Over two decades ago, the mystery of the confounding "corners" of the (round) globe found their way into the dreams of a girl tucked safely away in a bed in suburban Chicago. Something called. Somewhere, there was something different. Different people. Different dances. DIfferent animals. Different landscapes.

Who could sleep with all that intrigue?

I found my way into my first photography class at the age of 19. Since then, I've had a camera of some sort. The gamut of camera quality ran from crappy to pretty darn nice. The beautiful thing about photography is that it is an art accessible to anyone: children, grandparents, sometimes even monkeys. :) If you have a camera, you can shoot. And sometimes the loveliest pictures are the ones you never planned, anyway.

Travel, born from those mysterious dreams of teenage years, is a another hobby/lifestyle/obsession. Continental travel began soon after my first photo class, and international travel arrived just a few years later. Luckily, travel and photography are such compatible entities, and usually make very beautiful children. And many of them, at that.

The wonderful thing about travel is this: not only can it enrich your own life, but it is also a tool - a wonderful tool to get to know the rest of the creatures sharing our planet. Humans or non-humans, plants or animals - we all call this dynamic, unique place home. And by traveling, you can actually land with your feet on the ground and your heart beating strongly in the most remote or unusual places of the planet: those of your imagination, those where you'd never thought you would be....

From hooting chimpanzees in the mists of the Congo rainforest to chanting Buddhist monks at sunset at hallowed Bayon temple in Cambodia; from the haunting, meditative solitude of the desert region of the Southwestern US to the flocks of tourists seeking spiritual growth at ancient Incan ruins in the highlands of Peru - the world is full of wonder. Beggars in India. Samba dancers in Lapa, Rio. That guy who so desperately wants Jesus to save you on a street corner in wondrous New York City. And all the animals.... They are all here, with you.

As the ancient adage says - follow your heart. Love yourself fully, even with your flaws, and discover what it is that you love to do. No one can tell you what this is... You have to explore, internally and externally. Imagine - you get to CHOOSE yourself.

Once you learn what it is you love to do, do it. And along the way, if you can rescue a monkey from a chain, pick up some garbage from a beach, volunteer at an orphanage, do that, too. We are all in this together.