Friday, February 14, 2014

Cari Kamm travels with style....plus a giveaway!

We're very excited to welcome back Cari Kamm, author of Fake Perfect Me and For Internal Use Only, which are both FREE today only. Cari actually got married very recently and her last name is now "Fund." Let's wish her a big congrats and Mazel Tov! Cari is talking about her many traveling adventures and her birthday, which happens to be Valentine’s Day too. She’s also giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to a lucky reader anywhere in the world!

Get to know Cari by visiting her website, Facebook and Twitter pages.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

I’m a Valentine’s Day baby. My childhood birthday celebrations were filled with chalky heart-shaped candies, heart-shaped love notes and most importantly Russell Stover chocolates. Growing up, it was incredible to be born on this day saturated with sweetness and love. I never felt alone. I never felt the pressure of having a Be Mine. I was always a part of the celebration. Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Birthday Cari! It’s all fun and games until you enter adulthood and the world of Is there a someone special in your life? Whoever said “Chocolate doesn’t love you back” was wrong! The marketing industry alone in the month of February could push any sane woman over the edge. The V-Day birthday girl title I once wore proudly began to feel like a curse from St. Valentine himself. I would turn a year older and have a spotlight on my relationship status. Single? Engaged? Married? Successful serial dater? It wasn’t until my early twenties I realized being born on this day wasn’t a blessing or a curse and my relationship status didn’t matter.

At the age of twenty-two I moved to the concrete jungle of New York City to attend NYU. I was alone in one of the biggest cities in the world. A small town girl from West Virginia, I went from one stop light to one million in a snap. This fear of being alone offered the biggest birthday gift ever. Here came the lesson of self-worth. Ta-dah!

When I started to face my fears alone, I started to realize who I was and what I was capable of achieving. For my twenty-second birthday, I celebrated my life with the gift of personal growth. With baby steps of course, I greeted each new birthday year with a challenge that would break routine, test strengths and expose weaknesses. I took this personal time to attend a Broadway show, enjoy lunch at a new restaurant in the city and eventually made myself spend a weekend alone in Long Island at a yoga retreat. I started to feel like the very warrior I was asked to pose.

From my twenties through my mid thirties, I’ve expanded my personal growth journey from weekends to two weeks trips. As I write this post, I reminiscence about my weekend trips to Chicago, Miami, Vermont, to walking down a snowy Champs Elysees in Paris devouring a warm chocolate croissant, to a writing retreat in Carmel, swimming in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, jungle excursions in Costa Rica, rainy days in London, getting mugged in Argentina, many mezze platters in Abu-Dhabi and my travels throughout Italy.

These travels have been my greatest gifts to me and from me. Connecting to people, cities and cultures has allowed me to grow both mentally and emotionally. It’s ignited a fire within me for self-discovery that even the darkest moment couldn’t extinguish. Traveling has allowed this metamorphosis of the woman I am today and has taught me to be present, to be connected, and to be grateful.

As a writer, I’ve tested my characters self-worth. If you’ve read Fake Perfect Me or For Internal Use Only, then you’re familiar with their inner struggles. Each of my characters are a piece of me and my journey.

And no matter what life presents me, nothing and no one can take away my personal growth. These experiences are embedded within me. These moments are a part of my DNA and continue to shape my character daily. Unlike a material item, it can’t be lost or stolen. It’s not attached to anyone, but me. These are my memories and their value doesn’t depreciate.

No journey is too small or large to create personal growth. Whether you take an afternoon, a weekend, a week or more. Travel somewhere. Travel anywhere.

February 14, 2014 marks my 36th year. I’ve hopped a flight to Israel with my husband and you can bet I ordered a glass of wine and opened up a heart-shaped box of chocolates. My husband gets those few leftovers with the weird orange or pink fillings and risks losing a finger if he dare touch that caramel filled square. I’m not sure if a lifetime is enough to fully learn who we are and experience all the world has to offer, but it’s never too late to start your personal growth journey. The one thing I hope my birthday says about me (besides that I’m addicted to Mr. Russell Stover) is that I’m not only passionate about experiencing who I am, but I want to know who I can be.

Wishing you much love this Valentine’s Day.

XO
Cari

Thanks to Cari for visiting with us and generously sharing her books and a fabulous giveaway with our readers!

~Introduction by Amy Bromberg

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Open worldwide. Giveaway ends February 19th at midnight EST.

37 comments:

susieqlaw said...

Hawaii

cindy roesel said...

Happy birthday. Looking forward to meeting you - calling my town your town.
Cindy

Melanie Backus said...

Happy Birthday to you!

I would love to go anywhere with my grandchildren.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Summer Grinstead said...

Going to Las Vegas on my birthday!

sumsum085@aol.com

Kritter said...

My next vacation will be in August and we are headed to St. Martin!

Michelle James said...

My next vacay will be to Boston to visit my grandsons. After that, I would like to go to St. Thomas and do some snorkeling

Joy said...

The Beach!

Jennifer Huelsebusch said...

Heading to Orlando a few days early for a conference in a couple of weeks!

fani filippou said...

wow this author has traveled in so many places! I really wish i could go in Japan for my next vacation

Linda Kish said...

Las Vegas!

Jessica Meddick said...

I'd love to go to Seattle for my next vacation.

Thanks!
-Jessica M

Rita said...

We're going to Lake Tahoe.

Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

rhonda said...

Seattle lomazowr@gmail.com

Connie said...

For my next vacation, I would love to cruise to the eastern Caribbean. That's my kind of great vacation!

Connie Fischer
conniecape@aol.com

Janine said...

Happy Birthday! I loved this post. I dream of traveling to many of the places you mentioned.

Carl Scott said...

I think our next vacation will be somewhere in Mexico, probably the Copper Canyon. Thanks and Happy V-T Day!

Nova said...

Happy Birthday!
I think we are going someplace in Tennessee; maybe Nashville or Gatlinburg!!
sparkle40175 AT hotmail DOT com

Tobi Helton said...

More like a girls weekend with my mom in November for an author event in Georgia. I can't wait!

jodi marinich said...

we are doing to disneyworld this year

Jan Hall said...

My next vacation will be visiting my son in Spokane Washington.

Glenda said...

Happy Birthday! I don't know where I'll be going. No plan yet.

Margie said...

South Carolina
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Anonymous said...

Only 13 days till I jet off to meet my college roomies in Palm Springs for a weekend. We all turned 40 last month and haven't seen each other in so long. Can't wait.

Christi
monsterhead(at)Comcast(dot)net

Jennifer L. said...

I'll be going to British Columbia for my next vacation.

MaryAnne Hart said...

I'll be going to Dubrovnik, Croatia!

Susan @ The Book Bag said...

Hope you had a happy birthday! We are hoping to go to the Black Hills soon. Love it out there.

Mary Preston said...

Happy Birthday!!

I'll be heading up the coast to visit family.

Stacey Smith said...

Would love to go to Hawaii or even just the beach somewhere.just don't think I will get the chance to have a Vacation.
sasluvbooks at yahoo.com

bn100 said...

Congrats on your wedding! Would like to go to Tahiti

Cari Kamm said...

Thank you for all the lovely comments! I'm loving all your travel destinations! Good luck with the giveaway! xo

Dorothy Teel said...

My next vacation will be this summer to San Diego,k to see the grandsons, we love that trip.

Anita Yancey said...

I would love to go to Hawaii. But because of budget will probably just go to the beach.

ayancey1974(at)gmail(dot)com

Mrs Mommy Booknerd said...

Door County WI

Ro said...

Orange Beach, Alabama

Bonnie K. said...

I don't have plans yet for traveling. One thing I do want to do for sure is to take a road trip across the United States. For something local, I would like to go to the coast. I love the ocean--maybe to Sonoma County.

bluedawn95864 at gmail dot com

S.Sabia said...

We are headed to Chicago this summer to visit my husband's parents.

Wendles said...

Off to Cornwall (UK) in August for our holiday x