What fills your soul?

I was speaking with a dear friend today about her future. She was talking about how she will be up for a promotion soon at her job, and she’d be making nearly double what she makes now. But she isn’t sure if she wants to take it.

So I asked her, “does it fill your soul? When you’re doing your job, do you think, this is it. This is what I was put on this planet to do.”

Because I have a piece of advice for her, and for you, and for everyone who asks- if your life doesn’t fill your soul, you need to find a new life.

I have a little story for you. I took a trip to Italy a while back that changed the projection of my life. Honestly, I wasn’t happy with my job. It was a fine job, don’t get me wrong, but I woke up every morning feeling empty, like something was missing. In a word, I wasn’t fulfilled. Then I went to Italy. And there was some point, maybe it was when we were taking a one person ski lift up the mountain in Capri, or maybe it was when we were hiking up to the summit of Mount Vesuvius, or maybe it was when we were eating Michelin star pizza in Naples, at some point I realized— this is it. My soul is filled. This is what I was put on this planet to do- I am here to travel and explore and see the world. I am here to experience new walks of life, to go outside of my comfort zone, to never sit still and to never be bored. To never spend a day wondering what I will do. To meet new people, to fall in love with their stories and ideas.

And that moment, that trip, is what catapulted me to where I am today. I became obsessed with finding a way to make my dream, my passion, a reality. I researched working on cruise ships, as an international sales executive, an au pair, a teacher. Anything to make my dream a reality. When this job at Zapier popped up, my life was changed forever.

Now, I’m two weeks into my adventures in Tahoe as a nomad. And I can officially say, my soul is full.

Is yours?

Love you all,
-emily

Week 1 of Nomading: Settling in, Colorado Trip

My first week of official digital nomad life has been a bit of a whirlwind. After 2 days and 15 hours of driving from Seattle to Tahoe, CA, I had three days to explore my new town before taking off to Denver, Colorado to ski Vail and Breckenridge and explore Denver.
After 6 days in Colorado, I’m officially back in Tahoe (for a few days at least…!) and working long hours before my next trip.
Tahoe life is, in a word, different. We don’t lock our front door (my roommates literally don’t have keys), we don’t have a mailbox, at any given point in time I live with between 2-5 dogs. There’s no snow, and believe me, that is the topic of conversation anywhere you go. I ended up not remembering to bring any hangers, but the nearest Target is 18.2 miles away, in another state. I need to get my nails done, but it’s an hour-long drive to the next nail salon. I asked my roommate if there’s live music in town, to which he emphatically said, yes of course! When I asked what kind of music, he explained that a local band played at the dive bar next door every Wednesday.
Despite all of these stark differences from my typical city life, I am loving Tahoe! Everyone here is kind and genuine. They’re friendly, they’re outgoing, and they are here to adventure. To quote one of my new friends, “everyone that lives in Tahoe is running away from something. And we’re having the best kind of fun doing it.” It truly does feel that way; Tahoe is in itself an escape from what many consider the drag of office life. And I truly mean that. You’ll meet a lot of people here. So far, I’ve met a couple who owns an art shop in town, 8 professional skiers, a guy who grows weed, and many construction workers. But no office workers. People here think differently; they live in the moment, they dance to the beat of their own drum. And they’re perfectly happy doing it. I fit right in.
Honestly, between all of the unpacking, working, and traveling, I haven’t had much time to fully and completely explore the city. Pictures and updates on where to eat, drink, explore to come in later posts.
Colorado itself was equally amazing. If you ski, Vail is a mountain you cannot miss. We were with a group of about 10 people skiing Vail, and we all equally agreed it was one of the best ski days we’d had at a resort. Breckenridge is also an amazing mountain. With 10 peaks and dozens of lifts, you’re sure to find some kind of terrain you love. We found Breckenridge almost too big for a group of people who had never (or at least rarely) skied the mountain. With 10 peaks to explore, you find yourself doing a lot of gondola riding or traversing from peak to peak. Nonetheless, it’s hard to complain about a bluebird day.
breck3.jpg
The reason we chose those particular days to be in Breckenridge was that they had an annual festival, Ullr Festival, occurring during that time. Ullr festival is basically where everyone dresses up as Vikings and parties in the streets. It was a crazy, wild experience and I would highly recommend it. If you go, don’t miss the parade and the burning of the Christmas trees. For me, the Christmas tree burning was particularly symbolic and beautiful. The way the sparks flew in the air and the fire warming my skin felt magical. I can’t describe that moment of happiness.
breck.jpg
In short, my first week has been a breath of fresh air. From navigating the plains of Oregon to missing my flight in Denver to showing up at a bar alone in Tahoe, I’m constantly and consistently pushing my limits, and loving every second of it. Cheers to a new chapter, friends.
Love you all,
emily

2017 Reflections

For me, 2018 is one of those years that goes against the grain. It’s one of those years where your life doesn’t go as planned. It’s a year for self reflection, self discovery, and self love. It’s a year of uncertainty, anxiety, and discomfort. A year of adventure, spontaneity, and spirit. It’s my 2017 antithesis; a journey to find myself.
If I’m being real here, 2017 was the worst year that I’ve had to date. In the age of social media, we spend a lot of time showing ourselves in the best light. I, for one, am guilty of this and I know for a fact this will come as a surprise to even my closest of friends. An extremely personal relationship in my life was falling apart, I was going through some difficult health issues, and my mental health slowly deteriorated to hit my lowest low towards the end of October. It was honestly difficult in those days to just get out of bed in the morning, let alone go to work or go out with friends and smile like everything was okay.
It’s during those moments that you learn who is truly there for you, and unfortunately who isn’t. That lesson wasn’t easy for me- I lost someone I cared deeply about, and it turned my world upside-down. I am still healing from those wounds. But, fortunately, I experienced so much more love from all other regions of my life. During my most vulnerable, my most broken, my support system embedded itself deeply into my soul, and for that I am eternally grateful.
2018 brings for me a new hope. The last few months have been an absolute whirlwind for me; in between trying to stay busy and have fun, I’ve been planning and organizing my new life. It’s hard to believe that in less than one week I’ll be on my way to begin this journey. I want to take this time to thank everyone who supported me in taking this giant leap of faith. We may be miles apart, but I will forever hold you near and dear in my heart. I love you all!
-Emily

The (rough draft) Plan

As I prepare to embark on this journey, I have had many questions relating to my exact plan and itinerary, as a lot of you have expressed interest in meeting up with me during my travels. I thought I would take the time in between now and my departure to Tahoe to lay out my (somewhat tentative) travel plans. Please consider this an open invitation to anyone and everyone to come visit or join me on any of my journeys!

USA Adventures:

-On Jan 3rd, I begin my new life by driving to Tahoe, CA. I’ll be stopping (for one night) in: Portland, Bend, Klamath falls, and then finally ending in Tahoe on Jan 7th. Tahoe will be my home base for the next 3-4 months.
-From 1/10-14 I’ll be in Colorado skiing Breckenridge
-From 1/19-1/21 I’ll be in LA
-From 1/29-2/5 I’ll be in South Carolina for a work trip
-From 2/8-2/12 I’ll be in Montana skiing Whitefish
-From 2/21-2/26 I’ll be in Whistler skiing. I’ll be staying in Seattle on 2/21 and 2/26 as well
-Around April or May, I’ll make the trek to Seattle. If you want to visit me in Tahoe, please make plans before then 😃
-I plan to be in Seattle until June.

Central + South America Adventures:

-From June 1 through July 1*, I’ll be living in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua learning to surf and exploring the beautiful country of Nicaragua
-On July 1*, I’ll fly to Medellin, Colombia, where I will live for about 6 weeks.
-On Aug 17*, I’ll be taking a flight from Medellin to Lima. Once in Lima, I’ll be doing a month long tour along Peru, from Lima to La Paz, Bolivia. (Lima>Paracas>Huacachia>Nazca>Arequipa>Cusco>Puno>Copacabana>La Paz)
-On Sept 15*, I’ll be staying in Bolivia. Moving from La Paz to Sucre and then to Uyuni.
-On Oct 1*, I’ll be doing a 4 day long tour through the Salt Flats and into San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.
-Once in San Pedro de Atacama, I’ll be taking a flight to Santiago, where I’ll be living for about a month (until Nov*)
-On Nov 10*, I’ll be taking a flight from Santiago to Beunos Aires, Argentina, where I’ll be living for about a month (until the end of Nov*)
-On Dec 1*, I’ll be taking a 3 week long bus tour from Beunos Aires, to Rio. (Buenos Aires > Puerto Iguazu > Foz do Iguacu > Sao Paulo > Paraty > Ilha Grande > Rio de Janeiro)
-I’ll be in Rio for just a few days before flying home to Seattle for the holidays.
*All these dates are tentative and subject to many changes.
Stay tuned for future posts on more specifics and how I plan to travel across this amazing continent!