I'm Shipping Up to Boston!

If you are friends with me on social media, then you know I have announced I am moving...


I first fell in love with Boston about 2 years ago. It was a lovely June trip with perfect weather and a spontaneous Red Sox game thrown in the mix--I was sold.

When I first moved east for my job (also about 2 years ago) I was allowed to pick what city I wanted to live in; however, Boston already had two advisors residing in it, so I knew I'd have to choose a different city to call my own. Having visited New York before, I went full force NYC.

It's been a crazy challenging two years in the biggest American city. I've been torn to pieces, a typical story for all that have come to live here. Tired, torn, challenged to the max, and ready to relax, I had a talk with my boss about moving to another city. I had Boston on the mind, but knew I needed to visit for a longer stay. I chose March for my visit, knowing the weather wouldn't be INSANELY cold, but also wouldn't be terribly comfortable. The week I stayed, I got hit with freezing temps, a blizzard, and crazy winds...


I got in on a Friday, and announced I was moving to Boston by Tuesday. Not even a full week had passed and I knew it was my home.

I'll have a lot to write about Boston in coming months, but until then, I'll enjoy my time left in NYC. Actually, I don't have a lot of time left, as my travel schedule goes as follows:

April 1-4: Miami for a Bachelorette
April 4-13: NYC
April 13-16: New Orleans for a Wedding
April 16-26: San Diego to visit home :)
April 26-May 2: NYC
May 2-June 6: London, Northern England, Wales, Amsterdam, France (ooohhhhhh yeahhhhh)
June 6-August 15th: NYC

NYC, you and I have less than 3 months left. We'll make the most of it, you crazy sonofabitch! (I can never say that you're not fun).

Mostly, I'm looking forward to changes. I'm looking forward to a healthier lifestyle. I'm looking forward to a life unfolding the way I choose.

I wrote this blog post after I first visited 2 years ago: 


You have joined the ranks of Cities I AdoreCities I Would Live In, and any other love list I can make for cities. You've got beauty, you've got style, you've got history, and you've got that sexy attitude. Clearly the full package, I can't help but wonder if I will indeed live in you one day. Like Rome, London, New York, and other cities I keep close to my heart, you are a new favorite I will dream of on the rough days, my beautiful muse...

Until We Meet Again,
Ashley xoxo


Looks like I'm shipping up to Boston.


2016: A Good Traveling Year (and Looking to New Things in 2017)

My most prized accomplishment in life is travel, so of course I had to put together my favorite end of the year post (it's coming a little late).

In an effort to ignore the fact a crazed megalomanic is taking office, let's talk about escapism!

In 2016, I did a lot of US travel, with a sprinkle of international travel. I went to one new country, one new city, and lots of new little towns thanks to driving through Upstate New York and Western Mass.

Here's the breakdown month by month (in case you are REMOTELY interested):

Janaury: Came back from a trip from San Diego over the holidays. Stayed in NYC for most of cold, snowy, slushy January. I experienced my first blizzard this month!!

February - March: Work travel to Upstate/Western Massachusetts/New Jersey...lots of hopping on trains! Below is a view I've seen numerous times taking the train back and forth from Albany.

April: Back to San Diego for work (two week trip!).

May: I had to slip in an international trip, because if I didn't, WHO AM I? London and Berlin is where I took off to with two of my close NYC pals.

June: I was off to Turkey for my cousin's wedding. I have a lot to write about Turkey here on this blog, but the words are not quite coming to me just yet. What you do need to know is that Turkish people are still the loveliest people on the planet, and somehow, they are also the strongest. I think back to how great my visit was in June, and I know that someday I will have more trips to Turkey.

July: Stayed in NYC (in that SWELTERING city heat). Yes, I jump in fountains when it's too hot.

August: Short weekend trip to The Hamptons

September: Upstate New York, Virginia, and Washington DC (I'm really getting used to driving around the East Coast!).

October: BACK to San Diego/Orange County for work (3 week trip!)

November: Berkshires, Massachusetts for work (it's seriously gorgeous up there).

December: Back to San Diego for healing an almost broken ankle and overburdened heart. And what a healing month and a half it's been in California (not to mention a cheeky New Year's Eve trip to Vegas).


2016 KICKED MY ASS. It was a year of tears, busy work schedules, discomfort, heartbreak...and yet, I am so thankful for it! It's not enjoyable going through one of the hardest years of your life, but what comes out of it is such intense clarity on where you want your life to go.

2017, I have some plans for you! I'll be in Miami and New Orleans for a second time (my friend's bachelorette and wedding). I'm also taking a long trip to the UK/France come May. I have some more travel up my sleeve, but I'm just plotting it out right now.

Most importantly, August is my NYC expiration date and I am planning my next move. I do have one city in mind above the rest, but I will announce my new city when it's official (don't want to go announcing things on the internet before they are set in stone).


Here's to life in all its forms. I welcome the sadness, I welcome the happiness, I welcome everything that makes me a strong, beautiful, fearless woman. I have not felt more independent than this moment, knowing that I can take it all and still stay standing. 


Thanks for Loving Me the Way I Am

*Clinks Glasses*

Me: I think after New York, I'll live in X city or X city. I like both, but I'm not sure which one to really go for. UGH, I don't mean to be so indecisive...

Rachel: Yes you do! It's who you are and that's ok. You like living in different cities. 

Me (laughing at my own silliness): You're right, thanks for loving me the way I am. 

**Everyone should have a life long friend like Rachel** 


Calm in California

I feel like my post title is reminiscent of "Sleepless in Seattle." ha.

Calm in California is pretty accurate, though. I've been feeling pretty good being in good ol' San Diego. If ever you want to go somewhere to unwind, drink a little beer, and move at the pace of a snail, Southern California is definitely the spot. The place that made me feel trapped about 2 years ago is now feeling pretty damn good with my bum ankle.

I've also taken the time to let my body rest. I've seen friends here and there, but I've stayed in more nights than going out. And "going out" has really just been lounging in a jacuzzi or watching a movie with my pals. I've cut down on the alcohol, and taken time to gaze at the sky and breathe my worries away.

I guess the point I'm getting at here is I wasn't taking care of myself in New York. I was becoming frazzled, drinking too much, and generally not being my happy self. I have a bit of time left in New York until my lease ends, but I'll be going back with a different mindset than when I left it. There are also a few factors that were bringing me down back in the city, but having time away from those factors sure brings clarity.

I know NYC is not the place for me (deep down in my soul, I've known this for awhile); however, I think I can enjoy the rest of my time there. And if it's still causing me too much stress, I'll find the escape hatch.

For now, I'll be in San Diego another 25 days or so--long enough to properly hit the reset button. 


My Hurt Ankle is a Reminder to be Mindful

I'm sitting here this morning with my ankle wrapped in a soft cast (I missed the last stair and landed hard on my ankle), and my eye swollen from a bug bite. Also, things have been kind of shitty in New York of late, and I'm sort of like, "What else you got for me, universe?!"

It's easy to focus on the bad things, amirite? And then focusing on all the bad just sort of snowballs into feeling perpetually bad. Humans hate being uncomfortable, and man, am I uncomfortable right now.

The inconvenience of not being able to walk is just a reminder that I've been spreading myself too thin. I tripped down the last stair because in a stressful moment I was rushing and wasn't mindful of the fact that:

1. I should take my time. Why was I in a hurry?

2. I've been living in a tornado in my head, stressing myself out and barely taking any time for relaxation and meditation.

I've been going so hard and feeling so exhausted, I've barely given myself any rest. Well, I'm being forced to rest now.

With that, I'm taking a looooooong break in San Diego starting next week. How lucky am I that I can have a month-and-a-half stay wherever I want because I work remotely?

I'm gonna go rest SO HARD I hope to get bored (I haven't been bored in awhile). I'm going to make time to write, listen, and read. I'm going to return back to a place of mindfulness.

Ommmmmmmmmm (added for effect).


Maybe You Can Help My Sister?

This week has been, uh, interesting. Not sure if I want to really post about/talk about the election ANY longer. I've sort of had enough.

So, I'm moving onto a way you can help someone, if you feel so inclined to do so.

My sister is trying to rebuild her life. Long story short, my nephew (her son) has been diagnosed with autism and schizophrenia. Because of (what my sister thinks) is a severe reaction to one of the medications he was put on, my nephew tried to attack and choke my sister to death (he's 17 and about 6'5'' to give you an idea). He was never violent before.

This happened a few months ago, and I didn't want to talk about it until now. Everest, my nephew, is currently in a facility, has charges pressed against him, and is awaiting his next move. It's a heartbreaking scenario. Even worse, he turns 18 in less than a month, which could mean the state will simply charge him as an adult and send him to prison (our system is truly messed up).

In the midst of fighting for my nephew, my sister has run into financial difficulties. She's been a stay-at-home mom for almost 18 years, and her husband has lost almost all his money (a story for another day). It's hard enough for a stay-at-home to reenter the work force; even harder when tragedy is further complicating the situation.

The light at the end of the tunnel: she has turned to art for therapy and a way to pay the bills. She's an uber talented artists, and has been an animator and designer in the past for such companies as Disney! She's trying to get back into the art world while also holding part time jobs. I truly think she has the ability to make a living off of her art. What she really needs is supplies to create more of that art. She has two other sons she's trying to hold it together for, so any help from the kindness of people would be much appreciated!

If you feel inclined to give $5 to her "Make Art" fund, please visit this link: https://www.gofundme.com/helpaprilmakeart

A couple pieces of her art:


My Gratitude Post

Hey, I'm Ashley. 

Believe it or not, this is a recent pic. I just felt like buying a college sweatshirt. I'm the nostalgic type :) 

I grew up in San Diego and went to San Diego State for my undergrad. It's a pretty damn delightful place to grow up. Did you know it's actually dubbed "America's Finest City?"

I'm pretty grateful I grew up somewhere so pretty, friendly, and culturally diverse. I have two loving parents that raised me here. All of this set the foundation for who Ashley is.

One of my fave traveling photos! 
I caught the travel bug so very young. My first trip out of the country was to Turkey at 7 years old. Ever since then I had an intense hunger to travel as much as possible, which continues on today. I'm grateful I'm the "always hungry" kind of girl. I can say with confidence that will never change. I plan to be 55 and still traveling away. Just watch. (I've been to 17 countries and counting!).


That travel bug got me to move out of San Diego, twice. Once to London, and also to my current home, NYC. I'm grateful I have this awesome list of places I've lived: California, the UK, and the Big Apple.

Just looking at this on paper, I'm proud of myself.  I'm proud for making big moves despite fear. I'm grateful I have the opportunities to make said moves.


I worked hard to get a job that caters to my "always hungry" personality. It's the most challenging and rewarding job I have EVER had.

It also allows me to work remotely certain times of the year. This means I am working from San Diego right now, even though my home is technically NYC. I loathe going to the same office everyday, so this is honestly the PERFECT job for me! It's busy and hectic at times, but I'm doing something I BELIEVE IN. I would have it no other way.


Lastly, I'm so grateful for people. I have not only family, but friends that REALLY love me. We get into arguments and disagreements at times, because these are real relationships. I live far away from some of very best friends, yet we stay in touch. We forgive each other time and time again for being imperfect and stupid humans.

THIS IS LOVE, and I HAVE IT IN MY LIFE. I could not be more grateful for this!


I wanted to create this post because I feel like I look too often at what I don't have. That "always hungry" personality is a double-edged sword sometimes. Writing down all the things I DO HAVE truly brings a smile to my face and provides proof I have a kick ass life. I've accomplished a lot in 31 years, and there's much more to come.

How beautiful of a thought is it that you can choose to wake up any given day and build the life you want? You can move around cities, experiences, and jobs just like chess pieces. YOU have the power. 

I'm grateful for these things, people, and places that make me who I am. I'm grateful for this beating heart, these lungs, this brain that continues to function. I'm so, so, very thankful for life.


The Cnnekt

I told ya I was writing more! Did this little piece for my buddy, Chary. She started the website/idea/company called The Cnnekt. It's a place for women to come together in this big, bold, crazy, MASSIVE city. It's an excellent idea, and I'm glad to contribute. (related to my last post, Chary's a total doer).

I'm pretty sure she'd like to see the Cnnekt eventually expand to other cities! Because women need other women, period.


Do You Surround Yourself with Doers?

My cousin (pictured above with me) is a person who I would consider a doer. By doer, I mean someone who has a list of things he/she really wants done in life which he/she actually ends up doing. It can be as small as wanting a picture on an NYC stoop (evidence above), or can be as big as writing a best-selling book in Turkey.

My cousin is the reason I ever left San Diego in the first place. She's 5 years older than me, so I was able to follow her career before I ever started mine. She worked in fashion, wrote an Italian-to-Turkish dictionary, lived in Italy for a year, and recently wrote the aforementioned best-selling book. To say my cousin is an inspiration is an understatement. She was the first person I ever knew to do bigger things than just staying in a complacent job and living the status quo life.

When I applied for grad school in London, I knew I could do it because she had done big things, too. Same goes for any big event in my life. Recently, she visited NYC and we had many great talks in where I left feeling uplifted.

This is because doers uplift doers.

Once you realize you are someone who has a HUGE bucket list, and a short amount of time on earth to complete said bucket list, there's really no second to waste! Furthermore, there's no room for people I'd like to call stallers. These are people who have excuses for not doing the things they dream of. These people often say "well that's just the way the world works." They think one bad experience equates to life being bad, i.e. "I've had my heart broken, thus, love doesn't exist." They stall their dreams thinking it's too much work and not realistic.

I know a few stallers here and there, and while I won't cut them out completely, I've decided to really limit the amount of time I spend with them. That time can better be spent crafting grand ideas I intend to put into motion. That time is better spent with my doers. Frankly, we've just got too much to do.

P.S. I've already started limiting time with those stallers, and putting time into being with doers and doing more, and guess what? I've been writing up a storm! When I start to make time for the things I love and people that inspire me, one of my greatest loves comes back to me--WRITING! 


Big Fat (Turkish) Wedding

Let's dive into some Turkish posts, shall we?

Honestly, Turkey is so misunderstood, but I'll write about that another time. This is the time for happier things: my beautiful cousin's wedding.

Begüm (my cousin) and I realized we were liked-minded early on. We commend each other on thinking outside the box and being damn proud of it. Plus, she's always been such an inspiration to me--she's about to release an English version of her best-selling book in Turkey. Retitled in English, it's called "Simple" -- a book on the simple life. I'll let you all know when that English version drops.

Beyond celebrating my cousin, I wanted to show you all a side of Istanbul you possibly didn't know about. A fashionable place. A hip place. One that makes me smile real big with how warm and beautiful it is. My first travel love.

So onto some more pictures of the wedding venue and wedding in general:

Honestly, this is one of the best days I can remember! Congrats to Begüm and Ozan!

P.S. Here's the wedding video for those that are really curious:

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