Hi. I’m Annie. I’m so glad you’re here!
The quick and dirty: In 2008, after finishing grad school and before starting a new (very adult, very corporate) job, I took a three week trip to Southeast Asia, visiting Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It was my first time traveling alone, and my first time in Asia. And it was an experience that reaffirmed to me that “firsts” are very important. Taking a leap, risking comfort and uprooting complacence, finding wonder in the world, and debunking my own expectations and those of others.
While I was in Luang Prabang, Laos, I wrote this in my journal:
I don’t even remember writing this. But here I am.
Skip to 2013. After five years in two jobs, tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles and Marriott points later, I lived out my journal entry. I said bon voyage to cubicle life (oh, the beige of it all!) and I started teaching English in Thailand in May 2013. For six months I taught 800 sweet, smart, hilarious Thai girls and I’m certain that I learned more than they did. About kindness, connection, and laughter as the default reaction to almost anything.
I returned to the US in early 2014 and my adventures continue here — as a wandering yogi with a passion for vegan food, authentic experiences, taking leaps, and not settling for anything that is remotely beige. My travels taught me many things — but mostly that life is always a grand adventure if you believe in it and make it to be so.
So, “The Graceful Traveler” is a tale of teaching, travel, and the undiscovered. I also love green curry, hand-written notes, music, John Steinbeck and Jonathan Safran Foer, my sister/mom/dad/friends, and I believe that if there is any one thing that brings me vibrancy and calm, it’s yoga.
A few thoughts on grace: I’m not talking about a Russian ballerina or a what-you-say-before-dinner kind of grace. When I think about grace, I think about opening up to a new experience without judgment or expectation, and treating myself and those around me with the honor, humility and joy that comes from knowing we are part of something much larger than ourselves. That’s grace, to me: an aspiration. And if I can bring that with me on this road, then I just know it will be a pretty darn fantastic ride.