Reinventing a Life in the Amazon – Yachana School & Lodge

Napo River Yachana Ecuador

Who starts a school in the middle of the Ecuadorean Amazon? Proving that life can always provide serendipity, Douglas McMeekin found himself bankrupt in his forties but with an opportunity to move to Ecuador. Originally from the US, Douglas worked for six years in the Amazon as an environmental and cultural consultant for eight different oil companies.  This experience provided the catalyst he needed to begin Yachana Foundation and a way to give sustainable help to the Amazonian people.Yachana Lodge Ecuador

In 1992 he began by building six schools and training teachers in 27 communities. Continue reading


So You Want to Live in Berlin?

Berlin Brandenburg Gate

Berlin is, some would argue, the most exciting place to live in Europe right now. Looking for an emerging tech scene? What about techno and club music? A flourishing international and avant-garde art scene? The city is bursting with energy! While Berlin still has a relatively low cost of living compared to other European capitals, it’s hub as the center of everything hip and new won’t last forever. So get there soon to take advantage of the thriving cultural scene, while it’s still affordable. After visiting there recently and loving it, I reached out to an American expat, Wayne, who answered some of my questions about how to make the move and live in Berlin.

What made you decide to pack up and move to Berlin?

I was stationed in Berlin with the U.S Army from 1973 to 1975. I fell in love with Berlin then. My daughter wanted to be a foreign exchange student and while working on that process, she found a job opening for me in Berlin. So, my wife, daughter and I discussed it and we all decided to move to Berlin!Continue reading


How to Visualize Success and Make It Happen: Michelle Roark, Olympian, Chemist & Perfume Entrepreneur

Michelle Roark Freestyle Skier

Can you bottle confidence and learn how to visualize success? Michelle Roark thinks so. While training for the 2006 Olympics, she sought a fragrance that would help invoke the “zone.” Michelle spent sixteen years on the US Freestyle Ski Team, competed in two Olympics, and won many World Cup ski events. During her incredible time as an athlete, she persevered through seven knee surgeries and faced many hardships raising funds to keep her athletic dreams alive. Most importantly, Michelle’s attitude in life is to live, love, be phenomenal, and to surround herself with people who believe in the same. I talk with Michelle about her inspirational journey from Olympian, to chemical engineer to perfume entrepreneur. Here’s what it took and how she did it.Continue reading