Hi. Remember me?

Gosh, when I started blogging in 2009, I don’t think I ever could have pictured writing this — tapping the mic to see if it’s still on; my first blog post back after an unplanned nine month hiatus. I’m actually physically cringing as I type that. Where does the time go? Warning: this post will be filled with lots of questions, and probably also a few semi-coherent attempts at answers.

Sunrise in Mexico

Mermaiding in Mexico
Freediving in Mexico

Years ago, as soon as I started finding success here, publishing a slightly more polished version of a diary on the internet, people started asking me, “well, what do you want to do next?,” as if this were a mere stepping stone.

I’m doing it, I used to say. I thought I’d always be sharing my life somewhere, in some form.

The Empire State Plaza

And I suppose I have. While my Facebook pages have also grown sadly stagnant, my Instagram is somewhere I regularly share short stories, thoughts and musings, and general updates about my life. Still, there’s only so much you can say in a caption, or a few square photos.

For a while, as blog comments dried up and general attention spans grew shorter, Instagram felt like where we were all hanging out — not to mention required a much briefer investment of time. But that’s kind of faded, too, and it feels like the world is once again moving onto a platform I don’t have much interest in (Yes! TikTok! I’m looking right at you and your upsetting robotic voice trend that I want no part of!) I miss the conversations.

World Globe in Queens
Lebanese Restaurant in Philadelphia

Yoga in Miami

So I guess this is me, getting back to basics. I’ve missed blogging terribly and for months, I’ve woken up most days and thought, is today the day I’m going to press publish again?

But I realized there was another question that was holding me back from answering that one: Why did I wait so long in the first place? What stopped me, for the bulk of 2021, from doing the one thing that has defined my identity for the last 13 years of my life — blogging, about travel and love and business and everything in between?

Drinks at Rooftop Reds

That’s a tough one. And my first impulse is to point to my growing second business, my family obligations, the huge turnover I had on my tiny team, you know the drill. And while those things truly did take an outsized portion of my time in the last nine months, pointing to them alone does feel a bit like an excuse.

So maybe, since I’m a bit rusty here, if you don’t mind I’ll start with something easier: what have I been up to?

Sayulita

I guess, like many on earth over the last year, I’ve been getting my hopes up, getting my heart broken, occasionally experiencing transcendent joy? 

We shake with joy, we shake with grief.
What a time they have, these two
housed as they are in the same body.

Mary Oliver
Retreat in Key Largo
Scuba diving in Key Largo

If you do follow me on the ‘gram — where I’m also hopelessly behind, because, me — you know that I went back to my old nomadic ways since I went silent here. I did start the year with the dream of finding a more permanent residence, going as far as to get mortgage pre-approval (no small miracle for the self employed!) and start viewing apartments in Brooklyn.

But New York’s short term rental ban made realize I’d often struggle to make a mortgage payment on an empty apartment. Renting one seemed even more wasteful.

Girl in Lebanon

So, I traveled. I started 2021 in Mexico, returned to US with the promise of the vaccine, then started bopping around domestically and to the Caribbean for those long-awaited campaigns, bachelorette parties and family celebrations as well as, praise be, finally restarted my retreats. We kicked things off close to home in Martha’s Vineyard and then The Florida Keys before heading abroad to Lebanon and Egypt, where I survived twenty-one days of straight retreat hosting that made me feel simultaneously tired on a cellular level and vibrantly alive on a soul one. 

I also had friendapalooza reunions in England and across France — site of my first Maid of Honor honor of the year — before returning to the US to focus on another big wedding; my sister’s! I threw my first wedding shower in our hometown, hosted her bachelorette party in Palm Beach, and of course, was by her side for the big day in Philadelphia. Wander Women snuck in one more retreat in Hudson Valley, and then I clocked out for the holidays to spend Thanksgiving with my dad in Los Angeles and Christmas with my sister in Philly. Oh! And I snuck in one more Caribbean trip to Cayman and St. Martin to celebrate a milestone anniversary for friends who too, feel like family.

Retreats in Egypt
Retreats in Egypt

Yoga Retreat in Egypt

If it sounds like a lot; it was. It was a year of making up for missed moments, and I was incredibly grateful for the opportunity to do so. Sounds like a bunch of trips that would have been a blast to share here, right?

I will. Someday.

But for the last nine months, every time I sat down to open my laptop, the idea of opening my browser and writing from the heart made me feel some kind of way. (Also, could there be a more awkward measure of time for me to have taken an unintentional break? Is it just me or does it feel like I should surprise you all with the news that I was on like, maternity leave? Major spoiler alert: guilt and anxiety were the things conceived this year by me.)

Wedding in France

Wedding in France
Cloudy Day in Paris

I think it all comes down to honesty.

I have always been unflinchingly genuine here, and tried hard to be so in every aspect of my life. Travel, and solo travel in particular, gave me the gift of hearing my inner voice so clearly and precisely in my own head, and for a decade and I simply listened to it, lived what it told me, and shared that here. Even surrounded by the love of others, I often chose to be alone — on trips, on hikes, in my home — because that was when I heard that voice the loudest. 

And it rarely led me astray. While my life was never flawless, pretty much up to that fateful summer of 2018 I often felt that I somehow had stumbled upon an embarrassment of riches when it came to luck — like I had somehow hacked the system and found myself with the most carefree life, the most beautiful island base, the most world class friends, the sweetest love. I had a place that felt like home, a community I belonged to. I knew, I knew they were the good old days, right as they were happening. But perhaps what was naive was I expected them to simply be followed by even better ones. I don’t think I ever realized how fragile all that was.

If anything, I look back on these last years as a lesson in the delicacy of life. One moment, your mom can’t remember her ATM pin; the next she’s being airlifted to emergency brain surgery. One moment, you’re running a succesful growing business; the next you’re pulling from your retirement to cover customer refunds. One moment, you say goodbye to your big new love at an airport, full of plans and hopes for the future; the next you’re on the phone with their embassy, begging for a border exemption that will never come. One moment, you take a wobbly step in a train station; the next, a physical therapist muses on if you’ll ever fully heal. One moment, you can sink your toes into the ground and feel the earth holding you up below you; the next, suddenly, you can’t.

NYC Hotel Room

Instead, you’re that damn single use plastic bag from the opening credits of American Beauty, blowing in the breeze. I still have the amazing friends; but life and COVID scattered them around the globe. I still have the businesses; but I often feel like I’m flying blind through navigating this pandemic with them. The big loves haunt me; I was just processing the end of one life-defining relationship when another unexpectedly began. After a confusing year, I feel the weight of the end of both sitting heavily on me, lost in memories and regrets and what-could-have-beens. And the idea of a place that again truly feels like home, and a sense of it within myself? They live in the past, and my hopes for the future. Lately, I feel a deep discomfort with something I once relished — being alone with myself and my own thoughts.

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

― Derek Walcott

NYC Cheers

I have a lot to be grateful for. I mean, look at the photos in this post (and keep in mind I’ve yet to find a way to photograph crushing existential dread.) Believe me, my awareness only expands that I still have an embarrassment of luck compared to much of the world. But somewhere in the muddle of the last few years of anticipatory grief, caretaking, and bereavement; of pandemic anguish; of romantic loss and confusion… I lost that inner voice that once guided my life so assuredly. I can’t hear it anymore, and among other echoes, it’s left me at a loss for what words to type.

After my mom died, writing was a powerful tool to help me process that trauma. She was a writer, and it made me feel close to her to try to work things out with words.

Palm Beach Bachelorette

I felt like I just started to feel the earth below me again, in early 2020. It had been about six months since my mom’s funeral. I remember boarding my last international flight of “the before times,” and thinking — oh, okay. I remember — this is kinda what happiness feels like. This is what hope feels like. I remember distinctly feeling that I didn’t trust it. Everything felt so fragile, like it could shatter in a moment. Again. 

i don’t pay attention to the
world ending.
it has ended for me
many times
and began again in the morning.

― Nayyirah Waheed

And it did. And I was startled, recently, to realize that I stopped blogging when I got, chronologically, to that moment in my story; our collective story together on this planet. March 2020. For me, it was a compound fracture. It’s when the pieces of my life I had just started to put back together started to crack, again. It’s when I started wondering who I was, again.

And so I think when I opened my laptop to write, my heart just wasn’t ready to process all that. I didn’t want to write another sad chapter.  So I just opened a different tab.

St. Maarten

I guess that’s my convoluted, messy answer to my own question. Why I stopped blogging. Lots of grief, lots of trauma, even more confusion, and as time ticked on, that fear that if I was honest about it, it would define me.

You know that moment in a breakup when you’re not over it, but you know you have to stop talking about it? (My friends are reading this like wait; when did she become cognizant of that boundary?)

Well, how long is the grace period for an adult woman to mourn her mother’s death?

Overall, it just became easier to shift my focus to my second business, which is all about looking after other people’s hearts, and focus less on this one, which is all revealing mine.

NYC Sunset

Well, I guess that begs yet another question — what the heck are we doing here now? This one, I do know the answer to. I am going to get back to blogging. I already have a bunch more posts scheduled! There’s so much I’ve missed that I still want to share, in some way, even if it’s for my own smiles when I look back on these wild years in my old age.

I don’t want to forget all the good parts. Because there are always good parts, you know? I mean, I don’t want to brag, but I saw a striptease to the Law and Order theme song at House of Yes in Brooklyn on my birthday this year. I taught yoga in front of the freaking pyramids, this year. I sipped champagne — in Champagne! — this year.

Philadelphia Wedding
Philadelphia Wedding

And maybe I don’t want to forget these hard parts, either.

So, it’s going to be a mixed bag around here. My mind is often focused on the future. And my heart lately feels stuck in the past. My goal this year is to focus on the present.  I’m going to start blogging 2022 in real time, more or less. I’m also going to go back and start blogging where I left off, way back in 2020, because I think that’s an important part of helping me process the last two years, too.

Because one thought I had recently was — maybe that inner voice I am trying to hard lately to rediscover didn’t just help me write. Maybe writing helped me find that voice, too.

So here we are. I miss you. I miss me. And right now, pressing “publish” on whatever it is that just happened in the previous 2,300 words feels like a step towards finding my way back to both.

Thanks for being here, with me, still.

3-devide-lines
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135 Comments...
  • Lorrie D.
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! Give yourself grace and never apologize for prioritizing you!

    • Frances
      January 11 2022

      What a nice surprise to see a post from you this morning ❤️ Always love reading your blog posts, whenever and however you decide to share!

      • Alex
        May 11 2022

        Thank you so much, Frances. This was the warmest welcome back.

    • Alex
      January 11 2022

      Welcome back, we are still reading! ❤️

      • Alex
        September 12 2022

        Alex, I adore this <3 Thank you.

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      Thank you so much Lorrie. Isn’t that a lifelong lesson — giving ourselves some grace!

  • Angie Orth
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! Missed your voice in the blogosphere =)

    • Catherine
      January 11 2022

      Very well said and very open and honest. It’s ok to not be ok!! 2022 is your year! Xo

    • Kathryn Waring
      January 11 2022

      So lovely to get to read your words again xx

      • Alex
        May 11 2022

        I love you Kit Kat <3

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      Love you, Ang!

  • Kaitie Ries
    January 11 2022

    In the spirit of blog comments, welcome back! It’s not the same AT ALL but I started keeping an audio journal in January 2020 because I was able to keep it up more than a written one. I used it all through 2020 and really enjoyed it, then something hard happened in my personal life and I haven’t hit record since. I think in my head I can’t “skip” over that season, but also feels painful to acknowledge it verbally in a private space, so I too have simply taken a hiatus. Maybe your bravery will inspire me to start up again too. Hugs.

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      That’s so interesting to know that you had a similar experience! I guess the human brain can do some serious gymnastics to avoid what it does not want to think on. Hugs back!

  • Laura
    January 11 2022

    I’m glad you took the time you needed! I’ve missed reading your posts, and was happy to see this land in my inbox today.

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      Thank you so much for saying so, Laura! This has truly been the warmest welcome back.

  • Michelle L Cassidy
    January 11 2022

    This was so beautiful, and very relatable, even though everyone has had their own unique sets of challenges and hardships. I look forward to reading more!

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      Thank you so much Michelle. That is so true. This has been such a unique experience in that we all, everyone on earth, is touched by it in some way — though each story is unique. More to come.

  • Big Papa
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! Missed these regular updates. But if you needed some “me time,” I am glad as hell that you took it. Love the photos, love the post. Mandandote un abrazo bien fuerte!

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      Thank you so much. Feels great to be here and be back to writing and sharing!

  • Michelle L Cassidy
    January 11 2022

    Oh, PS! I can’t stand TikTok and the cringe videos (that still get repurposed on IG!). Glad I’m not alone, ha!

    • Alex
      January 18 2022

      LOL. First it was the pointing videos… now it’s the robot voice. I can’t. No judgement to anyone who makes them. I just cannot 😂

  • Kat
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back Alex! I was so happy (and a little shocked!) to see your update email appear in my inbox today 🙂

    I know that as you say, there are other social media outlets like FB and Instagram these days, and while they of course have their place, I’ve always loved reading blogs. One of the reasons I always enjoyed reading yours was the amount of honesty and genuine-ness (is that a word?) on your posts. As much as I love beautiful photos, I do also love hearing your thoughts, feelings and reading about your experiences. I’m so glad to hear that you will be blogging again, and I can’t wait to read 🙂

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Hey Kat <3 Well clearly it's taking me a while to get into the swing of things but having just hired a new blog assistant finally this month, I'm excited for the future. More to come.

  • Danielle
    January 11 2022

    welcome back to this space, alex! you have been missed.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      And I’ve missed it right back… finding my voice again here, slowly!

  • Caitlin Pratt
    January 11 2022

    I was so excited to see this in my inbox today! I don’t have Instagram anymore and I miss your updates!

    • Karlijn
      January 11 2022

      I’m so happy you’re back! You’ve always been one of my favorite bloggers and I can’t wait reading regular updates again. Loved this very honest first post 🙂

      • Alex
        May 11 2022

        Karlijn, comments like this are the fuel I need to get back in my routine. You’re the best.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      This made me smile, Caitlin!

  • Ali
    January 11 2022

    Remember that grief is a journey. It never really gets “easier”, just “different.” Be gentle with yourself and trust the process.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Thanks Ali. A reminder I often need.

  • Gemma Reid
    January 11 2022

    I’m crying! Welcome back! Sending lots of love.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      I cried many a tear writing this, and many more reading all your comments! You all have been missed!

  • Ramona Puckett
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! I was just thinking about you the other day, wondering how you are, it takes every day to process grief, be easy on yourself and I enjoyed looking at your pictures, I missed reading your adventures and your blog! Take care!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Ramona, that really warmed my heart to read. Finding my way back here, slowly!

  • Sarah Robinson
    January 11 2022

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. The past two years have been such a rollercoaster of emotions and having to reevaluate what is important to us. Travel has always been such an important part of my life and I haven’t been more than a day’s drive away from home since March 2020. Hoping to get back out there soon!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      I hope this is your year, Sarah! After everything, travel does still heal and inspire, I think. We maybe just will be doing it in a different way not so much because travel has changed, but because we have.

  • Caryn
    January 11 2022

    Alex, welcome back! I think taking a break from the blogging space was completely understandable given everything you have been through, but I feel so grateful you are coming back to give us more of your thoughts and recommendations. And rest assured that even with a nine-month break, your content is evergreen. So excited to FINALLY learn to dive in Caye Caulker in March – at your recommendation, of course.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Wow, this made me smile ear to ear. I look forward to sharing so much more of the world with you!

  • Sydney Baker
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back Alex! Please know no matter how long of a hiatus you take, we are always waiting for your beautiful words. And I know what you mean about the shifting landscape, but I personally prefer writing and reading old school blogs, like you said an Instagram caption (or a fucking Tik Tok) is NOT the same at all. You’re one of the few bloggers I’ve stuck with because you prioritize narrative, honestly and good old fashioned writing. Looking forward to what you get up to in 2022 and dreaming of the day I can make my schedule work to attend a retreat!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Aw Sydney, this warmed my heart. Getting back into a routine like this is tough but comments like this inspire me to make it happen. Can’t wait to have you on a retreat someday and chat face to face!

  • Kristin
    January 11 2022

    I feel like I was absent for much of 2021, as well, working on the nonprofit, renovating multiple houses, basically taking a full-time job with a huge client and, well, just surviving. The great thing about running your own blog/business is YOU set the terms. Never forget that! Welcome back 🙂

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      So true. Ready to start being a stricter boss with myself 😉 I miss blogging on the reg!

  • Leslie
    January 11 2022

    Alex, I missed you and am so glad you’re back. Love you and everything about your writing.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Hey Leslie — love knowing you are reading. I miss you!

  • Andria
    January 11 2022

    Yay!!! Welcome back! I hope you’ll find there are still plenty of people out here who like long form blogs (and even a few who hate TikTok *raises hand*).

    I look forward to catching up with you 🙂

    • Emily
      January 12 2022

      Agree! More long form blogs needed please.

      Looking forward to reading yours, Alex!

      • Alex
        September 13 2022

        Thanks Emily! Trying to get back in the swing of things. More posts this week!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Haha, I didn’t intend for this comment section to turn into a Tik Tok Burn Book but… I don’t hate it 😛

  • Emma
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! As always beautifully wrote x

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Thank you Emma! It is good to be back (even if thus far, unevenly…)

  • Kristen
    January 11 2022

    I’m so glad you took the time you need, and I’m so glad to have you back! You are one of my all-time favorite reads.

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Kristen, thank you so much for saying that. Heart warmed <3

  • Jade
    January 11 2022

    So wonderful to read your words again, Alex. Looking forward to more <3

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Thank you Jade! I do too… and appreciate the encouragement.

  • Rekha Devarapalli
    January 11 2022

    So glad to have you back here Alex! Missed you here and this post reminded me of this:

    “The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.”

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Rekha. I love it.

  • Valerie
    January 11 2022

    Yay! Welcome back. Always appreciate your authenticity and vulnerability-in the good times and in the hard times!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      I love seeing my Wander Women family pop up in these comments <3 Love you Val!

  • Lindsay
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back Alex! Can’t wait to read whatever feels good to you to post!

    • Alex
      May 11 2022

      Thank you Lindsay! Trying to get back in my groove…

  • Jill
    January 11 2022

    “How long is the grace period for an adult woman to mourn her mother’s death?” Oh, Alex, I hope you know that none of your regular readers expect you to stop grieving after just a couple of years…or maybe ever. One thing I have loved about this blog is your fearlessness, your willingness to share the highlights alongside the extreme lowlights. I get bored of Instagram because it’s little more than a highlight reel of others’ lives, TikTok because it’s little more than a comedy show. But this — this is a portrait of a real, full life. I dearly love your pictures and funny travel anecdotes, but it’s your soul-baring honesty that keeps me coming back. ❤️

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      Jill, I so appreciate this comment (and have since I first read it!) This certainly will never be just a highlight reel. Grateful to have shared all seasons, literally and metaphorically, with all of you for so many years.

  • Cami
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back!

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      Thanks Cami <3 Still working on making it more routine again, but I know I'm happy when I'm here!

  • Camille
    January 11 2022

    Been here since Turtle blog and so glad to read this and that you are back. I find the analysis of when the writing stopped, in March 2020 very pertinent, and I believe there is, for all of us a « bend in time » in the last two years. May writing be soothing to you!

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      Aw Camille, thanks for sticking with me for so long — it means a lot. Through thick and thin <3

  • Erika
    January 11 2022

    Glad you’re back, Alex.

    And to answer your question: the grace period on mourning never ends. 💗

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      I’m starting to learn to give myself that grace too, Erika. Thank you <3

  • Mary B
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! So nice to hear your voice again.

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      Thanks Mary. Trying to use it more often here again!

  • Julianna
    January 11 2022

    I almost never comment but… yay! So happy you’re back. I am especially excited for your real-time blogging. I’m bookmarking it right now so it can once again become a regular part of my weekly routine 🙂

    • Alex
      July 9 2022

      Hey Julianna! Well, it’s been a slow roll getting back in the swing of things, but I put a post up yesterday and have more coming this week! My heart is telling me to write…

  • Lindsey
    January 11 2022

    I’m leaving a comment whilst wiping a tear from my eye! What a beautiful, jarringly honest re entry to blogging. So glad you’re back! Long form writing forever!

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Hey Lindsey, still struggling my way back to a routine here, but didn’t want to let these deeply appreciated and meaningful comments go unappreciated. Please stick with me 🙂

  • Heather S
    January 11 2022

    Although I have been following along over on IG, I really, really missed your eloquent and heartfelt writing in this blog space. Happy to read this post today, thank you for your vulnerability. ❤️

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Thank you Heather. I miss it too. Finding my way back!

  • Drea
    January 11 2022

    ❤️❤️❤️

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Love you Miss Drea!

  • Dawn
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! I’ve missed reading your heartfelt posts. Beautiful words.

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Thank you Dawn — I miss writing them. Finding my way back!

  • Melissa
    January 11 2022

    Alex, this is such a beautiful post. I completely understand why you needed to take a break, but am so glad you’ve come back. Can’t wait to read your words again.

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      You’ve always been such a loyal supporter and I know you understand this journey more than most, Melissa. Thank you for sticking with me.

  • Rae
    January 11 2022

    Welcome back! So happy to hear your voice again. As all the other commenters said, it is has been truly missed.

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      I have missed it, too <3 Working on finding my way back, Rae!

  • Sarah
    January 11 2022

    Alex, you’re my favorite blogger and i’m SO glad to read this post and to know that you are blogging again 🙂 i can relate to a lot of what you wrote about in this post. 2022 is a brand new year to pick ourselves back up and find our voices again. Cheers to new beginnings & thank you for sharing your adventures with us!

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Favorite blogger… blushing! Going to do what I can to earn that moniker again properly! Thank you so much Sarah, comments like these warm my heart.

  • I love this post and love you so much! You’ve got such a talent for writing and sharing what’s going on in your life, and it’s great to see you blogging again.

    Let’s reunite 2022 style and have existential crises together <3

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      Existential co-crises forever baby <3 I love ya so!

  • Liz
    January 11 2022

    Missed ya so! <3

    • Alex
      September 12 2022

      So grateful for your love and support my girl <3

  • Jess
    January 12 2022

    Welcome back! You were missed! I’m moved to tears by your words again, and happy to still be following along on the confusing, crazy, scary, awesome journey we call life!

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Wow… what a description. Really rings true now and when I first read it. Getting back in the swing of things…

  • Laura
    January 12 2022

    Great to see you back to blogging! I recently realized that I would rather read some blogs again instead of the endless insta-scroll, but how to find something worthwile – then it‘s perfect timing for an old-time favourite to make a comeback 😀 Do what feels good for you, and I hope blogging will be part of that!

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      You make a good point Laura! I miss READING blogs, too! Working on finding my way back…

  • Urska
    January 12 2022

    Soo good to have you back!

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Thanks Urska. I set a writing goal every day this week. Let’s see how I do 🙂

  • Lizzie
    January 12 2022

    I also hardly ever comment on anything, but I am glad your blog is back!! Keep writing, I love to read your posts!!

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Thank you Lizzie! Hoping to have a couple new ones up for ya this week!

  • Em
    January 12 2022

    I’m so glad to see this post! I haven’t commented here before (that I remember at least? lol) but I really enjoy your writing and this post was so beautiful. I know what it feels like to feel like you’ve lost your voice or sense of self. I hope that you’re able to find yours again soon <3

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Thanks Em. It’s a long journey coming back to writing but I know every time I’m here, I feel home. Thanks for commenting — hope it won’t be the last time!

  • Noreen
    January 12 2022

    I’m so glad you’re back Alex. XXOO

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      I love knowing you’re reading, Noreen!

  • Jessi 2Feet1World
    January 12 2022

    Yay welcome back – as much as I love your instagram, I also love reading your posts where your voice and personality sparkle and shine through.

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Thanks Jessi! I love knowing there are a bunch of ya hanging out with me in both worlds.

  • Jenny
    January 12 2022

    Well hello there, favorite blogger! I’ve missed your writing and am so happy you’re back. Fully support your break, we all deserve them to maintain some mental health. xoxo

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      Aw, I’m blushing Jenny. Miss you and hope I see you — here and on retreat — soon!

  • Kristina
    January 13 2022

    Yay, welcome back! Great to hear your voice again!!! I’ve also loved reading your blog posts and prefer long form writing to social media posts. I guess I’m old school. Hope to read more soon!

    • Alex
      September 13 2022

      I love hearing how many of you miss the golden days of blogging, too! I knew I wasn’t alone… <3

  • Gail at Large
    January 14 2022

    Joining the chorus here to say welcome back to blogging! Although we have very different styles, your images and writing keep me coming back.

    I’m too old for trendy, I will always enjoy the longer-form blog posts and quality writing.

    I find it difficult to write while in the midst of a tough period. I would rather ride it out and backdate it when it comes time to hit publish.

    • Alex
      September 20 2022

      Hey Gail, thank you! I appreciate your solidarity… it is nice to hear from someone else who as you said, would need to ride it out and write later.

  • Kat
    January 15 2022

    Aaaaaah I actually did a little happy cry when I saw that you were back! Your blog has been a part of my life for 10 years now and I feel almost like I know you personally as you’ve always been so candid. Thank you so much for returning!

    • Alex
      September 20 2022

      Aw Kat, thank you — it’s been a rough road with many restarts but I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s posts… and that there are more coming!

  • Lena
    January 17 2022

    Welcome back Alex. Yes to blogging, no to Tik Tok.. let’s reunite again.

    • Alex
      September 20 2022

      Ha! Still working on getting back to blogging, still not on Tik Tok. So, a mixed bag 😉

  • Kate
    January 17 2022

    Alex, I have been reading your blog for YEARS and have never commented before. I have spent the last 9 months checking your blog page about once a week, hoping for a new post. So glad you are back!

    • Alex
      September 20 2022

      Aw Kate, you warmed my heart here. Hope two new ones this week were a welcome surprise, and yay — more drafts ready to publish. It feels good to get writing again.

  • Janice
    January 18 2022

    Welcome back Alex.
    When you blog you inspire!
    Remember that x

    • Alex
      November 7 2022

      Thank you Janice. It feels so good every time I hit publish (like I did today!)

  • Jane
    January 19 2022

    Welcome back! You can see here that you’ve really been missed. I found it so interesting that you’ve made the link between writing and your inner voice, when I think about it, it makes complete sense. Anyway, much as I love Instagram for the pics and updates, there is really nothing like long-form writing and I’m very cheered by all the comments saying the same thing – I thought maybe I was just being old and boring!

    • Alex
      November 8 2022

      Hi Jane! As you can probably tell, it’s been a long journey this year to get back in my blogging groove but I’m enjoying doing so in spurts. Feels good to be in one now, as the voice ebbs and flows.

  • Amy
    January 19 2022

    ALEX!!!! You’re back!

    Thank you for helping me understand myself!

    I missed you and was kind of worried about you, which I know is strange since I don’t know you!

    Revealing your true feelings, embarassment of luck and all, is what sets your blog apart from other travel blogs.

    I have never tikked tocked. Thank you for using this old-fangled platform for those of us who like to dive deep!

    SCUBA -on, little mermaid!

    • Alex
      November 8 2022

      Aw, I appreciate that Amy (and apologize for my tardiness in replying to this… I’ve been chipping away at the comments on this post all year!). This comment has made me smile every time I read it. Dove back in this week again with writing and it feels great!

  • Meghan
    January 19 2022

    Yayyyyyyyyyyy!

    Missed your words and your perspective.

    I think a lot of people are going back to platforms like websites and mailing lists because of the algorithms.

    • Alex
      November 8 2022

      Oh gosh, that would be amazing! I do wish commenting was back the way it was (on all posts — though I’m SO overwhelmed with gratitude for all the feedback on this one.) I really feel amazing every time I hit publish here.

  • Danie
    January 19 2022

    Alex – I sent you my comments directly but wanted to also comment here – this struck me so deep. Resonated. Made me want to cry in recognition at times.

    I broke my foot before the pandemic and felt like I lost everything again and again and found how deep my idiotic ability for hope really goes. It has almost no bottom.

    But that has also led me to bury or reconcile the disappointment.and the anger and the frustration bc often a I had enough. Enough wasn’t my big old life, but this one where things were limited but okay.

    I don’t understand all of it either. There’s a trauma I’m not going to reconcile until I know we’re off the ferris wheel. And even then I might not trust it enough to… Become one of those crazy old ballet ladies (but circus style) with a stick and cats… And a passport.

    Meandering thoughts (albeit better edited than mine) are sometimes the best way to go. The ugliest parts of ourselves are still loveable.

  • Courtney
    January 19 2022

    So happy to see this post 😭and honestly just so proud of you for getting back on the horse again, which I imagine had to be so difficult mentally (though I’m hoping it was also cathartic). Missed your voice, Alex. Welcome back!

    Also, in Haley Nahman’s newsletter this week, she wrote about honoring the rhythms of life and forming habits as and when you need them. It struck a chord with me, and even though it’s a bit different of a situation than what you’ve been going through, I thought it might offer some comforting words for you too:

    https://haleynahman.substack.com/p/84-on-good-behavior

  • Drew
    January 20 2022

    We wish you the best through all of this as you take time for you. Nice to see you sharing openly and being vulnerabe here. Keep focus on your passion and living with intention.
    Much love, D and B

  • Laura Elizabeth
    January 21 2022

    Welcome back Alex! Wishing you all the best, and I can’t wait to follow along with you on here again xx

  • Steph
    January 23 2022

    Welcome back! Thanks for always being so real, raw and honest. The relatability helps so many people.

  • Victoria@TheBritishBerliner
    January 27 2022

    Welcome back Alex. Whoop! Whoop!

    Judging by the comments above, we’ve all missed you & I’m delighted to see such lovely photos and your smiling face! xx

    I totally understand where you’re coming from.
    At the peak of the pandemic, I kept my writing up on my blog but by the end of 2020, I sort of lost steam and wrote less and less. Partly because I wasn’t travelling as much anymore, and mainly ‘cos I simply didn’t want to!

    Even though I work full-time for an IT organisation, I felt that I shouldn’t “waste my time doing nothing,” so I did motivational coaching for people who were depressed, did some fund-raising for local artists and writers in Berlin who had mainly lost their jobs, I enrolled in some new IT courses, did a huge amount of gardening, enrolled in a driving school (‘cos I don’t drive), & also started a part-time PhD!

    Having said that, 2022 seems to feel different so I re-vitalised my blog (sort of), and started writing every week again, with much success!

  • Megan McCarthy
    January 30 2022

    Alex! I appreciate your experience here so very much. Back in 2015 or 2016, when I was first considering breaking up with my traditional American life, my mom shared your blog with me. I recall reading that around that time your dream was to spend part year at a home base, part in US, and part exploring. That idea stuck with me, and years later over many bumps I’ve manifested my own dream life of anchor and sails, self employment and global citizenship. I’ve not been a close follower of yours but I dip back in to see what you’re up to occasionally. I noticed your recent newsletter in my Promotions tab this Sunday morning with coffee, and the universe directed me down the rabbit hole to this particular post of yours. Reading it I felt profoundly cathartic – I, too, have experienced numerous earthquakes to my foundation in the past couple of years. Loves lost and dreams burned and even the brain cancer thing has played a very unwelcome yet humbling role in my orbit. I took a 4 year hiatus from my own authentic sharing as my world imploded over and over. I, too, know that sharing helps me center and process, but this period the wounds were so critical and deep that I, too, found myself spiritually crawling under a thicket away from the herd on self preservation instinct. Its hard to see whether my going mute made it worse, or if the worse it got, the longer I self-muted. I, too, have just in the past month turned some sort of corner, with a gentle shove from inside and a big leg-up from the universe. It’s like the seeds of loss and suffering and regret that were sowed in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 are starting to sprout into a story I can tell, use, learn from, self-heal. I thought I was buried with them, but I’m not. I’m still here. And I am happy! I, too, lived clear into my 30s blessed beyond measure without fully comprehending how fragile the illusion is. Is this growing up? Is this life? Is this nothing special? I don’t know, but I am very grateful to have accessed this particular post of yours today. THANK YOU for sharing it. I wish you continued self love, growth, release, and so much joy that it breaks your heart in the best way. Keep going. Trust that your inner voice will come back, and I will do the same for my own. Trato y hecho. Un besazo desde Barcelona!

  • Noel G.
    February 3 2022

    Whooooooo-hooooooo!! WELCOME BACK ALEX! I know I asked about your blogging when we were in Egypt. I love your blog and missed reading your adventures and updates. So happy to have some reading to do! <3

  • Brennon
    February 9 2022

    About once a month I check to see if you’re back… and now you are! Welcome back! I miss your posts!

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