Nice to Meet You!

I am a passionate travel and food expert living in Cologne, Germany with my husband Sam as I pursue an MBA in sustainable tourism. I have been traveling since I was 11 years old, and blogging about it for about 9 years. Since my first time abroad in 2000, I became passionate about snapping photos and retelling stories from my travel journeys. Before the widespread use of blogs, I documented my travels through scrapbooks! 

I strive to live a life full of learning and continual improvement, a goal which travel helps me achieve. I love the feeling of being in a foreign place and how it sparks curiosity. I am motivated by change and I think that is one of the reasons why I enjoy traveling so much — you are constantly surrounded by and learning from new things. 

In my experience, genuinely opening yourself up to new experiences and perspectives through travel impacts your worldview, in a way that feels deeper and more personal than any other methods of learning. From trying new cuisines to listening to international podcasts, I try to find creative ways to cultivate that ‘travel’ feeling regardless of whether or not I’m on the road. 

At the same time, I am really passionate about sustainability. My first major exposure to the climate crisis was during a study abroad program with Semester at Sea. It changed my life and ever since then, I have been transitioning parts of my life towards more sustainable behaviors. I worked at a farmers market from 2011 where I learned about the importance of local and seasonal agriculture. I stopped buying newly produced clothing in 2017 and have worn vintage + second hand since then. Since the beginning of 2020, my husband and I have been cooking + eating vegan food at home. 

Where my desire for newness + travel intersects with my knowledge of the climate crisis is a point of dissonance. These two sides myself aren’t really compatible — they are discordant. When I couldn’t let go of this feeling, I knew I needed to do something about the imbalance. I hope to commit my career to figuring out a way to make tourism an industry of the future that is grounded in intersectional environmentalism and circular economic theory.

12 Things About Me

1 — I am always working on my listening skills, and I try to look at everything from multiple perspectives in order to better understand the situation.

2 — My all-time favorite band is The Beatles. They are my musical soulmate. Every time I listen to them, I feel like they are talking to me and telling the story of my life. Seeing Paul McCartney live in concert is one of my top 10 favorite experiences. EVER.

3 — I believe that gratitude and humility are the best qualities a person can have.

4 — I used to not like animals… and then I got two cats. Now I’m totally obsessed. My fur babies bring me endless amounts of joy, and I can’t imagine my life without them now. I’m officially a cat lady!

5 — I am a newly converted houseplant lover. I went from zero to 30 plants in a year, and its now one of my favorite hobbies. I love watching the plants grow and adapt. 

6 — My love language is words of affirmation. I like hearing nice things about myself, and it makes me feel validated.

7 — Fall will always be my favorite season. Growing up in the Midwest, I developed an appreciation for the colors, smells and temperatures of autumn. 

8 — I rarely leave my house without some type of jewelry, usually at least 5 rings!

9 — I can’t stand it when people say they don’t care about politics. Everything is connected to race, power, and injustice, so to simply ignore these parts of society because it makes you uncomfortable is careless in my opinion.  

10 — I often take things too personally.

11 — Even though I’m miserable at it, I love to dance! 

12 — I met my husband when I was 6 years old. He was my high school sweetheart, which to this day, still surprises me. I never pictured myself as someone who would be married to someone they’ve known their whole life, but alas, here we are happily together for over 14 years. I feel so incredibly grateful to have my best friend by my side through life.

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