Hi, I’m Caitlin.
I’m a recovery advocate and yoga teacher committed to leading a courageous life that is passionate, purposeful, and true. I write about my current travels in South America, my recovery from addiction, and falling in love with life. I hope to empower others to cultivate a life that is honest, compassionate, and joyful.
I was born with no hair. To identify me as a girl, my parents taped pink bows on my head.
I was always one of the boys, and could run faster, play harder, and challenge them in confidence. You couldn’t pay me to wear a dress.
Competition was my game: I excelled academically, won countless athletic championships, and was a published author at eleven.
And then, my parents’ struggles with addiction took over.
Before I was a teenager, I was a mother and a father to my younger brother. Growing up in an alcoholic household set no example to follow – except how to use substance.
By twelve, I used drugs and alcohol regularly.
By fifteen, I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, suicidal, and a high-school dropout.
And then the unthinkable happened: my family was evicted from my childhood home.
Within weeks we moved to Ft. Lauderdale to live with family.
Through a web of night classes, virtual school, and more moderate substance use, I managed to graduate from high-school with honors and a scholarship to university.
While my life was seemingly more manageable, my substance abuse became far more complex. I was suffering from alcoholism, co-dependency, an eating disorder, and severe emotional disturbance and trauma.
And I still hadn’t turned eighteen.
From 18 to 25, academia, work, and travel became my escapisms.
I spent the majority of those years internationally, living in nearly ten countries and traveling to over twenty-five.
I learned to speak Turkish. I backpacked solo through the Middle East and was in Cairo during the Arab Spring. I worked at a refugee camp in Palestine.
I became a first-generation university student, graduating Magna Cum Laude with bachelors in Political Science & International Affairs.
I worked for USAID in Rwanda. And Amnesty International and UNICEF in Australia.
And all-the-while, my addictions, unbeknownst to most, were spiraling out of control.
In September 2014, I was working for NATO in Izmir, Turkey when I vowed to stop drinking.
I maintained my new-found sobriety through a commitment to yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. But I knew that for my sobriety to be sustainable, I needed help.
So, I left my dream job, moved back to Washington, D.C., and spent two years getting real with myself.
I surrendered to the life-long process of recovery. I finally began to heal.
These days, my healing journey is unfolding in South America. I begin each day with the sunrise and the same daily practices that helped me find sobriety.
I’m expanding. I’m discovering. And I’m surrendering to a life lived in purpose, courage, and from the heart.