In 2012, I gave myself permission to do something crazy.
I packed my bags, ditched my permanent address, and took my nearly two-year-old business and my pint-sized pooch on the road to live our lives against a backdrop of sandy Mexican beaches, cobbled Italian squares, pretty French bistros, and jagged, breathtaking Swiss Alps.
In the four years that followed, I found my mojo, fell in love with my life, learned to love and stand up for myself, dropped two dress sizes, shifted my business, became an official expat, quit being an official expat, faced my fears head-on, and turned my solo adventure into a partnered adventure. And today I’m still going strong.
So, how do I make my living on the road? I write books.
In the last couple years, I published 10 (yes, 10!) unconventional travel guides. The first is called Italy: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Eat, and How to Fit In. Think of it as your new Italian best friend—the one who can give you directions to that off-the-beaten path winery, help you find the best pizzeria in town, and clue you in on how to spot real gelato. If you’re dreaming of Italy, you should probably buy it.
Then there’s my pride and joy, Switzerland: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Hike, & How to Fit In. It’s the same idea, but for the Alpine valleys, quirky cities, and rolling vineyards of Switzerland—a country I called home in 2014.
Then there’s the newest, shiniest, most massive undertaking, France: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Eat, & How to Fit In, which is full of hidden-away brasseries, countryside castles, and every other magical thing you’d expect from France.
Finally, the other six are essentially the same idea, but smaller and featuring cities instead of whole countries. They focus on Barcelona, Paris, Prague, New York City, Denver, Northern Arizona, and Phoenix & Tucson.
Oh, yeah. I live this crazy, travel-filled life with my dog.
Yessir. My traveling pooch is called Luna – after the character in Harry Potter. I found her in 2009 and she changed my life. Now, she’s a seasoned world-traveler, a trained therapy dog, and a papered ESA. When she’s not sleeping in weird positions, Luna enjoys bringing me my slippers, staring at me quizzically, and hiding behind me anytime a cat comes near her. (Because cats are terrifying. Duh.)
Okay, so the whole point…
I write this blog because I think my story could be yours too. You don’t have to be rich or famous or thin or whatever to have the life of your dreams. And if you need someone to prove it, well, here I am. Traveling. Writing. Running a business. Facing my fears. Learning the hard lessons. And never giving up.
Maybe you want to start a business. Or to spend a luxurious month in the Italian countryside eating fresh pasta and taking strolls through fields of sunflowers. Or to create art without having to work at McDonalds or live in a box.
Whatever your wildest dream is, I’m writing this blog (and my next books) for you.
The world needs more people who go after their dreams.
It needs more people who are afraid to fail – and jump off the edge anyway.
It needs more people willing to love, laugh, and adventure with abandon.
So let’s do that.