Why I don’t want well wishes on Women’s Day

Source: Unsplash

I’ve realized I’m not a huge fan of special months or days to honor things that we should be honoring every day of the year.

Day of Love. Day of Friendship. Mother’s Day. Black History Month. And my personal favorite, yesterday, Women’s Day. (For the actual history behind Women’s Day you can check out Vox, the BBC, or Vanguardia. Hint: It started with radical protests. However, in my experience, the day has mostly turned into an opportunity for brands to market literally anything and for men to slide into my DMs with a “Feliz día,” so here we are.)

I…


Growing through Discomfort

Source: Unsplash

If you travel or live where the mother tongue is not your mother tongue, you will struggle. The mundane will become complex and challenging, and you will no longer take your habitual fluency in the everyday for granted.

This is a good thing.

It shouldn’t be easy. (I strongly believe that it is through challenge, discomfort, dis-ease that we grow best.)

So, this is my travel manifesto for you.


The School of Travel Teaches Fast

Source: Author, The Happiness Retreat Greece

Travel is a relentless teacher.

There are no bathroom breaks, no question and answer sessions, and no weeks off for study or review.

We jump in, and there we are. We learn on the fly, or we fall on our face. Or, we fall, and then we learn to fly.

Whatever the order of events, we learn, and we learn fast when we get out there. These are a few of the life lessons I’ve found travel teaches fastest:

1. Let Go of Expectations.

That time you think you bought an apple pastry at the Finnish supermarket, but when you bite into it the orange mush inside is anything but…


A Story of Uncommon Love

Source: Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Once, there was a cat who loved a bird; and the bird, she loved him too.

Every day they would find each other at the point where the earth meets the sky, and there their attachment grew.

Their love was made of soft down and amber, and it glowed in the moonlight like a candle in a desolate world.

The cat trimmed his claws and filed his teeth to protect his love, and he taught her to move like liquid fire between the tall stalks of grass — silent, sinewy, sonorous. …


It’s Time to Take a Closer Look at Modern Girlhood

Source: Netflix

I remember the first time I danced with boys. A middle school social event. I think I was 12. Nearly frozen with a self-conscious fear of “doing it wrong,” I managed to sway my hips in time to the music for the momentous 15 seconds he was behind me. A year later, I was confidently winding along to Sean Paul like I’d been doing it my whole life.

I remember hiding — so much hiding — throughout my childhood. Hiding in my room to practice dancing in front of the mirror. Hiding under the covers to explore my own body…


Womxn Who Vagabond: Skye Mallac

Writer-Wanderer-Herbalist Skye Mallac in her element. Source: Instagram

Skye Mallac is a South African writer, herbalist and traveler. She took on South America alone on a minuscule budget, and then traveled almost a year from Brazil to Costa Rica. She is happiest with her feet on the move and the wind in her hair.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Skye about her experiences as a solo traveler, freelancer, and herbalist, and I hope her story may serve as inspiration for the aspiring travelers out there!

Check out her herbal creations at @rootsremedies and her words at nomadicmuseings.wordpress.com

A couple of my favorite insights from this interview:

“As humans, we’re designed to adapt so quickly…


Why I won’t tell you How Many Countries I’ve Visited

Source: Tobyisrael.me

Nowhere on my website will you find a tally of countries I’ve visited. Not on my Instagram either.

Several times, I’ve debated changing my policy about this. It appears to be de rigueur for writers and bloggers in my niche of adventure travel and digital nomadism. And, I am proud of the ground I’ve managed to cover in relatively few years.

However, I’m much prouder of how I’ve covered it.

Hitchhiking thousands of kilometers through Europe, learning (basic) Swahili in Zanzibar, building community in Costa Rica-these are the stories I want to tell about my years on the road, which numbers can never do justice.

Numbers may tell you how many kilometers I walked, how many years I…


A Poem for the Free Spirits

Source: Unsplash

Don’t let them cage you,
pretty bird.

Though they bow before
your golden feathers
and make offerings
to your song,
They will
steal
what makes you holy.

Don’t let them trap you,
pretty bird.
Though they claim
it’s for your own good
with gentle kisses
to your brow,
They will
tear
the blessings from your crown.

Don’t let them hold you,
pretty bird.
Though they beg to touch
your emerald feet
and caress the ground
you walk,
They will
seize
the angels in your sky —

And never,
never
let go.

Don’t listen to their words, pretty bird — Look…

Toby Israel

Vagabondess, writer, and facilitator. Healing through words and movement. http://www.tobyisrael.me/ http://vagabondessthebook.com

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