Ever the timid caterpillar of her friends, young Danielle was always itching to spread her wings, discover her authentic self and find her freedom. During the tumultuous years of her early 20’s she decided that travel was just the answer she was looking for. Now, after a multitude of crazy adventures and awkward mishaps, she has evolved into a vibrant, outgoing young woman who is but a sliver of her old self.
Her fearlessly honest, mildly funny, wildly inspirational blog logs her travels and transformation. It pays special attention not just to the cities that she visits but the very people that they are made of. She shares stories of the unlikely relationships that she forms along the way, including the most important one of all: the one with herself.
Though a native of Miami, Florida, Danielle currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri and is working toward her MBA at Washington University.
Below is an entry I wrote in late 2011 when I first started blogging:
“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.”
Growing up, I had the privilege of parents who were adventurous enough (and crazy enough) to take two young girls – ballerina dancing, nail polishing girls – trekking through Yellowstone and Glacier (among other bear-ridden territories) in hopes of opening their eyes to a world much bigger than the one they knew. The point was to make us feel uncomfortable and small and vulnerable. And it worked. It was then, in those moments, usually after eight torturously boring, sweaty hours of hiking when we would set up camp and walk to a bluff at dusk and just stare at the massive, powerful scene of nature in front of us. We would feel incredibly…unimportant. How could we focus our energies on such meaningless petty complaints in our daily lives when something this epic existed in our world? These were the first conversations of self-discovery.
We would continue to take family trips from places like the foggy seas of British Columbia to the surprisingly unmuddied waterways of Venice. And the intent always remained the same: not to see these places but to learn of different places within ourselves.
Now that I have the privilege of my own time and money (and insatiable cravings for adventure) I am continuing that quest. In the past 2 years or so, I have jetted off to The Bahamas, Chicago, Key West, San Francisco, San Diego, Salt Lake City, New York, St. Louis, Miami, Austin and San Antonio and have experienced a plethora of activities from hopping subway turnstiles and skiing through white-outs to the much less exhilarating activity of drinking my way through a Napa Valley winery. And while these all make for interesting dinner table conversation they spark a far more trying and telling inner-dialogue. I hope that this dialogue continues to grow as I find myself exploring further and further from home – perhaps making new homes for myself along the way. Thus, this blog is not so much about discovering these cities as it is about the journey of discovering myself.
I dedicate it to my parents, to the self I have yet to uncover and to those of you who might be inspired to start a journey of your own.
Check back soon for my next adventure 😉