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Traveling + living abroad with kids can be exciting- but often challenging.

The Traveling Sammy Series is about a traveling toddler who encounters many thrills and obstacles while living abroad.

The first book to be released is titled “Sammy’s first time flying.”

The writing is finished – illustrations to come! I’ll be providing updates on book development here and on the series instagram page @travelingsammyseries.

If you are interested in this series, please follow my work here and @travelingsammyseries instagram. Thanks everyone!

this is what I know

walks around the lake

campfires on a cold night

rainy soccer games

plastic bags over my socks

this is who i am

snow ball fights that never end

bike rides on a hilly trail

raking fallen leaves

this is who i’ll always be

impromptu family soccer games

showering the mud off

boys against girls, outside, ten minutes

basketball, even in the rain

this is what i miss

playing hard, and not caring

about the rain, cold, or dirt

walking inside to a warm fire and food on the table

time was better spent

outside

The Great Wall may be one of the most overlooked wonders of the world. Standing on the wall- tucked away high in the mountains- the last time I felt this way I was peering down at the Grand Canyon. What surprises me most about the Wall is how falls on the peaks of mountain ranges. How hard it must have been to construct a wall extending hundreds of miles supported only by the steep slope of a mountain…

Moments that leave me in awe- they are the worth living for…As long as I remain perceptive of all the different forms of beauty and what comprises them.

20151010_131604.jpgKnowing that “we’re doing our best at any given moment”- and yet we want to do better. We want to be better, to be perfect, basically. At the same time, we are afraid of perfection- because once you achieve it for a minute, or a day, or a month, you begin holding yourself to an immaculate standard all the time.

Why not relax?

Why not praise ourselves for good choices, and forgive mistakes?

This relaxed, flexible, confident approach to progress is the only approach that leads to actual progress. The other approach leads to shame… and to more failure.

After I began cutting myself some slack- as I would others- I became happier. I began achieving my goals.

 

1) Graduate from college 
2) Travel
3) Fall in love
4) Get married 
5) Have a baby 
 
The route I have taken:

1) Travel  
2) Fall in love
3) Have a baby
4) Graduate from college
5) Get married

There is no one right way to live our lives. We figure things out along the way. And if I wouldn’t have traveled while going to college, I would’ve never met the most perfect person (for me) to spend my life with. We would’ve missed each other. 

Him from Kenya, me from the U.S, met in Taiwan at a 7 week english summer camp. I’ve never been more happy in the presence of another person, and I have a lot of factors to thank for our meeting. One of which, the most powerful one, is my own choices, my own free will in life that I can exercise at any given moment.

Previously trapped in a horrible relationship, I have the freedom to remove myself. Needing healing and insight that cross-cultural experiences can give me, I have the freedom to stand up and walk into a plane headed for Taiwan.

What I received in return: the love of hundreds of students, the love of new friends, the love of the person I’m going to marry, and the love of a culture I had no previous awareness of. All of this I lacked before I left. All of it I gained in 7 weeks.

Society may instill in us from an early age a blueprint for living our adult lives. But the blueprint I’ve followed is a different one. An outsider might look at my 5 steps and think that I made poor choices. And yet the choices I’ve made have given me so much happiness and gratitude for living. What is a wrong choice? I think a wrong choice is one you make to please other people, instead of assessing your own needs and acting accordingly. We know what truly makes us happy- we are the only ones who know this secret.

How can I condemn my choices if I am self- directing my life?  If I love myself, if I love my nature, I will expertly guide it to the fuel it needs for contentment, to the people/ places/ ideaa it needs to be exposed to. Sometimes this is accomplished by picking up a book. And sometimes it’s accomplished by picking up my entire life- transporting it to a new all-compassing bubble of direct, stimulating, foreign ways of thinking. 

Whatever I do to improve myself, when the work is finished, contentment is found here. . . in a mind full of gratitude and self-love.