Projecting Positivity, A Gift from Me to You 19

Today is a day that you may need a reminder. I travel the world for a job, but there is one lesson I’ve learned from all of it, being an American is an amazing gift that I am grateful for.

The world has beautiful countries with long histories, stories much older and longer than ours. We travel to admire the art and architecture, the cultural achievements. But there is something that we have that they don’t. We have that unique sense of possibility. Of unlimited potential. Of optimism in the darkest moments. You may not realize it, but our feeling that we can be anything if we work hard enough is not normal in the wider world. In much of the world it isn’t possible to rise from your circumstances, no matter how you try.

I am grateful for this country, for all it has given me, daughter of an immigrant. I’m proud to be the first person in my family history to go to university. I’m proud to have a dream job working with inspiring people at a wonderful company that I believe in. I’m proud of my beautiful family, my children who will grow up to be anything they want to be. Everyday as he gets out of the car, I tell my son, who is in middle school (the worst of all moments of a person’s life) to go and shine his light on everyone. He’s a naturally happy person and I want him to spread that light on the kids that aren’t as self-assured as he is. Kids at that age struggle so much. Everyone is worthy of and craving for kindness and acknowledgment. A smile can be enough. I feel like we are all in middle school right now.

It’s a day to hug your family, friends and neighbors, no matter who they voted for. Let’s be our best selves. Smile at the other people in the grocery store. Let someone cut in front of you in traffic without giving them the finger. Buy a latte for the person behind you in line, hopefully it will be me. Be the goodness you’d like to see in this world. There is so much to be grateful for.

Personally, I am grateful for all of you. This blog has become more successful than I’d ever dreamed it would. I love this community of adventurers, you have really saved my sanity and given me a space for my voice. Thank you for that. I hope my advice and occasional sense of humor has brought you some light. I hope we can expand this adventure together and bring light to other travelers in this world.

I cannot hug you personally today, so I’d like to send you a present. Some of you know that I like to paint and draw, and make block prints. Last year I sent out about 200 prints, this year I want to send more. I’m not sure how many I can do, but if you want a handmade art print made by me, I’d like to send you one for free, as an act of service and gratitude to the community that has given me so much positive energy. It’s a thank you and a reminder that the world is a fundamentally good place and we have many adventures ahead of us. 

If you’d like a print, please send me your name and mailing address. If you received a print last year, please tell me which one so that I can send you a different one this year. I’ll use my blocks from last year plus some new ones, they will be sent at random. If you’d like to help defray the cost of mail and printing, please make a purchase from Amazon at some point this holiday season using the links on my page.

Email your mailing address and name to: with the subject line “Art Print” and I’ll take as many as I can. Let’s set the cut off date as Sunday, November 13.

Hugs to you all, thanks for reading, commenting and sharing!


Sarah Murdoch is a tour guide and guidebook writer for Rick Steves Europe. Her blog, Adventures with Sarah, focuses on packing tips, travel stories and advice for planning the best trip possible.

19 thoughts on “Projecting Positivity, A Gift from Me to You

  • Emily

    Here is a long overdue thank you for all of the information, tips, insight and humor that you have shared and I’ve so enjoyed reading. Although I lived outside the USA for nearly all of my adult years (and that’s a lot of years!), this September was my first trip to Europe–loved, loved, loved it! I so appreciated all the tips on what to take, and I went crazy when I read you wore a size 12 shoe, because so do I–with all the same challenges as you! Thanks so very much for writing, Sarah!

  • Kathy Noll

    Well said. I’m sending love and light to the situation, instead of adding more negativity. Thanks so much for the block print! I’ll be putting it on my wall and dreaming of Italy… Infinite Love & Gratitude xx

  • Mike

    Love your comments today. I believe that hope and optimism are what we as a nation and culture can provide in leadership to the world! We are the land of possibility!!

  • Mary Ann Amos

    Thank you so much for your positive words that were much needed on what has been a very hard day for me. I agree we are citizens of a country where there are many possibilities, but worry that democracies are fragile and need to be nurtured with mutual trust and respect.

  • Sarah

    You are an inspiration. I would love one of your prints–I live for your travel tips! Thank you for these inspiring words ❤️
    1969 Gardenview Circle
    Santa Rosa
    CA 95403 💖

  • Wendy Ormond

    Thank you for your blog and your offer. I have no more room in my small house for another print, but do enjoy and find your posts useful.

  • Lydia

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about being an American. I am a naturalized citizen of this wonderful country and am grateful for everything that this country has given me. If there is anyone who questions what this country has to offer spend some time in any other country and then see where the opportunities are better

  • Kat Villines

    Thanks, Sarah, it has been a day… Love your prints, we have Roma, please send us another if you will. It will be framed and next to our first! Stay positive!

  • debbie z

    Thank you, Sarah.
    I was raised in Latin America, and am heartbroken with the outcome… It’s nice to hear you put a positive spin… I do believe our country has been the finest in the world, and hope this election is not destroying it. Thank you for your optimism!

  • Judy Brennan

    Sarah, I love your blog, pictures, stories, and everything else. You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing so much with us through your traveling stories.

  • LCH

    How appreciative we all are of your generous spirit, particularly true today. Those fleeting precious moments of travel with your child brought back memories for me.Thank you for thinking of all of out here who share a love of travel. My special place? Vienna. Sending you a clinking of a glass of an Aperol Spritzer!

  • Andrew Roberts


    Love the blog. I really enjoyed this one and the one about the flood in Florence, not to mention the series about travelling with your son. Really, all of them.

    Thanks again for taking the time to write.

  • April

    Thank you we do need to hear those words today. I don’t usually comment but today I had to. I have enjoyed your blog especially the ones on your vacation with your son.

  • Judith

    Thank you for your blog today. It brought tears. I am a sad, but proud Californian. I was in England in June, when they had a similar shock.

  • Kay Williams

    Hi, Sarah! I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Whenever I see that you’ve posted something new, it is ALWAYS the first thing I read. I too love Italy but most especially, I love Florence. I was thrilled to receive your woodblock print di Firenze l’anno scorso. It is framed and hung where I can enjoy it every day. I would be honored to receive another print and hang it next to la mia bella Firenze. Mille grazie e abbracci e baci per te! 😘👏🏼☺️

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