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.

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Year of Kind: Blog Update #2: Sayonara South America

“True surrender requires an opening of the heart to the unknown” – Gurmukh Khalsa

Hello Sunshines! Currently at the Lima airport Starbucks for 9 hours of catching up on life en route to NYC> Budapest> Berlin. Since I last wrote, I, taught a workshop on the power of storytelling & connection in the Costa Rican jungle at Envision Festival, survived 10 days of E.Coli bacterial poisoning in Santiago, spent 20 hours in Buenos Aires, and explored the Amazon jungle with my dear childhood friends in Peru. I’m starting to feel …different. I’m noticing there’s a lighter, happier, and more grounded self emerging and boy it feels good! .

, Kindness Crumbs…

  • Gate Agents // South America // This Morning Airports for the win x 1000. Carlos and I are still pen-paling from the my favorite kindness moment so far. 
  •  Friends// Santiago + CR+ my backpack// Everyday Between Frank opening up his Santiago home,  to Aude’s jungle staycation, to Catie’s handwritten letters every month  in my backpack, to discovering Santiago with Kim, to reconnecting with Elana and Jacky in Costa Rica, and exploring the Amazon Jungle with high school loves Brian and Jerry, I’m blown away with love and feel very,very lucky.
  • Tipping// South America//Huge Smiles: Tipping is not so common here, which is why every time I tip from the water cart girl, to the cabbies, to the waitress everyone sorta stops for a minute in disbelief and I just smile and say, ” Propina for tu ayudar – muchas gracias” ( A tip for your help, thanks so much) and the SMILES that burst on their faces! I’ve also been asking to speak to managers, and writing comment notes about excellent customer service – so even if one can’t afford to tip, one can take a few minutes to let the boss know they’ve got a gem of an employee. Trust me – it makes a huge difference having worked the service side.
  • Your Turn! Feeling inspired to create or capture your own kindness crumbs? Join the#yearofkind team and post any act of kindness to spread the sunshine using that hashtag for social media.

On My Mind…

READING:  Jumping from ‘ The Mastery of Love‘  to  Pablo Neruda’s Poems Having just visited his home in Santiago, I’ve got a newfound respect for Pablo’s political and cultural role in Chile since the 1940’s. 
LESSONS & FIRSTS 1.)  Not wearing makeup for the past 6 weeks has taught me so much about what real self confidence means to me.  “Make up is just painting over your insecurities”- my dear friend Brian told me as I explained how refreshing it is to actually feel pretty without make up as part of my daily routine. I love the creative expression with makeup, and will continue to rock blue eyeliner whenever the mood strikes, but I now feel so comfortable in my skin that walking around with a bare face literally makes me feel all glowy-dewy-and-easy-breezy-beautiful 2.) An innocuous 20 hour layover in Buenos Aires will turn into a $160 ‘ reciprocity fee’ if you’re an American. While its a one time per 10 year fee, it was a painful lesson to learn considering I’m living on $50/day. Luckily, I made friends with Carlos.  3. Had my very first reiki massage healing session in the Amazon jungle. She told me that my heart was open, instinct strong but that  I was holding a lot of anger (years of anger infact) in my liver and it was affecting my health. I was skeptical at first, but after five days of tears and deep dives in the jungle, I feel like something’s shifted in me. I’ve just let go of the battles and feel lighter. A great reminder to myself to always be open to non traditional forms of healing.
CHALLENGES  Me v.s a case of  E coli bacterial poisoning. After 10 days of my belly fighting WWIII against the E.Coli soldiers, we proudly won the war. I’ve since cut out meat, sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten and am slowly recovering. Being that ill inspired me to research food a medicine and after meeting David Wolfe at Envision, I’m hooked on his insightful blog 
WATCHING: Netflix ” Master of None” and “Love” – these two shows single handedly restored my faith in romance while nursing my poor belly back to health.  Also, rent ‘The Big Short’ – a must watch to understand the 2008 financial crisis. 
EATING: Peruvian Ceviche = my new nutella. La Mar restaurant, world’s Top 50 Best  blew me away and was lucky enough to get the chef’s simple recipe on a post-it note =)
TED TALKIN’:  Perspective is Everything
LOVIN LA VIDA LOCAL:  Santiago’s first ancestral foodie spot is insanely delicious, Peuyman // 20 hour Layover in Buenos Aires? Head to one of the most famous bookstores, El Ateneo, located in a former theatre for a breathe taking view  // Bike Ride through Lima and visit the bohemian town of Barranco where Ayahuasca Bar will be a visual feast of interior design at its quirkiest and finest. 
 

Read My Medium Blog: How I Made Out with a Stranger at the Airport
NEXT UP:  Budapest March 25-28//Berlin March 29- April 3// LA + NYC April 3 – April 9// Israel April 10 – 18// May is free – any ideas?
Last thought:” If nothing saves us from Death, may Love at least save us from life” – Pablo Neruda. Sending so much love to our friends in Ankara and Brussels -just heartbreaking news.  http://time.com/4268642/brussels-attacks-how-to-help/

Got friends in any of the places I’m headed? I wanna meet them – link us up.
Got idea/thoughts/feedback? I wanna hear it – shoot me a note.
Its a mighty long road ahead, so friends, old and new are warmly welcome =).

www.yearofkind.com

” Its not the years in your life, its the life in your years”- Abe Lincoln

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Vicki Rox

Adventurer. Storyteller. Hunter of Wonder.

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