My Quest to Live a Meaningful Life

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ~ Maya Angelou

Sometimes in this rapid, almost dizzying pace of life, we all need to take a step back and simply breathe. Throughout our days, we are inundated with a never-ending list of commitments, obligations and distractions that at times can be utterly overwhelming. That is when it is time to take a step back and simply just be still for a moment. To listen to that inner voice within your heart asking you what matters most and why am I here.

Put simply, I am here to live a meaningful life. And how? Through my never-ending quest to….


“To travel is to take a journey into yourself” – . Danny Kaye

Condoriri trailhead Bolivia

Climbing up to top of Austria Peak

Kilimanjaro hike to Barranco Camp Machame Route

Our group heading down the trail on Kilimanjaro.

Annapurna Trek Nepal

Me and my Dad at the start of the Annapurna Trek. November 2010.

Be Curious

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY Weekly Photo Challenges

Book Review: “Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day”

“Every so often, a book comes along that makes you say, ‘Yes!’ Simple Giving does that. At some level, we all want to give. But how to do it effectively is often the challenge. Jennifer tells us that and much, much more. Simple Giving is a must-read (and a definite must act-upon). A huge contribution to a much better world”.  – Paul Dunn, cofounder and chairman of B1G1 (Guy 1 Give 1). 

A Gallup World Poll survey between 2006 and 2008 found that those who donated to charity in the past month had a higher life satisfaction, whether or not they lived in a rich or poor country. We all know we should be more philanthropic – volunteer, give to charity, fundraise for a good cause or someone in need – but oftentimes we think we have to give a lot of time or significant amounts of money in order to make a difference. Jennifer Iacovelli, a writer, speaker, consultant and chief engagement officer of “Another Jennifer Writing Lab” contradicts this belief in her newly released book “Simple Giving: Easy Ways to Give Every Day” by exploring simple, every day ways to incorporate giving into our personal and professional lives.

When I first heard about the concept of Jennifer’s book Simple Giving I was delighted. Not only do I personally try to find new and fulfilling ways to give back in my life, Jennifer also happens to be a personal friend of mine who I met through philanthropic blogging. Her beautiful book Simple Giving is a must-read for anyone who wants a better understanding got how they can give and increase their philanthropy in simple, easy ways.

Jennifer and journalist Caitlin Kelly taking a break from the hot Nicaraguan sun during a site visit with WaterAid. Photo Credit: Jennifer Iacovelli

Jennifer and journalist Caitlin Kelly taking a break from the hot Nicaraguan sun during a site visit with WaterAid. Photo Credit: Jennifer Iacovelli

Mosebo Village

Helping Mothers around the world

This post was first published on Motherly, a new digital community to help modern women thrive that was launched today. 

Mother’s Day is always a special time of year as it is a time for mothers to be celebrated, appreciated and loved for the endless work we do to raise, nurture and love our children. Being a mom is one of the most wonderful gifts I’ve ever received and as a world traveler and writer on global health issues, I’ve realized how lucky we are as mothers to have the things we need to raise healthy children.

It wasn’t until I began traveling in the developing world that I got a sense of the enormous inequities for billions of mothers and their children who don’t have access to health care, clean water and sanitation, food and immunizations to protect themselves and their families. As an American, middle class mom of two, I took all these things we had for granted until I visited India, Ethiopia, Haiti and parts of Central America where I witnessed the struggles and tragedies that many mothers around the world face. So many moms lost their lives in childbirth delivering at home with no help or lost their babies due to preventable causes. It is heartbreaking and incomprehensible.

Mosebo Village

In Ethiopia at Mosebo Village. June 2014

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Health Global Issues SOCIAL GOOD Women and Girls

Giving Tuesday: Giving Back the Give

Today is the first ever Giving Tuesday, a day across the country dedicated to giving back. Launched by the creative minds of the UN Foundation, Unilever Corp. and United Way, what started simply as a great idea turned into a mass event involving over 4,000 organizations in all 50 states.

It is the hope that Giving Tuesday starts a new national day of giving via the collective power of charities, families, businesses and individuals who will transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.  Judging by the media, it is looking like the first Giving Tuesday will be a great success and only continue to grow in years to come.

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD

A new way to give back: Giving Tuesday

As an avid world traveler, advocate and global volunteer I’ve often found myself having a difficult time coming to terms with the inequities and injustice in the world. Often times, when I return from a trip abroad I find myself feeling a deep sadness and guilt about how much the “haves” truly have in this world and how much the “have-nots” are left out. Even in the United States, one of the richest, most prosperous countries in the world, we have a huge imbalance between rich and poor that continues to grow.

Volunteering with my little friends in Guatemala who were in an after-school program to help them with school and feed them a much-needed snack.

Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD