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getting there

Every year on my birthday I commit myself to a self analysis.  I’m a harsh critic, the feedback is brutal.  I crawl away wounded and dying from a bleed out.  Last August/September, I was in Iceland.  I was fully connected to my friends and family and social media the whole time, save for one spot.  It was off some F-road, I drove as far as I felt comfortable taking the rental, and I was 100% disconnected from it all.  I sat for hours and enjoyed the silence and promised I would cut myself a break.

It’s still happening – “getting there”.  I don’t know where ‘there’ is, no one ever does.  It’s not linear or circular, it’s a knotted up ball of yarn weaved together with emotion, dead-ends, and by-the-skin-of-your-teeth victories.  But, what’s so important, is I’m no longer sitting in the middle of nowhere Iceland.  I’m sitting on a cliff in Yosemite National Park, enjoying the breeze and grateful for a newfound strength.

I’m not as thin as I was this time last year, I don’t fit into a lot of my clothes, but my hiking boots are hella comfortable.  I’m happy and have gained so much self-respect and self-worth, the added weight is worth carrying.

There is always a camera by my side, adventure in my heart, and a story on my mind.  My socks never match, and I can no longer tell if I’m more tan or just constantly dirty from hiking.

I catch myself thinking about how I like the way my hips curve, but I should really invest into more cardio for healthful reasons instead of the superficial.  I am addicted to soda, and should drink more water because the color of my pee says so.  As a diagnosed asthmatic for 17+ years, I forget my inhaler constantly, but I will always remember that one super embarrassing moment that happened when I was thirteen that no one else ever will.

I’m no longer a predator hunting for survival, but I’m a woman happily thriving on whatever mess I can get my hands on.  I recently started wearing tight leggings, and I don’t care what I or anyone else thinks about how I look in them – they’re comfortable and reduce the hell out of chub-rub.  I still don’t regret any of my tattoos, and don’t shave as often as I used to.

I’m proud of how far I’m come with my photography skills, and have a tendency to forget to charge the camera batteries.  I can’t help but pronounce aperture as “aperature” and try desperately to fix that.

I have a terrible fear of bridges – I’m not afraid of heights – but I will cry my eyes out and still cross the fucking thing.  Taking off in a plane makes me want to vomit, but once we’re at cruising altitude, I could stay there for days.

I’m extroverted, but nervous when it’s my turn to talk to people, and still hope I don’t sound too stupid.

I’m terrible at actually eating my leftovers and hold onto them in the fridge longer than I should purely out of guilt for wasting.  I can’t stand taking cold showers, and I forget to reapply sunscreen after I’ve sweated it off.  I’ve never been an expert at talking about my feelings, I’m more likely to swallow a cup full of nails than express them aloud.

I still dream of being featured in NatGeo, and I will visit all of the places.  I’m trying to learn more languages and expand my understanding of global struggles, yet I will forever cling to the naive notion of “why can’t we all just get along?”

This is me at twenty-nine.  And I am fucking gorgeous.

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Please visit my stories for the break down. 
Check out @vaindalize - she’s a beautiful artist. If you ever need a tattoo in Singapore - she’s your woman.  Considering my recent visit to Japan, and Vainy’s inspiration came from a Japanese horror artist, it felt fitting to choose this piece. 
We spent some time together - learning about each other - but she also taught me a lot about Singapore and I taught her about America. 
We laughed about our pets and ordered Chinese food. 
This is why I travel. 
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#travel #adventureisoutthere #singapore #tattoo #junjiito #visitsingapore #visualorgasmtattoo #eyeballtattoo #tabithabear #thisiswhyitravel #travelblogger #travelphotographer #traveltattoo #wearetravelgirls #japanesehorror #japan #womanwanderer #womanwriter #womanphotographer I called the front desk asking to get higher ground to take a picture of the amazing sunset.

They took down my name and told me to go to the 22nd floor where someone will meet me. 
The elevator doors opened and someone called my name and took me to the best vantage point.

It all happened so quickly and was so well executed on such short notice, I know I couldn’t have been the first one.

I’m in awe at the friendliest welcome I have received in this city since stepping off the train. I love you, Hiroshima.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, f/22, 24 mm on a 24-70mm lens, 12800 ISO *
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#adventureisoutthere #hiroshima #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #sunset #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #japan  #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #visithiroshima #optoutside #visitjapan #beautifuldestinations #gogirlguides #worldnomads #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal My first full day in Tokyo and I’m hooked. The public transportation has been easy to navigate, the trains are a smooth ride and always on time. 
The city is incredibly clean and does not carry the smell I’m used to experiencing in NYC/Philly/Boston. 
I’m definitely out of my comfort zone here and it’s beyond invigorating. 
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, f/4.5, 1/800, on a 24-70mm lens *
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#adventureisoutthere #tokyo #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #japan  #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #travelwriter #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #gogirlguides #worldnomads #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal Here’s the last photo of Iceland.  It’s one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it! ::: Next up is the Amazing August Adventure Abroad in Asia and Australia. ::: Too much alliteration? ::: I’m beyond excited for this trip. I’m looking forward to being completely out of my comfort zone, experiencing new cultures and food, and meeting new people. ::: Huge thanks to @glographics and @mylifesatravelmovie for their honesty and legwork around the world. I’ve been following them for a few years and instead of scrolling through another day’s IG feed saying “I wish that was me” - I worked my ass off to get on the effing plane and GO. And more fantastically, I’ll be seeing(meeting!)them both and a few other amazing women in Bali in a few weeks. ::: Canon EOS Rebel T6s, 56 mm on an 18-135 lens, f/7.1, 1/125, ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #iceland  #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #travelwriter #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #gogirlguides #worldnomads #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal It’s been a rough week, and I’m not feeling great from having about 5 hours of sleep over the last 72 hours.  I moved, and it wasn’t planned out well (our landlord wants to sell our house) and within two weeks it’s all been settled and relocation has commenced. 
It was very last minute and crazy, but there is some spectacular good coming out of this. 
My commute to work one way is about 1.5 hours. At the new place, it will be 15 minutes. The amount of time I’ll gain back is magical and will be a true life changer.

Canon EOS Rebel T6s, 18mm on an 18-135 lens, f/11, 1/125, ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #iceland  #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #travelwriter #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #gogirlguides #worldnomads #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal I remember everything about this moment so well. I was driving through the western peninsula of Iceland on my way to Kirkjufellsfoss, and I needed to stop and be in the moment with it all. Queen was blasting from my stereo, and I was bracing the wind in a bright red windbreaker while owning some seriously awesome purple hair. Another Jeep pulled up, a man got out and walked over to me and said, “My wife and I have seen you all over Iceland hiking with your camera. I just told her, if that girl with the purple hair pulled over, we should, too.” I laughed and we had a good chat about the mating season of seals - as strangers tend to do - and he snapped a couple photos with his phone and went on his way. 
I loved this interaction so much. It wasn’t in depth, or lasted very long, and I never met the man’s wife because she never left the car, but I enjoyed the connection. It was honest and innocent, and started because for almost two weeks up to that point, I was just being myself, alone in a new country, with my camera. 
There’s something so dramatic about Iceland, something so mysterious, the landscape becomes an equalizer.

Travel humbles us all. 
Canon EOS Rebel T6s, 42mm on an 18-135 lens, f/11, 1/250 ISO 100 *
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#adventureisoutthere #adventure #travel #travelphotographer #womanwriter #travelblogger #womanphotographer #womanwanderer #canon #canonusa #teamcanon #natgeo #natgeoyourshot #natgeotravel #adobelightroom #tabithabear #womenwhotravel #dametraveler #roamtheplanet #iceland  #ourplanetdaily #canonfanphoto #travelwriter #optoutside #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #gogirlguides #worldnomads #femmetravel #ladiesgoneglobal
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