Who is the Quiet Wanderer?

I’m Cinthia, former cube dweller turned wide-eyed wanderer. Born in Madagascar, raised in France, and living in Washington, DC, I’ve done a fair bit of moving around the world. But at some point, I got so comfortable following the life script everyone else around me seemed to follow–going to college, getting a degree, then signing my life away to the 9-5 routine–that I didn’t dare consider wandering off the beaten path.

It all changed when I went to Peru in September 2010 to volunteer for a couple of weeks. On the first night I arrived in Lima, I was robbed at gunpoint, an experience which changed my life. That night I was so afraid I wanted to return home the next day, but a voice inside me told me to stay through the end of my volunteer assignment. I listened to it. It proved to be the best decision I had ever taken.

In Peru, I felt wholly connected to my experience and many of my internal barriers collapsed. Suddenly my thirst for a richer, more authentic existence awakened in me like a tiger roaring in the wild. I came back a changed person, more open-minded and open-hearted, ready to face my fears, and live life to the fullest. Unwilling to senselessly trade my soul any longer, I made the decision a couple of weeks after my return to directly experience the world outside the limited perimeters of what I was familiar and comfortable with. I set a purpose to embark on a solo four-month backpacking journey around Asia the following Spring.

In the months that followed, I did a massive purge of my possessions. Then I let go of my beautiful apartment, moved in with my parents, and saved every bit of change I could. Finally, I bid farewell to my cube dwelling days.

On April 17, 2011, I set out on a four-month journey from Southwest China to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. It was my very first time backpacking, and though it wasn’t always easy, I really enjoyed and learned a lot from the experience. Now that I am back in the United States, I am devoting my energy towards making a portable lifestyle possible. One day I will no longer be bound to any one physical location: the world will be my home.

I invite you to join me on this journey. Through this blog I hope to share my sense of wonder with you, bringing you stories, insights, travel tips, and photographs from across the world.

Comments and emails are welcome! If you like what you see/read, susbcribe to my blog feed. You can also follow my twitter stream @quietwanderer.

Thank you for reading and blessings to you!


“May you live all the days of your life.” ~Jonathan Swift


Some random tidbits about me:

~ I am a “triple” citizen of Madagascar, France, and the United States.

~ I speak English, French, Malagasy, and Spanish (in order of fluency).

~ I have traveled to 13 countries so far (Madagascar, France, United States, Canada, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Peru, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand).

~ I enjoy writing and taking photographs for fun

~ I also get a kick out of doing graphic design stuff, even if I don’t really know what I’m doing.

~ I absolutely LOVE nature, especially mountains, lakes, flowers, and rural landscapes.

~ Animals are very dear to my heart. I have two cats who are now living with my parents. I spent some time volunteering to help elephants as well as shelter dogs in Thailand.

~ I rarely watch TV, but I will sit glued in front of the TV with a leaping heart and eyes twinkling with delight to watch a nature show. The nature series put out by the BBC series (Planet Earth, Earth’s Great Events, Wild China, etc.) is nothing short of extraordinary. I knew I had to explore Southwest China after watching just one episode of Wild China–my idea of love at first sight.

~ My favorite TV show is the Public Television nature/travel photography show called Art Wolfe: Travels to the Edge to the World. If I had to credit one person to inspire me to travel the world, it would be Art Wolfe. He goes around the world doing what he loves (photography) and he really seems to be connected with his art, nature, and the people the photographs.

~ I have an ungodly insane fear of insects, geckos, lizards, and snakes.

~ I spent much of my life doing some form of dance–ballet, ballroom dancing, belly dancing, salsa, and modern dance.

~ I really enjoy foreign films/documentaries. But I must say there’s nothing like experiencing and learning about the lives and cultures of people across the world first-hand rather than through the screen.

~ I am very spiritual and enjoy spending time in silence (meditation). It’s what has helped me keep a zen attitude about pretty much everything in life.

~ My dream is to one day have a ‘portable lifestyle’ and ‘work’ (i.e., do something I love for a living) on the road. To a desk I hope never to be chained again! :)