Write your own story—then go live it

Stacey Ebert's picture

Travel has always been my vice. Throw in dark chocolate chips, avocado, yoga, beach days, and it’s pretty much me in a nutshell. These days, we can add water bottle stickers to that list, so when Live a Great Story showed up on my radar, they had me at stickers.

Write your own story—then go live it

A change in perspective

I went on my first international voyage at twenty. It was a three-week group tour to Israel that officially hit me with the travel bug. One of many catalysts, that trip drove my story on its path. After university graduation, another adventure brought a sense of independence, piqued curiosity, and inspired a love of cultures and the humans within them. 

Infused with a career of working with young people in both formal and informal educational spaces, life was good; the travel itch, however, still ever present. A hastily booked December trip to New Zealand shifted my story yet again. 

This New Yorker met an Aussie on the ferry from Picton to Wellington. After a four year, long-distance relationship and wedding, we set off on a one-year honeymoon to chase the sun around the globe and live in Australia for some time. I blogged, we traveled, experienced, and returned to New York forever changed. We could never fit into the same box from which we broke free; a new perspective took flight.

Write your own story—then go live it

A story reimagined

Formed and changed by travel and the power of stories, we promised to make those a focus. A career and coastal shift to ditch a NY winter for what we thought would be three months turned into eight years. The Pacific shores of San Diego became home. Steps and choices saw our story shift, merge with a travel vision in the same space as our feet, and create a life with gratitude at the forefront. Today I write about it, and help others find whatever lights them up from the inside and infuse that into their days.

A few years ago, my Dad suddenly passed away. He’d survived twelve years after a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and considered each day a bonus day—ones he described as gifted time. 

A few months ago, my husband experienced a medical emergency and subsequent surgery—and again, our perspective and story shifted. Taking Dad’s message to heart, we are grateful for every single one of those bonus days. The brilliant, the challenging, and the messy middle, including the moments when you love where you are while dreaming of tomorrow...those are the bonus days. 

Write your own story—then go live it

A new chapter

Sharing stories and listening to those of others has always been a special part of my world. Through travel and working with young people, you’re privileged to hear many of them: about a day, dreams, challenges, phases of life, and if you’re lucky, once those humans outgrow the shared space, you might remain part of their growing story. There are counselors who taught me lessons of my youth who I rely on today, and former students, club officers, and campers who, years later, continue to enlighten me. And, there are people from all times of life, different continents, and various journeys who have made me better by sharing their story. 

Social media algorithms confuse me, but sometimes it's as if the Universe is screaming. 

That’s what Live a Great Story felt like. 

 Little snippets of messaging in clothing options, stickers, luggage tags, magnets, totes, pins, and more kept showing up for over a year, then, I leapt and applied to the ambassador program. Why not, right? Combining that water bottle sticker addiction with a quest to embrace those bonus days and help inspire others to live their best lives in whatever way that means; the message, mantra, and medium seemed like synchronicity. I jumped in with both feet.

The time is now

We all have our own stories to share. The tinges of hope and desire couple with anxiety and fear—it takes a mindful dance to negotiate the steps. We fumble, fall, get back up, charge ahead, stay awhile, and stumble some more. All of these steps are a part of that great, big, beautiful story. My story began in New York, but, today, it's infused with the global community who’ve touched my life, the things that have challenged me and continue to teach me endless lessons, the places I’ve left my heart, abundant gratitude, the desire to be a good human and to leave the world better than it was. 

Each and every one of us has the power to live a good story. We have experiences to share and wisdom to impart. We can lend a hand, lift others up, learn more, do better, shift our mindset, and share our hearts. We can embrace the good, lead the charge, encourage positive change, lend our voices, and be good humans. There are good moments to be found in every day, and those and the messy ones make up a lifetime. 

Make a change if you wish, take a chance on that dream, leap and know you’re your own net. You are a vital part of the fabric of the entire world—your story matters—and Live a Great Story is there to elevate your voice. Wear your mantra, share your message, and smile at your sparkling new stickers and swag. I, for one, am so excited to see you thrive!


Write your own story—then go live it



Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com for more of her travel musings.