About Me

Other than liking long moonlit walks on the beach, check out why I would scrub toilets in Spain to understand some of my background.

In general, I am an Internet and Travel junkie.  I got the bug, pun intended, and can’t stop.  I was born in the Midwest.  A happy but sheltered cheesehead, I had never taken a bus or taxi and my only plane ride was when I was two years old.  I was concerned with being popular in high school and college.  I was a total jock, also on prom court, in a sorority, and honor student.  I didn’t want to travel to a foreign country because I was afraid of the unknown, but mostly, I was afraid to change.  The students who studied abroad didn’t go to the same parties as me, they hung out with unpopular foreign kids, and were different.  They didn’t know about real life, I thought.

When my degree in International Business and Spanish required that I went abroad, I was both excited and terrified.

I arrived in the airport in Madrid.  I was probably the only one on the plane who actually paid attention to every word the attendant said about flotation devices and oxygen masks, as I also fumbled around trying to fasten my seatbelt.

Now at the airport, everything was in Spanish.  And I was exhausted.  Are you kidding me?  Give a girl a break!  Now I had to do what?  Find a bus!  I managed, eventually, because I had everything written down.  Whew.  I had two heavy duffle bags, not knowing there were such things as rolling suitcases and why I’d need them, especially when the straps on the duffle broke.

Exhausted, confused, scared, I arrived at night in Leon.  I had gone from a farmhouse in Midwest USA to a building – with apartments – on cobble streets, with a funny looking door and elevator.  The cab driver spoke quickly and I couldn’t understand a word he said, even after studying Spanish in school for SEVEN years!

Eventually, I made it up to the apartment with now even more people talking to me in some alien language I couldn’t understand but was desperate to communicate.  I felt scared and alone.  I was a girl who couldn’t even pick up the phone to order a pizza (literally) … now I had to make my way through a foreign country.

There will be more stories to come, but in quick summary – by the end of my trip, I felt empowered.  I understood that the people in my sorority weren’t the cool ones.  It was instead those who branched out and learned not only about the world but about themselves.  I dreaded going back to school.  I gladly dropped out of my sorority.  I changed course and went head’s down into my studies.  Travel changed my life forever and I haven’t looked back since.

I wanted to travel anywhere a plane/train/bus/boat/foot/car/paddleboard/ski/etc would take me, soaking up knowledge of people, places, foods, music, and racking up experiences that would enrich my life and that I could share with others.

I want to be able to transcend boundaries.  I’m a digital nomad.  I want to be able to go from place to place and to surpass limitations.

I want to be able to travel and learn new languages new cultures and to continue creating my startup.  I don’t want to be tied to boundaries and borders.

My friends are all over the globe.  I want to visit them, see them, connect with them when I can’t be with them.

I want to take the virtual experience and make it real, again, transcending borders.

It’s obvious to me when I look at the products I create, such as Beer2Buds, or Junkture.net (now in the dead pool, but a combination of “junket” and “juncture” – an experience / outing and where things come together (- all together!).

<tangential thought>

Another idea came when I was working at Adobe and half (or most) of our team was in San Jose.  The rest of us were in Seattle.  We had a video screen between us and we’d share stories of our lives.  One of us was from Hawaii, one from Korea, one from Midwest, USA (moi), one from Ireland, and several others from around the US and around the globe.  When it came to food, we’d share details about the food we’d grown up with and loved and we would use interoffice mail to send each other samples.  Being from Wisconsin, I wanted to share cheese curds with my friends.  Seeing as they would spoil within a couple of days in regular postal mail, I decided to freeze the curds and then send them interoffice.  Success!  They arrived nice and fresh.

But wouldn’t it be cool if….  you could get the food there instantly?  That way, we could all enjoy it together as we talked about it.

I wanted to bridge the distance.  You know in the banks how they have those tubes to whisk away your check in those little plastic cells?  Why couldn’t we have one for longer distances?  Why not have a FOOD CHUTE?

The idea was fun but, really, why not?  It’s cost prohibitive but it’s disruptive – we could put FedEx on the back shelf.

</tangential thought>

A huge paint point of mine has always been the ‘instant’ factor and distance.  If I want to have a beer with a friend, I want to buy them a beer now and enjoy it with them (Beer2Buds).  If I want to give a friend a gift but I can’t be there, I don’t want to take the time to go to the mall, pick out some cheesy meaningless gap sweatshirt that will be old in 2 yrs, pay x amount to ship it, and wait for a photo of them wearing it.  Lame.  I want to send them something now and I want to know that they are enjoying it.

I am also a minimalist (I had 2 houses and brought my life down to 4 boxes of stuff).  I can’t stand unnecessary packaging on products or wasteful to-go containers for food.  I avoid having too many things that give you no extra meaning in life.  The fewer materialistic goods you have the more angst and the less full your soul.  Having fewer items means less concentration on stuff and more concentration on people – yourself and others, emotions, experiences, and altruistic worldly-centered motivations to solve real problems.

I believe deeply in technology because, though complicated and can bind us in certain ways, in reality it gives us freedom.  Freedom to move around, to be where we’d like to be, to say what we’d like to say, to be creative.  It gives us choices.  Also, we no longer have to cut down trees to send a letter to a friend.  It’s ironic that in a time of technology overload we seek minimalism.  Yet it makes so much sense.

All we need as humans is food, shelter, some clothing, and connections with people.  Once we are nourished by these things as a stable base we can now work from our inner platform on out.  We don’t need a huge tv – we can watch a movie in the theater or on our computer.  We don’t need a 17-person car – they take up gas and they make us fat and lazy.  Things are moving faster every day which forces us to slow down – ride a bike, work in the garden, fly a kite – do something that frees your mind from the overactivity and grind in order to achieve balance and peace, and ultimately be more successful in all areas of life.