I always wanted to travel. Even when I was a little kid I was fascinated with seeing the world. The desire escalated when I saw that my school friends were going to Europe, Asia, or Hawaii for their summer vacations. My family didn't have the same means as my well-off peers so we went camping at Kern River just outside of LA instead. Despite having longing thoughts of being in a seaside hotel, I loved our trips up to the mountains. They taught me how to rough it, enjoy and respect the outdoors, live simply, and most important, be perfectly comfortable squatting behind a tree/boulder/bush when nature calls (I promise, this skill is strictly for the mountains).

As I got older I knew that if I wanted to see the world, I was going to have to make it happen on my own. In college I began traveling within the States to visit friends and racked up airline miles and credit card points to go to Colombia with my mom. No, I wasn't racking up debt, too. I worked at Nordstrom that has a commission based pay structure so I did pretty well for myself as a college kid.

After graduating I decided that whatever job I got, I wanted it to give me the opportunity to travel. I didn't know what type of job would grant that wish to a 22-year-old but luckily, I had interned at TOMS Shoes (now just TOMS) and was offered a position to coordinate their Shoe Drops, or shoe giving trips. I had the time of my life working there and got to travel to Argentina, Africa, and all over the States while helping children in need.

Flash forward to today, I'm living in London with my man and we're going for the "1,000 Places To See Before You Die" list. What's crazy is that six months before Joe's  job offer (he works in engineering, if you're wondering) we had agreed that in 2012 we would stop whatever we were doing, quit our jobs, and travel around Europe for several months. We decided how much money we'd need to save for expenses and even put the departure date in our calendars. Now, with Joe's job contract, we're able to cover housing and other needs while having some extra cash to travel with ... it put us two years ahead!

I share this because I'm getting ready to buy tickets to Berlin and I still can't get over the fact that the world is so accessible on this side of the pond. I guess I'm just reflecting on how I got here and am feeling really grateful. Also, I'm sure some of you have wondered what Joe does for a living and how we're able to live here (I know I wonder that re: other blogs!) so there ya go.

Okay...it's time to book our next trip...

book given to me by my fellow wanderlust friend, Tina | wire bike from South Africa | map from Sicily | vintage camera bought in Margate, England