When I was young, I would often wonder why humans stay in their familiar corner of the world when it has so much beauty to offer. My passion for adventure is endless; my appreciation for travel initially came as a result of traveling all over North America and the Caribbean with my parents as a teenager. But as I matured and continued to travel I felt myself wanting more; something in me craved indigenous people — completely cultural immersion — most of all I sought out the pure beauty of our world.
Most of the places I visited before I was 20 would be considered tourist destinations. Last summer (2016) I was headed to Athens, Greece, which was a small step on my way to experiencing the most inspirational beauty of my life. The next day I headed northwest, about 5 hours away, to coastal towns including Lefkada, Preveza, Vasiliki, and Corfu. These villages are relatively remote and very traditionally Greek.
ThereI began the physical journey I had prepared myself for; for a month and a half, I lived on a 45 foot sailboat and learned to sail among the Ionian Islands. What I was not prepared for when I landed in Athens, though, was the spiritually transformative journey on which I was about to embark. As a 20 year old from America, let's talk about culture shock. I was immediately submerged into an environment devoid of the luxuries I had always taken for granted. I experienced the full range of emotions, from joy to tears, over those few weeks, and the intensity of adventure taught me a true love for travel. One of the most important things I took away from the experience was the realization that other people don't have it like I do. Most people have to work every single day — no vacation time or sicks days.They make their food from scratch because there is no such thing as fast food. There is no air conditioning, and, reminder, summer means 80-90 degrees (Fahrenheit) with 60-80% humidity. What do you mean, I can’t just go to a store and buy mosquito spray and sunscreen? Or wash my clothes in a washer and dry my clothes in a dryer? And by the way, wringing out so many clothes will make your hands hurt! As if my hands didn't already ache from pulling sails and scrubbing decks every day. It took a huge mental adjustment to realize the amount of work it would take to accomplish simple tasks or get things I was used to having at my fingertips. But if there was one outstanding takeaway for me, it was that the people there are happy, friendly, and giving. They know that they do without many modern conveniences and that's okay to them.
After my trip was over, I was so excited to get home to see my family and friends, but I was also sad to leave the people who had welcomed me and taught me so much. And, of course, I was leaving behind the stunning Greecian views. This trip became the beginning for me. I felt a push from within to move further outside of my comfort zone.I decided whatever career I pursue would have to include travel; iwanderlust took root in my heart, and I knew from the moment I returned home that my life without more of these experiences would be a life half-lived.
I started my Instagram account, @adventures_of_this_blondie, to create awareness and share my stories through the photographs I take. I love sharing my memories of these places and how much of an impact they’ve made on me. Travel makes life so much richer, connects each of us, and makes us stronger, more educated, and whole. My advice to all is don't limit yourself to your tiny corner of the world. Don’t be afraid to seek out these gorgeous places and beautiful people. Follow my adventure and always #RoamWild @adventures_of_this_blondie
Shirt Sizing Guide
|Length (inches)||28||29 ¼||30 ¼||31 ¼||32 ½||33 ½|
|Waist (inches)||25 ¼||26 ¾||28 ⅜||31 ½||34 ⅝|
|Hips (inches)||35 ⅜||37||38 ⅝||41 ¾||44 ⅞|