Jenna in Thailand

We posted a lot in the early summer about Jenna’s trip to Southeast Asia and our efforts to stay connected. Jenna was a diligent little blogger and finished up all her writing before she left, but she treated us to a special blog from Thailand. This particular post hit an all-time high in readership – we were all anxious to hear about her deeply personal experiences and faraway adventures.


As we’ve mentioned in some previous blog posts, I am currently on a three-month trip traveling in Bali, Thailand and Israel before I begin graduate school in August. While I knew it would be a transformative experience, I could never have imagined how much I would change and grow in such a short time – and I’m only halfway through my journey! While I’ve learned many things, especially about my relationships (and in particular, with my mom!), I wanted to share this one story that is very special to me:

When I was in Bali doing yoga teacher training, I had many overwhelming moments – a life-changing conversation with newfound friends, a beautiful sunset, an enlightening meditation. I found the word “wow” just naturally flowing out of my mouth each time I had a new eye-opening experience or emotion. The first time “wow” came to mind, I wrote it in the sand with my feet and took a picture of it to capture the moment, just for me.

WOW photo

A few weeks later I was traveling different parts of Bali and sent my mom some stunning pictures from the beach. She simply responded with “Wow!” Recognizing my favorite word, I immediately sent her my picture in the sand. My mom was with my sister when she received the photo and Sara quickly noticed that “WOW” is “MOM” upside down! Now that really blew my mind 🙂 Even though my mom is not with me and we actually are not communicating very much, I immediately felt so much more connected – almost as if she had been right next to me through all these life-changing moments. The word “wow” already had a special place in my heart, but it took on a whole new dimension that day. Now when I say “wow,” I am not only grateful for this amazing experience but also for sharing a pretty incredible connection to my mom, even when I’m halfway around the world!