Minding the Mountains

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IMG_0020IMG_0161Anxiously wanting to explore the Pacific Northwest, Sean and I drove up the coast from San Francisco to Seattle to visit friends. Along the way, we marveled at the mountains in Northern California, ate terrible Mexican food out of desperation in Oregon, and finally reached Seattle by midnight.

After three days in the city, we craved to be surrounded by nature. I fell in love with Rattlesnake Ridge, a thirty minute drive out of the bustling city, simply humbled by the lush greenery and crisp air. Trailing through the tall, green trees to find the outlook peeling over the lake, I felt consumed by wild joy stillness.

Finding freedom

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After moving to Panamá City a little less than two months ago for a new job as a Travel Specialist for a non-profit, the thrill of adventure can turn into frustration from the chaos of living in the hustle of the city and sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. Buenos días, reality and culture shock. Adjusting to my first “real” big girl, full-time job, embracing Latin American culture, fumbling to learn Spanish, countries away from my loved ones is not always peaches n’cream. At times, I remind myself that I chose this challenge and I learn to choose joy on a daily basis to feel like myself. So much easier said than done, but it’s a learning process and mental exercise that usually is facilitated faster with intentional love and coffee first. This past weekend was such a treat picking up my boyfriend Sean from the airport, celebrating 23 years of life, and spending the weekend tucked up in the mountains of El Valle. We enjoyed the simplicity of just being together and even got to explore a new part of Panamá with what our backpacks could hold. And I’m glad to say the bottle of an Argentine Malbec made it safely through the 2 hour bus ride (with continuous reggaeton playing) to the mountains to celebrate only missing the bus stop once on our journeyInspired by my birthday weekend, discovering Parque Natural Metropolitano, just 15 minutes outside the city was glorious! I felt like Jane of the jungle running through the wilderness, regaining my sense of freedom and curiosity of where I am. Like love, life is so wild–often messy, but beautiful. I’m trying to be present in the little moments.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to feel more alive.

I N D I A

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India hit me like a two week-long, continuous hot yoga class–mentally and physically exhausting, yet rewarding and strangely empowering in ways I didn’t expect.

I was flooded with feelings of awe in the vibrant colors of the details and the natural essence of a simple, yet full life in the jungle. I’m anxious to share memories and stories that stood out based on the relationships created and the moments that made this experience so precious. Amongst the exhaustion from the humidity and travel challenges of health and discomfort, there is something so beautiful and fulfilling in acting out kindness.

What Chinese Buddhism taught me

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Be balanced, be kind, unwind your mind.

After a challenging, yet rewarding five-day retreat at a Buddhist Monastery, as part of my Philosophical Buddhism course this past January, I couldn’t help but return back to the Hsi Lai Temple. I was involved in the Chinese New Year celebrations where the women were dressed in traditional Laos and Indian costumes, and it felt strangely comfortable not needing to have everything translated into English–I instantly felt like I was being transported to Asia for the day. So who’s ready to explore SE Asia with me now?

Into the Wild

“In wilderness is the preservation of the world” -Thoreau

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I’ve been craving nature. Give me straight up, raw beauty untouched by man.

Nature has this ability to captivate and calm my soul all at once. There’s an unmatched peacefulness that comes with exploring and feeling the crisp air brushing through your hair. If you need to clear your head, grab your hiking boots and go off into the wild.