My Story

My Story

Hi! My name is Mariah and I am embarking on the adventure of my life. It all started with a feeling, a longing to pack a few belongings into my trunk and head West. Words like simple, free, authentic, and off the grid, kept spinning around in my head. Then I started noticing that other people were using and thinking about these words too. They were pursuing lifestyles I envied- unconventional, spontaneous, and carefree lives filled with joy.

The day after I quit my job- headed on a 14 month adventure with my yellow backpack!

I was on the path to living a successful life. I was following a typical linear course (graduate from college, choose a secure well-paying job, move into my own apartment, climb the career ladder, settle down, etc.) but I was unhappy. Three years into my professional career, after an amazing trip abroad I had an awakening. I knew I desperately wanted to get off this track. I wanted more. Or really, I wanted less.

I wanted to stop being a consumer and start being a contributor. I wanted to live a life of simple adventure. I looked around and started realizing it really was possible. I realized there were global movements focusing on exactly that -simplicity, community, freedom. People around the world were returning to their roots by growing their own food, placing more value on time than money, and living in harmony. And then I picked up an old favorite book of mine and read this:

my story

“What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it. Right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.” -Barbara Kingsolver

What I want is so simple I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling, a hunger for more. More than possessions, promotions, or pride. I want something bigger than security, routine, or a savings account. I want to see places I’ve never heard of, work with my hands, start relying on kindness instead of currency. I want to love unabashedly, learn unreservedly, give from the bottom of my heart.

The Barefoot Beat is a collection of stories and mementos gathered from around the world and shared with you. It’s an exploration of culture through music, travel, food, and photography. It’s an attempt to pursue simplicity and authenticity in a society that demands consumption and conformity. It’s about uncovering the common threads that bind humanity and choosing to love what I can’t always understand. It’s about being transformed from the inside out.

So at twenty-five I find myself squeezing my belongings into a mustard colored backpack, ready to embark on a new chapter of my life. I’m giving up my own living space, a full-time job, and the knowledge of what comes next. I’m not sure where this journey will take me or what my life will look like when it’s over. It’s going to be messy, complicated, and confusing at first. I’m going to have my doubts and you might even think I’m crazy. That’s okay.

I would be honored to walk this journey with you.

*Curious as to where this journey has led so far? Check out the About Me page for an update on how my life has changed in the last TEN years since it all began!


  • Reply Jeff November 17, 2023 at 7:19 pm

    I appreciate the sincerity of this write-up of yours. Can’t wait to see more!

  • Reply Eleonora June 19, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Hi Mariah,
    I found you by chance and I love so much all of this.
    Some days I feel like I couldn’t go ahead and travel all my own seem the only thing to do in order to make me happy.
    Thank you for this blog, you are such an inspiration!

    • Reply Mariah July 7, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you Eleonora! I’m so grateful to be able to share this journey with others. I wish you love and light on your own path!

  • Reply Whitney Johnson May 13, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Mariah!

    I came across The Barefoot Beat and love what you are doing! I do social media for Project Pangia and after sharing it with my team, we felt like you would be an awesome person to collaborate with. Basically, we want to send you free stuff!

    We make bracelets that inspire travel and kindness – you give the bracelet to someone you meet on your journey, who in turn gives the bracelet to someone they meet and it creates a chain of giving and sharing. Every bracelet has a code registered on our website. Each new recipient can find the bracelet online and adds a post, pic, and pinpoint on the map. You can see how where and how far the bracelet has traveled, read stories of the people who have had the bracelet before you, and then follow as the bracelet travels the world.

    We just launched our kickstarter and are wondering if you will help spread the word – in exchange we would love to send you one of our travel bracelets and promote your page in return:)

    All the best,
    Whitney Johnson recently posted…PROJECT PANGIA KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN!My Profile

    • Reply Mariah May 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Whitney! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, this sounds awesome! I’d love to get involved. Shoot me an email at and we’ll work out the details. Good luck to you!

  • Reply Karan December 3, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Mariah,I am inspired by you! You are living a life.All the best wishes to you!

    • Reply Mariah December 3, 2013 at 7:40 am

      Thank you so much Karan! I appreciate your kind words. 🙂

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