I started writing at the age of seven. In a diary, that is. I wrote often and candidly. You know, about my elementary school crushes and slumber parties. I started dream journal-ing and dabbled in fiction writing, children’s literature, and poetry, thanks to a high school creative writing class. All the while, I kept writing in my diary – this time mostly about how my hair wasn’t straight or curly– but some horrible mix of in-between – and about the embarrassment of losing my 10th grade election to a class troublemaker who traded Tiger Beer for votes and was sitting solo in detention when the results were announced. I doubled up on English classes so I could forgo AP Calculus. At the University of Virginia, I studied Foreign Affairs because I loved to travel and wanted not only to understand the world, but to travel as a profession. 

 Hiking waterfalls outside of Luang Prabang, Laos

Hiking waterfalls outside of Luang Prabang, Laos

After university, I spent nearly a decade in the U.S. Foreign Service as a political officer, serving in Mozambique (2003-2005), Venezuela (2005-2006), Sudan (2008-2010), Washington, D.C. (2010), and Thailand (2010-2014). Took a year off in there somewhere to earn a master’s degree in International Studies at the University of Sydney. I wrote often as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. About the fragile, but successful democracy and giant prawns in Mozambique; drug dealers and the animated rants of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela; the nefarious regime of Al Bashir and the imminent secession of the south in Sudan; and the disappointing U.S.-China climate negotiations in Washington, D.C. In 2011, I resigned my work as a diplomat to be a stay-at-home mom.

 Welcome to Gan, the southern-most island of the Maldives!

Welcome to Gan, the southern-most island of the Maldives!

The one part of my personal time that I was unwilling to sacrifice completely to full-time parenthood was my writing. So I started freelancing – writing about wonderful travel destinations -  with family, in particular. It is my passion not only to write and travel, but to share wonderful discoveries in foreign countries with my readers. I’ve written for the New York Times, CNN Travel, Travel+Leisure Southeast Asia, and am a regular contributor to luxury family travel site Ciao Bambino and World Moms Network. In 2017, I founded Rise and Explore, and here's why.

 
Morskie Oko Loren - Rise and Explore
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