About Laurie

The Adventurous Writer - Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, Travel Blogger

Greetings from beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; I started blogging in 2008 and have been making a living as a full-time writer since then. I’ve started dozens of blogs but “Travel in Faith” is my first blog dedicated to sharing Tips and Tools for Travel That Transforms You.

I live in a treehouse overlooking Indian Arm on the North Shore of Vancouver, BC. My two dogs and cat keep me company by day; my husband comes home from work and keeps me amused by night. Our house literally clings the side of a cliff. We live across the street from a forest, and often run into bears, coyotes, owls, raccoons, skunks, bats, and even the occasional bobcat. Meow. I mean, Rooaaarrr!!!

My undergraduate degrees are in Psychology and Social Work from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. I also have a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. If I could figure out a way to get a PhD in Travel That Transforms You, I’d have one of those too.

growing forward when you can't go back laurie pawlik
Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back

My first traditionally published book is called Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back, published in 2019 by Bethany House. It grew from my blog posts and interactions with readers on my many She Blossoms blogs.

This is my first travel blog because I never gave myself permission to take traveling or travel writing seriously. I traveled about once a year with my husband in our first 15 years of marriage, and I didn’t think that was enough to make me a “real” travel blogger. So I blogged about things I’m interested in: goals, getting published, relationships, mental and emotional health, spirituality (Jesus!), and even infertility. I wrote a few travel articles here and there.

Things are different now! I’m turning 50 in 2020. The second half of my life will be much different than the first, and Travel in Faith represents everything I am! I recently spent a month traveling through Nepal, Dubai and Hong Kong – a solo journey, just me and the Spirit – so I could think about the next 50 years of my life. I was supposed to go to India after two weeks in Nepal but the Buddha Air staff at the Kathmandu Airport wouldn’t let me get on the plane. So I wrote What Happens When the Airline Won’t Let You Board the Plane?

This “Travel in Faith” blog is for women who are 50 plus, looking for more than all-inclusive resort vacations that take us to the beach and back. Well okay maybe we want a bit of that – but we want more! We’re looking for truly transformative travel experiences that change who we are, where we’re going, and how we’re getting there.

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A Glimpse of My Life

My mom struggled with schizophrenia and nervous breakdowns my whole life; I lived in three foster homes and was living on my own at 17 years old. My mom lives in a group home for elderly adults with mental and physical disabilities in Saskatchewan.

I follow Jesus but my dad is Jewish, born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel. He still lives there. I didn’t meet him until I went to Israel when I was 29 years old.

I lived in Kenya, East Africa for three years. I taught Grade 8 Language Arts and High School Journalism at Rosslyn Academy, an American school for missionaries’ and ex-pat kids in Nairobi. 10 Things You Need to Know About Moving to Africa is one of my most popular articles.

My undergraduate degrees are in Education and Psychology from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. My Master of Social Work (MSW) is from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada.

I started volunteering with the Big Sisters/Big Brothers organization in 2012; my “Little” Sister was 11 when we were matched. She went to Quebec on a school exchange program; we met for lunch at the Tim Horton’s in Trois Rivieres. I was a Little Sister myself when I was 10 years old, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I’m still in touch with my Big Sister today; she lives in Toronto, Ontario.

As a freelance writer, I’ve written for a wide range of magazines such as Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day, MSN Health, Natural Health, Spirituality & Health, and sometimes More.

I didn’t get married until I was 35. I married Bruce, who I met when I was 18 and he was 21. He was a bartender at Chi Chi’s Mexican Restaurant, and I was a waitress. We were friends for a long, long time (17 years!) before we finally got married. We struggled with infertility and can’t have children because of azoospermia. We chose not to get in vitro fertilization (IVF), though we did try intrauterine insemination (IUI). Those fertility treatments didn’t work; we decided not to adopt or foster kids.

I’ve written several “She Blossoms” books and ebooks, and have been earning a full-time living as a blogger and writer since 2008. My first ebook is How to Let of Someone You Love: 3 Powerful Secrets (and 75 Tips!) for Healing Your Heart.

After I turned 40, I got my Master of Social Work (MSW) and taught myself to play the flute. I also started painting with oils and acrylics, and went on my first mission trip to Haiti.

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I’ll be 50 soon, walking into the second half of my life. That’s why I started Travel in Faith: Tips and Tools for Travel That Transforms You. This is the blog I wanted to start a decade ago, but didn’t feel qualified. To be a “real” travel blogger, I thought, I should travel regularly. Often. Maybe even live on the road, or as an expat in Africa or Australia or even America. But things are different now. It’s time for me to travel faithfully into the second half of my life!

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I’m glad you’re here. I hope you introduce yourself below, and sign up for my weekly Echoes of Joy newsletters. Come away with me!

Traveling in faith,

Laurie

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53 thoughts on “About Laurie”

  1. Hello Laurie, not sure on how to say what I’m thinking, um, I was wondering if you could give me some advice on how to get a human interest (?)story published, perhaps my memoirs..I’m no writer buy any means, I was hoping to find someone to do it for me. Any advice would be helpful

    1. Hi Tammy,

      It sounds like a ghost writer might be right up your alley! But first you have to find her :-) I’d do an internet search for ghost writers in your area, or even freelance writers who write memoirs. There are also memoir writing services that help people write and publish their life histories.

      Even if you don’t write your own story, it’s important to know what is involved. Here are a couple articles on my Writing Blossoms blog:

      10 Tips for Writing the Most Important Story of Your Life
      https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/10-tips-how-to-write-your-life-story/

      5 Tips for Getting Feedback on Your Memoir
      https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/how-to-get-feedback-on-your-memoir/

      May the Muse be with you,
      – Laurie

  2. Hi Laurie,
    I just found your blog after googling “heartbreak at 40” as that’s my current experience… your blog on the topic spoke to me quite gently, and although I don’t follow organized religion (I’m a queer woman, which can make church-going a bit uncomfortable), I grew up in a Christian home and appreciate the honest and seemingly-non-judgemental way you talk about your faith in your blog. Interestingly enough, I actually graduated from Rosslyn (yes, the same Rosslyn) and live in Vancouver, so thought I would reach out and say hello :)

    1. Jambo sana, B! What a pleasure to hear from you, thank you for commenting. Our paths are crossing in weird ways and different times, huh? I don’t know how many Rosslyn teachers or students live in Vancouver, but I suspect not many. High five for us :-)

      I find church-going uncomfortable, too. I’m thirsty for God’s felt presence, for a deep meaningful experience that transcends sermons and popular Christian songs. My husband attends a church here in North Vancouver; I kinda stopped going after the pastor referred to our church as a “concert followed by a TED talk.” He was joking, of course…but sorta not.

      Here’s how I go to church: I attend a weekly “Sounds of Silence” prayer group at St John’s Anglican church in North Vancouver. Before the covid lockdown, we’d meet every Monday night for 2 hours of that included imaginative prayer or Christian meditative teaching, contemplative prayer, and a slow sanctuary walk. The church has lots of stained glass windows; in winter the lights are low and the candles burning bright. Those evenings were hugely transformative for me, much more meaningful than church.

      I bet there’s something similar in Vancouver! In fact, our facilitator encouraged us to attend Taize gatherings at a church in Van, I’m not sure which one. A gathering like that might feel more welcoming and powerful than traditional church.

      Here’s one of my posts about Sounds of Silence:

      Do You See What I See? Echoes of Pleasure
      https://www.echoingjesus.com/do-you-see-what-i-see-echoes-of-pleasure/

      Stay in touch, B! Sign up for my Echoes of Joy newsletter; I send a weekly email to encourage and uplift. Today is Wednesday, so I must get to it before the day slips away!

      With love from Deep Cove,
      Laurie
      xo

  3. Hello Laurie!

    I would love to have you on my podcast: A Quest for Well-Being.
    It has 3000+ download and 1000+ newsletter subscribers.

    We can discuss the topic in your book (Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back )

    To listen to previously published episodes please visit: fitforjoy.org/podcast

    If interested, please email me at info@fitforjoy.org

    Looking forward to our meaningful conversation!

    Much Love and Peace,
    Valeria Koopman (Teles)

    1. Dear Valeria,

      I’d be honored to join you on your podcast, and talk about both Growing Forward When You Can’t Go Back and my new blog (Travel in Faith: Tips and Tools for Travel That Transforms You at travelinfaith.ca ). Traveling in faith is the next step, after growing forward :-)

      Will you send me a few advance questions? Also, how long do your interviews usually take?

      I’m available most afternoons and am on Pacific Time in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

      All good things,
      Laurie

      P.S. I also emailed you directly.

      1. Hi Laurie, I posted a comment on one of your articles with my whole name and I didn’t realize it was going to be published publicly. I find it really embarrassing. If you could please remove it. It would be amazing if you could please. I don’t know how else to get in contact with you, but I have been trying to for years to see how to get to concerning my embarrassing comment. Please remove it. If not the whole comment, please my name at least? 😩 Thank you in advance.

        1. Yes, I’d be happy to remove your name. I don’t know what article you commented on, though. I’ll email you directly, and you can send me the link.

          All good things,
          Laurie

  4. Hi Laurie,
    I have been writing on your forums for a little over a year now and I am having trouble connecting to the How not to feel sorry for yourself after he leaves…
    There is a 404 error and I was just wondering when will the page be back up and running ? Not sure of a different way to connect with you as I do not have facebook, instagram, or twitter.
    Hope to hear from you soon

  5. I just want to let you know how much I appreciate your articles I lost my husband a year ago I took care of him for 9 years here at home by myself and I’m not complaining I would do it again and I’ve had brain surgery while he was alive I miss him so much but your articles help I’m starting to get out of the house which is hard when you’re 72 years old you have no idea what’s going on out there but thanks again I wish I could give you a big hug in appreciation thank you again

    1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

      Thank you for your kind words, Hazel — I’m so glad to hear from you! I’d love to get a big hug from you :-) but I guess we’ll have to settle for emails. I’ll email you, so we can stay in touch!

      xo
      Laurie

  6. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Patricia,

    It’s great to hear from a fellow U of A and UBC graduate! I’m glad you shared this glimpse into your life. The best way to get the answers to:

    1. Selling my books, other than on Amazon.
    2. Wondering how to approach publishers.

    Is to go to a writer’s conference. I just signed with a literary agent, whom I met at a Christian Writer’s Conference. Here are some tips:
    https://www.theadventurouswriter.com/blogwriting/how-to-deal-with-discouragement-after-a-writers-conference/

    And on that blog, you’ll find lots of additional information about getting published.

    I would love to help you explore finding your vision in writing as a Christian woman, and discovering what God wants you to do! I’ll come up with some ideas, and post them here :-)

    Stay in touch! My weekly email is the best way :-)
    http://eepurl.com/ca2mJr

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Hi Laurie,
    I read your profile, and am impressed, not only with your achievements, but your caring for other people.
    Though my degree from the U of A in Edmonton was in science, I took teacher training at UBC in Vancouver. After certification, I taught in various schools, including six native schools in BC. Now I am retired. The rest of my life is for me.
    I wrote and illustrated a graphic novel, Rough Waters, which is about a lady biologist working in a museum on the coast. I included several native people I know. One of these ladies has read my book to her grandchildren several times.
    Now I am working on an illustrated novella about a botanist who moves to Newfoundland and hopes to find serenity there, away from family problems in Alberta. Presently, I am past 100 pages, and working into the last two chapters.
    While one purpose of this book is to resolve some of my own family issues of abandonment, and abuse by my mother, I do want to get the message out that certain behaviors and ways of treating others are not acceptable in any family or community.
    While the graphic novel was published by CreateSpace, after giving up on Canadian publishers who only accept work from established writers, and the second book will also be published by CreateSpace, and available on Amazon, I am looking ahead and wondering if it is possible to leave on demand self-publishing.
    My two issues then are these:
    1. Selling my books, other than on Amazon.
    2. Wondering how to approach publishers.
    3. What is my vision in writing as a Christian woman? What does God want me to do?

  8. Hi Laurie,
    I came across your blog while taking a test to see if i’m a introvert. I think God led me to your blog. I don’t believe in coincidence..i believe in divine intervention. I had been praying for help to deal with grief,depression,panic disorder,and a few other issues. I look forward to reading and getting to know you.
    May God Bless You,
    Lisa

    1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

      And may God bless you, too, Lisa! Thank you for being here. I hope you sign up for my weekly emails; it’s the best way to stay connected :-)

      Link for She Blossoms emails:
      http://eepurl.com/ca2mJr

      May you find healing, peace, and freedom from those feelings of depression and anxiety. Have faith in the Lord, for He is guiding your path and walking alongside you every step of the way! May you dig into your identity in Jesus, and Blossom into the woman God created you to be.

      Blessings,
      Laurie

  9. Anne-Sophie Vincent

    Hi my name is Anne-Sophie and I live in Sydney. I too lived in Africa (Congo).
    I am organising an interview series and would love to invite you to be one of my interviewes. Your blog on childlessness really resonated with me, thank you!
    So you get to know what I do here is my website http://www.annesophie.com.au
    I look forward to connection with you. :-)

    1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

      Thank you, Anne-Sophie! I’ll look at your website, and contact you if I think I can be helpful in your interview series.

      Blessings,
      Laurie

  10. Hey Laurie,

    I just loved your post on getting married and well, pretty much all others that I came across. :)

    You sound like you have an awesome life with a joy and zest for life which all comes through in your writing. Just wanted to say keep up the awesome work and so glad I found my way here!

    Cassandra

  11. Love your site!!
    I am a 57 year old male from Michigan. I have always been an introvert and am at a cross roads in my life. My current job (Forging Engineer), is about to end and see no future prospects (locally) for my 30+ years of experience. In order to continue in my current career, I would need to move to California. At age 57, I can’t see this a viable solution. So, I am looking for a new career. Anyway, I have been reading your articles here and have gathered some very useful information that will most certainly help…..
    Respectfully,
    Tom

  12. I wrote God a letter today saying I was sorry becuase not only was I in an unhealthy relationship with this man I realized the only time he wants me close is so he can sin with me aainst God, I told God I was sorry and needed to make a choice in my life to go down the correct path and repent and let go of my anger at this individual for not seeing the Princess God had created within me.
    Not only is God Good, he led me here to read yoiur Princess parable. I do not want a hardened heart and believe God had you write this speciffically to touch me in this momnent in time.
    Thank you and continue your path in the Spirit of Jesus Christ my dearest sister.

  13. Hi

    I lost my husband 3/20/17 and working thru grief. This is so hard. Feel like just moving thru motions. Outside I try to look normal but inside I am not doing well. Having hard time being alone. My dog Molly does keep my on schedule. I did like ur recent blossom post. It gives me hope that I’ll get through this in one piece

  14. Jessica Valenzuela

    Hi Laurie,

    I’m going to purchase your book! :) after reading your articles below, i feel the need of reading your ebook! I was diagnosed PCOS 10yrs ago (not that sure, but that was still during my secondary).. i know this is something and i really need help most especially, im a bride-to-be already! :)
    – 9 Easy Healthy Ways to Make Your Menstrual Cycle Regular
    – 23 Best Vegetables to Eat for a Normal Menstrual Cycle

    Thank you so much and please continue to write and inspire others. :)

    Love,
    Jessica

  15. Hi Laurie!

    I am a 24 years old woman who stumbled here when I just had my first breakup. I am so blessed by your writing. I long for my fellow women to also read and understand what you are writing. So if you happen to have any planning for this posts to be translated to Indonesian, I am so ready to help!

  16. I stumbled across your site as I was looking for help with writing a query letter. I am the author of a newly self-published cookbook called the Fiber Rich Kitchen Cookbook. I am looking for ways to market and promote my book. Hopefully, I will gain some insight from your writings, blogs, website etc.

  17. Hi Laurie!

    You write such thoughtful content that I’m so glad I stumbled upon. There’s so much here that feels really helpful to me and surely to so many other women. Since I think your readers and our customers may have lots in common, I’d love to email you to chat about collaborating! Please go ahead and email me if you’d like me to send you some lovely stuff to try out. If you feel super inspired by them, we’d love for you to share with your readers in a review. Have a wonderful day and thanks for contributing such valuable perspectives for women publicly! I look forward to checking in here for new posts.

  18. Hi Laurie,

    I am a 42 year old single mother with two beautil kids. I came across your side while I was trying to find out axactly the kind of job an introvert can do because I have been working for a very long time without progressing further, I feel very stagnant and irritated by what I do and most of the time I will hear like voice telling me that this is not for you and I am currently trying to find out passion. I hope landing on this site will help me realise my purpose in life and pursue it.

  19. Hi Laurie,
    I stumbled on your blog posts by accident while I was trying to distract myself from thinking about my ex. I feel it was no accident that I found your blog posts. It was a sign from God trying to help me out to let go of my ex to whom I was so dedicated about for the last 3 years..I struggle through the days trying to let go of the past but fail miserably..Your blogposts are filled with just the advice and encouragement i need..Thank you..God bless your heart and please continue posting..I look forward to it..I just love how you incorporate God’s word into your posts..Thank you Laurie..

  20. I’m 58 and was single parent to both my children and we beet the odds. My daughter has a BA. I’ve always been so very proud of my daughter until she became a mother. She uses my beautiful grandson against me. I think she’s proud of it. I’ve never ever felt such pain. I was single with my daughter and my mom died when I was six months pregnant. I cried every night now I’m crying every night to be a grandma.

    1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

      Thank you for sharing your story, Patti. I am sorry for the pain you feel, and my prayer is that you find healing and hope in God’s love. The grief of letting go of family is heartbreaking…but take heart! You never know what the future holds, or what God’s love can do for relationships.

      What would happen if you let go of the pain, and started a fresh new season of your life?

  21. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Congratulations on your blog, Sumudu! It’s beautiful; I love the mauve flower theme and the variety of topics you write about.

    You have created a beautiful space on the internet, a cosy home for you and your heartfelt words of wisdom and encouragement. I look forward to reading your posts, and wish you all God’s best on your journey.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  22. Hi Laurie,
    I came across your site over the summer when I was looking to start a blog myself. I had the idea of calling my site ‘something’ writer, and was searching to see what was out there. That was when I stumbled on your site. I was still very uncertain about starting the blogsite, a little nervous. But your site was one of the sites that really played a significant role in encouraging me to start. So on August 26 I started mauvewriter.com and just thought I’d pop by and say thank you for the inspiration to move forward. I would like to mention this site in one of my blogs – I don’t have many, but if you do visit, please let me know what you think.

  23. Hi Laurie, my name is Cos,

    I developed an application for writers to organize and visualize their stories – It’s called Storyline Creator and it’s a pretty cool app you (and your readers) might be interested in.
    I’m at storylinecreator.com, feel free to drop by and say hi :)

    Thanks,
    Cos

  24. Laurie:
    This looks like fabulous information. As a budding writer, I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Thanks

  25. Thank you for your comments, Tobias! It sounds like you are very energetic and successful :-)

    I will give your offer some thought, and contact you if I see an opportunity for us to collaborate.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  26. Hello, my name is Tobias Wade, and I’m a professional novelist. I’m reaching out to you because I follow your blog and would like to contribute to your site.

    As much as I would love to hide in a tree house and write my books all day, I’m aware that I need to actually interact with people to generate a greater online presence and build my author platform for my stories.

    If you are interested, I would be happy to write a guest article for your blog, promote some of your work on my own platform, or share one of my stories with your readers. I also love your work, and would like to offer any assistance I can give with researching or editing material for your blog. I do not wish any monetary compensation, and my sole self-promotion will be a link to my own new website and an author accreditation for any articles I write.

    Thanks for your time. I look forward to hearing from you, and keep up the good work!
    -Tobias

    A link below contains an example of one of my articles where I share my thoughts on overcoming obstacles to writing. Other stories and writing samples are available on my blog and facebook of 20,000 followers. Cheers.

    http://tobiaswade.com/latest-blog-post-what-stops-you-from-writing/
    facebook.com/tobywriting

  27. Hi Laurie,
    We are Betterafter50.com really liked you article, “55 Travel Tips for Women.” We would love to get permission to reprint it in our travel-themed issue NEXT week. (Of course you would get full credit and we would link back to any site you choose.) Take a look at our website–we have a readership of ver 75,000 and that would give you lots of exposure. Let me know what you think, and of course, time is of the essence.

    Thanks,
    Mindy Trotta

  28. Pastor Eric Johnston

    Hello,

    I’m a regular advertiser on your site (theadventurouswriter.com) through Google Adwords, and that’s how I found you. Over the last few months you’ve sent good traffic to our site so I’ve been digging deeper and I like what you are offering to the community.

    Would you be able to link to our Christian Prayer Center as a resource for your readers? We allow people to post prayer requests and in turn get thousands to pray for them.

    God bless,
    Pastor Johnston

  29. Hi Laurie,
    I produce a parenting segment for CBC Radio. I’m hoping to talk to you about your journey with infertility. Please feel free to contact me via email. Thank you very much.

  30. Hi Laurie,
    I am the co-founder of the website http://www.thegrandparentsguide.com. I came across your article “Busting cold and flu myths” and I was wondering if you would be interested/agreeable to us reprinting that article with a link to this site. I see a lot of content on your site that might be interesting to our readers and I have had good experiences partnering with other writers. Let me know if this is something that you would be interested in. Check out our site.
    Thanks,
    Amy Greenberg

  31. Hi Laurie. Something seems amiss with the Deep Cove Forum link. I’ve tried it in 3 browsers and all return a “Unable to load the ‘html_above’ template” (whatever that means.) Cheers.

  32. Dear Laurie,

    If you are still looking for experts on incense, please do send me your interview questions.

    Spiritual Science Research Foundation has done extensive spiritual research on incense sticks, the Divine principles attracted through various fragrances and has also made available graphic art of how some incense sticks emanate positive frequencies. You can read more about our research on incense sticks and spiritual healing at our website.

    We also produce incense sticks for spiritual healing and cleansing the environment. SSRF is a non-profit organisation. The specialty of our incense sticks is that they are produced with the blessings of a higher level Saint, and thus have a higher level of positivity than the average ones available on the market. They are mainly intended for spiritual healing.

    I am based in Europe, however we have volunteers in Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) as well.

    I would be happy to tell you more about any of the above in more detail.

    Best wishes,
    Ana

  33. Hi laurie I am a fellow Vancouverite noew in santa barbara -I was intereste din your work on ‘Fear of Intimacy” i want to share with you some work we are doing on this topic..
    thanks

  34. Dear Laurie,

    I am writing in response to your inquiry regarding losing a pet. My book, Once In A Lifetime Dog, My Borisangel has just been published. It is the story of loving and losing a very special dog. I would be happy to answer your questions for your article.

    Sincerely,

    Chantelle Hildreth

  35. Laurie, i have removed the article. sorry, i am now reading all the tips on your web site about blogging. Your site is awesome. I really need a writer for my site! You have a gift with words. again, sorry i never meant any harm, i am a learner! Have a great day Mary