Lake Atitlán in Guatemala is said to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. One reason for that may be because of the breathtaking hikes around Lake Atitlan that afford the hiker unparalleled views of the towering volcanoes and quaint Mayan villages...
Taking on the World, One Country at a Time
I am originally from a small town set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC but I’ve been living abroad in 8+ different countries for the past 8 or so years. I am a digital nomad and curious globetrotter with a BA in French and an MA in Humanitarian Aid. I fell in love with a Frenchman in college and we’ve since traveled to over 30 countries together, experienced culture shock as we’ve lived in diverse countries together, and even adopted a cat together, who now travels with us wherever we go. Read more about my story below!
How I Became a Full-Time Traveler
After living abroad for many years in pursuit of higher education, I was faced with a decision: take everything I learned from my studies and join the Peace Corps Panama team or take my (existing) travel blog seriously and turn it into my career.
I chose the latter.
Today, I freelance write online and manage my two blogs while traveling and living abroad full-time with my partner Paul and our adventure kitty Yoda.
I am so grateful to finally be following my heart and pursuing a career that allows me to travel and write: my two passions.
If you are new here, I hope you feel inspired to follow in my footsteps and pursue a life of adventure!
More of My Story
I started blogging about the same time I first lived abroad – 2013.
I lived in Lyon, France for 14 months, learning and soaking up the language and culture as much as I could alongside my partner Paul and traditional, country-side dwelling French family.
When the time came to go back home, my sister joined Paul and me in Europe for a very budget-friendly one-month backpacking trip. Going as far as our feet could take us (and our wallets) we stretched ourselves as thinly as possible to soak in the major sights of France, England, Amsterdam, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, and Greece. July of 2014 finally arrived and I returned back home to North Carolina, where I finished up my senior year at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (Go Spartans!). At the end of May 2015, with a degree in French and International Global Studies in hand, I felt my feet itching to explore something new.
To pass time until my next (and at the time unknown) adventure, I served as a waitress in a French breakfast cafe. I wasn’t even there for two full weeks before I told them, “Sorry guys, I’m moving to Nepal?”
Indeed – within a few short weeks, I whisked myself – and my 1-year-old adopted cat – away to live and study and work in Kathmandu, Nepal for two years. Paul joined me one month later, and together we braced the culture shock of being in South Asia for the first time.
Fast-forward one chaotic year later through insane festivals, trekking the Himalayas, getting deathly sick, and meeting the most interesting people…
We left Nepal in April 2016 – our plans had been cut short – and so we went on a one-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia – hitting up Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
I had enrolled in a new Master’s program (this time accredited) in Humanitarian Action that would take place in Europe – namely at my host university in Groningen, The Netherlands, and my specialization semester in Aix-en-Provence, France. Keep in mind during this time I continued to blog on Bucketlist Bri – which started with the name Sharing Wanderlust and since has seen transformations into Living With Wanderlust, Bits of Bri, and finally Bucketlist Bri.
After my two semesters in the Netherlands and France, I left for my program’s third semester. This time I would be living and studying high up in the mountainous capital of Colombia, South America, in the bustling city of Bogotá. For three months I lived and blogged and traveled. I skirted across the hot desert north of Colombia to indigenous Wayuu towns of Cabo de la Vela and Punta Gallinas, took part in my neighborhood’s volunteer community garden, and finally Paul (joining me at the very end of my stay) and I explored around the rich coffee plains in the Zona Cafetera.
I had one last task – well, two – in order to complete my master’s degree in humanitarian action. The last semester required an internship within a humanitarian-related organization – and I was accepted to intern at the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (DG ECHO) in Brussels, Belgium.
In July of 2019, we bought a 1990 Roadtrek van and thus began our van life travels across the USA and Canada. After freezing our butts off, we decided to move back to Mexico for the second time and left our beloved Van Rouge in Vancouver. Little did we know at the time a global pandemic would strike the world and leave us to quarantine in Mexico.
We spent the first and second half of 2020 in Mexico – first on the Riviera Nayarit and then in Tulum in the Riviera Maya. In December, we moved to the state of Chiapas, Mexico where we spent three months as digital nomads in San Cristóbal de Las Casas.
Come spring 2021, it was time to leave Mexico as our 6-month visas ran out. So we decided to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border and spend two months in a tiny home on the slopes of San Pedro Volcano in Lake Atitlán. Now we are enjoying life in Antigua, Guatemala where we’ll stay until this summer!
Below you’ll find my latest travel guides and itineraries!
For many who visit, it's the rich history and cultural diversity of the dozen or so towns around Lake Atitlán that make this popular Guatemala travel destination so fascinating. The cultures and languages you can see and hear around the lake in the towns are...
Hiking an active volcano in Guatemala was at the top of my bucket list ever since moving temporarily to this wild country. But little did I know at the time when I signed up for the Pacaya sunrise hike and rolled out of bed at an early 2 AM that I would soon witness a...