If You Were Here (Part I)

Tropical Sunset

It started raining at sunset tonight.

I looked up at the sky and it brought me back to that night. There were crashing waves and mojitos. The rain was coming down in buckets, we had to shout to hear each other over the noise.

If you were here, we would look up at the rain falling down on our faces and laugh at the perfect way in which it paralleled a 90s romantic comedy.

We would pause as we took our eyes away from the oncoming storm to notice the graceful way the falling sun framed our faces, our glances lingering a second too long.

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On Letting Go: A Letter to Nana Joyce

The last time I saw my Nana Joyce in Oregon

So, today has finally come.

The day I’ve been dreading since I first started making memories, and realized just how much you meant to me. The day that I can no longer come for a visit over strong black coffee and talk for hours about nothing much except life.

February 15th, 2017.

I will remember this day until my day comes, the day you passed away.

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2016, A Year of Perseverance

The Atlas Heart in Taroko National Park, Taiwan - 2016

It’s that time of the year again. 2016 is already coming to a close, and I’m preparing for a new 12 months of goals, travel, and life.

When I look back on 2016, I see a year that was difficult, challenging, and a whole lot of fun too. I based myself in North America this year and had many wonderful adventures starting from the Pacific Northwest.

This was an epic year of travel for me. I traveled to more US states than I thought possible in a year, and, to my glee, I finally added Canada to my destinations. In fact, I visited Canada four separate times throughout the year. I just couldn’t get enough of the Great White North.

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Why I’m Thankful & Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

Why I'm Thankful and Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

No matter which side of the American election you were on this November, you’ll have to agree that where America stands on the world stage is a bit uncertain right now.

My country has decided to put someone in power who has no previous diplomatic or political experience. We have decided to choose a leader who wants to close America’s borders, and increase the ethnocentric mindset that already exists in this country.

This has caused alarm for a lot of American travelers and expats. I’m unsure if visa regulations will change for the worse in the next few years.

I’m dreading how much anti-American sentiment I’ll get from other foreign travelers for simply being from a country who elected someone like Trump. I’ve already received backlash from other travelers in the last couple of weeks and I didn’t even vote for the guy.

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2015, A Year of Change

2015 A Year of Change - The Atlas Heart

When I look back on 2015 it is with fondness for how far I’ve come since I rung in the New Year at a little bar in Wellington, New Zealand. At that time, I had no idea what this year would bring, how many firsts I would have, and the amount of change I would experience throughout the year.

2015 was a year of change in more ways than one. I changed my career, or I shall say, started my career from a bar manager to a full time writer and freelancer. I also realized how much I had changed while I was abroad for two years after coming home finally in March.

Although, it feels like America has changed for the worse in terms of gun violence and general political snarkyness, I know that I’ve simply changed as a person after leaving this country for awhile and experiencing the different versions of other cultures and governments.

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Notes on turning 25

I turn a quarter of a century old tomorrow. I’m in the Oregon countryside with my family and I’m just as happy as I was when I turned 21 in San Diego, 22 in Las Vegas, 23 in Melbourne, Australia, and 24 in Wellington, New Zealand. Funny enough, this house in the country is actually … Read more

On saying goodbye

On Saying Goodbye - The Atlas Heart

It was my last full day abroad when I woke up to a Facebook message sent by my sister, letting me know that my grandma had passed away that morning. Dealing with death on the road is never easy, I can only be thankful that it happened so close to me coming home, allowing me … Read more

Thoughts on coming home

When I first left home, I wrote this post the day I left San Diego. When I left San Diego on a train taking me to LA, which would be my departure city from the States, I remember watching the sun fade under the canopy of palm trees, and feeling like I knew, at least … Read more

2014: a year of growth

“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world” – Mary Anne Radmacher 2013, to be sure, was a year to remember. I was constantly doing things and traveling, it was my first year of living abroad and everything was new and exciting. 2014 was a bit more … Read more

2013, a year to remember

“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney My favorite quote from 2013, and one that I find pretty relevant to my life these … Read more