Hey there! I’m Michelle. Welcome to Live Like It’s the Weekend and thanks for stopping by my little slice of travel paradise for the creative, female traveler!
When I left my corporate job in fashion at the end of 2015 to go on a year-long round-the-world adventure (it ended up taking me to 12 countries on four continents), I had no idea I’d be here doing this full time almost three years later. I knew for sure that corporate life wasn’t for me and I was also pretty convinced that I wanted to work for myself and have more creative freedom (not to mention time freedom), but I still had no clue what exactly that would look like.
Well, here we are three years later and I can say that my official job title — if I had a resume to write it on — would be “travel blogger,” although in this day and age that encompasses a lot of different titles within one. It feels amazing to be doing all of the things I love like writing, taking photographs and connecting with a beautiful community on a daily basis, but I won’t lie and say I’ve got it all figured out.
In fact, these few years since I packed all my stuff into an LA storage unit and flew off to India have been challenging to put it lightly. If you’ve been following along on Instagram for awhile, then you may have seen me post from time to time about losing both of my parents to cancer within one month of each other back in the spring of 2017.
The full story of that is one that I’ve been meaning to write but haven’t quite found the words for. In due time. That was without a doubt the darkest time in my life (and still something I struggle with daily), but traveling to so many incredible places has helped me continue to see the joy and beauty in the world around me.
Trying to build a business in the midst of experiencing deep loss hasn’t exactly been a walk in the park. I’m definitely not one of those “instant success stories.” Let’s get real for a second: trying to run a solopreneur business is A LOT OF HARD F’ING WORK — especially when you’re traveling 9 months out of the year and trying to balance gathering content and taking in the local culture with actually sitting at your desk and getting shit done. Don’t let people fool you into thinking it’s some glamorous jetsetting life 100% of the time.
But listen, I’m not complaining. I just would never want you to land here and think I’ve got some perfect shiny life wrapped up in a bow. Because in truth, many sacrifices have been made to live the lifestyle that I do. Giving up my “normal” life for one of travel hasn’t come without its challenges. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t give it up for anything because the experiences this path has brought me have been life-changing.
If it weren’t for this life I chose I would have never learned to scuba dive in Indonesia, or take Spanish lessons in Argentina, witness the Northern Lights above the Arctic Circle — or spend a month exploring all over Portugal this past summer. I would have never had the courage to travel solo all over the world in countries like Iceland, Japan and Vietnam. And I want to share it all with you.
My goal is to show you that if you want to make travel happen in your life, it’s truly possible. I’m here to guide you along the way, whether you’re struggling with money to pay for travel, feel held back by the schedule of a 9-to-5, or simply get stressed just at the thought of planning a trip in the first place, I’m here for you girl. YOU GOT THIS. Through this blog, I hope to not only provide valuable and tangible information that you can use throughout your adventures, but I hope to inspire you to dream a little bigger and live a bit more fully.
I’m living proof that it’s never too late to change your life (hello, 32), follow a dream, or throw all of society’s expectations out the window to do things on your own terms. I’m just a normal girl like you. I don’t have a trust fund or an inheritance. I don’t have a private jet that flies me wherever I want to go. I don’t have a husband that funds all of my adventures — heck, I don’t even have a boyfriend to take my photos! I’ve just learned to put in the work and get scrappy to make this life of travel happen — and I like to do it in style, even when my bank account doesn’t necessarily reflect one of a worldwide jet setter.
So what am I all about?
I’m a seeker, a dreamer, a podcast-listening lover of adventure, design and 90s hip hop and a Libra through and through. I’ve lived in practically every corner of the U.S., from Miami where I was born, to Maine where I grew up, and in NYC and Los Angeles after college where I spent a combined 7 years working “traditional jobs” in fashion media and marketing.
When it comes to travel, I’m literally one of those people who has “everywhere on their list,” so don’t expect to find me city hopping or only seeking out tropical destinations. I want to do it all — and I hope you can relate!
Some of my favorite travel memories to date have been sleeping under the stars in the desert of India, sky diving over the Swiss Alps, breathing in the magical energy at Machu Picchu, salsa dancing my ass off in Puerto Rico, and soaking up the sun in my favorite place on Earth, Byron Bay, Australia. So far, I’ve traveled to over 40 countries on 6 continents and don’t plan on slowing down any time soon — although a home base and apartment to call my own would be a bonus (update: I recently found a new home base in Los Angeles)!
If you love any of the following things, I think we’ll get along just fine:
- Boutique hotels with allll the design goals
- Coffee shop hopping in any new destination
- Immersing myself in a new culture through people, food and creative pursuits
- King Charles Cavalier puppies (my little man Bogey makes an appearance on IG stories from time to time, but lives with my step-dad)
- Living like a queen on a normal girl’s budget
- All things The Bachelor (my ultimate guilty pleasure)
- Scuba diving
- Red wine (pinot noir, please)
- Travel hacking and relentlessly researching cheap/free flights with points + miles
- Eating my way through a destination
- ….and living off a steady diet of inspirational podcasts, books and Audible downloads
I love traveling to experience the expression of creativity through another culture’s lens — whether it be an artfully crafted meal, unique architecture or a well-designed coffee shop. And I try to provide content and recommendations on my site that cater to those who feel that same creative spirit. In short…
This site is for the creative soul’s incurable case of wanderlust.
So, why “Live Like it’s the Weekend”?
One day while I was working at my old corporate fashion job in Los Angeles I got to thinking… wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where terms like “TGIF” were non-existent because people loved Mondays just as much as Fridays?
And wouldn’t it be freaking awesome if people were encouraged to do what they love and felt free to follow their passions every day, not just on the weekends?
With that spark of frustration, Live Like it’s the Weekend was born. It may be the name of this blog and brand, but to me it’s also a motto for living life–a motto that I’ve committed to exploring these past few years and hopefully for many more to come.
For me, living like it’s the weekend means saying yes to opportunities and invitations because I have the freedom to do so. It means taking spur of the moment adventures to discover something new and beautiful because I don’t have to ask anyone else’s permission. It means trying something new or just partaking in an activity that allows me to feed my soul. For me, it means creating a life rich with experiences.
But it might mean something completely different for you. And that’s totally cool.
It may not mean leaving behind family and friends for foreign lands or quitting the cubicle. You are the creator of your own life. I just hope that by sharing my story, it will inspire you to follow your own dreams and invest in what makes you happy, not twenty years from now, but right now in the present moment.
Let’s stop waiting for the weekend and start living for the NOW
I messaged you a few minutes ago regarding the 15 most scenic sites in northern Oregon.
I had no idea your site was geared toward women travelers.
For women or not, my wife and I are now big fans. (The email address is 0-hale-yes. 🙂
Aw I love that! It’s geared towards female travelers but of course all men are welcome! Thanks so much for reading 🙂
You are truly inspiring!! My stressful life as a nurse has me focusing on getting out into nature whenever possible. It’s truly renewing and helps me to refocus.
Thank you Nancy, that’s so sweet! Getting out in nature is the best medicine for so many things in life.
Michelle, from one Libra, animal, adventure and nature lover to another, you sound like my sister from another mother!
Love everything that inspires you!
If you are ever travelling to South Africa, let me know 🙂
Jana! You’re so sweet. Thank you so much for reading and I would love to visit South Africa again some day. One of my favorite countries ever!