Travel & Adventure

How a Trip to Indonesia Taught Me to be Bold

trip to Indonesia

Five years ago, I took one of the boldest actions of my life. I traveled halfway across the world to Ubud, Indonesia alone. In June 2008, I was 27 years old and had never left United States soil despite a constant longing to. A combination of fear and comfort held me hostage in familiarity—until, however, I finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling novel, Eat. Pray. Love. It chronicled the author’s adventures through Italy, India and Indonesia as she sought to “find herself” after a divorce.

The book’s vivid descriptions of Indonesia’s rich culture and lush countryside converged with my imagination of ornate wood-carvings, colorful temples and sprawling rice paddies. It was this convergence that left no question about where my first trip abroad would be to once I mustered up enough courage to go. And whenever I decided to go, I wanted go alone—just like Elizabeth Gilbert.

How to Start Over: A Story in Three Parts

how to start over

My life has been a series of events of beginnings and endings. It’s funny that whenever I experienced a major life change, it coincided with a physical move. I didn’t mean it to happen that way, it just did. So here’s my story.

I sat in my bedroom crying my eyes out on the phone. My dear friend finally told me, “Sarah, I think you are suffering from a broken heart.” I was in a serious relationship with someone I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. All of a sudden, this person told me they needed a break. I guess I should have known. I would constantly try to show affection and tell him I loved him, but he would pull away. I’d be upset over a family problem and there was no attempt to comfort me.

How Travel Changed My Life (& Could Change Yours Too)

travel changed my life

If you had told me three years ago that I would be writing this now from a colonial casita in Merida, Mexico, I would have responded “Yeah, right…”. But just over three months into a seven-month trip, here I am – and I won’t ever say “Yeah, right…” again. Travel has changed my life. And I think it could change yours too.

Travel (especially long-term travel) isn’t for everyone. If you’ve thought about it and are on the fence when it comes to traveling, however, I can assure you that the experiences, benefits and perspective you get are too good to miss. Here are some of the most life-changing aspects I’ve experienced over the past few months:

How I Quit My Job, Moved to a Foreign Country, and Became a Ninja

how i became a ninja

Sometimes people say strange things, odd things, things that make you do a double take. Do you ever think about quitting your job, moving to a far away land, and pursuing some crazy dream? Me too, a few times.

Sorry, I’m being melodramatic. Let me rephrase that. It crossed my mind about a thousand times. Notice the past tense. So I did it. I quit my job, I moved to Japan, I am pursuing my childhood dream: I’m trying to become a ninja. Today I want to share my story in hopes of inspiring and encouraging you to follow your dreams.

5 Ways Working Abroad Helped Me Grow

working abroad

Can you pinpoint the pivotal time in your life when you became an adult? For me, it was when I finally left my home to go traveling.

I took a working holiday in New Zealand for six months and while I was there I met my English boyfriend and lived in England with him for 14 months. During these 20 months of travel I grew more than I ever could have if I had stayed in Canada.

When I left Canada at the age of 22 I was confused and conflicted. I wondered what my future would bring and I had only a slight inkling that there was so much more to see and do in the great big world out there. When I returned to Canada at age 24 after having worked and lived abroad in New Zealand and England for two years I was a strong and confident adult with a plan for my future. Here are five of the ways that working abroad helped me to grow up:

Want To Change Your Life? Travel. Or Don’t.


We often hear of people traveling across the world and experiencing profound life changing epiphanies. Well I’m here to tell you that’s not how it happens. Sure traveling around the world will change your life, but not exactly in the way you expect it to.

At this time last year my boyfriend Robin and I were just two travelers visiting East Asian countries like China, Korea, and Singapore. We considered ourselves to be independent, non-confirmist souls.

We had all these notions of inner change taking place. Or at least I did.

Following My Heart (All the Way to Mexico…)

following my heart

About a half hour north on a dirt road off the highway is a small tin roof stand selling Coco Frio, ice cold, fresh coconuts. We stop for a drink. They slice off the top of the green football sized fruits, plop in a straw and the cool watery liquid slides down into the depths of my heated body. It’s the rainy season and oh, so hot and humid. I feel a breeze from a passing car, my eyes following it with longing. Any breeze is a sacred gift.

We drive another hundred meters or so to another dirt road, this one guiding us far from the sounds of the highway into rolling fields and then…the jungle. It surrounds the river like a lush elegant cloak, vibrating with life, with energy, with humidity I can taste. We drive through mud, rocks, even fording the river once or twice. We get out, gather our back packs already wet with heavy air, and begin our trek. The birds tempt me to miss my steps. What color was that one? The plants whisper secrets. I am glowing with intrigue, hardly able to act like a normal human being. It’s all too much for my senses to hold in with composure. And then, we see it.

Why You Should Move Away

move away

Well, it has been a week since my last post – an interlude far longer than I normally plan. It has, however, been a big week for me. A week of big decisions that will affect the rest of my life. This past week I committed to moving overseas for a number of years. We leave in 6 weeks time. My fiancee, Kathryn, is from Vancouver and we are moving there so that she can be closer to her family after having lived in Australia for 3 years.

The following are some reasons why you might consider moving overseas: