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.
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.
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.
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!
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,