Transformative Travel and Mindful Living
Renew your creativity, happiness, and passion for life by infusing your travel experiences and everyday life with mindfulness, compassion, hope, and playfulness.
On Girl Unmapped, I’ll share with you how to take a trip that transforms your life, as well as the simple things you can do anytime, anywhere to pull yourself out of your daily rut and inject life, passion, and inspiration into your day-to-day.
Find Renewal and Change Your Life
This site is about how to use transformative travel and mindful living to renew yourself and change your life. It’s about how to use your experiences in the world around you to find peace, meaning, inspiration, and purpose. And it’s about how to make a sustainable lifestyle change to ensure you don’t lose motivation or momentum.
Incorporating mindfulness, hope, compassion, and playfulness into your travel and daily experiences will make your life better.
Girl Unmapped explores how to find renewal through transformative travel and mindful living in order to:
- Spark your creativity and sense of purpose
- Rediscover the things that make you happy
- Find peace and establish positive habits
- Reignite your passion at work and at home
- Focus on your ideal life, not what you “should” be
- Figure out your vision and set out to achieve it
- Create change and make a difference in the world
- Live a life full of incredible experiences!
This isn’t about dropping everything, quitting your job, and taking off into the sunset for a quick fix to life’s problems. This is about taking a breather and remembering why you do what you do.
Sometimes you just need to reconnect with the world outside your bubble. Get into nature and get inspired. Free your mind from your everyday worries and let it run wild. Let it explore new ideas, get jerked to a different reality.
“I am sweating!”
The park ranger and I called this phrase to each other in Spanish as we waved goodbye.
My recent trip to Panama was a collection of palabras, of words.
“Estoy sudando” or “I am sweating” was one phrase I eagerly collected as I made conversation with a guard at Parque Natural Metropolitano in Panama City. He spoke no English. I was on my first day of an 11-day language learning vacation.
As I lingered with the ranger, waiting for a taxi, all I wanted to say was that I was very sweaty after my hike through the park. Hard as it may be to believe, the word “sweat” was not one I knew in Spanish, so I tried to use my somewhat limited vocabulary to describe the word I was looking for.
“Como se dice cuando hay algo como agua en tu piel? Porque hace calor?” I asked. “How do you say when there is something like water on your skin? Because it is hot out?”
A blank look.
“Cuando hace calor y es como agua… Y tu piel es rojo…” I continued, motioning at my arms and face, making a fanning motion. “When it is hot and it is like water… And your skin is red…”
My attempts at circumnavigating the word fell flat until I raised my arm and made a circular gesture at my armpit to indicate where most people showed off their best sweat stains.
“Ah! Sudar! Estás sudando!” he exclaimed. And so my first new Spanish word was collected. (more…)
When was the last time you visited a state or national park? What did you do when you were there?
For many of us, the answer is probably something along the lines of: walked a trail, took some pictures, went home. We tend to enjoy these gorgeous, well-maintained, easily-accessed natural wonders without too much thought.
The National Park Service recently caught attention when it was banned from tweeting. People began calling park rangers the leaders of a resistance. Then other big news took over, wiping the entire ordeal from our minds.
But the problems facing our public lands and the overarching environmental and climate issues facing our planet aren’t going to go away.
We need to learn, we need to care, and we need to fight for awareness, attention, and change for issues that will have a significant impact on not just our own futures, but the futures of generations to come. (more…)
Spending the summer working in Fiji was an eye-opening experience.
I explored secluded islands, ran across sandbars, visited a floating bar. I went hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, ziplining, and skydiving above one of the most spectacular ocean views you can imagine.
I snorkeled with giant manta rays and swam under giant waterfalls. I witnessed more spectacular sunrises and sunsets than I can count. I jumped down sand dunes, lathered up in mud at hot pools, and led students in finding a little selflessness to work on local service projects.
All of that was incredible, but perhaps what I’ll remember the most about my summer in Fiji was the unique immersion of the experience, and the peace and joy I found in living simply.
I remember quite vividly the moment I decided to travel abroad for the first time.
I was 12. A letter had come in the mail from People to People, inviting me to travel to Australia for two weeks as a student ambassador with a group of other sixth graders. At first, I set the letter aside without much thought.
In my mind, there was no way I could do something like that. It didn’t even seem like a remote possibility. I don’t think it was even the fear of going, though I was a painfully shy kid, but simply the thought that such a trip was not something people actually do.
Maybe my parents pushed it a little bit, I don’t remember. In all likelihood, my dad encouraged me some, while my mom probably felt she would rather not send her little girl take off to the other side of the globe.
But then something happened. (more…)
The New 7 Wonders of Nature have been announced, and I have to say I’m a little bit surprised by the outcome. While I’m proud to say I’ve been to three of the seven wonders, I am pretty amazed at some of the things that were left off.
Here is the list. (They say this is still a provisional list and there is still a possibility of change in outcome, but I doubt it.) (more…)
I’m in Southwest Florida. It’s summer. Now, if you’re anything like me you might not really have thought about one thing about Florida. It’s tropical. It rains. A lot. Since the rain started (which I believe was a bit late this year), it’s rained almost every afternoon, which is when I usually get to thinking about venturing out to do something interesting. The other day it wasn’t even just the afternoon. It rained all day.
After staring glumly out the window wishing I could actually enjoy my semi-proximity to the beach for once, an idea hit me. I had a pool! So I threw on my bathing suit and hopped in the pool.
Swimming in the rain was fun, freeing, spontaneous — it gave me a bit of that special travelin’ feeling. And it brought back a memory of another time I went swimming in the rain… (more…)