Hi there! My name is Dora and I'm a
I was born in the former Soviet Union, and by the age of ten I had already lived in five different cities in four different countries (Chernovtsy, Ukraine; Vienna, Austria; Ladispoli, Italy; Calgary, Alberta; and Toronto, Ontario).
I was a very introspective child, very intensely focused, and very observant of the people and places around me. When I look back at my pictures from those days, what I see is an old soul looking out at the world with reasonable suspicion, fervent curiosity, and so much love in her heart.
What has always been my foundation, though, is my family. My family has always been the constant in my life, my parents specifically. We essentially grew up together, exploring the unknown, as we held each other’s hands along the way. We had no one else to rely on because our friends and family did not choose to come with us. Later we were reunited with some, and I am really grateful for that. But, for most of the time when I was growing up, we were it for each other, yet that was always enough. And it is because of our love and support of one another, no matter where we went or what hardships we faced, we always faced them together as a solid unit, and always with faith and trust in our hearts that everything would ultimately turn out okay. And, now, it is still this love and faith that lies at the very core of my stability, and is what matters most to me in this world.
I guess through experiencing so much flux from an early age, "wandering" came really naturally to me. I always had this innate curiosity within me about life. I always wanted to learn everything that I could possibly know; perhaps, in part, a desire that was fueled by my need to aptly adapt to new situations and people. But that love of learning and trying out different experiences has never left me. Being an only child taught me to find ways of keeping myself entertained I am sure, as it fueled my curious spirit even more. Now, to some I might have sometimes seemed non-committal or easily bored but, in reality, my commitment has always been to living my passions, displaying and appreciating integrity, being there for my loved-ones, and always sharing the love and joy that I have in my heart.
Early on I had been put into various scenarios that called for me to be somewhat independent and so I always felt really self-responsible, and strangely even “responsible” for others too. Always surrounded by adults, I felt quite mature for my age and, thus, very intrigued by more mature conversations as I grew a bit older. I also had many extrasensory experiences starting at a very young age, which also left me wondering about the esoteric and what lies beyond the surface of what we see. As you can see, I had lots of reasons to be curious and to ask questions.
Then, at the awkward age of fourteen, I started modeling, partly to get myself out of my over-thinking shell, but also because the opportunity arose and I was, of course, curious to try it out. I did that for a number of years and in that time I learned a lot about human nature and adult life very quickly. Basically, I was thrust into a very grown up world, so the learning curve was pretty steep. I learned about discernment, standing firm in my values, and following my gut instincts in order to keep myself safe. I also learned not to trust the smoke and mirror show that often looks like one thing on the surface, but is actually quite another underneath.
Having a deep intrigue for how society and people function, I went on to study sociology in university, which I absolutely loved! I then studied magazine journalism/publishing in post grad because, 1) I felt like I had something to say, and 2) I loved writing and the printed word (on actual paper). Later I studied web design (when it was considered “up and coming”), home staging and redesign (even though nobody at the time knew what that was), and holistic life coaching (again, something I needed to explain to people time and time again), all at different intervals. Funny enough, it seems like I have always gravitated to the unknown path. I guess the newness of things intrigues me, knowing that I am forging my own path without always having a clear plan or direction set before me. But every one of the subjects I chose to learn about simply represented yet another one of my passions and aspects of my soul's expression.
When I entered my 30's, I became particularly interested in various spiritual disciplines, which I explored to the nines, making sure that I covered every nook and cranny that I could find. I had always believed in something higher or bigger than what we see here on this earthly plane, but it wasn't until my early 30's that I really starting exploring that in more depth. I wanted to know everything that I could learn about the spiritual and energetic realms and, therefore, immersed myself fully into my spiritual studies, often finding more questions than I did answers, but still loving it all.
Professionally speaking, I have worked in several fields. I worked in book publishing, communications, commercial and residential real estate, and I also owned a home staging and redesign company that I enjoyed for several years. But once I got myself into my spiritual and personal-development studies, I was hooked. And a while later I started a coaching consulting company, helping others to learn to manage their lives through the help of my perspectives. I have written four books thus far in the personal development genre, and I have an additional blog talking about manifesting mindful experiences (www.caviarandcandor.com). But, funny enough, while sometimes appearing random and unconnected, all of my disciplines have served their purpose in their own way, and have even come full circle as I continue to explore them in different capacities in both my personal and professional life.
I’ve travelled to many places so far in my life (with many more places that I want to explore), and in my early thirties I moved myself out to Miami, Florida for a stint without really knowing a soul there (basically on a “whim," but it actually turned out to be quite serendipitous). I have always had a very independent spirit, and that included with my romantic relationships, so I have met lots of people and have learned something from every single interaction, no matter how long or short. Maybe I am a rare breed, but being single has never scared me, and perhaps has often even been something that I have actually preferred. But as a wandering soul who wants to experience life to the fullest, I am open to committing to the right person if/when the time is right, even though I am still in no rush. ;-)
I have also had the privilege of having "painted the town" extensively in every imaginable color and so I feel like that chapter of my life was done to its fullest, and really really well. ;-) As a result, I have no regrets and I don’t feel like I missed out on anything in my youth.
I have tried “strange” foods and loved most of them, and I am still willing to try almost anything at least once. I have traveled between several different circles of friends, with a close few that remain consistent and dear to my heart. And I have explored many holistic and alternative modalities and, consequently, have accumulated a vast body of knowledge in that arena as well. So living in the moment and to the fullest with passion, curiosity, purpose, and integrity has kind of been my motto my whole life. Bear in mind, however, that doesn’t mean that I have never been scared or nervous or even confused. It’s just that my will has always been stronger than my fear, which is what has always allowed me to rise to any occasion.
However, it might be appropriate to mention here that I am not reckless, nor do I ride the waves of adrenaline; I’m not that type of wanderer. But I am willing to explore all of my desires and ideas for how I want to experience my life, maybe not all at once, but always with passion, curiosity, and the determination to succeed.
Life to me is about experiencing what you love. It is about living in the moment and not being afraid to dream big. It is about having an adventurous spirit in any way that you define that for yourself. It is about overcoming your fears and insecurities. It is about playing by your own rules no matter what anybody else thinks. And it is about accumulating experience, wisdom, knowledge, and perspective. This is what you create to share with the world; because you cannot fully advise others from the depths of your basement and the delusions of your ego. Living life fully is what makes life worth living. And sharing who you are and what you’ve learned is what makes your contribution all the more meaningful.
We all have comfort zones, myself included. But being a wandering soul means recognizing where your comforts lie, honoring and respecting those comforts, but also occasionally being willing to step out of that box in order to experience something new and even, perhaps, untested. A wandering soul can be someone who has many interests and is not ashamed to explore them all, but it can also be someone who simply wants to honor and express every aspect of their being and is willing to "go there" in order to do that.
So, as a wandering soul myself, where do I wander? Anywhere my heart desires. Anywhere that I feel the call. Anywhere that inspires my joy. And anywhere that expresses the fullness of who I am in each moment. Moreover, I go wherever my love for the wholesome way of life (i.e., the value and beauty of what is most important to me) calls me.
The whole point of being a wanderer is not necessarily to jump from thing to thing or travel to all ends of the globe. Rather, it is to realize the truth of who you really are and to express that version of yourself as the person that you want to be. It is about honoring your authenticity, being confident in your own skin, and owning every one of your choices without regret. You do not need to be a rolling stone in order to wander. In fact, stability and a solid foundation is quite important for a wandering soul to have. And so, all you need is a willingness to explore yourself on a deeper level as you give yourself permission to act upon your passions in any way that feeds your soul.
Wandering souls are often on an eternal search for purpose. But when searching for purpose, it is important to recognize that purpose is not necessarily a thing to be found or a place to go but, rather, an expression of who you already are at your core. For me, integrity, quality, honesty, creativity, and the love of refinement and joyous experiences, these express who I really am.
Writing, for instance, is one example of my creativity, which has been a pastime of mine virtually my whole life. And whether it is journaling for myself or writing for the public, I always feel at home with my thoughts, putting pen to paper. I love anything creative. I love dancing and music. I love photography. I love painting and decorating and entertaining and arranging things in beautiful ways. I love exploring my culinary skills and barista capabilities. I love inspiring others. I’m a good listener. And I enjoy getting to know people on a deeper level. I love beautiful bespoke expressions of other people’s talents, as I appreciate the love and care that they put into their work. And I love to share my love of quality and integrity in every way that I can. I am a wandering soul who is grounded in the appreciation of timeless values and all of the beauty that life has to offer. And no matter what my endeavor, I always know that I will approach it with 100% commitment, truth, and joy in my heart.
For me, when I surround myself with people, things, and places that have substance, that feel joyous, that express their uniqueness, and that epitomize classic values representing integrity, quality, honesty, and love, this grounds me in the perspective that there is so much beauty in every one of life’s expressions and creations, and that we do not need to compromise in order to be truly happy.
I am an old soul. I have always loved wholesome things, bespoke experiences, artisanal creations, craftsmanship and quality, authenticity, integrity, beauty, and simple indulgences. I’ve always loved the concepts of majestic abundance, luxury, exploration, and creativity. Going into stores looking for unique items made with care, enjoying a fine meal prepared with love and attention to detail, sampling quality organic wines and carefully curated spirits and teas, indulging in meaningful self-care rituals, appreciating the beauty and well-being that is amply available throughout nature, enjoying the diversity of art and culture, living an organic and natural lifestyle, savoring joyous experiences, playing around with my culinary skills, travelling (especially love the beach as well as the history and culture in Europe), and choosing off the beat and path experiences while curating my own adventures to my own taste. These are just some of the things that I have always appreciated and enjoyed.
Cookie-cutter never did it for me, nor does the instant gratification of new technology popping up seemingly every minute. Don’t get me wrong, I love the conveniences that modern life has to offer. But I’ve always loved the idea of taking a step back and appreciating the details of life with more mindfulness and consideration. I love the good old values of yesteryear. I enjoy the idea of slowing things down and savoring the present moment. I love the concept of freely exploring the stirrings of my soul. And I embody the concept of quality and integrity in every fiber of my being. The modern life that we live these days is sorely lacking many of these qualities, but my aim is to bring as much of them back to life as I can.
The wandering soul has many interests and is not ashamed to explore them all. For me, decorating has always been a passion of mine too, and I use it to create home haven spaces where I feel comfortable, serene, inspired, and invigorated. I also love to paint and create mystic works of art imbued with loving and Divine energy. I love the art of entertaining and welcoming people into my home, as I think of every little detail to make them feel special. And I admire basically anything that has to do with putting in the time, the attention, the love, the creation, the effort, and the care to make everything extra spectacular; that’s what I love. I believe that energy is felt, and so my aim is to always impart my love and passion onto everything that I do.
The truth is, many things are going to inspire you throughout your life; inspirations could come from other people, a place, a specific circumstance, or even a dream. But when you deny yourself the freedom to explore those inspirations (even in your mind), you deny the totality of your purpose for being. We are not inspired by accident. As such, there is rhyme and reason behind it all. But if we ignore the call, or stop ourselves from exploring it further, we won’t know where those inspirations could ultimately lead us. We should never edit ourselves just to please other people, fulfill the status quo, or to satisfy the norm. Instead, we need to figure out who we really are, and then we need to simply own it.
I haven’t followed the tried-and-true path very often in my life it seems. But were it not for my following through on my “whims” I would not be who I am today, and I would not have learned what I have learned to date. Every choice has been a wise one, even if it didn’t always seem like it in the moment, because each choice and each lesson added another tool to my toolbox, which ultimately led me to where I am now, here, talking to you.
So, who will you inspire by following your dreams?
Be child-like in your curiosity. Kids don’t worry about how they will do things; they just dream freely and live in the moment. What was your child-self like? Take a look at your old photos and see if you notice. What can you learn from him/her now? Children know; it’s us complicated adults who sometimes need a gentle reminder.
One question that you might have about wandering is, how does it work in relation to follow-through? After all, if we want to accomplish anything of importance it is vital to follow-through and not give up or move on to something else before it is time. But being a wandering soul doesn't necessarily means that you will be constantly starting from scratch or dropping your commitments on the fly. That's because, in truth, we are never really starting from scratch. In fact, every experience is just another layer of knowledge and wisdom that we can ultimately use.
And so, the point of wandering is not to drop everything and start all over again. Rather, the point is to know where your heart is calling you, and then commit to that adventure as much as you possibly can. There are many things on which I have followed through in my life regardless of being a wanderer. After all, I wouldn't have been able to write four books if I was really all that flighty, right? So, the thing to keep in mind is that wandering is a commitment in and of itself, but it is a commitment to realizing your truth, and then being bold enough to follow-through on that truth for as long as it feels right to your soul. But it is also a commitment to self to not overstay your welcome when the time does come to move on.
But know this: even if you do find yourself starting over, that doesn’t mean that you have ultimately wasted your time. It simply means that you have fulfilled your purpose in one area and are now ready to move on to another. No experience is ever wasted. No lesson learned is ever in vain. Every day you know better. And every day you have the opportunity to apply that cumulative knowledge as you go forward and follow your heart.
As a wandering soul, some of the things that have remained consistent for me in my life is my love of the vintage feel, nostalgic sentiment, and wholesome values associated with living an authentic and well-balanced life. I have a feeling, however, that there are many others who are now craving this type of experience too. For this reason I have decided to create this platform with a focus on the simple and wholesome things in life, not necessarily understated or minimalistic but, rather, mindful, wholesome in spirit, and gratifying in experience. And no matter what that experience might look like, my sentiment is always the same: Comfort and happiness can always be found in the simplicity of living a wholesome and authentic life. As such, I hope to build a platform here that gives you those warm and fuzzy feelings, as well as comfort and inspiration to live the life that you were always meant to experience.
Consequently, this blog is about some of the things and experiences that I love and enjoy and some of the ways in which I choose to wander and see and experience the world. But feel free to find your own path. And if that path crosses mine, that’s wonderful. But if it takes you in other directions, that’s great too. Drop me a message. I would love to hear about it.
The truth is, we are all interconnected, and we all inspire each other, not necessarily in the way of imitating one another, but in the way of being encouraged to reach for our own stars and dreams and see where that takes us. So, never deny yourself what you love. Instead, develop a solid foundation of timeless values, and then go out and explore all that your heart desires in any way, shape, or form that resonates with your wandering soul.