Embrace all of your imperfectly perfect qualities

My friend Zack Gudzan (@cltivate) I were discussing realness, and how telling all sides of your life, the good/the bad/the ugly can touch people in different ways. So, I committed to him to start sharing all sides of me to hopefully reach the people that need it most.
I am all about good vibes. I love quotes, supporting/lifting people up, and I very rarely post anything that is not sunshine and rainbows, but let’s be honest, life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The things I post are to lift/motivate myself every day and I put it out into the world hoping to do the same for others.

I have bad days, I cry, I get overwhelmed, I ask myself ALL THE TIME if I am on the right path; but what I am shown time and time again, the more I put myself out there and get uncomfortable and open my heart to life, the more goodness will be brought into my life. When I turn my fears and doubts into love and trust, the more people/signs/opportunities keep presenting themselves to me that I’m on the right path. Some days are better than others. Most days I’m able to take on the world, and some days are challenging and it’s a struggle to make it through the day without bursting into tears from the weight I carry for feeling everything so very deeply.

Anyhow, what I’m saying is, even with dark days life can still be amazing. I’ve been on my own since I was 15 and my life has been a long, dark, uphill battle. I have been beaten and broken, physically/verbally/mentally. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Most of them are trying to do the best they can with what they have and don’t always realize that they take their things out on people that don’t deserve it. I make a choice to be thankful for each new day and look on the bright side of every situation. It isn’t always easy, but I promise you that it is so worth it. I am here for you. I understand where you are. Whatever it is, I am here for you. If you need someone to talk to, reach out. If I am not the best person to help you with your particular situation, I promise to connect you with someone that can help.

You are beautiful, just the way you are. So embrace all of your imperfectly perfect qualities

The Power of Thought

Life Is Really Very Simple. What We Give Out, We Get Back. What we think about ourselves becomes the truth for us.

The Power of Thought

If ever you doubt that you are important, that you are loved, that you matter, that you are known, that there is a plan for you… look around for beautiful evidence of all of it all and you will be sure to find it.

Sometimes we forget what the sky looks like, or how flowers come every single Spring, no matter what. Sometimes we forget that the sun goes down at night and then comes right back up to give us a brand new day, every single day. Sometimes we forget that there are people around us that we might not even know who wish us the best just because we are alive. Sometimes we forget that there is air to breathe, and plenty of it, and that we get to breathe in as much of it as we want, whenever we want to. Sometimes we forget to watch how the trees sway back and forth in the breeze as if they are saying hello every time we walk by. Sometimes we forget all of the incredible color that is all around us, in every form imaginable.

Sometimes we forget that ALL of the beauty, truth and light is there for us…every single day…just for us.

In a world that is constantly trying to make us forget that everything we need to be happy is almost always right in front of our face. Be one of the brave ones who notice the love that has gone into every creation around us, the love that goes into every detail of your life, and the love that returns every day if we just stop and take notice.

Spend time today thinking about what your ideal life looks like. What steps are you taking to turn your life into everything you’ve always dreamed of? How do you feel? What kind of people do you surround yourself with? The more time we spend meditating on and envisioning what we WANT out of life, the more time we can spend enjoying precisely that! Be aware of your thoughts, think positive things, dream BIG dreams, speak only kind words and CREATE a life you love staring NOW!

Living a life of “oh wells” and “what ifs”

I would rather live a life of “oh wells” rather than “what ifs” – For the longest time this quote has always been on the top of my favorites lists.  When friends/strangers ask me “how are you able to do all of the things you do? How do you have enough time? How do you have enough money? How do you have enough energy?” I usually respond with this quote.

Meaning, if you are always asking yourself “well, WHAT IF this goes wrong? Or WHAT IF I don’t like it?” You’ll never do anything and miss out on so many opportunities. If you live a life of “Oh wells” then you will embrace every opportunity with open arms and at least you gave it a try and if it doesn’t work out, you can say “Oh well, at least I tried”…and if it DOES work out then you will have a boundless collection of fun, new experiences/adventures/connections with new people you wouldn’t have met any other way then to be in that particular place at that particular moment. The magic is endless when you do the things that make your heart smile.

I usually get the response, “I don’t have the time or I don’t have the money”… Make the time, set aside the money. Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use. Even putting away $1 a week, it adds up! If you have to take some clothes to a consignment shop or post some things you don’t use any more on Craigslist, whatever way you’d like to get creative in making some extra $$$ there are so many possibilities, you just have to think outside of the box. Blocking that date on the calendar for that concert, that road trip, that cooking class, the fun yoga class you heard all about and have been dying to try, craft night, an art crawl… whatever it is that puts a smile on your face, by you marking it down and making it real, you are giving yourself something to look forward to, work towards, save up for, plan for, whatever the case may be…you are creating your world the way you want it.

I know I seem busy and crazy but I love it and I plan for it and even the spur of the moment, by the seat of my pants things that I dive into at last moments notice… I dive into them screaming “Woohoo!!” because I know that I have that time available. If I don’t have the time available then I don’t commit to the event/lunch date/working on a project for a friend/etc. unless I know I can be 100% in it to win it.

People always say Time management is most important. What is time management? You cannot change the fact that there are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week, 365 days in a year that will never change. What you can control is task management, being able to strategically plan for all of the things that are going on in your life and knowing what to take on and when to say “Thank you for the opportunity, but I will have to pass this time, but please keep me in mind for future events.” It’s important to develop effective strategies for managing your ability to balance the conflicting demands of time for play, study, leisure, earning money, etc. Task management skills are valuable in many aspects of life: from spending time with your grandparents/children/furry four legged companions to working in a vacation on your 1-3 weeks’ time frame that you have available at your job…whatever you want to do you can do it. It is possible! Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

Sometimes it may seem that there isn’t enough time to do everything that you need to. This can lead to a buildup of stress. It may require some tweaks to the way you currently operate/live your life but you’ll be for the better. Once you identify ways in which you can improve the management of your time/tasks, you can begin to adjust your routines and patterns of behavior to reduce any time-related stress in your live.

I realize that living a life of “Oh wells” sounds somewhat careless… So let’s look at it in another light. Live a life of both. Where Oh Well’s and What if’s mean the same thing. When you are making plans and making goals and dreaming dreams and all of it seems too big and unattainable, it’s time to drag out two very important words, and ask yourself “What if?”…

Because what if your big dreams are NOT too big? What if your plans ARE attainable? What if you have everything you need right now to make those big dreams start coming true? What if?!??!

If you’re going over something scary in your mind, over and over and over, ask yourself “what if that really did happen?” and then let the whole situation play out — even the worst case scenario. See yourself dealing with every little part of it and see that even if the thing you feared most really did happen, you would make it. You would be okay. Then you’ll be able to let go of fear.

Asking “WHAT IF?” releases your limitations and makes anything possible. When you find yourself stuck, whether because you think your goals are too big or because your strength is too small, really be honest with yourself. You will learn so much from this tiny little question.

Embrace today and every day with open arms! Get out a notebook and begin planning, drawing, researching and taking notes on the life you want to have, then go and have it! This is your life and you can shape it however you please. You may (more than likely will) encounter obstacles along the way, but that’s OK. Embrace those too because those open your eyes to see if what you want is really worth fighting for.

Have fun planning my friends! Dream BIG! Be Happy! Do what brings you JOY ♥

Now is the time….


Now is the time….The time to wonder, the time to hope, the time to dream. Now is the time to look ahead to a future full of adventure and opportunity, and all the best life has to offer. Whether you realize it or not, you are sensational. In a world where most settle for the ordinary, you reach for the extraordinary. You’ve got your own style, your own sense of self. You know who you are and where you’ve come from, and you can go anywhere and be anything you want. Always remember to not let fear get in the way, take risks and try new things. When you go out on a limb and say, “This is my Dream,” the universe rushes in to help turn your dreams into reality. It is as if the perfect coincidences and right opportunities and most vital information have all been waiting for you to make a move.

Sometimes results appear all at once. At other times they trickle in gradually and gently. It takes faith and genuine desire to step out onto that limb…but once you’re ready and you make that choice nothing can stop your dream from coming true. It is only when you stretch your boundaries that you can grow and discover who you really are and what you’d really like to do. Dream BIG! Be Happy! Never compromise on the things that really matter to you. This is your life! Make it what you want it to be. Dream your own dream and follow your own star. There wouldn’t be a sky full of shimmering starts if we were all meant to wish on the same one. There will always be dreams grander or humbler than your own, but there will never be a dream exactly like yours, for you are unique and more wondrous than you know.

Do your best. There are no shortcuts on the way to a dream. Give all that you have to all that you do, and above all things, believe in yourself. Grow with each new day, work hard, face difficulties with determination and confidence. You will always be a winner, not because you never loose, but because you are always willing to give new things a try. No matter what happens today or tomorrow, you’ll come out on top. Stay on track and you’ll accomplish whatever you set out to do. Imagine all of your tomorrows as empty pages for you to fill any way you desire. What dreams will come reality? What surprises will you find? What stories will you live? Imagine the future you want and get out there and live it!

Lemons to Lemonade

“When Life hands you lemons, make lemonade!”b08174a386e4364b5f797b5cf7028cde

You hear this phrase often….but what does it entail? I eat just about everything and am head over heels in love with fruit, all kinds, all shapes, all sizes but even I cannot sit down, slice open a lemon and take a bite. Lemons are a fruit that have to become something else, enhance something, change something, make something happen. Can you think of another fruit that is almost inedible on it’s own? That becomes so divine in combination and transformation? Lemon bars and cookies, lemon meringue pie, lemon in hot tea or squeezed into a pitcher of sweet tea, fresh lemonade, that sweet and sour masterpiece that can change your life on a hot summer day. Lemonade Stand What about those metaphorical lemons that life is bound to hand you now and then? Acidic, sour, trying times that you just can’t seem to enjoy or digest? The most successful and happy among us have never miss out on an opportunity to turn sour into sweet, hard times into learning experiences. While it may not be easy, we know that seeing those lemons as pure potential is the way to go. Adversity spurs creativity, challenge breeds success. Easy Peasy When you’re feeling surrounded by useless lemons, never forget that you always have a choice. When you seem to be stuck in a difficult time, you can change your outlook, which in turn can change your circumstances, you can keep yourself healthy and surround yourself with kind, good-hearted people, you can seek out and find hidden treasure all around you….I know it’s not always easy, but look for the good all around you, even if you have to squint.  Be grateful for any and everything that comes your way.   We all want to be happy, and happiness is useful for other things, too. For example, happiness improves physical health, improves creativity and even enables you to make better decisions. (It is difficult to be rational when you’re unhappy.)


You may have heard of the famous studies showing that people are happiest when they are in a state of “flow.” Flow is the state you’re in when you are fully engaged in a task that is interesting, challenging, and intrinsically rewarding to you. This is the experience of “losing yourself in the moment” or, as sports players say, “being in the zone.” Finding flow has largely to do with performing tasks that match your skill level. When a task is far beyond your skill level, you will feel defeated. When a task is too easy, you’ll be bored. Only when a task is challenging but achievable will you feel good about doing it.

Stay positive

If you’re struggling with negative thoughts, achieving flow is probably the best medicine. Contrary to popular wisdom, forced positive thinking often makes things worse. Trying to not think about Upsetting Thought X has the same effect as trying to not think about pink elephants: you can’t help but think about pink elephants. While being “lost in the moment” may provide some of your happiest moments, research has also shown that when you’re not in flow, taking a step outside the moment and practicing “mindfulness” – that is, paying attention to your situation, your actions, and your feelings – can reduce chronic pain and depression, reduce stress and anxiety, and produce a wide range of other positive effects. Below are a few methods for becoming happier.  You will need to think about who you are, what makes you happy, what makes you unhappy, and what you can achieve in order to determine which of the below methods should be attempted first.

take what you need

  1. Improve your self-esteem and optimism.
  2. Improve your agreeableness. In simpler terms, this basically means: increase your empathy. Try to see things from another’s perspective, and thinking more about people less fortunate than oneself.
  3. At the same time do not let people mistake your kindness for weakness. Do not over exert yourself. Do things that make you happy and you should always help others, just make sure you know how to say “No” sometime
  4. Improve your conscientiousness. Examples: useful organization, strong work ethic, reliability, planning ahead, etc. Each of these individual skills can be learned. The techniques for overcoming procrastination are useful,. Some people report that books like Getting Things Done have helped them become more organized and reliable.
  5. Develop the habit of gratitude. Savor the good moments throughout each day. Spend time thinking about happy memories. And at the end of each day, write down a few things you are grateful for: the roof over your head, the loved ones in your life, the delicious dinner that you had, etc.
  6. Find your purpose and live it. It may take a while to find it though, and you may have to dip your hands and mind into many fields. But once you find a path that strongly motivates you and fulfills you, take it. (Of course, you might not find one purpose but many.) Having a strong sense of meaning and purpose has a wide range of positive effects.
  7. Find a more fulfilling job. Few people do what they love for a living. Getting to that point can be difficult and complicated. You may find that doing  other things on this list first is needed for you to have a good chance at getting a more fulfilling job. To figure out which career might be full of tasks that you love to do, aRIASEC personality test might help. In the USA, O*NET can help you find jobs that are in-demand and fit your personality.
  8. Improve your relationship with your romantic partner, or find a different one. As with finding a more fulfilling job, this one is complicated, but can have major impact. If you know your relationship isn’t going anywhere, you may want to drop it so you can spend more time developing yourself, which will improve future relationships. If you’re pretty serious about your partner, there are many things you can do to improve the relationship.
    Try reading “The five love languages” together. You both will be able to identify your love language and figure out ways to better communicate with one another and show love for each other.
  9. Be Active and move your body. This will improve your attention and well-being. Whether it is taking a hike, a yoga class, a swim, a bicycle ride, just get out there and move…play in the sunshine. 
  10. Spend more time in flow. Make easy and boring tasks more engaging by turning them into games or adding challenges for yourself.
  11. Practice mindfulness regularly. When not in flow, take a deep breathe and try to pay attention to how you are behaving, how your emotions are functioning, and how your current actions work toward your goals.

Note that seeking happiness as an end might be counterproductive. Happiness is a way of Life, not a destination. Enjoy your day!

Turning dreams into reality!

Picture it! A television show with a modernized version of  Travel.
It’d be a combination of No Reservations, Man vs. Wild,  Wild on! E! with Brooke Burke, Departures, NusetCulottes and Globe Trekker……

The show: Gypsy Adventures!  The host: Yours truly! Sydney Duarte aka The Traveling Gypsy

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Cliff #Jump – Grayson, KY #gypsyphotoaday #LostGypsy

A post shared by S Y D N E Y (@traveling_gypsy) on

I’ve been infected by the “travel bug” since I was a little girl. I loved National Geographic, Discovery channel, Travel Channel. Anything that dealt with other countries, people, animals and cultures had me entranced. The adventurer/explorer part is who I have always been. My parents tell stories from my younger years, climbing the highest trees/buildings to sit on the roof and look at the stars. If it wasn’t high, it wasn’t fun. Bringing home any animal I could find, snakes, bats, raccoons…fangs or not, I had to keep it. Hanging out by the train tracks near the river waiting to grab the back ladder of the caboose and ride for a while, building forts and camping in the woods for days on end with my little brother. As I grow older, my taste for adventure has enhanced quite a bit; running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain for San Fermin’s, trekking volcanoes in Guatemala to roast marshmallows over lava, scuba diving the coral reef of Madagascar, Riding elephants in Thailand, Jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, the list goes on and on. I crave adventure and know that working in an office day in and day out is not where I’m meant to be.
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As many of you know, my mind never stops. I have so many ideas and dreams. I live to try new things and brighten others’s lives. I love to explore, touch and taste and smell everything! Being out in the wilderness soothes my soul and embracing other cultures helps me enhance my knowledge and understanding of the world. When I find those magical hidden places that many others miss along the way…it is complete bliss.
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If my gut says “go” I “go.” I’d rather live a life of “oh wells” than what ifs. I always end up regretting not going with my intuition from past experiences where I have had second thoughts. So I decided several years ago to live a life with no regrets. My journey has molded me for the greater good, and so far it has been exactly what it needed to be. Every so often the thought crosses my mind, that I have lost time but then I remember it takes each and every situation you encounter to bring you to the now, and now is right on time!

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Screen Shot 2013-04-19 at 6.41.39 AMhttp://instagram.com/p/Ta6WXvvJCm/

And now is the time to become a TV host! My adventurous and explorative personality will make for an entertaining show. I like to keep my mind and body in constant motion and love anything that gets my adrenaline pumping. I productively handle any rapidly changing situations that I encounter and can navigate through remote areas. I never meet a stranger and as you can see from my sites listed below, behind or in front of the lens, I am in love with the camera!


I am always prepared to inspire and motivate others and would love an opportunity to show the world what I have to offer. I have faced many challenges, encountered numerous opportunities and people who have been instrumental in shaping my life. I have worked hard for everything that I have and all of these experiences keep me light hearted and eager to learn about the world around me. I have picked up many tips and tricks along my travels about culture, history, mannerisms, food and language. Each time I travel to a new country the locals that I meet are usually under the impression that Americans are uniformed about the World that lies beyond the US borders. I would like to help change that preconceived notion and help educate and inspire people about the World around us and teach them to embrace other cultures and give them a chance to look at life in a whole new perspective… possibly inspire them to get out of their comfort zones and travel to new places.

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My 2012 World venture took me through, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, South Africa, Madagascar, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Guatemala. Some of it was planned and some destinations were very impromptu….All of it was absolutely incredible! I travelled alone and couch surfed and camped the whole trip. I met so many amazing people along the way and would like to base the show on allowing the viewers to see each destination that I visit through the eyes of the locals. Go on adventures with me as I am taken to the “hidden” spots that tourists don’t normally know exist, taste new foods, learn new trades, dance new dances, speak new languages…  From the sea floor to the highest mountain peak, I want to cover it all and explore it all!

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I’ve been to 26 countries throughout my life so far and would love to increase that number exponentially! I am ready to turn these dreams into a reality. I hope you all will join me 🙂  If you have any ideas, thoughts for the show, Things you’d like to see me do/eat, places you’d like me to explore/learn about, please leave a comment below.

Love & Light!

Don’t be delicate. Be vast and brilliant!

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve all had an amazing week! Just wanted to share a little positive thinking

Be vast and brilliant

Don’t ever let anyone dull your sparkle. Have faith and a burning desire to keep on going no matter what happens. Life may not always turn out as you had planned, but it’s like a camera; Focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives and if it goes wrong…Take another shot. If it makes you happy, do it. If it doesn’t then don’t, but choose what is worth fighting for and stick with your decision. If times are tough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel, keep going. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm and every difficulty is an opportunity in disguise. Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized anyway.

Each day holds possibilities for great discoveries and hidden joy. What appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make. Believe in your ability to make great things happen. Turn your cant’s into cans and your dreams into plans.

Be in Love with your Life, every minute of it ♥

Look around at what exists in your life right now. Look at every event that had to be orchestrated to get you to exactly where you are, doing exactly what you are doing, with exactly who you are with, learning exactly what you are learning and experiencing exactly what you are experiencing.


Jumping for Joy at Sky High Sports. cha.jumpskyhigh.com/

Jumping for Joy at Sky High Sports. cha.jumpskyhigh.com/

Look at all of this and know that it was meant just for you. If it feels like you are in a place that you would rather not be at this time, just know that you are in the middle….on the way from here to there…..and that you will get through it…that it will last exactly as long as it’s supposed to last and teach you exactly what you are meant to learn. And later, you will see how this time was one of your very greatest teachers. Take a long look in the mirror and remind yourself That Life is not a race, but indeed a journey. Be honest. Work hard. Be choosy. Say “thank you,” “I love you,” and “great job” to someone each day. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you aspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate and enjoy the little things in life. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself. Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy every moment ♥

If you are in a place that feels miraculous and wonderful…full of beauty and peace….be sure to marvel in it. Breathe it in, know that everything brought you to now…and that there is always a reason that will take your breath away.

Headstands at Noda Yoga in Charlotte, NC. www.nodayoga.com

Headstands at Noda Yoga in Charlotte, NC. www.nodayoga.com

Everything matters. Every decision matters, every experience matters, every relationship matters, every interaction matters, every lesson matters. Each piece creates a whole that is the life you are living in this moment.

Have a beautiful weekend!
Love & Light!
♥ Sydney

I took the road less traveled…

I am very excited! Bridges Magazine  published a new article featuring some of my @travling_gypsy adventures – http://www.bridges-mag.com/?p=464

Bridges Magazine Article

Couchsurfing – the New Alternative Way of Exploring for this “Traveling Gypsy”

For some, traveling abroad is a scary thought. For others, it’s a dream. For Sydney Duarte, 26, it’s a way of life. Wandering to and fro from continent to continent is how this self-proclaimed thrill-seeker gets her kicks. Making her rounds in a nomadic style is a pastime all too common for this former Boyd County resident.

Charlotte, N.C., is where she now makes her strides, selling art in several studios across town. Her specialty: photo blocks and jewelry inspired from her journeys.



“I was the girl who kept 50 disposable cameras in my backpack during high school just to make sure I captured as many memories as possible”.

Beginning at age six, her love for travel was sparked by shows like Wild on E and those on the Discovery Channel.

“I started saving money for my first international trip to Guatemala working as a bill collector and as a pizza delivery girl,” Duarte said. “This is where my dad was born, so it seemed like a good place to start.”

After returning home, the travel bug ensued. She began planning her next trip to Thailand, this time accompanied by a friend. The thirst for new horizons became unquenchable. Realizing that globe-trotting is not everyone’s forte, she began seeking alternate methods of travel.

“I got tired of waiting on other people to go with me, so I began couchsurfing”.

Couch Surfing in New Zealand

Simply put, couchsurfing is an online community of people all around the world who open their homes and hearts to visitors who want to experience a country from the local point of view. Besides providing food and shelter, your host doubles as a personal tour guide, giving you the scoop on the city’s ins and outs. You’ll be advised on the best travel routes, treated to the best food and taken to the hottest local scenes.

“Couchsurfing provides you with other people who have the same outlook on life,” Duarte said. “You make life-long friends and I keep in touch with every single person I have stayed with along the way.”

She couchsurfs everywhere she goes, always lining up two or three people as back up and traveling with her tent in case something falls through.

Her first couchsurfing experience was a trip to the Encierro, home to the world-famous Running of the Bulls during the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in Spain. Accompanied by her brother, the two camped out and couchsurfered while visiting the event.

Victory picture in the arena after Surviving the run

“This was the biggest rush of adrenaline I’ve ever experienced”.

Next came a trip to Europe. She couchsurfed her way across Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland.

The third and most recent couchsurfing experience turned into a seven-month expedition. She covered New Zealand, Australia, Bali, Singapore, South Africa, Madagascar, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru and Guatemala.Playing with the elephants inTango in Buenos Aires, Argentina

“This took a lot of coordination,” Duarte said. “Madagascar was my favorite. It seems as though your gone 100 years back in time. The women still wash their clothes in the rice fields.”

Volunteering during her stay is an essential part to her journeys. In Thailand she volunteered at a monk temple replacing tiles. She taught English in Madagascar, built homes in Guatemala, worked at a home for abused children in South Africa and spent time doing beach and forest conservation in Australia.

Teaching children at Aina Madagascar places first on Duarte’s list of favorites.Volunteering at Aina MadagascarTeaching english at Aina Madagascar

“These kids had no other hope for an education. They’re not like American kids. They jump at the chance to attend school. They’re excited about the opportunity to learn and know there is no better way to move forward in life than through education,” Duarte said.

To keep family and friends informed on all her adventures, she has created a blog. It is chock-full of pictures, stories and interesting facts about the places she’s visited and people she’s met along the way. When asked to describe her blog, She says it’s simply a journal that she intends to show her children one day.

Since reaching seasoned traveler status, she’s picked up a few tips and tricks to make travel much less complicated for the average person.

“Packing light is a must,” Duarte said. “I take clothes I can layer and easily change the look of. I also bring a jar of peanut butter for protein, a pack of chewable Pepto-Bismol®, a flashlight, first aid kit and my camera.”

Making sure vaccinations are up-to-date and bringing a cheat sheet of common phrases are essential. Also, bringing a sketch pad to draw pictures on just in case the language barrier proves too great can be helpful. She says if all else fails, body language is really the best communication.

For travelers on a tight budget, she offers some moneysaving tips such as bringing a reusable bottle for drinks and taking the metro or buses instead of a taxi.

“Buses are fantastic because often you strike up conversations with locals and other tourists from all over the world. I met a girl from Belgium on a 10-hour bus ride to Machu Picchu and now have a place to stay if I visit her country”.

Along with learning other languages, cultures and customs, she is quick to share several life lessons she’s picked up along the way.

“As bad as you think it is, it’s not that bad,” Duarte said. “As long as there’s a source of food and a roof/tent over your head, you’re OK!”

There’s no end to her travels anytime soon. “The more I travel, the more I realize people are pretty much the same everywhere I go, they just eat different food, wear different clothes and play different music.  ” Duarte said.

Next on the list is a trip to the eastern Caribbean and then it’s off to Finland to visit friends. Taken from an anonymous quote, she shares her mantra in hopes it will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.

“There is no end to the adventures we can have if we seek them with our eyes open.”


Fun and inspiration for all of your February Photos

Hi All!
I hope that 2013 is treating you very well. January went by in the a blink of an eye.
I’ve whipped up a new list of fun inspirations for you to play with throughout the month of February.


For all of  you that would like to join in on the fun, you can find the details for the “Photo-A-Day Challenge” at: http://travelinggypsyadventures.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/add-a-little-fun-and-inspiration-to-add-your-day-photo-challenge-for-2013/
Remember to use the hash tag #GypsyPhotoOfTheDay to share all of your fun and adventures with everyone.

Below are some of my favorites from the pictures I posted each day for January on my instagram @traveling_gypsy

Day 3: Surprise Shark Onesie

Awesomeness! Shark footed onesie 🙂

A post shared by S Y D N E Y (@traveling_gypsy) on

Day 3: Surprise – Awesome Shark footed onesie that my brother surprised me with


Day 9: Smile – Love him and these beautiful, alluring, fiery blooms! Orange roses symbolize passion, pride, desire & enthusiasm. Just as the red rose means passion and the yellow rose means friendship, orange roses often mean a cross-over between these two emotions 🙂


Exploring Taiwan #LOVE

A post shared by S Y D N E Y (@traveling_gypsy) on

Day 12: Love – Found this great Love sign while Exploring Taiwan


Day 16: Reflection – Imperfection is Beauty. Madness is Genius & its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring!

My View

Day 18: Your View – This was my #view this morning through my frozen windshield. Kinda funky 🙂 wish it would’ve snowed though


Full #moon

A post shared by S Y D N E Y (@traveling_gypsy) on

Day 29: Moon – Full moon over the Mountains during our ski trip to Snoweshoe Mountain, WV

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