Is it March 2020 all over again in Portugal?

Portugal doesn’t often hit the top of the news cycle. Our part of Europe is not often talked about—countries like Italy, France, and Spain tend to capture the world’s attention instead. So it’s no surprise to me that few of my family, friends, and online community know what’s happening here. Portugal did OK with COVID […]

7 last-minute holidays gifts for writers

I just love the holidays, don’t you? Family time, delicious food, time away from school and work . . . it’s the happiest time of the year! But as the weather turns a crisp 60 degrees Fahrenheit here in Portugal, and I gear up for some time off with my family, there’s one thing I’m […]

How discretionary time can transform your life and work

In college, I didn’t have the luxury of time. While many of my peers would languish over their papers for weeks and study half-heartedly for exams over hours, I had small pockets of time to get my work done. Since I worked full time, and sometimes also part time, to support myself during school—and took […]

I’m going off the grid (again)—join me?

TL/DR: I’m participating in Off the Grid October (#OTGO2020) and going off social media for 30 days. If you want to join in, be sure to join my list and let me know. To get the free social icons, hit reply to your welcome email and tell me “I want the OTGO icons!” — Every […]

My breaking point—and thinking beyond better

In 2007, I was broken. I had finally left a long, horrible relationship. At just 22, I was starting my life over. I spent several months in a deep depression. Broken, physically and emotionally. Every night after work or school, I would come home to my empty, three-bedroom new build in the suburbs and lay […]

Let me tell you a story about sticking with your dreams . . .

(A quick note before we dive in: registration for Nonfiction Book School closes August 5! Let’s write your book together: https://nonfictionbookschool.com/. OK, with that note, let’s get to the story!)  Back in February of 2017, I sent my friend and colleague, Kelly, a 64-page document with the content plan and curriculum for what I called […]

Portugal update: calm in the chaos (plus pictures!)

We’re nearly ten months into our time here in Portugal, which is hard to believe. This time last year, we were living in Boise, Idaho, in transition from Thailand to Portugal, waiting for our Portuguese visas. It seems like it was just a few months ago we were arriving in Lisbon, staying in a cramped, […]

Unconventional: a look at our nontraditional family life

“Oh, so your husband . . . doesn’t work?” The conversation usually begins. “I mean, he does,” I reply. “He’s a stay at home dad.” Awkward silence. “So . . . you work?” “That’s right. I work full time. Travel a bunch. You know how it is.” Here, I usually offer the other person an […]

people walking in Portugal

5 lessons I’ve learned living an off-the-path life

When I’m home in Idaho, or anywhere in the U.S., most new people I meet see the same thing: typical American woman, business person, and mom. They imagine my golden retriever running around my suburban backyard, and picture me bingeing The Bachelor on the weekends. Like you, like all of us, others try to define […]

Living through a pandemic in Portugal—and did I have the coronavirus?

When we moved to Portugal back in August of 2019, we had big dreams. We’d immerse ourselves in Portuguese culture. We’d eat bread and cheese and olive oil and fresh produce. We’d drink good wine. We’d travel Europe, maybe even rent a camper van and do a big summer tour like all the Europeans. We’d […]