The Project:

I had no idea what I was doing when I decided I wanted to do my undergraduate thesis over travel writing that I would go to Spain for for a full semester and look for the inspiration to create something honest and beautiful. I just had an idea and decided that no matter how much it scared me, I was going to make it happen, and I did. 

This blog began as a project, a way to capture my experience abroad every day through travel writing so I could look back on it when I got home and create something beautiful. I came home, wrote the stories, defended my thesis about them, and boom. Here we are. The experience taught me a lot, like the fact that following your heart, even if you have no idea where it’s going, can lead to really wonderful things. Now, I want to continue to use this platform that has served me so well to open up about all of the stuff of life. Self love. Travel. Self discovery. Being real with ourselves and each other. Chasing our passions. And all of the other weird, difficult, amazing things that happen in our twenties.

If you’re an original follower, I hope you stick around for this new chapter. If it’s not your thing, no worries, and thanks for supporting me this far! If you’re new here, welcome. I hope you’ll find something useful. I have no doubt that if you stick around, you will see true human growth and highs and lows of all kinds. 

The Author:


My name is Hayley Pugh, and my favorite quote is, “a life lived for art is never a life wasted,” from a Macklemore song. I am passionate about artistry, music, writing, travel, the world, and humanity. I recently graduated college and am going to start my first year of teaching high school English in the fall. The one thing I believe in above all else is that we should listen to our true selves: the little voices that push us forward and make our hearts beat a little harder, so that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. My goal here is just to talk about what’s real and to be intentional about creating the best life possible. This is an experiment in being human. This is Hay Set Free.