Dreaming of the Tuscan Countryside

The rolling hills in Tuscany have a magically silky flow. Time stands still as the wind blows through my hair and Tuscany is just outside the car door.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how travel opens our minds. I’ve always believed that travel was what made me bold and confident. I’m starting to realize why: it’s a catalyst that enabled me to open my mind and loosen the grip on my tightly held paradigms and perspectives. It has helped me to free myself to be other versions of myself that I didn’t know existed.

Travel is amazing, but don’t forget that the boldness and confidence you have found while traveling was inside of you all along, just waiting to be discovered.

This week I’m challenging myself (and you!) to be our bold, fun-loving, and spontaneous traveler selves no matter where we are! Happy Tuesday!


The Power of the Moment

Photo: Flickr user S. Honig

Photo: Flickr user S. Honig

It’s so easy to get caught up, zone out, jump ahead to the future or stress out…but this moment will never return again.

In this moment, you can change, act differently, do that thing you’ve been putting off. You can smile.
These are the moments where you can choose to alter the course of your life…even just with a small change. There is the “you” from the past–from yesterday, last month, 2 years ago. But the you today is what you choose. I think we forget; we forgo our power to choose in this moment.

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Being a Tourist vs. a Local

Santa Croce, Florence

I have an obsession with being a local. Wherever I travel, I want to blend in so well that I could be mistaken for a local. As you can imagine, that works well in some countries, and not at all in others! When I’m in Italy, it’s a little easier since I speak Italian and I lived there for a year and a half. I get a deep sense of gratification when others mistake me for an Italian (or a Brazilian when I’m living in Brazil) but there’s always a level of frustration.

I feel a little cramped. A little less free because I’m always wondering what others are thinking. If I “make the cut” or I’m just another lousy tourist.

Traveling in Italy for 3 weeks last month changed my perspective. I stayed in my adopted hometown of Firenze (Florence) for one week. I stayed in the apartment I used to live in when I studied and worked in Florence a few years ago. I did my “local thing.” Went grocery shopping. Visited my friends’ houses. Went to my favorite restaurants and coffee spots. This trip, I also had to do a few touristy things to take pictures for my travel company. I visited hotels and talk to them about what they offer for their clientele : tourists.

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Doing What You Love Despite Fear


Lacy Edney

I was having class with my English student today, and he pointed out what I’ve been avoiding and denying for months: I’ve stopped writing.

It’s been my passion, my outlet since I was 12 years old, but somehow I’ve gotten a silly case of writer’s block. I don’t even know if I can call it writer’s block. It seems to be fear and closing myself off from my day-to-day life. It’s artist’s starvation.

In an attempt to get out of this rut, I’m going to be posting short tidbits about my day-to-day life and some inspiration thoughts. Hopefully it will draw my travel stories out of their shells!

How do you work your way out of paralyzing fear? 


The Spartan Proposal

Smoke sputters out of the taxi into the darkness. It’s quiet and the air is humid against my skin as I step out of the cab, somewhere in the middle of this labyrinth that is Athens. I feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t feel like Athens here.

Blurring Athens at Night, photo by Flickr user alexcoitus

My dad is nervous to let “his little girl” go. I can see it in his worried dark blue gaze. He shoves extra green bills my way and gives me a big hug as his eyes get glossy. They are off to the airport, back home, back to America.

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Weekend Wisdom: If We Wait Until We’re Ready


Great inspiration to keep you moving towards your dreams. We all get scared sometimes, and that is precisely when we need to face our fear and keep taking those baby steps forward. Cheers!

Originally posted on Life Out of the Box:

LOOTB inspiring quotes: if we wait until we are ready we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives

If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.

Photo location: In the air flying from Oaxaca, Mexico back to California

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our Inspiring Quotes page. 

To purchase your own LOOTB bracelet, check out our store at www.lootb.com!

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Why Take an American Road Trip?

driving queenON THE ROAD, USA–

I have to admit that I’ve been a snob. I didn’t grow up traveling in the U.S. and I was proud of it. The majority of my travels had always been international. From North Carolina, it was strictly limited to short drives to South Carolina, Tennessee, and the yearly flights out to Southern California to visit family friends. I’ve spent far more time traveling in the Caribbean, Europe, and South America than in my own country.

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