follow and like
subscribe to my blog

Have you ever dreamed of trading everything in and starting over? What would you do? Who would you become? Where would you go? 

I was a New Yorker, not a camper (those two things are diametrically opposite), but that all changed during an unplanned, wondrous 328-day adventure across America with my dog... 

When I created my Girl Reinvented blog (2010), it defined a snapshot in time. It was a small diary, for family and friends, documenting my reinvention: quitting my life running a successful publishing business in NYC managing and producing travel sections for the New York Times and the Boston Globe and embarking on a 30-day road trip across the country to explore America. You see, prior to this upheaval, I had visited more foreign countries than U.S. states! Travel publishing took me to some pretty spectacular destinations, but I'd never been to Montana.

My blog was equal parts beacon, to let my family and friends know I was alive. Reassurance, so they knew I hadn't gone completely mad, and transitional project, I didn't have an off switch. 

As most readers know, my journey took an unexpected turn once I reached Michigan. My 30 day road trip morphed into one big, crazy #ss, 328-day adventure complete with a teardrop camper. First I stayed in hotels (the original plan), then I started camping in a tent (I actually set up "2" tents as I felt it was less likely for someone to murder a group of people), then it happened... I fell in love with camping so much I purchased a very retro, super awesome teardrop camper in Michigan. Prior to this, I had never even stepped inside of a camper or trailer. I traded in my Audi for a Jeep Liberty and the rest is history. I lived in my tiny bed on wheels for the better part of a year, exploring the northwest alone with my dog through every element, even buried under 2' of snow. The picture in my banner is my little nest on wheels sitting on the bank of Lake Superior – waterfront lodging $20 per night! As my odyssey evolved, organically, so did my blog. But my adventure was never about self promotion, as that would've negated everything my journey was about. In 2010, blogs were less about monetizing and taking selfies wasn't a thing, yet. It was a diary and I'm so glad I had one. 

My journey was personal. It's the story of one girl, realizing more than anything, how much she needed to let go and find her true north. I had no idea know how much I needed to be alone, until I was...

I grew up the youngest of four with an insatiable need to prove myself. I had one focus... being successful. I didn't want to struggle with money like my parents. I was the first one in my family to graduate college. I became a director in the Colorado Rockies Organization (AA farm team) when I was a junior and began traveling the world (publishing industry) by age 24. By 27, I branched off and started my own company (producing and managing sections for the New York Times & Boston Globe), which I ran for over a decade. I say this not to brag. I busted my ass and I'm definitely proud of my accomplishments, but I was relentless and that came at a price. I was so focused on making my next move I never took the time to figure out who I really was. My work became my identity. My identity became my work. 

My last three years living in NYC I socked away as much money as I could. I had a plan for myself: in three years I would buy a place in the city.

During those last few years living in the city, I happen to luck upon three incredible young men, living in a deplorable nursing home in the Bronx, paralyzed and struggling to get by. Sure I helped them with material things, but I could. I had the resources and I should. What they did for me; however, was the true gift. They gave me a new perspective. I began to see the world through their bright, vulnerable, grateful eyes. 

It began as an ordinary day. Same as the day before, and the day before that (hamster wheel), but this day was different. I woke up, and as I lie in bed maxing out the snooze button, all I could think about was Montana. 

And that's how it started! I woke up that day and decided I was done. It was time to quit and finally go to Lake McDonald (I'd seen a special on Lake McDonald when I was a kid and always dreamed of seeing the azure blue water up close). 

The hardest part about my adventure was leaving the boys, but it was because of them that I had the courage to leave. (Check out "Boys of Beth Abe link for stories about them). Every single move I've made since 2010 has been with one purpose (ok, more like 3): be fearless, be thankful, and follow my heart no matter where it leads me. Btw: the pic above is a shot of us after a day at the Brooklyn Open Studios Art Show. We named this piece (picture), "Never Take Your Legs for Granted." ;)

2010: I quit my company, gave up my apartment and somehow found myself living in a teardrop camper, with barely enough room to sit up, for the better part of a year. I was anonymous, free from expectations, judgment, pressure, responsibility. I didn't have a role to play. I could just be me, and figure out who me really was. I found comfort in my own vulnerability and I learned to let go and forgive myself. I slowed down. I opened my mind, tested my assumptions, challenged my beliefs and evaluated my own prejudices (we all have them, you just have to look deep). I learned how very little I needed to be happy. I barely looked in the mirror (so liberating) and as much as I tried not to, I burned through my savings like a fat kid eats cake. I was alive. The life I worked so hard to build and protect was now shot to hell, and it felt AMAZING. 

After an incredible chapter on the west coast (living in Laguna Beach, teaching yoga in my own studio and racing for an outrigger racing team), here I am back east with a lifetime of new experiences and a new company. My dad died very unexpectedly – hence my move back home. Everyone I've met, everything I've learned, everything I've experienced, is now shaping my new life – and my new company. 

Now, Girl Reinvented has changed. She isn't about me, on the contrary, she now represents every woman and girl with the dream, and the courage to go after it. Ideally I would love to use Girl Reinvented to profile brave female entrepreneurs everywhere – and hopefully someday I will do it. I'm certainly not the only girl that's ever decided to reinvent herself. OK, maybe the only girl who decided to do it while living in a tear drop camper. LOL

Blaze your own trail and never doubt yourself. 

Girl Reinvented is the umbrella company to my two textile lines, and my charitable brand extension, 

Faith, with a modicum of risk, has always been my guiding principle. Risk is never more scarier than when you become an entrepreneur. You risk your time, safety, money, security, reputation and so much more. Fear and faith will be my compass as I navigate this new terrain. I will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but that's OK – at least I tried. 

To read how the 328 adventure all began... click HERE. :)