My Biography

Standing here at 58 years old, if I turn my head and look back, my memories are clear of the straight out of college Joyce teaching a class in mathematics extraordinaire with shoulder length straight hair, matching sweater and skirt, stacked heels and enthusiasm. Next stop motherhood and like so many of my friends I read every book about childbirth and childrearing crowning “The Time Out” as the queen of my mothering style.

After a divorce with the usual fallout and an educational toy business, my career moved to a long successful stop as a real estate agent. And then with both sons graduated from college, my responsibilities seemed to have whittled down to just taking care of myself and the cat. A successful real estate business, an adorable houseboat with kayaking right out my door, friends to play squash with, ski with, rollerblade and laugh with in the beautiful city of Seattle. A great life, right? Yes and no. From the outside ‘Joyce’s life’ looked quite nice but if I lifted my head out of the fog, I saw a woman not fully present, not heart happy, and lacking passion. A question kept gnawing at me- Is this life, the one I am leading right now, the best way for me to live, to use my talents, to help the planet? Unable to either ignore the question or answer yes, I looked around for ways to shake up my life, bring change. The startling idea to travel solo as a volunteer around the world for a full year hit me like lightning one day while I was hiking up Rattlesnake Mountain. Reeling from what must have been either oxygen deprivation or divine inspiration, I knew the trip was the answer.
   

Jumping out of my life, my shoes, my houseboat and my career, I decided to celebrate my life with the gift of freedom for a full year and perhaps, just maybe, do a bit of good along the way. Not wanting to walk around looking at old churches and ruins like a typical tourist, sleeping in plush, culture-avoiding hotels, I put together a chain of volunteer vacations staying a month on each project. I traveled to all but one continent, took the Trans-Siberian Express, lived in different cultures and got exactly what I had bargained for, change! My spirit is refreshed, my creativity has returned and the just getting by layers that were clouding my vision have been blown away from a year spent volunteering around the world.
   I want to encourage other people to travel and volunteer. I feel a deep responsibility to help protect the earth, her resources and all of her inhabitants. Traveling and seeing the beauty on this planet, I want to be a part of the solution to protect the earth.

That’s when i met my love who runs Seattle Water Damage Restoration. When not working we travel, and smile at the world!

Leave Everything And Travel The World

Have you ever wanted to leave everything behind and travel the world?

  
#1 Travel Book Award Winner and

Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner

Find out what travelers with a purpose are raving about!  “Smiling at the World: A Woman’s Passionate Quest for Adventure and Love” takes us on a yearlong voluntourism adventure around the world as Major discovers the world as a volunteer immersing herself in the culture while covering a wide variety of projects from lion cubs and elephants, to kangaroos and monkeys, from a restoration project to a sustainability sanctuary, from a newspaper reporter to teaching English and more! 

Major’s passion for helping the planet, her zany sense of humor and gift of storytelling will provide escape and inspiration to readers to live with passion and explore their place on the earth. “Smiling at the World” is a celebration – a story about love in its many forms – for wildlife, for the earth, for humanity and how a smile connects them all.