We all have insecurities. Things that make us want to hide, things we fear others seeing, things we hate about ourselves. [spacer height="20px"] For me, it's often my skin. My skin kinda sucks. It always has.As a kid, my parents would rush me to the hospital when I'd have a major eczema flare up. To date, I've had at least 5 steroid shots. A rash will appear and then within a day or so quickly cover my...

When I was 20 years old, way back in June 2006, I landed in Prague knowing no one nor a thing about the country. All I knew was to find the admissions staff, holding a sign with my name on it at baggage claim. I was enrolled in a study abroad program at Charles University, and so at the airport, I found the group and piled into a van toward an apartment I'd share with...

If ever asked to go to Rwanda, you say, "YES!" Always say yes. In summer 2007, when I was 21, I found myself in Rwanda for 2 weeks, exploring cities, villages, and the backcountry, searching for all the magic of a country that was divided decades before. Join me on an adventure. Here's my Rwanda Travel Guide! ARRIVAL [spacer height="10px"] AirplaneThe Kigali International Airport will most likely be your main port of entry. If you're coming from...

Months ago, when a friend asked me how to start a blog, I replied, "Just start writing! Create a basic website and post a couple articles. See if anyone connects with your words first. Then figure out the rest." I was as naive as he. [spacer height="10px"]It's not enough to just write and post. The internet is a big world, and the likelihood that others will stumble across your content—if not marketed and written properly—is as likely...

I recently biked passed a home with a tree blooming vibrant, purple flowers. By a fluke, my dog Monkey jerked to a halt to do her business right in front. So while she did, I soaked in the quiet beauty I pass almost daily yet had never noticed. This moment reminded me I'm surrounded by greatness every day, everywhere in San Diego. It's my home, and it's easy to lose sight of how amazing your...

I understand why The Glass Castle was so vital to Jeannette Walls’ childhood psyche, because my three older sisters and I had our own version of it—The Gunni Cabin.For Jeanette and her siblings, it symbolized survival and promise.For us, it represented a return to innocence.My eldest sister, Miya, was the innovator. She envisioned an enormous home built out of wood and stone in Gunnison, Colorado, where she lived. With a well-equipped kitchen, cozy living room,...

I was topless in public for the first time when I was 20. I was at a swimming pool in Prague, and I felt nervous, apprehensive, excited. I was doing something off-limits, something deemed inappropriate and illegal, at least by American standards. (Read about it in a previous blog post about breastfeeding.)My breasts were never something I showed off. Or at least purposefully. Though they always seemed to pop out of my tank tops and summer...