Tag Archives: life


Aloha my dear friends!

It has been almost a month since my last post… sorry about that. Work has been super crazy as its our busy season, but I’m not complaining because my days FLY by, and I LOVE that. Aside from the long hours at work, my best friend/cousin has been in the hospital for surgery and has stayed a little bit longer than originally expected. So we’ve had some sleepless nights, extra stress, and daily visits to the hospital as of late (the bright-side is that she’s doing so much better now–still in the hospital, but she’s improving every day). :)

It is surreal how life can get so busy and so complicated almost over night–to the point where all you can do is hope to make it to the end of the day–and then after taking it day by day (and, at moments, hour by hour), life gets easier… you notice your stress levels lower, and you realize that you’ve made it through another storm. I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, and it feels wonderful!

With each lesson in life, I am reminded that our time here is short and we must make the most of every moment. My lifelong goal of traveling the world remains front and center as I want to see it all and experience it all before it’s too late.


Turning back to the blog, there is a lot coming your way! We still have a little bit of our Thailand trip to recap. I know, I know, I feel like I’ve been talking about Thailand for a YEAR now, but we’re wrapping that up shortly. Afterwards, I have a couple of surprise local adventures to share with you as well. This summer was a good one!

For now, I hope that you are out there enjoying this beautiful world that we live in. Tell me, where are you headed for your next adventure?

Blessings for Bangkok

In a sad twist of fate, I had scheduled a post for today which detailed our stay in Thailand’s capital city, however after waking to the news of the Erawan Shrine bombing in downtown Bangkok, it didn’t feel right to have that post go live.

In today’s world it is so easy to become numb… Daily reports of movie theater massacres, mass killings, terrorism, bombings, countries at war — these headlines are scattered across the news outlets for a day or two until the next newsworthy event unfolds; and after a while the human aspect becomes lost because it’s just another story about our dysfunctional world.

My brother emailed me first thing this morning with a CNN link about the bombing and as I read the article I blinked back tears as they stung my eyes — I couldn’t help but think about the instant heartache brought upon so many people and how terrified everyone must have been. The realization that our hotel was only a mile away from the Erawan Shrine, and how we explored the close vicinity while visiting feels entirely surreal. Tonight, we are far from the chaos half way around the world, yet this event feels like it hit close to home because of the connection we made with this beautiful country.

As I sit here and reflect on our time in Thailand, I’m sending out positive vibes of peace and healing to all of those affected by this horrific event.

Pray for Bangkok

Adventure Awaits

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”

The more I travel, the more my eyes are opened… to the good, the bad, the ugly, the positive, the beautiful, and the inspiring. I see that at the end of the day we are all the same–we all want to love and be loved, to make those we love happy and proud, to feel like we have a purpose, and to connect with those around us.


Traveling allows me to feel, breathe, experience, learn, understand, and to grow, and I always return home with a clearer sense of gratitude for our life and all of the people in it.

So tell me, what is your favorite part about traveling?

The Bucket List: An Update

Three and a half years ago I hit the publish button for the very first time, and on that whim Pictures and Plane Tickets was created. In the beginning, I wanted to document our adventures around the world and hoped to find other travel-obsessed bloggers to share my passion with. I didn’t know it at the time, but a main priority over the next three (plus) years would be finding adrenaline-filled adventures around the world and checking off some seriously cool Bucket List items. I’ve always had grand goals, detailed plans, and the belief that if I write down my dreams I have an increased chance of turning those dreams into achievable goals.


I enjoy reading about places that I have no intentions of immediately visiting, and within the daydreams, I often find myself gravitating to new experiences that I can add to my never-ending Bucket List. If you would have asked me four years ago, I would have never dreamed that I could actually experience so many bucket list items in such a short amount of time; and in this moment, I can only imagine where the next four years will take us… it goes without saying but, I’m excited for what’s in store.

See my updated Bucket List here.

Santorini SunsetSo tell me, what’s on your bucket list?

Through the Looking Glass

I’ve heard a rumor that most people wait to travel once they’re retired–when they have more money or more time–but if you’ve followed Pictures and Plane Tickets for a while then you know that I don’t believe the hype. I’m a firm believer that tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so we must make the most of today! (Besides, when I’m retired, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be spending my days near the ocean with a good book, I won’t be up for 36 hours of continuous travel on a plane, train, bus, or ferry… that’s just me though.)

When I graduated from college over five years ago, I only dreamed about becoming a world traveler. Many of my classmates (including myself) were in the midst of an arduous job search–it was the great recession of 2009, after all–and throughout the endless applications and interview opportunities, I dreamed about visiting far-off exotic destinations, as well as going on my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Norway with my grandmother. Looking back, I honestly never thought that I would see so much in five short years.

The morning after my graduation celebration, I read through my graduation cards filled with love, well wishes, and congratulations, and there was one beautiful statement that has stuck with me throughout the years:

Frank Sinatra Quote

Read it again. This time, slowly, and with purpose:

The Best is yet to Come.

It’s true, isn’t it. And the fact that I believe that statement to be true makes my heart fill with happiness. We are in charge of our path in life and we can drastically change our lives depending on how hard we want to work.

On a weekly basis I have readers email me to ask how my husband and I travel so much. And while the answer is simple, we prioritize and we budget, I think that the biggest hurdle people face is the challenge of dreaming. There’s a famous saying that goes, “If you can dream it, you can do it”–and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for those feel-good-kinds of quotes… Yet, dreaming allows me to push the boundaries. When I think about my Bucket list and my 101 goals list, both of those lists started from dreams; sometimes I feel like the bigger the dream, the harder I work to make it become a reality. And then the cycle starts all over again: the more I dream, the more I explore, and the more I explore, the more I dream about my next adventure.

No matter how big your dreams are, reach for them! The only person who can stop you is yourself. The path to your dream may not always be easy, but neither are most things worth achieving.


What is your biggest dream?

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Year Three

WordPress so graciously reminded me yesterday that it was my three-year blog-a-versary, and with as busy as life has been, I welcomed the opportunity to slow down and reflect on the last three years here at Pictures and Plane Tickets. When I hit “publish” on that first day I would have never imagined all that would happen over the next three years, let alone all the fun adventures we’ve experienced, crazy things we’ve done, and the interesting people we’ve met from all over the world. There are a lot of great memories crammed in to those 36 short months.

Enjoying Cocoa Beach before our first cruise

Enjoying Cocoa Beach before our first cruise

I’m actually in slight awe thinking about all that we have accomplished (travel-wise) over the last three years. One of our first adventures documented on the blog was our first cruise to the Bahamas. Since then, we’ve been on three cruises, visited six new states, traveled to twelve different countries, stepped foot on two different continents, explored five out of the six main Hawaiian islands, checked off eight Bucket List items, swam with sharks, jumped out of an airplane, got scuba certified, zig-zagged our way across the U.S., and much more! We’ve ate, drank, laughed, and photographed our way through a good portion of the world, yet at the same time, there are so many more places that we yearn to explore–places like Thailand, Fiji, Mexico, Italy, and Greece.

While we have some exciting and dream-worthy adventures on the horizon I can’t guarantee what the upcoming years will bring; the one thing I do know, is that we will continue to laugh and photograph our way through each and every adventure. And I hope that you’ll continue to join us along the way.

Half Moon Cay, Bahamas



Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving here in the U.S., and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Being around my family for four days was incredible. We talked, played games, watched football, went shopping, indulged in delicious food, had many laughs, and just enjoyed each other’s company. We all live pretty far from one another so being able to spend quality time with those who matter most to me was simply perfect.

Temple Square1

I wish I could see this sweet one every single day!

Throughout the weekend I was reminded of how many kind and considerate people there are in this world. When I hit “publish” on my last post I have to admit that I was a little nervous; I felt like I put my heart and soul out there and shared some very personal information with all of you. I never thought I would get such a heart-warming response. The thoughtful messages and uplifting emails that poured in were remarkable. I want to express how thankful I am to have so many compassionate people on my side–people, many of whom I have never met in person, reached out to express concern, offer encouragement, and took the time to say a prayer. I just want to say Thank You. Thank you for your kind words, your support, and for taking time out of your day to lift me up when I was down. TempleSquare-1 I am overjoyed to report that I received wonderful news this afternoon–the biopsy results confirmed that the tumor is benign. It was the news we had been praying for, and thankfully our prayers were answered. I will have surgery to remove the tumor and meet with the surgeon later this week. Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to giving thanks, and as I reflect on the rollercoaster ride that was these last four weeks I am so thankful for my health and for all of the amazing people who have helped me through this rough patch.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!