Live More Happy
Living Loving and Traveling the World
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The more I see of the world the more I fall in love with it.

Each time I fall a little more in love with the places I see, the people I meet and the tastes and smells of someplace new.

To truly love something is to let it be as it is, without trying to keep it or change it.

How could I truly love the world if I said to it “I want to keep you all to myself. I want you to spin only for me. I want you to stay exactly as you are. I want you to be what I need you to be.”

How could the world ever do that for me?

How could someone ask that of anyone?

So I just continue to love the world exactly how it choses to be.

I will close these thoughts with my favorite Osho quote from a book I reference a lot, Love Freedom & Aloneness I think EVERYONE should read and my favorite travel video of all time.

Happy Travels.

-Lindsiana Jones

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I love my relationship with Perry.

This is not a list of things I love about Perry. That list would be long and lovely but its important to understand the difference. 

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To love a person is so different than loving the relationship you are in with them. 

When you truly love a person, you appreciate them for all their flaws and quirks, whether they are here or there. As long as they are happy, you are happy. 

The relationship is the part I love that creates the memories, the milestones, the photos and road trips. A relationship is having a person who takes you away to the mountains for the weekend and is there when your car has to get towed home. The relationship is where we get attached. Its also where we get hurt, by our own expectation of what that relationship should look like or act. 

Most of us don’t have a clear picture of what we want in a relationship, but a lot of “don’t wants.”

There’s a saying, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” I think this is true in relationships too. We fall for someone because we think they are what we want or what we SHOULD want. Instead of shoulding on ourselves we should be very clear about what it is we want in a partner and how that feels. 

In the last week I had one friend say she feels best sleeping with her man every single night, while another girlfriend had an epiphany that maybe she didn’t ever want to live in the same house as her beloved. “Why does that have to be a thing?” she asked, totally serious. 

Why does it? Its a good question. We just assume that it’s the way it is and has to be because its been that way? I know a cute newlywed couple who live in two different parts of LA. (Probably because their commute to work was more stress than a first year of marriage?) Whatever works for you! 

That’s what I am saying. 

That’s what my love and I have been so gracefully figuring out over the last 10 months. What works for us? We moved to Mexico together on a whim after two months of dating. We had a blast. We moved back to San Diego and I traveled while he worked on his booming business. We love and support each other with ease, because we have created a relationship that works for us. We love to hear what the other one is up to but we don’t stress out if we don’t talk all day. We make fun plans together and apart. We keep our friendships we had and make new friends together. We allow each other space as well as support. Supportive space. We trust each other completely. 

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It was so nice when I was traveling, to call my man and hear his happy voice and an “I miss you” without guilt-trip undertones. 

He did miss me but he was happy because he knew I was happy and doing what I love. I miss him too and I wish I could have my man by my side for the adventures I go on, but I don’t look at it as “He isn’t meeting my needs” but “I’m so happy he is meeting his needs while I meet my own needs.”  I also deeply respect and value his commitment to his business, his business partner and his health.

I’ve traveled with, worked with and been in partnership with people who had little follow through on those things and its definitely a sexy quality to me. It even rubbed off on me in the best ways. I had planned to be in Tulum and Playa Del Carmen a few weeks ago for BPM Festival with some friends but felt like it was best to stay in San Diego and work on some very exciting projects. It would have been very hard for me in the past to turn down a trip but I felt confident my time was best spent in San Diego and it has paid off already. 

My relationship inspires me to be better. 

He shares his favorite meditations and podcasts with me. He sends me articles about mindfulness and managing stress. He cooks me healthy meals and reminds me how much I love yoga and surfing. He doesn’t ever tell me “I dont want a wife that does this” or “Thats not what someone in a relationship does” like a ex of mine used to always say. Perry pushes me to be the best version of myself, not the best version of what he wants. 

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Those are all things he does, because he loves me and because we are in a healthy relationship. Its been eye opening for me to understand that those are different than who he is as a person. To love someone is to love them without expectation but I love the relationship and now I have the expectation that he is going to continue to share his insights with me, to motivate me and support me. That is my expectation on the relationship and if that were to change I would be sad but could I still love the person without attachment or disappointment that he wasn’t acting like I want? 

That is the goal and the key to having a happy relationship for life. 

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A few months ago I went through a visualization of ending my relationship with Perry. I wanted to feel it, to experience it emotionally and imagine my life without him. I was so depressed and cried and already missed him, but I knew that I could survive without him and take with me the great lessons we have taught each other and love him from afar, if I needed to. I could let him go because I love him without the traditional, clingy, attachment kind of “love” we are taught to think is normal. He is not my everything. he is wonderful but I am a whole person without him by my side. I have my own business and friends and hobbies. It feels good to be so in love without the anxiety. I could not have reached this state of bliss, ease and happiness with a partner without the hard lessons learned in the past and a lot of meditation and journaling about what kind of relationship I wanted. 

Now I have it and I wish it for everyone in the world. Whatever that looks like. 

Love to you. 

Lindsay 

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Giving back is so hot right now. Seems like some of the biggest brands out there are making it big off their claims of giving back and making a difference. 

I love this change in marketing trends, especially since my company, LMH Promotions focuses on social good business and for-purpose marketing and branding campaigns. (Fundraising, cause awareness, community building) I love seeing the consumer demand to see the impact their purchase is making. I love knowing that people really care. 

Of course there’s the brands that take advantage and claim they are making a difference while selling a totally toxic product (*cough cough*, Ronald McDonald, PEPSI Refresh, Coke RED, all the cancer causing products that rep PINK RIBBONS?)

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Now we are seeing a whole bunch of companies that “give back” because, lets face it, they have to now! (Woo hoo!) 

But does that mean that companies should be promoting their product and pushing it with a purpose just because its catchy or it fits their product or message? 

Many of the brands I have helped launch or support have started their product BECAUSE they saw a need. TOMS started because Blake saw the children in Argentina needed shoes. Anna Dodson started Peruvian Hearts scholarships for the orphanage she was adopted from in Cusco. I started hosting fundraising campaigns after seeing firsthand the lack of educational resources while traveling through the gorgeous, developing world. 

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I’m feeling hopeful for the future of consumerism because brands are being forced to give a shit and give back. 

Lets just not forget to hold these companies accountable. I know from first hand experience of a give back company that claims all over their site that their products are made in Costa Rica but sent their photographer to El Salvador where they moved their production years ago to save on costs. I saw the photos of their production facility and it was pretty grim. 

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There’s companies that come up with a product to support a popular cause, even though they have no personal connection to it. 

Where is the integrity in these situations? 

Does it even matter? 

If giving back is trendy, then does that mean we are becoming better as a whole society? If the good is being done does it matter why? 

Maybe not.

Just sharing my observations. Lets hear yours.

How Do I afford to travel?

I get that question often and Im sure people wonder it a lot more than I hear.

To sum it up, here is a conversation I had tuesday night.

Facebook Friend: What is the secret? How do I get to be like you and travel all the time.

ME: Lots of sacrifice!! No secret

FF: Ok. I want to do the same. I’m ready to flee!!!

ME: Don’t you have a dog? That’s a serious travel killer. My pets are low maintenance.

I rent my place on airbnb when I leave so it doesn’t cost me to be gone. And I don’t have stability. Never have so I don’t need it now… Most people need to have comfort and plans and nice things, I only need adventure.

FF: I do have a bulldog. Yeah I hear you. May I ask a personal question? What do you do for income?

ME: I have multiple airbnb properties I manage now

And I do marketing consulting

So I can work abroad

Writing, photography, video, social media, branding

And I will trade those services while I travel at hotels and stuff

FF: You rock!!!!! I want to be you when I grow up!

ME: Awww you can do it! Start Tomorrow!

Couchsurfing and airbnb is great for finding places to stay with locals for cheap. Skyscanner is a great place to find cheap flights as well as  blogs for finding flight deals or airline glitches. (Had an around the world ticket for $300 last fall!)

FF: That is amazing. Since I started my jewelry line I’ve decided I want to travel the world to find ocean makings for my jewelry.

ME: What a great idea!! DO IT!

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That was the exact conversation. As I wrote it out to her I thought to myself, I should blog about this.

This conversation just shows that travel and freedom and abundance is totally available. I am not wealthy or from money, I have no “sponsor” and I have a lot of responsibility and relationships in my life. It is a juggle and it is not for everyone but it CAN BE if that is your choice.

My friend didn’t write me because she was really that curious how I made money, she wanted to get confirmation that she could do it too. 

Maybe you need that confirmation too.

Go do it.

Find a cheap flight somewhere you have always wanted to go. Read a few blogs while you pack and just GO. You will feel so uncomfortable and out of place in a city where no one speaks your language. You have to figure out a map to find the right train to your cheap hostel for the night where you might meet some cool Germans who heard about this waterfall that isn’t on any tourist maps but apparently theres a rope swing and a rad view. You will have an amazing time but wont instagram it because you don’t have service and you are having too much fun anyways. Until later you are on the train again by yourself, on to the next town, feeling lonely and uneasy and the bread roll you bought to last you the day is starting to get stale and you wish you at least had wifi so you could instagram how much fun you were just having. You think about the past and home as you look out the window and see a totally different world outside rushing past you.

Its a completely different world and it creates a completely different you.

That is the adventure and the type of travel I love.

So what about that sacrifice I mentioned to my friend? The lack of stability?

Its true. The travel life costs more than money.

I have to work twice as hard when I am home to catch up with meetings, with friends, with family, with myself. I am always in a state of playing catch up. It costs me a lot of free time. I think most people take that for granted, not realizing that the hours spent shopping or on Netflix or on games, could be spent scheming your next adventure or the way to pay for it.

Travel can cost you relationships. I am always missing something, someone, somewhere. The first month of my new relationship was long distance because I was in Colombia and Nicaragua, two weeks after we got serious. Good thing he likes me!

I’m always living out of a suitcase, sometimes between two suitcases. One will be packed with regular every day clothes with a nice outfit for dinner and meetings and looking professional, the other one packed with hiking boots, bikinis & those zip off shorts/pants (yes, I own those.) This might sound awesome but it can feel like my life is in compartments and I never feel settled. I’ve had to create a lot of systems and stay very organized. 

For business abroad, I use the organization, communication and productivity tools like Google Drive, Rescue Time, Alfred, Trello and Skype. I have a plan with Boingo, a premium global Wi-Fi provider so I can work between adventures, especially airports and layovers. I have learned to be self disciplined and get stuff done wherever and whenever possible.

Okay I promise not to talk about the boring logistics in the crazy tight rope walk that can be my travel lifestyle if you promise to stop making excuses for yourself and just GO. 

ComicCon has always been one of my favorite weeks of the year. Not only has it been one of the most profitable events for my company, LMH Promotions, but it is a magical time when nerds rule the streets. Geeks and gamers come out of every corner (or basement) all over the world to dress as their favorite character and connect (in real life!) with others who share their passions for all things pop culture, occult, and intergalactic. The time, energy and creativity that people put into their costumes is worth getting an over priced sandwich and cappuccino on a corner cafe in the Gaslamp to people watch. 

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I’ve always loved walking the streets and interacting with all the real life characters, seeing the magic come to life all around us. Seeing San Diego, my home town, transformed into a action packed movie set with giant displays, life size props and interactive exhibits, always makes me feel a kind of childlike excitement.

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As a kid I was dressing up like Princess Leia and playing in a cardboard Millennium Falcon in my backyard. I was teased constantly for being weird and not being obsessed with N*Sync or Backstreet Boys, but Han Solo. Now it seems like everyone is suddenly a Star Wars fan, and one of the coolest events of the week is a Star Wars themed party on a Hornblower yacht! Where were all of you 20 years ago when I was training to be a Jedi all by myself?

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On the flip side, ComicCon has a very Hollywood side, with private parties hosted by the biggest entertainment companies with strict guest lists, packed with celebrities and the who’s who of the industry. Somehow I found myself on this side of ComicCon, often being the person with the clipboard turning nerds away, only letting the super cool kids who’s name were on my list, into the party. It pained me in my soul, because inside I am one of those kids getting turned away at the cool party. (Or if I was invited, I got locked outside and laughed at. I hope you are reading this you middle school dicks. I still remember that shit!)

  I find it strange that this convention, started for the nerds, somehow became about excluding those same people from the best parties.

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Don’t get me wrong, I loved being on the right side of the velvet ropes. Not only was I working with some of the most prestigious event companies and meeting and hosting some of Hollywoods most talented, but I was making great money. At 22 I was single handedly casting, hiring, coordinating and managing 50 models and bar staff for the Camp Playboy party the first year they did an event at ComicCon. (Why Playboy is even at ComicCon confuses me.)

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Talk about a shallow gig. I had to sort through hundreds of applications, many of them my friends and models I had hired many times and judge each one of them as if I was casting for Playboy. I had to objectify women, deny beautiful girls because their photos weren’t revealing enough or they didn’t wear enough makeup. I think women are so much more beautiful natural and healthy looking but the event firm I was working with were SO typical Hollywood and expected all the staff to have Playboy looking headshots and body shots. It was unrealistic to find that many models with events experience and hosting skills that also had a portfolio of sexy (photoshopped) photos. I was so stressed I lost sleep, couldn’t eat and barely enjoyed the night I had worked so hard to produce.

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I spent the entire check from that event on a one way ticket to Thailand and didn’t come back until I felt the whole thing was forgotten about.

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Sadly, I had girls come up to me asking why they were not hired or if they could apply for future events. I was being bombarded from so many directions I quickly booked another flight a few months later for Peru and Costa Rica.

Wanderlust_Escape_Travel_Gypsy_Runaway_CostaRicaI made the pilgrimage of the Inka Trail to Machu Picchu and thought long and hard about what I wanted from life. I was building a name for myself and my company by 23 years old. I was making great money, friends in high places and invited to all the best parties, but my heart wanted to be in Cusco, volunteering at the orphanage I had been fundraising for with those same fancy parties.

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Somewhere in the Andes mountains I decided I was going to only work with companies and brands that had heart and soul. I wanted to use my powers for good. I no longer wanted to work on the dark side of the Force. I’ve been training these Jedi skills for too long to let them go to waste. I vowed to let love and compassion guide my work and while its been a difficult road and tempting to occasionally sell out, its been the most rewarding choice of my life.

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Now I get to walk the streets and enjoy ComicCon as the nerd that I am. I’m not on any guest lists and I’m not really interested in being on one. But damn, that Star Wars boat party does look cool…. 

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I haven’t been home in San Diego a full month and here I am in the Mayan Riviera in the Yucatan,  Mexico, on a completely spontaneous and unplanned trip.

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Monday I was heading to Vegas, working as a social media and event coordinator for a client at the Consumer Electronics Show for four days, when my friend asked me to come to Playa Del Carmen with her for the BPM music festival. It was way too last minute, way out of my budget and totally inconvenient.

She promised a free place to stay and the flight came from her stockpile of air miles from her even busier travel lifestyle. (Can you believe I have friends who travel MORE than me?)  I had no choice but to say yes.

Then panic hit me. Its always there, the anxiety and racing thoughts of all the shoulds and the responsibilities I am constantly taking on.

“I have so much to do.”

“I just got back from a major trip”

“I’m being irresponsible”

I had to answer all of these questions and doubts in my mind with what was being said in my heart.

“Just Go.”

I truly believe these opportunities open up for a reason. There is no accident my friend was in need of someone to come with her at the same time I was feeling the most pressure I have felt (from myself) in years.

Launching my second business, Givebackpackers, has been one of the most exciting and terrifying experiences of my life.  I am not just a consultant for a project or working for a specific campaign or event. Its entirely on me. However, its the first time I have had a business partner, and so its not entirely mine.

Working, traveling and having a very close friendship with someone is a wonderful and delicate situation. I love working with Krissy, I love traveling with her and seeing our dream come to life. We are living our purpose together. Helping people, while sharing the stories and creating a community of travelers with purpose, is the most rewarding thing either of us have ever done. Its also the most challenging.

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Having a business partner is like getting married. Both of those things have terrified me more than anything because of the risk of loss, heartache and betrayal. You have to trust completely, be open and honest and WORK on the communication, with patience, love and commitment.  I was finally willing to give the marriage thing a try a year ago and the whole thing crumbled around me leaving me with this feeling of absolute loss of control over my own life. It’s been an interesting year of examining my broken heart, my loss of all trust and what I learned from it. I want to throw myself back into that space of being open and trusting and glad I have a “wife” like Krissy to live this amazing life with. ;)

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I’m the kind of person that pours my heart and soul into something, weather it is my work, my volunteering or my partner, I want to give the best and deepest parts of myself but find myself hurt when I don’t get the same in return or things don’t work out like I planned. Thats one reason my new years resolution for 2015 was No Expectations.

This brings me to the Yucatan. While I was in Bali last month I kept thinking to myself, “This place is great, but its so far away and so touristy. I really love the Yucatan best.”

I thought this several times, knowing that I wanted to come back here and revisit the place I spent a few weeks backpacking in 2013. It was calling my heart and then the opportunity arose, completely unplanned and unexpected.

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I haven’t planned out the next week. My girlfriend only stayed the weekend and went back to LA for work commitments. Here I am now, “alone” but surrounded by amazing, intelligent, fun and spontaneous travelers from around the world. I’ve got my new amazing camera and laptop, a shitty rental car that makes my 98 ford escort seem luxurious and a week of no expectations.

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I need this week of unplanned, solo adventures. While on our trip around the world I was completely consumed by Givebackpackers, the kickstarter campaign, updating the site, creating content, working with artisans, touring non profit projects, sleeping a few hours to make the most of the daylight and work hours and while I enjoyed the trip, it was definitely a lot of work. When I got home I didn’t slow down for a second. I had fundraising events and a volunteer trip to Mexico the same weekend. I went to LA for a GUESS event and developer meetings, then Palm Springs for a Givebackpackers photo shoot and every minute in between was meetings and working on the website I am building for Givebackpackers and other website projects for LMH Promotions clients. 

I spent Christmas alone, working. While I am not a big Christmas person at all, I still realize how much I have been pushing myself to achieve and accomplish too much, too quickly, under too much pressure. Last week I spent 3 days straight at my desk without leaving or eating. My friends were worried and would come by to get me out of the house for coffee or make me dinner so I ate. I realize I am an intense person and sometimes, you just have to take a break.

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No expectations. Just taking a break to breathe and get back to me. Thanks for reading. While I am not publishing this to justify to you why I am here, I am doing it to justify to me, while hopefully inspiring you to see where you might need to lessen your expectations of yourself and others as well. Take a breath, you deserve it.

P.S. If you need a real break, Tulum is Heaven on Earth

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Last Sunday I participated in a sacred Hindu water ceremony at a set of temples on a bluff over looking the ocean in Sanur, Bali, with a healer named Bunda who took myself and my three travel companions on a day long prayer and intention setting ceremony that involved bathing in a river that flows into the ocean, being splashed by high priests with holy water and entering a cave filled with a golden Buddha and praying for whatever it is we were in need of.

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I prayed for forgiveness and peace of mind. It has been something I have struggled with my whole life and while I am a loving person I am not easily forgiving. I have always struggled with letting go of past wounds and my personal mission on this trip was a search for a relief and some release from my tight grip on painful memories.

After the 5 hours of ceremony, Bunda explained that to show our commitment to what we are asking for, we must pick a day, Monday or Thursday to fast for seven weeks, starting at 5am until 7am, absolutely nothing to eat or drink. At 7pm you must shower, pray for what you want and then only eat white rice. I accepted this challenge as a sign of commitment to myself and Mondays will be my day of deep thought, prayer and emotional self love while fasting. 

As I write I am enjoying my 7:30pm bowl of rice, the first thing I have eaten since I went to bed at 1am (with a bag of my favorite Mexican tostitos) Today I woke up at Las Rocas Resort, my favorite Mexico destination just 30 minutes south of San Diego, on a cliff over looking the ocean, surrounded by friends who accompanied me yesterday to the Door of Faith Orphanage to volunteer and bring some Navidad cheer.

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I skipped the free breakfast Las Rocas gave our group (breakfast is my favorite meal and Las Rocas has great desayuno!) and skipped the fish taco and ceviche lunch as well as ignored the tostilocos and churros in the border line on the way back. I could say that it was torture but in every craving I found strength and in every desire for instant gratification I felt a commitment to getting what I want, inner peace.

I also realized that there are billions of people in the world, including children living all around me, who face this kind of hunger and longing every day, and not by choice. My awareness was so much higher and I felt so much more compassion for them all day today.

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My bowl of plain white rice tastes so amazing to me because I went without. I am so grateful to be eating it because I have been living with hunger all day. I am so much more grateful for the ability to eat when I’m hungry and eat the best food. I am grateful I only know hunger by choice.

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WOW! What an honor! I was on a 48 hour wifi detox relaxing on the tiny island of Gili Meno in Indonesia when I tracked down some internet to Skype my grandma on Thanksgiving and Krissy had sent me this link: www.mappingmegan.com/sexiest-female-travelers-alive

I was listed in the Sexiest Female Travelers Alive list with some pretty amazing  world traveling women.

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The word “sexy” is used in many ways, obviously with its root word being sex, it usually implies exactly that, however when I see this list of women I see it as an empowering term and one that I am proud to be called. So what is sexy to me?

Sexy is not being afraid to head out on a journey into the unknown, with just a backpack and no cell phone service, relying on common sense, street smarts and a love of the adventure to navigate your way.

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Sexy is adapting and appreciating a foreign culture, learning to play the cajon in a drum circle at sunset, climbing a mountain or to the top of a temple to watch the sunrise.

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Sexy is having only a few functional items in your backpack but still pulling off a fashionable look for a night out for drinks in Bangkok and trekking through a jungle in Chiang Mai the next day.  Sexy isn’t just looking good in a bikini and nailing that perfect instagram shot, sexy is living a life full of passion and meaning and following your purpose. 

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That is why Krissy and I created Givebackpackers. We want our travel experiences to be more than exotic parties, photo opps and souvenir collecting. We want to make an impact with our travels, to inspire others to just book the ticket and go. We want to create a difference with the money we spend, the tours we book and the handmade cultural goods we purchase. 

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We want to give back to the NGO’s and community groups working every day to create sustainable change and alleviating poverty in the world’s most beautiful places. We want our journey to be one that makes us better people as well as improves the world we are so in love with seeing.

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This to me is sexy traveling. What is sexy to you?

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In 31 days I have seen nine countries and each time I have left a bit of my heart behind.

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Every time the plane lifts off the runway, my heart feels heavy, like a piece of me is still somewhere far off in the distance in the streets, jungles and beaches I have learned to love.

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With two weeks left on this trip, I am sad to see this adventure end, but excited for what is ahead for our company, Givebackpackers and my future travel plans.

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Traveling like this is a lesson in loving unconditionally and without attachment. Like a romance, you enter a foreign place with an idea of what you want, but are given so much more through excitement, mystery, adventure and also, the challenges. You throw yourself into the culture, wander the streets lost and open to discoveries of yourself and the city.

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Like a new lover, you clumsily learn your way around, marvel at the beauty of the new sights and allow your breath to be taken, unexpectedly. Your heart expands as you learn the pain in their history, feeling compassion and inspired by their resilience.

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Although you know it will not last, you spend each day with your new place, soaking it all up and wanting to learn as much as you can before parting ways. Your time together is short but you make it as sweet as possible, loving without knowing when you will visit again and leaving without holding on. 

lake como italy italia travel wanderlust adventure  Like with all love, you cannot keep it or own but the memories and the photos.

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Travel is my lover.

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Since kindergarten, when I wanted to be an impressionist painter, I have wanted to visit Paris. I dreamed of being Lynette in Monet’s garden, eating foremage, pain au chocolat, endless croissants while painting and reading in cafés all day. I love the language and the culture and have seen Midnight in Paris, Amelie and Moulin Rouge more times than I can count. I have always wanted to visit but have never had the chance.
Then I snagged the priceline glitch around the world ticket for $300 and it included Prague to Bangkok with an 18 hour layover in Paris!
With 20 years of anticipation, I wanted to get the most of my time in the city, so I split from my group I have been traveling with for a bit of adventure on my own.
While most of the Parisians were pretty unhelpful, I was so grateful to finally find my friend Sophie, one of the only friendly, warm Parisians I have ever met. We met back in 2012 while backpacking through the Yucatan with our not-so-significant others and spent a magical Valentine’s day weekend in Tulum all together.
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I promised her I would come visit her in Paris so it was such a nice turn of events to reunite, both free of our unhealthy relationships and having a blast running around town and catching up over amazing food and a bottle of the best red wine I have ever had.
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We even found the Cafe de 2 Moulins, where they filmed Amelie and had delicious dessert late night! I could have only been happier if Amelie brought me the creme brule herself.
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I was delighted by the city, the lights at night illuminating the brilliance of the architecture, even bridges lit up beautifully. I loved walking the artsy streets of Montmarte, the outdoor cafés and courtyards of painters with their easels under the trees, making pictures of the city. It’s charm lives up to it’s reputation and the warm weather today exceeded mine. I was pleased to find a nice bench to rest and disrobe my peacoat. It looked so lovely draped on the bench, surrounded by trees and the sun shining threw I wanted to paint it. I obviously didn’t need it for this sunny day of walking, or in Southeast Asia tomorrow, so I left my coat at the bottom of the hill at the Sacré Coer Basilica in Montmarte. I am sure it will enjoy it’s new home in Paris.
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Seeing the Notre Dame, Louvre, Arc De triumph, Eiffel Tower sparkling at midnight, Moulin Rouge, Montemarte, pan au chocolat for breakfast overlooking the Eiffel Tower and a walk through Montmarte all in 16 hours was a feat, but navigating the metro and train system by myself was the real victory here in Paris.
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As I ride the train to the airport, finishing this though, a man with a violin is playing a beautiful happy song as the sun shines through the window and the golden yellow trees wave goodbye. I can’t help but smile. Ahhhh mercì Paris! Au revoir!
On to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the lantern festival!

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Traveling can be such an adventure, but it isn’t a vacation, especially this trip. Krissy and I left New York for Milan, Italy with one week left still on our kickstarter campaign for givebackpackers, our new company, creating revenue for small business and non profits through travel and fashion. The entire first week of our trip was full of sleepless nights working and delirious days trying to make the most of our time. We felt incredible pressure to beat the clock ticking down to the final cutoff for kickstarter and juggling the expectations of our hosts and friends wanting us to have fun with them during our short visits.

I want so badly to turn off the technology or connection with the rest of the world and be completely present to the experience I will only have once in my life. I want to go where the flow takes me and feel the freedom I crave and love so much from this kind of travel. However, I made many commitments during this trip, to people, to causes and to myself and my business partner. I’m so grateful the kickstarter was a success and to have so much support but now I feel like I owe everyone an explanation on how I spend my time on this trip.

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I haven’t even touched my journal or my book. My spare time is spent creating spreadsheets, setting up meetings and writing emails and website content. Every spare second I am awake my thoughts and efforts are all on our business plan, and Europe was supposed to be “slower” than Asia! I can’t believe

Time has gone by so fast but it feels like ages ago we were leaving Italy for Turkey and it has only been two weeks. 

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I realized yesterday, while staring into the massive golden astronomical clock in the Prague square, that time is a game we cannot win. If I could turn back time, relive special days, or even press pause, to hold the best moments with the people I cherish in the places I love, it would be the greatest super power of all time. We continue to spin around the sun, even if we sit still on our planet, or fly around it in the opposite direction. You cannot hold time, you can only cherish it.

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In ten days I will be flying all the way around the world, stopping in at least 8 different countries, without any real itinerary or schedule to follow. I am traveling with a few girlfriends at different times, meeting up with different friends all over the world, and working on my newest project, Givebackpackers.

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The givebackpackers kickstarter is in full swing, with 17 days to go, and the goal of raising $8,000 so my partner, Krissy and I can effectively create sustainable business solutions to artisans in poverty.

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I will also be working on several new social media campaigns for brands I really love, building the givebackpackers blog, and Krissy’s new website and the ecommerce shop for the goods we find around the globe.

To top it off, I am coordinating 20 volunteers to visit Baja Mexico and volunteer at the Door of Faith Orphanage with Fortune 421 for our Share The Fortune program in December, the week I get back from the trip.

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We had the best time visiting Mexico last year, delivering our donation of 5k raised from the parties and clothing sales Fortune did throughout the year.

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This year, we have stepped it up, with the goal of raising 7,500 to remodel the teenage boys dorm, putting in a kitchen and new furniture for them to comfortably live in their space.

Since last year, DOFO has expanded and improved their orphanage so much, by adding a computer lab for the high school students to work separately from the young children after school. They moved the toddler girls’ dorm from a difficult upstairs location to a ground floor, easy to access room. They put in a soccer field and have continued to feed, clothe and provide love and support to over 120 kids who have been abused, neglected or abandoned by their parents.

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This Friday, 10/10 I am helping to host a fundraiser for DOFO at Duck Dive in Pacific Beach, to help us reach our goal by December, as well as my annual Hawleyween fiesta and now also, my “going away awhile” party. I would love to see you all before I take off on this epic adventure, and hopefully I will see your name in my email when you sign up for our Mexico Trip on December 7-9!

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Remember, its a Hawleyween party so wear something funky and festive and get your face painted like a Dia De Los Muertos skull by my talented friend Nicole who is donating her time and collecting donations for DOFO!

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As I wrote all of this I felt a little bit overwhelmed with how much I have on my plate, but I wouldn’t change a thing. When you are following your purpose and doing what makes you most passionate, it feels less like work and a lot more fulfilling.
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In 2013 Live More Happy &  Fortune 421 has raised enough money, through parties and fashion sales, to provide school supplies to 100 orphans and children rescued from abuse in La Mision, Mexico, just about 30 minutes south of San Diego in Baja.

Click the image to watch the video of our trip to Door Of Faith Orphanage in October, 2013.

In 2014, with Fortune events and clothing sales, we raised 7,000 to help remodel the boys dorms and put in a new bathroom and a kitchen at Door of Faith.

We led numerous groups of volunteers last year and already in 2015 and are excited to announce that with our new venture, Givebackpackers, we are raising money for DOFO through the sales of handmade accessories from Mexico.

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003IMG_0368-La Mission Goddess WeekendBuy a backpack, headband, bracelet, anklet and help supply kids in need at DOFO with school supplies.

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If you would like to apply to attend one of these incredible trips, send us a message here

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We are so pleased with our full page article in the San Diego Union Tribune’s Night & Day section in February.  The title was “Model Behavior” and we are so tickled to make the news for doing positive things in the community! Click the image below for the full story online.

 

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We love good causes!!! There are so many, however, here are a few of my favorite. Always Happy to hear of great causes anywhere! Please SHARE! :)

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Virgin Unite: Founded and 100% funded by Virgin mogul, Richard Branson, with the purpose of uniting people and entrepreneurial ideas to reinvent how we live and work in the world to help make people’s lives better. The Virgin Unite goal is to help revolutionize the way businesses, government and the social sector work together – driving business as a force for good!  By also incubating new, independent approaches to leadership including the Elders (a conflict resolution organization co founded by Nelson Mandela), the Carbon War Room, and the Branson Centres of Entrepreneurship, they are branching out to even more specific target areas in need of serious reform.

Want to hang with Sir Richard like I did on Necker Island, or South Africa?  A small group of Virgin Unite 24902 members will join Richard Branson on a life-enhancing journey, beyond the imagination one of of their Connection Trips.

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Global Wildlife Conservation: The best research scientists and conservation specialists in the world are working together with GWC to do more than just learn about species and wildlife unknown to us still, but to protect it through action. They are working with local organizations in countries around the world to protect land from development and animals from extinction. These scientists are the real Indiana Joneses, going into the most remote parts of the world on expeditions to study and help protect precious nature from disappearing forever.

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 Urban Angels:  Every Wednesday “Urban Angels” get together to assist at the Salvation Army in Downtown San Diego, distributing meals provided by the generous people at FIT Athletic Club from their “Food @ FIT” program. (Now you can get your healthy meals on the go while at the gym? Perfect!) These meals are healthy and 100% natural. The atmosphere is fun and full of  %100 love and gratitude! Join us this Wednesday at 6pm on 7th and E with parking on 8th.  Just one hour of your week makes a difference to those in our community in need of a smile and to know you care! I promise you will make great friends while you are at it.

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Model Citizen Fund:  MCF wanted to create a way to provide a “fresh start” for those people that need it most, homeless, displaced and victims of disaster, by including a few weeks worth of food & beverages as well as a blanket, poncho, sleeping bag, toiletries, cleaning supplies and many other key items for basic human comforts in a single backpack. They even sponsored our 30 students at the Peruvian Hearts Oprhanage in Cusco with backpacks in case of an emergency in December where we volunteered over the holidays.

 The Karma Foundation, an exclusive social membership organization that combines the benefits of executive networking and philanthropy with money-raising luxury events, has announced the sponsorship of Model Citizen Fund, at their upcoming Kandy Vegas event, with 100 percent of proceeds to benefit Hurricane Isaac victims. Party in Vegas for a Purpose? That is what living Happy is ALL ABOUT!

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mAss Kickers:
 
1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This means you or someone you know has been affected by some form of cancer. This local San Diego organization is run by 100% volunteers, founded by a friend of mine who kicked out a mAss that was not paying rent in his head. He and the rest of our mAss Kicking team are now coordinating events, support, resources and knowledge for newly diagnosed, their families and all warriors against cancer.  mAss Kickers is also partners with Stand Up 2 Cancer and the local organization, International Alliance of Pilots and Patients. (IAP4P) a program creating the incredible experience of flight for people living with chronic illness of cancer and/or brain tumors, literally giving them the wings to soar above their limitations and illness!

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WildCoast: Growing up with the beach as my playground, it is my passion to help protect it. This organization of  strategic, smart, passionate  conservationists are changing legislation, monitoring and protecting water ways and tirelessly working to conserve land by purchasing it before it becomes developed as well as educating people about our need to conserve coastal and marine ecosystems and wildlife. In 2011, WiLDCOAST protected 4,371 acres and 2.3 miles of coastline along the Valle de los Cirios Pacific Coast, conserved 77.7 miles of shoreline around Laguna San Ignacio through an innovative partnership with Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas, direct land purchases and conservation easement agreements. To date, WiLDCOAST has conserved more than two million acres of coastal wildlands and wildlife habitat. Their creative campaigns inclue famous models and luchador wrestlers from Mexico, their adopt an acre program as well as throwing really killer parties like the annual Baja Bash!  Pictured here is a Mexican model explaining her man doesnt need turtle eggs… hes man enough. Sex sells and SAVES! ;)

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Three Avocados Coffee: We don’t like to admit it, but coffee makes us SO happy! Now there is a way for us to drink our morning (evening or afternoon) cup for a cause! With almost 1 Billion people worldwide lacking access to clean, safe, drinking water, the primary goal at Three Avocados is to provide funding for clean water projects. 100% of the net proceeds from Three Avocados coffee provide clean water in Uganda, Africa. In addition to saving thousands of lives, clean water has the power to provide hope and a future to people who need it most. The coffee is fantastic, as well. The beans are 100% Arabica and come from Mt. Elgon in Uganda, bordered to the north by Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Now that is one delicious, guilt free, cup o joe!

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Thirst Relief International : Amazing video by a group of philanthropic photographers addressing a global need of clean water! Their video is so worth watching! 

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