Who is Optimism Rampage? 

I'm a Pacific Northwest girl by the name of Ashley Peak (but I also respond to Assley - as pronounced in Colombia, Ash-a-ley - as pronounced in Zambia, and most frequently - Ms. Peak). I'm currently living in the beautiful and friendly Manizales, Colombia. I left my job as a Title 1 middle school teacher in Washington State for a teaching position at a bilingual private school in South America in 2015. I started Optimism Rampage as a place to share my travel and expat stories with family, friends, and fellow travelers after moving to Colombia. I spend my non-teaching hours traveling anywhere I can, keeping my love of writing and reading alive, making a mess in the kitchen, training for my next adventure, and learning Spanish - despite my muy gringa accent. 

I'm passionate about travel and the way it inspires intentional optimism. The title of the site is what I believe most about travel and life: that it takes optimism - and a lot of it. When traveling, I look for the beauty in the challenges and differences. In addition to my current adventures in South America, I've traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and Africa. As a teacher, I'm always looking for the big ideas in the journey and what lessons there are to be learned. 

I've traveled solo in the past, but I'm now happily traveling with my fiancé, Aaron. He is the adrenaline junkie to my bookworm and my inspiration for always being willing to try something new from backpacking and snowboarding to traveling by moto. Chances are if I'm doing something was his idea. 

I'm a regular contributor for Colombia Eco Travel, and my writing has been featured on See, Colombia, Travel, voted the best travel blog in Colombia and Latin America in 2014. 

“Stuff your eyes with wonder. Live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. see the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories. Ask no guarantees, ask for no security, there never was such an animal. And if there were, it would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that . Shake the tree and knock the great sloth down on his ass.” -Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Questions? Comments? Freelance writing inquiries? Feel free to contact me using any of the links below.