I was born in Montana, raised in the mountains of Colorado and found my true home in Lake Tahoe, California. Mountains are in my soul — a place where I’ll always feel at home.
About five years ago, I left the mountains and moved abroad to Singapore. With so many new stories to share with friends and family, I combined my love of writing, photography and travel and started Compass & Camera.
My love of travel began on my first trip abroad in 1998. My father and I went to Paris. We looked at the art, ate so many pastries and ran around in the winter weather in disbelief that we were in such a magnificent city.
In 1999, I took a road less traveled and went to Peru to trek to Machu Picchu. It was my first trip to a developing country. I was astonished that people who seemed to have so little could be so happy. Returning to the U.S. after this trip resulted in a major epiphany about my random fortune of having been born in what’s often regarded as the richest, most powerful country in the world. I began to question my definition of happiness in the context of the world, rather than within the standards and measurements of the lifestyle I knew in the U.S. Had I not traveled outside the U.S., I would not have evaluated my life from this new perspective so I regard this trip as a major turning point in my life. It lit the fire. It left me with a lot of questions about the world outside my own and I haven’t stopped traveling since.
My favorite experiences include trekking to the base of Mount Everest in Nepal, exploring the history and temples of Cambodia, camping solo on the Abel Tasman Coast Trail in New Zealand, diving into the underwater paradise of Sulawesi, road tripping through the desert of Oman, and living abroad in the cultural diversity of Southeast Asia.
More important than where I’ve been or what I’ve done is what I’ve learned. I’ve learned that I don’t need much to be happy; that beauty, happiness and good people are everywhere; that a smile is the greatest currency; and that a thank you or even just a look in the eye and a nod of the head can go a very long way. I see you.
I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures — from the discoveries of everyday walks through my neighborhood, to more elaborate journeys exploring culture, history and life around the world. My dream trips for 2017 include Mongolia, Colombia, anywhere to see the Northern Lights, maybe another dive into the cultural depths of Japan, and hopefully a few other places I haven’t discovered yet. I hope you’ll keep reading and come along with me. There is so much to explore.
All writing and photography included on my blog is my own, unless otherwise noted.