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  What does it mean to live; I mean truly and fully LIVE one's life? What does freedom represent? What is life without meaning and purpose? Is there true meaning and purpose, or is it all subjective?

These are questions I have always pondered and searched for the answers to. I am not sure there ARE answers, but I find it interesting to think about nonetheless.

I was born in San Francisco, CA in the late 70's and in the subsequent twelve years, my five younger sisters followed. My nature as a child was quite curious and I always enjoyed doing new things and having fresh, innovative experiences. Since I am from such a large family, our vacations growing up were inexpensive and nature based Ė long road trips up the coast of California and camping trips with family friends. I enjoyed being out in the wide openness of nature and seeing all the pristine countryside. Traveling and drinking in new experiences have always filled me with a sense of freedom and purpose.

As an adult I started a professional career in finance Ė working various positions from mortgage funding, documentation, support staff for stock brokers, etc. While the jobs were lucrative I never felt exactly fulfilled. In my early twenties I moved to NYC and lived there for three years. Living in NYC was very hard but so fulfilling. I've never felt so at home in any other place I've lived. I absolutely loved living there, even though the city life was tough. I moved back to the San Francisco bay area in 2005 and almost immediately got a really good job with a big bank.

For years I just went through the motions without really experiencing any enjoyment. I went back to NYC to visit regularly and those vacations provided rays of sunlight to what felt to be a bleak existence. I spent my time thinking of ways to escape and slowly, ever so carefully, concocted a plan.

Traveling has always been something that's made me feel alive Ė it's always made me feel as though I'm being propelled forward with a purpose, so I figured I would take some time off and travel for a while. The initial plan was to travel for a year (or however long my savings held out) and then get a job teaching English abroad. After taking the TEFL Certification course in Greece, however, I discovered that teaching English isnít for me and I donít want to teach at all. So, that being said, I completely opened myself to whatever life had to offer me. I experienced six gorgeous, amazing and sometimes lonely months traveling around Europe. Then, my savings started to dwindle and I started looking for work in Europe, but itís damn hard to get a working visa there, so I had to come back to the States. I am now back in the San Francisco area of California, restarting my life and looking forward to many more Great Escapes.

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