They danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
Jack Kerouac
The purity of the road. The white line in the middle of the highway unrolled and hugged our left front tire as if glued to our groove.

Jack Kerouac

Couldn’t have captured my philosophy on life in a more succinct, poignant and beautiful way.

Couldn’t have captured my philosophy on life in a more succinct, poignant and beautiful way.

The use of travelling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
Samuel Johnson
A year ago from next week I was heading to Peru for my maiden voyage to South America. Little did I know it would be the catalyst for a connection that was so much larger than just another adventure to a faraway place. While visiting the Amaru village in the Pisac District, I met and created an instant connection with this little gal. And, proving that connections really are what make this world - my world - so insanely beautiful and special to me, I’ve come to a wondrous conclusion since I’ve returned home that despite the fact that my eyes were able to bear witness to so many magical, spiritual, indescribable, even…sites - when I think back to Peru I see her face…the villagers’ faces - and recall tickling her and giggling with them while dancing, weaving and praying to pachamama in the open potato field after Gregorio shared with us age-old knowledge about a natural plant that was used as a fertility drug and we picked violet flowers used for dyes in the Quechua weaving process while snacking on fresh passion fruit (aka ‘monkey brains’), jokes and laughs shared on the Inca Trail with our porters and guide, Juancarlos (all individuals I’m proud to call friends now) and beyond. Because THAT is what travel is about for me. About the people you meet, the laughs you share regardless of language barriers or cultural barriers or political beliefs or skin color or nationality, or…whatever.So many people in this world believe that travel isn’t reality. I disagree. The times when I’ve been sitting around a table with different people from different backgrounds in a foreign culture have been the times I’ve realized what is most real in this world. And I feel blessed my heart has felt this reality. And I feel blessed my mind is open because of it. The fact that people come from around the world to share a love for travel and can relate to each other and show compassion for each other despite where they’ve come from and find common ground? Well that’s quite a reality if you ask me. That’s the kind of reality I am glad to have encountered and will strive to continue to know and experience. Because after all, who says my reality has to look like yours? The end. 

A year ago from next week I was heading to Peru for my maiden voyage to South America. Little did I know it would be the catalyst for a connection that was so much larger than just another adventure to a faraway place. 

While visiting the Amaru village in the Pisac District, I met and created an instant connection with this little gal. And, proving that connections really are what make this world - my world - so insanely beautiful and special to me, I’ve come to a wondrous conclusion since I’ve returned home that despite the fact that my eyes were able to bear witness to so many magical, spiritual, indescribable, even…sites - when I think back to Peru I see her face…the villagers’ faces - and recall tickling her and giggling with them while dancing, weaving and praying to pachamama in the open potato field after Gregorio shared with us age-old knowledge about a natural plant that was used as a fertility drug and we picked violet flowers used for dyes in the Quechua weaving process while snacking on fresh passion fruit (aka ‘monkey brains’), jokes and laughs shared on the Inca Trail with our porters and guide, Juancarlos (all individuals I’m proud to call friends now) and beyond. Because THAT is what travel is about for me. About the people you meet, the laughs you share regardless of language barriers or cultural barriers or political beliefs or skin color or nationality, or…whatever.

So many people in this world believe that travel isn’t reality. I disagree. The times when I’ve been sitting around a table with different people from different backgrounds in a foreign culture have been the times I’ve realized what is most real in this world. And I feel blessed my heart has felt this reality. And I feel blessed my mind is open because of it. The fact that people come from around the world to share a love for travel and can relate to each other and show compassion for each other despite where they’ve come from and find common ground? Well that’s quite a reality if you ask me. That’s the kind of reality I am glad to have encountered and will strive to continue to know and experience. Because after all, who says my reality has to look like yours? The end. 

✈Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
Mark Jenkins
Replace ‘suitcase’ with (Ethnotek) ‘backpack’ and we’re good to go. 

Replace ‘suitcase’ with (Ethnotek) ‘backpack’ and we’re good to go. 

Gratitude. I am full of it today. Why?

Maybe it’s because last Thanksgiving was the last time I hugged my amazing grandfather. The moment when I touched my grandpa’s heart and told him he was a bionic man, will be forever cemented in my mind. A few short weeks later, his heart stopped. That’s a special memory and I am one lucky lady to have it. 

Maybe it’s because I have a global suppor
t network (husband, family and friends) like none other, full of good-to-the-core people who believe in me, inspire me, and shine their bright light and positive energy my way on the daily. Believe me, I need it. 


Maybe it’s because I’ve been blessed with a serendipitous series of events that have guided me towards opportunities in my life I would never have dreamed up. Every day I am thankful for this. Beyond belief. 

Maybe it’s because I am part of a community called The Firm MPLS who inspires me every day. And, a broader CrossFit community that blows me away. Inspires me to be better, challenge myself, and learn from everyone around me. We do things like run 12 mile obstacle races and everyone thinks we’re freaks, and I don’t even care. I am constantly energized by this family. Without them, I would need a Red Bull I.V. (wait, I already have one). 

Maybe it’s because we’re fancy and free and 2012’s travels have taken me on the Inca Trail and through Intipunku, to the mountains in Park City, the land of cafes in Seattle and artists in Portland, “Home” in Prague and Cesky Krumlov, exploration with wide eyes in Amsterdam, and the big city in NYC…and to the mountains of Summit County next weekend. 

Maybe it’s because, as a state, Minnesota had a kick-ass voter turnout, and because we united as a community with a heart and voted with PASSION and LOVE. We voted NO. Together. We took a stand. 

There is so much to be thankful for today. This holiday, I step back, take a deep breath, look down and remind myself to ‘move slowly’ and be thankful for all of these things. 

To all of you people - my friends and family around the world: Thank you. Cheers! Děkuji. Dziękuję. Dank u. Gracias. Merci. Danke. Takk. спасибо. 감사합니다. хвала. Go raibh maith agat. शुक्रिया. Cảm ơn bạn.

Ethnotek reached 2,000 Likes on Facebook and announced it in the form of a video tour of Saigon, where Co-Founder and Head Bag Designer Jake Orak lives 1/2 of the year. Uber-creative. I dig it. If you like it, share it. 

Let’s go.

Let’s go.