Hi there, fellow wanderer! I’m Stephanie Coco-Palermo, a Montreal-based wordsmith, actress and entrepreneur. I seek wisdom through self-reflection, mindfulness, discovery and travel, and I impart my learning experiences through revelatory storytelling.
Why “Vagabond Heels”?
As a vagabond in the literal sense, I’m always wandering about – sometimes locally, sometimes abroad – collecting lessons and anecdotes along the way. As a vagabond in a metaphysical sense, I try to experience everything I can in order to lead a life rich in knowledge, meaning and purpose.
Though I may not always wear heels, I never leave my feminine flair at home.
Why I Started this Blog
Throughout my twenties, I experienced varying bouts of dissatisfaction and disillusionment with the 9-5 grind. I had developed a sizeable acting resume, two degrees, and enviable career experiences in the private and public sectors; but like so many other millennials, I had no idea what I wanted to do with it all.
So I continued to eat, sleep, work and procrastinate finding my life’s purpose. By 30, I had an on again/ off again relationship with my Tinder app and binge drank my weekends away.
And then, rather unexpectedly – a trip to Mexico changed my life.
My friend Zuza, a Polish-born Canadian, was to marry Nathan, a New Zealander she met in a hostel in Brazil several years prior. Their Mexican wedding not only paid homage to their international love story, but also created an opportunity for over a 100 people from different parts of the world – Poland, Canada (like myself), New Zealand, Australia, England, and more – to celebrate and connect with each other. I connected the most with one New Zealander in particular, who politely invited me to partake in a weeklong “romance” with him the very day we met (he had me at hello).
After returning home, my vacation paramour and I kept in constant contact. My feelings grew as romantic notions of an impossible love story started spinning the creative wheels of my mind. What if he and I were actually meant to be together? If only I could live a life free of location dependence – we could actually give things a try.
But wait a minute. If I was location independent, I could give everything a try: my bucket list, winters in Thailand, working out of whimsical cafes in Eastern Europe….
And so, my Kiwi lust revealed itself to be something bigger than I imagined: wanderlust.
After a month, the Kiwi and I sadly realized we weren’t meant to be – but I had a new object of desire, anyway. The spark of our romance had ignited a new dream that set my heart ablaze: to travel the world and write about it.
Everything that followed after that point lent itself to one of my core beliefs: when you follow a path manifested through love and positive energy, the universe will conspire to help you.
In this case, the universe more than helped; it literally started to push me out my front door.
First, I spoke to my biggest client about travelling the world for six months, maybe a year. She said if I didn’t go, she wouldn’t work with me anymore.
A week later, I rented out my apartment to a lovely man who wanted to move in on June 1st. That day was May 17th.
Over the next week and a half, I sold and gave away nearly everything I owned, including my curtains, all my furniture and half my clothes.
Within five days of posting a photo of my car on Facebook, a friendly woman dropped by to check it out and agreed to take over my lease at my convenience.
I contacted a few schools abroad, and within a week, I had two job offers from schools in Korea. Without so much as a second thought, I jumped on the opportunity to teach at a small private academy in Incheon, Korea. Everything had fallen into place.
The universe was making it so damned easy, I didn’t have a single excuse in the world not to go.
And so, off I went to travel the world in my fedora and hot pink bikini and share my super cool fucking amazing life on Instagram.
But of course, life turned out to be a hell of a lot more messier and unpredictable.
To travel is to take a journey into yourself. – Danny Kaye
After just a few months, this blog morphed into something I could never have envisioned. It became less about destinations and more about the journey. Eventually, my wanderlust grew into something more profound: the love of wander (wanderlove, if you will) that leads to self-discovery. I returned to Montreal with a more matured version of my original dream: to seek meaningful experiences, both local and abroad. I continue to wander, as before; but now, I’m a vagabond with a purpose.
Thank you for being my companion.