Today I turn 34

My birthday falls just a few days after the turn of the calendar year so as often the case when I face another birthday, I also naturally reflect back on the past calendar year as well. So long 2013 and hello 2014! Happy New Year!  

Today I turn 34.

When I think back on the past year of being 33, it had some sunny moments, but it wasn’t all fun and rainbows. It was an odd year (quite literally as well!). I was feeling restless for most of it, feeling stuck in a routine that wasn’t expected, feeling limited by circumstances. Wondering if I just wasn’t trying hard enough to put myself in a better position to utilize my full potential. Feelings of self-doubt crept into my day to day life. I was anxious that I was headed in the wrong direction (or rather, no direction).

Perhaps I was just being a bit impatient, but I’m now proud to say that there’s a satisfying feeling of forward momentum in my life.

And it feels damn good.


Like how climbing to the top of this ridge in Desolation Wilderness last summer felt damn good!

I ended up moving houses a few times this past year, seeking an affordable peaceful sanctuary to call my home, and I have mostly found it now in my little abode in Bernal Heights.

Bernal is indeed a little oasis in the big City, and it’s a joy to be able to walk down the street to find any service I need/want (local grocery store with fresh organic produce, Italian restaurant, bakery, post office, library, etc) as well as live with two other roommates who also value a healthy balance of time socializing and time doing our own thing.

This past year has really deepened my understanding of what I want and what I do not want in life… I guess that naturally comes with age, but even so, the clarity is refreshing.

Throughout the year, my martial arts practice has been a steadfast and at times, intense, companion, but always there to support me and enrich my life in so many ways. I am ever grateful to the Quantum Martial Arts community. I am writing more about my martial arts journey for a future post – stay tuned!

The spring and summer months brought bright spots of backpacking trips, wildflowers, and new exploration in the mountains. I savored time spent with my family in the fall during my East Coast visit. And with the changing of the leaves also came that lightbulb moment of realizing my strengths could perhaps be better utilized in a certain profession that I had never considered before in my life!


(kinda like this, but scanning hundreds of craigslist job postings may have been involved too…)

Talk about thinking outside the box. I don’t know what took me so long to get there, but when I tell friends and family now of my plan, I hear a resounding “yes! that would fit you so well!”. I still have no idea if this plan is gonna work, but I’m gonna give it a fair shot and put all I’ve got into self-educating to set myself up for success. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Hint: I am an extremely detail-oriented person who thrives on data entry, spreadsheets (seriously!), editing, and writing. Bigger hint: I’m taking a Quickbooks class during spring semester. Okay, even bigger hint, why not: I really want to learn a new skill set that will allow me to work from anywhere in the world so I can explore more of the world, which is one of my dreams. Okay, now I’m getting way ahead of myself. First things first, get myself to class…  take that first step…

Armed with this new plan, a list of life adventure goals, and continued inspiration from the many wonderful travel blogs out there, I carry this new forward momentum with me into my 34th trip around the sun.

Not only does this forward momentum feel good, but the realization that I can freely write about it and so many other things on this blog is such a relief!

This new creative release in my life fills me with joy and lifts me up when I’m feeling down.

Now if you know me, you know that I’m a pretty open book when it comes to revealing what’s on my mind in person, but I’ve been hesitant to write about the personal stuff on this public blog for fear of what some readers might think about me, or worse, for fear that what I write could be used in some way to my disadvantage. Do I potentially expose my vulnerabilities? Is it worth it?, I ask myself.

I’ve decided that I can no longer deny this compelling, fascinating, and soul-searching desire to express myself, my whole self, in this way. Sharing my hopes, dreams, goals, feelings, struggles, misadventures, travel ramblings, etc… on this blog. When the words flow, they flow. I need this.

Perhaps the biggest and best discovery of my 33rd year is the simple pleasure of writing my heart out!


(Yes, I did just buy this mug!)

Thank you to friends and family for reading, and a big shout-out to Sarah of Sarah Somewhere for that extra writing encouragement!

I’m heading out for a hike in just a bit because ya know, nature! One of my happy places. Then tonight, I’ll celebrate with friends at a Marin brewpub that has become my birthday tradition. Tomorrow, I’ll attempt to block the “birthday punches” that’ll no doubt come flying at me (a karate tradition).

And in 5 days, I fly off to Yucatan Mexico for two weeks of travel and exploration and beach! So. Damn. Excited.

I turn 34 today. Onwards. Bring it.


  1. Happy birthday Sam!!! Capricorns unite indeed! Your writing is easy to read,engaging, honest and reflective – keep going!! Looking forward to meeting you soon!!! p.s I love that you bought that mug :-)

    1. Thanks for your kind words Sarah! I am giddy with excitement for the possibilities ahead! Slowly but surely. See you soon!

  2. roamingtheworld · · Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday! Live it up on your adventure in Mexico.
    Fellow Bay Area gal just returned after 2 years abroad… found ya through Sarahsomewhere Fb post with the mug “write like a motherfucker” awesome gift you gave.. oh the connections. Anyhow, if you ever want to meet up for coffee, go for a stroll and chat about travel, it would be great to meet you. Don’t see an email for you, mine is
    Look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Thanks! Glad you found me. Just sent you an email :)

  3. […] THIS. RIGHT. HERE. This thing called writing that’s exploding out of me, propelling me almost, on my 34th trip around the sun. I feel like something’s been unleashed from deep within my existence, like the writing has been […]

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