Life Coach. Writer.

Back at College (for the Afternoon)

October 25, 2015

The other day I went back to college. As a student. For 90 minutes. It was the quintessential autumn day. The kind where the leaves have just begun to turn color, some gently unhinging from their branches and wavering in the air before they hit the dirt below. Or in my case, before they hit

the bricks that make up Locust Walk, the pedestrian pathway that cuts through the heart of Penn’s campus.

On the invitation of my daughter, now a sophomore at my alma mater, I arrived on campus—not just as a courier schlepping a winter coat, some homemade chicken soup and several necessities from Trader Joe’s, but primarily to attend a lecture in Emily’s class, Intro to Positive Psychology.

With a tendency to cut my timing close, I purposely gave myself an extra hour before meeting Emily so I could wallow in the beauty of the day, and the memories of my own walks down Locust Walk—nearly 30 years ago. I texted Emily to let her know where I was sitting–on the grass to the left of the iconic Button sculpture that sits in front of the main library–steps away from the hovering statue of Ben Franklin. Read More→

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Mindful in Morocco

March 2, 2015

IMG_7826It’s hard not to be mindful of your surroundings in Morocco—the North African country that seems to emanate a wondrous overload of the senses. The sights, smells, tastes and sounds can be overpowering and beautiful, startling and thought-provoking.

In a country where the terrain ranges from snow-capped Atlas mountains and the vast Sahara desert to the serpentine streets of Fez’s medina IMG_5655(old city) and the nearly 1,000 miles of Atlantic coastline, your senses are frequently on high alert. As they well should be.

On a recent trip to Morocco, our group had the good fortune to trek amidst the natural beauty of Mount Toubkal, feel the warm golden sand of the desert dunes, smell the aromas of animal skins at a tannery, and savor the flavors of many a sumptuous tagine. Thanks to the help of travel outfitter Quivertree, who helped us plan our trip and provided us with our amazing guide, Lahcen, our journey was filled with a varied exploration of Morocco’s fascinating offerings—heavy on adventure and a good dose of culture.

Here are a some of our trip’s highlights:

Marrakech

The 11th century Place Jemaa el-Fna is straight out of the movies—a large plaza filled with musicians, Read More→

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Traveling to Find Your Roots

December 4, 2013

My father was Romanian. My mother is French. As a child, I heard many stories about life in their native lands.

I was fortunate to journey with my mother to France several times, visiting the homes, towns, and the convent in which she lived as a hidden child during the war.

While my father spoke lovingly to me about the mountainous region of his native Transylvania, he was afraid to go back and see what had become of the country, ravaged during the political reign of Nicolai Ceaușescu. He did return eventually, after Ceaușescu was no longer in power, and found his hometown, Brasov, and the surrounding region as lush and charming as he’d remembered. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there until after my father’s death.

It was very important to me to share my parents’ heritage with my three children, Nicole, Emily and Simon. The legacies would always a be a part of me, and now them, and I felt as if they’d understand their heritage more if they stood in the steps where their grandparents once played, went to school, and so on. We traveled to France.

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