Hi, I’m Carmel. Welcome to my Journey.


What started out as a document of my travels around the world with my husband, Shawn, has turned into something more.

For seven years, Shawn and I dreamed, planned and saved for our year around the world. I left not knowing why exactly I was going. Perhaps to find myself, but more likely, I just knew I needed to get away. I had a good life going in Portland, Oregon (my adopted hometown), but something inside me yearned for something bigger. What that was, I didn’t know. I just had to go.

Motorbiking Central Vietnam

Motorbike tour through central Vietnam

I knew I’d be back.

Along the way, we started finding clues to what was next. Near the end of the trip, I had a bit of an epiphany – an “aha!” moment, if you will. I knew what I wanted, and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid to admit it. I want my own business. I want to go to culinary school. I want my own family. I felt ready to conquer the world.

Then reality hit.

I knew I wanted those things – but all at once?? Panic started to set in. I had to prioritize.

Fourteen months after leaving home, we resettled in Seattle, Washington (my actual hometown) and lived with my mom for six months while we saved money for the next step. I started a new career, but it wasn’t the one I had planned on while we were traveling. I could have “had it all,” but I didn’t think I’d enjoy it. Something in my gut, once again, steered me in the direction we’re going now. And this time my head agreed.

We want a family.


Come February 2016 our team will welcome its newest adventurer. We are thrilled, scared, excited, nervous, ecstatic, and scared (did I mentioned scared??) all at once. But mostly just happy.

Dreams are funny – they can never be pinned down or planned too much. They twist, turn, and taunt us as they evolve. They’re about more than a goal or a destination – it’s about creating a life you love and a path that makes you happy. After all, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey itself.