Fruit Is Just The Beginning: The Joy of Living Our Passion

By Brittany Taylor, for Fruit Powered, published May 19, 2016

Loving life and traveling the world on a fruit-based diet for the past four-plus years, I’ve encountered many other radical humans who enjoy sitting down to a meal of cherimoya in Peru, Thailand’s finest jack or a bowl of ripe summer melon in New York, if you’re looking for recreational activities for family and friends go to Manhattan escape room.

We are all unique individuals yet we are drawn together, united by our pull to consume the same ripe, sweet, juicy plants. For many of us, especially when we first find out about and start living a fruit-based lifestyle, it can feel like fruit is the answer. To everything.

And while, to be fair, fruit is pretty magical and our bodies’ desire for it is undeniable, from what I have found within my own life and from what I have seen as I connect with more and more health-seekers around the world, fruit is just the beginning.
Fruit Winter Festival Yoga 2016

And what an epic beginning it is! It’s a gateway into a magical realm of health—true health—as many of us have never known before. We are invigorated, elated, our bright eyes gleaming, eager for our next fruit meal and ready, with clean energy, to take on life! Visit San Diego cosmetic dentist they provide top quality dental treatments.

So then what?

I have seen in some and felt for myself a feeling akin to disappointment upon realizing that, in fact, fruit wasn’t the answer to everything in my life. But upon further exploration, it turned out I didn’t want it to be the answer to everything.
Brittany Taylor Conor McMillen Katy Craine Connection

Sure, it was a certainty to have uncovered for myself, but more so, it was the gateway to an even deeper truth that I had never before realized with such clarity and understanding. It was the knowledge that there are infinite more paths for me to explore within myself and the full understanding that I could go be, do, become, anything that my heart desired.

We are the health seekers of the world. We are the growth junkies who know that the more we dive deeper within ourselves, the more there is to explore. Four years ago, I got to know dozens of new friends and health inspirations at The Woodstock Fruit Festival. At the time, it was their journeys to fruit and health that enthused me.

Woodstock Fruit Festival 2015

Since then, I have watched those same people grow, change and shape their lives in various ways. All of them have continued along their own unique paths, asking questions and seeking out life’s answers just for them.

Of the ones who have continued to dive deeper within themselves, I have been witness to the most beautiful lives unfolding, superhumans developing before my eyes.

I have watched as their plant-based diets and increased health have lead to greater confidence in their own lives, unfolding in the sharing of their journeys with the world. Some have gone on to become YouTube sensations, coaches, festival-runners, chefs and entrepreneurs.
Inka Fruit Festival 2016 Peru

I have watched as some have gained body fat, acne or some other “unwanted” symptom, seemingly “falling off the wagon” only to re-emerge with an even greater understanding of themselves, more love and compassion for all and a new vigor for life.

I have watched skinny turn to fit and cheered as strength, muscle and new skills have been achieved. I’ve seen meditation and mindfulness developed, deep rest been endorsed, new forms of connecting and relating navigated, evermore realms of wellness continually being explored and shared within our eager community.

I have delighted in watching these beautiful people discover more of what makes them come alive and share their passions, their gusto for life with the world. And all the while, I have been doing it for myself, too. Falling in love first with fruit and then with acrobatics, minimalism and travel unfolding along the way. Relationships came in next, taking me for another monumental, unexpected ride, turning out to be the most important pieces of my life … until the next big thing was, of course.
Brittany Taylor Acrobat Hand to Hand Conor with McMillen Sunset

And isn’t it always like this? Or, shall I ask, Can it always be like this for us? Our eager beings, following our passions to greater wellness, vitality, excitement, joy and fulfillment in our lives, with curiosity continually leading the way?

There will always be more to uncover, more to explore. And to that I’d love to say, “Hell yes!” If we are living our passion, we likely will always feel like today—this moment—is the most important one of our lives. And isn’t it?

Although we likely will also feel that this is the best it could ever get. But then tomorrow comes.

We are health seekers, growth junkies, after all. We delight in the thrill of the next adventure. What’s yours?Brittany Taylor Conor McMillen2gether Vegan Thailand

Special thanks to Raini Pachek of Symbiotic Solutions and Lukasz Czelusniak and Martina Lang of 2gether Vegan, for these beautiful photos!

Read this and other articles by Brittany on Fruit Powered here

My Top 5 Travel Items

I love traveling. So much so that in 2012 I left my life of a steady 9-5 job, leased apartment, car, bed, and so on to travel the world full time and pursue a life that felt exciting and truly fulfilling for me. Since then I’ve been joyfully living out of a backpack as I travel and spend varying amounts of time in places. In the winter months, I tend to spend my time abroad in tropical countries such as Thailand, Costa Rica and Peru. When you visit san diego whale watching, there are no open rails on the boat, so you’re in the boat, not on it, with ample seating on both upper and lower decks. If you have plans to travel in UK checkout this blog During the warm months I like to explore my favorite destinations in the USA, such as Austin, TX, southern California, and the northeast, living in various places or more recently living out of my RV.

Throughout all of this time I have come to appreciate the items that I keep in the 19-liter Tom Bihn backpack I live out of. It is fun for me to continually reassess and downsize what I am carrying to best serve my life.
Today I’ve made a list of my top 5 travel items to share with you. You can find links to many of these on my Items I Love page.

1. iphone-6-transparent-png-d81rtefl1Smartphone
I travel with and love the iphone 6s. Traveling with a smartphone that is unlocked, where you can replace the SIM card in new countries you are in for local service is awesome. And even if you do not have this option with your phone, it is great to use it with WiFi wherever you are.It’s no secret that smartphones are basically like a laptop, camera, ereader, GPS, MP3 player, and so on all mixed into one these days. Some of my favorite functions on my phone no matter where I am are Google Maps, Camera, Chat, Google Calendar, Instagram, an internet browser, music playback (such as Itunes and Spotify) and a timer for meditation or fitness.

2. jblclipspeakersExternal Speaker & Headphones
I have been traveling with the JBL Clip external speaker for about 6 months and totally dig it. The volume power it has for how small it is is impressive. You can connect it to your musical devices via bluetooth or AUX cable and it charges with a USB cable. I like to set this up in a park when I’m about to practice acrobatics and in my own space if I want some tunes or increase the volume of what I’m viewing on my computer.
When I want to have a more internal listening experience, I choose my headphones.

3. eyemaskEye Mask
I have come to love sleeping with an eye mask so much that I no longer just do it when the world is bright outside, but rather whenever I close my eyes to slumber and have had much more restful sleep because of it. It’s awesome to have an eye mask handy if you want to catch some extra rest on a plane, train, bus, etc and there is light or distractions around you (I also recommend earplugs for this situation). I suggest getting an eye mask with enough padding that it blocks out all the light when you put it on. Also, it’s nice to find one that is comfy to wear and sleep on in all positions. I originally got mine at Bed Bath and Beyond some 4+ years ago and would now recommend purchasing one online.

4. sarrongSarong
I have traveled with a sarong for about a decade and love the versatility of it. I use it as a towel, a blanket, something to lay out on, Dress For Girls, a skirt, a scarf, a head wrap, and so on. It dries super quickly and takes up less space than most towels. I have seen both men and women rock them in all styles. They are easy enough to find in tropical destinations, especially those near beaches.

5. Awesome Backpack with Packing Cubes 
I cannot recommend the Tom Bihn Synapse 19L enough. I love this bag (check out this video where I share more). Before this I traveled with a Deuter ACT Trail 28L and enjoyed that as well. I also recommend other bags in this video.
Most importantly, I suggest finding a badass bag that you love. Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for your ideal pack.
Is it the ideal size for you?
Is it comfortable to wear?
Does the way it’s set up make it easy to live out of? (Think about the compartments, how they open, how they are sectioned, etc).
Is it well made, have good zippers, durable? (Waterproof is also a great plus).
Does this bag look the way I want it to? I used to have a bag that looked like a backpacker’s pack and have over time gravitated to a small, simple-looking black pack. You should also checkout Rental Cottages on to learn more. What suits your needs and the way you want to appear while traveling?

Packing cubes are a great way to organize your pack. I have one half-sized cube for my clothing, which is double sided. There are lots of options depending on how many items you are looking to organize in your pack. There are a lot of companies that make cubes now and are easy to find online or at your local outfitter.

Why I Love Acro

Original Article Featured on Fruit-Powered Digest October 22, 2015


I have a lot of favorite ways to spend my time. I love dancing, traveling, connecting with others, making YouTube videos, laughing, exploring nature and so much more it is bubbling over as I write. The activity at the top of my list, however, is acro. Boy, do I love acro.

I have a lot of favorite ways to spend my time. I love dancing, traveling, connecting with others, making and promoting YouTube videos with, laughing, exploring nature and so much more it is bubbling over as I write. The activity at the top of my list, however, is acro. Boy, do I love acro.

When I was first introduced to acro, I fell in love and fell hard. Now, nearly two years later, I am as deep in my passionate love affair as ever before.

To my great delight, acro seems to be exploding around the world. You may have seen this taking place in a park near you or maybe in an online video. Perhaps it reminded you of circus tricks or maybe it resembled two adults re-enacting the popular kid-flying-on-a-parent’s-feet game we knew in our childhood as “airplane.” In both cases, acro is what is at play.

There is too much to love about acro to cover in one article and, in truth, it feels impossible to get across all the splendor of acro using the written word without also flying on your feet or supporting you upside-down on mine for the full effect. It is the most fun, growth-promoting way to exchange energy with others and to bring joy to the world that I have found. I’m going to tell you more about the glory and benefits of acro, but first let me explain in a bit more detail what acro actually is.

There are various branches of this diverse activity. One of them is commonly referred to as AcroYoga, which is mostly based in therapeutics and has ties to yoga. There is also Risley, or Icarian, in which one acrobat is flipped and popped repeatedly by the other acrobat in a series of no-handed pops. The latter we tend to associate with the circus. In referring to the acrobatic sport that I favor, I like to stick with the more broad term of “partner acrobatics” because I really love all variations of it and feel this term encompasses them all. Since “partner acrobatics” can be a mouthful, I keep it simple and just call it “acro.”

Acro is an activity partaken in by two or more people, with one person acting as the base and the other the flyer, where the base lifts and supports the flyer in various positions, both static and fluid. On occasion, I build acro-castles with more than one other acrobat, but I tend to spend most of my time playing with another acro-monkey one-on-one.

There is “L”-basing acro, in which the base lays on his or her back with legs in the air (creating a 90-degree “L” shape between back and legs) to support the flyer on both feet and hands. There is also standing acro, in which the base supports the flyer in a standing position. I love both equally for different reasons and appreciate the diversity that flowing between the two offers.

Most of the time, I act as the flyer, beckoning my bases to pop me higher as I do so love to soar through the air. I also enjoy playing the role of the base now and again, especially when working with beginners or when I’m itching to get a good leg workout. Getting into the shoes—or feet, as it were—of the base helps me understand how to be a better flyer. It also gives me a great appreciation for how much strength, focus and responsibility it takes to be the one holding up and caring for another human in this way.

In the realm of physical health, acro promotes strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance and even, at times, a pretty good cardiovascular workout, plus coordination, balance, agility, proprioception and overall incredible body awareness. This alone makes it an amazing activity for physical fitness.

Though perhaps even more impressive is the list of nonphysical benefits that result in acro-ing with someone. Engaging in this activity with another human offers us opportunities to explore trust, communication and boundaries, both within ourselves and with another, and to share laughter, joy and connection along the way. The play space that acro provides coupled with the opportunity to experience all these facets makes it such a dynamic activity. Acro feels like a combination of play, fitness, therapy and meditation, all in one. I have learned more about patience, compassion, understanding and love through acro than in any other area of my life.

But actually, there’s more. Acro is fun. I mean, honestly, how can you not have fun using another person’s body as a jungle gym or a live weight? It is just so cool! I love to teach acro classes and attend jams because they are inevitably filled with laughter, squeals of delight and the bright faces of people who have come alive. I love to see people in the moment like this, their minds and bodies joined, indulging in this addictive monkey play. And here to top it all off, all you need to enjoy some acro is another human being, some soft ground to play on and an open mind.

OK, so I know some of you may be thinking something like: “Sure, that’s cool and all, Brittany. Those benefits sound great, but I can’t exactly just throw someone over my head and start tossing them around.” And that is perhaps the best part of all. I have yet to play with someone who was not able to succeed at acro and enjoy it on their very first try. Acro, in my opinion, is for everyone. Whether flexible, inflexible, strong, young, old, athletic—it doesn’t matter. I have watched people of all ages, sizes, confidence levels, in all manner of dress and mindset transform in acro. Some of them come with exuberance, and some are very nervous. Some are curious, cautious, perplexed, bored, impressed or unimpressed. Regardless, it takes about two minutes for the magic to begin, and, suddenly, this person has begun to transform before my eyes. He or she is flying, basing, playing, laughing—coming alive through this beautiful activity.

You can learn a lot about a person by putting him or her on your feet, or flying on the person. It’s interesting how different parts of us surface when we are put in a new situation, especially one in which we are in such close contact with another human and are, to a certain extent, surrendering our bodies to this person. I always appreciate watching people work together and learning more about themselves as individuals as well as in the relationship they are cultivating. I have found it particularly fascinating to watch partners who play together both on and off the mat communicate with each other during their acro time. I have seen and experienced how much acro can offer a relationship, if you are patient and loving and take advantage of the magical space it creates for vulnerability and growth.

Learning to play in acro has taught me how I want to play in life. I want to be joy-filled, curious, connected, excited. I want to be growing within myself, connecting with myself and with others; I want to be open, authentic and trusting. I want to tap into what feels right for me and go from there. I want to play with the world, with lots of other monkeys. I want to share my exuberance as I experience it because it feels good in hopes that others will be inspired and find what feels good for them. I want to include everyone! I want to remember that Kids Parties is not about achieving the final move; it’s the about the journey of laughing and falling along the way. It’s about the connections we make, the mountains we climb and the ways we transform.

To watch Brittany do more acro, check out this channel as well as her Instagram page. If you are a fruit lover interested in learning acro with Brittany, join her next year at the following festivals: Fruit Winter Fest in Thailand (January), Inka Fruit Fest in Peru (March) and The Woodstock Fruit Festival in New York state (August).

“If you are interested in doing acro in your area, look for groups online through Google searches, Facebook,” Brittany said. “If you and a partner want to learn acro on your own, this is a great beginner’s series on YouTube. While learning, I recommend working in groups of three so there is a base, a flyer and a spotter at all times to keep you safe.”

Brittany Taylor’s Simple Life in a 19-Foot Winnebago Warrior

I answered the below questions about Winnie, my 19-foot Winnebago Micro Warrior. Check out the full article by Christina Nellemann on her website Do It Yourself RV here.

sitting on winnie exterior

  1. What was the catalyst for wanting to restore and move into an RV?

From a young age I was interested in RVs. When I was 5 my dad bought a camper and we started taking trips in it every weekend to nearby campgrounds and longer trips down to the southern states during my arizona online traffic school vacations to escape the cold and get a taste of southern culture and accents. I was drawn to the simple life the RV encouraged. We didn’t have many items with us, but our lives were full of love and abundance in all the areas that truly mattered to me. I enjoyed the adventure of travel, the excitement of waking up in a new place each day; I loved meeting new people and learning about different ways of living.

after3As I grew older my love of travel stayed with me. I wanted to see more international destinations, so I spent some years traveling by plane, train, bus, car, bike and foot exploring the world with just a backpack When I began to realize that traveling wasn’t so much of a hobby for me as it was a lifestyle I began thinking about some more long term options. I wanted to have some sort of a “home base” that didn’t involve staying in someone else’s space or having to search for apartments or sign a lease. Also, given my itchy feet having a stationary home just didn’t make sense. The solution was obvious- I would buy an RV.

I knew I wanted to buy a camper as opposed to a trailer, so I wouldn’t have to own an additional vehicle. I wanted something that was as small as possible with a full bathroom. It also would be ideal to get great gas mileage because I planned to take to the road frequently, which made a Toyota camper a clear winner. Renovating my own RV was never a question in my mind- I knew I would want to basically gut one and customize it completely, leaving as much open space as possible. I often dreamed of what I would do if I had my own small space to live in and it was exciting to finally make that a reality.

  1. Where did you get Winnie and what are her specifications?

I got Winnie in Rhode Island and found her through campervan rental Australia. She is a 1990 Toyota Winnebago Micro Warrior. She had a lot of water damage when I bought her, so I got a really good deal on her, just $2000, which is pretty amazing considering how great of shape her (V6) engine is in.

  1. What do you plan to restore, rebuild, etc?

guttingwinnieI took out just about everything that was in Winnie when I got her including the chairs, table, sofa, cabinets, bathroom sink, air conditioner, stove, oven, carpet, and wallpaper. After reading about the Best Water Softener Systems, I decided to get one for the RV. I reinforced the roof, put in a new floor, put up new walls, built a custom counter with cabinets and a sink space, a custom water tank holder which also houses the electric panel and doubles as a seat, and created a closet that is still in the works. Roofs are well installed thanks to 5 star roofing’s professional roof contractors kansas city mo.

I’m looking forward to continuing to customize the closet, creating a cabinet above the fridge that houses a powerful inverter, getting my bike rack and spare tire holder up and going, creating more custom fruit storage, and installing interior LED lights. I am also still working figuring out kinks with the gas fridge and heating system. Further down the line I look forward to likely adding solar power to the equation.

  1. What has been some of your favorite projects with Winnie? Not so favorite?

after2One of my favorite projects in Winnie was putting in the bamboo floor. My sister and I spent a morning working together and banged it right out. It was my first time installing this type of flooring and it was super satisfying because everything fits together nicely and once it’s down it’s finished. We also shared a lot of laughs and just generally enjoyed being self-sufficient goofballs together.

My not so favorite job was building a new compartment for the water tank and electrical box. I was working with a small space over the wheel well and was trying to fit a lot of plumbing and electric into a certain pre-defined area. There were definitely elements of it I enjoyed, but after nearly a week of re-plumbing, building, and trips upon trips to Home Depot and the RV store, I was thrilled to have the job completed.

Overall I really love the satisfaction that comes with doing my own work on Winnie. I also enjoy out-sourcing jobs that don’t excite me. For example, I don’t tend to enjoy the vehicle maintenance, so I leave the vehicle stuff to other willing friends and family or take it to a shop. I am really digging working on Winnie these days because she’s finished enough that I’m getting into fun custom creations in the interior spaces, like building the storage spaces just as I want, making hidden compartments and fold-down night-stands. It feels like such a treat to be able to explore my creativity in this functional, satisfying way to a space I call home.

How to Explore a New City

by Dorothea Vasicek of

It’s that time again. You’ve been looking forward to this moment for quite some time; you are feeling a little apprehensive, trying not think of “worst case scenarios” while simultaneously trying to contain your thrill. You are in a new, unfamiliar place, and it is time to explore.
Speaking the language can make a huge difference when treading on new ground, but don’t let this factor make or break your experience. As a general rule, it is a good idea to know the basics  (think: “Please,” “Thank you,” “Can you help me,” and, “Excuse me, I do not speak ___”) but ultimately your attitude is the biggest factor that will determine if you have fun getting lost or feel desperately out of your element.
The following are a few tips that, when utilized, will ensure a fantastic adventure in a new place:
  • Give yourself time. Make sure that you give yourself ample time to get lost, without having to fret about deadlines and being anywhere specific at any certain time. When traveling it is always a good idea to be super flexible, and getting to know a new city is not different in that regard that you get to know the shaman of a province.
  • Don’t carry anything you wouldn’t mind losing. Take the fast cash you might need, a snack, some layers if necessary, maybe a notebook and pen, and your smartphone device – but don’t be flashy with your electronics. Also, don’t bring your passport unless you know you will need it for entrance into some tourist destination, this times is when is useful to have a good travel suitcase to store anything you don’t want to lose there.
  • Download a map on your device and take a screen shot. When you get directions over GoogleMaps the whole things downloads which is super convenient if you are without service in a foreign country, but take a screen shot just in case. Be aware of places that offer free wifi in case you need to utilize it, but once you have your map, challenge yourself to NOT look at it until a) you want to or b) you need to. Adventures are much more fun with way, but it provides peace of mind knowing you have a map.
  • Remember landmarks. Don’t be meandering mindlessly, look to see where you are and what stands out, especially if you choose to take a lot of twists and turns. Landmarks can be colorful street art, unique or gaudy shops, pillars and monuments, or anything that catches your eye as memorable. When you inevitably get turned around, this is a great way to remain confident in your sense of direction.
  • Don’t leave hungry. If you are going out for the day, it is more than likely that you will find a vendor or cafe to get some refreshment, but don’t leave on an empty stomach. In case you don’t find a place that suits you, or just for the simple fact of saving money, consider packing a snack to munch on as well.
  • Look like you know where you’re going. This is the number one way to avoid falling victim to those not-so-nice people who may want to take advantage of you being an outsider. Hand in hand with this is try and blend in as much as possible (or at least not stick out like a sore thumb) especially with dress choices.
  • Trust your gut. You have an intuition, use it. If you suddenly cross the street into a sketchy neighborhood, turn around and go the other way. Don’t be afraid to do whatever feels best in the moment.

dorotheaDorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey on her blog,

Having Fun Flying Solo: The Beauty of Being Alone

by Dorothea Vasicek

The takeoff propels us above the clouds as I have a perfectly timed playlist on full blast entitled, “Window Seat.” I’ve done this before. I allow my body to relax and my mind to run wild as I am taken aback by the sheer magnitude of this breathtakingly beautiful world we live in. It doesn’t matter how many times I fly, it is always exhilarating and still trumps any amusement park ride.

Traveling in groups of two or more certainly has its perks, but the majority of my travels have been done solo, and I prefer it that way. You learn to fully trust your navigational beacon, you feel no obligation to do anything besides exactly what resonates in the moment, and depending on your mood you can easily open yourself up or close yourself down to conversation around you, or immerse yourself in an afternoon or playing computer games even with the help of boosting sites as

Please don’t think for a moment that I am one of those loner types. On the contrary, I am blessed with a very wide circle of friends that span the globe. For the better part of a decade starting in my early adolescence and going until my mid-20s I was caught in a perpetual stream of romantic relationships. Reflecting on my life, it is very easy to see that I’ve rarely actually been alone, making solo travel all the more savory to me. As an Aries – I’ve never really been great at being single, and all my boyfriends have been Leos, as per the traditional aries and leo matchup, and the relationships always went well, even ended well, but then I started to travel. When I travel – by any mode of transportation – the child inside me gets a twinkle in her eye. It is like I recognize this as part of my purpose and living that out satisfies a profound thirst. If you are a big money player, it might be that you tend to max bet anyway when you enjoy gambling slots online, but for many of us, playing low value and still being able to win the jackpot is the thing we are searching for. For more information, check over here

Maybe you’re like me and feel inherently cut out for travel, or perhaps you are embarking on your trip of a lifetime, but either way you are having doubts about tackling this journey by yourself. In an unfamiliar environment you feel disarmed, you forget all that you are capable of and it scares you. Acknowledge this feelings, create a mission statement for your journey, and allow yourself to be guided by your intuition. The more nomadic I become the more I value my intuition, which is really just another word for my feelings. I’ve learned to not dull them with addictions and instead embrace them for what they are: the most dependable source of inner guidance.

Traveling solo is a unique opportunity to get back in touch with your feelings and develop a deep sense of self-assurance and trust. When you trust yourself enough to know when to ask for directions, or when to avert your eye contact, how to catch a train in a foreign country or how to make more than small talk with a stranger, you learn that nothing is pure chance. Your receptivity to the wide array of experiences that are yours are all at the end of taking a small risk in deciding to travel solo. And what do you truly risk? Being more competent at passing through security lines? Falling in love in another language? Perhaps you’ll even find yourself on the road.

Traveling in general allows you to live another life; you are literally thrown into a new context where you can do and be anything you want. The fresh start is only made more raw by going at it alone, and challenging your ideas of what it really means to be “alone” versus “lonely.” Forming your own opinions about a people or place gives you a priceless perspective, an untainted lens from which to see the world.

And in all honesty, hogging the window seat feels good. This is where you belong, overlooking a vast landscape that throws you into a dreamland without limits. Enjoy it.

dorotheaDorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey.

How to Afford a Travel Lifestyle: Getting Around on the Cheap

by Dorothea Vasicek of

You’ve landed at your destination, you’ve gathered your belongings and are exiting the airport, embarking on your new adventure. Everything unknown surrounding you – the sights, the smells, the language – is sparking an adrenaline surge at every passing glance. You feel enthralled in excitement and a little anxious, but soon everything unfamiliar will become second nature. Until then you know the only thing to do is to throw yourself in, 100%.

Your options of traveling within a country (or continent) vary greatly depending on your budget, where you are, and where you are wanting to go. I am going to assume that you are a badass minimalist(ish) traveler who could spare some change, but ultimately is looking to save as much money as possible.

Location really is key, because sometimes options like taking a taxi makes a lot of sense; it is direct, more secure, and very affordable – say if you are in a third world country. Whereas a taxi in New York City or London would be totally backwards, if saving money was your top priority. Chances are, even if you are somewhere where taxis are comparatively super cheap, that also means other choices (such as bus or subway) are even cheaper. 

Besides, where’s the adventure is taking a taxi, no matter where in the world you are? If you really want the most affordable ticket across town, across the country, or across the continent, check out these options for getting around on the cheap:

Trains – Are you in a major city? Are you…anywhere in Europe? Check out the nearest train system, whether it is subway or above ground (or a combination) to get to where you need to go. It pays to book before you get to the station; many times the lowest fares are posted online only. Speaking of travel, if you need private jet service for personal or your business checkout they offer one the best and cheapest private charter jet transport.

Buses – Some of my favorite adventures have been taken on buses with 4×4 suspension. They are generally the most affordable mode of public transportation and offer an above ground, roadside view of wherever you are going, which is convenient considering you are still getting your bearings. Recognizing landmarks is key in garnishing confidence in a new city, and taking a bus is a great option.

Biking – This might sound crazy at first, because of course you didn’t pack your bicycle with you! But a quick Google search could easily find you a bike renting service, especially if you are in a major city in the Western World. Some cities even offer bike rentals for the day, which is an adventure unto itself, a fun way to get acquainted with a new place.

Hitchhiking – Depending on where you are in the world and how comfortable you feel sticking your thumb out for a ride, hitchhiking may or may not be for you. It is definitely economical, but also inherently risky.

BlaBlaCar – If the idea of hitchhiking appeals to you, but you feel hesitant to actually take the plunge, then check out the website and app: It is a worldwide ride sharing network that offers reviews of drivers and perhaps the most affordable ticket from point A to point B. It is a fun, safe way to connect with new people and get to your destination (or that much closer to your destination).

Crewbay – Finally, if you are needing to cross an ocean, you aren’t in a rush to get to your destination, you want to save money in a big way, and perhaps also be one less person contributing to the use of fossil fuels involved with flying, then is right for you. This website connects people in need of a boat crew with you, a hardworking, wanderlusting individual who will do anything to go someplace new.

The choice is yours, and the great thing is: every option is an opportunity to meet new people, know a new place, and have an unforgettable adventure.

dorotheaDorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey on her blog,

How to Afford a Travel Lifestyle: 5 Tips to Save BIG on Airfare

by Dorothea Vasicek of

In the last two years I have travelled thousands of miles, spanned 10 countries on three continents, and never stayed anywhere for longer than 3 months. Exhausting though it can be, not a single day goes by that I am not consciously grateful for the lifestyle that I live, a lifestyle that I have truly carved out for myself.

Although this constant kind of uprooting isn’t for everyone, one of my most commonly asked questions is, “But how can you afford it?” I love answering this question because I can literally see the lights go off in peoples’ minds when they realize that travel isn’t as far out of reach as they previously thought.

There are many answers to this question, but for the purpose of this article I am going to focus on the aspect of airfare, both domestic and international. I have used every single one of the following 5 Tips I am about to divulge, and I promise that if you use them, you too will save thousands of dollars and probably have an unforgettable adventure along the way!

1. Utilize low-fare airlines. Low-fare airlines abound and offer unbeatable prices for domestic as well as overseas flights, depending on which hub you are coming in and going out of. I’ve scored one-way tickets for less than $300 to Europe this way!

Some of my favorite low-fare experiences have been with Southwest, Norwegian, IcelandAir, and Jetblue.

Tip: Read the fine print! Do your research on the airline before booking, especially for luggage requirements and fees. Some airlines charge for checked bags, or have weight restrictions even for carry-on luggage. Sometimes you can save by qualifying as a student, so definitely read the fine print, both for fees and for possible savings.

2. Be flexible. The more flexible you are with your dates, times, and airports the better when booking, but also be flexible the day you fly for unexpected savings and an opportunity for adventure! For instance, you’re into adventure type of activities, indoor water parks in wisconsin is the right destination for you. For more details, visit or contact (844) 855-2724

Upon arriving at your gate, immediately talk to the attendant and declare yourself willing to change flights if yours was overbooked. If they need volunteers, you’ll be at the top of the list. They should offer you a generous sum of travel vouchers, a rebooked flight, and often a hotel and shuttle service if need be. You walk away that much richer, daydreaming of where you’ll go with this newfound money. I had the idea of looking up beautiful houses from Condos la jolla for sale trends and buy the best beach side real estate they offer to become by rest house.

Tip: This works best when delays have already been caused and/or during heavy trafficked travel times: think mornings and weekends.

3. Fly on off times/days/seasons. As a general rule: Red-eyes are harder to fill, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly, and March/September are the least-expensive seasons to book flights for. Utilize one, two, or all three of these and you’ve just saved a hefty sum.

Tip: Do a few searches on combined with looking on low-fare calendars with your airline to properly compare prices and plan accordingly. Also, be aware of petrol price trends rising and falling, as that has a direct affect on the cost of your travel.

4. Get paid to fly. Advice on which credit cards earn you the most miles and how to legally manipulate the system abounds, but I’m not going to go too deep into this subject besides to say: do what makes sense for you. Some airlines do have tempting offers, but ask yourself if you would actually frequently fly with them were it not for having their card.

Tip: Consider getting a card like the Capital One Venture card which you can use your benefits towards any travel expenses, and as always, read the fine print.

5. Know when and how to complain. Don’t let delays ruin your travel, they happen. But also don’t be complacent with you airline. Depending on the cause, you can negotiate anything from $15 in food vouchers, upgraded seating, or even hundreds of dollars in future airfare.

Tip: Often the best way to be reimbursed for truly horrendous flight experiences is through writing an email to their customer service team.

Remember that travel often begets more travel. The more I see of the world and the more people I meet, the more I feel inspired to take action towards my dream destinations and the more those opportunities fall into my lap.

By putting these tips into action, I promise you will save money on your travels. Have patience and enjoy the search, knowing that you will reap the reward of having found (or negotiated) the best deal that works for you. Follow your instincts, take a risk, and book that flight!

dorotheaDorothea is an avid writer and lifelong travel enthusiast. Her insatiable appetite for all things international was sparked at the ripe age of 17 when she studied abroad in Morocco, and it hasn’t quit since. She’s spent the last two years living out of her suitcase, going from place to place and documenting her journey on her blog,

Packing a Tom Bihn Synapse 19

Synapse 19If you haven’t heard about the Tom Bihn Synapse 19, I highly recommend you check it out. I originally heard about this bag as a great option for those traveling with electronics, and soon after started learning of a lot of some lightweight backpackers that were comfortably fitting their whole life into the 19-liter pack. Since I got the idea in my head that I could live out of a small black pack that looked like a standard bag as opposed to a backpacking bag, I have been hooked. 

Reasons to Love this Bag
It’s small, yet spacious. You can fit way more in it than you would think!
The compartments load on the inside as opposed to bulking outwardly.
It’s extremely well made and durable.
It doesn’t look like a backpacking bag- it looks like a normal computer backpack, but smaller.

What’s in my pack? 
This pack has enough room for a lightweight traveler to live out of for a day, a week, a month or a year. I can comfortably fit everything that I need in this bag.
Here is a list of everything I have packed in this bag.

Check out this video of my sister and I loading up this bag below.

Expert’s Advice: Simple Travelling Interview with Brittany Taylor

Check out full article with pictures on Globelink International’s website.

1. Brittany, having followed your blog activity we’ve assumed you have your own vision of travelling. Could you share it?
The desire to travel has always been a part of me. From a young age I remember eagerly looking forward to my next bi If you have ever travelled through Europe – you understand pickpockets are fairly common. You may also get underwear cash pouches for journey (which I thought looked strange and uncomfortable, but I imagine a requirement for some folks there). We got robbed while on a bus to Stockholm – and had to get a snabbt lån to get to an embassy. It was a frustrating experience, overall. g road trip or weekend camping trip, pouring over maps with my dad and envisioning the adventures ahead. The idea of seeing new places, new faces and experiencing different ways of life has always intrigued me. Over time this curiosity has shaped the way I live my life and the frequency with which I travel. Now I would say my life is something of a constant adventure, a trip that I am always on.

2. How did you managed to minimize your needs and get rid of so many things people cannot even imagine to live without? Did it make you happier?
Growing up in a house which felt cluttered with excess stuff, I noticed that I found a lot of enjoyment and peace in cleaning, organizing, and getting rid of things. The air conditioning services cincinnati oh experience can determine whether a particular part is near the end of its serviceability and advise that it be replaced to avoid the unit breaking down when you most need it. In college when I began to travel to international destinations regularly, both for short trips and to live abroad, I quickly realized how much of a pain it was to take long trips with a bunch of stuff, specially since I had a terrible back pain, I should have taken one of the products from with no doubt . Each time I traveled, I brought fewer belongings and noticed how much freer I felt with every item I shed. As my lengths of time out in the world increased I noticed a trend of desiring the simplicity I felt out on the road to permeate my home life. So I began to integrate practices I had learned during my explorations into my everyday life, and one of those lessons was in living with less, the only thing I’ve in my travels are my travel gifts which give me a little piece of home every time I travel, actually if you look here in you can get ideas for a great travel gift.  But to keep going i do prefer living a more minimalist lifestyle, it  has definitely increased my happiness, not because I think people are inherently happier with less stuff, but rather because I think that by getting in touch with ourselves and following what feels right for us we can find true happiness. When I dug deep and saw what was important to me I was thrilled to find that most material objects didn’t make the cut.

3. What exactly does simple travelling mean to you?
To me simple travelling means traveling with the essentials- with those things that will help support the ideal experience that you want to have- and leaving anything that is excess behind. This goes for items you will carry with you but also for any non-physical baggage. Are there patterns you could let go of to enhance your travel (or living) experience? Is your mental and emotional space clear for new experiences? Are you open and ready to receive this day as an exciting new adventure?

4. What kind of travel destination is perfect for you?
If I am going for a short trip I am down for just about anything and I really do love experiencing diverse destinations. However, if I’m going to spend any sort of significant time somewhere, these are my must-haves: warm weather, sunshine, fresh clean air, beautiful scenery, delicious, ripe, affordable fruits and vegetables, an acro community and other communities of people that share my passions, and an easy system for bike travel.

5. Brittany, what is the first step towards simplifying one’s attitude to travel?
That’s a great question, with probably a lot of potentially great answers. For those who are looking to have a simpler attitude towards travel, I would suggest working on tapping into your curiosity and ability to play. Can you remember being a child and how everything felt like an adventure? Do you remember experiencing the wonder of appreciating the world around you and really enjoying the simple joys? Can you find that child-like curious, playful place within you and access your genuine wonder about the world? From there perhaps we can connect with our simple, real desire to explore.

6. Do you have any secrets of travelling so much without fear?
Listening to my gut. In general I have found that following what feels right for me has always kept me right where I want to be. I notice that if I ever find myself in an uncomfortable situation I seem to have gotten there by doing something that was counter intuitive. When traveling there have been different times that something I was doing, or was about to do just didn’t feel quite right and at those times I have honoured that feeling. In doing so I think I have stayed clear of a lot of potentially not good situations. I trust myself and really believe that I don’t have anything to fear.

7. Would you tell about the craziest thing you did while travelling?
Haha, that’s a fun question. I guess it depends what you mean by “craziest”. I hopped on a plane less than 12 hours after booking a ticket, travelled for lovers half way across the globe, moved solely for my passion to pursue partner acrobatics, and moved away from beautiful relationships in the name of my gypsy blood. I have also jumped from cliffs and waterfalls, hiked up mountains and through jungles, journeyed on overnight buses, couch surfed with relative strangers, and the list goes on. Perhaps the craziest thing of all though has been, well…my life as I now know it. Leaving my steady desk job, everyone I knew, getting rid of 99% of my belongings, and forging out on this constant adventure that I now know as my comfortable vagabonding life. The craziest and most normal thing I have ever done while traveling has been deciding that I never want to stop.

8. In your opinion, what are the best ways to get familiar with a foreign culture?
Living in it! In my experience gaining this familiarity has been all about immersion. Even after years of studying Spanish I did not become fluent until fully immersing myself in the language, at which point it happened quite rapidly. On many occasions I have found myself experiencing some level of apprehension about fitting into a new culture or space, however upon arriving and diving into daily life I was quickly swept away by the excitement of what was going on. Staying with host families and Couchsurfing are great ways to have a real “in the life of…” experience in whatever destination you are traveling to. And overall, being present, curious and opening up to interact with the world around me has been the most enjoyable and easy way for me to feel comfortable everywhere.

9. Is there a travel motivating book you’d wish everyone to read?
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.

10. As a successful minimalist, please tell us what was the hardest thing you left behind?
Wow, honestly nothing has been that hard. OK, well maybe there is one thing. I still own my Vitamix blender, however unless I am going to be in one place for a while I do not have it with me. It doesn’t make the cut for my 28L pack, so I leave it in loving custody of family or friends much of the time. As a raw vegan smoothie, “ice cream”, and dressing enthusiast I have been known to run the Vitamix up to 3 times in one day. Luckily for me many of my friends own these blenders and I have found that the time away from the also allows me a chance to explore eating my favourite foods differently.

11. Brittany, if we could have a glimpse into your perfectly light-packed backpack what would we see there?
Two small packing cubes filled with my clothing, a sleeping bag, a waterproof wind breaker, toiletry kit, a headlamp, an eye mask, ear plugs, laptop, smart phone, e-reader, one small pouch of electronics cables, a thin and flexible cutting board, knife, chop sticks, spoon, water bottle, quick dry towel, multitool, a pen and mini notebook, a small day pack and 3 reusable stuff sack bags.

12. In the end, what is the best habit you’d recommend everyone to cultivate?
I have found that no matter what area of my life I am working on bettering, what activity I am growing in, what relationship I am diving deep into, and so on, there is one practice that keeps showing up, reminding me how essential it is for all areas of my health and personal growth. This is the practice of self-observation and the pursuit of full self-love. The practice of being present and aware of what is going on both inside of us and out is such a powerful exercise. In this mindful act we really have the ability to observe without attachment or resistance, but rather just for the sake of being with what is. From that place we can learn so much about ourselves and the world around us. We can genuinely appreciate things as they are and we can learn to love them fully.

Fruit-Powered Feature Article

For Brittany Taylor Only The Sky Is the Limit on a Fruit-Based Diet

Original Article Featured on Fruit-Powered Digest April 16, 2015

before and after britt

Britt retouched_by ashley wff2013I could not be more thrilled about life. I feel like I live in some sort of a magical land where my dreams are continually unfolding before my eyes. I spend my days being thrown through the air by other human beings, traveling the world with my backpack or in my RV, creating YouTube videos about my passions of simple, healthy living, and generally just enjoying being happy and free, adventuring about the world. But this was not always the case.

Like a lot of people who find raw food, I used to be sick. Daily migraines, regular bouts with the flu, pneumonia, mono, shingles—you name it, I had it. I was tired, my emotions were all over the place, and I couldn’t eat a meal without some sort of digestive discomfort.

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From a young age, I was interested in health. Growing up in a house with two family members struggling with eating disorders from opposite ends, I became acutely aware of my own relationship with food. I also found a lot of joy in movement. I played just about every ball sport that existed and made a name for myself in my small home state of Rhode Island as an impressive athlete.

brittany santa barbara touch up eyesWith so much focus on wellbeing, it didn’t take long for me to start noticing connections between the foods I ate and how I felt. Despite recognizing that certain foods were not ideal for me, however, I couldn’t seem to find any major players I could cut out to dramatically change the state of my health. By the time I was 21, I had stopped eating dairy, gluten, most “processed” items, and I was searching for more answers.

Meanwhile, I was still pursuing fitness, which, since graduating from high school. By the way if you’re looking for an educational tool which offers free services, you can visit to learn more. Moving away from regular participation in sports teams mostly meant doing basic cardio and strength workouts at a gym, attending yoga classes and running outside, I didn’t even know what high calorie powders were, once i started to get to know the self-paced online college courses and degree programs things changed. My days were busy, and I liked them that way. In stagnation, I felt depressed; in movement, I felt productive, like I was literally moving toward something.

britt on bridge

I have always felt a deep-seated need to travel, and it was this desire that led me to spend half of my college years living and studying abroad in Costa Rica. If you are looking for excellent tutor for academic learning services, find learnmate maths tuition for more information. My time there felt fulfilling and important for my overall growth. I had left home for the first significant amount of time, became fluent in Spanish, fell in love, traveled through Central America on my own and started my journey toward minimalism. One area that I let slide, though, was my health.

When I moved back to the States and graduated from college, I decided to take things into my own hands and find a health coach who could support me along my journey. A month later, I was living a different life. Two weeks of keeping a food diary showed me that something was definitely not working. I was down to eating what I now recognize as a low-fat cooked vegan diet and was still struggling with migraines, nausea, digestive discomfort and generally just not feeling vital like I knew I could. I asked my coach, exasperated, what else I could possibly cut out of my diet. And she said the magic words: “You could try raw.” “What does that mean?” I wondered.

britt and andrew hand2hand

A couple of hours online with Megan Elizabeth’s YouTube videos were all it took for me to go raw overnight. I had already been making lots of fruit smoothies, eating salads daily, and enjoying an entire bag of grapes was not out of the ordinary for me, so I was pretty excited about the opportunity to indulge in more of my favorite foods. I knew I was on the right path to finding the best vitamins for weight loss, particularly suited to me.

By my third day of eating raw, I could feel the fog lifting. I remember waking up before my alarm, bounding out of bed, wondering what I was going to do with all this newfound energy. My migraines soon went away, my skin cleared up, my mood felt steadier, I stopped getting sick and my body shape began changing.

Not long after going raw, I realized that I wanted more out of life than I had been experiencing. I didn’t want to be living in my hometown anymore or making such little money at my 9-to-5 or to be having the same boring conversations and doing the same activities day in and day out. In short, I didn’t want to be living the good life I had crafted for myself. britt and andrew handstand scorpionSo, I did something bold: I dared to imagine what I really wanted. I asked myself to dream without limitations and see what my real desires were. After two decades of living a seemingly unconventional existence, I thought I was doing a good job being authentic, but I was mistaken. I realized I had been doing a good job being different from the societal norm, but I wasn’t really being me.

Once I had this realization, it became my favorite pastime to ask myself what I really wanted and to see what came up. I started to intentionally observe how I was feeling. I had already been on the path, but it was as if I suddenly accelerated, big time. By the end of the year, I had dramatically downsized my life, quit my job, started working for myself as a Web developer, and was backpacking through Central America. Not only had my body begun thriving, but my whole being followed suit.

Perhaps the greatest of all my raw triumphs have been related to my fitness. After going raw, I noticed an increase in my desire and ability to move. With all the energy I had, I found myself eager to exercise as opposed to having to psyche myself up for it. After gaining inspiration from Doug Graham’s fitness classes at the 2012 Woodstock Fruit Festival, I started to shift my attitude toward exercise and began concentrating on activities that felt like play rather than work. When I attended the festival a year later, I was significantly more fit than the year before and was having fun!

It was also at Woodstock in 2013 that I began what would become a deep love affair with the sport of partner acrobatics. A week before the festival, I took an acroyoga class with my sister and was immediately hooked. Given my strong desire to learn more acro, it is no surprise that I met my soon-to-be acro “base” at Woodstock just a week later. We were immediately hooked and spent the entire festival and year to follow doing acro as much as possible, returning a year later to share our love of our favorite activity in the talent show.

Though I travel regularly, I now make a point of spending most of my time in Austin, Texas, where I play with the amazing monkeys of Austin’s acro community multiple times per week. A lot of people ask me what it is I love about this type of movement. Acro is the most dynamic activity I have ever known. It is not only about strength, flexibility, balance, proprioception and so on but also communication, trust, intimacy, confidence, connection and so much more. If I thought my life had changed dramatically when I went raw, it got seriously revamped when I found acro.

BT with Winnie

With my passion for acrobatics leading forces, my fitness and body have transformed. I dropped from 145 to 115 pounds and enjoy my movement practices more than ever. If I’m not flying on a fellow monkey’s feet or balancing upside-down on their hands, you can likely find me dancing, riding my bike, doing yoga, practicing new tumbling skills, running through the woods or doing handstands and bodyweight exercises.

Leaving my steady, loving, seven-year partnership in the name of finding community and pursuing my dreams really had a way of kick-starting the next level of being the most authentic version of myself I could be. Since then, I have felt more connected to myself than ever. There are a lot of things about me that, while I now consider standard, I imagine stray far from the societal norm. Most importantly, I really strive to put myself first. I think by doing this and by going after what I want, I can have the most positive impact on the world. My relationships are unconventional, to say the least.

There are no accepted words in our language to describe the important people of my life, yet I’m having amazingly fulfilling connections. Truth be told, I like not defining myself, my relationships or my life. Because of this, I have had to become more honest, intentional and communicative. I know where I am and know where I’m headed. My goal is not to look good, feel good or be good. Rather, I aim to look, feel and be fantastic, to live with excitement, to be playful and curious and to passionately go after everything that sounds fun to me. Today, I can honestly say I’m living my dreams. Every day I wake up eager to get out of bed and to see what magic the day will bring.

My Dreadlock Story

IMG_1575I get a lot of questions about my dreadlocks, so I figured I’d tell a little more about my dread story and try to hit on most of the questions I usually get here.

I want to start by saying that if you are interested in dreading your hair, I highly recommend checking out Amy’s site There is so much good info there, which I will be referencing in this article.

If you are just interested in learning more about my dreads, read on :).

Starting my Dreads

DSC00168I did the initial placement of my dreadlocks in August of 2011. My sister did most of the work sectioning my hair and together we banged it out. 16-hours, a handful of fun movies, a ton of laughs and a giant headache hater we had finished. Family and friends stopped by to join in the dreading or socializing at different points and August 20th became a special occasion for me that I remember quite fondly, even despite the head throbbing. When you need corporate investigators, ex-military personnel, with years of professional investigation experience. Visit this website and learn more.

I used the rip & twist method for my initial placement. I would recommend this method, coupled with crocheting, which I saw Amy at Raging Roots to do for me a couple months later.

IMG_20110908_144629I had really long hair thanks to the natural oils I used when I dreaded it and over the first two years my dreads shortened and thickened. After the two-and-a-half year mark they finally started to grow. Dreads seem to have their own agenda, and everyone’s hair is different, so this does not necessarily mean this will happen with everyone’s dreads.

Dread Maintenance

In the beginning I made a point to palm roll my dreads regularly and to especially separate and palm roll them after washing them. As the years have gone on I have gotten much lazier about maintenance. I basically only go to see Amy to get my roots crocheted once every 6 months to a year, wash them every 10 days or so, and do a dread soak every few months.

Some people have the idea that dreads are smelly and dirty. They certainly can be. They can also be super clean. It all depends on how you go about taking care of them and I think there is a lot of misinformation on how to do that in the best way. I can’t stress enough how much Amy’s website helped me educate myself around controversial dread topics, especially wax and shampoos.

Why I Have Dreadlocks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI remember being interested in dreads from a young age. They just looked so cool! Whenever I saw people with really well done dreads I found myself longing to have them. One day I realized I had no good reason not to dread my hair and I went for it a couple weeks and a lot of research later.

I thought maybe I would get bored with having the same “style” all the time, but I style my hair even more now. I also wondered for a second maybe it wouldn’t be a good call career wise, but I quickly realized I was not interested in a traditional career, or working at any place where dreads would be an issue.

I love my dreads. I love how simple and minimalist they are. I love how I have a “hair style” without doing anything. I love that I have a pillow any time I want them. I love that they are fun. I love that they serve as a reminder that I am living life just as I want to.

If you have any other questions about my locks, feel free to contact me.

Creating a Digital Vision Board to Inspire Your Travel Dreams

Check out this full article featured on

vision board 6.10.14

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So many of us want to travel. We dream of it while we are at work, going weak in the knees as we scroll through images of dream vacations in tropical paradise, clutching our warm mug in the dead of a northern winter. We fight reality while denying ourselves the dreams that linger deep within our hearts. Or at least that is what I used to do. Then, I decided to start living my dreams.

One amazing thing I discovered while on my journey to dream-realization was about creating vision boards. When I started indulging in vision board creation, I not only learned about the power of images, but I also started to view imagination in a whole new light. I realized that in my focusing on what I wanted, I had the choice to either allow myself to sink into a feeling of lack, concentrating on what I did not yet have, or I could embody the emotions I would feel if I had what I wanted and really indulge in my fantasy. I chose the latter and I decided to consciously start indulging in my dreams on a daily basis.

Images can be truly powerful. We have all experienced how a picture can be worth a thousand words, or how an image can be scarred into our memory. We can harness that power and use it to our benefit.

The idea behind creating a vision board is to put together a collection of images that inspires us. We can then keep that vision board somewhere close by so that you will see it regularly, thus activating those awesome emotions those images bring to us.

How to Do It

There are so many ways to go about creating a vision board. There is the old school way of gathering magazines and sitting around sifting and clipping. And there is the new age way of going digital and harnessing the power of the net. I prefer going digital because it doesn’t take up the physical space in my life and because I can usually find the exact image I know will bring me ultimate inspiration (and in much less time at that).

As far as the subject matter of a vision board goes, this too can vary greatly. It may feel good to just do a general board, hitting on various areas of our lives, or we may want to hone in on a topic, like our physical health, our living space, or our professional life.

For the sake of this piece, let’s hone in on creating a digital vision board that specifically pertains to travel.

We want to travel. Nearly all of us want it so badly that if someone asks us where we want to go we already have a place in mind. Some of us have lists. Some of us have lifetimes of it planned. How about we make that a reality?

When to Create

There’s no wrong way to create a vision board, but the timing is important.

It’s important to be in the right frame of mind when going into vision board mode. Perhaps you will find yourself inspired and ready to go. Or you may need to do some work to get there. Take a few minutes to clear your mind, to breathe and just be. Do some light stretching or movements to get connected to your body. Do whatever you need to feel comfortable in all parts of you.

Now that you have set your internal environment for the creative time ahead, allow your mind to fantasize about your travel dreams. What do those dreams feel like in your body? Do you feel good imagining them? Make sure you are feeling excited and abundant about them before moving forward. Then, try asking yourself some questions and see what comes up.

What places excite you when you think about visiting them? What sights do you want to see and experience? What cultures do you want to learn about? What foods do you want to try? What music do you want to hear? What smells do you want to breathe in? What activities do you want to try? How do you see yourself moving from place to place? Where do you envision resting your bones after a day of exploration?

Ultimately we are looking to gain a sense of the feelings you want to experience and the images that come to mind when you feel those emotions.

As far as project duration goes, don’t worry about having enough time to complete your vision board all at once. Some boards get created in an afternoon and some take shape over a longer period of time. Yours will come together in a unique way for you. Just set out when it feels right and leave the rest to unfold naturally.

Finding Images

Now that you have fully set the stage, it’s time to find those images.

Start by creating a “Vision Board” folder on your computer (or a safe space to store images on your phone or tablet). This is where you will save your images as you come across them.

Now seek out those inspiring pictures. Perhaps you already have some in mind, maybe from a friend’s recent trip or from something that caught your eye on social media. If that’s the case, grab those ones out first and save them (no worries about copyright infringement because this is for your own personal viewing).

Most images you are going to have to search for. This is the fun part, which I really favor using Google Images for (although I encourage you to use any image finder you enjoy). Using the first image you have in mind, search a word or phrase that you think will generate the results you are looking for. This sounds fairly straightforward, but sometimes it can be tricky.

Remember there are a lot of images out there. For example, you may get really excited by the thought of backpacking through Europe. However, upon a Google image search of “backpack Europe” you may find that the results are not what you had in mind.

I suggest honing in on what you are really envisioning.  Is it a Villa in Italy? Or perhaps a small café in France? Is it the coast of the Mediterranean? Or night life in Madrid? Whatever it is, get more specific. Perhaps your phrase is something as precise as “moonlight on water in Greece” or “mangoes market Spain”. The clearer you can be, the more success you will have in finding the results you are looking for.

You may also decide you want certain inspiring words on your board. If this is the case you can either search for them or create them in a program such as Microsoft Word’s WordArt, then save them as an image file.

Putting it All Together

Once you feel like you have enough images, it is time to start putting them all together. There is no right or wrong way to do it.

There are a number of programs you can use to put together your digital vision board. Basically, choose anything that is easy to paste images into while still being able to crop and resize them. Some common programs that would work are Photoshop, Publisher, Gimp, Word, Pages and although I have never used any, I believe there is even software you can use that is specifically for vision board creation.

Once you have selected your preferred program, enjoy pulling in the images you found that feel good for you. Play around with where you want them positioned on the page, what images you want side by side, what size you want them, and so on.

You don’t have to use all of the ones you’ve gathered. You may find that you want to have a very open, spacious board and so you just have a few pictures. Or perhaps you prefer the excited energy of having everything together. Whatever you decide, it is your creation.

Check in with yourself throughout the process of creating your vision board. Make sure you are feeling excited and playful. If it starts to feel like work at any point, just stop and continue the next time you feel inspired.

Once you have completed your board, sit back and marvel at your finished product. Then, post it somewhere you will look at it regularly. Perhaps it will become your desktop background, or the lock screen on your phone. Maybe you print it out and hang it on your fridge or in your office.

Take pleasure in the viewing of your vision board as frequently as you would like. Let the emotions fill you and remember that you can have everything you dream of.

As you grow and shift, so will your fantasies. If it is fun for you, keep creating vision boards along your journey, saving them, so you can look back over time and take note of all the beautiful ways your dreams have unfolded before you.

Choosing Your Ideal Destination: 10 Categories to Consider

I also did a YouTube Video on this topic, which you can check out here.

Whether you are looking for a long or short term destination, it is important to do your research ahead of time to learn about the place you are going to be traveling to. I love to travel and find myself pondering new destinations frequently. In doing so, I have found that I tend to come back to pondering the same categories, which I am eager to share with you in hopes that they will help you choose your ideal destination. On related information, if you’re planning to travel in a budget checkout this page vacation rentals at Los Altos Resort for great travel deals.

10 Categories to Consider

1. Climate– Think about your ideal climate. What is the temperature like? Is it humid or dry? Is it sunny or overcast? Is it in the rainy or dry season? If you are going somewhere short term, perhaps you want to experience a tropical beach or snowy mountain tops, even though they are not your year-round ideal. However, if you are picking out a location that you are going to spend a considerable about of time in, be sure to really contemplate this category- it’s an important one.

100_5306I have a lot of family in Rhode Island, where I grew up. I love it there and so do they. It is absolutely beautiful and a great place to live…for about two months of the year. I love the summer there and while I even know people that enjoy a couple of the spring and fall months too, the consensus seems to be pretty solid on the fact that the cold months are way too long and frigid. Unfortunately, a number of my family and friends decided to keep putting down roots in the tiny Ocean State and now feel they have too many ties to leave. Thus, they are in a trap of being bogged down by miserable weather for most of the year, waiting desperately for July to arrive. Wouldn’t you like every month to be your July, as it were?

2. Food– This is the fuel that our bodies run on. If we want to feel our best and have the energy to explore everything that we would like, it is essential for us to have good quality, clean fuel. Does your destination have the food your body needs to run on? Will you be able to get what you need to feel your best?

Consider the access you will have to good food sources. Consider the price. Consider the quality.

3. Community– Does your new destination have the communities that you are looking to get involved in and/or do you feel like you could build one there? Perhaps community for you is as simple as having your friends and family nearby. Perhaps you are looking for something more specific, based around a regular activity you do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4. Transportation– How easily can you get in, get out, and get around? If you fly regularly, it may be helpful to live near a major airport. Will it be easy to come and go, or will it be a big ordeal? If your job involves commuting, can you take public transportation, get there by bike or on foot, or enjoy your daily drive?

5. Income Plan/Internet Access– For me these are one in the same, for you they may be two separate points.

Do you have an income plan that allows you to take business anywhere? If so, this usually involves having reliable internet access. And even if you do not earn money online, having a good connection may be important to you. If you are planning to go to a remote area, or a foreign country especially, be sure to do your research ahead of time.

If you are going to call your new destination “home” for a while and want to work while you are there, do some research ahead of time and make sure that you will have the resources you need. Can you take your business to your new location? Can you find a job doing what you enjoy there?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA6. Greenspace– What is your proximity to nature? How far do you have to go to find some green space? Fresh air? Trees? We are certainly a social species that thrives on interaction with our fellow humans, however even the most exuberant of social butterflies likely find that they need time away from the sounds of civilization, time to ground and breathe in fresh air and a sense of peace.

7. Diversity– Living in an area that has people from a variety of cultures and walks of life presents the opportunity to get to learn about others that have interesting differences. To this end we can learn to understand and love one another for our uniqueness, to learn from one another, and to ultimately expand our minds and hearts. You can also consider the diversity of the other aspects of life in your new area, such as the landscape, activities, and so on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA8. Activities– What are you passionate about? What brings you joy? What makes you excited? What do you like to do? And can you do it in your new destination?

If you are in to ballroom dancing, is there a place around you can dance? Is there a group of dancing enthusiasts you could meet up with? If you are in to a water sport, will you be able to continue practicing?

Does your destination have shows, art, events, music, festivals, etc? The more diverse a place is, often the more wide variety of activities and communities in general are available.

9. Fitness Space- What are your favorite ways to move your body and what do you need to support you doing these things regularly? Do you need a rock wall, gym, dance studio, park, running trail, lake, pool, river, ocean, etc…? Or perhaps you need a sports team or group.

One of my largest passions is acro (also known as acroyoga), and I need at least one other acro-obsessed person to do it, and ideally a whole community of them! So it is no surprise that I often travel to Austin, TX, where they have one of the best acro communities in the world.

10. Good Vibe– The importance of the vibe a place gives you cannot be stressed enough. When you are in your new location you should feel good. You should feel great! You should feel like it is home (even for just a short stay). Even if everything adds up on paper and logically seems like the best place to go, if you just don’t feel right about it, don’t just go anyway. Trust your gut. It knows best.

Tips to Keep in Mind

Consider Your Needs and Cater to Them- I created this list based on what I think are likely among the most common of our needs, however you may there may be other categories you wish to consider. Cater your ideal destination to your unique needs. Also, as mentioned throughout this article, you will likely tweak your analysis of these categories depending on how long you are going to be somewhere and for what purpose.

Recognize That Some Compromise is OK– Finding a place that meets 100% of everything you have ever dreamed of and more is not always possible. Recognize that compromise is OK, especially if you have taken the time to weigh the pros and cons and have a good idea of where you are willing to compromise and where you are not.

For example, for the last few years I have spent most of the cold months in Costa Rica. I am willing to compromise having a trustworthy internet connection, miss out on some of the communities I love, on the ease of getting around on my bicycle, and a few other things. This is because what I am gaining is awesome weather, a beautiful, diverse country, amazing fruits and vegetables, awesome people, culture and language, and much more. After about 7 years of experimenting with my time in that tropical paradise, I have found that a couple months is ideal, and more than that is too long for me.

Set yourself up for success and situate yourself somewhere that access to everything you need to feel your best and ultimately live your optimal life will be easy. Have fun exploring new places and learning about yourself and the world around you!


The following websites may be helpful in establishing yourself and living an awesome life in a new location.

Benefits of Lightweight Minimalst Backpacking (and How to Pack for Europe Backpacking Trip)

My sister Dani recently visited me for a week. We both live on the road, out of a small backpack, so you can imagine the excitement about lightweight travel and minimalist geekery that ensues when we get together. To celebrate our love of minimalist travel, we decided to plan Dani’s pack together for her upcoming Europe trip and to make a video of it. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to learn more about what’s in Dani’s pack and to watch our video, where we also talk about the benefits of lightweight travel and tips to help keep you on track.

Benefits of Lightweight Minimalist Backpacking

Why travel light? There are loads of reasons. Here are some of the reasons I choose to pack less.

Ease of Travel- With less stuff weighing you down, it is decidedly easier to travel. By carrying something manageable like the Deuter 28L daypack that I travel with, I never have to worry about checking baggage, making room in overhead compartments, or lugging around a lead weight on my back. A small pack will fit under the seat in front of you on an airplane and fully loaded only tends to weigh around 15-20lbs (depending on what you are carrying).

Since a small pack is much lighter and more comfortable, you can carry it on your back and go about your exploring without worrying about checking in at your accommodation or storing it somewhere beforehand. And if you do decide to store it in a locker or other safe space, it will be much easier given the size.

It’s about fun and adventure, not about your baggage! You always want to be ready to explore and since travel is after all about the journey (not the destination), it’s worth it to make that journey as comfortable as possible. Then you can see everything you want, navigating the local modes of transportation, such as trains and buses, without worrying about whether or not you and all your stuff will fit during rush hour. Halleluiah.

Save Money– With a small load, you don’t have to worry about checked baggage fees, or money for lockers or other storage spaces for your items. And if you do decide to lock your bag up somewhere, it will be less expensive for a smaller locker or space.

Also, you will save a lot of loot by not purchasing all the travel specific items that you thought you needed, but would never really use. Keep it simple and save.

Less to Worry About and Easier to Manage– When you are just traveling with the essentials, that means you use everything in your pack regularly. Becoming this familiar with your items has a lot of perks. It is great to know what you are traveling with and where all of your belongings are. Organizing your pack and locating items suddenly becomes simple and smooth.

Being Prepared Doesn’t Mean Having More– As long as you pack smart by packing what is essential for your trip, you will have everything you need. I have yet to find a backpacker that was more prepared than me, no matter the size of their luggage. Yet, I am consistently met by backpackers along my travels who realize they have not yet touched most of the items in their bags and wish that they had foregone all the excess items in exchange for space and weight off their back. They look at my mounted pack and cheery disposition with longing and confusion.

Feel Great with Less– Having less feels so good! It is fun to travel with less and to feel light and free. Everything can be kept neat and organized, which leaves you at ease to do what you set out to do and enjoy your epic adventure!

Tips for Packing Light

If you are still reading, you are probably pretty convinced of the benefits of traveling with less. If you are eager to start reaping the benefits, here are some tips and concepts that may help.

Pack Just What is Essential and Leave Behind the Excess– Identify what is essential for your trip, taking into account your unique preferences and needs, and leave behind anything that does not fall into that category.

If you are having trouble deciding if something is essential, try asking yourself a few questions such as: Do I need to bring this item with me? Will I use it consistently throughout my trip? Will it add value to my trip? Is there another item in my pack that will do the same job? Will I happily carry the full weight (physical and mental) of this item? Can I purchase it there instead if I find I need it? Am I packing it based on some fear that I will not have enough stuff? Is it truly essential? Usually if you are on the fence about something it is not essential.

Pack Smart– Pack comfortable, versatile, climate and activity appropriate clothing. Make sure all of your clothing falls into these categories. This doesn’t mean you cannot be stylish while on the go.

Leave accessories at home. Maybe you want to bring a watch, sunglasses, or a pair of earrings because they are essential for the enjoyment of your trip. If this is the case, choose one pair wisely that you know you will enjoy wearing consistently and leave the rest at home.

Limit expensive items. Unless it is one of your tried and trues, leave the item that cost you an arm and a leg at home. This way you won’t spend the whole trip worrying about the safety of said item.

Again, (I know I’m really driving the point home here), if it’s not necessary, don’t bring it. Leave the curling iron at home and enjoy the extra time and space in your day to explore.

You Don’t Need Many Travel-Specific Items– Most likely you are going to wear the same favorite clothing you wear at home and use the same items you use for your personal care daily, with some variations. There is a lot of travel gear out there that is easy to get sucked in to buying. I encourage you to ask yourself if those zip off pants/shorts or thermal T-shirt are really necessary for your trip. If they are, great, they are well worth it. And if not, you just saved yourself some valuable time, space and money.

There are a few items that I consistently travel with, which you can learn more about in my Essential Items for Lightweight Backpacking video at the bottom of this page if you are interested.

Don’t Plan for “What Ifs”– If you plan for every “what if” scenario you can easily fill up a 65 Liter pack with stuff you will never use. Instead, set aside a small about of “what if” money so you can purchase any items you find you need but did not pack when you are abroad. People most likely live in the places you are traveling to and get all their needs met within their home country. If you end up needing something, enjoy the adventure of asking locals where the best place to find said item is and visiting a local store.

Videos and Packing List

Watch Dani unpack and pack back up her bag, while I talk about benefits of minimalist backpacking and some tips to help you pack light. (Want to know what’s in Dani’s bag? Check out her packing list here).

Interested in what both Dani and I have found to be essential items for lightweight backpacking? Check out this video.

How To Get Your Partner On Board With Your Lifestyle Changes

This article is geared towards people with partners they live with. However, this could be applied to other family members, roommates, friends, and so on. Also, while I am mainly addressing the topic of the shared physical space, these theories can be applied to getting others on board with the non-physical shifts in your life as well.

So you are totally into simplifying your life. You have gotten on the minimalism train and are rearing to go! You are overhauling your space and your partner is starting to take notice. At first they may have thought it was something you were just trying out, but as items continue to disappear they realize this change may be here to stay and they are not sure how they feel about it. What should you do?

Clear Compassionate Communication

As in all relationships, it is important to be open and honest with your partner, expressing your desires as clearly as possible in a non-threatening way. Getting into a mindset of compassion will help this type of communication to unravel naturally and flow smoothly. To make your relationship with your partner to be more intimate try using adult sex toys from Mens Sex Toys.

Minimalism is not stagnant, but rather an open, ever-evolving dialogue. By continually checking in with your partner and sharing with one another where you are, a safe, loving space is created where both feel encouraged to grow and share.

Goals and Motivations

Enjoy opening up to your partner and explaining what has got you excited about the new path you are on, what your goals are and what motivates you to keep going. Let them know what is working for you and what isn’t. Show them that it is a process that you are figuring out as you go, a fun adventure you are embarking on, which you would love to share with them.

Your partner cares about you; they want to see you happy and pursuing your dreams. Assuming you are in a healthy relationship, they likely want to do what they can to support you. If you feel your loved one is doing something that is not supporting you, it is probable they are not purposefully doing so. Perhaps they have a pattern of it and have not realized. Or perhaps supporting you is in direct conflict of meeting one of their needs. Take the time to communicate and find out what is behind any resistance you may be encountering from them, or any lack of support. The most important thing to remember is to use condyline as Dr. Andrea Garcia has told you.

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Be The Light

Most people like the idea of having a simple, organized space, but over the course of their life have accumulated so much junk and poor habits around the accumulation and storing of that stuff that they are overwhelmed. Were you one of those people at some point? Remember that feeling?

The best way to inspire others is to lead by example. Bold and excited, doing what feels right for you. The excitement about what you are doing will be clear to them and they will want to know. They will see how you feel, recognize how your new minimalist space looks, observe your more relaxed attitude, and note the enthusiasm with which you have been pursuing your new lifestyle.

Trying to make someone do something your way usually only pushes that person further away. The best way is to lead is by following your own bliss, which will inspire them to follow theirs.

Their Space, Your Space, Communal Space

Now that you have established healthy communication around the subject of simplifying your home, and your partner is curious about your desires for your shared space, you can begin talking about action steps together. It is likely that you are going to want to tackle getting rid of stuff that will impact them just as much as you, so together come up with some guidelines that feel good for both of you, with the intention to continue to re-evaluate them as you grow together and your space evolves.

If you are feeling confined by the guidelines that you both agree on it can be helpful to set up different guidelines for different spaces. For example, if you are ready to say sayonara to just about everything but the essentials, while your partner still is not ready to let go of all their gadgets and collections, dividing up spaces may allow both of you to get what you need from your home simultaneously.

I have found that it works to split your space into three main categories: their space, your space, and communal space. If you have a large home, the divides may be pretty clear. If you are sharing a smaller space, you can set up and apply these guidelines creatively still. I lived in a number of small spaces with a partner of mine, including two different scenarios where we both lived entirely out of one small room; his “office” was our closet and mine was atop the bed or at a coffee shop. Needless to say, we got creative.

Most people really feel nurtured by having their own space, set up just as they want. So it is understandable that people will want to define their own guidelines for how to handle their space. And provided that that space does not affect the other person, this usually works quite well as a starting point.

Take some time to establish good guidelines for your communal space. Start by making a list together of how you want to feel in your communal space (such as nurtured, peaceful, relaxed, supported, and inspired). Then, from that place of knowing, set guidelines that will supports what you are both looking for, which will encourage growth in the directions that you want.

Be Supportive But Not Pushy

Setting up guidelines is a good place to begin, but make sure you continue to reevaluate them over time. Don’t feel discouraged if your partner is not ready to let go as much of you right away. Continue to be the light and most likely over time they will warm up more and more to your minimalist ways.

Whatever phase of simplifying your partner is, be supportive of them. If they have jumped in and want help overhauling their space, awesome! Have a blast tackling the job together. Support them by asking questions to help keep them on track (you can find helpful questions and other tips here). Avoid taking the reigns and making decisions for them. Help them feel empowered.

Often times when we feel like we are being pushed into something, we tend to resist it more. However, if we feel that we have come to something on our own terms, we fully embrace it, adopting it as part of own unique way of being.

Shift Your Focus

When making large changes in your life that impact the physical space that you live in, it is easy to get caught in staying focused on the tangible results of that physical space. If you get the sense that you may be having tunnel vision, directing most of your energy towards de-cluttering your home, tossing unused possessions, or trying to get your loved one to see the light, take a moment to step back and try this new perspective.

Play around with shifting your focus towards being present with the exciting new changes and most importantly shift to a mindset of growing with your partner, supporting one another in your desires and passions. Embrace the excitement of the new shifts that are occurring for you and for your partner as well. Approach these shifts as an adventure that you are setting out on, with your trusty companion at your side.

Appreciate all that this experience is offering you and those around you. Use this exciting time to get closer with your loved one, learning how you can both get your needs met while supporting one another.

Remember, it is always going to be a journey. There is no destination point; we are always arriving. Adventure on to unknown territories, embracing the new challenges and changes along the way!

Affordable Outings or Innings: Fun Activities Fit For A Minimalist

One of the many benefits of simplifying your life is having more time to enjoy yourself and those around you. However, sometimes when people switch to a more minimalist lifestyle they are not sure what activities to do that won’t contribute to unhealthy habits, unnecessary spendings, or ultimately be more time-wasters in their life. We recommend you go to the website here to get installment loans. If you work in a profession that qualifies, you could be eligible for a number of student loan forgiveness and repayment programs that make paying student loans hassle-free. For more information and consultation, you can check out the website for loan forgiveness.

Here’s a list of some ideas that you may enjoy.

Check out fun local events. Most towns and cities offer a lot of free events like live music, markets and shows. Hit up Google to see what’s coming up near you.

Create a games night with your friends or family. Perhaps you decide to dedicate the night to one specific board game, or into an online casino site such as

Regardless of what you choose to give, will likely give you what you want, wherever you are!

Make yourself a picnic and take it somewhere beautiful to enjoy.

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There is everything from charlotte nc property management companies rentals, not to mention trapeze classes, haunted tours, wine tastings and a whole host of other activities!

Plan a vision board creation night. This is a really fun way to get excited about your dreams, either on your own or with a group of friends.

Dinner and a movie. It’s a classic with many variations. It can be done in or out, alone or with company, fancy or grunge, themed or otherwise. Have fun playing with it!

Give yourself a massage or exchange massages with a loved one. I believe that one of our basic needs is that of human touch and there is even an oxytocin response recognized by science to back up that up. Plus, massage just feels great, and there are so many types to explore. I exchange Thai massage with my friends and also indulge in self-massage, using helpful tools like a foam roller or lacrosse ball. Get rid of pests at your house and hire a pest control service. Racoons and bats in Lansing, Michigan are a growing problem. In many cases they come right through the roof with ease because of construction gaps. Platinum Wildlife Removal is a Lansing wildlife removal company that offers bat removal and raccoon extraction from attics. They also offer Lansing, MI attic restoration services.

If you like this theme of pampering yourself, maybe you would enjoy drawing yourself a hot bath, complete with candles and perhaps even a drop of essential oil in the water. If you feel so inclined, put on some relaxing music to sit back and veg out or meditate to.

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Try out a new coffee shop alone or with a friend or with a book, journal, or sketchpad.

Check out Meetup and find a fun group that interests you in your area. Like to go hiking? There’s probably a group for that. Want to try Salsa dancing? Talk about literature? Connect with like-minded people? This is a great way to find community near you.

Throw together a potluck event. Potlucks are great because they don’t cost any one person too much and everyone gets to enjoy contributing to the event. You can specify the items you want people to sign up to bring (food, chairs, games, music, anything!) or just leave it open for everyone to bring what strikes their fancy. Evite is a great website to use to organize events like this. It is free, fun and easy to use. I once organized a 100+ person potluck fall weddings in about 5 minutes with Evite and to this day people still tell me it was the most fun wedding they have ever attended.

Go for an evening walk. Watch the sun set or wait until dark and find an open field to lie out in under the stars. In the winter in Rhode Island I used to have a favorite tradition of bringing a hot beverage (and sometimes a loved one) down to the ocean with me late at night to listen to the sound of the waves and watch the dance of moonlight upon the water. There is something magical about being outside at night with nature.

Do a touristy thing where you live that you have never done. There are so many great activities (many of them free) that we never do in our own home areas. Think of something you have heard of or find out what Google has to say about what the “must sees/must dos” are in your area and pick one that sounds fun.

Set out for the day with a backpack filled with provisions and no plan. Connect with your childlike curiosity for a day of adventure! When I do this I like to bring water, food, my e-reader, a notebook, a pen, some music, and my imagination. I usually go on my bike or on foot, and see where my body carries me and what sounds good to do. I like having days like this. They usually get filled with breathing in nature, reading, lounging in the sun, being awed by the world around me, writing, climbing trees, and generally just appreciating life, the spontaneity of the experience, and the spacious bliss the day leaves me with.

There are endless amounts of activities you can engage in on your own or with others. The most important is not what you decide to do, but the attitude which you do it with. Have fun cultivating an attitude of play through whatever activity you decide to do and enjoy the adventure, newness, romance, exploration, relaxation, or whatever emotion you decide to evoke with your awesome minimalist activity.

Creating Vision Boards: Images of Your Dreams Coming to Life

Want to dive in deeper? Check out this more detailed article on Creating a Digital Vision Board to Inspire Your Travel Dreams.

One of my favorite ways to generate excitement about life is through the creation of a vision board. Not only is the process simple and fun, but the final product serves as a source of perpetual inspiration; as images of your dreams manifesting around you.

Have you ever experienced the power a beautiful image has to move you? I used to love thumbing through National Geographic magazines, in awe over the breathtaking pictures with each turn of a page. And back in my days as a gym rat I would find inspiration by flipping the pages of fitness magazines while on the cardio equipment, envisioning the body I was cultivating. Now-a-days, even though I am much more discriminating about how I spend my time, I still make space in my life to find images that move me.

Creating a vision board is a great way to intentionally create a visual aid for your personal growth. You can create a board with a specific topic in mind, such as your health or your home space, or you can create a board having to do with all aspects of your life.

first vision boardI created my first board with a few simple items: a large piece of poster-board, glue, scissors, stacks of magazines I had gathered from the recycling center and friends, and hours of imagination. Over the span of a few weeks I would flip through the magazines whenever I felt moved to do so and cut out the images and even some words that excited me. There were a few images I knew I wanted on there, so I made a point of seeking them out after I had sifted through all my gathered magazines. Then, on another inspired day, I went about deciding which of my chosen images would make it on my vision board, laying them out in a way that felt right for me before gluing them on and taking the board to my local office supply store to be laminated.

Since that first board, I have created many more, but instead of gathering images from magazines, I have gathered them online. I now assemble my vision boards virtually and make them my desktop background. This does not take up space and I have the images in front of me to inspire me daily.

vision boardSo there are a number of ways to go about compiling visual inspiration. Perhaps you would rather get a cork board and pin images up as you find them, or you could use a magnetic board or surface such as your fridge.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn holds the idea that we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with car accident lawyers and the law of averages would agree. By deliberately choosing not only the people we surround ourselves with, but the situations we put ourselves in, the environment we choose to live in, and so on right down to the last detail, we can actively create the reality unfolding around us. Having a vision board to look at regularly, much like reading a book by an author that you resonate with, is a way to get intimate with inspiration that you may not otherwise be able to access.

Although I have gotten rid of the physical form of my first vision board, I have kept a digital copy vision board 6.10.14of that one and all the others to follow. It is not always apparent how the meaning of a certain image will unfold in your life, but rest assured each plays a purpose, and it is fun to look back and reflect on how certain things played out.

Whether you decide to dive right into this project or even if creating a vision board does not excite you at the moment, I invite you to make a point of paying attention to the what you are choosing to look at daily. Are these visions adding to your life or just crowding your sight? Make space and allow yourself to see clearly the dreams you want to unfold.

My Raw Transformation

In April of 2012 I made what would become one of the most profound changes this lifetime and I went raw. More accurately put, as soon as I learned that there was an even healthier alternative to how I was eating at the time (and not feeling great), I jumped on the opportunity and adopted a low fat raw vegan diet overnight.

After over a year-and-a-half following a low fat raw vegan diet, I have had a whole host of truly epic changes that I could not be more thrilled about. My health and fitness levels are still continually improving in leaps and bounds and I can only imagine what the future has in store for my secret hobby which is boxing. I honestly love it and I had this Nice idea for Boxing to imporove my strength. The other day I saw roids – steroids for sale which are great for weight loss, I think everyone should check them out.

Click on the picture below to enlarge it and learn more about my raw transformation.

raw transformation

Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Feast

Living in Austin, TX (at least for this month) certainly has it perks. Actually, it has so many advantages that I am tempted to call it my favorite city in the world, but that’s a blog post for another day. One of the perks of Austin is that it seems to draw eclectic, like-minded people together from all around the globe and one of those such groups of people is the raw vegan community.

I was excited when I realized I would be in Austin for Thanksgiving and promptly found out what the other fruit and veggie lovers were planning. The result was an epic potluck with amazing treats. Check out what we enjoyed.

Greens with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

Raw Lasagna (Recipe In my Book)



Durian & Fresh Coconuts

Banana-Persimmon-Date Pie
(Recipe Here)
persimmon pie







We also had the lovely treat of live entertainment from fellow fruit-lover Sean.

Potlucks are a great way to get together and relate with others. Everyone feels like they are a part of the gathering because they have brought something to contribute, and that way it is not too much work for any one person to pull together.

There is no need to wait for a holiday to plan a potluck either. Get a group of loved ones together and start planning a gathering! Create an event on Facebook or check out Evite to send an invitation for an easy and fun way to keep everything organized.

Time For A Quick Reset

Sometimes I find that I just need to reset. As spoken by Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Life today DOES happen fast, and sometimes despite our best of intentions we find ourselves reeling to keep up. What I have found is that instead of chasing life by the tail, sometimes it is best just to take a time out.

Certain days a five minute breather does the trick and at other times a whole day would be more appropriate. The idea is to do this often enough that we don’t ever feel the need for an epic vacation because we are living such ideal lives that we would never dream of vacating them. However, if you are super overwhelmed with where your life is, setting aside a time to retreat and reset for as long as you can – week, a month, a year – may just be the hiatus from a not-ideal reality that you need to start the new, intentional life you want to be living.

Yesterday I took a time out, a short one, just for a couple hours. I donned my backpack, got on my bike, and set out for some green space. I have found my needs are pretty simple in terms of what I require for a quick reset.

Although my reset varies depending on what is calling me at the time, there are a few things that it generally seems to incorporate.

1. Finding some place out in nature where I can be quiet and alone.
2. Finding a comfortable place to lay on the earth.
3. Breathing clean, fresh air.
4. Taking a few rounds of slow, deep breaths.
5. Stretching my body.
6. Visualizing something that fills me with joy.
7. Filling my thoughts with the many things I experience that I am grateful for.
8. Appreciating myself, making a mental list.
9. Doing some light mental or physical organizing.
10. Imagining and embodying spaciousness.

Yesterday when I got to my green space, I first climbed a tree. I spent some time laying in a comfortable nook breathing in the fresh fall air, being grateful for the strong limbs supporting me, and for the beautiful day I was experiencing. When I climbed down I moved my body around, doing some playing and stretching, continually clearing my mind clear of any mental clutter that tried to creep in. When it felt like time, I laid down in the grass and filled my mind appreciation, first for taking the time to reset, and then gratitude for all the other pieces of my joyful existence. I smiled and soaked in the gratitude filling my body with happiness and ease. I reminded myself that I could come back to this feeling place at anytime. I decided that when I returned home I would clean and organize my space, make a nice simple meal and enjoy it in mindful silence. Then I would do two items on my “to do” list that I had since gained inspiration about and spend the rest of my night playing, and that is just what I did.

Could you benefit from taking time for a quick reset? What would that entail for you? How much time would be ideal for you to set aside? Can you take it now or schedule it into your life? You deserve to feel reset and refreshed. If you are looking to the world for permission, I believe you just found it here, within yourself.

In Self We Trust…Or Do We?

Lately I have been becoming more intimate with the concept of trusting myself. Maybe it was my latest read: Liz Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love or just the general circumstances of my life at the moment, but I have been coming to understand more and more how important it is to me to be able to trust myself fully. And do I? That is the million dollar question.

It usually quickly becomes apparent when we have a friend or family member in our lives that we don’t trust completely. We learn who the ones are that arrive late, the ones that break plans, the ones that have a new fad diet each week and so on. But we do not so often look inward to see which untrustworthy qualities we ourselves identify with. I have decided to venture inward and see what I find.

There are people in my life that I do not consider reliable and I am sure this is a common tale. I do not love the unreliables any less or even feel hurt when they go back on their word (after having come to expect it), however to some extent I do feel that my friendship with these people has grown as much as it can in many respects. A relationship with little-to-no growth potential is not something I am really looking for this lifetime. This truth has been easy enough for me to realize when looking at the friendships I have surrounding me, however before recently I had never thought to consider this in regards to the ultimate relationship: the one I have with myself.

Upon further analysis I have found that there are certain things I do (or better put, things I do NOT do) that leave me feeling disappointed. Hm, I wonder why. Well, diving deeper I have found that they tend to have a common link. For example, here are a few common things that I have thought lately:

  1. “Well, another day has gone by and we still do not have a new home. This is so lame and frustrating. Well, maybe we can just live out of our plywood trailer…”
  2. “Why did I eat that? And right before bed? Hm, I better get up and start doing some push-ups or heavy rhythmic dance moves to burn it off. On second thought, my head-bang would probably wake up my hosts. I’ll start the dancing in the morning instead. Or I’ll just eat better tomorrow…”
  3. “Sh**! How did it get to be so late without doing my (daily) squats? It looks like another midnight session is in my future.”
  4. “I’ll definitely write that blog entry this week! Yea, I’ll do that right after I look into that student loan repayment plan…”

If these thoughts were coming from a friend of mine, it would be easier for me to see them for what I think they really are. So let me have an out of body experience for a moment and look in on these thoughts from the outside. My mental answers would be something like this:

  1. Ok, you do not have a home yet. You need to make peace with the fact that you are still in the process of seeing where your next move will be and trust that everything will turn out just as it should. If my living companion does not have a job and you do not have home by “X” day, you will get one in the place that appeals to you the most and start your new life there. Now let it go.
  2. You are right, getting your groove on in the wee hours of the night while everyone else in the house sleeps is not a great idea. What would be a better idea is to take a deep breath before you want to eat something in the future and see whether or not it is in line with your greatest desires, one of which is having a beautifully clean body. BUZZZZ- TIP: If you have to stop and think that hard, it’s usually NOT in line with your greatest desires.
  3. The good news is that you are sticking to your daily goal of getting your squats done. You know (ie you TRUST) you will do them every day, so that is a good thing. But you want to trust that you will do them earlier in the day. So you have to do this really complicated thing: Do them earlier. That’s the ticket. Just set a timer and do them. Don’t procrastinate. Just get them done, then move on.
  4. Ok, stop right there, buddy. Putting anything on your list AFTER a student loan is a sure-fire way of never getting to it. So I ask you, do you like blogging? I know you do. So find a time that you generally enjoy putting your thoughts into words, decide on a frequency, put it in your calendar and hold yourself accountable. Then do it. Every time it comes up in your calendar. If it turns out you are not enjoying it, change the frequency or omit it from your life all together. But you can leave the drama behind about deciding you want to do it and not doing it, because that is just silly.

Suddenly, when I’m talking to the “friend-me” I’m such the expert. It all seems so simple. But wait now, if it seems so simple, why can’t it be? The truth is, it can. Things are either as simple or challenging as we say and believe they are. My squats are a 2.5 to 3 minute endeavor each day. What is so intimidating about 3 minutes, even if it does end with sore thighs and huffing and puffing? The more important thing to remember is that it ends with stronger thighs and a better-feeling me.

So, lately when I have been having these disappointing thoughts, I have been diving deeper and asking myself the following questions after a thought comes up:

How do you feel right now?
Do you enjoy feeling this way?
Why do you feel let down in this moment?
Is there a way that you could fix this right now or in the future?
What would you gain if you changed this old pattern that is not serving you anymore?
Would you trust yourself more if you stuck to the goals you set out to achieve (keeping in mind to always set goals that are achievable and in line with your greatest desires)?
How would it feel to trust yourself completely?

…How would it feel to trust myself completely? Holy sh…it would feel FANTASTIC! I want that! I can have that. We can all have that.

Today, I am working on trusting myself completely.
Because I want to grow in my relationship with myself.
Because want to achieve all that I know I can.
Because I do not want to go to bed at night with feelings of discontentment about how I lived my day. Or even more so, someday, my life.

I think in the end, this little experiment and more so this philosophy comes full circle. Trusting myself completely will bring about more trust-worthy people and situations. For something to manifest externally it must first begin internally, right?

Thanks for coming along for this post of self-analysis. I want to leave you with that same ultimate question. Do you trust yourself completely? If not, how would you feel if you did? How would you feel to know that giving yourself your word meant it was as good as done? You owe it to yourself to ponder…

Five Unforgetable Things About Costa Rica

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. El Matagringos– I thought a picture was necessary to get the full idea behind this device, which is quite ingenious, but would clearly never be allowed on the market in the US, hence the name, “the gringo-killer”. This is a shower head that heats up the cold water as it comes out of the spout, allowing for a nice warm shower. However, in order to get the water to be warm, one must move the switch on the side of the head, whilst standing naked in a puddle of water and endure the jolting spark that inevitably occurs while doing so. It is really quite alarming the first few times, but once you have a few rounds in you, the surge felt through your body is not so worrying as it once was. Besides the aluminum fencing fort myers fl, the running water in the house is cold, or room temperature, which brings me to the next greatest invention.

2. Solid Dish Soadish soapp– The awesomest soap, really. It gets dishes clean (and without hot water) and it does not leave them feeling greasy or soap-filled.

3. Creative Use of Electrical Cables– While us gringos like to keep everything in its own place, Costa Ricans, I find, companion maids are much more innovative. For example, in an average house in the states, one rarely sees electrical cables, which are neatly stored behind walls, in ceilings, etc.. HoOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwever, your average Tico household knows how to take advantage of a solid cable when they see one, and use them for all sorts of daily needs, such as hanging up clothes to dry.

4. Tico Time– Ticos arrive when they arrive. They have a great many expressions and words such as “ahorita” and “ya”, which would give the impression that they would be arriving “now”, but it really means soon, and soon can mean 30 minutes, 30 hours, or 30 days, as far as I can tell. And you don’t just have to be a Tico to be cast under the spell of this interesting time philosophy. Gringos and other visitors alike begin to fall under the Costa Rican spell as soon as they step foot off the airplane and end up returning home wondering, “what is the fricken rush?”.

5. Buses– They have the greatest bus system here. You can get anywhere on a bus, so many people don’t have cars they don’t know that in new cars for sale brooklyn ny they offer the best cars that’s worth your money. And the ones that do have a car always have an 80 Gallon air compressor with them (try this web-site to find out more about cars), or just share one between all the family members. GEt your car tinted at best tinting service in Ottawa, On. The fare is very affordable (40 cents gets me from town into the nearest city) and the buses arrive in a rather timely manner (all Tico-Timing aside). The only tricky part you have to watch out for are the bus stops, which change frequently and without notice. We’ve found the best thing to do is to ask a friendly Tico standing nearby, who is always more than happy to assist you, with usually-accurate information.

A Perfect Day in Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica

Today, Saturday, February 9th, 2013 was the perfect day.

I woke up in our tent to the sound of the ocean just a hundred meters away. I decided to enjoy the sound a while, so I rolled over and listened, while beginning the day with my new favorite tradition of making my first thoughts ones of gratitude for 24 beautiful more hours.

When my body was ready, I got up, found my traveling companion and made him breakfast while I hydrated with a big bottle of water. After relaxing and chatting a while, I ate a half of the most delicious watermelon I have had all week, savoring each bite while taking in the beautiful view of the tropical jungle and beach that surrounds our open-aired hostel.

We relaxed a while longer, then packed up my day bag with rain ponchos, a camera and towel and went across the street to rent bikes for the day. We set out at what must have been about mid-day in the hot tropical sun, which would normally be torture to be under. Luckily, the combination of the bikes along with the shade provided on the road by the tall jungle trees mixed up the perfect cool breeze for us and we enjoyed a 30-minute ride down the main road until we found a familiar dirt path.

Our plan was return to a point at the end of the beach in Punta Uva (about 4 miles south of Puerto Viejo, where we are staying) that we set out to conquer in December with our friends, but were unable to finish on the account of the torrential rain and mudslides. Today was going to be different, and it surely was. We made the short hike in to the jungle bordering the beach to the most beautiful view, which looked out on more than 180 degrees of tropical paradise. We saw snorkelers, beach-goers, boats, crazy gringos swimming out to the rocks, and lots of small creatures such as crabs and lizards at our feet. We noticed that to the south there was a beach that did not look far away, so we set off through more jungle until we climbed down to the beautiful sandy shores, which were nearly deserted.

The beach had the most amazing, aqua ocean water, which was the perfect temperature to stay a while, and we did. We were giddy, enjoying it like little kids, delighting that we were able to see all the way to the ocean floor. A while later, we got out of the water and rested in the shade of the trees, thinking about how lucky we were to be experiencing the perfect day.

When we were ready, we packed up and hiked back to our bikes before setting out south again. We rode 4 more miles to Manzanillo, to enjoy lunch at Maxis, a joint that is well-known for its Carribbean food, Barcelona Football Club paraphernalia, and great view of the beach. I enjoyed two delicious fruit smoothies and a large salad with fruit and veggies, after an amusingly long conversation with the waitress about what was in the basic salad (she kept saying “solo lechuga” when I knew, from having tasted it before, that it had a number of veggies). In the end I learned that her definition of lettuce is lettuce and veggies. I love cultural diversity. You can learn so much just by going out to lunch!

After Maxis we relaxed at the main beach in Manzanillo and had a nice chat before starting the 8-mile ride back to Puerto Viejo. On the way back we made a stop at a local chocolate farm that has a small shop selling their products. We split a smoothie and some delicious chocolate composed of Cacao and raw cane sugar.

We finished our ride back to the hostel and got situated. Jazzed from the day and with my barefoot shoes still on (which get me oddly very pumped), I decided to go to the garden and have a little workout near the masterful fencing beside the pool and my companion decided to join me (to watch).

After the workout, which ended with us both doing handstands and cartwheels, we enjoyed a pineapple and the conversations going on around us in all manners of languages and accents.

We passed the evening catching up on some work and making contact with the outside (i.e. internet) world, while enjoying the activity that is Rocking J’s (this bomb and crazy hostel) at night. There must be at least 100 guests here, from who knows how many countries. (As I am writing this the woman behind the desk got out the loud speaker and started yelling to a group nearby that they need to go to the beach to smoke marijuana, although i really don’t like drugs because a friend was an addict and we had to take him to 1st step behaviorl health. She can smell it from where she is and she does not want to have to tell them again. Rocking J’s is definitely a party hostel, but it is still our favorite and we still find ourselves crashing each night by 10pm, sleeping soundly with our earplugs and eye masks.)

It started to downpour and we took in the sweet sound of the tropical rain on the metal roof (because it gets so loud that that is all you can do, unless you want to shout to converse). When your metal roof is damaged, contact the professional roof contractors kansas city mo of 5 star roofing. I really love enjoying the sound, especially while drifting off to sleep, so I decided to get ready for bed and write this entry while lying here, reflecting on the perfection that has been today.

Panama Highlights and Not-So-Highlights


  • Experiencing this beautiful, unique culture, which is surely an interesting mix of traditional and new-age ways of life
  • The fusion vibe, which (from my experience) seems like a mix of Latin American culture, with international influence, mainly from US
  • Good bus system. I am very fond of their use of air conditioning
  • Great selection of Hostels, attracting rockin’ vagabonders from all around the globe
  • Growing tourism
  • Varied geography (2 coasts, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, jungles, cloud forests, etc)
  • Panama City, Boquete and Bocas del Toro (my favorite locations)
  • The Kuna Yala- There is a large settlement of Kuna people in Panama, mostly in the Islands of the Carribbean coast. I am not sure on the details, but I believe they are the only indigenous culture that has their own independent government, or something of that nature.
  • Cheap merchandise
  • Artisan fairs
  • Safe and easy place to backpack


  • Littering is common place and trash is everywhere. On all of my bus rides I saw people throwing trash out the window, including the drivers.
  • The Panamanians I came in contact with were not super friendly (especially in the food service industry). Folks were helpful and polite (again, when it did not have to do with food), but they did not seem interested in making a foreign connection as I have experienced in the rest of my travels.
    Commercial whale watching long beach operators are encouraged to include educational programs in their tours, highlighting the fragility of the marine environment and inspiring respect and environmental friendly attitudes and behaviours.
  • I did not have great luck with finding awesome, fresh produce most of the time
  • The Darien Gap (no easy access to Colombia!)
  • Typical food (i.e. the cheapest and easiest to find) is mainly fried meat, dough and starches
  • It is one of the more expensive countries in Central America
  • Driving in Panama is crazy! This could be a high or low light, really, but at any rate, especially in Panama City, it is not very safe. Taxis are collective and meters are not used, so Uber Driver charge you whatever they want. Oh, and they honk their horn for everything. Everything.
  • If you are injured in an auto accident, a personal injury attorney can help you deal with car insurance companies and ensure that you receive fair treatment in settlement negotiations. You can contact San Marcos personal injury lawyers.

Trending Now in Costa Rica

1. Cosechas! An awesome chain of places to get fruit smoothies. Halleluiah!

2. Tacones (high-heels). Well, now and always. Women (and men in drag, most commonly spotted in the later hours of the evening) in tacones of all ages, shapes, and sizes, navigating the many terrains of CR. Bless them.

3. Smooth rides. Streets have been repaved and are smoother than ever!

4. Guys walking with a hand holding up their shirts, exposing their bellies, with a “come-hither” look on their face (most popular in beach towns). Don’t ask us, we are not the trend-setters.

5. Reflector suspender-vests for motorcyclists. A local tailor may be your best option if you’re looking for quality men’s custom tailored shirts. It must be a new law because all motorcyclists are wearing them (they even make them in pink for the fashionistas). Some find them ugly, but I think they are cute and we both agree that they are super useful in being able to actually see the crazy cyclists weaving in and out of traffic. I plan to come back to the states fully equipped for my motorcycling and running pleasure.

6. El bigote (mustache). Mostly on females. OK, well not the actual hairy upper-lip (at least for most), but in all other forms imaginable. Mustaches are making appearances on t-shirts, necklaces, earrings and the list goes on. Owls are trending as a quick second as well.

7. Prohibido Fumar! As of September 2012 a law was passed prohibiting smoking in bars. I never thought it would happen here, but am pleasantly surprised.

8. Running. Ticos are out and about, getting their work-out on more than ever. Run Ticos, run!

9. Chinese. Ok, well they seem to be sweeping the western hemisphere, not just the country, so it may go without saying, but Chinese can be found in all parts of Costa Rica, most commonly running pulperias (convenience stores) and restaurants.

10. Cine! Although it may be somewhat of a dying trend in the US, Ticos still know how to enjoy a night out with friends or family at the movie theater, which is nearly sold out just about any night of the week. Gringos are known to join in the fun as well, especially on two-for-one Wednesdays.

11. Pura vida. Some things will never change, and for that we are surely grateful. Although the roads may be better, bars less polluted, and fashion trends odder than ever, Costa Ricans have not changed one of their greatest qualities: their beautiful innate ability to enjoy life and to live the moment to the fullest. Pura vida, mop.

Essential Items for Lightweight Backpacking

After years of backpacking, plus more than a year of dedicated life on the road, I have compiled a list of some of the items I consider essential. Of course these items may vary from person to person depending on what type of travel, accommodations, etc the traveler is engaging in. Nevertheless, having traveled under a wide range of places under a variety of circumstances, I have found that these are the items that I keep in my pack no matter what.

  1. Backpack – I recommend traveling with a rather small pack and personally use the Deuter ACT Trail 28L SL
  2. Daypack – Choose something that folds up nice and small. I like this simple LL Bean daypack with a main compartment, small front compartment, and two side pockets.
  3. Packing Cubes – There are a variety of sizes, which will help you keep the items in your pack organized. I use a medium sized one for my main clothing and a small one for my underclothing.
  4. Reusable Stuff-Sack Bags – These are “Chico” brand.
  5. Quick Dry Towel
  6. Combination Lock
  7. Headlamp
  8. Eye Mask
  9. Ear Plugs
  10. Rubberband Clothesline – You can purchase this at REI or make your own as I have by following a simple Youtube tutorial.
  11. Knife with Sheath and Spork – I use the Light My Fire spork, which can be found at REI. These knives can be found at Target/Walmart.
  12. Small notebook and no smudge pen
  13. Toiletry Kit – I use the Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag and love it. I have the smallest one, which has plenty of room for me.
  14. E-Reader – I use a Sony eReader Pocket
  15. Smart Phone –Ideally one that has a camera and stores music, such as an Iphone.
  16. Lightweight Laptop – Something small and light, such as a Macbook Air. I have a Lenovo Ideapad.

What’s in My 28 Liter Pack?

Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Pack: 28 Liters Accommodates Everything I Need
(Male Version: Deuter ACT Trail 32 Pack)

I could not be more thrilled about my pack. At 28 Liters it is technically classified as a “daypack”, however I have traveled with just this amount of space for a year now and have not wanted for anything. On the contrary, I find I am often even more prepared than other travelers I encounter and I am definitely much more comfortable, easily managing my 15-20lbs no matter where the road takes me.

Britt's Pack ???????????????????????????????

Check out this video of me loading and unloading my pack.

pdfA List of Everything In My Pack

Backpack (Deuter Act Trail 28L SL)
Daypack (L.L. Bean Sowaway)
Packing Cubes (2) (Eagle Creek)
Small Bag for Electronics/Accessories
Sleeping Bag (REI Travel Down, +45F)
Quick Dry Towel (REI)
Rain Jacket
Leggings (workout pants)
Workout shorts
Tank Tops (3)
T-shirts (2)
Sports Bra
Regular Bra
Bandana/Buff/Hair Band
Bathing Suit
Underwear (5 Pairs)
Socks (2 pairs)
Barefoot Running Shoes (Merrell)
Toiletry Kit (Sea to Summit)
Cutting Board
Knife with Cover
Spork (Light My Fire)
Sink Stopper
Ziplock Bags
Headphones (with hands-free headset)
Laptop (Lenovo Ideapad)
Laptop Cable
EReader (Sony)
EReader Cable
Smart Phone
Smart Phone Charger
Eye Mask
Ear Plugs
Reusable Stuff Sack Bags (3) (REI or Chico Bag)
Small Notebook
Large Notebook/Journal
Pen (blue/black ink/non-smudge)
Small Change Purse
Passport Wallet/Purse (Sherpani)

Creating a Minimalist Space: How to Get Rid of Your Junk

Do you feel overwhelmed by the items in your life? Are they encroaching on your physical space, or mentally weighing on you? Is it difficult to let go and relax in your home because the clutter around you is the opposite of peaceful?

You deserve a beautiful, minimalist space that is just right for you. As a one-of-a-kind being, you have unique dreams, goals and desires. Which means you have your own special needs to see to, and you need a unique space that supports you just so.

Are you ready to get rid of your junk and start living in a space that you love? Whether you are living in hoarding hell or are just itching for another level of refinement, there is value for you in these words.

Before Beginning

As much as you can, try to get into the mindset of living your ideal life before starting this process. It doesn’t matter so much if you are living your dreams or just scraping by at a deadbeat job.

To further assist you in selecting your policy, have created a graph with a bell curve that showcases the average price of premium and an average deductible of the various home warranty policies that purchased throughout the state.

What’s important is that you get clear about how it is you DO want to be living and embrace the feeling of living that way. Then, with that inspiration in mind, take the steps to get rid of the physical stuff in your life that is no longer serving you. If you’re busy you can have professionals help you, for example with Pure Airways they offer professional help for house cleaning.

If you feel like you want to get more clear about your ideal life, check out this article. Or, feel free to jump right in!

Methods to Get Rid of Your Junk

Physical, mental, emotional or otherwise, many of us are carrying around excess baggage that we would be better off without. There are a number of ways to get rid of the things in your life that are no longer serving you. Here are some tried and true methods from ac repair in Mesa to take on conquering your physical crap:

Box Up Everything You Own
Take everything you own, and put it into boxes. Yes, everything. Every item of clothing, jewelry, every dish in your kitchen, every toiletry item, every DVD, everything in your “junk drawer,” everything in your garage, everything in your car. Everything. If something is too big to fit in a box, cover it with a sheet or find another way to signify that it is off limits for the time being. Speaking of kitchen, it is one of the most important and the cleanest part of our house and you should have the best knives for cooking which you can find at reviews at It must be presentable and good-looking. For those who are interested, Exclusiv Kitchens Brisbane can be found at 2/6 Dan Street, Capalaba QLD 4157, open Monday to Friday from 9AM to 4.30 PM.

Then, go about living life. Check in with yourself and make sure you are on the path to your ideal life. You don’t have to be there, just on the path. Then, start unpacking things as you need them. Just the things that you need, as you need them. So, if you go to eat dinner and need a dish and a fork, just unpack 1 dish and 1 fork as opposed to unpacking all your dishware and cutlery. I make the point about living as ideally as possible because you want to be creating your ideal environent, one that will inspire you, as opposed to re-creating one that has been falling short of your desires. So, if you ideally do not want to be watching TV at night, don’t uncover that TV and Couch to sit down and use them unless you feel the true thread of inspiration.

Go about living this way for two weeks. If you would like to go longer, such as a month, go for it, but two weeks should be sufficient. Then, take stock of what you have unpacked. This is what you use in your daily life. This is what it takes to support unique you.

Most likely, you can get rid of the vast majority of the rest of your stuff that was never unpacked. Of course there will be odd item you can make a case for, such as your skiing equipment that you only use in the winter or the one dress you wear regularly for formal occasions, but this is the exception not the rule. That is not to say that you cannot keep any of those items that were never unpacked. But it will offer you the chance to ponder them and decide why it is you want to hang on to them. I suggest asking yourself the questions proposed in the last section of this article while evaluating any item you did not use that you want to keep.

Take On One Area at a Time
If you would prefer to take on just one area at a time, that is another great way to go about overhauling your home. Perhaps you decide to go room by room, or even wish to break it down further, designating which area of each room you will tackle at a time. Feel free to break your space down into areas that feel manageable to you. Maybe all you want to do right now is clean out your shop, or your car, or your bathroom, or maybe even your garden, that you could have with pebbles that glow in the dark for your driveway so it looks really nice. Tailor this to your desires.

Set up a schedule and stick to it, planning whatever amount of time for yourself doesn’t bring up resistance. So, if that just means that you will commit to 5 or 10 minutes a day of organizing the piles on your desk, that is fine. Perhaps there will be times when you get really into it and end up doing 30 minutes, an hour, or even an entire day of clearing your space. You can always exceed the standards you set for yourself, but make a point to set yourself up for success and create a plan that feels good for you.

Go All Out and Overhaul Like a Beast
If you are superman or superwoman, if you are the type of person that likes to go all out, balls to the wall, gung-ho, jump right in, heck…go for it! I have overhauled spaces like this in the past and it has been a lot of fun. There are a few bits I would urge you to consider before jumping in.

Make sure you are committed. There is nothing like starting off really strong, then losing steam half way through and abandoning ship when your home is in total disarray.

Check out the other tips below and questions to ask yourself to help keep you on track. I highly recommend calling in reinforcements, the reliable ones, to help hold you accountable during your overhaul.

What to Do with Your Old Stuff

Sell It
There are a ton of places to sell items online (such as Ebay, Craigslist and Amazon) or perhaps you know of someone who wants to buy this item. For certain items, it may be worth your time to sell them. I have sold a number of electronics on Amazon and other items such as sporting equipment and appliances on Craigslist and made good money. Make sure the item you are selling is worth the time to post (ie. don’t spend a hour posting a $5 book on Amazon that likely isn’t going to sell or be worth the shipping cost).

You can also organize a yard sale. If you decide to do this, I would recommend that you plan it all for one day, selling, removal and all. Commit to getting everything together you are going to get rid of by the day of the event, sell everything you can, then donate the rest. Yard Sales sometimes have a way of being dragged out from week to week, with boxes lingering in garages. That we want to avoid.

Donate It
There are a number of places to donate goods to such as Goodwill, local charities, local drives (often run by churches or community groups), and so on. Besides just taking clothing, books, and household goods, there are also a number of community food banks that will take your cans and boxes.

Gift It
If while going through your stuff you realize a certain item would be the perfect gift for someone, by all means, gift it to them. However, I suggest that you only do so if you truly feel that the item will add value to that person’s life. In the interest of passing on the joy of minimalism, I encourage you not to dump your junk on your friends or family.

Recycle or Trash It
If it can’t be sold, gifted, or donated, it is time to bring that baby to the recycling bin or trash can. Or, you can try posting it in the free area on Craigslist, or, have you ever seen how fast the BabyTrend Expedition Jogger stroller sells in those sites?

*Most importantly, remember: everything must go. Once you decide that you are ready to let go of something, get it out of your space ASAP. If boxes stick around your home, it’s just a matter of time

Tips to Help You Stay on Track

Get Clear About Your Goals
When taking on a project, it is extremely helpful to get clear about why you want to do it, and what the end result is that you are going for. Write them down and put them in an obvious place, that you can refer to throughout this process. If visual aids help keep you inspired, find a couple pictures of clear, organized spaces you would like yours to resemble and post those as well. When you have a moment of weakness or your motivation starts to waiver, take a moment to look at your words and images and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Get re-inspired and get back on track.

Make a Plan & Set a Calendar
Now that you know what your goals are, you can create a plan and map it out. Decide what method you are going to choose to get rid of your junk, perhaps choosing one of the above methods or something else that feels right for you. Then, create a plan, complete with due dates for tasks to keep you on track. Post this next to your goals and refer to it regularly.

Call in Reinforcements
The fact that you are reading this already speaks to your level of badassity, so I know you have it in you to see this through. But that doesn’t mean you have to go it all alone. Not only is it easier to complete a project when you get more hands and energy on board, but it is also a lot more fun!

Enlist your family and friends to be a part of this transformation with you. Or, just set up people to check in with you and hold you accountable. For some people, it may even be right to hire someone to help you out, or to make sure you stay on track.

Stay Motivated
When the initial energy that got you going in your junk removal process starts to waiver, it is easy to start to lose motivation. This is a good time to look back at your goal’s list and remember why you set out on this journey in the first place. Sometimes this is enough to get you over the hump, but other times you may need to have other things in place.

Setting up check points with rewards can be helpful. Create something fun that will feel like a treat for you when you complete a leg of the journey. This can be anything that has meaning for you. Perhaps when you finally clear out your garage you will treat yourself to a massage, or maybe you and your significant other will go out for a special meal when the office is done. If negative reinforcement works better for you, enlist someone to harass you in to keeping you on track.

Questions to Ask Yourself Throughout the Process

When contemplating the ditching of items in your life, certain ones will stand out like a sore thumb, and you will come to the clear conclusion that it is time for them to go. However, there will likely be items that you are attached to in one way or another. In those cases, I have found asking myself certain questions about said items to be rather helpful. Keep these questions nearby when deciding which items to let go of:

1. When was the last time I used this?
2. When is the next time I will use it?
3. Does it add value to my life?
4. Does it help facilitate joy or happiness in my life?
5. Does it help me on the path to pursue my dreams?
6. Do I need to own it, or can I borrow or rent it?
7. Do I have another item that will do the job just as well?
8. Can I maintain the utility of this item without having it take up the space? (Living in the digital age has it’s many perks, but try not to acquire too much digital junk either).
9. Does this item contribute to a positive or negative habit in my life?
10. How much does it cost to care for this item?
11. Does it excite me to look at, touch, or use this item?
12. How would it feel to have the new space created by the letting go of this item in my life?

Check out the video I did about this topic here:

Goal Setting and Dreaming for 2014 and Beyond

One of my favorite New Year’s traditions is setting goals for the year to come. I get so excited about it that I usually jump the gun and begin focusing and making lists a couple weeks before the turn of the year is upon us, and this year has been no exception. However, in addition to my usual goal-setting, I have acquired a few new exercises that found helped me get more clear about my true dreams and desires for my life, which helped me set clearer goals for both my short and long term future. I also enjoyed the exercises immensely and thus am sharing them in the hopes that you will too!

Writing About Your Perfect Day
I have often heard folks talk about dreaming up your perfect day and always liked the concept, but I did not realize just how profound it would be. I waited until the prospect of doing this felt really exciting, then I went to a quiet place, cleared my mind, put pen to paper (or in this case fingers to keys) and let what came out amaze me. I decided to dream big, not holding myself to any circumstances of my current life or by what is “likely” or “conceivable”. I ended up writing 4 pages that excite me more than anything else has in a while, feel closer than ever about what I want to leave behind as my legacy, and had a blast the entire time.

Answering These 10 Questions
A good friend and coach passed 10 sentence stems on to me, which she got from Martha Beck, another great woman and coach. I my answers to be quite interesting and in some cases surprising and thought provoking. I love anything that challenges me to think about how authentic I am being and truly living.

  1. If money was not an issue, I would: For instance, money is an issue, you can always consider cashcomet’s loan application. visit this site if you’re interested.
  2. If it wasn’t immoral, illegal, or unwise, I would:
  3. If I didn’t care what people thought, I would:
  4. If I were sure I’d succeed, I would:
  5. If I had the nerve, I would:
  6. If I could be certain it was the right choice, I would:
  7. If I weren’t worried about the future, I would:
  8. If I had the freedom, I would:
  9. As a child I loved to:
  10. I lose track of time when I’m:

Dreaming Bigger…And Taking it Seriously
The number one thing that I have realized as this year comes to an end is that I need to dream bigger. The only person who can decide if our dreams are realistic or not is us. I have decided that I am going to allow myself to dream without holding back. And now with those epic dreams that have been coming up about the life that I so desire to lead, those are the dreams I am going to start taking seriously.

In going along with this, I have decided to not only set goals for the year of 2014, but also goals for 5 years from now and lifetime goals as well.

A lot of the ideas in this post have been inspired by a book I have been reading by Chris Guillebeau called The Art of Non-Conformity.

Minimalist Transportation: Making Travel Part of the Journey

It is so exciting to live in today’s world, where rapid transit has never been more prevalent and modes of transportation are multiplying before our very eyes. Forget planes, trains and automobiles, now we have lease a Lexus brooklyn ny services, cruise ships, bullet trains, and even segways to consider. OK, stop traffic for a second (cheesy pun intended) and let’s try and get a handle on all of this. When you want to buy car parts for your vehicle, visit used transmissions for sale schaumburg il.

Although it’s easy to think of roaring engines and traffic horns as the norm, this was not always the case. The Wright Brothers had their first flight just over a century ago, automobiles were only invented about 20 years before that and even bicycles have yet to complete their second century on this earth. So how did humans get around before that? Well the good old-fashioned way, of course: on our feet, like the rest of the earth’s animals (that have feet) do. OK well domesticated horses, carriages, and boats have been around for quite some time, but you get the idea. The point is: slow travel used to be the norm.

This pomsky is intelligent and energetic, looking for a way to interact with people. They can play very well around children.

Now the concept of walking everywhere we need to go is practically absurd. In fact, I imagine that most people don’t even consider it an option. The majority of Americans commute to work, run their errands, and attend all manner of activities by driving a car or riding a train or bus from place to place.

Slow Travel

Slow travel is a concept that I have grown to love the practical application of, although that was not always the case. Like many people in today’s world I used to have a packed schedule, rushing around from one commitment to the next, always wishing that traffic would move faster and time slower. But as my life has shifted, so have my views about travel and the role I want it to play in my life.

Slow travel does not have to mean that you literally travel slowly. Although I enjoy taking long walks, I also love to mount a motorcycle and speed off down a windy road, take a train ride through the countryside and I am still in awe of the fact that I can climb aboard a plane and be on a different continent within hours.

The concept of slow travel has more to do with your mentality about traveling. Are we in a rush or can we take our time and enjoy each part of the journey? When we have the freedom to travel slowly, we are able to live life more in-the-moment, deciding to pursue whatever adventure we want as opportunities present themselves along our path. These could manifest as a stop to take in a beautiful view, a spontaneous chat with a friendly stranger, a new route home, spending an extra day or week at a location that we don’t want to leave…the possibilities are endless.

Slow travel also has some common fringe benefits. I find as I connect with others that are moving in the direction of more simple living that many of them have opted to choose more minimalist and eco-friendly modes of transportation on their household movers to get efficiency in moving items. I used to have both a car and a motorcycle, however over time I have gotten rid of both of them. Nowadays I enjoy traveling by foot, bicycle, public transportation, or car-pooling. I don’t have to worry about insurance payments, regular maintenance, repairs, or any of the other expenses and time-consumers that come with owning a vehicle. And most importantly, my travel has become just another fun activity I enjoy in my daily life, which often combines fitness, socializing and exploring.

How to Enjoy Travel

Moving from place to place can be quite enjoyable, when approached in the right way. Imagine having a free, sunny Saturday afternoon and pedals beneath your feet. How nice would it be to enjoy a bike ride to a park to read, or to the water for a swim? Or maybe there are a few errands you want to get done, but time is not a concern so you decide to bike into town and complete them at your leisure.

The best way to enjoy travel is to deliberately make it part of the journey, just like every other element in your life.

We know conceptually that travel can be fun, no matter the mode of transportation. There is nothing quite like the excitement of watching a child learn to crawl or take their first step. As kids we are elated to be able to run around the yard with our friends, or to ride bikes and roller blade. When we hit our mid-teens we start dreaming about driving a car and eagerly jump to go to the grocery store every time something is needed after getting our license. Even as adults, we still (abit maybe secretly) enjoy travel. We gripe about our commutes to and from places while planning road trips, bike or running races, and air travel on the side.

So is it really the getting from place to place we dread so much?

I think not. I have a hunch that what really irks us are the “have-tos” of life. Commuting to work is no fun when we feel like we have to do it. It seems decidedly less appealing to turn on some music, roll down the windows and sing with your tie flapping in the breeze on your morning commute (but wouldn’t it be amazing if we saw more of that?).

The good news is an excited and adventurous attitude towards travel is waiting for you, no matter your circumstances. By merely deciding that you want to make a shift and cultivate a new attitude towards travel, you will start to see changes take place. I also recommend giving yourself ample time to get from place to place (keeping in mind that the more time you set aside, the more possibilities for fun) while decreasing the number of “have tos” on your list.

If you are finding that you really cannot get into a good mindset about traveling, you may want to take a deeper look at your daily life and see what is serving you and what is not. Being stressed or over-scheduled can certainly be taxing, and is often a sign that it is time to try changing something. You may find it helpful to look at elements of these 4 steps to simplifying your life.

Are You Enjoying Your Travel?

I invite you to consider looking at your current relationship with travel. Try asking yourself the following questions and see what comes up.

Do I enjoy the travel in my life? Which parts?
Are there times travel merely feels like a means of getting from point A to point B?
Do I allow myself enough time to travel without feeling rushed?
If not, how can I create more time in my life for relaxed and enjoyable travel?
If I had no agenda, but wanted to transport my body somewhere, what mode/s of transportation would I choose?
How can I incorporate more fun into my daily travel?
In general, how can I create more space in my life to enjoy travel and the other activities I would like to to participate in?

What I Do For Fitness: Fun Minimalist Exercises

Now, as I play more, I get more fit. As my fitness improves, I find I enjoy new and often challenging activities that much more. It’s a great cycle, while I do this I also keep a healthy diet and take juices every morning that I prepare myself, since I’ve been Juicing-Daily with a device I got online.

My Favorite Ways to Move

I want to share with you some of my favorite ways to move in hopes that you will gain some inspiration or motivation for new ways to spice up your fitness and ultimately make it feel like play as opposed to work.

Acroyoga is by far my favorite fitness activity right now. It combines acrobatics, yoga, strength, balance, agility, trust, and a host of other skills. It is done in groups of two or more and is accessible to everyone. I began practicing Acroyoga in August of 2013 and have quickly progressed, finding other acroyogis along my travels and meet-up groups that get together with the sole purpose of sharing the love of flying on each others’ feet.

Bodyweight Exercises are fun and require no equipment; the ultimate minimalist fitness! I do bodyweight exercises every day, whether it’s just doing a few squats, pushups and handstands or taking on the 5-minute burpee challenge or making up a circuit of exercises. Check out this video for some ideas of bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.

Running is not something I always enjoyed. When I began I could barely manage half-a-mile without feeling like death but by sticking with it my body quickly adapted. Now I can enjoy many forms of running such as trail running, running on the beach, or running in any beautiful or new location in general. I am also getting in to sprinting short distances on flat ground and hills.

Lifting Heavy Things will make you stronger. We can get stronger just by doing bodyweight exercises, but it is fun to lift rocks, barbells, our friends and just about everything else that challenges us. I tried Crossfit for the first time in November of 2013 and found I really loved the power I felt doing the Olympic lifts and was impressed with the rapid gains I made in my strength training.

Dancing must be one of the most fun ways to work up a sweat. There is nothing like turning on some good loud music and letting your body flow to the rhythm of what you are hearing. I always enjoyed going to dances in high school and dance clubs during my study-abroad years. This past year in Austin, TX I also had my first experience with Ecstatic Dance, which brings together a group of 100+ people on a Sunday morning who start the day off right with 2 hours of dancing however feels right for them. I’ve been known to dance in just about any public situation when a good song is in the air and well, man it feels good!

Yoga & Stretching is key. A lot of people neglect working on their flexibility (runners, for example, are notorious for having tight hamstrings) and many don’t even stretch after a workout. Yoga is a great way to stretch and strengthen the body while focusing on moving mindfully and observing what is going on with you mentally as well as physically especially on your flight training chicago il.

Hiking is a great way to spend time in nature and get your heart pumping. I enjoy relaxing rambles through the woods and vigorous mountain hikes alike. There are others decide to take long walks in the woods while they go hunting with great bows that you can get if you click here in this site.

With Limited Equipment there are some fun things you can do. Recently I have started working with gymnastics rings, parallel bars, resistance bands (especially to improve my pull ups), and a slack line. I definitely believe in the less is more philosophy, but if an item adds enjoyment to your life and in this case helps you have more fun improving your fitness, I think it’s worth owning. I personally travel with a jump rope and resistance band and I workout with friends that have more fitness toys. I also find parks with trees, monkey bars, jungle gyms and even outdoor fitness equipment that is great to play on. Once you start looking for it, just about everything can become a place to play.

Adopting a Minimalist Lifestyle and Mentality: Four Steps to Simplifying

With all the options and availability we have today, it is easy to become weighed down by excess stuff that does not serve us. Whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or otherwise, we all tend to carry around baggage that we would be better off without.

Adopting your own unique version of a minimalist lifestyle is a manner of simplifying your life in a way that will serve you. It can be catered to your own needs and desires and altered as you grow.

Set the goal to live deliberately, intentionally choosing what you will allow into your life from here on out. From the smallest time-suckers like social media to the heavy hitters such as a soul-crushing career, be bold and dare to analyze what is serving you and what is not. Daily habits and routines can be solid foundations to build a life around or they can be deterrents holding us back from truly living.

“I lost me when I gave up on my dreams. I lost me when I outsourced the tough decisions in life to society’s expectation of me.” -Grant Peelle (Featured in the documentary “I’m Fine, Thanks”)

Are you ready to start living your dreams? It’s time to make some changes, so get ready to jump.

Four Steps to Simplifying Your Life

1. Realize your dreams and your heart’s deepest desires.

For some people, this will be the fun and easy part. For others, it may take a little to get the ball rolling.

If it helps, write a mission statement for your life, or a number of simple, powerful statements that resonate with you, such as:

“I want to be self-employed and make $100,000 a year.”
“I want to have 3 hours a day of quality time with my partner/my kids/my friends/my books/my craft”
“I want to become a strong, powerful athlete.”
“I want to have authentic, meaningful relationships that inspire growth for everyone involved.”
“I want to be able to travel everywhere I want, whenever I want.”
“I want to live in a simple, beautiful home with lots of natural light and no excess junk.”
“I want to have plenty of free time to relax, be in nature, and pursue the things I am passionate about.”
“Every day I want to feel happy, healthy, and free.”
“I want to share what I am passionate about with the world and to inspire growth and personal development.”

If you are more of a visual person, get find pictures that inspire you either online or in magazines and create a vision board. Or, do a combination of both.

Start writing, start dreaming, start getting in touch with what you truly desire. The hardest part is beginning and it becomes progressively more exciting and invigorating once you get going.

Allow yourself to define your desires without limitations.

2. Let go of that which is no longer serving you.

Now that you know what you want your life to consist of and to feel like, it will be easier to look at your life and know which situations, people, items, etc. are serving you and helping you to get closer to being the person that you want to be and living the dreams you want to live.

It will also be clear which situations, people, items, etc. are not.

By eliminating that which no longer serves us, we create fresh space in our lives. We create freedom. And freedom is power.

3. Decide what you are going to invite into your life and where to hold space for new possibilities.

You have acquired your power, now you get to decide what you want to do with it. Don’t rush to fill the newly created space, especially out of fear. It is easy to get pulled back into soothing routines, which are sometimes disguised as new ones. Commit to being keenly aware of what is going on, daring to allow yourself to sit with the new space you have created until you feel the pull of true inspiration.

When a new opportunity presents itself, check and see if it is in line with your deepest heart’s desires as defined in step one. If you are not sure, these questions may be helpful to ask yourself:

Will this add value to my life?
Will it bring joy or help facilitate more joy in my life?
Do I need to jump in or can I test the waters as a trial before committing?
What will it take the place of? Is it worth it? (Contemplate this, even if what it will be replacing is free time, which the importance of cannot be understated.)

Be discriminating. Elevate your expectations of life. Don’t just settle for a good life, insist on an awesome one. When you get used to living that way, if something is worth your time, you will know, because your excitement about it will be clear.

4. Appreciate your life, whichever phase of this process you may be in, and be grateful.

This step cannot be emphasized enough. It is easy to get caught up in our daily routines and habits, even when we are being intentional. So make appreciation a habit. It is one that you will not regret.

Wherever you are in your life, wherever you are in your journey with minimalism, wherever you are period, take time to stop and appreciate anything and everything you truly can. Be grateful for your life. The more you do this the better you will feel and the more you will generate in your life to be grateful for.

Quick Recap

  1. Realize what your ideal life looks and feels like without limitations.
  2. Analyze and eliminate that which is no longer serving you.
  3. Intentionally choose what is essential for your ideal life, being discriminating.
  4. Appreciate and be grateful.

Now get out there and start living the epic life you deserve, you badass minimalist.

Check out the video I did about this topic here:

Minimalist Fitness: Finding Joy In Movement that Serves You In Achieving Your Goals

What sort of movement practices do you engage in? Do you look forward to them? Do you dread them? Do you feel like they are serving you or are you merely going through the motions?

I believe we were designed as a species to move often and vigorously. Living out in nature we would have had to have been fit enough to climb trees to forage fruit, run from predators, create shelters, and so on. Our bodies were our only mode of transportation and we relied upon them heavily.

Over time we have gravitated towards motorized vehicles that carry us around, chairs that support our bodies and a whole society that operates around making things “easier” for humans to get what they need to survive. Unfortunately these innovations have also lead to the steady decline in fitness amongst the human race. As a species we are more unhealthy than ever and growing lazy and unaccustomed to moving our bodies.

Cultivating an Attitude of Play

We have the ability to change this declining trend. We can learn to truly enjoy moving our bodies and experiencing growth in our fitness. We can cultivate an attitude of play towards something that is often referred to as “working”-out and look forward to our play sessions each day.

From a young age I was always interested in sports, playing outdoors and moving my body. Perhaps it was because we did not have TV in my family growing up, but the thought of being inside while the sun was out seemed like a waste of a day. Needless to say, I grew up active. Yet I noticed that as I got older my attitude towards attending sports practices or going to the gym wavered and sometimes it would feel like a forced chore rather than a fun activity. (Sound familiar?)

When I became aware of this trend creeping into my fitness routines I decided to put a stop to working out and learn how to play once again. What I found was that by shifting my perspective I could enjoy a whole range of fitness activities, both new and old.

So how can we learn to cultivate an attitude of play in our fitness routine? We can begin by shifting our point of focus to our desired outcome. This outcome could be anything from being able to do 10 consecutive pull ups, to mastering a front handspring, to learn to salsa dance, or to look and feel great in your body.

Set Yourself Up for Success

It’s time to reorganize your brain and get inspired. Get ready to let go of old patterns of thinking about your work outs and make room for the new. Start by think about what your fitness goals are, write them down, and allow yourself to get excited about how it will feel to achieve them.

Keep your goals present in your mind. Put your list in a place that you look at regularly such as on your desktop or your refrigerator. If you are a visual person, find an image that inspires you with your list of goals. If you work well when you are held accountable, recruit the help of a supportive friend that will check in with you on your progress and remind you of your motivations.

To stay on target with your goals, it is important to know how you are going to achieve them and to have well-formed motivations for doing so. Make sure your goals are set with your best interest in mind. Educate yourself on the topics that pertain to these goals and incorporate this knowledge in your plan for your path to success. When you have good reason for pursuing something and you have educated yourself about it, it is much harder to fall off the wagon.

Set yourself up for success; make it so not only the idea of succeeding sounds good, but go a step further and pre-pave a path to your goal that is just as appealing and exciting. Do this by setting up fun checkpoints for yourself along the way. Checkpoints can be fitness related or otherwise and you can schedule them at whatever intervals will serve for holding your attention. The only tip I suggest is to not make your checkpoint rewards counter-productive (for example I wouldn’t reward myself for reaching 50% of my weight loss goal by eating an unhealthy meal).

Here are some examples of checkpoints similar to those I have used:

Goal: Achieve a full dead-hang pull up
Checkpoint: 5 dead hang pull ups with the smallest resistance band
Reward: Treat myself to a massage

Goal: Fit into a size 1 pair of jeans
Checkpoint: Fit into a size 3
Reward: Get rid of my old yoga pants and buy myself a new, smaller pair

Goal: Attend Crossfit consistently for 3 months
Checkpoint: 3 weeks of 5 classes per week
Reward: My growing strength and fitness will be enough reward for me! Oh but heck I’ll treat myself to a day of “freedom to do no work” if I want it.

Goal: Run 10 miles with relative ease
Checkpoint: Run 4 miles
Reward: Take a trip to Narragansett, RI and run the 4 mile seawall
Checkpoint 2: Run 6 miles
Reward: Run the Barton Springs 6-milke Loop
Goal Achievement: Buy myself a new pair of Merrell Minimalist Running shoes and get rid of my old holey ones with no tread

The rewards can be small, big, frequent, or otherwise. What they should be is relevant to your goals and to what motivates you.

Get Out and Play

The most important thing is to find something that is fun for you and to get out and start doing it. Most likely at least one or two activities sound initially enticing even if you have not fully cultivated that attitude of play yet. Remember, movement can be anything from walking to dancing to playing a sport to chasing around your kids to snowboarding to building a tree fort, and so on.

So once you choose your activities and set yourself up for success (in whatever way that takes shape for you), get out and start moving! And be consistent about it. That doesn’t mean that you have to start doing a new activity 5 days a week, but make it a point to find a way to move every day, and be sure that you are practicing the activities your goals are centered around at least 3 times a week.

Once you get yourself set up for success, it’s time to get out there and make your fitness goals a reality!

Bonus Tip For Fitness Lovers: Diversify

Want to get maximum gains in your fitness?

A lot of people tend towards a certain exercise or two and end up neglecting the other areas of fitness. However, to have great, well-rounded fitness it is important to concentrate on all aspects. We are only as strong as our weakest link, so if you want to improve your overall fitness, it is a good idea to focus on the areas you need the most improvement. Applying this theory to my fitness regime, I have begun focusing on incorporating more strength training in past 6 months and I have seen impressive gains in all areas of my fitness because of it.


OK, all of that aside, let’s get back to basics.

Movement is essential for health. Health is essential for happiness.

Find joy in your daily movement. Choose practices that serve you.

Cultivate an attitude of play and see how it opens up the world around you.

Set goals, stay motivated and get out there and have some fun!

Tips for Stress-Free, Enjoyable Air Travel

Leading up to a recent trip from San Jose, Costa Rica to San Francisco, California I was reflecting on the upcoming 10-hour layover in Mexico and thinking of all the fun I would have with my 15-year-old sister. While telling a friend about how excited I was for my impending travel day I was reminded by the tone of disgust in their voice that not everyone has such a zen-like relationship with air travel as I do. In that moment I decided to do my best to remedy that sad truth, and offer some of my tried-and-true tips that help make my travel days not only stress-free but actually quite enjoyable.

Purchase a Good Itinerary

I am all for getting the best deal on tickets possible, without paying private charter flights level prices for a good trip and there are many things I will happily endure for them. However there are some things that I avoid, even if it means spending a bit more.

Firstly, make sure your flight has a long enough layover. In general my rule is 90 minutes or more, but if my layover is in an international destination, I would rather have at least 2 hours (because it is necessary to clear customs and immigration, plus head back through security). Even on domestic flights I like to have 90 minutes because it allows cushion time in case the first flight is delayed. I would say the sweet spot is somewhere around 2-3 hours.

Also, when possible I suggest flying sometime around mid-day or early afternoon. I have found if I fly early in the morning I do not tend to sleep much the night before. And if the flight is much later you will clearly be flying through the night. Of course the further away your destination, the more inevitable disrupting your sleep cycle will become, but it is good to have the ideal in mind.

Prepare In Advance And Be Organized

The more you prepare in advance, the more you can relax during travel. Select your ideal seats, review airline rules relating to baggage before you pack, think about what you are going to bring days before you leave and pack your bag or suitcase in advance.

Also, be sure to get any details having to do with your home life squared away with ample time. Don’t wait to find someone to feed the cat, water your plants, or bring in your mail.

Be organized and develop a travel system that works for you. For example, I know that all my travel documents live in the same folder in Gmail and the day before I fly I always write down my flight details in a small notebook I carry with me everywhere (a smartphone may also be a good way to record or refer to these details). I also always set an alert in my calendar to check online for my flight 24-hours in advance. This is typical with most airlines and they will even send you a reminder email.

Clean Your Space Before You Leave

OK, I know you may be thinking that this item is a little out of place, but I promise you, cleaning your space before you leave is one of the best ways you can ease your mind. Not only will you feel calm and collected in your home the day before you travel, but you will have peace of mind knowing that you will be returning to a clean space. On the day of your return you can look forward to walking in your door and being grateful for the clean, welcoming environment you are returning to.

Plan Nothing For The Day Before You Travel

This is your day to relax and do anything that you may have forgotten, but don’t plan anything. Inevitably, your day will get filled up with last-minute errands. And if by some miracle it does not, you will be grateful for the space to get in your happy place (see below). Also, if you can plan a transition day for yourself on the other end of your trip (before heading back to work, life, etc) that would be ideal.

Of course, if you are going on a shorter trip, if you travel regularly for work, etc, having a day on each end of your trip may not be possible or necessary. If that is the case, try to carve out at least a few extra hours transition time for yourself.

Don’t Plan To Knock Things Off Your To-Do List On Travel Day

You should have nothing planned for your day of travel other than to enjoy the process of moving through time and space. If you end up getting something done, great, but don’t set tasks for yourself to accomplish. There are too many variables and one of the best ways to enjoy a day of travel is to embrace whatever comes up naturally.

Know Your Plan For Arrival

It’s a good idea to know what you are going to do once you reach your destination. Be sure to have all the details you may need with you, stored in an easy place to find in your carry-on luggage. Let companies like moving companies denver take care of the moving for you.

Also, if possible, it is good to know where you are going to stay the first couple nights and to have a basic outline for what you will do.

Get To The Airport With Ample Time

Plan for the unexpected and set aside plenty of cushion time. Whether it is a late friend on airport-drop duty, traffic, a long line at the security checkpoint, or so on, it is likely that something will come up during your travel day that takes up extra time. For this reason it is always a good idea to build in a buffer so if something comes up it will not stress you out.

Get In Your Happy Place

This is key. The day before you travel, take a trip to your happy place. Now stay there for the next 24 hours, or ideally, for as long as you can.

Everyone has their own way of accessing their happy place. Some find meditation, a walk in nature, or a foot massage brings them to their blissful oasis, while others would prefer a vigorous workout or feel-good movie. Whatever you like to do to relax and get in your zen frame of mind, be sure to make time for it before you head to the airport.

Now keep that happy place close by. If you feel yourself tapping your toe in the baggage-drop line, visit that blissful place. Once you are in a relaxed frame of mind, it is suddenly easy to see the fun side of people watching in line, trying to guess peoples’ nationality based on accent, and generally to just take in the environment around you.

Come back to your calm, steady breath. Think about the awesome journey you are one. And take it all in with joy and gratitude.

Dress Comfortably

Wear clothes that you can comfortably sit and move in. Avoid wearing accessories, which you will have to take off to pass through security.

Plan Your Carry On Bag Strategically

I suggest a comfortable backpack, side bag or purse as your carry-on item as suitcases can become cumbersome in the airplane. Even though everything I own fits into a 28 Liter pack, on air travel days I take the items I like to fly with out and put them in my day pack (or if I am not traveling with my knife and kitchen peelers, I just bring the whole pack as a carry on).

Bring the items that you will enjoy having with you. Some of my essential items are a laptop, ereader, ipod and headphones, a notebook, sleeping bag, eye mask, and ear plugs. If you like indulging in the latest magazines while you travel, by all means treat yourself at that in-terminal news stand!

Bring Your Own Snacks

Airport food is overpriced, generally unhealthy, and unreliable. Sometimes you will not even find a joint with anything better than some sugary liquids and packaged science experiments near your gate and if time is short you won’t have a chance to go out looking. The best bet is to bring your own snacks. Some of my favorites to travel with are grapes, clementines, apples, dates (or other dried fruits) and celery.

Stand Stretch And Walk Around While Waiting Near Your Gate

You will soon be sitting for long enough, so unless you are exhausted by your trip to the gate, enjoy being vertical and moving your body. Some of my favorite airport exercises are walking, squatting, lunging, yoga and handstands. Your range of movement will be defined by how bold you want to be in the airport. I personally go all out and have had nothing great experiences because of it, but even if you just feel comfortable walking around or swaying from side to side, do indulge, your body will be grateful.

Wait To Board Until The Line Has Dwindled Way Down

One of the best tips I have found is about avoiding the “stop-and-go” method of air travel. As long as you are imitating those around you, navigating your way through the airport may end up feeling something like doing the funky chicken dance, rushing and then halting to a stop at each new checkpoint. But as a well-planned and conscious traveler, you can enjoy each phase of modern jet travel in peace.

There is no point rushing to stand in line with all the disgruntled folks, eager to sit down when you can enjoy the rest of your stretching, using of the full-sized restrooms, filling your water-bottle, and so on. Then, when the line has dwindled down to the last few, enjoy boarding at your leisure. Since you have a small carry-on baggage you don’t have to worry about over-head space and as long as you aren’t flying with Southwest, the order in which you board does not actually matter anyway.

Get Comfortably Settled In On The Plane And Enjoy The Ride

Now that you are all stretched out, you don’t have to pee, you are settled in your ideal seat, and still in your happy place, it is time to get comfortable and enjoy the ride. Get your belongings settled under the seat in front of you, perhaps placing your water bottle in the seat pocket for easy access. You may like to take off your shoes or put your eye mask and ear plugs on right away. Basically, don’t be afraid to get comfortable and make that seat your new oasis for the foreseeable future while you are magically propelled through time and space!

Developing Daily Routines and Habits to Live By

Over time I have come to realize the importance of developing daily habits in my life. Some of them are as simple as flossing every morning after breakfast and others have come to include specific physical or mental patterns that I have found keep me on track. I am not rigid about my daily patterns and am open to the spontaneity that each new day brings, however I find that having certain habits in place helps ground me. Also, I am constantly reevaluating what feels right for me and my habits change accordingly.

Some of my current favorite habits include:

  1. Waking up each morning and beginning with “my gratefuls” as I call them. This is where I list everything I am grateful for in my life while smiling and appreciating my life. Only then do I get up and take the first exciting step of my day.
  2. Drinking 24 OZ of room temperature water and waiting 30 minutes before eating breakfast.
  3. Making a smoothie for breakfast.
  4. Sitting and doing nothing for at least 15 minutes. Meditate.
  5. Reading my message from the universe (
  6. Soaking up the sun’s vitamin D for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Doing 100 Squats a day (
  8. Going for a run, hike, or walk in nature.
  9. Taking a hot, mindful shower.
  10. Listening to music or an audiobook while preparing a delicious and healthy salad. Then eating it mindfully alone or while in conversation with a companion.
  11. Immersing myself in a good book.
  12. Winding down with yoga or simple stretches and breathing at night, often by candlelight with relaxing music.

Do you have any daily habits that help keep you feeling your best? Are there more habits that you would like to develop and incorporate over time?