Saturday, October 14, 2017

Community Living in Berkeley, California

It's official! It's been 2 years since moving to California and when I decided to put a pause on the travel portion journey to Alaska! It's amazing how quickly time flies when you're living in one place. It's been a while since my last post, so thank you for your patience.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to move to California was to surround and ground myself in community. I heard the San Francisco Bay Area has many co-op style living situations which keeps living costs cheaper and is the type of living situation I prefer and see myself participating in for a long time.

Life has a remarkable way of matching us to the people, place and situation where we need to be to grow. After a long struggle to find a community where I felt at home and settled, the universe couldn't have picked a btter place for me to land. Thanks to great friends I've met along my journey, I landed at the Hog Farm Community in Berkeley, California. From the moment I arrived, I've felt welcomed, loved, grounded and appreciated here. It's hard to express how important a home is to me. The feelings associated with being settled, having one bed, a private room, feeling appreciated and helpful really fill me up and allow me to blossom and show up in life.

Thank you again to the Hog Farm and wonderful friends in the Bay Area!!

Our home at night

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Living, Hiking and Camping on the John Muir Trail of California

June 26th, 2016
"Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." - Muhammed Ali

Today Ricky, a longtime close friend, and I travel to the beautiful and sacred Yosemite valley in Northern California. After over 230 miles of rigorous trekking, we will summit Mount Whitney to pot an exclamation on our adventure. We look forward to meeting wonderful and inspiring people, listening to and observing nature, encountering wildlife, watching the nighttime art in the sky, getting exercise, being challenged by the forces and enjoying lots of granola, lots of granola, lots of granola

View of Half Dome from the Yosemite Valley
Vernal Falls in Yosemite National Park
July 1st

The past handful of days have been full of  beautiful nature around every turn. I've noticed how loud nature is, yet it is a much more sensual sound as it is more consistent and filled with songs of birds and animals, the wind and water. This hike is challenging mentally and physically as blisters began forming on our feet day two. There are numerous ups and downs as we climb mountains, hike at our own pace and find incredible camp sites.

Ricky and I received our permit from the Tuolomne Ranger Station in Yosemite National Park and we begin our trek!

Ricky leads the way as we begin the John Muir Trail from Tuolmne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. In the distance is Donahue Pass

View from near Donahue Pass on the Eastern Side

The West Side of Donahue Pass

It seemed that every turn we made, there was distinct scenery. After we descended from Donahue Pass, we approached 1000 Island Lake

Our incredible camp site. It seemed that every night we stopped, we said to each other that this is the best campsite ever. 

View from 1000 Island Lakes

Things that look like other things. What do you see here?


Another amazing campsite on Lake Rosalie. How incredible to swim in these alpine lakes!

Ricky looks on at Devil's Postpile

View of the mountains we passed to the North. This picture is taken a few miles from Red's Meadow Resort

Amazing Views
Lake Virginia is a little over 10,000 feet. We camped here and it was spectacular

Tent view at Lake Virgina

Does it really get better all the time?! Ricky overlooks the Mountains on the Duck Pass Trail

Hi Ho Silver! Silver Pass was one of my favorites

Ricky enjoys Silver Pass
Ricky leads the way en route to Silver Pass Lake

There was river crossing daily, yet this was one of the deepest water crossing we had. Thanks to patience, good balance and lucky wind direction, neither of us fell in the water on any crossing.
View from Marie Lakes near Selden Pass

One of my favorite pictures of the trek. This photo is take from just below Muir Pass at Wanda Lake. We camped here before summitting Muir Pass at 11,975 feet

View from Muir Pass. The building seen in the photo is a hut built for trekkers that are caught in storms and need shelter. You are able to sleep there and see amazing sunsets and sunrises. 

Descending from Muir Pass at Helen Lake


Ricky and I decided to travel to Humboldt county and visit the Avenue of the Giants. These coastal redwoods are the tallest living organisms on planet earth. This species of redwood live between 500-1500 years and grows as tall as 160 feet.

Photo of the inside of a redwood tree burl

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today I live in Oakland, California

These days I am living in a beautiful, creative and inspiring community in Oakland, which is across the bay from San Francisco in California. For the first time in years, I have decided to settle down for some time. To clarify, settling down to me is deciding to live in one place for more than six months. It is a big step for me to make this decision, yet it feels so right in my heart and the coincidences that have followed this decision confirm my actions.

Oakland will be a home, and a place to come back to as I continue to travel. I still have desires to keep traveling around the world, and explore different cultures. I feel grateful for my health, friends and family, teachers and role models, challenges influencing growth and for the beauty that surrounds us everywhere, always.

View from atop Mt. Tamalpais, overlooking the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean

Flying over the Bay Bridge in the Bay Area

I will post more often as I continue to travel and learn.

Thank you dearly for following. I hope this blog provides inspiration to you!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Family Vacation to Medellin, Colombia

March 17th 2016

My brother Stephen and I sit on an airplane that will soon take off for Colombia. We hear English and Spanish instructions as the flight attendants give announcements and settle everyone into their seats. We will spend the next eight days with our younger sister MaryEllen and good friend Cameron.
We don't have a structured plan other than where we'll stay at an AirBnB for a week. I'm excited to practice Spanish, meet locals, eat delicious local cuisine and go with the flow. 

Why Colombia? 
Colombia is home to some of the most friendly, generous and shiny people in the world. There are many ecosystems and a progressive lifestyle promoting a healthy planet. 

How do I make the time? I found a cheap plane ticket and felt a strong desire to go. My jobs are part time and I decide when I work and when I play. And you can too! Just do it. And when you do, you'll meet hundreds of other travelers that recently quit their job or are taking a vacation. And so many are so alive and excited for their day! Namaste

Soccer match - Classico - Atletico Nacional v. Medellin. This game was wild! The entire game there was chanting and singing from everyone in the stadium. The SWAT team stood on each corner of the stadium to make sure no fights got out of control. We were concerned for our safety, yet walked away unscathed.

Cameron, myself, MaryEllen, Meredith, Shane and I stand in front of Ruth's shop. Ruth was our next door neighbor and provided us with snacks, beverages and most anything we needed

Shane, Cameron, MaryEllen and Meredith enjoy the view from a special neighborhood filled with art. Several years ago, this neighborhood was the most dangerous in Medellin. The local government gifted paint to the entire community and hired artists to paint murals. It now feels safe and lovely. Amazing what some paint will do! The following pictures show some close up photos of the murals all over town. 

You can climb this big rock to get amazing views from outside Guatape.

Cameron, myself, Stephen and MaryEllen enjoy our view from atop the rock
Famous artist Fernando Botero has many statues in a plaza in Medellin

This statue is named 'Pensive'

Monday, November 30, 2015

Grand Canyon Camping with Dad

November, 2015

My Dad flew out to California and we spent ten days camping in California and Arizona. It was a reunion trip as three years ago we camped together in Montana and Canada. The two highlights of this trip were Sequoia National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. Words are hard to describe the feelings while we had while in these parks. So I'll tell the story with photos. Enjoy.

 Sequoia National Park, California

Sequoia National Park is a favorite of mine. I find myself returning here often.

Dad was so excited to be in nature, find small creatures and plants and take in the vibes.

So big!

What do you see?

One of many camp sites

Grand Canyon, Arizona

View from the Canyon Ridge. What makes this photo incredible is that this view is only a sliver of the actual Canyon. It measures 270 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and 1 mile deep! Some Geologists believe the layers of the canyon date back over 1,600 million years! Each step into the canyon represents hundreds and thousands of years. 

Dad and I begin our trek into the Canyon. It is one mile deep, about 1600 meters.  

I look over the edge, where you can see the winding trail

Dad is silent as he observes the view on our way into the canyon

Sunset and Full Moon!

View from the Plateau, about half a mile into the Canyon

American Indian Wall Paintings!

Dad takes a break on our way up the canyon. I am impressed by how well he hiked! 
This photo was taken three years ago on our camping trip in Montana. Dad upgraded this year by bringing a backpack. Looks more comfortable, eh!