Home Exists...

Photographer: Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

A suitcase filled with a place that I no longer connect with 

or exist within

It’s strange to me how a place can absorb me 

and as soon as I leave it continues unflinching 

The clerk at the grocery store down the street from my jungle home 

will continue to stack shelves and work the register. 

As I write this, I imagine the parrots are squawking and the people are moving to the soundtrack of the lively jungle that surrounds them. 

Nothing stops just because I’m not there to witness it anymore.

Life continues on with or without me 

I’m ready to trade out these clothes for something more appropriate

I sift through boxes, exchanging the shorts and bikinis 

for wool socks and beanies.

I once believed home could be anywhere

but I’m beginning to understand that belief to be flawed

and that home, to me

can only exist if I have

the mountains to greet me 

the river to cleanse me

and you to kiss me.


The air is thick with the sounds of the jungle 

howler monkeys sing into the sun dusted morning 

I feel like I’ve been transplanted into a different time 

tiny dinosaurs watch me drink my mandarin lime & beer on ice 

I’ve given up caring about the sweat dripping down my body 

the tico server wipes the water rings from the bar.

I wish he would do the same for my legs; slippery against this wooden bench

Closing my eyes, I imagine home 

with mountains so tall and silent 

Pines blanketed in snow

A solitude that this lively jungle doesn’t know

My trance interrupted as I swat and kick the no-see-ums from my ankles

My legs are swollen with bites from those blood-sucking-bastards

Closing my eyes, I think about crisp cool air, 

micro-brewies, wool socks, and thick blankets

But I’ve got a soft spot for those two rocking chairs 

Sipping rum to the classics Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong 

filling the tropical night with conversations about our pursuit for greatness;

This life away from life is good and all 

but it doesn’t hold a candle to a life held between four-wheels, the asphalt, 

and pouring all this sweat into something bigger than we could have ever dreamed.

Just One More...

It’s easy for you to tell yourself you aren’t worthy

To disappear behind your expensive wardrobe 

and make yourself  believe that a night out is enough to curb your craving to be anything and anywhere else. 

Just one more drink and this will be the best night ever 

Just one more drink and I’ll be happy

You wake up foggy, surrounded by your same four-walls or those of a stranger.

He doesn’t make you coffee 

you trip up awkwardly looking for your lace black panties

and decide their not worth another second of the shame 

Those are replaceable

unlike your dignity

Walking home puffy eyed you think about your number

and begin to count on one and then two hands;

losing count

This wasn’t the first time you left a piece of you behind in unfamiliar calloused hands.

But for a night he was that vacation you’ve always talked about taking

He was the roar of the river and the smell of the pine

He was the fire that warmed you while you sipped whisky

Talking into the night about the lives you use to live

and will never go back to.

Give Me Your F*%k Yeahs

Photographer: Paul Clark 

Photographer: Paul Clark 

I don’t want to see your before and after photos

I want to see the stretch marks

The beautiful craters that dip into your skin like blemishes on a surfboard

The dirt under your fingernails tells me you're the kind of girl that has a thirst for life and a wild spirit. 

I want the waves in your hair to be the product of salt and sun

Not curling irons and hairspray

You can keep your diets, your expensive clothes and hair, your pretty cars, and your decked out Ikea homes.

I'm thirsty for substance

To lay next to you and hear about that time you really fucked up

To hear about your dreams and your plans to make them real

I'm not interested in your can'ts and shants

I'm here to support your "fuck yeahs!" and your "let's fucking do this!"

I'll cry with you and hold you if that's what you need 

But I won't let you disappear 

Because you're meant to be up here with me 

Laughing with your whole body 

Singing loudly 

and watching the sunset. 




Wildly Free

I’m learning how to be alone

To look at that couple wildly in love

and know I don’t have that because I’m too busy being wildly free

so when he devours me with that ‘I’m going to tame you’ stare.

I’ll disarm him with my ‘I’m striving for greatness’ eyes 

You, with your olive skin and sandy blonde hair, 

aren’t ready to walk down that road with me

My sheets are for me to get tangled and dream in

I exist in a world where the road is my front yard

where howling at the moon, naked, with a bottle of whisky

is not only accepted but strongly encouraged. 

Where vulnerability and bravery are synonyms 

and laughing deeply, loudly, and uncontrollably is a prescribed medication

I don’t have time to worry about you leaving 

or what happens when the road calls

I’m sure your skin tastes like the caramel color it is 

and those calloused hands could make my back arch 

but I’m learning to fuel my own fire 

and raising my glass to those who are deliciously in love. 

Find Your Brave

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I've been told I'm brave 

A 25 year-old blonde woman traveling and moving to a foreign country alone. 

But I didn't feel brave when I said yes

It felt like the right answer, the obvious choice.

Yes, I was nervous but I wasn't scared

Those reoccurring words,

"You're brave."

made me realize this isn't something people often do. 

There are many excuses people use to not "be brave"

Every excuse is just another cover an illusion to disguise the fact that they're scared.

Be scared! 

It's OKAY!

But trust me when I say "you're going to be alright."

I've thought about going home at least once a day

I'm learning to recognize the difference between the voice of fear and the voice of reason. 

Fear is always the loudest

Interrupting and talking over reason

I don't exude self-confidence when I walk through the streets of a foreign country

I'm awkward 90% of the time

That's the fear talking 

telling me everyone is looking at me waiting for me to do something stupid

That everyone thinks I'm just another ignorant American

Best to keep my mouth shut

But the moment you find your brave

The moment BRAVERY is the loudest voice in your head and your heart

That's when the world opens up to you

It'll embrace you 

As soon as you do.



Just Another Gringa

Sometimes all it takes is a solo run 

The rush of endorphins and pushing through the pain 

Brings me out the other side levelheaded 

I don’t think very much when I run

My headphones are in; playing the current mood 

and my head is down

Every feeling of doubt, sadness, or stress is released into the Earth with every step

I needed that today 

I needed to say fuck this heat and run through the streets of Quepos

and show this place I belong here

I needed this to feel real, like my home

And so I ran

drenched in sweat

Pushed through the pain 

and forgot all about “home”

all about dreams 

and existed as just another Gringa living in Costa Rica

Lets Make Some Magic

Photographer: Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I'm a complicated human

A woman who feels too much

And when stirred I'll move and dance with hands outstretched waiting for you to grab hold.

I don't care what's in my path and what I've left behind.

I want to be reckless 

My heart is rooted in the belief that the only way to live is to follow my happiness.

Even if that means calls from collections

An unsteady paycheck 

And a regular state of unpredictability and discomfort

In between the long drives and flights

The new adventures 

Between the walks alone 

And the fresh faces  

I still want to feel the safety of strong arms wrapped around my salty skin. 

I want to make magic

Sipping beer in the rain 

Loving intensely 

and living playfully

I’m not the settling type 

But it feels like anything other than you would be just that. 

My Addictions

Daily I'm scared of how much I love and need this way of life. I'll fall behind on bills and blow off family for it. I can't sit still. My rest days are ridden with guilt, very few and far between, and my body hurts for it. 

I have moments where I wonder if this is it? Have I just been fucking around this whole time and now it's time to suck it up and work for a paycheck.

All of this feels too good to give up. 

I have an addictive personality. It's why I never tried drugs. 

When I love something I really fucking love it. It'll consume me and I'll forget all about you, all about the anxiety and exist only for this moment that I love so much. 

I'm so far from the ideal partner. Not many people can accept that they may sometimes come second to the water and the waves.

I've done that. 

I've dropped everything for a man. 

Altered my course and my personality to be that piece of the puzzle we are both looking for. 

It's a sad thing when you lose yourself because you want it, so desperately, to be love. 

I'm addicted to only a few things, love being one of them. I can listen to love songs with such intensity that I want to push fate and make you the "one". 

I'm consumed with passion and if I don't have someone to share it with I feel like I'll explode. I want love and I want intimacy but yet I make myself undateable. It's a very confusing place to be. 

Surfing possesses many qualities I seek in a partner. 

Someone who can adapt. Comfortable being in a state of perpetual motion. 

Someone who can make me 100% present. 

Who can lift me up. 

Who can cleanse me. 

Someone who can prove to me that sex is better than surfing.  

Someone who I'll blow off work and miss a family reunion for.

If you can challenge me.

If you can lull me to sleep with the sound of your breath like the crashing of waves on a beach. 

If you can take me for what I am.

Then I promise I will never let you go. Otherwise I will only know love for something incapable of loving me back. And if I can't have you the water will always have me and hold me until I want it to let me go.  

"You've got a lot to Learn"

Trying to make it in a society where dreams get printed onto posters and exist only in the classroom. 

Avoiding social situations just so I can avoid the question,

“so, what do you do?”

Because answering that question would mean giving up my life story

What do I do? 

I wake up every morning with a head buzzing full of ideas, dreams, and desires. 

I go out and I fulfill them. That’s what I do. 

I’ve got a friend who was just offered a promotion for a job that pays her in only one way, money. 

She sat on it for a bit. A life working for a paycheck; is that something I could do?

She told said boss, “I want to create, I want to work for passion not for pay.” 

Her boss, from his/her world of spreadsheets, emails, and paperclips, says “you’ve got a lot to learn.”

She felt like a child. It took her back to grade-school when you tell your parents or teacher you want to be an astronaut and they say with empty words “you can do anything you set your mind to.” 

I could always feel the doubt in those words. It felt robotic.

What you want to say is this life is going to throw so many punches you won’t be able to tell which way is up.

You want to say “Yeah, I wanted to be a dancer when I was your age. Look at me now; I sit in traffic, push paper, answer to a boss that I despise, and live for the weekends.”

“You’ve got a lot to learn.” 

Fuck that! We are all learning, nobodies got this thing down. There’s no perfect formula.

Age and experience is not an automatic ticket to a “I don’t have shit to learn” club. 

Learn from everyone, no matter their age or background.  

It's going to be messy. 

It's going to be uncomfortable. 

People are going to laugh at you, roll their eyes, and not take you seriously.

When you tell people what you do you'll sometimes get the response...

"Must be nice.."

Like what you're doing was somehow fatefully dropped into your lap and required minimal work.

Yes, it is nice. We're doing what we love, living in the moment, and working our asses off to get paid to do what we love. 

How it should be. 

The Traveler's Plight

The Traveler's Plight

A head in the clouds 

a heart left sitting next to the lukewarm cup of coffee on your nightstand  

longing for a place that for some reason I can’t remember why I left behind

Onto the next  

the same cup of coffee in a different setting

Being in the present means forgetting about the place before

your voice

that song 

those photos

They all help and they all hurt

I try to remember why I left

Post adventure depression is a real thing

But my love for the unfamiliar carries me through security

Sits my ass down in the aisle seat

and shoves me through customs

Another piece of my heart left behind at the airport bar where I wrote this.


You can say to me “you don’t know what you want.” 

And I will say to you “you’re right.”

You can say to me “you’re selfish”

And I will say to you “you’re right.”

You can say to me “I love you”

and I will say to you “I love me”

I’ll say to you I want to lay in fields of gold 

with no idea if my future is as bright as the sun warming my skin.

I want to drink reds and swap stories with strangers.

Free to listen, to go, to stay, to watch, to play.

Dizzied by the yellow centerline

Forgetting the where? The Why?

I heard someone say that people don’t really change. 

Maybe she’s right.

But every time I lift my head from the pillow I feel new…

I feel a shift.

Another New Place.

Another New Face. 

Another New Experience.

THAT constitutes change.

And I’m right in the fucking middle of it.

My Salvation.

I believe in salvation

and the kindness of strangers.

There’s nobody waiting at the end 

nobody waiting to save me.

but there’s sure as hell a hand to hold

lips to kiss

and words that make me feel like I’m the one you’ve been waiting all this time for. 

There’s sheets to get tangled in. 

Water to submerse myself in. 

Coffee to wake up to. 

Eyes that are full of acceptance and absent of judgment.

A comfortable silence to sit in.

You’ll tell me you’ll be in touch

and I’ll act like I believe you.

I’ll go down my road

and you’ll go down yours. 

Maybe we meet in the middle

but something tells me we won’t. 

All the things that hooked me to this life will always be there

in different eyes, places, long car rides, and hot cups of coffee. 

I will find salvation.