from business suit to a bathing suit

hey there!

I’m Mo!

I’m so excited that you are here, exploring what’s possible for you in your journey! 

If you told me in 2012 when I was planning my 6-month solo-backpacking trip that I would end up permanently trading in my business suit for a bathing suit, I would have NEVER believed you.   

But here I am, 7 years later!   

After my 6-month backpacking trip turned into 10 months of a life-altering journey, I decided to pursue my love of scuba diving and become a dive professional.   After “working” on some stunning paradise islands as a diving instructor and being asked (on numerous occasions) to write a book to document my adventures, I decided to create Travelust 101 to help other people fulfill their dream of traveling by sharing my journey and offering practical tips on discovering the beauty of our planet, both above and under the ocean! 

I share about my entire travel journey on a Goal Traveler podcast, where I talked about how I quit my job in 2013,  saved to travel, prepared for my trip, and created a new life abroad! 

Click below if you’d like to give it a listen!

About Travelust 101

My mission on Travelust 101 is to connect with other free-spirited women and inspire them to challenge the ordinary, take the path less traveled, and expand their horizon.

I don’t know if it’s because I was born and raised in metropolitan cities my whole life, but I hate crowds.  When it comes to trip planning, I always look to get off the grid, escape the hustle and bustle of civilizations and connect with Mother Nature.  

I also love to travel solo.  Solo traveling requires me to get out of my comfort zones, push my limits and challenge my beliefs.  The experiences leave me feeling so liberated and empowered – I love it!

These travel interests led me to some incredible and memorable adventures including discovering local villages in Bali, swimming with humpback whales in Tonga and diving with thresher sharks in the Philippines

Whether you are aspiring to travel and looking for inspirations, planning your next exotic adventure and searching for tips, or simply browsing for tropical destination ideas, you will find just about everything  at Travelust 101!

I fell in love with traveling after my solo adventure to Bali in 2009
from business suit to bathing suit
This trip to Tulum changed the course of my life

My Story

My travelust did not spark until my 30’s when I attended a family wedding in Bali.   There, I signed up for my first trial dive on a small island called Nusa Lembongan.  I saw manta rays (aka flying carpet) swim over my head, and you can say I was hooked after that! 

That first trial dive in Bali changed the course of my life.   

In the years that followed, I planned all my vacation trips around scuba diving – I couldn’t get enough of the underwater world! 

In 2012, while sitting on a beach in Tulum, I had a moment of mid-life crisis clarity: I did not wish to spend the rest of my days sitting in a cubicle.   I wanted to explore and live. 

I wanted to feel ALIVE.

So as any responsible 30-somethings would do, I quit my office job in NYC, sold the contents of my apartment and bought a one-way ticket to the Philippines to begin my life’s adventure.

I won’t lie.  It was the scariest moment of my life and my friends definitely thought I was in midst of a mid-life crisis. 

But now I spend my days in my bathing suit, teaching scuba diving when I’m in the water and sharing my travel resources when I’m out of the water! 

Either way, I created a life I now love and wish to inspire women to do the same! 

Fun Facts About Me

♥  I am Japanese-American.   I was born in Japan and raised in the US.  But these days I don’t get recognized as Japanese with my dark, tanned skin color!

♥  I am useless in the morning until I have my dark-roasted coffee with coconut milk

♥  Speaking of coconut I love anything coconut!   Coconut ice cream, coconut oil, coconut shavings, coconut butter, coconut scented moisturizers…mmm mmmm!

♥  I am a dog lover but allergic to pet hair

♥  I can really get consumed in great mystery books and crime podcasts.    I majored in Criminal Justice at University of Michigan (Go Blue!), and am still fascinated with topics related to the criminal  justice system (or lack thereof, let’s be honest!)

♥  My favorite food is ice cream (if that counts!).  If it were up to me and not my metabolism, I’d make it my meal 3 times a day

♥  My parents are professional chefs.   They are probably the reason I turned out to be such a foodie

♥  My favorite underwater creature is the nudibranch!  They are so fascinating to look at

♥  There are still many things on my bucket list but my #1 is to swim/dive with the killer whales!

♥  I LOVE roller coasters.  My dream is to one day rent an RV and drive across the US hitting up all the amusement parks in the country

About Mo's Fun Facts
Eating is my favorite hobby 😉

Contact me!

I would love to hear from you, whether you have a question for me or just to say hello!