Mexico City
The hum of the city was tangible the moment we stepped from the plane. After a long winter, I travelled south alongside a few friends from college to the bright and buzzing Mexico City. With a lengthy list of restaurants and sights to see, we hoped to be immersed in the complexities of a city richly steeped with history and art. Soon after arriving, we quickly fell into awe for the city and its story.
Our days were spent wandering, biking, and eating our way through colorful neighborhoods. Jurassic-Park-like greenery crowded the sky overhead and left the walkways dappled with light. Breezy restaurants and storefronts opened their doors and windows wide. We were swept into the crowd and delighted in the moments of rest, chaos, and vivid beauty.
With its liveliness and brilliant color palette, Mexico City provided us inspiration for artwork and a peek into the past. We left lighter, although saturated with new cultural knowledge, a deeper appreciation for one another, and a near constant craving for cinnamon-sugar-dipped churros.
The Road to Idaho
I take a deep breath in and I’m immediately brought back to my time in Stanley, Idaho. A few months ago, we ventured out there to a family cabin to enjoy some much-needed downtime in untapped territory. I knew a trip to a place like this was calling my name — I knew I needed the type of disconnection that only the vast remoteness could bring. And that’s exactly what I found.
I knew I needed the type of disconnection that only the vast remoteness could bring.
It was a Wednesday morning when my wife and I arrived at the top of one of the nearby peaks. With shaky legs and dust-filled boots, I was able to stop and really look around me. My attention was immediately caught by the land: deep blues and rich emerald greens surrounded us completely. I felt entirely alone and entirely full, all at one time, and I realized putting everything at pause was the only true way to let myself learn.
The Road to Thailand
We knew Thailand would be full of everything we’ve dreamt about for years: beautiful beaches, friendly hosts... but nothing could have prepared us for the vastness of color. Everything was brought to life — clothing, architecture, food, and most of all, the landscape.
I did my homework before leaving, creating a list of everything to see and do. When we arrived, I quickly realized that planning anything was humorous at best. At first, it was hard to let go — to push aside engineering an outcome. To no surprise though, once I did, the trip unfolded just as it needed to. You can’t plan for how or when a place might change you, or when it might teach you something about yourself.
The best part of stepping away? You get to return. And sometimes that is almost as valuable as the trip itself: returning to what’s yours, what you’ve created, and all the beauty that you have right in front of you.