My Top Airplane Hacks for Flying Internationally

After already taking six flights this calendar year, and wracking up a total of over 50 flights taken in my life, I’ve grown very familiar with spending long periods of time inside an airplane.

These are some of my go-to airplane tips, tricks, hacks, and items that keep me comfy while I’m in the air, and help me kick adventure’s butt when I arrive at my destination. Continue reading “My Top Airplane Hacks for Flying Internationally”


Hola, Nicaragua!

Before I left for Nicaragua, my family, friends, and loved ones flooded my ears with warnings.

“Don’t get kidnapped!”, “Make sure you don’t let go of your passport!”, “The drivers are crazy, so don’t get killed!”

I didn’t know what to expect.

What I discovered was far more beautiful, than what anyone warned me about.Continue reading “Hola, Nicaragua!”

It’s Okay to Follow Your Dreams.

After recently graduating college and with 2018 off to a quick start, I thought it was important to make these affirmations not only to myself, but to everyone out there who is on the edge of following their dreams.

Hopefully, this will push you over that edge.

It’s okay to want something different.

When it comes to following your dreams, being in touch with what truly makes you happy is essential. Knowing what makes your heart soar and what brings real joy into your life is the best way to determine whether or not you are happy with your life now.

It is all too often that we realize that what we thought we wanted in the beginning, is not actually what we really want. Jobs, objects, relationships, even friendships that initially brought us happiness, eventually lose their shine after our wants and desires begin to evolve and mature.

It’s okay to realize that what you have is no longer what you want.


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Manifesting Autumn Within Ourselves

Autumn is a time of beauty, change, transformation, and recharge.

However, amongst all the stress, the shortening days, the growing responsibilities, and the cold weather, it can be very difficult to remember to appreciate all the magic that fall has to offer.

I find, especially during the autumn season, I have a hard time feeling energized, motivated, or even at ease. These are some of the things I’m trying to manifest on a daily basis, to fully embrace the beautiful season that surrounds me; and hopefully, you can, too.


Continue reading “Manifesting Autumn Within Ourselves”

Safety Tips Every Woman Should Know Before Traveling Alone

It’s a huge wide world to explore.

But with more and more reports about sexual assault and abductions in the news, it can seem like an unwise decision for us ladies to adventure alone.

Fear not! Traveling alone is both a thrilling and empowering experience and is not something to shy away from.

These are some essential tips and tricks to help you stay safe while traveling and to prevent your solo voyage from taking an unsavory turn.

Continue reading “Safety Tips Every Woman Should Know Before Traveling Alone”

Alaska & Back

Recently my family blessed me with the opportunity to join them on a 7-day cruise to Alaska.

I was shocked that my parents had even suggested the idea, cruises aren’t really the DeMarco style. Normally we prefer to just fly straight out to our destination when we travel, instead of spending time in overpriced, floating resorts.

My father – in particular – is miserable on cruises; usually, they are entirely out of the question.

However, upon further research, we discovered that the best way to see Alaska’s amazing shoreline was by boat.

So away we went, to Seattle to board the Emerald Princess and sail our way to Alaska.

Continue reading “Alaska & Back”

Home is where the Homies are.

I’m sitting here in my apartment in Western New York, fully unpacked and moved in for the first time in over 5 months.

My previous semester-and-some-change of traveling through Costa Rica, Italy, Switzerland and France has come to an end after what seems like the blink of an eye.



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When I touched down in the Rome airport, I hadn’t touched that piece of land in five years —  since I was 16 years old. I was still spiraling under all of the glorious things to discover. The language, the food, the museums, the culture, the coffee, the extent to which my skinny jeans could stretch…

I worked with the program called ieiMedia, in Urbino, Italy, to create a multimedia article that was later published on the class’s annual website. I worked with local Italians and Italian interpreters to create my video, photo, and written story on the rise of Agriturismo in the Marche region of Italy.

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I couldn’t believe that my 4 weeks in Italy flew by faster than I could pack the pounds on… Before I knew it, it was time to pack everything up to prepare for my week long adventure to Switzerland and France


When I arrived in Paris again, after not having been there for exactly one year… I could feel myself relax into my metro seat, as I recognized all the stops along this particular Metro chain.  and was easily able to maneuver me to an exit.

I felt like I was home again, and was easily able to maneuver myself and my luggage to an exit in the metro station (a not exactly simple task).


All the old, familiar streets, buying bread in the bakeries, walking along the Seine, and sipping coffee and eating croque-monsieurs in cafés…

It felt like I had been there yesterday. 

It felt reassuring.

Like no matter how much time passes, places will always be there, ready to welcome you home with nostalgic sweetness.

But what makes a place, a home?

What I came to realize over these past months of travel, that home truly is where your heart is. Whether you spent a series of months in a place and made your own nest, or you are meeting someone you love dearly in a foreign place that is their home.

It is the people and the places that we learn to love that makes a place a home. The connections we make, the laughs we share, the challenges we have overcome, and the memories that we make.

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The true meaningful relationships that we make as we move from place to place, we leave a piece of our heart behind.

And so this location which used to be void of meaning becomes a home.





Where is my mind?

It seems like I’ve been away from the keyboard lately.

Away WithOut Leave.

Missing In Action.

But the truth is, I’m more deeply immersed in my life than I have been in a long time. After living for a semester in the sleepy paced, nation of Costa Rica, coming back into the United States, took some internal adjustments.

After living for a semester in the sleepy-paced nation of Costa Rica, coming back into the United States took some serious internal adjustments.

I always knew that America was a face paced nation, but transitioning from having two hours for lunch to a 30 minute lunch period during working hours was significantly harder than I thought it would be.

Why is everyone on their phone all the time?

Why is everyone in such a hurry?

Why does everyone care so much about how much money I’m going to make in the future?

It felt almost like life was moving at hyper speed around me, while I was still sitting on a beach somewhere in the Guanacaste region.

Is this the “reality” I have to come back to?

I had to take time to be disconnected


My father admiring the mangroves at the Deering Estate in Miami, FL


I had to take some time to let myself be by myself; to separate myself from the seemingly constant noise, advertisements, and everyday hustle of the United States.

To let myself reconnect to the things that are truly important; like family and the natural beauty that surrounds us constantly, but that we ignore for our new and digital worlds.

It’s amazing how much tension is instantly relieved and received by cutting yourself away from the digital networks that drive trends and run the world.

When you disconnect, you feel disconnected. Almost like you are missing invitations to parties that you don’t know exist.

But if you let the uncertainty and lack of connection fade, it’s almost like an old familiar world presents itself to you again.


You realize that you are missing your phone like you are missing another arm. Its ghost haunts you for the first week of the detox. But after you let the feeling fade, and return to your cell phone for your regular telephone needs, it feels heavy.

A burden to bring along with you. Something to be left behind.

Where to next?


A black cat in Urbino, Italy 

I’m in Italy right now, working on my photography, video and writing skills for the next month, and I have some personal travel planned as well.

I just want to focus on connecting with my art and concentrate on the content that I want it to create. Whether it’s photo, paint, writing, or video… I just want to create and share things from my heart, and things I deeply care about.

I think that’s all we want to do really. 







The Shark Trade is REAL!


fish for sale

The hand painted sign read.

We pulled into the driveway of a Costa Rican home, one of the many shanty-like houses that occupied the sleepy town in Uvita, Costa Rica.

A middle aged man with a bright smile greeted as at the door and beckoned us to come into his garage, filled with coolers, nets, and other tools to prepare and weigh fish. A classic fisherman.

We discussed the weather for a little while and how the fishing was today before we dug into the meat of why we had come:


“¿Que quiere usted?”
What would you like?

He asked us as he opened up his freezer filled with a wide variety of frozen fish. Tuna, mackerel, red snapper. Local seafood paradise. But underneath a stack of mackerel, I could see a very distinct fin sticking out.

“¿Que es eso?” I asked, reaching down into the freezer to pull it out.
What is this?

Blacktip shark juvenile


He said.

Bolillo, amongst many other nicknames, is a street term for sharks or shark meat.

Using such nicknames for shark meat allows fish vendors to sell any kind of shark meat under the same name within the fish market. 

And while selling and consuming shark meat isn’t illegal in Costa Rica, using street names like bolillo can prevent otherwise conscious consumers from knowing whether or not they are eating Blacktip shark – which are currently an unthreatened species – or Hammerhead shark, which are all currently endangered.

“Why sell shark?”

I asked the fisherman, who was kind, and let me take pictures of the juvenile Blacktip shark in his freezer.

He explained to me that around the coastline, Costa Rica has a thriving ceviche trade. Now, I don’t know if any of you have ever eaten ceviche, but with some chips and some hot sauce, ceviche is definitely one hell of a meal.

Ceviche is traditionally made with meat from white marlin, and is chopped into a fine hash and then soaked in lemon and vinegar.

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Ceviche image taken shamelessly from Google

“Pero marlin blanco es muy caro aqui, peudo pescar durante todo el dia y no voy a tener un marlin blanco.”
But white marlin is really expensive, I can fish all day long and I’m not going to have a White Marlin.” 

“Y el sabor de bolillo es casi el mismo que marlin blanco.”
And the flavor of bolillo is almost the same as white marlin.”

He explained to me how marlin used to be much easier to catch, but these days it’s a lot harder to find.

“Soy un pescador artesano.”
I am a artisan fisher.”

He is legally licensed by the country of Costa Rica to fish shark.

He continued to explain to me that fishing is his lively hood, his income, what kept his family fed and happy. 

It would be economically unsustainable for him to spend all day fishing, and maybe not even catch a marlin, when he can just as easily go to an estuary and catch a bunch of sharks to sell for ceviche.

When I asked him what kind of sharks he was allowed to fish, he responded “todo”, “all of them,” and opened up a freezer that was full of young frozen sharks.

Juvenile Hammerhead Shark. I apologize for my seemingly happy expression. I didn’t want to offend the kind fisherman with an angry eco-activist face.

Although he didn’t let me take a picture of the freezer, he was kind enough to let me take a picture of one of the many juvenile Hammerhead sharks that was inside.

The practice of fishing hammerhead sharks is legal in Costa Rica, as long as you have a proper license and the sharks aren’t being finned for shark fin soup. 

Because he was fishing to sell for food, there wasn’t an issue legally with his fishing, or the selling of the sharking meat to ceviche vendors.

It’s actually in his economic benefit.

That’s the problem.

How could this happen?

It’s easy to look at the problem, but sometimes the problem can be so overwhelming, we forget to look at the source.

Who did this?

How can we be running out of sharks?

Well the issue isn’t the shark fishing, it’s all the other fish we are fishing for. 

Have you ever heard of Long Lining?  Shrimp Trolling? They are the two main methods major fishing companies use to rake in massive amounts of fish like tuna, marlin, swordfish, and obviously shrimp; but it also creates massive problems.

More than half of what is caught on long lines isn’t actually the fish they want, and is known as bycatch. Sometimes ratios of 20:1 (bycatch:catch) have been reported. Lord only knows the statistics that haven’t been reported. Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 3.27.32 AM

Researchers believe that long line fishing has caused a 60% decrease in shark species in Costa Rica alone.

The fact that marlin – a fish that they are actually fishing for – is hard for this local fisherman to find, doesn’t seem so surprising.

With major companies, corporations, and governments fishing our seas to extinction, it makes sense that local fishermen are forced to sell whatever they can to make ends meet.

In the end, it’s the small families and the environment that suffer.

How can we stop it?

Everything we do effects how these multimillion dollar corporations function because they live for the consumer.

Not supporting major fishing companies like Starkist, purchasing fish from local fish Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 5.02.47 AM.pngmarkets, or maybe even eliminating fish from your everyday diet creates a ripple effect.

Your dollar is your vote.

It’s hard to inspire multimillion dollar companies to change their ways, if we continue to buy their product. 

If you want to change the way things are, you must refuse to be a part of it.

  1. Be informed

  2. Know what you eat

  3. Spread the word

    If there is a demand, they will continue to fish to support the supply.

Take Action!

Interested in doing your part to create the change you want to see in the world?

There are some amazing organizations that are working hand in hand with governments and international organizations like IUCN and CITES.

Get involved.

Fin Fighters

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