To my future happy place,

I do not want to limit these letters to just people. I think doing so would force me to capture only a small part of an intricate spectrum of things that have shaped me. And so, I’d like to begin this letter by saying:

Dear happy place,

I don’t really know how to describe you. That is, I don’t really know what or where you are. Maybe you don’t exist. But here are some hopes and dreams I want to put out regarding you.


Sometimes I think of you as the shade under a fig tree with the nearby Mediterranean sea breeze picking my hair apart in tangles. The climb to the top of Anacapri, to the vista alongside thousand year old statues of Caesar and the Sphinx, where you’ll find me sitting with a glass of limoncello. Perhaps you are the Blue Grotto, alit with an electrifying blue, and the thrill when I jump into your magical azure on a whim.

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Perhaps you are the warm cobblestones of Florence, that delicious pappa al pomodoro that I would forever call the best thing I ever ate. Perhaps you are all the museums, the mausoleums, the marble floors, the art, and the thick romance of the Italian air. Perhaps you are the ambrosial Roman sunsets.


Sometimes you are the thunder I hear under the ground at the base of Mount Aragats or the view from Charents’ Arch looking towards Ararat; a dule of doves fly through the arch and towards their redemption–the fruit trees lining the narrow path up to Khor Virap. Perhaps you are the red poppies draping the hills of Artaz.

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Sometimes you are the blasting cold of the Northern Sea at the edge of St Abb’s Head, the sharp cliffs falling hundreds of feet below into a salt mist. Perhaps you are the rolling hills of the Highlands, the sound of wild sheep bleating, the hooves of red deer passing before the hunt, the golden eagle’s cry. Sometimes you are the ripples in the faerie pools at the Isle of Skye and the roar of the waves against the bluffs in the Hebrides.



Sometimes you are Paris; tucked in a corner cafe across the Eiffel Tower at precisely 11 o’clock in the evening. Perhaps you are the green leather chairs at La Dome or some side bar in the Latin Quarter, still selling absinthe in old wine bottles. Perhaps you are the flower markets of Nice in the full plight of summer; the tourists past by your stand, but I know better.


Perhaps you are the great alps of Switzerland; the train ride up to Mürren, the North Face trail winding around towards the Eiger. Perhaps you are that one hotel in Zermatt, where I wake up and see the Matterhorn just outside our bedroom window. Perhaps you are the winding trails and little hostels down the mountain that host funny travelers.


Perhaps you are all the places I have ever been at once. You are all the feelings, the touches, the scents, the sights, the sounds.

Dear happy place, we will meet. If not all at once, I hope to capture as much of your magic in what little ways I can.

I hope we meet soon,

The bright-eyed traveler


I’ve always loved the phrase, “My, what a vision.” I’m a film geek (to say the least), and I’ve watched those classic scenes when a dazzling  dame walks down the stairs in a glittering dress and the handsome man waiting for her exclaims, “What a vision!” But, most of the time the man refers to the woman’s looks, her dress, and even that graceful lilt in her step.

But, I want to take the phrase to another level. I want people to look at me one day and say, “my, what a vision,” but I don’t want it to be for how I look. I want to be a vision in the way I treat other people, how much I share my love, and how well I am a good fellow being. That is what I mean by a vision.IMG_2259.JPG

There is a difference, however, between a vision and a visionary. A visionary, according to the Webster dictionary, is someone who thinks about the future with imagination. A visionary just dreams. But a vision literally personifies the dreams of the visionary. It infers action, movement, and change. I hope to e this type of person. And the vision I hope to personify is the life of Jesus Christ. I want to love as he loved, serve as he served, and walk as he walked. That is my life mission, and I want people to look at my life and say, “My, what a vision”.



I’ve been living my own coming of age story, or bildungsroman if you prefer, over the last few months. It seems like every week, my desires have shifted. What I hoped for starting in January is as far as what I could possibly want now. It’s funny, when you live your passing desires, the universe wakes you up with the resounding words, “Be careful what you wish for.”

Events have shaped my entire mindset. In fact, I’ve had to reevaluate everything I’ve ever done up until this point just two nights ago when I got a fairly disappointing letter in the mail. But, I could sit and wallow in a pit of sadness. Or, I could get past my existentialist situation and actually make an effort to move forward with what I now deem to be my path. But I can’t underplay the effect all this has on the heart. And, I think I’ve unnecessarily put my little heart through too much recently. So, here I go in taking steps to heal that weary, tired, and sore heart of mine.


And man, may I say it is so refreshing to have a tabula rasa. So here I am, sticking to what I’ve known to be true about me and shedding the ambiguous skin I lived in for so long. Now, I am on a mission to be purely, authentically, and nothing besides myself. Just me.

Usually when I have these moments, I have the biggest urge to chop off my hair and transform into a new identity. But this time, I can only feel the need to get away and take a step back from my life here in California. This time, I’ve got a whole lot of fernweh for Scotland. Right now, I’m applying to study there next spring. I can’t begin to tell you how quickly I want the next 10 months to go by, but I’ll try. It’s a place I’ve never been to physically, but I feel like my heart resonates with the land so deeply. There are just those places people have, I call them “spirit places,” where they feel so at home. But, I could go on unnecessarily about Scotland for ages. So, I’d rather leave you with this:

Be careful what you wish for and in all your wishing don’t forget to be truly authentically and undeniably you.


Also, as you’ve noticed I’ve taken a little break from the 30 Day Writing Challenge because, well I just don’t have the time. There are so many deadlines this month! But, I hope to take up the project again soon.

30DWC Day 9, Words of Wisdom.

Montmartre in the summer

Day 9. Post some words of wisdom that really speak to you

If you know me well, you know I live by the line, “Every experience is a good experience.” I truly believe what I say. In my life, I’ve learned that no matter what experience I have, may it be wonderful or tragic, I have grown and learned something.  It’s difficult in the middle of a trial to have this mindset, but keeping this phrase in the back of my mind has made transitioning from conflict-resolution much more peaceful. It’s effected my entire life. The way I view things now is through a much less tainted scope. I don’t see things merely through my expectations or pre-meditated conceptions. I now look at everything in it’s own situation clearly and without any bias.

I’m not saying that I’m perfect. Far from it, actually. It just means that everything comes as a learning experience now. I try to take something away from every encounter or problem I come across. It’s a much better way to live my life, and whenever people ask for advice, I go straightforward to this philosophy.

Things become so much better if you see everything as purposely a part of your story. If you can see even the bad things as learning curves, then what’s to stop you? Absolutely nothing.

30DWC Day 8, The Struggle.


Day 8. Share something you struggle with

I’m currently in one of the biggest struggles of my life. The immediate pleasures of the known worlds and the nebulous trials of the unknown world. The fact is, I have so many temptations before me. Temptations to settle down, get a place in an exciting city, and work at a part time job doing relatively fun things. These pinpoints are all so tempting because I can see exactly how to reach each and every single one of them. I have the connections, and I can see how the connections can lead to the ends. Everything is so clear, and if I want it to be, easy. The thought of finding love, starting a family, it’s all feasible. And, it actually wouldn’t be so hard only in the sense that I know exactly what I would do in order to achieve it. If I wanted that quick satisfaction, that short and easy life, to say “I did it” and live simply and traditionally and locally, I could do it.

But, there is the other side of me. The side of me that has always been there. That ambitious side that lived inside my 7 year old body, the side that pushed me to read one book a day, that side of me that taught me how to take chances and speak up for myself. That side of me that has bound me, not unlike a marriage, to my education. That side of me, a gut feeling that shows me there is more out there. This is the unknown world. It’s unknown because I cannot know the means to the ends. I don’t know where to go or what to do or how to even get there. I don’t know how to become a foreign diplomat and instigate change in the world.I don’t know how I’m going to buy that tiny property up on the Isle of Skye in my little stone cottage to write my novels. I don’t know nearly anything about what I want to do, or who I want to be. But still, that side of me is there.

And so, on the daily I struggle with the temptation of letting all these opaque dreams fall from my mind to settle down for what I can see right in front of me. I could learn to commit and live a decently happy life.


But I don’t want to do that. And sometimes, it takes all the strength in me to convince myself to keep on pursuing these turbid dreams. But I know, that it’s all I can do right now. I’m not giving up anytime soon. I’m just saying it’s hard and a constant battle to stay true to what little I know for sure about myself.

30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 7


Day 7. List 10 songs you’re loving right now and what you like about them

What a perfect prompt to come at a perfect time! I’ve just discovered a brand new artist, and so all his work is so fresh in my mind!

  1. Midnight in Paris – Jordan Mackampa. This man’s voice is absolutely magic and he doesn’t even have that large of a following yet! He seems to be so cool, but this song specifically is so romantic and has the best melodies.
  2. Same Faces – Jordan Mackampa. Yeah, as you can tell I’m a bit obsessed. The song surprises you with Mackampa’s unexpected turns. It’s pure magic.
  3. Red Earth and Pouring Rain – Bear’s Den. It’s been raining a lot lately and this is my go to rain song. It has a kooky 90s vibe to it, and it’s fantastic.
  4. Where I Want To Go – Roo Panes. I feel like this song finds me in funny times. I’m going through a little weird episode in my life, and this song is always a comfort. Roo Panes’ vocals are everything.
  5. Holy Smoke – Palace. I started playing this on the guitar a couple weeks ago, and I am so happy I did because it’s such an epic one. I really love the crazy amount of guitar in this one and the speeding up and slowing down of tempo. Also, the lyrics are fantastic.
  6. Head Above Water – Palace. Again, with the Palace. I really love this song because it’s just so freaking intense and it gets you in that “I can conquer anything” mood. Also, it helps when you have to walk a while in a time crunch.
  7. I DO EVERYTHING! – Masego. My brother introduced me into trap house jazz and I am SO HAPPY HE DID. Every type of harmonious sound you can imagine and flavors of jazz and rap make this song fabulous.
  8. Wifeable – Masego. Seriously all the same reasons as above. Also, because the lyrics are so damn hilarious to scream at the top of your lungs.
  9. World Ender – Lord Huron. I mean, does this song really need an explanation? Whenever I’m going on an adventure, doing a nature run, or feeling especially bad-ass, this song is my favorite companion.
  10. Untitled – Matt Corby. I love Matt Corby. Like, I love this man so much. His music is incredible, and I’ve even worked on covers of Resolution and songs from his Telluric album. But this song has specifically been putting me to sleep a lot recently. Check it out, Matt Corby is an angel.

30 Day Writing Challenge, Day 6: How to win my heart over.


Day 6. Write five ways to win your heart over

Aw man, I had to seriously sit down and think about this one for a while. I’m probably one of the most complicated people out there, so I apologize for any man (if any, lol) reading this. I also feel silly for writing these things down, because I think they’re all arbitrary and there are probably a hundred better things I could think of. These are just some of them that come to mind.

I think the most important thing is that whoever tries to win my heart over also has a rapidly beating heart for God. I need someone who is going to help me grow my faith and is willing to tackle that together.

On a less serious note, I am a total goof. I need someone who understands my sometimes absurd humor and is willing to go with it. I imagine myself laughing out my old days with my partner over the hundreds of thousands of jokes we’ve built together.

I live for incredible experiences. Anyone who’d be willing to go on crazy adventures and always ready to pack up their bags and uproot for periods of time trekking across the world most definitely can win me over. Honestly, I so easily fall in love with anyone who seeks adrenaline and thrill.

Guys who read. I honestly don’t know if it’s a Capricorn thing (I actually don’t believe in astrology fyi), or what, but I LOVE TO READ and LEARN. I need a guy who can challenge me intellectually. And, if you’re someone who can do crazy fun things but at the end of the day sit down with a good book, I’m all yours.

But ultimately, just be sincere and nice and loving and caring. Show that you listen. It’s the little things.