Decide you want it more than you’re afraid of it.

Tonight I registered my trip with the US Department of Human Affairs. This is a very easy thing to do online that takes just a few minutes and tells the government what countries you plan on being in, and when. After I submitted my trip, I received extra information about the “risky” areas I plan on visiting.

SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South Asia may also be planning attacks in the region, possibly against U.S. government facilities, U.S. citizens, or U.S. interests. Terrorists and their sympathizers have demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack locations where U.S. citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit.

CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qa’ida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Central Asia. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target U.S. government interests.

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC: Information from credible sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in the East Asian and Pacific region.

There is a risk of travel to the southern Philippines, specifically related to kidnapping threats in the Sulu Archipelago and the ongoing threat of violence on the island of Mindanao, particularly in Central Mindanao.

Over the past year there have been several kidnappings-for-ransom targeting foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia and in the southern Sulu Sea area by terrorist or insurgent groups based in the Sulu Archipelago of the Philippines. In addition to incursions on the coastal and island resorts themselves, criminal or terrorist bands may attempt to intercept boats ferrying tourists in the area.

Indonesian security forces have disrupted a number of terrorist cells, including JI, a terrorist organization that carried out several significant bombings in Jakarta and Bali over the past decade. Although Indonesian counterterrorism efforts have been successful in preventing terrorists from conducting large-scale attacks in recent years, extremists in Indonesia may demonstrate a willingness and ability to carry out small-scale violent attacks with little or no warning.

I share this not to scare my friends and family, but to let you know that I’m keeping close tabs on what’s going on in those areas, and planning travel accordingly. This won’t be the first time I’ve traveled to potentially unsafe areas – in Turkey, there was a bombing in the very district I was staying in – just two days after I left.

If you’ve never registered a trip with the US Department of Human Affairs, I highly encourage you to do it. It’s unlikely you’ll ever need them, but if anything were to happen, you’ll be glad you did – and, they send you updated safety information on the areas you’re going to!

It’s all happening!

BWI > JFK > AUH (Abu Dhabi) > BKK (Bangkok)

One way.

It’s happening, it’s all happening!

Today was productive as could be for a girl who has been sick all weekend. I sold a bunch of things on Craigslist to some pretty normal people. Bittersweet seeing these things go, but with each item I let go I feel myself getting lighter and lighter… and that much closer to hitting the road!

Hard to believe it was exactly 5 years ago that I left for Europe, and 5 years ago that I met Anna in Serbia. She has been the encouragement I’ve needed to take this plunge. Even though we’re about to take off in complete opposite directions across the globe (me to Thailand, her to Nicaragua) it comforts me knowing she is only a call or text away.

The world out there is so strange and simple and wonderful compared to the everyday routines of life “at home.” I remember how hard it was for me to come back to the states after being away for so long, especially after having been to third world countries. The petty things we get irritated about or let bother us every day…none of that matters. Your perspective totally changes when you get out there, and just as quickly falls back into its old ways once you are back on familiar soil.

I’ve missed feeling small.

I got online tonight to scope out flights. I wasn’t expecting to purchase anything until tomorrow, I’ve always felt Wednesday’s are better days to buy. But the site Anna told me about had an incredible deal (SkyScanner) which led to me frantically calling my mom and my sister after 10pm on the East Coast to make sure they were available the weekend I leave.  The plan is to pack up my car with what little of my belongings remain after I sell them, hightail it to South Carolina to see my dad, drive up to Ocean City, Maryland to see my mom, aunts, cousins, grandparents, and best friends, and then end up in Baltimore where I’ll stay with my sister before flying out of BWI.

I haven’t told anyone what’s going on yet…just a few more days. Honestly it doesn’t feel real yet anyway. I think it will once I sell my motorcycle. And that god damn ergonomically chair I’m obsessed with. Seriously, who gets upset about selling a chair? And does anyone want to foster this one for me? It’s the most comfortable office chair I’ve ever owned. I am totally getting emotionally attached. To a chair. See? Told you I need new perspective ;) In exactly five weeks, I’ll step out of American soil for a round-the-world adventure of a lifetime. Let’s make it happen.


Hey everyone! Welcome to Kill the Architect, a lifestyle blog for adventurers. The concept behind this blog is simple – screw the blueprints, design your dream life. Yet it’s something so many people cannot figure out how to make reality. I’m here to show you how to live exactly the life you’ve always wanted – especially if that life involves traveling around the world.


After a three month stint in Europe exactly five years ago, I moved to Nashville, where I accomplished a few good things — worked for a nationally recognized public relations firm before venturing out and starting my own little PR boutique — started a travel/tours company called Nashville Running Tours — and worked for Global Orientations, where I became the Destination Specialist for Nashville and got to give tours to international employees of Fortune 500 firms.

Almost five years after making the move to Nashville, I’ve decided to go to the place that has been calling my name for a long, long time — Southeast Asia. You’ll also see appearances from Australia, New Zealand, and India, among others. And that’s just to start. This is a complete around-the-world adventure: no schedules, no deadline, just pure, serendipitous love and adventure.

Unlike my stint in Europe, the journaling won’t be private (well, some of it might be!) But for the most part, I’ll be sharing my stories here, as they relate to solo female travel, lessons learned from the road, and stories of what not to do whilst thousands and thousands of miles from home. Since the frame of mind here is long-term, I’ll also be working while I’m away – both maintaining my businesses in Nashville and picking up work while on the road.


As always, thank you for your love, your support, and your caring thoughts from overseas. Since technology has made it so easy to stay in touch, don’t think you won’t be hearing from me! And feel free to pop in any time to peek in on my adventures from across the world.

Leap and the net will appear!