A SoCal based psychologist whose work feeds an insatiable wanderlust.


2016 Yearly Roundup

Here are my 10 best travel moments from 2016...in chronological order because I just couldn't rank them!

  1. Starting this blog!

  2. Baseball in Seattle

  3. Camping in Alaska

  4. Date Night at Relae in Copenhagen

  5. Walking along the Your Rainbow Panorama in Aarhus

  6. Standing in front of Horseshoe Bend

  7. Touching these ancient slot canyon walls

  8. Hiking the 6 highest peaks in SoCal

  9. Relaxing in Palm Springs 

  10. 45 seconds in the Infinity Room at The Broad Museum

5 Christmasy Things to do in SoCal

1. Shopping at The Grove

I mean you have to shop right? Why not do it at the "most LA" venue around? The decorations are over the top and especially gorgeous at night.  If you can, bundle up and grab dinner on the patio at La Piazza and watch the shoppers and celebrities shuffle around. Warning: there is an enormous American Girl store at The Grove, so you may want to leave little girls behind! And maybe just as dangerous- Ladies, there is a Laduree now open!
My Best Tip: Wander down to the attached Original Farmer's Market and get some crack, I mean, the-best-toffee-ever for all of your friends at Little John's English Toffee House.

Baby, It's Chicago Outside

The weather is finally cooling down here in SoCal so I thought I would revisit one of the coldest places I ever been. Not Norway, not London, not Montreal...Chicago in late October. 

I was attending the national sexual offender treatment conference (good times!) over the Halloween week, so I had no control over the crappy time of year to experience Chicago for the first time. 

Submitting A Conference Presentation

My first international conference as a student

This week, I submitted presentation proposals to a local conference and an international conference, both of which will take place next Spring. It was kind of last minute but a colleague already had an idea that seems like it will be easy to build upon. Speaking in an international forum is such an accomplished feeling.  To me, only the most dedicated and interested minds make the effort to attend and share their ideas and research in that type of setting and it is a privilege to address that crowd.  It may sound daunting, but proposing an idea is easier than you may think. And for those of you who are early in your careers or still students, you are welcomed too! 

Here's how I have gone about it and I have been accepted to every single one that I have applied to, with the opportunity to travel to Australia, Vienna, Oslo, Portugal, and Copenhagen

Cali Corner: My Favorite LA Landmark

The Griffith Observatory is perched atop Mount Hollywood and looms over the vast LA basin like a silent protector. It's history is vast and it's lessons on astronomy and other sciences have entertained me for years. For me, it is the most iconic structure in all of Los Angeles. 

To get to the observatory, drive up into Griffith Park, past the Greek Theatre (pretty much the best concert venue in LA), and through the old-timey tunnels that are straight out of Roger Rabbit.  I always wonder if Toon Town is going to appear on the other side.  This area is classic Hollywood, but also contemporary life filled with tourists, cyclists, and hikers. If you're lucky, you can score a parking spot in the lot and take an easy stroll to the grounds. 

Before I was a sucker for art deco architecture, I was fascinated with the cosmos on display as a kid and later watched trippy Pink Floyd laser shows in the planetarium as a young adult.  The exhibits on science essential to California-living bring a sense of community to the great interior halls of the observatory. My favorite has always been the Richter scale where you can jump up and down on the floor and make your own seismic waves (I love a good earthquake!).

My other 3 favorite things to do at Griffith Observatory are:

1. Catch a planetarium show (the only thing you have to pay for)
2. Hike one of the many trails, including one that leads to the back of the Hollywood sign
3. Have lunch on the lawn

Los Angeles is one of those cities where there are many spots we all visit again and again, wanting to share them with the new generations, but it's also filled with things we have never experienced before making any given weekend perfect for being a tourist in your own city.  

What is your favorite landmark in your home town?

Nerding Out in Vienna

Sitting in front of Hofsburg Palace in Vienna
Hofburg Palace
Standing in front of Sigmund Freud's Vienna office museum
Sigmund Freud's Vienna office museum
Exterior shot of Sigmund Freud's Vienna office museum
St. Stephen's Cathedral
City Hall
Bridge over a bridge

There's nothing quite like visiting the exceedingly gorgeous city of Vienna. And as somebody in the mental health field it was exponentially exciting. Sigmund Freud worked at the Vienna General Hospital in his early days of treating hysteria and it was at the University of Vienna, where Freud and Carl Jung collaborated to form the International Psychoanalytic Association  

I was fortunate enough to present some material related to my doctoral dissertation at an international forensic mental health conference in Vienna and it was a wonderful opportunity to explore this beautiful, clean, uncrowded city before journeying on to Prague

We were treated to a welcome reception at the beautiful City Hall and later in the trip we enjoyed a beer festival outside of the same gorgeous building while watching the model-animated film Peter and the Wolf on a giant movie screen. The absolute highlight of the trip included visiting Dr.Freud's office where I sat in his waiting room, but not on his couch (which is in London!) and eating at CafĂ© Landtmann where he and other famous psychiatric minds often consumed their stimulants- Coffee! 

Vienna is chock full of gorgeous cathedrals and interesting museums which dot 
immaculate tree-lined street . We were also treated to a healthy dose of Viennese street art along the canals and perfectly manicured gardens that are home to golden statues of the famous classical composers of the region. The trip wasn't complete without a tour of the Vienna State Opera House and trying every beer and schnitzel we could get our hands on. 

I'm interested to know what cities inspire your work or motivate your future professional goals! Let me know in the comments below. 

And be good to your mothers!