If Alex was to be given a label, it would be The Explorer. 

She would go wherever the wind took her; whenever she was struck with the need to get away, she would pack within a moment's notice and disappear to a new place. New and different things were always a draw, and she ran to them, feeling nothing but excitement and exhileration. Weekends were filled with parties and sudden get-togethers; last-minute plans were her favorite kind.

Alex was always dedicated to being the best she could be for the people she loved, and that meant exploring options, interests, and herself. Being less than her best was never acceptable -- she could only ever be the strongest she could possibly be. 

The best example of this comes from a story she told me involving her and her now husband. They were on again/off again for some time, and there came a time where she realized she'd become reliant on her then-boyfriend's affections. In response, she stood her ground and presented him with an ultimatum: love her as she deserved, or walk out the door. 

"We got back together and it was the first time I felt the relationship was actually healthy." She says. "This time, I wasn't with him because I needed him. I was with him because I wanted to be there. " The two would be inseparable from then on, staying in a relationship for about seven years before marrying without ever looking back. 

For Alex, life wasn't just about the main journey, but also the smaller stops along the way. Whether this was in a smaller town in her native California or within her own heart, all that mattered was that new and beautiful discoveries were made every step of the way.



These days, the adventures are different. 

Alex is now mother to a precocious four-year-old daughter and a strong one-year-old boy. On top of learning every day about the adventure that is raising two children, she balances work, friends, and her marriage with an overall optimism and gratitude. Crazy weekends and impromptu trips with unknown destinations have been replaced with cozy nights at home and family trips back to California, and she loves it this way.

In fact, when asked if motherhood has changed her at all, she admits that parenthood has really only resulted in one pivotal revision:  "I still love to travel," she says, "that hasn't changed. I still want to see new places. I just want to see them with my family now." 

When she said this to me, she smiled down at her then-infant son, and you could feel the truth in her words. I realized in that moment that there are many of us like Alex: the wanderer's spirit and the curiosity still remain, but we enjoy different thrills now. Different people sit in the passenger and back seats, different songs play on the radio, but the feeling is the same: we face every day with enthusiasm. After all, is there anything better than going on an expedition with those you care about most? 

Arianna BradfordComment