​​​​​​​​​Whenever I leave Chicago for my family's home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, I'm always surprised by how my mood and energy completely shifts. 

I'll drive down Highway 50, straight into downtown, and slowly that dose of medicine I always desperately need, no matter how long I’ve been away from my first and greatest love, begins to kick in. And there I am. Home. Happy. But “home” and “happy” feel like an understatement, because it's much, much more than that.

Lake Geneva is a place where your soul can rest, your pulse can slow, where you can be yourself, and where you can drink to life just as it is. It’s who I am, it’s where I belong, it’s where I’ll end up, it’s where my spirit was born. And even after all this time, even after missing a few summers pier-side because I'm  jet-setting around the globe, seeing some of the planet’s most cherished wonders and landscapes — this place is still my favorite in the world.

Champ’s is to my right as I continue to drive, and I’ll slow down to see if I recognize anyone in the front window mingling with a beer. Chances are, I’ll pull over to say “hello” and have a beer with them. Whoever it is, we’ll catch up like it hasn’t been years since we’ve last seen each other.

The lake is to my left, and if I time the drive just right, I can make it as the sun slowly begins to set behind The Rivera — one of many places at the lake where I had some major bucket-list moments. The first time I caught a fish. The first time I rode a jetskii. The first time I crashed a wedding. The latter of these moments always brings a cheeky smile to my face.

​      that  

This place alone is why we true “lake rats” all have an ode to it, somewhere tattoo-ed on our bodies. But if you don’t, you most certainly have some sort of scar on your foot/leg from the time you were sliced by something at the bottom of the lake, or on your hand because you were so drunk on the back of a boat en route to Chuck’s, and you tried twisting open a Spotted Cow — forgetting that they are, in fact, not twist-offs. And if you're like me, some sort of prized possession once formally yours, is at the bottom of that lake, in nearly every corner of it. The east-end, the west-end, north shore and south, have all robbed me of bracelets, sunglasses and bikini bottoms. Though I blame the bikini bottoms scandal on a late, weeknight skinny dipping session back in my teenage years. Those were the best nights; when it felt like my friends and I had the lake all to ourselves, and that we could do anything. And we did! Well after dark and legal-lake-hours, wakeboard attached to the back of someone's parent's boat…. But glass is glass, and we weren’t going to miss out. ​​

I still hold onto that feeling. Everywhere I go. It’s mine forever, as well as this perfect slice of heaven. I adore you always, LG.


                                                                                xx  E

      FIND ME ...

Ah ​​​Asia, how I’ve missed you so. Your backpacker ghettos, your chaotic streets with telephone wires hanging above like chandeliers, and street vendors with fake Gucci sunglasses and obnoxious looking Harlem pants that every traveler buys to stay cozy on overnight buses, but then lapses into wearing for four days straight. The place where I developed a love-hate-hate-really-hate relationship with monkeys; where I fell in love, and saw and did things that I can never un-see and do.

For the broke, there are Western Union offices. For the ill and anxious, there are street pharmacies selling antibiotics, blister packs and generic Valium. For the planless, there are “travel agents” working out of kiosks, with obnoxious sandwich-board signs out in front reminding you that for just $200USD, you can have yourself an unforgettable Angkor Wat experience. For the inspired, there are side streets lit up with neon lights, and heart-stopping sunsets that you just can’t quite get in your mother country. 

It takes a certain kind of crazy to live this lifestyle, but I’m back for round two, Asia. This time with new dreams & ambitions.
                                                                                                                                                      xx  E