My Story

“Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”–Howard Thurman, theologian, educator, and activist

 My love for travel started when I was a wee one perched on the arm of my grandmother’s rocking chair. She’d fly me to Paris  for pastries in sidewalk cafes–Little Debbie Snack Cakes on tv trays set up along her sofa. And she’d tell me stories from The Arabian Nights

Years later while teaching English in Italy, I knew I’d live abroad one day. More years later, when my children left the nest, I flew away, too. I landed in Morocco. Solo. Sight unseen.  I wanted to experience other cultures, write, travelteach, and learn. After two years living in magical Marrakesh and one in the Caribbean, I am back in Nashville writing and teaching university English, telling travel tales from 27 countries, and inviting others to share their stories  in my Travel Tales writing course and on my podcast and YouTube channel series, Travel People: Living Authentic Lives, Finding Kindred Spirits, Fulfilling Dreams.

I believe God calls us all to journeys  that lead home to the person each of us was created to be. I believe we all need purpose and play… we all crave adventure, relationship, and rest…  what I call beauty breaks for the soul . And I believe  there is always something new to discover whether in our own backyard , home country, or abroad. 

Like many who take the road less traveled, I love Paulo Coelho’s words in The Alchemist: “People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”  We may not get everything we dream of at once, but I’ve learned God fulfills desires He plants within us.  Travel and the expat life in Morocco and the DR was not all pools and palm trees  –stay tuned for the memoir –and, yes, I  physically ached every time I told my children goodbye. I missed my family, my friends, my pets and my house.  I missed Nashville.  But I’m forever grateful for that season abroad which stretched me, allowed me to learn and contribute in new ways.

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Bucket List Bliss 

St. Augustine was probably right: “The world is a book and those who don’t travel read only a page.” I write to share beautiful people, places, experiences hoping this blog encourages you to travel on the path that makes you come alive.  As Thoreau put it: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you have imagined.”

At an agriturismo  in Italy, friends taught me that La Dolce Vita extends beyond Lake Como, Cinque Terre, or Capri.  Relationships, beauty, joy, and laughter…working to live rather than living to work…can be found wherever we follow our passions.  Wherever we let go of fear and  cling to gratitude.  Whenever we follow our hearts.

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Invited to experience Royal Mansour, built by King’s decree
Fav Italy
Lake Como with a friend…perfection. I fell in love with Italy in 2005 and vowed to move abroad one day.
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Sunday afternoon in Tuscany 2009
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I still go to Italy every chance I get and loved New Year’s Eve in Venice.
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St. Petersburg, Russia, one of the most beautiful cities in the world

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Moscow
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Montmartre, Fall 2013
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Prague
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Bolonia Beach, Spain
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27th/Last Graduation at DCA
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Summer 2014 Farewell Party given by my brother-in-law, Jeff, and sister, Penny (from left) Jeff; my daughter, Taylor; my niece, Abby; my son, Cole; my Mom, Beverly; my sister, Penny
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Some of the gang (from left) Andy, Ruffino, Beth, Cheryl, Jonathan, Carol, April,  Best Friend Kim (standing)

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My sis and oldest friend
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Loves of my Life, Taylor and Cole, Christmas Day 2014
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Sahara Palace, where Sex and City 2 was filmed

Typical weekend in Jemma el Fna Square Marrakesh

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Dairy farm in Holland where cheese and shoes are made
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Summer 2012 in Amazonian jungle, Ecuador
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Working the Bucket List
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Favorite dessert, Belgium
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2000 on Irish Sea
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Park Güell in Barcelona
Cindy McCain Horseback Riding in Costa Rica-2
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
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Amsterdam

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Salsa days in Nashville

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Essaouira, Morocco

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Ouarzazate, Morocco–film site of Gladiator, Jewel of the Nile, Game of Thrones
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Bucket List…the Sahara

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Looking forward to meeting this guy
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Savannah, Georgia 2012
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The 3 Musketeers together again in London

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Pepe Nero, Pasha's Palace
Moving to Morocco was one of the best decisions of my life.

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In August 2016 Taylor and I moved to The Dominican Republic for a Mother-Daughter adventure.
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Another fond farewell to Nashville
Flew home for college graduation of my son, Cole:3 muskateers
My son, Cole, graduated college and started his career as we explored the Caribbean.

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Travel is always worth it.
Traveling to over 25 countries and living abroad in two of them was something I’ll never regret. Though I lost more than expected, I gained more than imagined.