The Inspiration for All That I Do and How I Live

My mom was a huge part of my life (she’s the one crouched down in front of the statue).

When I was little, I was OBSESSED with her.

Who could blame me? She always thought up the most fun and crazy activities. She was always singing and dancing like life was a nonstop party. She LOVED life, and she LOVED her family. And we loved her.

I was so dependent on her presence and positive energy that it would freak me out if she would even go to the grocery store without me. I have a very vivid visceral memory, from when I was around 9 years old, of how relieved and happy I felt when she came back home from a quick errand. I have brief and ever-fading glimpses of playing “ring around the rosie”, her dancing in the car, her hosting birthday parties, the stories she would tell us every night as we fell asleep about hot air balloons and candy falling from the sky.

I know everyone thinks their mom is the best, but mine was. She truly was everything that anyone could have ever wanted in a mom, and that’s not the rose-colored glasses of the past, it’s just the truth. She lived “turn the other cheek”, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”, and unconditional love. She was unconditional love.


Now, almost 10 years without her, I am beyond thankful that she squeezed so very much love into those few years that we had.

I can remember so many times asking her what she had wanted to be when she grew up, when she was my age. She would always say, “a mom”.

My siblings and I thought that was a cop out (she’s just saying that! that’s not for real!), and we would press her further… and sometimes she would make something up (something different every time), like a nurse or a vet.

But I know now that she really did want to be a mom. That her family really did mean the world to her. She showed us every single day that she cared more about us than anything in the world, but it is only in retrospect that I can realize it.

She’s the inspiration for what I do now. I travel the world, I have the courage to live out my dreams, but she didn’t get the chance to. She always wanted to go to Hawaii, but her and my dad were waiting for the right time. And it never came.

I don’t wait, I can’t wait, for some far distant future that may never arrive. My mother’s absence in my life is a constant reminder.

Life is a party, but only if you choose to make it one by enjoying every moment possible.


A short vacation in Thailand turned into a life abroad with a canceled ticket home. Nearly a decade later and after living in Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Puebla, and Puerto Vallarta, Steph is on to her next adventure and living back in beautiful, cosmopolitan Mexico City. She is living, traveling, and working (both as an expat therapist and an international health insurance representative) around the world to find the beautiful, inspirational, and interesting while sharing it with you!

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