LIFE JOURNEYS

5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Israel

Ripe with history and bursting with spiritual significance, Israel is the birthplace of two major world religions, Christianity and Judaism, and home to important religious sites for another, Islam. Before my recent visit, I had my own ideas about what this country would be like. While there, I was shocked to learn the following fascinating facts from my group’s […]

Are You Rude Quiz ~ Discover How You Rank on the Politeness Scale

Inconsiderate people suck. And they seem to be everywhere lately. After a few run-ins with cranky, manner-less people this week, I started wondering…do rude people even realize they’re being jerks? Maybe they don’t know how they’re supposed to behave in public to be courteous human beings. But then again, maybe they’re just jerks and they don’t […]

West Wing and Oval Office Tour – Feeling Like a VIP in DC

When I learned I could bring a guest with me on my West Wing and Oval Office Tour, I knew right away who to ask: my dad. An invitation to visit the White House enabled me to share a once-in-a-lifetime experience with my ever generous, American history buff dad. Why was I invited for a West Wing and Oval Office tour? […]

7 Tips to Make Your Tween Daughter Less Sassy & More Sweet

I felt like I had lost my sweet daughter. She had become much sassier and more argumentative. She didn’t laugh as much or want to play with her little brother. Now? Things are getting better. So much better, in fact, that I have been reflecting on what helped get her back to her kindhearted self. Based on […]

Life Coming Full Circle at the White House Travel Blogger Summit

The White House Travel Blogger Summit brought me full circle this year. The first time I visited Washington DC, I flew there in an airplane with about 100 or so other noisy, excited eighth-graders…without our parents! We visited numerous museums, memorials and the Library of Congress. The one disappointment was not getting to visit the White House. The freedom, excitement […]

Wild Movie Prize Pack Giveaway

Wild is one of those movies that stays with you for days and weeks after the credits have rolled, begging you to be present and appreciate what you have in your life today, because it might not be there tomorrow. It’s a story about travel and finding yourself during the journey. It’s about adventure, family, love, […]

Hot and Cold in Arizona – Adjusting to Life in the Desert

“I am moving away from Arizona the minute I graduate and I am never, ever moving back,” I said, all red-faced and out of breath from my scorching three-mile bike ride from Arizona State University. My former college roommate recently reminded me that I told her this almost daily during my senior year of college. But here I […]

Study Abroad Because…My Thoughts After the White House Travel Blogger Summit

Study abroad because it kills prejudice, encourages peace and expands opportunities. That was the essence of the messages shared by such leaders as Chief of Staff Denis McDonough at the White House Summit on Global Citizenship and Study Abroad. I was lucky enough to be invited to this event in Washington D.C. as one of […]

Back to San Diego

I am headed back to San Diego for a few days. I don’t think I’m ready to go. I want to stay in our new town, set down roots, build up friendships, discover new places to eat and play. I am not ready to face our dream home, now inhabited by another family. But my 9-year-old daughter, Karissa, wants […]

My Family Is Moving to Arizona!

My family is moving to Arizona in a few days. We had planned to go for months. And then we couldn’t go. Now, suddenly we are packing our bags. I’ve been suffering from migraine headaches and what I assume are near panic attacks due to all of the stress of preparing for the move and my […]

Create a Reverse Bucket List – An Exercise in Gratitude and Pride

You might have bucket list filled with wishes you hope to one day fulfill. But what about a reverse bucket list? Writing down your achieved goals gives a sense of gratitude and pride. Creating a reverse bucket list provides an opportunity to reflect on what you’ve already accomplished instead of always longing for something else.  […]

Do you have decision making fatigue?

Decision making fatigue is running rampant in the age of personalized-everything. You can customize your half-caf soy lattes with two pumps of white chocolate and whip, craft your own sandwich to your exact liking, build your own car online, and shop the Internet for shoes by size, color, fabric, heel-size and more. Between making life’s […]

Student Volunteer Travel – An Opportunity for Giving & Growth

Rather than partying hardy, many high school students are making the world a better place during their school breaks. Student volunteer travel provides young people with the opportunity to journey abroad with other youth and give hands-on help to those in need. The experience can be life-changing for teens, who learn about life in developing […]