black and white I first came down with a serious case of wanderlust when I embarked on an around-the-world journey on Semester at Sea in the fall of 2006. After graduating from the University of Colorado, I couldn’t deny that Asia was calling me back. In the fall of 2008 I packed my bags and went to teach English in Khon Kaen, Thailand, which is when I started this blog.

The name Wake Up and Dance was inspired by the Thai word for excited. To say you are excited in Thai, you say dtung dten. Dtung means to wake and dten means to dance. When you put those two verbs together you are basically saying to wake up and do a dance, which is kind of what you do when you are truly excited, right?

After leaving Khon Kaen, I backpacked through Asia and then went home only to find myself back in Thailand working in eco-tourism on the island of Koh Tao. I returned home briefly and in late October 2010, my boyfriend (now husband) and I left the US to teach English in South Korea. After a year in Seoul, we went to travel around Asia. We are currently living near Boulder, Colorado. My travel stories and photos are documented on this blog.

While I am not jet-setting at this time, I plan on continuing to post travel adventures as we embark on new journeys, as well as my creative endeavors which I can now pursue since we have a place to call home.

Happy Travels,


10 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello,
    I hope you get this message. I am updating a web site for a non-profit organization. http://www.dharmacentre.org/ and came across your pictures from Nepal. (very nice) I used a portion of the prayer flags image for the banner and was wondering if that is OK. Next link is jalbum with screen cap of revised site. If you would like a tag line I can do that too.

    Be Well

  2. Hello,

    I recently compiled a list of the Top 50 Blogs for those interested in teaching abroad, and I just
    wanted to let you know that you made the list! We are promoting the list to college students looking to
    learn more about teaching or living in a foreign culture. The list is published online at

    Thanks so much, and if you think your audience would find useful
    information in the list or on the site, please feel free to share the
    link. You can also use the button we’ve created for the
    list, which I can e-mail you. We always appreciate a link
    back as we’re trying to increase readership.

    Thanks again, and have a great day!


  3. Hi Danielle,

    I am a designer based in NYC and decided to take a trip over to the Brooklyn Art Library and checked out your sketchbook. Your sketchbook is beautiful and well done. Love the mini adventure you brought me in through your photos and fun cutouts. Just wanted to stop by and tell you that. From your sketchbook it also brought me back to the time I traveled Asia while teaching English in Korea. Thank you for sharing your work! Take care! 🙂

    With Love,

    1. Thank you so much, Mindy! You’re the first person to reach out after viewing it and you made my day! 🙂 I went over to your site and browsed for a little bit and think your portfolio is really awesome! Your Pure wall tiling system is beautiful and looks very well thought out. Would love to come across that in the wild one day!

  4. Hi There,
    I stumbled upon your site and was completely taken by your article about crafting Traditional Lao Buddhist Temple Stencils. I would absolutely LOVE to do this when I travel through Laos in December this year.

    Could you please pass on the details of where you did the lesson. I would love to research and book ahead asap. Sounds and looks like a wonderful experience.

    Thanks for your fabulous articles – very much enjoyed them.


    1. Sorry for the delay Jo-Anne. It appears your trip may have already passed and unfortunately I don’t have the details of where we took the class anymore. I hope you had a wonderful trip to Laos. It’s a truly beautiful country 🙂 Happy travels!

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