I'm Tara.

I'm just a silly little girl who likes to go places and tell her silly little stories.

SLK documents the adventures I've had across 5 continents & who I've become on my journeys. 

You can read my full story in the 'About' tab! 

365 spins

365 spins

I am back again after only a couple of weeks. Told you it wouldn't be too long. Sometimes, you just have too much going on in your life and you need to unplug for a bit. So unplug I did...then my computer {which I am in the process now of replacing} decided it wanted to "unplug" itself and die. Then my final graduate classes commenced. And it all just got a bit crazy over here. 

For those of you who have so compassionately asked, my visa is in a state of appeal as of now and I have fingers and toes crossed that my little island home will be a forever situation when the time is all right. Thanks so much for the love xx 

Regardless of what is to come, I'm excited and I'm ready.

I spent the last few weeks in reflection about my past year. Mostly, because I have a birthday coming up and I knew I'd have to write the annual birthday state of the union address {coming just as soon as I write it all out!}. During this time, it hit me more than ever what a ride the last five years have been.

My twenties have been really fucking good, guys. 

In 2015, I was away from my physical address from June until the end of November. I was traveling domestically around Niagara Falls on a road trip to Canada with S, soaking up Southern sunshine in Nashville and listening to Ed Sheeran and the Rolling Stones kill it live in Kansas City with Tash, capped off by gallivanting through the boroughs of New York with some of my most beloved New Zealand mates.  

I then left the U.S. for some girl time with Bailey in Vancouver, B.C., where she sent me off to volunteer internationally in Laos.  And it was in Laos that I celebrated my 25th birthday surrounded by so much light and love my heart practically exploded. 

From Laos I headed to Sydney to meet up with the person I have considered my soulmate. The two of us hopped around cafes, cruised the Opera House, and snuggled up in the nicest AirBnB while fighting customs for my lost baggage. A few days and a short flight later, I found myself back in New Zealand {home at last} for the next month staying with S's family as they graciously hosted me, like they always do with such generous and warm hearts. I re-live working next to him on grad papers and falling asleep while watching Cold Case daily. Seeing the Paper Kites with S while reuniting with Grace was an absolute highlight of my time in Wellington. 

Then came...a visa rejection. My heart broke into a million tiny pieces, but I had no time to mull it over as I was off to South America for a month of backpacking with Tash through Argentina, Chile, and Peru. We finished the trip off by hiking the four day trail to Machu Picchu. 

S then came to visit me {finally!} in the South where I struggled to navigate our in-between relationship and my next chapter. Where was I supposed to go? My plans were him and New Zealand and I had failed to create an alternative. Despite these varied emotions, which admittedly could have been handled with more grace, I could not have been more happy to finally have him meet my family and to tour around a new part of the country with him. 

Then he left for the cricket tour, and it was like we were back at square one.

Are we noticing a pattern?!

I found work in familiar territory back in Montana. I got fresh air, rekindled friendships, and finally figured it the fuck out-- what I want for myself is so simple it's been staring me in the face and I've just made myself so busy living out of a suitcase that I never took the time to unpack my luggage and acknowledge my feelings fully. 

And full acknowledgment is what is required. 

I needed to get back to New Zealand so that I could stay...for good. I also needed to express how I felt to the only person who I have wanted to share every part of every day of my life with for the last five years. And I needed to spit. it. out. 

So, what does a Tara do in that situation? She books a ticket to London to see her best friend {Tash} and to ask a question that needs asking to the person she's gone round and round and round again with for half a decade {S}. 

At the same time that I made this ticket purchase and got the nerve to do what needed to be done, I also got a job in Laos. No, no, no. I got thee job in Laos. A chance to work with my girls again in a larger capacity in Laos. I took the dream job and changed my ticket to London for a shorter stay. It wasn't ideal timing, but things so rarely are.

I had the best week in London catching up with old friends, seeing my girl Tash, and strolling hand-in-hand around one of my old favorite cities with one of my old favorite people. But. But, but, but. My time back in London passed and I still hadn't told him exactly what I went to tell him. I never told him why I came to London. Because I didn't have the guts to tell him. Because I was an emotional coward. Total chicken. 'T, after five years you couldn't conjure the courage to just say it?! What. The actual. Feck.' I hear you all loud and clear. I don't know either. Probably another reason I almost didn't get on my plane. 

That's the next bit of the story I completely left out! I almost didn't board my plane to Laos. I sat there at my gate as Emirates called final boarding, crying on the phone to S and then on the phone to Tash and then back to S again as the two of them convinced me I couldn't miss my flight and that I was brave enough to do this and that I was bat-shit crazy if I didn't board the plane to Dubai. Tash at one point turned around from Reading and headed back to the airport to drag my ass onto the plane. So, yeah, that happened.

I did {obviously} get on the plane and found myself in Laos, where I have been sweating like a pig, focusing on things ahead and things present. Buying plane tickets {more on this soon!!!}, having stand-offs with the gecko in the shower,  and reminding myself every day how insane my life sounds when I type it out to share with the world.

...and all of that happened in one year.

One singular, spectacular year of my life. 

That's the story of one year out of the 26 I've spent thus far on this planet. It's not without flaws, but it's incredible and full and it is my own.

The realizations that came during this time without blogging can be summed up generally into two parts: 1) I cram a shit-ton into every 365 days I spin around the Sun and 2) you can't be afraid to say the words that you flew across the world for. 

I can give you travel tips and destination suggestions...but so can Google. And Google has much better grammar. I can show you the sites I shop and the clothing that fits my own personal style...which consists mostly of neutrals, stripes, and floral prints... I can share with you my adventures and my mistakes. I can invite you along with me as I navigate my own life...which somehow magically always takes me to far corners of the globe and down new roads. This break from SLK was just to make sure I was doing all of the aforementioned in the most authentic way. Because I hate blogging bullshit. 

At the end of the day, what I am saying is...I'm back. I feel like it's still its genuine self. I feel like it's still an authentically crafted space. I know I will never have all the enlightened wisdom you seek answered in your e-mails, but I'll keep shit real. That's a promise.

Thank you for coming back to this space with me. I missed you all so much. Let the catching up begin...

*special thank you to the sponsors who have sent packages and goodies. what an ingenious way to motivate someone to come back to blogging ;)

Nam Khan rising

Nam Khan rising

me + the Mekong

me + the Mekong