Hi, I’m Stephanie  and I’m passionate about helping women like you to live an empowered life fueled by purpose and hope. One that you are excited about and not just surviving, but Thriving! Thanks for joining me here and let’s do this crazy, wonderful “life” thing together.

My Story

My name is Stephanie Karasek and I founded The Way to Wander ten years ago out of my passion for travel and the desire to inspire others to find their own adventure.  The Way to Wander and Thrive has evolved from a travel blog to encompass what it means to live life fully with purpose and adventure.

I am originally from the Midwest but a true Florida Girl at heart.  I am a single mom of three amazing children, two grown boys and a daughter whom I adopted from Russia as a toddler. My time spent in Russia and the wonderful people I met along the way, inspired my love of travel and wanderlust.  I recently sold my home, downsized, and purchased an RV allowing me to explore our beautiful country.

In addition to my 25 year Speech-Language Pathology career, I have a love of educating, empowering and equipping women to find their sense of adventure while protecting themselves from assault. My goal is to provide practical tips, inspiration and encouragement as I guide you toward embracing your own personal safety and living a life of adventure.

I am passionate about helping women live an empowered life fueled by purpose and hope. One that you are excited about and not just surviving, but Thriving! So keep reading and let’s do this crazy, wonderful “life” thing together.

Inspiring You…

A Free Spirit

I’m a freelance writer and photographer living in SW Florida. I have a love of travel and photography. Living in Florida, my backyard is a travel destination with crystal clear water, beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and amazing wildlife. Wander with me…

Your Guide to Transformation

It’s time to take your life to the next level and start thriving instead of just surviving. My goal is to help women just like you understand and overcome your fears and leave your comfort zone so that you can live boldly, fearlessly and experience a more joy filled and satisfied life.

Damsel Mentor

I believe that woman should not be afraid to travel.  Whether your wandering takes you to a coffee shop in a nearby city, or across the ocean, feeling confident that you can protect yourself is empowering.  I love the fashionable pepper sprays, stun guns and concealed carry handbags available by Damsel In Defense.  There are also personal alarms, door alarms, and many other products to keep you safe when traveling.

Travel & Thrive!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Why should you travel in the coming year?  The thrill of a new adventure.  The opportunity to discover something new.  A chance to bond with your spouse or children.  Time alone to relax and reflect.

It is possible to do more than just survive!  It’s time to move out of the depths of survival mode and step into an abundant life filled with purpose and joy. Living in survival mode prevents us from discovering a life of meaning and purpose. One of adventure and growth. It steals our joy and makes us feel stuck. It’s time to make the choice to not just survive, but Thrive!

My latest blog posts

Wine Waterfalls and Gold

Wine Waterfalls and Gold

Dahlonega Georgia Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just over an hour north of Atlanta, Dahlonega offers a truly magical mountain getaway.   This quaint town is surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, beautiful wineries and miles of hiking...

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Savannah at Christmas

Savannah at Christmas

Savannah Georgia is one of my favorite cities to visit. The history, cobblestone streets, Antebellum architecture and southern cooking make it unforgettable at any time, but especially magical at Christmas. Referred to as “The Hostess City of the South,” Savannah is...

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Camping at Highland Hammock State Park

Camping at Highland Hammock State Park

2021 is the year of camping.  Covid has had an impact in the travel industry and has caused many of us to change the way we travel.  I’ve always loved exploring my own backyard and realize how many destinations in the US I would love to discover. For the last 6 months...

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Inspired to Thrive!

My passion is to help women embrace their own personal power, overcome their fears and live their best life.

Travel Adventures

Traveling is a beautiful way to expand your horizons, explore new places and create new memories .

Valuable Resources

In our many travels and explorations we’ve discovered these Affiliate Links and Products we’d like to recommend.

Wander into an Adventurous and Exciting Journey!

The Way to Wander and Thrive has developed over the years from a combination of the things I love in life. I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of others. I am very passionate about personal safety and empowering women to overcome their fears and live boldly. I have a wanderlust for travel and enjoy not only exploring new places but sharing my journeys with others. Get ready to be inspired!


“Stephanie was awesome in helping plan a girls trip to Asheville NC! She recommended a quaint Air B&B with hosts who were fantastic. With her guidance we rented a car and drove through the beautiful hills and went to the Biltmore house. We also signed up for a food and drink tour which took us to several local restaurants in Asheville. Over all it was one of the best trips I’ve taken and would definitely love to go back!  Thanks Stephanie!”
Lisa, Cape Coral

“Stephanie’s Warrior Workshop taught my co-workers and I practical tips and strategies to protect ourselves from being assaulted. As a realtor who is often alone in homes during open houses and showings, I need to know how to protect myself.  Stephanie’s class was hands-on, empowering and lots of fun!”
Cheryl, Punta Gorda

Don't Wait Any Longer. Start Thriving Today!

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