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, […]

8 ways to be a writer activist

My heart has been heavy over the last several days as I’ve watched the civil unrest back home, in the United States. It took me several days to process what I wanted to say or do, how I could best support from afar. I wondered, How can I be an ally and advocate for my […]

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 […]

boy looking at sea

5 practical ways to regain focus and find peace

Like you, I have been stuck in my house for weeks. We started isolating on March 13, the day the Portuguese government announced that schools would be closed the following Monday. About a week later, the government announced a state of emergency that included forced isolation orders. Which means, in short, that we’re stuck at […]

In this time of uncertainty, a story of serendipity

Photo taken at sunset at a viewing point in Sagres, Portugal. During senior year of my undergrad, I was faced with a decision: do I go straight to graduate school, or do I travel and experience the world? I’d heard of all those Europeans taking “gap years” and wondered if I could do that too. […]