Who Inspires Me?

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Moloka’i, Hawaii

I was recently asked to write a post about the person who inspires me the most. It seems like it would be a tough decision.

I try to write about the people on the site who inspire me and share their stories on my monthly newsletter and Facebook page.

But if you want to know  who inspired and pushed me the most in life to where I am now it’s an easy answer.

I receive a lot of emails from people who want to know how I had the courage to make such a drastic change in my life. It comes down to this:

My earliest memory of my mother is at age 5, she is telling me that my father has died. I don’t really know what that means but then she says he is never coming back and my vision becomes a kaleidoscope of tears.

She was 29, I was five and my sister was a few months old.


Since that day I have had a sense of my own mortality.


But growing up my mother was my biggest supporter. I grew up believing I could do anything I wanted and nothing was out of my reach.


Ecuador Equator

After ten years of working and having what others deemed as a successful career I told her I was quitting, selling everything and buying a one-way ticket to Mexico. She thought I was crazy but she never said a word, she has always supported all of my decision. It wasn’t until later when she came to visit me in Ecuador we could laugh about it she confessed she had her doubts but was proud of me.

It’s why I’m also excited that she is now meeting me in Maui for the last 10 days of my trip. She really wanted to see Hawaii but was hesitant to ask, fearing she’d cramp my style.

But I’m so happy that I can share this with her.

She is why I have been able to succeed and why I never feared failure. She is my biggest inspiration and I know that if anything should ever happen there is always somewhere I can go – home.


Join the Conversation

  1. Ayngelina this is so sweet. I never knew about your dad. I wondered but I didn’t want to ask. Your mom is incredible to raise two such beautiful and razor smart daughters. I feel the same about my parents. We are so lucky. You inspire me! Have missed you in Toronto!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It happened so long ago I’m completely okay discussing it. I had a great childhood and memories of my father before he died.

  2. Beautiful post! Your article is so sensitive and inspiring and your mom must be a wonderful person. I’m always happy when I see(heard about) people like you. Congrats for being what you are today!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Miruna, my mother definitely is a fantastic person.

  3. That was beautiful. You’re very lucky.

  4. Hi Ayngelina,
    I’ve been meaning to check out your blog for a while now and I’m so glad today was the day! I love this post so much because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how inspiring my parents have been to me. Only took 25+ years to realize that if it weren’t for their unconditional support I wouldn’t have had the courage to see as much of the world as I have or take certain risks that have been so integral and beneficial in shaping me as a person. Last line is the best. The world certainly doesn’t seem as intimidating or scary when you know you’ve got somewhere you can always go back to if something doesn’t work out.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      So true, I keep telling her that I cannot come home in my mid-thirties but she keeps telling me I can if I need to.

  5. That sounds like a great ending to your trip in Maui. I traveled to Bali with my Mom and I will always treasure the time we spent there.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m sure she still talks about it, Bali must have been incredible.

  6. I loved reading your post! So sweet! My mother as well my greatest inspiration source for travelling and for everything my life is now packed with! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I’m so lucky to be surrounded with support, it makes my life SO much easier knowing my family is always there for me.

  7. Very sweet — also you and your sis look a lot a like in that pic!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Yeah when the three of us walk around you know we’re family!

  8. Cristina says:

    Beautiful story Ayngelina. It’s such a touching reminder to always show others how much we appreciate them in our lives, hold them close, take in every moment – Life is wayy too short not to do what you love and share it with the people that matter most!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know it’s incredible that I have never written about her and the complete support she had for my trip, I know a lot of other people aren’t as lucky.

  9. How lovely… Mums (and Moms!) are the best. Fact. x

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      They really are, especially when you have one as supportive as mine.

  10. Ann Wellwood says:

    Hi Ayngelina
    I am so glad to hear you are having a great time with your mom. My mom also inspired me in so many ways and I miss her every day.I hope your mom can be apart of many more trips in your life.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip…

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      It will be great to share all of this with her.

  11. I love this Ayngelina…and I adore you! xoxox Missing you THIS much xoxox

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Aww thanks Carol, the reason I’m coming to NYC in August is that it’s my mother’s 60th birthday and seeing a Broadway show is on her bucket list so we’re doing it!

  12. Gary Garrett @graygarrett says:


    Not only a beautifully told story, powerful impact on all who will read and cherish the blessings received from those who raised us. I have enjoyed watching your courage to share blossom since following you.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Thanks Gray, really kind of you to say.

  13. Lovely, lovely post.Can I tell you that however much you mean it, and however your mom reacts when she reads it, you’ll never know just how much this post will mean to her. Once you have kids, no matter how wonderful anything else in life is, there is nothing more important, and knowing that your kids think you did a good job is better than any Oscar or award you could ever have in life. So much kudos for telling us all just how great she is.Have a wonderful time with her!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I am so surprised it took me this long to write the post, but when prompted I couldn’t think of anyone else.

  14. Roy Marvelous says:

    Really sweet post Ayngelina! Now I feel like calling my mum 🙂

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Do it!

  15. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) says:

    So glad you get to share parts of your journey with your sweet mother. I miss my mom a lot and wish that she was able to travel with me.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Travel is really important to me and not something she has done a lot of so it’s really wonderful to be able to share it with her.

  16. A very sweet post, Ayngelina – and you look very much like your mum. My experience is similar, my father died when I was 2 and my brother was only 2 months old. It must have been quite a challenge being a single mum back then. Brave women, both our mums.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I don’t think I realized just how hard it would have been until I turned 29 and even now at 34 I can’t imagine it.

  17. This is so lovely, Aynge. I always love knowing who people’s inspirations are.

    My mother is my number one aswell. Being away from her is the hardest thing.

  18. Thinking about your father passing away when you were 5 brought tears to my eyes because my son is almost 5–it’s such a precious age. I love that your mom supported you and encouraged you no matter what. My mom was like that with me, too. Sometimes she didn’t love my crazy ideas, but she never said anything. Lovely that you and your mom are in Maui together.

  19. *tears* I love this!

  20. My parents have inspired me all my life!

  21. crazy sexy fun traveler says:

    I’m having goose bumps when reading this! I didn’t know about your dad, I’m sorry!
    I can completely relate to this, my mum is my biggest everything and the person who always inspires me and gets me through all the bad moments!

  22. So does this mean you forgive me for being so technicially challenged trying to take pictures on your Iphone and screwing up the ukulele video? I can imagine it drove you as crazy as it made me when Nanny was not able to stop the VCR from flashing 12:00 all the time. This post was very unexpected and extremely touching. It validates that I did something right!

  23. Trying to score some brownie points eh! This post combined with a trip to Hawaii officially makes you in the lead for the favorite.

  24. Si @thedepartureboard.com says:

    Beautifully written Ayngelina.
    My mother sure got me interested in travel, by taking me to OZ via Hong Kong, Bangkok, LA, San Fran and NY at age 15. She also took us on Concorde at an impressionable age.

    Love the blog, kind regards, SI

  25. Matthew Hutchins says:

    Such a beautiful story, love reading your posts.

  26. Matthew Hutchins says:

    You forgot about bringing some tablets for upset stomachs, those things are essential whenever I travel.

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