One Happy Island

Confession: I’m not a beach vacationer. As you may have noticed from my blog, I like adventure travel, heavy cultural experiences, and getting lost in a foreign countryside. You’d more likely find me in Ireland than Amelia Island, New York than the California coast.

But there’s something special about Aruba. I guess that’s why people keep coming back here year after year (after year, after year). Part of it is the perfect sand and clear turquoise waters. Part of it is the resort I’ve represented for years; my very first baby and an incredible place to stay. I could go on and on about its customer service and amazing amenities, but I won’t, because I wouldn’t do it any more justice than our ads do. But I truly, wholeheartedly believe in the property and what we do for them.

For me, though, the main love of Aruba is all the memories I have here and the people I’ve been with. From transitioning the account into my first major client at this agency and working with someone I’d remain close with for years to come, to making Aruba the first account I passed onto my talented employee and becoming similarly close with the new set of clients, I have so many memories of wonderful trips, incredible education, lots of laughter, a little debauchery, and tons of love.

The Aruba account has always been my baby, and the island has always been my grounding spot. It’s where I’ve become empowered and inspired and learned so much about the inner workings of hospitality; felt supported and like a partner, and got my hands dirty (literally and figuratively) on photo shoots. And I couldn’t be prouder to see Chelsea doing all those same wonderful things, and often doing them better. But there’s also that twinge of sadness that comes with parting ways. There’s that lingering ocean smell or a Tradewinds breeze that will always be somewhere in the wind for me.

So I’ll be back to Aruba, next time as a tourist, knowing I have–through routes less traveled–become a part of the island family that every guest knows they’ve joined. And for these next two weeks, I will give every inch of energy I have to transitioning Aruba and everyone else we work with as seamlessly as possible.

Because that’s what you do for family. And I know I’ll always be bon bini here.


Welcome to Miami

I can’t count how many times I’ve been to South Florida, and I’m afraid I’ve always called it “the armpit of the United States.”

Miami, at least in my experience, is home to some of the most plastic-surgeried, pretentious, bro-style assholes on Earth. I’d apologize for the generalization if I didn’t 100% believe it. A perfect example is the first time (only time) Brandon and I vacationed here intentionally: night 1, we encountered a club with a step and repeat set up in the lobby of our hotel. Day 2, morning: I walked out to the beach and was stopped by Miami’s version of Tan Mom literally saying to my face, “Oh, honey: you need a tan. What’s wrong with you?”

I’ve got flawless porcelain skin, biyatch: that’s what happened.

Anyway, my work also frequently takes me to Weston, FL, just outside of Ft. Lauderdale. Weston is a very Stepford universe, with manicured lawns, high-end SUVs, and perfect-looking lives. Ft. Lauderdale is a little more fun and youthful, but I don’t see a lot of it.

My latest business trip, which caps off my last month at my agency, round-robins me from Weston to Aruba to Pittsburgh, and although I probably wouldn’t have chosen to take time off in Weston, it’s been a great experience.

Why, you ask?

The people.

I came here with two of my all-time favorite coworkers and hung out with a couple of my all-time favorite clients. We ate Thai and talked business and got tipsy. And even better, others I love live here; wonderful people I’ve met through work that I consider true friends… and although I won’t see them this trip, I can guarantee I’ll be visiting again voluntarily after I move on. Not to see Tan Mom, not to get drunk in South Beach, but to drive around lame Weston, FL to see some of the most wonderful people on the planet.

Because even when you’re not in your favorite of places, home is where the heart is.

And a tiny piece of my heart is in Weston, FL.

Just a tiny bit splattered all over the perfect, pristine lawns.




I assume with the keyword-rich posts on Thailand, my blog is more popular than ever. Thanks to all the readers from all over the world who have discovered my inner musings, and apologies if you thought you were going to get a blog all about Thailand and ended up inside my head.

For all my whining lately, I’ve realized that my OCD (yes, actually diagnosed) demands I have a mission in life, so I’m diving back in full-force to the list and into any other goals I stumble upon. I think my next missions for the foreseeable future are going to involve guitar lessons (mastering a tangible skill!), getting back into exercise on a regular basis, saving some money, and pursuing a new personal venture that I can’t share on here but I’m really excited about. My body is tingly with the anticipation of the dawn of a new day, and all the new experiences I’ll encounter.

I started this blog waxing poetic about my need to constantly turn over new leaves; chiding myself for my inherent desire to keep moving. But now that I’ve turned the page on another chapter of life and, separately, decided to remove some of the personal toxins, I’m feeling armed and ready for another adventure. Because, really… that’s all life is.

Onward and upward.


Chapter XX?

Another leaf, another life. I make leaps toward a future that I bound into excitedly, but age has made me cautious. Life has made me hard. Fear has made me jaded.


The change I’ve been seeking has come; I welcome a new job next month. I am so excited to jump into a brand new day headfirst, although I am torn about what I’m leaving behind. Longer than I’ve been keeping this blog, I’ve been working for and with some of the most talented and wonderful people I’ve ever met. I have an incredible boss. My clients have been incredible. And I’m giving it up for the unknown. But it’s also so. Freaking. Exciting.

In list-related news, this job transition has also coincided with the end of my six-month volunteering venture. I probably would have continued to scoop kitty poops at PetSmart indefinitely, but it seems like an appropriate closure on this chapter as I wave goodbye to the metropolis (cough) of traffic-congested Buckhead and head on my new scooter downtown.

So that said… high time for an update!

And… hi, stalker. #DataDriven


30. Climb a mountain.

29. Run a 10k.

28. Nail a handstand in yoga.

27. Get spiritual.


26. Learn a language.

25. Master a skill.

24. Read some books that actually mean something.

23. Develop some knowledge about cars.


22. Visit Thailand.

21. Take a trip with my Dad.

20. See a Wonder of the World.

19. Take a cross-country road trip with Brandon.


18. Volunteer regularly somewhere for at least 6 months.

17. Turn off the T.V. for a week.

16. Finish my book.


15. Invest in 5 diversified stocks.

14. Build retirement fund.

13. Own a second home.


12. Get closer with my sister.

11. Go on a walk at least once a week with Brandon.

10. Try something more sexually adventurous than usual.

9. Be a good in-law.

8. Send a real letter to a friend every month for a year.


7. Zip line.

6. Participate in a big cultural event like a music festival or Oktoberfest.

5. Swim with a shark. Or at least sting rays.

4. Learn to surf. Or at least try.

3. Be personally responsible for winning a big piece of business.

2. Perform in a play or musical.


1. Learn to be happy just as I am.

So that