I’ll be honest: I’m wearing all of my summer dresses until the last possible second here in Washington DC, where it’s been hitting the 70s and even 80s recently! Beautiful sunny weather never fails to inspire me to get out early and enjoy all of the beautiful daylight. So I’m excited to share some photos in this post from a recent early morning photo shoot along the waterfront in beautiful Georgetown.
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately:
Do you ever feel like you get stuck in a monotonous routine, or cower inside of yourself for fear of opening up that mysterious door and seeing what might lie outside of it?
Sometimes it can feel so easy to get comfortable, get cozy, and stay right where I’m at. Confession: I often have the feeling of wanting to press “pause” on my life right now, so I don’t have to think about ANY POTENTIAL CHANGES BECAUSE THEY FEEL SO SCARY.
And then I have to remind myself: Change is nearly always a good thing. And change is nearly always around the corner.
I’m regularly telling myself, “Don’t fall for a false sense of security!” It’s very easy to think that everything is just going to stay the same – but it seldom does. For me this requires a shift in my outlook, a shift toward a more adventuresome, optimistic outlook.
Hi to all of you wonderful friends out there!
A lot of you have walked through life with me as I’ve traveled to countries around the world, worked in advocacy on human rights and international religious freedom, and shared my passion for justice. That passion for those who face persecution and human rights abuses around the world continues to be so close to my heart. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful job (in reality a dream job) that I’ve been called to. It’s a role that continues to bring me closer to the women, men, and children around the world who courageously live life in spite of unimaginable odds.
The truth: I’m blessed beyond belief every time I travel.
It’s not just because I get to travel to beautiful countries around the globe, but even more than that – I have a special opportunity to meet so many incredible people, the courageous and beautiful women behind the stories I write, the displaced families who have found a strength beyond what I can even imagine, and the children I’ve played with in refugee camps from Jordan to Lebanon to Iraq. I’m honored to share their stories from TV studios to Capitol Hill – and with everyone who reads my work.
It’s truly a privilege. Every single time.
But today I have a totally new project underway.
1) Taking this photo!
This fun moment taking a photo in front of the number “35” marked one of my favorite moments during my recent trip to Havana, Cuba! Here’s why: While I’m not 35 yet, I just turned 34 over the summer and that means I’m currently living the 35th year of my life. I’m so excited to see what this year holds! A beautiful and fun trip to Havana, Cuba, was such a special way to get my new year started.
2) A hilarious misunderstanding
I traveled to Cuba with my friend Stephanie, who, among so many other attributes, is great at communicating in Spanish, although she’s only just begun to learn the language. At one point she animatedly explained to our taxi driver in Spanish that we had rented a 1951 pink Chevrolet and driven it through the streets of Havana.
Well, at least, that’s what she thought she had said.
When we realized that her actual account involved driving an old shrimp through the city, we couldn’t stop laughing! Even the taxi driver had tears running down his cheeks!
3) Mojitos overlooking the Malacon
The Malacon, the lovely seawall along the water in Havana, is sometimes referred to as “the longest couch in the world.” And I can definitely see why! One night Stephanie and I drank mojitos at the Hotel Nacional in Havana. With ample outdoor seating, and a breathtaking view of the Malacon, I watched families gathering along the wall, parents watching their children play, lovers kissing as the sun went down… for miles along the longest couch in the world. It was a beautiful sight!
I can’t wait to share and post more of my favorite travel tips, as well as places to stay and eat in lovely Havana, Cuba! Stay tuned, and please feel free to share some of your favorite travel moments – I would love to read them!