I still remember how it felt to be 13, arriving home from school to find the latest edition of National Geographic in my mailbox. I’d run upstairs to blast Michelle Branch’s latest album while I flipped through the pages of my beloved magazine, devouring the stories and photos of places far outside my small-town Wisconsin cocoon. At that time, my entire life was still ahead of me, and it seemed like I could do anything I put my mind to — even work as a writer for the world’s most prestigious travel magazine.

Now that I’m all grown-up, I still read a lot of Nat Geo. I still get a thrill from travel photography, exotic cuisine and popular science. But there’s another dimension too: Now, I consume and create content with a purpose. I want to uplift people through human stories and beautiful photos. I want to put some of the soul back into marketing and branding. I want to make people happy, share information about important issues, and inspire people to get educated and involved so we can make the world a better place.

These days, I read my magazines in the bathtub with a glass of Sav Blanc, not to the tunes of Michelle Branch, but to Arcade Fire and Belle & Sebastian. I spend my free time traveling the world, meditating, practicing yoga and watching travel vlogs on YouTube. My career and my wanderlust have taken me across the world, from living and working in New Zealand to backpacking through South America.

I’m still an aspiring storyteller, but I’ve also told my fair share of stories already. My food, lifestyle and travel writing have appeared in publications like POPSUGAR, Brit+Co, Elephant Journal and other blogs. Aside from my article writing, I also tell stories for brands — especially lifestyle and health brands — through social media content, copy, branded blogs, e-books and other types of content (you can view my portfolio here). And of course, as often as I can, I try to tell my own story here on this blog. Thanks for checking it out!