Monday, December 28, 2015


Life is too short to sit and watch Netflix all the time, play crossy road, and scroll on Facebook all day. Even though I do enjoy these activities, I want to do more.

In today's world, we have so much time on our hands. It's hard to know what to do with it, and it's easy to waste these precious hours.

It's so easy to let our time slip away in meaningless pursuits. We all have dreams, but often we don't put the effort into achieving them. Instead, we let our days pass us by in a monotonous fashion: always scrolling, always pinning, feeling good about the "likes" we got for that cute picture:

People mourn about the goals they don't reach, and the things that they don't have. What we need to realize, is that we have the potential to do anything. If you want to write a book, you can. If you want to invent a cure to cat allergies, you can. If you want to write songs, you can. If you want to do well in your field, you can.

All it takes is time set aside each day, or each week. Discipline and concentration. Instead of wishing you could do something, just do. 

Stop dreaming, and do. 

I want to write. I decided that I wanted to write today, so I sat down and prepared myself. I didn't let any distractions get in the way. It amazes me how much I can accomplish in a few hours. And it feels good to create. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride in the things you can create yourself.

Instead of ambling away my time, my goal is to create. This includes creating memories. Life is better with a project-with purpose, with goals.

So, here is my bucket-list of some things that I want to do. Some of them may seem silly, but imagination makes life more exciting.

1. Have a chocolate day
2. Run through a field of flowers
3. Eat ice-cream for breakfast
4. Visit London
5. Write a book
6. Start a folk band
7. See the floating lanterns
8. Have a spontaneous holiday
9. Spontaneously fly somewhere for a weekend
10. Film an episode of a "cooking show" with weird ingredients
11. Collect nativities from all over the world
12. Buy someone's meal for them at a restaurant
13. Eat alligator or crocodile
14. Go backpacking
15. See the northern lights
16. See the zodiacal light
17. Eat in the Space Needle restaurant
18. Cover the library or the school in army men
19. Swim with dolphins
20. Teach English in different countries
21. Walk on the beach in the moonlight
22. Go to Yellowstone National Park
23. Be in culture night at BYU Hawaii
24. Learn Spanish
25. Have a midnight feast
26. Make a Pride and Prejudice dress
27. Go to a legitimate concert
28. Learn to do a turn while roller-skating
29. Crochet scarves for the homeless/panhandlers
30. Surprise random people with flowers
31. Be in a movie
32. Walk in a marsh in Scotland
33. Eat chocolate in Switzerland
34. Go to a castle in Germany
35. Make paper cranes from good memories and hang them on the ceiling
36. Host a fancy dinner party
37. Have a tea party
38. Learn to make a daisy chain
39. Watercolor at the beach
40. Attend a Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concert
41. Make good food sculptures
42. Have a teddy bear picnic
43. Go on a roof or up high, and drop candy or paper flowers down to the people below
44. Take pictures in the Salt Flats
45. Create a good board game/card game
46. Learn how to become good at archery
47. Go shooting
48. Find the best root-beer in the world
49. Learn to tango
50. Make a really good scavenger hunt, with a background story

Stop dreaming, and do. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Paper Planes

I used to love school, and I'm sure I still do. But for the most part, I just love learning. There are many ways to learn. You can sit in a classroom and listen to a teacher at the front.  You can do research and read. Or you can go do. 

I love traveling and I can never get enough. Ever since I graduated high school, I move around frequently.  I want to see and experience and to know and to grow.

It's hard to go to school when I want to be in Paraguay teaching and applying what I know. It's hard to be in school when I just want to be paid to go to South Korea.

I am doing amazing things now. I'm in Hawaii,  and I have an amazing job tutoring students and writing English content for a big project. I'm excited for the experience and for the opportunities that will give me. But I'm also excited for the next time I get on a plane.

Life is big and life is full of potential.  It's amazing how I got to be here in Hawaii, with a new husband. It's nice living with your best friend who loves the things you do and supports you. Now let's get ready for our next plane ride, Mikey!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Get Out There and Go

Ever since I was a little girl, I fancied the idea of traveling the world. Me and my best friend planned our trip to Ireland, and from there, the next place I wanted to go was London. After that, it didn't really matter the order of the places I went, I just wanted to go. I was excited to see the world and all the different people in it, and once I even planned how I would run away from home and go to London to join the royal ballet school. And I thought I would go to a university in Ireland, of course.

Well, life happened. I didn't run away. A new best friend and I planned our dream trip to England, and were all set to go, until the royal baby was born and somehow made it impossible for us to get a standby flight to the UK. We went to Washington D.C. instead, which was still amazing.

I didn't go to school in Ireland, but I did go to school in Hawaii. That was an incredible adventure I never imagined I would have. Being white, I was suddenly the minority, and I loved becoming a part of a new culture. And now I am going back to BYU Hawaii just next month!

Something I also never thought I would get to do was go to Paraguay to teach English. I cannot describe to anyone my love for Paraguay and the experience I had there that changed my life. I learned so many things there that I don't know how I would have learned any where else.

Walking in the streets of Asuncion, I could wear whatever I wanted, I didn't have to style my hair, and I didn't have to wear a lot of make-up, but I still felt beautiful. The thing that mattered was the kind of person I was.

My students looked up to me, and I looked up to them. We helped each other. It is an incredible feeling to go into a classroom every day and inspire learning. I miss my students so much. I love being a teacher.

It doesn't matter what the classroom looks like or the materials that are used. What matters is if the students know that you care about them. I learned that if you care about a person, nothing else matters. If you truly care for them, they will feel that, and anything you do because of that love for them will help them.

I went half way across the world and found myself. I learned that I want to be a happy person, and that there is a certain pattern to assure my happiness. That comes with being proactive with my problems, putting all my efforts into helping other people, and in learning to laugh at the things that aren't dire. Sure the doorknob fell off. We sometimes were too tired to make more than popcorn or oatmeal when we got home. Chocolate milk became a prized possession. We were exhausted a lot of the time. But learning to laugh all the time felt so good.

My students taught me the importance of family, and made me more grateful for my own. They are so loving and supportive of me, and were all for me to go to South America. Family is the most important thing, and anything else comes second.

I gained confidence in myself, and learned independence. I learned that even when you are tired, you keep going. I learned that helping others is of high importance. I learned that I have to go to church every Sunday in order to get through my week; there was just no way I could skip it. God taught me that His plan is the happiest plan, and that if I put my trust in Him, even when I don't understand, I will be happy.

Teaching English in Paraguay wasn't easy, but for all the things I learned and the experiences I had, I wouldn't trade anything for it.

Traveling and doing good wherever you go makes you a better person. You come in contact with other cultures and learn to love, and learn what is important. You grow and learn to find confidence in yourself. If any chance to travel comes up, take it. You never know when it will come again, and you never know how much you will learn and love.

I wish I could paint words the way I see the pictures in my head. I have a montage of rooftop days and nights, music, and sunsets. I miss the music in the streets, and the noisy trucks in the middle of the night. I miss the patchwork of sidewalks and the bright tropical colors, and the humid breeze blowing through my hair. Most of all, I miss the people.

I can't wait to get out again, and do more good in this great wide world. I can't wait to learn about new cultures and discover myself, again and again.

Of course, my trip had other benefits as well. Paraguay is where I met the fabulous Michael Morton, who I am getting married to THIS TUESDAY. In three days, I will be Mary Morton. This is going to be the greatest adventure of all!

We met in Paraguay and now we are going to school in Hawaii together. We have quite the story. I love it.

Thanks Mikey, for deciding to discover yourself too, so that we could discover each other :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Travel: The Lizard Chronicles

Everyone has their hobbies-painting, photography, writing, Disney princesses. And I have lizards.

As I am aiming for this to be a travel blog, let me share with you my prided Lizard Chronicles from around the world!!! I'm on a world tour to find more lizards. I hope I get to go to somewhere exotic again soon.

Lizards are just so great. How could you not love them? So tiny and lithe on their feet.

I remember one afternoon in Honolulu, trying to catch geckos in a back yard, but I'm sure that the one lizard I did catch went and told all his friends that I was on the hunt. But I just wanted to be friends, and love them! I told them that, but they still ran away. No matter, because I've gotten to hold lots of lizard friends since.

Lizard Chronicles:

                                                                        Laie, Hawaii

St. George, Utah

Asuncion, Paraguay

You know why I love lizards so much? Cause they eat bugs, that's why. What noble little creatures. If you have a lizard story, picture, know where to find cool lizards, or have a cool fact about lizards, please share. I'm sure it could benefit everyone. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Words in the Velvet Night

I sit outside as the storm rumbles around me. I am in a bubble of music. It surrounds me, and the world cannot touch me. I am in my personal eye in the storm. I don’t think about the words, I just let them flow. I feel as if the water cannot touch me here, though I can feel it heavy in my hands. The air is heavy with wetness, and it wraps itself around me. The droplets cannot touch me, however. Sometimes I just want to sit and watch the shadows pass forever. I wish that I could make life pause, and just sit and ponder in the velvety night. The night sky is comforting. It is soft, a multi-layered fabric of purple hues. The lightening plays across the sky, lighting it up in dazzling flashes. I wish I could capture this moment, and stay in this bubble of time. The music surrounds me, even as the humid air and the calm of darkness is all around me. I want to feel the music. I want it to carry me away with it. I want to capture the night and stay in it forever. I feel so free at night, like I own the world. It is for my quiet contemplation. I can do whatever I wish, with no eyes watching and judging. Everything is softer without the light of day. Nothing can hide from the day light. I love the storms. They wash everything clean. No one wants to go outside, except for me. It is my element, my world. My soul wishes to speak with feeling, but my words are always trapped inside of me. I overthink every word, and they come out gracelessly. My soul longs to speak with music, like never before. I want to be full of feeling and soul. I want to pour my heart out into song. I want to create. I want to paint pictures with my words. But my words fall into my palm, dead and useless, one by one. I wish I could sit here and endlessly watch the clouds float by in the sky. Nature is beautiful and majestic. I will never see something as majestic as God’s creations. I am fascinated. I want to travel the world and witness all of God’s beauty and creations. I don’t know everything, but I do know that God loves me. I don’t want an ordinary life. I want to experience. I want to travel and see. I want to witness the creations and the people. I want to be raw and beautiful.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Following the Sun

You want to know the original reason I started a blog? I got a free trial of an amazing little thing called Amazon Prime, and I consequently got a free month of borrowing whatever books I wanted. I can't get enough of books. They were my first true love. I got a free audio book of the book by Zoella, Girl Online. I know it's more of a tween/teen book, but hey, I'm still young, I thought it was so cute. The girl in the book has this anonymous blog, and she groups together all of these followers, and they write about their feelings together. yeah....

That girl was so cool that I wanted a blog of my own. But since I want to do everything at once-write novels, create poetry, learn the cha-cha, travel, go hiking, attempt to speak Spanish, teach English, read books, play the violin, and fly to the moon, I often get caught up in all these other things and neglect a blog.

My good friend and room mate in Paraguay started a blog while we were there, and she posts faithfully. Her blog is beautiful and articulate, and inspires me to start writing again. I highly recommend checking it out :) It's called rushoftwenty

Well, I left Paraguay just in time to evade their winter months. Before I left, my sweet students surprised me with two surprise parties!! It's always been a dream of mine to have a surprise party, and it looks like Paraguay did a good job of answering several of my dreams. I miss the sunshine, adventures, and the people, and I hope to go back one day soon.

Very soon after Paraguay, I went to have adventures on the other side of the world, in Idaho. I milked a cow for my first time (I wish I had a picture) and I ran through fields of flowers. If I could, I would run through fields of flowers everyday. I would be running through one right now.

It's hard to find fields of flowers in Southern Utah. If anyone disagrees with me, by all means, disclose the secret of where they are.

So, the semester in Idaho flew by fast, and yes, I am back in Southern Utah again for a few months. It's been so nice to have a reprieve from the intense heat while I was in Idaho. It is definitely summer down here. And I'm going to be evading the winter yet again later this year! It turns out that I get to go live in Hawaii!! And with none other than my best friend Michael, who I became best friends with on a bus in Paraguay.

Michael and I made our status as boyfriend and girlfriend official four months ago, on a roof in Paraguay. Feel free to offer congratulations or gifts. It was an awesome moment.

I like to bask in our awesomeness:

It's so interesting and wonderful, the places life takes you. I couldn't have imagined two years ago that I would have been the places I've gone. I'm amazed at this gift called life. This girl can't stop traveling, and I'm excited to keep following the sun.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spicin' it up with Tobati!

This weekend I went on an adventure within my adventure. Me and some of my fellow interns took a trip to Tobati, which I couldn't remember the name of for three days after because I kept jokingly calling it "Tapatia."

It was kind of a last minute decision to go to Tobati. I had almost no idea of what we were going to do, and so I cleverly brought virtually nothing with me. I did have a water bottle, however. It turned out that we went on this scenic hike up a hill, lined with rows of beautiful palms. It's lucky that my friends had cameras with them, because the view was spectacular. It was a perfect day.

When we got to the top of the hill, we took a stroll into a small cave where there were hundreds of bats. They were so cute! Michael wanted to hold one, but I guess that wasn't such a good idea. I secretly wanted to hold one too, but I'm not eager for rabies. Our guide kept pointing out the bat guano, which littered the cave floor in a layer of black droplets. He told us that when we see the guano, this will let us know that bats are overhead. Seems like a good notion to me.

After we climbed out of the cave, we hiked back down the hill. I took the opportunity of employing my best parkour moves on the way down. At the bottom, we got into the back of this lovely little trailer, and drove along a bumpy, marshy terrain.

I'm not going to lie to you. Being in the back of this trailer on the natural terrain was the scariest part of the trip for me, even though we went repelling after. As I was jammed in with my peers, all I could think is, one rock in the road and game over. We are done for. I have a huge bruise on my back to remember the experience by.

So, we hiked up another hill, and while looking around, we found a little waterfall! Of course, we had to jump in. It was just too perfect. I was such a lamo jumping in the first time. I literally stood on the edge saying how scared I was, but when I finally jumped off the fall only lasted about one second. The water felt good!

I love waterfalls. They are so serene and beautiful. I am making it my new goal to visit as many waterfalls as I can, in as many different places that I can.

Repelling was a scary experience. I have been repelling one other time in my life, but it was only a short drop down, and I didn't even have to wear a helmet. This time, I was on what must have been a 200 foot cliff, and the guide kept telling me to walk off of the edge, but my feet just didn't think that was a good idea. My knees buckled under me as I braced myself against the edge of the cliff. He kept telling me to lean back, but I just knew if I leaned back I was going to fall off. It was a surreal moment when I walked off of the edge, and found myself walking down the face of the cliff.

I couldn't help it. Michael and Myles were at the bottom filming me, and I screamed, "I'm so scared right now! Aaaaaah!" They told me to spread my legs and to let the rope slide through my hands. I was so stiff. It was about halfway down when I got the hang of it, and I let myself glide down and swing softly in an arch. It was thrilling, but I was glad to be at the bottom. When I was at the top, they told me not to look down, but of course I looked down anyways. Here's a pic of Myles being a pro.

When I got to the bottom, I yelled, "I'm alive! Yo vive!"

And we explored again and found another waterfall! The picturesque, movie-scene kind. I love that in Paraguay, you can play in the waterfalls. I've been to falls like this in Hawaii, and one in Oklahoma, but I was never allowed to get close.

I have to share one of my favorite pictures of me and Michael from the adventure. Think Titanic:

Michael and I made our status as best friends official last week, on a bus. Feel free to offer congratulations or gifts. It was a special moment.

Paraguay never ceases to amaze me.

I am so grateful to be here in Paraguay, living a dream of traveling and teaching English. I've been thinking a lot lately about my goals, and what I want my life to be like. I always knew that I wanted to live an extraordinary life, and that I want to create things and to change the world in my own small way. In order to accomplish this, I have learned that I need to just stop dreaming and start creating. If I want my life to change, then I need to take initiative and make that change. I have the potential to do anything I set my mind to.

If everyone knew the extent of their potential, they would amaze themselves.

Hasta pronto!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Teaching, Singing, Living life!

Hola from Paraguay!

I've been a terrible travel blogger. I have been here for almost seven weeks, and I haven't written a single post.

Things have been so exciting here ! The students are amazing. They are so fun, and accepting. I decided to stay here longer than I originally intended. I feel so free here; away from "real life". Of course, I have 11 hour days, but it's just so amazing that I am teaching English and working on English content. I believe that the best way to learn is from experience. I am so lucky to have this opportunity to teach English and gain experience while I am still a sophomore in college.

I love being here, because I am living my dream. I am teaching a valuable skill that will help others have a better life, and I am living in a foreign country. I get to experience and discover another part of the world. I want to continue traveling for the rest of my life. I love people, and coming in contact with many different cultures.

I have been on so many adventures since coming here. On my very first weekend, I went to the President's house! It was pink. I've tried terrere and chipa; adventures in themselves.

Going outside at all during the day is an adventure for me here. The streets of San Lorenzo are a kaleidoscope of shops, all set up in the fronts of people's houses. It's like a giant maze of a flea market. This is terrifying at night time, when every street looks exactly the same. Keira and I have some interesting stories to tell about the streets at night time.

Things are very. very. different in Paraguay. We don't have hulu. But we do have netflix.

But in all seriousness, I've seen some new things. The sidewalks are a patchwork of different stones and patterns, and my eyes are constantly on the ground to avoid tripping. The sidewalks have no rhyme or reason, and there are gaping holes and jutting stones to constantly look out for. The streets here ruin your shoes.

I've seen a man on a motorcycle balancing HUNDREDS of eggs in all of the space around him.


By the way, it is very scary to drive here. People just weave in and out of each other. There is no such thing as a lane. There are those little lights that blink when you turn them on, but I'm pretty sure most people don't ever use them. And the busses drive faster than the cars. I had a moment of extreme panic when I was at the front of the bus, and I saw a dip in the road, and at the speed we were going at I was sure I was going to die.

Something that is very different here is the fact that people sell things on the bus. I found this hilarious when I first got here, just because it seemed so out of place. They jump on, shouting about their wares, and then jump off while the bus is still moving. To native Paraguayans who might be reading this: that isn't something that happens where I come from.

Also, horses come around to pick up the garbage.

Now for something really exciting: in the first few weeks of coming here, my manager asked me if I sing. I said a little, and he said excellent, would I like to be in his band, Los Llankiz? I said of course! I love singing! And two weeks later we had our first performance in TGI Fridays.

Can I just say: Who goes to Paraguay and sings in a restaurant there?? This is living!!!

Here's a number from our performance. It's not the best quality, but I'm pretty proud of that night. Check it out :) I hope you like it.

A few weeks later, we sang on a the UNA university radio station. Don't know how many people were listening, but I loved it regardless. I thought it was just the greatest thing. My first time on the radio! And in Paraguay!

I've been listening to a lot of music during work, and for band practice. It seems like each week, I'm obsessed with a different artist. This week The Civil Wars are starring on my playlist. I can't get enough of them! They're music is so soulful and raw. I've decided that I need to move to Virginia, learn to play the mandolin, and become a folk singer. Now, who would have thought that going to Paraguay would give me the urge to be a folk singer? I will be on the look out for a ukulele, or a small guitar, so that I can start writing more music.

This is one of my favorite songs. Actually, all the songs by the Civil Wars are my favorite songs.

Well, if you've made it through this long post, I congratulate you, and I thank you for sharing in my excitement! whew that was a long post. chau chau!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Get me some MEAT!

Greetings everyone, from Houston International Airport at 4:15 in the morning! Started the journey to Paraguay yesterday at 4:30pm, flew from Las Vegas to Houston at 8pm last night, and now here I am, having stayed the night in the airport. This is nothing too new for me. What's new is actually being guaranteed a seat-I usually fly stand by.

It's going to be a long day traveling to Paraguay! There is a 5 hour flight to Panama, and then a 6 hour flight from there to Paraguay.

It finally started to hit me that I am traveling to a different country. I'm so excited! I'm going to get the first stamp in my passport! I honestly have no idea what to expect when I get to Paraguay. It's going to be so different and new from what I am used to.

There are no interesting pictures to post right now. I'm pretty sure most everyone has seen the inside of an airport.

The first flight was pretty uneventful. The asian guy in our row was just asleep the whole time. I admired his diamond earring.

Luckily some pop music came on later in the night, because I was going to have to kill myself if I had to listen to more country music. Of course in the Houston airport they would play country music...

Travels are smooth so far, and right now, I really just want a burger. Like really, I want some meat. If anything crazy happens in the next day, I'll be sure to post to regale the tale.

Can't wait for Wendy's to open at 5:30am!

-Amazing pictures to come!