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“First, make yourself happy, then everything else will fall into place,” as my mom used to tell me growing up. When my mom passed away last August from cancer, I made a vow to do just that, and to always be honest with myself and with others as her death gave me a new perspective on life.

I was in a job I hated and I didn’t want life’s opportunities to pass me by just because I had the security of a salary, a comfortable apartment, and good friends. I needed a change, a challenge, and an adventure. I also needed to grieve in peace, as my intuition told me, away from friends and family, as selfish as that may seem, but that was part of the vow I made.

I quit my job, sold and packed up my mom’s house with my family, and started to plan my trip to Europe for a departure in March 2015. I was right about listening to my intuition and to my mom. The months  I spent traveling by myself were life-changing (and in a good way).

I added 11 new countries to my passport, binged on chocolate croissants, had a few too many glasses of rosé, opened my mind to some of the best experiences life has to offer, and even met a new love! The best part was meeting all of the wonderful people, fellow backpackers, locals, and those in between.

That journey I decided to take has led me to even greater opportunities, like the chance to live in Santorini!  As I stayed true to my vow, I can only be certain the rest will happen the way it’s supposed to happen.

Grief is a bitch, but sometimes it leads you to adventures you wouldn’t have necessarily taken and a new outlook on life. I miss my mom and dad more than I can put into words and I grieve not just for the loss of their lives, but for the special moments and milestones of my sister and me they won’t get to witness. However, I take comfort in the fact that they are together again somewhere drinking a glass of wine, and smiling down at us. Life is short and is meant to be lived, experienced, and enjoyed. I intend to do just that.

2 Comments

  • Sarah Curlin

    Girl I had no idea, you’re a brave & beautiful soul. So happy you’ve found joy and peace in such a beautiful part of the world! Keep the Instagram photos coming, I’m living vicariously through you when it’s foggy and windy in SF. My bf and I hope to make it to Greece next year, will def hit you up for some recommended spots!

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