I was born in Ukraine and raised in ATL, and have called NYC home for the past 6 years up until December 2015. On Feb 8th, 2016 I embarked on an 18 month solo backpacking world tour across 6 continents in search of self discovery and documenting kindness around the world ( I've been dreaming of this trip for 7 years!).

First and foremost, I'm an adventurer and storyteller, who likes to kick off my  mornings with Beyonce dance parties. I'm also a MOTH StorySLAM winner and a contributing writer for VICE, and feel most alive when giving a voice to people/things that matter and hoping to make the world a little sunnier, a little kinder, and a little more magical as a result.

The Calm Before the Storm: 48 Hours

Lying on a beach in a tropical paradise, 48 hours away from the kick off to my 18 month solo backpacking trek, I spotted a massive halo around the molten golden sun today.  Its an optical phenomenon known as 22 degree halo, when light interacts with ice crystals suspended in the atmosphere.  Wishing 24 hours, a rainstorm usually strikes as a result. I feel like I’ve got my own halo above me  serving as a constant reminder that the storm is about to hit.  I’m living in a surreality phenomenon, where my reality is about to interact with dreams of a world tour that have been suspended in the atmosphere for 7 years …in a mere 48 hours.

The  to- do lists are at an all time high: REI list, CVS list, MUJI list – all of which remain neglected. The easy way to explain this is that, at heart, I do my best work via procrastination. The harder and more honest answer, is that I’m resisting taking any additional steps to make this trip really come to fruition – but not packing, by not building the website, by not getting travelers insurance, by not buying the sleeping bag, I get to remain suspended in the reality of my current comfort. My life in LA for the past 2 months has been nothing short of delightful, calming, and restorative. I got to reconnect with my sisters and mom, have daily breakfasts with hilarious banter with my grandparents, immerse myself in a new circle of friends,  listen to my body, sleep in, eat healthy,  and get a taste of what my life will be like when I move back here in 18 months….and its addictively good.

The human condition to seek familiarity and revel in comfort. A dear friend recently wrote about me, ” Vicki is most comfortable when she is lost” and I was stunned by the accuracy of that statement.  For me, comfort and growth rarely coexist, and so while I’d been comfortable in NYC, I hadn’t been growing. I haven’t been fully actualizing my potential. So I made a decision. A tough decision to leave New York. And two months later, I find myself in similar shoes leaving LA. There’s that same lump in my throat, knot in my belly, yet deep rooted inexplicable pull to just leave it all….

And the thing about leaving comfort, leaving your friends, family, and all the joy that time in your life brought is you know you HAVE to go now, in order to come back having grown up. Following through on this dream, saying goodbye to the beautiful chapters in NYC and now LA,  is really brutal. Its also the greatest gift I’ve ever given myself. I don’t even know what’s ahead – I just know the ACT of following through is already the strongest case study of self will I’ve ever seen within myself.

So here’s to making it through the next 48 hours with grace under fire, to following my instincts, and following through on the dream I never gave up on.

Light & Laughter,

Vicki

Vicki Rox

Adventurer. Storyteller. Hunter of Wonder.

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