Travel + Versions of Myself

traveling in Thailand

Some say that travelers are running away from real life, that there is something wrong with being in love with living somewhere else.

I would argue that there are places that fit better than others–places that evoke emotions and ways of being.

Just like certain people draw out different sides of us, I believe that places do the same thing.

I’ve lived many different places, and each had a different feeling.


We just moved from San Francisco to Miami 3 months ago, and I have to say. There’s something in the Miami air that makes me feel more confident and authentic.

Not that Miami will be my home forever. Other European cities and countries have already captured my heart and spirit. Italy in particular makes me feel like the version of myself I love the most.

           Traveling in Miami, Florida         The beach in Miami, Florida  In Italy, I am extra outgoing. For the pure joy of speaking Italian, I will talk to old men, children, dogs, people collecting signatures…pretty much anyone that is willing to talk to me about anything! I am fashionable and chic. I always wear heels and great Italian outfits. Red lipstick–of course! And I am very confidence and bold. I don’t know what it is about Italy that makes me feel extra confident and comfortable with who I am. I march right into places and ask to speak to their manager about collaborating. I try new things. I ask questions. I go for what I want without a moment’s hesitation.

Traveling the Amalfi Coast in ItalyI’d love to hear from you: What city or country makes you feel like your favorite version of yourself? 

Road Trip SF to Miami – Arizona & New Mexico

We wake up to warm sunshine and blue skies. It’s such a welcome switch from the dark and freezing cold when we arrived at the hotel in Blythe, California last night. 

Palms Arizona

The desert is a funny place. The extremes that exist side by side.

I wasn’t sure what this cross country road trip would be like. We’ve driven cross country once before (North Carolina to San Francisco) in my car. The first road trip was fast driving, visiting friends and exploring on a whim.

This a different sort of trip. We literally packed up our entire life and are carrying it across deserts and hundreds of miles like a turtle with its shell.

Driving cross country with a moving truck much slower. It’s more like a meditation, helping me to slow down and collect my thoughts.


I’m seeing things more deeply. It’s more about the journey, the drive, the process than anything.

Plus, it’s kinda hard to stop and see a lot of things anyways. Maneuvering a 16ft truck with a car behind (that you can’t back up) is like playing the snake game. You always have to think about where you tail is! 

Today we are driving through Arizona. It’s a beautiful mixture of unique rock formations, cactuses and huge open spaces.

We stop for Cracker Barrel & some pictures with cactuses! Then we are back on the road, heading towards Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Lacy Liz Roadtrip Arizona Cactus 1

It’s taking much longer than we estimated to get to our destination because we can’t drive faster than 55mph.

The desert is quiet and freezing cold. The stars are a bright tapestry, and the moon is HUGE. I smile as I finish off the fried apples from Cracker Barrel.

Life is good.

Have you ever driven across the US? I’d love to hear about your experience! 


Road Trip SF to Miami- Day 1

Day 1 – California


We start our drive from San Francisco early. There’s a nervous excitement when starting something new. Somehow I am able to wake up at 5am after packing and cleaning all yesterday. That is a major accomplishment for me. Anyone who knows me can assure you that I’m not a morning person. We’re driving a 16ft moving truck and pulling my car on a dolly behind. We pull out slowly and the first hour or so and we are wide-eyed and hyper focused on everything going on around. With time, we start to relax.


It’s miles and miles of rolling bright green hills and blue skies in Northern California that give way to orchards and then vineyards and then desert until we start coming up on Los Angeles. You always know when you are getting close to LA because the traffic gets thicker and thicker until everything slows to a stop.

It’s the first time I’ve enjoyed traffic. Since we are towing a car, we can only go 55 miles per hour, so after hours and hours of every car and truck passing us, I was nice to be going the same speed as everyone else. Haha

We finally roll into Blythe, a small town on the border between California and Arizona at midnight. We reserved a hotel through Hotwire, which usually works out beautifully. Tonight is not our night. Our reservation had gone through and Hotwire had charged our debit card, but when we arrive at the hotel, Joshua at the front desk said the card was declined. Two hours and a crazy loop of phone calls later, we find out that it was Hotwire’s card that was declined and we got refunded. We finally crawl into bed at 2am, and sleep has never sounded so good.

Thought for the day: It’s the challenges and funny stories that really make a trip memorable.

Stay tuned for more adventures. Follow us on Periscope to see our live videos –> @canaldafavela



Top Tips for Visiting Magical Varenna

Varenna, ItalyVarenna, ITALY–

In my books, it’s a crime not to visit Lake Como if I’m anywhere near Milano. 

Not that Milano isn’t wonderful…(more of that later), but Varenna is a peaceful haven, a sleeping princess.

Every time I visit Varenna, I leave feeling inspired and incredibly relaxed. There’s just something about it…


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Daily Adventures #1


San Francisco, CALIFORNIA–

When I’m not traveling, I get major travel withdrawals. I feel grumpy, discouraged, and majorly stuck in a rut when I do the same thing every day.

I recently bought these cool adventure prompters called “Anywhere Travel Guide” to help me try new things and hopefully keep my travel bug satisfied until my next trip.


I need a good reminder to keep exploring no matter where I am because let’s face it…there are amazing new things to see and try no matter where you are or how long you’ve lived there.

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Thoughts Aboard a 30-year-old Elephant

IMG_2816A sweet wrinkly creature with a long nose that could double as a vacuum is about to become my new mode of transportation. Our elephant, Bobo, makes me want to laugh, but I don’t. He’s incredibly majestic and honestly his sheer size is just a little bit intimidating!

To sit on his back, I have to climb up a whole story to the second floor! Nothing could have prepared me for the pure exhilaration and awe of sitting atop an elephant. I put my foot on his back, and I’m surprised how dry and tough his skin is and he’s got these funny long hairs growing at random. Once on board, I feel as small as a pesky ant.

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Venetian Selfies


It’s morning in Venice. The sun is beautiful, the sea is sparkling and the tourists are starting to swarm.  I came to Venice on a whim last night, stayed in a youth hostel, and have been contentedly wandering the streets since 7am. By 9am the tourists are piling into the city from the cruise ships, engorging the streets and small bridges. I duck into a bar that’s just opening and order a cappuccino and brioche and shamelessly eavesdrop on the older Veneto shopkeeper and the Polish barista about my age gossiping quietly about some other regular customers and shop.

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Dreaming of the Tuscan Countryside

The rolling hills in Tuscany have a magically silky flow. Time stands still as the wind blows through my hair and Tuscany is just outside the car door.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how travel opens our minds. I’ve always believed that travel was what made me bold and confident. I’m starting to realize why: it’s a catalyst that enabled me to open my mind and loosen the grip on my tightly held paradigms and perspectives. It has helped me to free myself to be other versions of myself that I didn’t know existed.

Travel is amazing, but don’t forget that the boldness and confidence you have found while traveling was inside of you all along, just waiting to be discovered.

This week I’m challenging myself (and you!) to be our bold, fun-loving, and spontaneous traveler selves no matter where we are! Happy Tuesday!


The Power of the Moment

Photo: Flickr user S. Honig
Photo: Flickr user S. Honig

It’s so easy to get caught up, zone out, jump ahead to the future or stress out…but this moment will never return again.

In this moment, you can change, act differently, do that thing you’ve been putting off. You can smile.
These are the moments where you can choose to alter the course of your life…even just with a small change. There is the “you” from the past–from yesterday, last month, 2 years ago. But the you today is what you choose. I think we forget; we forgo our power to choose in this moment.

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Being a Tourist vs. a Local

Santa Croce, Florence

I have an obsession with being a local. Wherever I travel, I want to blend in so well that I could be mistaken for a local. As you can imagine, that works well in some countries, and not at all in others! When I’m in Italy, it’s a little easier since I speak Italian and I lived there for a year and a half. I get a deep sense of gratification when others mistake me for an Italian (or a Brazilian when I’m living in Brazil) but there’s always a level of frustration.

I feel a little cramped. A little less free because I’m always wondering what others are thinking. If I “make the cut” or I’m just another lousy tourist.

Traveling in Italy for 3 weeks last month changed my perspective. I stayed in my adopted hometown of Firenze (Florence) for one week. I stayed in the apartment I used to live in when I studied and worked in Florence a few years ago. I did my “local thing.” Went grocery shopping. Visited my friends’ houses. Went to my favorite restaurants and coffee spots. This trip, I also had to do a few touristy things to take pictures for my travel company. I visited hotels and talk to them about what they offer for their clientele : tourists.

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