Hello there.

Welcome to my travel blog! I document my travels with personal stories, tips and tricks, & many photos! I hope to motivate you to  jump out of your comfort zone & visit some of your bucket list countries!

Music heals.

Music has a profound effect on my everyday. I have been listening to music since I was in the womb. My parents are big concert goers, but one can always count on hearing music in the background when visiting my home. My friends growing up would call me the human jukebox because even if I couldn’t tell you the artist or song name I could belt out the lyrics. Music has been ingrained into my soul and every day life.

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Music is the soundtrack to our lives. It has the ability to bring us back to a specific moment in time, filling us up with the same emotions we felt five years ago when we heard the song for the first or hundredth time. It can give you goosebumps, make you cry, pull emotions out from the pit of your stomach, give you courage to sing loudly even if you’re tone deaf, stretch a smile on your face from ear to ear, or better yet make you dance. Whether it be a tap of your foot, a wiggle of your hips, or full on booty drop, music has the ability to turn your day around.

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Music also has the ability to make us to forget everything. It allows us to get sucked into a song, forgetting all situations and life events that encompass our chaotic daily lives. Have you ever experienced a really stressful day and once a song comes on you get pulled into the lyrics, getting lost in the song rather than entwined in your ongoing repetitive thoughts? Have you ever sang along with a friend to one of your favorite songs and time slips away leaving you with undeniable joy at the end? Have you ever cried to a song during a difficult time in your life? Well you’re not alone…

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Music releases emotions. It is the common denominator bringing together communities of people. It is an international language that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter their ethnicity, heritage, or first language. Music is a universal form of therapy.

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The one aspect I truly adore about music is it’s always there for you. You can always depend on it. During the best of days or the worst of days, there is always a song that you can connect with. Music empowers the soul. Music is capable of motivating you to run a little faster, jump a little higher, give you that extra oomph you’ve been searching for. It’s pure healing ability is therapeutic. Songs can engulf you, making you feel like someone understands your pain or triumph. On your loneliest of days it reminds you that you are never alone. It shows you that someone has felt your pain and understands what you are going through. Lyrics are a beautiful thing.

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I recently wrote a letter to Mumford and Sons. They have been my favorite band since they made their appearance in the early 2000’s. I have followed them to many shows, sometimes twice in the same month. I had an epiphany the day after I saw them at Ohana Fest this year. Mumford has released an album at almost every pivotal moment in my young adult life. I figured I’d share what I sent to them in hopes that maybe they will read it someday, but to also demonstrate that it takes a simple act of listening to music to remove you from reacting to a situation and to help you heal.

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“Dear Marcus, Ben, Winston and Ted,

I know it’s a long shot that this letter reaches your hands but if it has then holy shit I can’t believe you guys are actually reading this. I just saw you in concert last Sunday for the fifth time. I make it a point to see you guys every time you come into town as long as I’m in the country even if it is twice in one month. I grew up listening to all types of music with my family taking me to shows since I was a little girl and let me tell you, you guys are one of our favorites. Music is the soundtrack to my life and I truly believe your music has magical powers. I know that sounds crazy, but trust me on this one.

When I was 19 years old I got really sick, your Sigh No More album was just released. It took a countless number of doctors and a visit to the Mayo Clinic to finally find the culprits. I was receiving treatments for two  years, trying to figure out what was wrong with me, getting IV fed and a total mess mentally, physically and emotionally. This sickness in addition to losing my grandmother progressed into me developing a terrible eating disorder for years, first anorexia, then bulimia and then all out binge eating. I was depressed, malnourished and exhausted, but my mind was spinning out of control with little ability for me to reason properly in the walls of my mind. When you guys came out with your Sigh No More album I listened to it on repeat. I would blast it in the car, cry to it while running, fall asleep to it, work to it, study to it, anything you could think of, I always had Mumford and Sons playing in the background.

I went to rehab for my eating disorder, but it still somewhat controlled me making appearances every few weeks or so depending on my stress levels. Your Babel album came out when I had just entered rehab. I’ll never forget listening to it for the first time and being in awe of how much I loved every song, how much emotion was exuded with every word. The feeling of goosebumps has never faltered while playing your music and I can truly feel it in my bones.

It wasn’t until I was laid off from my position in pharmaceutical sales that I decided to make a spontaneous decision… I bought a one way ticket to London thinking I’d be gone for three months, but leaving the California bubble opened my eyes. I was slowly killing myself and in the end you can only truly depend on yourself. Your Wilder Mind album  released right before I left town. I downloaded it and shortly there after my phone did a horrible thing. It deleted all of my music (I know tragic), but it left your Wilder Mind album. A true example of there is always light in midst of terrible situations. It must have known how much I loved and needed you. I’m sure you are aware that when visiting a developing country there is little to no hope to stream music while on a twenty hour bus ride through the hills of Southeast Asia so I was incredibly grateful to hear your voices throughout each day on repeat.

I have visited 34 countries in the last three and a half years and your music has brought me through each one of them. Your music has taught me lessons, it’s reminded me to always be strong, never be afraid to show emotion, and to love deeply. Each of your albums served a different step in the healing process of my life, always releasing an album when I needed it most. Each song is tied to a handful of memories and I will forever cherish the lyrics you sing with such power.

I remember the exact moment I found When I Get My Hands on You by the New Basement Tapes on YouTube. I probably played it a million times before downloading it on my phone and playing it a million more. It was my late partner’s and I favorite song for so many reasons. Last year he committed suicide and I truly thought life was over. Nothing made sense and part of me knows I will never understand it, but your song The Cave brings such peace and solace to my heart. I was listening to you perform it at Ohana Fest and as tears rolled down my face with my hand over my beating chest I listened to you sing some of my favorite lyrics. In an overwhelming fashion I felt an incredible amount of joy and liberation. Feelings that have been dulled and sucked right out of me in the past 16 months he’s been gone.

Now in 2018, you are releasing Delta when I’m finally home setting down some roots for the first time in four years. Some days I still feel a little lost, but then I play Guiding Light and remember everything will fall into place as long as I trust the process.

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your music with all of us. You have impacted my life in more ways than you could imagine and I am so grateful to grow up in the generation where Mumford and Sons ruled the stage.

You will forever be my favorite band and I will continue to be on the lookout for your new releases, buying tickets for every show while following and sharing Mumford’s talent and The New Basement Tapes with everyone I know. Marcus, your voice has sung me to sleep many times, it has healed the deepest cuts on my heart and has continued to give me strength in pain. You have made me smile, laugh, scream, jump, dance, cry and fall to my knees all around the world and I have no doubt you will  continue to do so until the day I die. Thanks for reading and thanks for being you. I appreciate you guys more than you’ll ever know.”

 

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Now turn up the volume and blast your favorite jams. Let your hair down and never be afraid to be vulnerable. Wear your heart on your sleeve and be yourself. Music will be there to celebrate with you or weep with you, exemplifying all of your emotions, and reminding you that this too shall pass. Thank you for reading friends and never stop loving yourself.

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Malta and Gozo

Malta and Gozo

Nacpan and Coron, Palawan Philippines

Nacpan and Coron, Palawan Philippines