Hi, I'm Lara!
For some background, I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, went to college at UT Austin for journalism, and then moved to NYC. It wasn't until I was there and in my first adult longterm relationship that I realized I didn’t know how to healthily process emotions.
Growing up, I tended to repress and bottle up emotions like anger or sadness until they would burst out, and this carried into adulthood – picture some not-so-pretty fights with said boyfriend – or they would come out in passive aggressive ways toward friends and family.
Then there was stress and anxiety caused by fear. For instance, after fainting once in high school, I developed a fear of fainting while at concerts or on long drives. One time in college I had to pull over multiple times during a 75-minute drive because I was having a panic attack and thought I was going to faint. And of course, there was more. From anger at reading the news to fear about relationships ending to shame about my body, I was holding onto a lot of negativity.
Then meditation came into my life.
I started with short meditations and everyday mindfulness practices like just paying more attention to what I was doing in the present moment. Then I completed a 10-day silent meditation retreat in 2016 – no talking, no phones, no books, no distractions – and witnessed just how crazy our mind can be, constantly living in the past or the future, and began to seriously train my brain to choose presence and positivity.
Then I had a devastating breakup in 2019.
Knowing I had tools to support me, I immediately leaned into the pain. With the help of meditation, spiritual books, yoga, therapy, support from loved ones, and a whole lot of crying, I was able to let go of immense fear, grief, anger, guilt, and other difficult emotions. Those negative emotions were even replaced with love, gratitude, and compassion. I experienced firsthand how powerful healing your mind, body, and soul can be, and the immense peace and joy it can bring into your life.
The following year, after years of working as an editor for a travel website (where I got to photograph/review hotels!), COVID-19 effectively paused the industry and I was laid off from my job. It was the push I needed to make my passion and hobbies become my career. So I earned my mindfulness and meditation teacher certification and my yoga teacher certification, and created this site.
Mind Body Soul Travel combines all the things I love in one. It's a place to apply for my three-month mentorship program, sign up for my 21-day meditation/journaling programs, a resource for books, articles, spiritual leaders, etc. that may prove beneficial to you, and a blog site for various wellness topics. And one day, it'll be a place to sign up for wellness/travel retreats held in beautiful places.
I'm deeply passionate about all things that nourish your mind, body, and soul -- including travel -- and I hope I can share some of it with you.