Discovery

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To see the sunset and the moon rise on the other side of the world, I am no longer the same. To meet amazing people who share similar dreams, I am motivated. To learn about different cultures, I am rich. To travel solo, I am thankful. To have so many memories stored in my mind and heart, I am grateful. To live this life, I am lucky.

From my travels through the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania region of Germany; meandering through fields of flowers in the countryside, watching the sunset into the Baltic Sea, wandering through abandoned buildings, popping bottles of German beer, laughing with new friends well into the night, peeking through rooftop windows admiring the world below, seeing the light at the end of that tunnel, eating chocolate at breakfast and finding my own way through crowded streets so foreign, yet familiar.

Belgium

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I took a short trip to Belgium—the little European country nestled between other big countries—all by myself, to sort through things on my mind and work through conflicting feelings in my heart. Not only did I fall in love with the new, I instantly fell back in love with the old…or is it the new old… Whichever it is, I couldn’t be more thankful for such precious time.

This much needed time alone in Belgium gave me the chance to sit on curbs in city squares, eat freshly fried frites, stare up at tall church steeples, buy endless amounts of chocolates, dine is fancy restaurants, stop along canals, follow paths that lead to gardens and find feathers that flock together.

My heart is full.

Open Road

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Although there might be a few bumps in the road and the path leading to happiness isn’t always easy, life is a journey worth taking.

From my travels along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia; a much-needed adventure and reconnection with the universe.

The Bay

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“One travels more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.” —Thomas Jefferson

From this past week in Byron Bay; beaches, hammocks, espresso, hang ten and parks.

Sydney

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Staying  just under a week in Sydney, I found myself roaming the city streets in search of something meaningful to take from my travels in New South Whales. Besides a glimpse at the iconic opera house, touring the renowned zoo, walking through a handful of museums and relaxing on one of the many beautiful beaches, I traveled to the dynamic cultural hub to see more than just that.

And what I took from Sydney was a casual, friendly and multicultural city mixed with European traditions and lifestyles. It was like the new meets the old in some articulate kind of way. It was truly mesmerizing.

The laid back lifestyle at the beaches seemed worlds apart from the busy streets of the city. But the mixing of the different lifestyles and cultures is what made Sydney come alive. Its intensity is contagious and its liveliness is attractive.

Culturally, creatively and artistically, Sydney, and the energy it exudes, is thrilling to be a part of.

NZ

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I only spent two weeks touring New Zealand, but what I saw of it has me wanting to go back and climb even taller mountains and see even more impressive natural world wonders. The country is not only electrifyingly green, its hues of blues from the sky down to the streams, gives it a sense of utter cleanliness. But this sense is not only seen, it can be felt through the positive energy running through the environment and tasted in the delicious food served daily.

It was refreshing to see the earth as it was transformed over the course of millions of years from the Ice Age to the volcanic activity from which the country was built. And what makes New Zealand an even greater prized possession is that humans have yet to destruct its natural beauty. Its preservation is more important when comparing profit and loss to the residents of the country.

New Zealand is truly nature at its best.

Portland

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Portland, Oregon was green and sunny and changing. Morning dew blanketed the city, while falling leaves covered the streets. The lush abundance of the season filled Portland and autumn never felt so good as the rising sun warmed me inside and shined down outside.

It was settling, coming from the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles, to sit on the green grass and admire downtown Portland from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and then take a stroll through the Saturday Market.

Outside of the city, I made my way into the countryside to witness the biggest rush—Multnomah Falls. The awe-inspiring cascade of roaring water is a natural phenomenon. The fresh air from way up there was satisfying and the spray from the falling icy water was exhilarating.  It was exactly the rush I needed for the changing of seasons in this ever-changing time.

Brooklyn

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Brooklyn rocked my world during a recent stay in the most populous borough of New York City. The hip lifestyle, electric energy and progressive environment makes Brooklyn one of my all-time favorite places to visit.

Taking ferry rides on the East River, walking through tree-lined streets of Fort Green and eating at the best of the best in Williamsburg were just a few of the ways I explored the neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

With so many different people living in the city, diversity spreads to all corners of Brooklyn and creates a cultural atmosphere unlike any other.  It’s a melting pot for all walks of life. And its beauty and positive vibe truly sets it apart.

British Columbia

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Sometimes my trips come together at the last-minute, but workout to be amazing experiences, which is what happened on my recent travels to Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. I spent four days touring the region’s impressionable beauty with Travel Penticton and fell in love with The Okanagan’s organic makeup and the cultural and historic bond that tie the people to the land.

I met fifth generation farmers and first generation wine makers living in The Okanagan who have an unconditional love of nature and a burning passion to share their craft. They put their hearts and souls into their work and have developed a true relationship with Mother Nature, which in turn provides them with the fruits of their labor. They work in unison with their neighbor to protect The Okanagan’s natural bounty and help support each other through life. Many of their lives consist of working on the land, eating from the land and living off of the land, but each person has a true appreciation for and connection with the Earth and the life it provides them.

During my travels, I was fortunate to experience a true farm to table culinary experience—within minutes, after picking fresh food, I was eating it off my plate. I tasted some delicious wines from wine makers who are part of one of the region’s most vital industries. But overall, I learned the true meaning of sustainability at the hands of others and I left with a great insight into organic farming and even greater appreciation for The Okanagan’s culture and history.

These were just a few of my favorite experiences while in The Okanagan: touring Howling Bluff and La Frenz Winery in the Naramata Bench, walking through rows of growing grapes at Okanagan Crush Pad, picking Macintosh apples in Penticton, tasting fresh honey and eating ripe raspberries at Penticton Resort’s farm and dining in the backyard of Harker’s Organics family farm.

Simplicity

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This week I took some time to regain my focus on sustainability and rework my attempts at living a simple life. Because I ‘m learning about how human diets have changed so drastically in the 20th century and strongly questioning why humanity abandoned its symbiotic relationship with the Earth and its cycles.

I am passionate about cultivating a simple life inside my tiny apartment in the middle of Los Angeles by gardening, eating locally and using traditional methods of cooking and baking.

I crave simplicity.

When on the road of travel, I seek out a similar lifestyle from which I can learn, grow and adopt some of the practices into my own life. I strive to witness the simple life that other people from different cultures living in various countries around the world live out each and every day. Gardens flourishing in small yards, chickens freely roaming the land, freshly bottled milk lining the kitchen counter … homesteading completely fascinates me.

Country girl at heart, I carry on with my attempt to live a simpler more natural life in this city that I love. Because urban agriculture is next season’s motivation.

Simplicity from this week: nurturing homegrown succulents, home-made bread, a few freshly picked apples from a local orchard, produce growing on my patio, cooking in my kitchen and an epic sunset.