A Lesson In Finding Your Own Way

Meditation and contemplation

While in Hawaii, I hiked down to Queen’s Bath, a shallow pool of ocean water surrounded by igneous rock on the island of Kauai. But, I didn’t actually go to Queen’s Bath.

There were too many people.

Initially, when I pictured myself basking in the blue water of the tide pool, I imagined being surrounded by sweet silence save the crashing waves. I quickly realized I had not accounted for the fact that there would be other people around and laughed at myself for thinking I would find solace at one of Kauai’s most popular tourist destinations.

Instead of following the crowd, I climbed down some lava rocks and watched the life force of the ocean rush in and out of a small cove. I sat there for about ten minutes admiring the strength of nature.

Then, two young local boys ran and jumped straight into the cove as if they had no fear of being swept out into the Pacific with the strong force of the waves.

I thought, “maybe I could give it a try.”

I walked around the ledge to where the boys had jumped and that’s when I saw it: a calm jacuzzi sized pool hidden from public view. I abandoned the idea of jumping altogether (easy, because I didn’t really 100% want to in the first place) and instead submerged my body in the tranquil water of the hidden pool.

I laid down and allowed my body to float, blissfully checking out from everything and equally, connecting to all of it.

Sedona: Between Earth & Sky


Sedona, or “Slow-dona,” as some of the locals called it, has proved to be one of the most peaceful places I’ve visited thus far. Life has a seemingly effortless and natural process of unfolding there. Those I’ve spoken to who have moved to Sedona from elsewhere claim they have been “guided” to Sedona for one reason or another. My mom and I planned this trip back in January and we totally understood the vibe of being guided out there.

One of my 2018 intentions was to travel to the Western United States. After putting that  out to the Universe, I saw an advertisement for a yoga retreat in Sedona and wanted to go, but it seemed a bit too costly to make it a reality. A few days later my mom called and asked if I would like to meet her in Sedona instead of her coming to visit me in Florida. I responding with a resounding “YES!”

There’s something—some high energetic, magical quality—about Sedona that extends beyond the physical. It can’t be explained, it’s something that needs to be experienced. I recommend Sedona to anyone looking for a relaxing, self-reflective, healing vacation.

Below is a guide based on our favorite things we did during our time in Sedona.



You can drive right up to the chapel, an architectural landmark built into the red rock. Orrrrr you can do an hour hike from the center of the vortex (a place of powerful Earth energy) out to the chapel. If you have the time, do the latter. We stopped about half way to admire the tall red rocks, sat down and did some chanting meditation. Right before we were about to move on, my mom insisted she get a picture of me doing a yoga pose in front of the rock. I positioned myself with my arms reaching outward. Upon later inspection of the photos, we noticed an orange orb (denoting protection) in the direction I was reaching. The trail, the nature, the chapel, the energy, all made for a Divine experience.



Windchimes and prayer flags line the perimeter of the park and in the center stands The Amitabha Stupa, a monument imbued with the power of higher consciousness to honor the Buddha. As I walked the path that surrounds the sacred structure, I was met with feelings of grace and gratitude. The peace and stillness of the park make it the perfect place to practice meditation and send prayers.


Intuitive readings are like spiritual “check-ups.” They provide insight into your emotions, energy, and overall spirit. I used to be wary of readings, but overtime I have learned there is nothing to fear because it’s all done in the interest of your highest and best Self. You can call ahead to make an appointment, but I chose to do it right then and there with one of the readers who was available. In one half hour session, I laughed, I cried, I worked through some major mental blocks, and obtained extreme clarity. 10/10 recommend.


Okay, not going to lie, this day was pretty intense. We totaled about 400 miles (5 hours) in the car, but the views were so worth it. We drove directly up to the Lower Antelope Canyon and got the longest part of the drive out of the way early. The Lower Antelope Canyon is a canyon carved out entirely by water. The smooth rock ebbs, flows, and swirls around mirroring the fluidity of the water that created it. Unfortunately, state law prohibits anyone from entering the canyon without a tour guide, so we had no choice but to cram into the tight space with a lot of people more concerned with taking photos of the Canyon than the canyon itself. Honestly, I was pretty annoyed about the people at the time, but thinking back, I only remember the beauty of the canyon, so if you can handle confined spaces with a large group then 100% do it! After the Lower Antelope Canyon, we headed South again and drove a tiring 8 minutes to Horseshoe Bend where we found some space to breathe. Then, we got back in the car for a two-hour ride to the Grand Canyon. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t prepared for what I saw because WHOA. The canyon stretched on for miles and miles making it impossible to comprehend the enormity of it. My mom and I remained silent on the edge of the rock and basked in the beauty of the scene in front of us with one thing on our minds: nature is heaven.


There is plenty of shopping to do in Sedona, but no need to get caught up in all of the touristy shops. I found some real gems at the thrift and consignment stores scattered around the city. Gently used holistic food and healing books for $1 each, a designer dress for $15, silver earrings for $5. Thrifted items are inexpensive, good for the environment, and wayyy more treasurable than anything you’ll find in a destination themed gift shop.


If you know anything about me, you’d know I’m crazy for cocoa, so I had to check out ChocolaTree, a café and shop specializing in homemade chocolate and vegetarian eats. They import their cocoa from South America and stone grind it on site, a process that typically takes a few weeks. You can totally taste the difference in their chocolate and the chocolate you’d get from the grocery store. It’s rich, it’s raw, it’s full of antioxidants, and it tastes the way real chocolate is supposed to taste. The best part about this place? They ship worldwide, so you don’t even have to leave your house to enjoy their delicious sweeties! Shop here.



I owe this one to Mom. I was in charge of flights, she was in charge of stay and she knocked this one out of the park. Located high above the rest of Sedona, the Sky Ranch Lodge promises awe-inspiring views. We had an incredible stay. The rooms were clean, the grounds were beautifully manicured, and the staff was beyond friendly. When we weren’t out and about, we either chilled poolside or relaxed in the wedding area. When the views are this good (↓) there really is no need to venture out!




Key West

Key West is home to the southernmost point in the continental United States. But Key West is not just geographically unique. The island is a tropical paradise full of pastel conch style homes, more boats than you’ve ever seen in your life, brazen roosters, and a bunch of other eccentricities. It’s a definitely a place to check out. Here’s why:

Life is now in Key West

Island living tends to differ from life on the mainland. At all times, fisherman are heading offshore, tourists are sipping frozen fruity drinks on the beach, and locals are hanging out at the bars. The only thing people are concerned about is enjoying life. Which is why in any other part of the country, a disco ball hanging from a tree may strike you as odd, but here it’s just a part of the island decor.

Key West is well established in the arts

Whatever your taste in art may be, there is bound to be something you appreciate. There’s art in the familiar sense— galleries and exhibits can be found up and down Duval Street with displays of abstracts paintings and bronze sculptures. There’s the art of fishing, as Key West is the fishing capital of the world. And, there’s the art of sex. Sex shops and tranny shows are fairly common, further proving nothing is really taboo in Key West.

The food is killer

Casual, upscale, fast-food. Lobster Benedicts, conch fritters, grouper sandwiches. It’s all good. If nothing else, Key West is an ideal place for a culinary adventure.

Things To Do:

  1. Visit Mallory Square for breathtaking sunsets and nightly entertainment courtesy of Key West’s finest street performers
  2. Spend some time at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory for a peaceful experience
  3. Take a boat trip offshore to do some kayaking and/or snorkeling.
  4. Take a day to visit the Dry Tortugas National Park
  5. Go to Fort Zachary Historic State Park





Florence, Italy: My first solo travel experience

What am I possibly going to do with myself for the next six days? – My first thought after checking into the hostel in Florence.

I had never traveled solo before and until that moment, hadn’t thought what it would be like to be alone for days at a time. Despite my initial question, it didn’t take long before I fell into a routine of drinking espresso after morning yoga, journaling in the park, eating bruschetta outside in a piazza, and making friends at the hostel. Below are a few thoughts about my experience:

I realized it was best to blend in

Italy was a last minute decision. I had no idea I was going to be stopping in Florence when I packed for my trip. The contents of my suitcase clearly reflected this. I had lightweight yoga pants, tank tops, and sandals. All of my clothes were meant for too-hot-to-breathe weather, not breezy springtime in Tuscany. So when I first arrived in my yoga flip-flops and thin, cotton pants, I got a few stares from the locals who were still sporting jackets and scarves. Normally I wouldn’t have cared about being looked at funny, but in the interest of my safety as a solo female traveler, I figured it was better to blend in. I traded my flip flops for running shoes and bought a cheap jacket. I felt much more at ease after looking as if I belonged.

There were a lot of selfies

Since I didn’t experience my trip with another person, there is no one else who could help me remember it. No one else I could reminisce with. When I wanted to document the moment, I took a selfie. At first, I felt a little awkward and slightly vain pulling out my phone to take a picture of myself. But I quickly got over it when I realized no one was looking at me. No one cared if I took a selfie at the café. No one cared if I took a selfie in front of the Duomo. Only I cared. And once I stopped caring I started to compile a whole camera roll of selfies to remember my trip by.

I could do everything at my leisure

When I was hungry, I went to a trattoria. When I was tired, I went back to the hostel for a siesta. When I wanted to write in my journal, I found a quiet place to write in my journal. I only had to answer to my own desires. Everything was on my own terms. I was blissfully selfish for the week and, man, did it feel good!

Strangers quickly became friends

Engaging in conversation with other travelers was all it took to make friends. While relaxing in the courtyard of the hostel, I met a guy from Australia and invited him to come to dinner with me. We bonded over our love for adventure and swapped stories from countries we’ve visited. I told him all about my current trip, barely stopping to breathe. “You probably won’t believe me,” I told him. “But I actually am such an introvert.” I also met a lovely Moroccan woman at breakfast one morning. Like me, she was alone, but had plans to meet up with her sister to do more traveling around Tuscany. She told me she planned to be in Siena in a few days and invited me to meet them out there. We connected on WhatsApp and sure enough, a few days later, we were eating raviolis in a restaurant outside the Piazza Del Campo in Siena.

Would I do it again?

Yes. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling by myself. I learned that I enjoy my own company and that being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.




Why you should do your YTT in India

If you’ve ever contemplated doing a yoga teacher training, consider this your call to action. And definitely consider heading to India. Here’s why:

You will learn the true essence of yoga

Yoga in the West is typically watered down, focusing almost exclusively on the physical aspect of yoga. The physical practice, better known as asana, is only one of the eight limbs of yoga and is not yoga in its own right. In training in India, you will be exposed to and expected to practice the other seven limbs. These include: discipline, moral observances, breath control, withdrawal of the senses, concentration, meditation and union of the self and the Divine. Obviously a month is not long enough to become a master on subjects that have been thousands of years in the making, but at the very least, you will leave with an introduction of what they are.

It will cost less than getting certified at home

Yoga Teacher Trainings in the U.S. cost upwards of $3,000. My program in India cost $1,500. In addition to the course, that cost covered my month’s accommodation, three meals a day, and one weekly excursion. Add in $1,000 for a roundtrip flight and it’s still less than getting certified at home.

There won’t be any outside distractions

You’re going to be pretty disconnected from the rest of the world. Unless you have an international data plan (which costs short of a million dollars a month), your cellphone is going to be nothing more than camera to take photos of the cows in the road and a calculator to convert rupees to dollars. And while my school and a few cafes accommodated us Westerners with free wifi, connectivity was usually poor. At the school, I would be lucky to get two minutes of FaceTime in before the wifi would stop working for the day. Refreshing social media and news apps also got pretty frustrating, so it didn’t take long before I would give up and put my phone away. However, I considered the bad wifi to be a blessing. My interest in scrolling through Instagram abated and I didn’t feel so bombarded by the bad news circulating the media. Because of this, I found it easier to concentrate on the course, myself, and the present moment.

You’ll make friends from around the globe

Like every other abroad program I’ve participated in, I thought I was going to be surrounded by Americans. But to my surprise, there were only four of us out of 40 students. There were a few Germans, some Argentinians, a Brazilian from Australia, an Australian from Brazil, one from India and so on. On the first day, we all swapped our reasons for coming to India and I was struck by how similar all of our stories were. Though our cultures, religions and backgrounds differ, we all felt captivated by yoga and pulled to India. I promise you that after making friends with such likeminded and incredible people from all around, the world will seem a lot smaller and infinitely more comfortable.

It will change you from the moment you step off the plane

India is vibrant and full of life. And all of this life is out in the open for you to experience— the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is India:

You walk into a shop and almost immediately fall into a deep conversation with the shopkeeper about the value of honesty. Outside that same shop, you find a beggar with a single arm and no shirt, sitting upright against the wall, clutching his prayer beads and waiting for someone to throw money in his cup. And around the corner, someone is burning a pile of garbage despite the extreme heat. Behind you, a cow stands in the middle of the road, blocking traffic and provoking drivers to slam those damn high pitched horns. But it’s okay because the bells of the ashram ring, signaling a call to prayer.

In my opinion, there is nowhere better to apply your yogic knowledge than a place that stimulates your mind and colors your thoughts. A place that both drains and revives you of your energy. A place that is going to flip your perspective on society, humanity, and life itself.





Rishikesh, India

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In the months before I got to Rishikesh, I would daydream of what the city was like. I don’t remember exactly what I imagined, but I do know, reality exceeded my expectations.

Rishikesh, also known as “The Yoga Capital of the World,” is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India. The sacred River Ganga flows through the center, separating Rishikesh in two. But, the entire city preaches oneness since yoga literally translates to the word “union.” Rishikesh is filled with yoga schools, ashrams, spiritual centers and visitors from all over the globe paying pilgrimage to the holy city. “OM,” the sound of the Universe and the most well-known Sanskrit chant echoes throughout, literally and figuratively.

Here, life is simple. Everyone lives, eats and breaths yoga. I mean it. Asana is practiced throughout the day, aryuvedic food is served at every meal, and inhales and exhales are very much a part of everyone’s awareness.

So far, I love Rishikesh. Even though, I’ve only been here a week, I’ve already learned a lot about my self and my body, established beautiful friendships, climbed a mountain to visit a meditation cave and celebrated Holi like a local. Below are a few pictures that have captured a glimpse of these amazing events.


London Times: Sights and stories

I booked my three day layover in London on a whim. I had no idea what I was going to do or who I was going to explore the city with (at the time I figured it would just be me, myself and I). I just figured the short stop would be a good way to break up the 14 hour flight to Delhi.

Shortly after purchasing my ticket, plans started to emerge. My sister, Britt, agreed to come along. Then, I booked us a hotel in Covent Garden and we notified our Swiss friends, Marissa and her adorable son James, about our journey across the pond. Marissa and James ended up making the trek to see us along with the fashionable Hannah, a Londoner, who had been on holiday in Switzerland at the time. Hannah, lucky for us, became our unofficial guide around the city.

Below are some of the more notable sights and stories from my time in London!

1. Big Ben

Britt and I arrived in London on Thursday morning. We dropped our bags, grabbed coffee for fuel, and headed to the meeting point of our SANDEMANs walking tour. I absolutely love this company! They offer “free” walking tours in 18 cities across Europe. The reason that there is no overhead cost is because the tours operate on a tip only basis, which also means the tour guides are always friendly and extremely knowledgeable. Our SANDEMANs tour guide brought us around Central London, stopping at Covent Garden, Trafalgar Sqaure, St. James’s Palace, Buckingham Palace and ending with the iconic Big Ben. Usually, I prefer to stay away from big touristy areas while traveling, but I find Big Ben to be so alluring!

(For more information on the SANDEMANs tours click here.)

2.  Neal’s Yard

Neal’s Yard! Colorful, vibrant, Neal’s Yard! When I first saw Pinterest posts of the small hidden courtyard within Covent Garden, I know I had to go. Neal’s Yard is quaint, picturesque and home to a few artsy and organic shops. I took about a million photos here and treated myself to a big green smoothie.

3. Dishoom

On Friday, Britt and I met up with Marissa, Hannah and James for lunch at Dishoom, a trendy Indian restaurant serving up the most delicious curries. To be honest, (and this may sound silly considering I am going to be living there for a month) I have never eaten Indian food before. Therefore, I couldn’t quite figure out the menu, so Hannah took the liberty of ordering a diverse collection of small plates to share. Everything was so flavorful and the naan was to die for!

4. Borough Market

After 17 months, I broke my vegetarianism. But here’s the thing. I didn’t just taste meat. I ate it. A lot of it. Chicken. Duck. Lamb. Bacon. Ham. Yeah, I broke it and I broke it GOOD. But, whatever. It made my experience at Borough Market a very satisfying one. Hannah directed us around the market, where we stopped and sampled anything and everything we could. I had bites of duck confit, paella, brie, fresh fruit, and the list goes on. Once we got a taste of what each vendor was selling, we agreed the duck confit we tried at the very beginning was the best. So, we went back and each ordered our own sandwich. And since that didn’t seem to be enough, we finished off our lunch with some very sinful, cream-filled donuts by Bread Ahead Bakery.

5. Tate Museum 

The Tate Museum offers free modern and contemporary art exhibits, but what drew  us there was the 10th story terrace with an incredible view of London. We didn’t stay long, but I thought it was a great way to see the city from above without having to spend a lot of money on something like the London Eye. 

6. Seven Dials Hotel

Seven Dials is a small monument erected in the center of a seven way intersection. Down the street is the Seven Dials Hotel, where we took residence during our stay in London. If any of you are planning a visit to London soon and want a cheap place to stay, I highly recommend this hotel! It was clean, simple, and centrally located— everything a budget hotel should be.



To London, India & Beyond!

BIG NEWS! I’ve decided to pack up my love for yoga and take it with me all the way to India to become a certified yoga instructor.

My journey to India and ultimately to my Self begins on March 1st (though you could argue it began 22 years ago, but no need to get all esoteric and spiritual on you quite yet).

My sister, Brittany, and I are set to fly to London, where we will no doubt enjoy a few days’ worth of tea and crumpets with some art and museums sprinkled in between (and by art and museums, I mostly mean bakeries and pubs). From there, Britt will fly back to the States and I will journey on to “The Yoga Capital of the World,” otherwise known as Rishikesh, India.

While in Rishikesh, I will be attending a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. For a month, I will be living by the regimented schedule of ashram life, which begins at 5:30 AM with morning tea followed by yoga, pranayama (the study of breath), anatomy, more tea, philosophy, more yoga, and you guessed it, meditation.

This will be an entirely new experience for me as I have never been to India, nor have I ever willingly committed myself to anything that would require me to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5 AM. But, I couldn’t be more excited. I am so unbelievably grateful for my path and I encourage each and every one of you to follow your passions because they will certainly take you to some amazing places!