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She Dreamt of Exotic Destinations and Far Away Lands

As a young girl I dreamt of living on my own tropical island.


Growing up on the Kansas plains, the closest I could get to the tropics was escaping through the pages of children’s books (and family vacations to Florida!). Do you remember the book Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell?


A girl named Karana finds herself stranded alone on an island. She teaches herself how to fish for food and builds a home made of whale bones. Not only did I love this story as a child because of the likeness of our names, but I also admired Karana for her strength and courage. As she explores her new island home, befriends animals and battles the devilfish (what she calls a scary squid), I remember feeling like I was there with her on each and every adventure. I’ve always longed for those adventures!

Until recently, I didn’t realize the book is based on a true story. O’Dell penned the story based on the life of Juana Maria, a Nicoleño Native American left alone for 18 years on San Nicolas Island in the 19th century. To me, true stories are the most inspiring.

Fast forward to present day and I am living in my own exotic locale. Yes, compared to Kansas, Miami is definitely an exotic destination. :)

Although I’ve always dreamt of traveling to far away lands, I’m very thankful for the opportunity to live in such a vibrant city with so many eccentricities. Contentment is not complacency or lacking ambition. Contentment is enjoying what I have right now, rather than waiting for something else to happen in order for me to be happy.



Photos by Jeremy Franker — Dress by Mara Hoffman

Sunglasses by SOLO Eyewear — Fedora by Kooringal

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