Meditation.  A word that seems quite scary to most.  A word that can make one feel uneasy, resistant, or even anxious. 

Taking time to sit in silence?  Quieting the mind? What does that even mean?  As westerners, it is a concept that goes against everything we are taught.  Since we are young, the majority of us are programmed to constantly work hard, that if we stop for one second, we are holding ourselves back from succeeding or reaching our goals.

While it is important to strive every day towards what we want to achieve, we must do so with a quiet mind.  When we become still and go within, this is where we can accomplish anything we set our mind to.  We break all of the barriers that might be holding us back - we diminish our limiting beliefs.  We ease stress and our anxiety while enhancing our creativity. 

Through meditation we unlock our potential to create an outcome we ultimately desire.  We change our lives. 

I can attest for this firsthand.  When I was young, I was very competitive.  I started competing in dance when I was eight, and by the time I was 11 I was a competitive gymnast.  I was always go, go, go, and strived to always win.  However, this completely changed for me one night in 1998, when I was around 11 years old.  At this time I had joined a diving team and fell in love with the sport (I later ended all other sports to focus solely on diving).   During this particular evening, my diving coach had us watch an old video about using visualization to succeed in sports.  This was a complete game changer in my life (no pun intended!).  The tape taught me how to tap into the power of visualization to achieve what I wanted, and how to create an outcome I desired – basically I learned the buzzword we hear everywhere today, Manifestation.   

The video taught me how to go within and to always focus on the positive (never the negative) outcome when diving.  I learned how to replay each dive in my mind over and over again, performing it perfectly.  The video provided me with tools on how to not let my external environment affect me in any way, always knowing I had the power to be successful, no matter what anyone else tells me.

And you know what’s crazy? It worked. 

From that moment on I trained my mind before each dive, taking time to visualize how I would perform. I started to see success with this technique and used the method in other aspects of my life.

 When my visualization meditation was on, so was my diving.  When I was mentally off, I did not perform well.  I noticed a pattern and began to realize how powerful this new tool was.  The funny thing  – I did not even realize this was meditation.   In fact, this was way before Yoga was even popular in the US.

Flash forward to 2012

…the year I discovered what we call “mindfulness” today.  This was another pivotal time in my life.  I began to read about the power of the mind and meditation, started practicing yoga religiously, and took an interest in studying metaphysics and the science behind shifting our subconscious.

During this spiritual awakening, I was encouraged to meditate by mentors and friends – but why?  I thought it was impossible for me to sit in silence, and to go within.  My mind was completely all over the place.  Yoga had helped, but I definitely needed more guidance.  That was the moment it all clicked with me.  “I started meditating when I was 11 years old.  And it worked!”   I decided to give meditation a second chance.  Soon sitting for 5 minutes turned into 10, which turned into 20.  The benefits were crazy.  I started to unlock creativity that felt dormant inside of me.  I started to release stored emotions that were embedded in my subconscious that no longer served me.  My sleep patterns improved, and my mind started to regain more clarity.  I received “ah-ha!” moments more easily, and life seemed to flow better.  My body and mind soon craved meditation, that quiet time where it is just me, myself, and I.  The time where I tapped into my subconscious and created change.


 While not always easy, meditation is extremely beneficial and life changing.  I will say, like going to the gym, you might not see changes the first time or overnight.  But with discipline and practice, your life will shift.  You will start to see the world through different, more vibrant eyes.  Meditation teaches you to live more in the moment, to enjoy the little things in life.  The practice takes you back to what really matters – inner growth.  It enhances compassion and joy by decreasing cortisol and other stress hormones within the body.


With that being said, I encourage you to listen to my podcast interview with The Global Travel Channel Podcast Show to hear more of my story and how meditation greatly changed my life.  I offer some techniques and personal examples of how to meditate for the first time – meditation really is for everyone!

Thank you to the Global Travel Channel Podcast Show for having me.  Please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out!


*Tune in this week to listen to my guided meditation*


Just like the majority of expats here in Bali, my 60-day visa was about to expire – which left me wondering “where the heck I am going to make my visa run?!”  When you arrive in Bali, the maximum amount of time you can stay in the country is 30 days, unless you pay $35 upon arrival (plus an extra $40 to an agent afterwards) to extend an additional 30 days.


Since I have taken on the digital nomad way of life here in Ubud, I have decided to opt for the latter option.  I will admit, not only is an extended visa a great idea if you plan on living in Bali longer than one month, but you can skip the long customs line when you land.  (Yes, you bypass the “normal” line and go through a different immigration queue!)

With only two days until I had to leave the country, I decided to head to Malaysia for a quick visit.  On my first visa run I traveled to Singapore and fell in love with the city.  Singapore was futuristic, clean, + jammed packed with culture.  While I plan on revisiting Singapore, there was something about Malaysia that intrigued me.  Malaysia is a place I’d never thought I’d visit, but now, a new gem to discover.  With only 48 hours to go, I booked my plane tickets to Kuala Lumpur!

Below is my itinerary for exploring the city in a day!  It can be done…

Hotel: If you have an AMEX credit card, I highly recommend signing up for the Starwood points option.  Like Sky Miles, you obtain points as you use your card, which will help you score some free SPG rooms in some of the nicest hotels.  Since I rarely use my points (I normally opt for hostels or guest houses when traveling), I decided this was the best way to go in KL.  I wound up booking the Element Hotel owned by the Westin.  For only 7,000 points/night, and centrally located, it was quite the steal!

Normal hotel cost: Element Kuala Lumpur

I absolutely loved this hotel.  Check in was on the 38th floor of the building, surrounded by floor to ceiling windows.  My room was HUGE – big comfy bed, high quality amenities, + fantastic views.  Since I arrived late, I was ready for a good night’s rest.

 I woke up early the next morning for a work-call (US time) and then made my way to the gym.  Similar to the reception and my room, the gym was very clean and spacious, not to mention the gym had floor to ceiling windows (which made running on the treadmill a little less painful!)

Afterwards -- breakfast time!  Another perk to being a Starwood Member is free access to the buffet breakfast (which did not disappoint!)  From fresh squeezed juices, to custom made omelets, I was in heaven.  The service was also impeccable.  This was a nice treat since I had some work to do in the morning.  I was able to find a cozy seat near the window with a bird’s eye view of the city – working digital nomad style, latte in hand!

Batu Caves

I only had a half day to explore, so my first stop was the Batu Caves.  From my hotel, the ride was about 35-40 minutes and was easily set up with the concierge.  Upon arrival, the steps and surroundings were so colorful and inviting -- A photog’s playground!  

Know Now: 


·      There is no cost to enter the caves

·      A simple 272 steps brings you to the Batu Cave entrance

·      The interior was filled with limestone formations said to be 400 million years old

·      Your legs must be covered - for around 50 cents you can rent a sarong to wrap around your waist

·      There are private tours that last around 45 minutes (I opted to walk around solo)

·      It becomes quite hot, especially walking up the steps, so try to visit in the morning

·      A bit touristy but worth it!


After my visit to the Batu Caves, my driver took me on a quick visit to Chinatown.  Honestly, I wish I had more time to spend here!  Chinatown was filled with bustling tourists, designer knock-offs for bargain deals + authentic street food.

Know Now:

·      Petaling Street Market: Known for clothes and accessories, there are a TON of knock-off stands, but you must visit in the morning or around lunch because they close down shop around 3pm.

·      You can find local artists selling paintings and crafts at the Central Market

·      The street food is yummy!  Chinatown is known for its noodles + curry dishes

·      There is an array of ornate temples nearby, with different carvings of Hindu deities 

Petronas Twin Towers

After a quick rest from my afternoon touring, I made my way to the #1 tourist destination – The Petronas Twin Towers.  This was a quick 15-minute walk from my hotel.

Know Now:

·      A must for pictures!

·      The Petronas towers are the tallest twin towers in the world

·      Make sure to go at night for the best picture quality

·      45-minute tours are available, which takes you to the Skybridge on the 41st floor and observation deck on the 86th floor (sold in advance online)

Roof-Top Bar

After visiting the towers, I was quite exhausted from the day but decided to hit up one more spot.  I decided to check out a roof-top bar close by called Heli Lounge Bar

Know Now:

·      The restaurant/bar is fully functional helipad during the day, turned restaurant/bar at night

·      The roof setting gives you a 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur’s iconic skyline

·      I recommend going to watch the sunset!

·      The retro décor is made from old airplane parts

There you have it – Kuala Lumpur in a day!  While Singapore still won me over as a visa run fav, Malaysia is definitely a country I recommend exploring!


Have more time?  Three additional KL attractions to add to your itinerary!

·      KL Bird Park

·      KL Tower

·      Fountain Show at Lake Symphony


Living Your Most Authentic Life.

The idea behind The Now With Nat came to me when I decided to shift my mindset from constant mind-chatter + rehashing my future, to making a conscious effort to live more in the present moment. From doing so, I started to notice positive changes and soon became aware of opportunities around me. I knew there was truth in this theory, and I was eager to discover more!

As a society, we are programmed to over think, over indulge, + over exude ourselves in every aspect of our lives. But what if we took a moment to just be content with where we are now, in this very instant? To trust that life was going to work out in our favor?  I knew this challenging concept was essential for self growth. In order to be fully present I had to make changes that shifted my energy. This meant detaching myself from what has happened in the past and from what was “going” to happen in the future.

Easier said than done, right?!

Stress and anxiety are created from a busy mind recycling the same thoughts over and over - from replaying past, perhaps traumatic, experiences, and projecting a false future for ourselves that is simply not real. These forms of thinking create an energy that leaves us feeling “stuck” and confused as to why our lives are not quite moving in the direction we ultimately desire. Constant worry is a form of attachment which leads to living out of alignment. The more we live out of alignment, the more prone we are to ailments, depression and dis-ease.

What does living in the now mean?

To me, living in the now is non-resistance to all circumstances in our lives. It is a sense of trust that we must cultivate. It is a constant learning experience to become in alignment with our purpose. Ironically, by chasing life we start to feel less happy and more depressed, for “chasing” takes us out of the present moment, or living in the now. Our mind, body and soul crave moments to just BE. By BE-coming present, an energy within us changes, opening up a new wave of experiences + opportunities in our current reality. 

So how do we live life in the now?

Living in the now is a lifelong practice, but there are many steps to take to begin the shift. For me, I start my day with a grounding technique. This can be done by practicing yoga, meditating, and/or journaling (to name a few!).  This helps set the tone for the rest of the day.  {Click here to read my previous post on how to ground.}

Living in the now is an awareness that this exact moment is all that exists. It is calming the mind and working every day to reprogram our thoughts. Our thoughts create our inner + outer reality, so it is important that our inner dialogue is as positive as possible. To live more presently, I use positive affirmations to change my outer circumstances. I highly recommend the book: You Can Heal Your Life by, Louise Hay - she has amazing affirmations you can implement in your day to day routine!  {Click here for affirmation ideas to help you step into your ultimate power.}

Living in the now is not always easy, but crucial. By being conscious of our thoughts, and working day to day to make changes, you will start receiving new downloads, insights + ah-ha! moments that will positively steer your life in the direction you desire.

“The art of life is to live in the present moment.” - Emmet Fox

I would love to hear your feedback on any techniques that help you stay more present, and/or any stories on how shifting your perspective has changed your life. <3