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Hello! My name is JoAnna Kopp and I am a freelance writer and blogger from Austin, Texas.

Forever in Paradise is where I showcase pictures from my travels as well as my thoughts on health, spirituality, psychology, and the human experience.

My blog is centered around an appreciation for the little beautiful things in every day life; patterns in the sidewalk, artwork on the side of a building, snippets of conversations overheard at coffee shops.

Forever in Paradise is founded on my personal belief that we each create our own personal paradise and that health and happiness can be found anywhere with the right attitude.

Get in touch here.

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Navigating Forever in Paradise:

Photoroll: These are the posts where I unload a ton of photos of my travels from a specific destination. In these posts I talk all about the touristy things and the not so toursity things I did.** I’ll usually include bar and restaurant recommendations, too. I really enjoyed London and Baltimore. My favorite destination so far was Amsterdam, and it was also my favorite to write about.

Get Lit: These are my book reviews. It’s short for Get Literature, just in case you were channelling Matthew McConnaghuey from Dazed and Confused when you first read it.

Wisdom Wednesdays: Here’s a category that I don’t keep up with consistently, but on some random Wednesdays I will post an inspirational quote.

**A note on traveling and seeing the tourist sites: I’ve read a lot of blogs and heard from a lot of people that they prefer to avoid these places because, I don’t know, maybe they’re too cliche or something for them. If you ever hear this from someone, ignore them. These places are full of tourists for a reason. They’re worth seeing. It’s like going to Paris and avoiding the Eiffel Tower. While I definitely wouldn’t tell you to pay a lot of money to take the elevator to the top, you should still admire it in all its glory from the lawn and take a lot of pictures too.

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What was that? You want to know more? Okay!

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. I grew up going to the lake every weekend so I’m the most at peace when I’m near some large body of water. I moved to Austin, Texas shortly after my seventeenth birthday (read about my favorite places in that city here!). I have since been living there happily with my part-Jack-Russel-Terrier part-something-way-else dog, Twix.

My first job was at a car wash, but since then I have mostly worked in retail as a dirty sales associate, including a women’s clothing boutique and a health food store. I like retail because I really like talking to people and I like to think that I make a great salesperson.

I began my undergrad career as a community college transfer student, which saved me a couple tens of thousands of dollars – this is something that I strongly recommend to high school graduates looking towards higher education. I graduated university May 2015 with a BA of English Literature specializing in Creative Writing.

I participated in a study abroad program in Angers, France (read my introduction to this city here!). Living in France gave me the opportunity to travel around Europe and was a life changing experience.

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These are a few of my favorite things:

Chocolate: Any kind, but mostly dark chocolate. This is the one and only substance where my impulse control goes out the window as soon as I’m near it.

Books: Walk into my home and you’ll see my personal library of books which is usually organized by color. I love to read and I especially love to read short stories due to my short attention span. My favorite is The Harvest by Amy Hempel. I have been collecting The Best American Non-Required Reading yearly anthologies since 2009 – these are my favorites, and I recommend them to anybody.

Rap: Not mainstream rap that you hear on the radio, but the good stuff. The old school stuff and the underground stuff. I love riding along to Del, Nas, N.W.A., Mos Def, and Wu-Tang in my Kia Spectra with the crapped out stereo turned up and the windows rolled down. I’ll attribute my taste in music to my two older brothers.

Art: I admire the surreal art the René Magritte. Salvador Dalí is a favorite, as well, especially after seeing all of his most famous works in person. I also love following the work of up-and-coming artists like Mike Perry, Charmaine Olivia, Katy Jade Dobson, and Michael Sieben. I have a portrait by Audrey Kawasaki tattooed on my arm. I love frequenting art galleries and seeing the latest exhibitions. I usually make it a point to visit art museums in any city that I visit (You can read about the time that I visited the AGO in Toronto here). I like making my own art, too, when I find the time; watercolor and acrylic are my favorite mediums.

Other: Playing pool, hot sauce, Los Spurs, kayaking, astrology (I am a Sagittarius sun, Leo moon, & Gemini ascending), nature walks in the Austin greenbelt, Burt’s Bees Coconut Oil chapstick, collecting minerals (favorites: amethyst, selenite, malachite, and lapis lazuli), olive oil, tarot readings, yoga, and pandas.