About & Contact

I’ve thought about descriptive words that might give you an idea of what I’m “about”, but I feel like it’s our experiences and how we react to them that truly defines who we are. So if you would like a list of adjectives that best describes me, please refer to comments made by my family, friends, and fellow travelers.

Quick family info: I have an amazing mom who is passionate about well, almost everything! She raised me to be strong minded and independent which ironically has been her biggest parenting challenge this far. I was an only child until my father met his perfect match and they produced 6 beautiful children. Nope, not a typo. (I love you Joseph, Hannah, Benjamin, Sarah and Rachel… and always in memory, little Elizabeth). This sweet family keeps me grounded and humble.

My life in a nutshell (whatever that means). I grew up in what used to be the small town of Folsom California… yes, the same “Folsom Prison” that Johnny Cash sang about. Now its a city with traffic and too many stop lights. My first job, that I ended up keeping for 10 years, was coaching gymnastics. When I say “coaching”, I actually mean devoting my heart and energy (and most of my waking hours) to a team of girls that grew to be a family. During those incredible coaching years I had a variety of part time work that included teaching swim, tutoring autistic children, massage therapy and bar tending (go figure). I then decided to go to cosmetology school, why not right? First day of class went like this:

Instructor: “Erika, how come you didn’t wear your uniform?”
Erika: “Oh, umm uniform?”
Instructor: “Ok class, one by one please stand up and say what your ultimate goal is in the hair industry.” (Here is where you enter a bunch of students explaining how they want to be famous in LA or own a hair color brand or work at their parents shop and so on).
Erika: “Me? (awkward laugh) I really don’t want to do hair, I’m just here so I can charge for the prom girls hair I do for fun. (Enter judgmental silence here).

To spare you the past 20 years of my hair career details, I’ll just say after graduating I got a job at a local salon just for extra cash. Some years into it, I began to truly enjoy it and eventually had enough business to open my own little studio. “Erika’s Hair Retreat” was in service for almost 3 years and due to my loyal clients, I was able to start traveling. Short little trips became weeks of adventure that eventually developed into months abroad and finally turned into a life changing decision to close shop and head out.

I traveled the globe (as you see in this blog) collecting over 80 stamps on my passport and a whole new perspective. On a return visit to the States, I met Matt. He’s a talented man with a camera, adventure seeker, and probably one of the most kind-hearted people I’ve ever met. Turns out I married him, we now have a beautiful daughter named Shanti and are living a unique life of traveling as a family. From living in DIY school bus conversions to international hostel hopping, the three of us are exploring this amazing planet together!

Other fun facts:
I enjoy learning and living a life of fitness.
I took 4 semesters of American Sign Language.
I splurge on sushi and frozen yogurt… and sweet potato French fries.
In my opinion, I’m very athletic (excluding golf… unless you consider launching a club into the nearest pond a sport).

Have a question or personal comment?
I haven’t mastered reading minds yet, so please just email me directly at herhappytrails@gmail.com


8 thoughts on “About & Contact

  1. Matthew Aver

    Hello my name is Matthew I just watched your buss video on YouTube and it’s amazing I would love to have a buss just like that because autism and being deaf is a big part of my family because I am deaf and my kids are autistic. Your buss has that peace and tranquillity look and feel

    • Hello there! Thank you so much for taking the time to write and I apologize it took me this long to even see your message. I stopped writing for quite sometime as I got a job as a writer and as you can imagine, my platform changed. Reading notes like yours is so inspiring and I’m excited to get back to it! Also, our entire family is learning Spanish together while living in Mexico, and I’m continuing my daughters ASL. Hopefully she’ll grow up knowing sign and a second verbal language! Thanks again for taking time to write. Cheers!

  2. Bob

    Hello Erika and Matt ! First of all congratulations on the good news of another baby. So happy for you all.

    Oh how I’d love your happy trails bus. I’ve had that “want to travel all the time” wanderlust since I was a kid.

    I hope and pray that you find a good home for your bus. And I pray that you all are incredibly blessed going into your next adventure.

    May God bless you

    Bob Cento
    Vineland NJ

  3. Tambo Levi

    Hi Erika,I just met your Mom at a shop in Seagrove Beach.She is so very proud of you!! I shared with her that I was purging so I could start traveling so of course she hooked me up with your blog.I can’t wait to peruse all that you have written. Blessings,Tambo

  4. Tyler herring

    hey Erica. this is Tyler, I made you some drinks in tulsa, at Valkyrie. just wanted to wish you luck on your travels. I hope they are already going swimmingly. I sure would have liked to chat some more with you. I’m real jealous of you currently. hit me up if you’re not too busy. let me know how great the world is. 🙂

  5. Russell

    Nice to see you in jax beach tonight. Best wishes in your travels of good vibes. Maybe I’ll see you in Bogata ?


    My husband and I met your Mom this past October in Florida. We had the pleasure of sitting next to her at the Red Bar and striking up a conversation. She bragged about you and your blog. I have to agree that you are inspirational…love the site and look forward to your thoughts and travels in 2013!

    Melissa (& Brad) Baldwin
    Fort Collins, CO

  7. I also took ASL! 3 semesters for me! well what do you know! You are quite the young lady! Blogger, fashionista…oh and traveler! Nicely done, my friend, nicely done!

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