Adventurer OF The Month:
1. Tell us a little about yourself. We want to get to know you!
I currently live in Seattle with my incredible husband, but am originally from a very small town in eastern Washington. By day, I work in corporate communications in the world of wine, a job I am overjoyed to have! It led me and inspired me to create my own creative venture, which is how I started The Curated Collective Co. It has become my own space on the interwebs to share our travel journeys, how to stay stylish without spending your entire paycheck, and lots of life tips! When I’m not at my 9-5, or working away on my blog, you can find me at the nearest Mexican spot with a margarita in my hand and endless chips and salsa, likely plotting our next adventure. Or talking about Harry Potter. I can’t seem to stop this urge to explore this beautiful world we live in, and it’s completely changed my mindset on where I thought I wanted my life to go, and now where I hope this crazy roller coaster life takes me!
2. We love seeing photos of your adventures. How did it all start for you?
I’ve wanted to see the world (all of it!) for as long as I can remember. I have a distinct memory from when I was very young (I’m talking like 5 or 6) and sitting at my grandparents house in their reading nook, absolutely consumed by a book about King Tut. Who was this king from centuries ago in this mythical land of Egypt? I was immediately intrigued by this ancient civilization on the complete other side of the world that looked SO different than everything I knew. Reading that instantly sparked something inside of me, a desire to explore everything I could possibly feast my eyes on. While I haven’t made it to Egypt just yet (thought it’s absolutely at the top of the list!) I can credit King Tut himself for instilling a sense of wanderlust inside of me that decided to never leave. Since then, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to see so many parts of the world I never thought I would see, but I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon!
3. Do you have a favorite trip? And if so, what makes it so special?
Oh man, this is so hard! Favorite ever of all time: our first trip to Paris in the summer of 2015. I had never been to Europe before, and Paris had been on the top of my bucket list for just about as long as I could remember. Zach, my boyfriend at the time, and I met up with his sister in the City of Lights. She had been an Au Pair in the South of France for the past year, and was our perfect tour guide. I don’t know if I will ever forget the exact moment I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time. It was a moment I had literally dreamt about just about my entire life, and it was hard to believe I was finally seeing this in real life. Me? This small town girl? I just never thought it would be something that would happen to me, and it was likely the most “pinch-me” moment of my life. That is until about two days later when this trip became (and will likely stay!) the best trip, ever. Zach and his sister Bailey had been plotting the surprise of a lifetime, and a few days into our trip, he proposed along the banks of the Seine. We celebrated by popping champagne in front of the Eiffel Tower, and cruising along the river to see the city twinkle into the night. It was a trip I will always cherish.
4. You capture the world so beautifully. Do you have any tips on taking and editing photos?
This is something I definitely still work on! If it’s something you’re really interested in, I’d invest in Lightroom, it has been an absolute game changer for me. Besides that, don’t be scared to ask strangers to take photos for you, I promise it will be worth it at the end of the day. We fought our fear and asked tons of random strangers snap some shots of us on our honeymoon in Santorini, and they are some of my most cherished images. While places and spaces are incredible to look at, it’s even more incredible to personalize those epic locations by having you or someone you love make an appearance in the photo as well. Make sure to get a mix of both landscape shots, and detail shots, you’ll be glad you did. And as a general rule of thumb, candid photos are always the best! But my best piece of advice: sometimes you just need to put the phone or camera down, and know that some of the things you see will always be there in your mind, and some moments are better spent disconnected from technology of any kind, just embracing and being apart of this moment you’re in.
5. Who is your favorite travel buddy?
My husband. He has encouraged and supported my desire to travel wholeheartedly, and the urge to explore the world is one of the things that attracted me to him so much, he’s fearless! In fact, it was he who encouraged me so much to take my first trip out of the country. He was teaching English in Taipei at the time, and I had never been out of the country before. Well, that was a sink or swim moment, because I learned quite quickly how to navigate airports and customs after landing in Asia solo for the first time. It tested me in a very good way. We have created so many memories together since that trip, we’ve seen crazy cool parts of this world, and we don’t plan to slow down anytime soon! We’re likely creating a life that’s a bit more untraditional and gypsy-esque, we can’t seem to sit still, and that is totally fine by me. Being able to look over and see the person I love most in this life, doing something we both love? Yeah, I’d pretty much put that up there with my favorite feeling in the world.
6. What have you learned along the way, as you’ve explored different places?
I’ve learned a lot about myself, that’s for sure. Traveling has tested my boundaries, broken me out of my comfort zones, and made me believe that my dreams can become reality. Did I ever think I’d have the courage to Run with The Bulls in Spain? Nope, but I did it. Did I ever think I’d see the Hong Kong skyline light up while eating the most delicious dim sum from across the bay? Nope. But it happened. Did I ever think I’d dance on a rooftop in the picturesque cliffside village of Santorini? Definitely not. Yet, alas…it did. The biggest takeaway I’ve learned is that you’e in control of your life, and if you want to make something happen, you’re in charge. Take the wheel, and make it happen. It IS possible! We’ve put such a huge focus on collecting memories over materials. At the end of the day, I’ve learned you can’t take anything with you. But what you can always hold on to? The memories you’ve made along the way. To me, that’s worth so much more than any material item we could ever purchase.
7. Do you collect any souvenirs from the places you visit?
Besides the hundreds of photos I’ve begun collecting, we always tend to end up with magnets from the places we’ve visited. Which, inevitably end up holding photos of the places we’ve been to up on the fridge. It’s an everyday reminder of the stunning places we’ve been able to see, and an extra boost of motivation to make the next trip happen!
8. What makes your heart beat? What do you really believe in, stand for, and want to tell others about?
One of my favorite expressions that I go to over and over again is “Don’t quit your daydream” If something is lighting a passion inside of you, listen to that voice. If you can’t stop thinking about something, pursue THAT. Pursue the thing that sets your soul on fire. Don’t let the fear of what people think, or failure, stop you from your happiness. Life is just too dang short to wakeup with regrets about what could have been. Is it scary? Absolutely! Is it worth it? 100%. Believe in the power of yourself, and always remember that you’re capable of creating the life you’ve always imagined.