My Experience As A Google Local Guide | Connect Live 2018 San Francisco Recap

In October, I was selected along with 150 other Google Local Guides from 59 countries to attend the Google Connect Live Summit in San Francisco!  (This is the city where Gabe asked me to marry him, so it holds an extra special place in my heart).  The process to apply for Connect Live: Local Guides level 5 and above were eligible to apply.  I’m a level 8 so I figured I would give it a shot.  We had to submit a 60-second audition video describing why we should be chosen and what our favorite things were to contribute to Google Maps.  I enjoy contributing photos and reviews of pet-friendly and fitness-friendly locations around the US and the world, so I mentioned that in my video.  Full disclosure: I didn’t make the first cut invitation, but thankfully there were some spots that opened up for various reasons, so I was thrilled to get a last-minute invitation and grateful that my job allowed me the time off without much notice!  This video gives a fun summary of the energy and enthusiasm at Connect Live!

Continue reading “My Experience As A Google Local Guide | Connect Live 2018 San Francisco Recap”

Travel · Travel Fitness

Five Tools To Keep You Healthy and Fit On The Go

Whether you travel every day for business or you’re a weekend road trip warrior, you’ve likely realized that staying healthy on the go can be quite challenging.  I previously had the mindset that I’d start to take care of my body and focus on my nutrition and fitness AFTER a whole host of things –  my next vacation, upcoming food-indulgent holiday, family gathering, social event, etc.  It wasn’t until several trips and holidays were ruined by my own sickness that I began to see my perspective was flawed.

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Budgeting · Travel

10 Ways We Save Money For Travel

Travel can be costly, but in reality, it’s all about what you choose to prioritize.  I know it’s cliche, but if you skipped a daily Starbucks (or for me, a Kombucha), how much could you save in 6 months? Almost $600!  That’s more than enough for a ticket to Europe if you’re savvy!

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Homeschooling · Travel

How Being Homeschooled Ruined My Life

It’s true, my life is forever ruined as a result of being homeschooled.   Due to the freedom I had to learn from practically any location during my formative years, I now suffer from a pesky wanderlust that keeps me adding more and more countries and experiences to my bucket list each year.    My family’s adventures all started before my homeschooling years, truth be told.  My brave parents took me on an extended journey on the Trans-Siberian Railroad when I was only a few years old, and they tell me I slept on the floor in the train bunk rooms without much complaining.  Though I was too young to remember that ride, I have fun pictures to look back on like this one where we rented a van after finishing our train journey and headed to explore Germany.


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Healthy Swaps · Travel

Healthy Swaps – Memorial Day Edition

appetizer avocado bread breakfast
Photo by Foodie Factor on

Making the switch to a healthier lifestyle doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  For me, it’s worked best to focus on gradually adding in more nutrient-dense foods to crowd out the unhealthy things, rather than focusing on “I can’t eat this”.  Read your labels – the fewer ingredients, the better.  If you can’t pronounce an ingredient, avoid it!  Since a lot of you are probably traveling this weekend, I’m sharing two ideas for travel-friendly snack swaps. Continue reading “Healthy Swaps – Memorial Day Edition”


International Travel: 11 Tips For Your First Trip

Up to 25% Off Last Minute Trips! - Geckos Adventures

Are you ready to travel internationally, but aren’t sure what to expect?  Have you traveled in the US but are ready to expand your horizons with some overseas adventure?  Thanks to my free-spirited parents, I took my first trip to Asia when I was only 1 and since then have traveled to over 25 countries on 4 continents.  Fair warning: once you start going overseas it may become an addiction!  Here are some tips to help you as you plan your journey!FB_IMG_1526823180184

Packing – No matter how long your trip is, pack for ONE week at most and plan to do laundry (pack travel size laundry soap and you’ll be good to go!).  Bringing too many pieces of luggage (or heavy luggage) is going to make you miserable and cost you extra money, not to mention not leave you any room for bringing back gifts.  Also, pack a change of clothes/underwear in your carry on bag just on the off chance your checked luggage gets lost.  We also like to use packing cubes to keep our clothes organized. Continue reading “International Travel: 11 Tips For Your First Trip”