“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, travel, teach, 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.
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.