Eight months ago my husband and I made the life-changing decision to sell everything for an adventure around the world with our two kids. At the time my daughter, Dorothy, was almost three years old and my son, Manilla, only one.

I hope this post doesn’t come across pretentious and proud. There are many things that my children miss out on from not having a permanent home and the beneficial consistency that comes with that. I’m super aware of those. Like every mother, I question myself all the time — if I’m doing the right thing for my family. But, in an effort to be more positive and confident, I will share a few of the things that I can see in my own children that make me feel like I’m doing an okay job. If you’re considering some travels with your own kiddos, I hope you will gain some insight from our experiences!

Napa Valley is a beautiful travel destination offering a variety of five star restaurants and lavish hotels, which can be intimidating for the budget-friendly traveler. However, my husband and I recently spent 24 glorious hours in Napa Valley which proved to be relaxing, casual, adventurous … and economical!

What more can one ask for?

Could this be some good news for a change? According to this article on Huffington Post, the flight forecasting site Hopper says travelers this summer will see some of the lowest domestic flight prices in years, averaging just $207 a ticket by the fall. Itching to explore, but unsure as to whether you can really make it work?

Ubud was founded by a seeker; a Javanese monk named Rsi Markendya who discovered  the profound spirituality he was looking for and never left. Since then, thousands of people have come seeking something of their own in Ubud; this town on the tiny Indonesian island of Bali has lured painters and dancers, filmmakers and craftsmen, shamans and preachers.

Nestled among rice paddies and steep ravines in the foothills of the Gianyar regency, it is a place of the perpetual hiatus, a view shared by countless artisans. A true cradle of inspiration, Ubud allows its visitors to immerse themselves deep within its commonly perceived zeitgeist; inspiring, creative, and serene.

Wanderlust for me is year-round, but there is something about the approaching summer that encourages many to finalize their travel plans and take off for a week. While generally the quickest and easiest route to a destination is via plane, there is a certain art and finesse to the road trip that can’t be beat.

So, what does one do to prepare to hit the pavement? Here are a few necessities to make the trip go smoothly.

Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate and honor the women in our lives – whether mother, aunt, grandmother, or older friend – who have served to shepherd us through the ups and downs as a mentor, guide, and loving shoulder to cry on. What better way to show your appreciation on Mother’s Day than by paying it forward and helping to lift up other women and mothers around the world?

The most delectable meal of my life was a bowl of gorgonzola ravioli consumed at a trattoria in Florence during the summer of 2003. It was a meal shared with friends, both new and old, and reunions have been spent discussing our insatiable desire to recreate our experience.

This story is not about that meal. Not directly, anyway.

One of the best parts about traveling is the ability to experience a culture and area different from your own. When traveling to Portugal, in addition to the beautiful scenery, you will also be captivated by the regional flavors that make this area so unique. As you are planning your next adventure overseas, why not explore one (or more) of these three beautiful areas of Portugal.

Santa Cruz is a magical little town full of life and color. From the Pacific Ocean with its beautiful sandy beaches and rugged cliffside, to the Santa Cruz Mountains laden with the historic redwood forest … adventure awaits for everyone here.

Ready to see the best of it?

Ah, the solo traveler – fearless, wise and free. She is someone who breaks society’s rules to fulfill her own zest for adventure. For some, there is nothing more liberating than the idea of venturing out to explore the unknown alone. For others, there is nothing more terrifying.

When I lived in Madrid for one incredible year, I challenged myself to travel solo at least once. So, one weekend I set off for the city of Porto in Lisbon. While I quickly learned that solo travel was not my personal favorite, I also learned a bit about why that may be.

Do you think you were made for solo travel? You might have been, if:

A true explorer in every sense of the word, Rachel Rudwall has been to six continents, lived in three countries and has visited almost 60 nations. She’s an EMMY-nominated camera operator, a TV host, producer and social media influencer who has worked with top clients including National Geographic, Travel Channel, Fodor’s Travel, A&E and ABC, merely to name a few.

With the weather warming and our sense of adventure sprouting, we thought of Rachel as the perfect go-to for chatting (and inspiring) all things travel. We’re excited to share more of our conversation with this woman conquering the globe — including what’s the hardest and greatest part of traveling so much — with you, below.

I think it started around 1995, when the Oasis album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?  was released, and I became obsessed with everything England. Something about the culture, the creativity and the history spoke to me. I knew that I wanted to spend time there, and I also knew that a vacation wasn’t going to do it. I wanted to live there.

Over the years my desire to live in England waxed and waned as I went to university, got married and started my career – but it never left me. I remember bringing up the idea to my husband and his less than enthusiastic response. He initially didn’t share my desire to live abroad, but over the years he warmed up to the idea and eventually became the driving force, applying for a work transfer that allowed us to make the move.

A Note From The Editor: The outdoors are calling as we head into the warmer months, so we think this article from FabFitFun is perfectly timed to refresh a sense of adventure and to remind us to see beyond a screen. For more inspiring content, be sure to check out the latest from FFF by visiting their magazine, here.

There is something about exploring nature by foot that cannot be explained. Simply driving through an area or seeing pictures never does a place justice. Smelling the air, seeing the leaves and flowers firsthand, and challenging yourself to accomplish a hike you thought would be too difficult is such a rush. You go girl!

We want to share with you some of the best places to experience hiking in nature. There are too many uh-mazing places to choose from, not only in the world, but right here in the U.S. We have included only a handful of places to explore below, but encourage you to look into Arizona, Colorado, and Hawaii as places you may want to adventure, too. Happy trails to you!

Besides the night markets, beautiful temples, and flavorful Thai food of Chiang Mai, Thailand, don’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the elephants at the Elephant Nature Park.

It was not too long ago that we thought it was acceptable to ride elephants, watch them perform tricks at the circus, steal their ivory for products and carry humans through jungles, often by poking and prodding elephants with sharp metal objects to get them to obey all so we could have a Jungle Book experience. If anyone has watched the documentary For the Love of Elephants on HBO, you will quickly understand that elephants are actually feeling creatures and can be harmed by the mistakes and abuse of humans.

Crawling through commuter gridlock, I caught the infectious strains of Houndmouth’s folk rock tribute to the red rock city of Sedona: Hey Little Hollywood / You’re gone but you’re not forgot / You got the cash but your credit’s no good / You flipped the script and you shot the plot. Less than a year later, I quit my job in entertainment law, vacated my Los Angeles apartment, and hightailed it into Arizona.

Sedona earned its nickname “Little Hollywood” as the prime filming location for golden age Westerns starring the likes of John Wayne, Hedy Lamarr, and Joan Crawford. Today the city remains a hub of culture, clean eating, outdoor adventure, spiritual healing, golf retreats, wineries, and specialty shopping.

Here’s how to make the most of your time in Sedona:

Though it’s true that starting a socially-conscious company requires much, it’s just as true — maybe even more so — that what one gains through building such a business is worth infinitely more. That is certainly evidenced in the life of Sarah Sternberg, co-founder of Songa Designs, a fashion and jewelry company that harnesses the ability of women working together in Rwanda to employ, empower and equip themselves for a life they never thought possible.

Today we’re chatting with Sarah and also Thamar Mukashyaka, one of the first women to join Songa and who is sharing a first-hand account of how Songa has changed her life.

Recently, my travels have taken me to Thailand and Myanmar. I’ve witnessed some pretty cringe-worthy travel behavior along the way. It got me thinking, how can one be a good traveler? How can one absorb the culture like a traveler and not a tourist, respect others’ differences and go with the flow, even when things get challenging?

When most people hear about Medellín, Colombia, they immediately think about Pablo Escobar and the infamously violent drug cartels that have shaped the country’s history. But when the California based company Richer-Poorer said they were gathering a bunch of “honest hustlers” (I’ll explain that term in a bit) to go down to Colombia with a travel company called El Camino Travel – of course, I was thrilled to be a part of it.

What set out to be a group of like-minded strangers coming together to meet their Colombian counterparts turned into a trip that left the 13 of us inspired, changed, and forever captivated by the city of Medellín. The following were three lasting impressions this amazing adventure gave me:

This vibrant capital embodies quaint New England charm as a world-class city that’s filled with cultural neighborhoods, exciting museums and classic architecture.

Boston is a city filled with historic districts nestled beside modern skyscrapers; tourists and locals alike find themselves wandering through Boston Common, Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the cobblestone streets of the city’s oldest neighborhood in the North End.

Here’s how you, too, can enjoy some of the most beautiful sights Boston has to offer.

Before I was born, my parents went on their first African safari. Growing up, I heard stories of their experience and looked at pictures of lions and giraffes and zebras. I listened in amazement as my dad described their off-road adventures, and I’ve wanted to go on my own safari ever since.

Recently, my husband and I were given that unforgettable experience by Gondwana Game Reserve in South Africa. In spite of my parent’s stories, nothing prepared me for experiencing a safari first-hand. Oh, I can tell you the trip was glorious and predictably out-of-this world. But there were a few unpredictable discoveries that I also made on my first safari.

A Note From The Editor: If you’re headed anywhere fun for the long weekend, FabFitFun is at the ready to share their airport advice should snow, rain or sleet slow you down. For more travel, health and wellness articles, be sure to pay a visit to their magazine, too! 

What to do during a dreaded layover? It seems that airports around the world are taking note of our need to fill those hours with more than just searching for outlets to charge our phones and eating mediocre food. From sleeping pods to yoga rooms, take note of these fun activities the next time you’re stranded.

Three-and-a-half hours north of Los Angeles, the Happiest City in America — dubbed so by The Oprah Winfrey Show in January 2011 — is tucked away on California’s Central Coast, with sprawling Pacific coastline to the south and rolling green hills to the north. This eclectic town, with a population just under 50,000, is made up of a variation of folks, including long-time locals, families, retirees, young professionals and Cal Poly SLO and Cuesta college students.

A Note From The Editor: In Darling Issue No. 10 we announced our partnership with International Justice Mission (IJM), specifically partnering with their work to eradicate sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic. We’re excited to introduce the sixth in a series of update posts, taking you along and behind-the-scenes for a deeper look at how exactly that is being accomplished. Today we’re reviewing the past year of support with IJM and what they hope to see for the year ahead.

The work of justice would not be possible without people who believe in its worth. At IJM, we’re so grateful for our partnership with Darling Magazine, and for the Darling readers who have been following our updates and walking with us as we collectively seek to bring an end to modern day slavery and human trafficking. Darling’s support of the IJM office in the Dominican Republic—a country where 1 in 10 victims of commercial sexual exploitation are children—has meant freedom and a new life for so many.

Mingalarbar (pronounced in a sing song-y way “Ming-ga-la-ba) is the cheerful greeting you hear at every turn in Bagan, but this time it was a warning. “Miss. There is a cobra in there. In the back. He lives in the brick wall right there!” A young, maybe 10-year-old kid with his colorful school bag strapped to him had just warned me as he followed me on his old gas-fuming motorbike. “Really? A snake? Cobra?” Hoping my one word questions would prove he said the wrong thing.

“Yes, do you want to see?”

Every new year my resolution is to travel more, explore more and learn more. What I love the most about traveling is the escape it provides to see a new corner of the world and gain a new perspective on life. As the weather gets colder, there is no better time to book your next trip somewhere warm for a little escape and a whole lot of sun.

This year, why not skip the all-inclusive vacation and explore one of these other warm weather destinations instead?

Perhaps you took a trip to the Gulf Coast when you were little. You ran along the white-sand beaches, turned rosy in the sun, scooped sand into buckets and peeled your first shrimp. As a Pensacola, Florida, native, these are the scenes that illustrated my childhood. Now, as someone who no longer lives on the Panhandle, I’m happy to report that when I return back home, the setting looks largely the same (if not slightly improved).

There is always a tipping point, a turning point in one’s life where a decision is made that completely alters your path and thrusts you forward into a new reality, your future. You may have already made this decision, or it may be just around the corner, but for me, the most pivotal decision of my life occurred almost two years ago.

It was one that many of my closest family members and dearest friends could not understand, and honestly I wasn’t even sure I understood: I abandoned a six-figure salary to become a social entrepreneur.

Iceland is increasingly becoming a hot spot for travelers, and with good reason: The nature and landscape are absolutely breathtaking, the people are welcoming and warm, the culture is interesting and unique, and the seafood, amongst other delicious Icelandic treats, is fresh and excellent.

My husband and I recently traveled to Iceland and we can’t recommend this adventure enough (we’re already plotting our inevitable return). Here are four tips for planning your trip.

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