Woman, Live!

Who is Brandi Hawthorne?

I’m a country girl from Simpsonville, South Carolina. Growing up, my family wasn’t too keen on living outside the box. Our family vacations consisted of local trips to the the mountains, outlet malls, theme parks and beaches. And, by going to beach, I mean getting our feet wet. Maybe up to our knees. Maybe. Thankfully, my grandma signed every permission slip for every school trip I was interested in. But, even still I never made it west of Chicago, Illinois. The summer before my freshman year in college, I decided I wanted to be a camp counselor in Liberty, New York. (I’ve always been a “Just go for it!” kind of girl.) My grandma rented a car and had my older cousin chauffeur me there. (My grandma’s a “If you really want to…” kind of woman.) At this camp, I met people from all over the world. Most of the countries represented, I didn’t even know how to find on a globe. (Geography never was my best subject.) Working on that campsite made me realize just how big the world was! On my first plane ride back to SC, I became hungry for living. But, more important than me, I wanted my children to have the luxury of living a well-rounded, well-traveled, AWESOME life! (Yes, I believe traveling abroad and trying out new things is a luxury.)

Today, my husband, daughter and I live on the tiny tropical island of Guam. <—HUGE! Most people in my family haven’t flown in a plane, much less hopped 3 planes to a tropical island. (But, I pray that they do!!) We’re snorkeling (yes, we went from getting our knees wet to swimming in the ocean w/ fish!) and hoping to become dive certified before we leave this water wonderland. We’re traveling to China this fall (1st stamp on my passport!). We’re eating an array of cuisine –Thai, Filipino, Chamorro, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Indian, Korean, etc. (In fact, I’m starting to crave some fried chicken, homemade cornbread, and collard greens. And, my husband always says, “I want some fake Chinese food from the mall back home!) And, once again I am around people from all over the world who have traveled the world.

The honest truth…I’m still so far behind. When my friends talk about growing up in Africa and spending a year in India what can I do but sit and smile? I can’t relate.

But, I have to remember that, for someone like me, I’m five steps ahead of where I could have been.

If you read this blog and think, “What’s the big deal?” then it’s not for you. Maybe the things I’ve done or am doing, you’ve done a million times or have no desire to do. And, that’s okay! (We’re still friends!)

But for a little girl like me, the life I’m living now and the life I’m creating, by the grace of God, is nothing short of an answered prayer.

*WARNING* This blog isn’t about how WONDERFUL my life is. I’m not even there yet! When I get to “wonderful” you’ll know it! : ) This blog is about motivating all the little girls and boys who come from meager beginnings but dream about an abundant ending! It’s about a journey. It’s about a yearning for more than what you were given! This blog is a picture of the decisions I’m making to create the lifestyle I want for myself and my family and my grandkids and great-grandkids! (Yes, my decisions today will affect the next 7 generations!! Yours will, too.)

This blog is dedicated to the girls and boys whose parents couldn’t afford to go skiing in the Rockies and visit Paris in the spring. This blog is dedicated to the girls and boys who think a nice restaurant is an American cuisine buffet (Shout-out to Ryan’s and their buttery rolls, though!). This blog is dedicated to the little girls and boys who dream for, yearn for, and deserve more. 

I’m here to tell you that you can create your future. There is no box. The world is at your fingertips. Go live your life! Do the thing you’re afraid of doing! Make every day count!

With Every Bit of Love in My Heart,

Your Sister

5 thoughts on “Who is Brandi Hawthorne?

  1. We didn’t have exotic vacations or travels when I was a kid. My father was in the USAF and the most foreign living location for us was Puerto Rico (no complaints). Otherwise, we were stateside in what we considered very ordinary places. I had the fortune of landing a great travel job when I was in my 20’s so I can totally relate to your relish for travelling. There’s a big world out there and I too want those who are younger than I to never give up there dreams of going big places!


    • Kim, I never realized how much military families relocate until moving here. They live everywhere!!

      I just asked my husband, “Do I like to travel?”. I never thought I liked to travel. I thought that I just enjoyed experiencing new things and traveling was a means to an end, but after his emphatic “Yes!” I guess I’m a travel-lover! : )

      Always discovering new things about myself. Life is a journey!

      Thanks for your comment!


  2. Oh, Brandi I love this! I was first exposed to studying abroad in high school but I didn’t realize its significance until college. By the time I convinced myself to do it, it was too late. Now I really want to travel and I’m believing the Lord will send me when the time is right. Thanks for sharing!



    • Hi Janicia!

      My husband traveled to France in high school and he, too, says he didn’t realize how big of a deal it was until much later. Guam is the farthest I’ve traveled (so far). Definitely get out and see the world! Growing up and living in the same city all your life is such a disservice to yourself! There’s so much to see and do! And, nature is a beautiful reminder of just how awesome God is! I mean, who else could have created something so lovely?! Thanks for reading & commenting, Janicia! I can’t wait to see your pics/videos from your travels!


  3. Pingback: What’s on your Regret List? | Woman, Live!

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