“Hello lovely :) I’m starting a feminist travel blog called Empowered Wanderer and was wondering if you’d like to team up in some capacity! I’d love to send you a sample post if you’re interested - I’m about 30 days or so from launch! Hope you’re having fun with Charlotte.”
This was sent to me January 28th of 2018 by the incredible Annalise. I said something along the lines of “I’m not really a writer, but I’d love to be involved in some way, most likely with photography!” I had no idea the type of friendship that would ensue after that first message. Annalise and I were familiar with one another on Instagram because of a mutual friend. We definitely had the whole travel and adventure thing in common.
Did she start that blog? Absolutely. Took off running and never looked back. Quit her job, turned her car into a home and went for it. She shows up every single day to make her dreams come true. Such a powerful voice in the female community. Not only is she inspiring other women to travel and live their dreams, but she’s talking about the things we were told to keep quiet. The things we were never taught in sex-ed. Asking the questions to start the conversations most of us need to hear. I am so unbelievably proud of her and honored to call her my friend.
She’s really good about painting a picture of where she is and what’s around her when she’s writing since she was bouncing all over Europe for a lot of her posts. So in honor of that, I am on my bed. Trevor Hall playing in the background, sandlewood incense burning. Outside the window is Lake Coeur d’Alene with a light snowfall. Okay, back to the story.
After that first message, we didn’t speak again until July 3rd, 2018. On this day I had posted a photo of myself on Instagram. My favorite self portrait to date. Just me in my birthday suit under the full moon in Joshua Tree. The feeling I got from that photo, the empowered beautiful feeling of self-love, made me want to share that with other women. So in my caption I said I was starting The Empowerment Project. Helping other women feel liberated! And of course Annalise commented. She said, “Babe! Can we please please team up and do a project?”
How could I say no? :) We both had the same vision. We wanted a group of women to gather out in the woods. Made one phone call to talk plans and that was it. We were going to host a retreat. The Wandering Women’s Retreat. I had actually never been to a retreat at that point, a small gathering, but not a retreat. I booked the Columbia retreat right around the time we decided to do this. We wanted it to be under a full moon so we planned the day only to later find out I looked at the calendar wrong and we scheduled it for the new moon. No biggie! Just camping out in the complete darkness. I was actually a little worried but the new moon is such a powerful time for new beginnings. Getting clear about what you want and manifesting it. So having the retreat on that day was perfect.
September 8th, 2018 we had our vision come to life. After the initial stress about weather, everything came together. There were 11 of us out there in the beautiful woods of the PNW. Tents pitched and hearts open. It was so amazing to be a part of it and I’m forever grateful that Annalise came into my life and made it happen. Connecting, sharing, exploring, creating and loving!
Have you ever met someone you just instantly click with? That was Annalise for me. It was like I had known her forever the moment we finally met in person. Like I said earlier, we have the travel and adventure thing in common. Both traveled while living in our vehicles. Both went backpacking through Europe. Both felt empowered as we stepped out on solo journeys into the unknown. And we both want to inspire others to do the same. Meeting new people and seeing new things. I’m a strong believer that everyone should take at least one solo trip in their life. You learn so much about yourself and the fact that you’re alone, opens you up to sooo many possibilities.
Annalise is an amazing example of following your heart and doing what you’re called to do. Finding your purpose and going after it with everything you have. She is warm, goofy, uplifting and the best hugger. Lives a life of passion, which we should all strive to do. An incredible person to have on your team. She will love you fiercely and be your biggest cheerleader. Inspire and empower you, just as she was meant to.
Visit her website www.EmpoweredWanderer.com to read her blog and follow her on Instagram @Empoweredwanderer!