The online neighborhood, to put it bluntly, has an abundance of posers, gosh, even I have the occasional "Hey, look at me post" when I feel I've done a good enough job of making it look fab. There are certain women online, though, that while posting pretty pictures manage to still bring me back to what's real with the way they live their lives, unaffected, purposeful, and joyfully motivated. Some of their posts trigger my smiles and once in a blue moon even make me laugh way out loud. Here are five joyful women whose best parts I hope deep down don't ever change but I always wish them growth.
[related: #ThisModernLove: Tricia Gosingtian on Traveling From Solo to Duo]
1. Ariel Tweto / @arieltweto. Ariel Tweto is my favorite Eskimo who prefers it warm. I first saw her in some online clips of Flying Wild Alaska, a Discovery channel reality show about her family that owns an airline, Era Alaska, in Unalakleet. The show revolves around her close family who work hard to keep the airline running. Ariel is one of the most colorful people I've ever watched and even her struggles on that old show about becoming more independent and reliable within her family business added to the charm of Flying Wild Alaska. This funny clip of Ariel taking on responsibilities at home was what got me to look for more clips of her online and on social media.
Her deadpan, strict, and funny mom, and her calm and sweet dad, all added to the life of the show a couple of years back. Ariel's been featured on a couple of late night interview shows and even Letterman in 2013. Her childlike spunk, octane-charged sporty side, and joy never seem to fade even with age (as seen on her IG feed). She just has that positive vibe that people around her never get enough of. Ariel also founded her non-profit organization, PoppingBubbles.org, which aims to enable people who feel stuck, motivate self-improvement, and combat suicide. Ariel shuttles between California and Alaska for work, fun, and family.
2. Kiana Valenciano / @kianavee. My cousin, Kiana, is sunshine bottled in a person. No one yet so far that I've met has matched her I'm-here-now-happy-alongside-you-let's-have-fun vibe at maximum volume, just make sure you're not looking for her too early in the morning LOL. Being the only daughter of Gary Valenciano is "no biggie" for Kiana, she probably thinks it's pretty fab and for this girl who once answered "Princess" when asked what she wanted to be one day life out there is looking pretty royal, I must say.
She's beautiful, funny, music mad, commits to loving everyone, plus she lives AND sleeps passionately. Kiana usually posts beautiful photos of her family, friends, style, and entertainment gigs, and her new cocker spaniel, Kylo.
3. Hannah Alulod / @hannah_aloo. Hannah is actually one of my Filipina blog readers based in Sydney, Australia who began following me (@blessmybag) on Instagram a little over a year and a half ago. She's pretty much a contently basic gal, she isn't a blogger, and posts about her happy-day-in-happy-day-out "#BuhaySemiRetired" married life to her husband, Jai. She mentions their little adventures from the land down under to here in the Philippines when they're on vacation.
I was struck by the captions in some of her posts that just so totally "got me" and how much genuine love and peace there was behind many of them, filtered or not. We began commenting and "replying" to one another on IG and we just clicked, sort of like we'd known each other a long time. I'll be meeting her when she comes home to visit next year!
4. Hannie Arden Blaise / @hanniewby. I found out about Hannie, a Vietnamese Germany-based tourism undergrad, when she commented on one of my blog posts. She has a beautifully written personal blog at MissingWanderer.org where she chronicles personal thoughts about life, travel, and even deeper issues once in awhile.
Her photography is thoughtful, even just one image attached to one of her posts says a thousand things at once. I was amazed to see how engaged her readers were in her Disqus comment thread. Her IG feed is peaceful, real, and pretty. She's often happy, yet sometimes sad, sometimes mad even, but truly living.
5. Yasumi Toyoda / @worshipblues. Japanese London-based blogger Yasumi, a.k.a. @worshipblues, has a beautifully curated travel and lifestyle blog up at Worshipblues.com. She, her husband Hiro, and their baby, are lead characters in the project and it is very simply what she wants to share with you. That's it. No bells and whistles, really. She's quite the uncontrived fashionista, homemaker, and impressive ramen seeker. Psyched by pens, dainty baubles for jewelry, and stationery, she's just naturally cool and Japanese like that, you know. Yasumi possesses an uncanny gift with words and beautifully serene photos.
Even how she writes about food once in awhile speaks volumes to me. Beauty, well Yasumi mentions only once in awhile but every recommendation skincare-wise she's mentioned I've looked for in the past. She also personally recommended Matsumoto Kiyoshi once for my mother who went looking for things to buy (the blue and yellow pharmacy that's practically everywhere in Japan). We've interacted a couple of years ago and she follows me, too, and is the sweetest person.
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