You Are Where You Need to Be


By Camille Willemain

Growing Up - 01

I’m sitting in bed in my bungalow in Bali, alone.

Growing Up - 02

The sun is shining and the turquoise sea just beyond my porch glitters beneath a cliff backed golden sand bay.

Growing Up - 03

I am unbelievably blessed to be here, on possibly the most coveted island in the world, with no attachments or responsibilities, and the freedom to do anything that I want.

Growing Up - 04

But what I want to do is hide under my covers and cry.

Growing Up - 05

I have no return ticket home, no home to return to, and I spent the last of my savings to leave Cambodia and come to Bali to reunite with the first man I allowed myself to be vulnerable with in years.

Growing Up - 06

He leaves in three hours for another continent, but mentally and emotionally he was never even here.

Growing Up - 07

My disappointment is palpable.

Growing Up - 08

I feel foolish for straying from my plan to see him one last time.

I question if I made a mistake in finally letting my guard down.

I worry that my lifestyle leads me to men laden with limits.

Growing Up - 09

In this scenario where everything that surrounds me is foreign

Growing Up - 10

emotionally it feels painfully familiar.

Growing Up - 11

Resisting releasing something I already know I don’t want in my life.

Growing Up - 12

Seeking fulfillment for my needs from someone else instead of empowering myself.

Growing Up - 13

Accepting less than what I deserve because something seems like a better offer than nothing.

Growing Up - 14

Occupying my mind so entirely with another person that I become distracted from who I am and what I want.

Growing Up - 16


after two years of traveling the world on my own

Growing Up - 17

hiking through the South American jungle

sailing to deserted islands in Southeast Asia

Growing Up - 18

riding on rickety buses across Nicaragua, Panama, Cambodia, and Morocco

taking countless cold showers

Growing Up - 19

communicating in foreign languages

and sleeping in dorm rooms with complete strangers

Growing Up - 20

am I back to being the girl who bases her confidence on how much attention she gets from a guy?

Growing Up - 21

Haven’t I grown beyond this?

Growing Up - 22

Are you ever

where I am now?

Growing Up - 23

Back in a place you thought you outgrew?

Re-enacting the patterns of your past?

Being the person you swore you would never be again?

Growing Up - 24




Growing Up - 25



Growing Up - 26


how did I get back here?

Growing Up - 27


if you were actually


Growing Up - 15


or happier?

Growing Up - 28


if you were just coasting

until a difficult moment

Growing Up - 29


how flawed and broken

you still are?


that you will never

get back

to feeling

Growing Up - 31



and content?

Growing Up - 32


that you didn’t

grow up

after all?

Growing Up - 33

Right now, my mind is cluttered with these ideas.

Growing Up - 34

But the healthy, happy me

buried beneath the insecurity and the fear


Growing Up - 35

that those negative, destructive thoughts




Growing Up - 36

Because growing up doesn’t mean always being your “best” self.

Growing Up - 37

It doesn’t mean never being sad, angry, imbalanced, lost, insecure, or what some people might even call “crazy.”

Growing Up - 38

It doesn’t mean being protected by an ego that the cruelest words can’t crush.

Growing Up - 39

It doesn’t mean having all of the answers

Growing Up - 40

and it certainly doesn’t mean never making mistakes.

Growing Up - 41

Growing up means gaining the awareness

to recognize

Growing Up - 42

what makes you feel good

what doesn’t

and why.

Growing Up - 43

It means shifting

your self talk

to a dialogue

Growing Up - 44

that makes you feel


and loved.

Growing Up - 45

It means accepting

that you cannot control the way that others treat you

Growing Up - 46

but you can absolutely control

the way that you treat yourself.

Growing Up - 47

It means recognizing

the impermanence

of everything

Growing Up - 48

experiencing the darkness


that one day


you will feel light.

Growing Up - 49

It means empowering


with the responsibility

to choose happiness

Growing Up - 50

whether that means

being patient in discomfort

or making a move

that completely

changes your life.

Growing Up - 51

It means having

the willingness

and the courage

to let go.

Growing Up - 52

So right now

I am quieting my inner judgments

and I am amplifying my voice that says:

Growing Up - 53

Hang in there babe

you are strong.

Growing Up - 54

Believe in your dreams

they are inevitable.

Growing Up - 55

Everything will be ok

because everything is already ok.

Growing Up - 56

You are worth mountains and oceans

no matter how others treat you

or how small you feel.

Growing Up - 57

Where you are today is perfect

because it is where you need to be

to get to tomorrow.

Growing Up - 58

In honor of the person I am today

I am getting out of bed

I am walking down to the sea

Growing Up - 59

and I am watching the dramatic progression of the sunset


Growing Up - 60

Wherever you are

on your journey

Growing Up - 61

in a moment of glittering bliss

in a moment of deep dark pain

on the brief, vast, varying spans between

Growing Up - 62

feel it

cherish it

and know

Growing Up - 63

it’s all just part

of growing up.


After losing her day job, Camille Willemain sold all of her belongings, abandoned her unhealthy relationship, and flew to Costa Rica on a one way ticket. Today she lives nomadically, traveling the world alone and writing about her adventures and self growth on her blog This American Girl.


{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

youngjoozy January 30, 2014 at 5:50 pm

You rock!!! You are beauty~full and thank you forbeing vulnerable and sharing. Reallyhelped to read this, laying in bed and feeling lost. More blessings on your journey! ♥ great photos!!


Camille Willemain January 31, 2014 at 5:53 am

Aw thank you so much!!


Matasha January 30, 2014 at 6:03 pm

It sounds like a lot of what I’m facing. I had to make a hard decision earlier this year that really effected my life. But, in the process I realize it was the best decision for me, and I have awesome qualities about myself, and have so much to offer, but when I look at my overall life because of knowing who I am, I can’t help but to be sad. There is so much I desire to do. And, in some way I feel disconnected from myself. I know I am well capable of being happy and fulfilled but I battle with just accepting my now and the process. I’m glad you were able to see the beauty where you are. I am currently trying to work on seeing my life as beautiful. I am glad this story crossed my path in the process. Thank you!


Camille Willemain January 31, 2014 at 5:53 am

Thank you for sharing and it means to world to me that my story helped you in any way. Good luck to you in your journey. x


sandra kide January 30, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Amazing pictures <3 thank you Camille ! And good luck! :)


Camille Willemain January 31, 2014 at 5:52 am

Thank you!! :)


CJ January 30, 2014 at 7:26 pm

I have been dealing with a lot of pain for months. Heartache, one of the worst feelings a woman can have. Remember, this when times are tough for you…… NOWHERE……………….. NOW HERE !!! Stay present! Also ask your archeangels to care for you and your spirit guide and your soul mate, who is on the other side waiting for you! PEACE


Camille Willemain January 31, 2014 at 5:50 am

Thanks for the comment CJ. Hope you are finding some peace in this moment despite the hard times you’ve experienced recently. xo


Sophie January 31, 2014 at 3:09 am

That was one of the most powerful articles I’ve read in such a long time. It really struck me to my core. Amazing, I’m going to share it on my social media sites x


Camille Willemain January 31, 2014 at 5:48 am

Wow, thank you Sophie, what an amazing compliment. I really appreciate it and I’m so glad the article resonated with you.


Linda January 31, 2014 at 7:19 am

Thank you so very much Camille – your beautiful words and emotive photos struck a chord with me. I have just lost my Mother to cancer and you have helped immensely – I know I am on the right path. Blessings to you!


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:32 am

Linda, I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t tell you how much it touches me that you felt even a tiny bit of peace from reading this post. Much love to you <3 <3 <3


Tamisha January 31, 2014 at 6:04 pm

That was so gorgeous, Camille. Thank you. It’s like you took my last year and opened it up and took all the truth out and put it into beautiful photos and text. Gosh, there’s a whole lot of power in this. What I loved most about the progression in your writing and the photos was feeling the emotional support toward yourself change as you worked through it. How you started with simply identifying the truth of how you felt (and not judging it), then moving on to acceptance and compassion about how you would move forward. You’ve modeled a process here I hope to learn more and more this year. Thank you…


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

Wow Tamisha thank you what a generous compliment! I’m so glad what I wrote resonated with you :) Good luck to you in your journey my dear.


Lavi January 31, 2014 at 7:11 pm

Simply amazing! The most moving and helpful article i ve read in years!


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

Wow, thank you I am so very honored to have received this compliment!


barb January 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hey Camille,
that was beautiful! I know you are young…i’m 52 -wait 29 forever club, remember when we are at our darkest , most alone -we do grow the most ! You are brave and strong and confident and so wise beyond your years to know you will
go on and learn the most important lessons -we are the people we are today from the vast experiences of life! Remember we have to kiss alot of frogs before we meet our true soul mate!! God’s favor and blessings Barb


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:35 am

Thank you Barb you are so lovely. In every struggle there is a lesson and in every lesson there is a gift. xoxo


Marilee January 31, 2014 at 11:18 pm

This is beautiful and you are a amazing beautiful woman who I am on totally inspired by. I’ve been in a this loop I’ve you. And I forget who I am because I am so wrapped up in him. This is a good reminder to love myself.
Thank you!!


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:37 am

Aw thank you Marilee what a sweet compliment. Loving myself unconditionally and without limits is something I’m working on every day. It’s a constant practice. Good luck to you and your fabulous relationship with yourself :)


Tasha February 1, 2014 at 12:10 am

wow!!! that just brought a tear to my eye. I’m going through a similar situation thinking what the hell didn’t i just spend all this time out growing this stuff??

but you not only put a whole new spin and perspective on it but you also made me realise im not alone!

I cant thank you enough


Camille Willemain February 2, 2014 at 5:39 am

Aw wonderful I’m so glad I helped you in any way Tasha!! Good luck to you my dear :)


Wendy February 1, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Absolutely beautiful, visually and emotionally Very inspiring Thank you


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:27 am

Hi Wendy thank you so much!! :)


Layla February 2, 2014 at 5:24 am

This is almost EXACTLY how I feel. I’ve been feeling so lonely and empty and feel like I’m falling back into the ways I used to be. It felt so good to hear that I’m not the only that feels this way.


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:24 am

I think we all feel this way when we’ve achieved a certain level of self growth. There’s a quote that I love: “if you think you’re enlightened spend a weekend with your parents.” :)


Kindra F. February 2, 2014 at 5:34 am

And you are just where you need to be.
That was beautiful and I thank you.
It is very difficult in those scarier than scary black holes that we are in sometimes to realize that you are here for us, and us for you.
We got ya back!!!!
Stay strong and doing what feels right to and for only you.


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:14 am

Thank you Kindra. You are awesome <3


Maria February 2, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Hi Cam, You are amazing! I had a very hard year last year dealing with family but I made it thru stronger and more determined then ever to take care of me. I know this chapter in your life was due to your losing your job. What a great blessing that was. I want to live that life. My goal is April 2015. I have some questions, what is the second step..( first step is I know I need to do this) but how and when do you go about deciding when to start selling and getting rid of everything. I just need some guidance and how do you figure what you took with and how much cash. Just anything to assist me. I am starting in Costa Rica and will take it one day at a time after arrival.
God Bless you and protect you in all your travels.



Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:12 am

Hi Maria, thank you for your comment! I have lots of resources for how to get started on my blog. Check out this article and let me know what questions you still have :)


Ola February 3, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Beautful words. I fell in love with the whole idea , pictures and especially you, you being yourself showing your ups and downs and truth. Truth mainly is the thing that made me cry. I saw these words are also true for me, probably they are true for a lot of women ( men as well ), who are sensitive and sometimes worry to much. Thank you for being honest, thank you for being you :)



Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:09 am

Thank you so much Ola your words really have touched me. Best of luck to you <3


Bill Dwyer February 4, 2014 at 2:50 am

Stay with the pain and the doubt, sweet woman. You’re strong enough and wise enough to handle it. The pain is sometimes inevitable, it’s part and parcel of life, and there is no avoiding it, though so many try to.
Don’t turn a way from it and forfeit the treasure that can ultimately be found by facing it and going through it.
Very few people have the courage to do what you’re doing, not just going out into the world alone, but sharing what you’re feeling about it with others here.
You will, one day- no one can saw just when, but it will happen- find the person who make’s it all not just special and enjoyable, but magical and fulfilling. And when you find that person, you will have SO much to offer in return.
You’re a special person, Camille, and it’s a pleasure to share your adventures, both the external and what you offer of yourself.
(And write that book!)


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:07 am

Aw thank you Bill you’re so kind :)


Pauline February 4, 2014 at 3:50 am

I have just started my own travel site. Your story was so touching and well written along with the lovely photo’s. All the very best for your future travels, you have such a talent use it as best you can.


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:03 am

Thank you so much for the encouragement Pauline :)


Robert February 4, 2014 at 5:39 am

Hola Camille,
I love reading about your journeys.
Im currently in Zihuatanejo Mexico for seven weeks.
Would love to have a travel buddy like you. I jus met a super nice girl here who also lives to see the world, It would be nice to travel with her, but other wise it was great to meet her and I’ll continue to travel. Next winter hope to visit Panama.
Happy trails & God bless !


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 2:59 am

Thanks Robert for your comment. Enjoy Mexico, what an amazing country with some of the kindest people I’ve met in the world. And the food??? Ahhhhhh!! :)


Joan February 4, 2014 at 6:07 am

darling Camille,
Thank you for this hopeful post. Self-acceptance is so helpful in opening up your heart to others. It has been wonderful for me to watch your journey.
Love you


Camille Willemain February 5, 2014 at 3:28 am

Thanks Mom, love you :)


Marthe February 10, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Awww, love this! :D


Martha February 4, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Lovely, vulnerable and inspirational, Camille. I’m very proud of you!!


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Thank you Martha :)


soo mei February 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Camille, your post titled “so you want to change your life this year “, woke me up to make things happen. I have always make excuses to stay the same way. I made a decision to change after reading it. And now, this has brought back some sentimental memories. Your posts have always been able to reflect my situation. And I learn from you. Thank you for being an inspiration.


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Aw thank you. Your words have really touched me. Inspiring others to live, really LIVE is the goal of every single thing that I write. It’s what keeps me blogging. Thanks for the reminder :)


Jeremy February 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

Beautiful post, Camille. Thanks for being so honest and open. I love your perspective and hope it continues to grow with you in the same positive and thoughtful space.


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Thank you Jeremy, what kind words :)


Lee Xiao Long February 4, 2014 at 10:48 pm

This was an inspiring account and I believe many of us, women or men, can relate to it. I saw myself taking a step back and thinking “what the hell, I could have sworn I’d grown out of this”.
You’re brave to share this with us, and it’s comforting to read it. Thank you and godspeed.


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thank you Lee!! xx


Kristin Addis February 5, 2014 at 5:14 am

Traveled somewhere for a guy? Check. Had it blow up in my face? Check. Keep falling for it and it happens over and over? Pretty much! I completely feel this way. I try to remind myself that I’m captain of the ship and how I feel about myself has to be based on ME and nobody else, but it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Totally. In the end I would have regretted it if I never went to find out. And guess what? I’m on my way back up to Thailand and Cambodia now, met some amazing people over my two months in Indonesia, and I regret nothing :)


Caitriona Scully February 5, 2014 at 7:04 am

Thank you for this!! I am totally feeling this xx I am returning ‘home’ after 12 years ‘away’ via some travel through Australia and South East Asia. I left relationships behind that were going no where and am experiencing these same emotions you have expressed. The photos are beautiful! And you are An inspiration to me.


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Aw thank you Caitriona. I wish you the best on your journey. xx


charles February 5, 2014 at 11:34 am

Stumbled to your blog and was amazed by your text above. Powerful and poignant and ultimately hopeful.
As a man, let me tell you that we have been there too and that you will come out stronger and smarter.
In the meantime, enjoy Bali. If there is a place where conducive to this sort of healing, you are right there. Take care of yourself and happy trails.
As Bob M said ” Everything gonna be all rite”




Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:14 pm

Thank you Charles, always so nice to hear the male perspective on these things. I can honestly say my time between the Gilis and Kuta, Lombok was incredibly healing and exactly what I needed. I reminded myself often “don’t worry, be happy!” Best advice ever :)


Jess February 7, 2014 at 1:52 pm

I am so moved by your post Camille. Your ability to be open and naked to where you are right now is what makes you an exceptional writer, teacher and soul bound for beautiful growth and limitless joy.

I know where you are, I have been there. Those old patterns that we thought we had moved beyond, come back to say hello again. I think perhaps some of them may be with us until the end, but what changes and what you clearly demonstrate here is how we relate to them. We get to know these places in ourselves and learn how to love ourselves throughout it all. Then one day, the pattern just doesn’t have the same hold and eventually it ceases to control us and our lives.

Thank you for the most inspirational post I have read in a very, very long time.

With love to you and blessings


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Wow, thank you Jess, what a compliment <3 I'm glad it touched you.


cynthia February 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

cant believe that so far someone feels the same as me is learning the same as me…nature, life is beautiful, we are all connected, and this post empowers me more to continue with my doing the same as you Camille, living the life, travelling, and alone, but at the end of the day im not alone, i have myself, and when im good with that you are anyway never alone, i have gotten to meet soo many people being “alone”..

thanks for sharing!


Camille Willemain February 12, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Thank you Cynthia <3


yolanda April 1, 2014 at 11:10 pm

I could relate in every single line! Just today, I was on the beach asking myself all of those things, knowing I was missing the beauty of nature around me.
Reading has given me such a warming peace! Its been 3 months since I’ve felt this inner peace, I really needed it. Thank you for writing this down!


Marcela Coors August 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

sometimes this is what you need another warrior woman advice, than you sister <3


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