Category Archives: Handstands

Handstanding to donate!

It’s that time of year again! I did a handstand with the intention of having you to take a shot for how long I held it. The person with the closest guess will then choose where herhappytrails donates this years $50 cash!

Last year was 33 seconds and a split win! A special thanks to my buddy Cruz Gaskins who donated right back to herhappytrails (sneaky gift that was) and to Jessica Rendon for choosing the Rainforest Affiliation!

Click here to watch the handstand from 2015

The year prior was 41 seconds and the charity that Mark Philipps decided on was Make a Wish Foundation!

Click here to watch the handstand from 2014

After 5 years and hundreds of handstands I still love to be upspide down, preferably in a place that I don’t speak the language and where several locals question my mental stability. Until that next brilliant opportunity, here’s a few examples of the toe points seen in the Handstanding around the world page.

Not that it will help your guess in any way, shape or form…. but below is a cute little collage of the first two years with the current handstand on the right. Good luck!

Now you ask, “But Erika, how do we ever join in this glorious fun?!”

Easy as 1,2,3:

1. Make a guess.

2. Apply it in the comments below, email it to or on Facebook.

3. Wait for the reveal! (On Dec 31st)

Much gratitude for taking the energy to read, contribute and continue spreading the joy of giving!
Many cheers and one love,
Erika Mae Young
RESULTS 18 seconds! This year I had a little fun with the shot and went with a shorter time and more entertainment! Thanks for all the votes and major vote and the winner is sweet Erin Sanders! Her charity of choice will be announced soon.

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Let freedom ring… from within.

Today is July 4th, a federal holiday recognized in the United States of America. In 1776 the original 13 colonies declared their independence from England and was officially observed as a new nation… “Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Definition of Independence:

1. the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control

2. freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Definition of Freedom:

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

2. the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

My dictionary of thoughts at the moment:

If you are truly independent and living with freedom, I believe you’ve given yourself permission to enjoy life in such a manner…

  • Independent from others emotional demands.
  • Independent from the programmed way of thinking.
  • Independent of expectations.
  • Independent from inner negative torment.
  • Independent of the need for outward fulfillment.
  • Freedom to live without self induced struggles.
  • Freedom to breathe without the weight of unnecessary stress.
  • Freedom to be exactly who you are without fear of judgement.
  • Freedom to live not only through experiences but beyond your dreams.
  • Freedom to love. Deeply. Truly. Without holding anything back.

No matter what Independence Day means to you (disregarding your countries standards, your families traditions and your friends thoughts), I truly wish you a sense of freedom that ignites a fire within to extend beyond limitations that you may not even know you have.

For more of a proper post on this holiday, I invite you to check out the post 4th of July in the USA

Want a sampler platter of July celebrations? Please enjoy July shenanigans in California

Care to see how Independence Day might be spent in Florida? Check out 4th of July, Santa Rosa Beach style

Witness the good ol’ south celebrating in Fish fry and fireworks and All American holiday – part 2

Please help nominate for handstand of 2013!

Last year I was thrilled to see the votes roll in for handstand of 2012. Between the stories that come with each shot to the actual snapping of the photo, every handstand has a significant place in my memory and its always neat to see which ones stand out to you! Here were the honorable mentions from last year:


The runner up was a classic shot from the lost city of Machu Picchu, Peru. I still get joyfully emotional when I look at this photo as it was such a special moment in time (the whole journey, not necessarily the handstand itself).


To think a photo topped the one above still boggles my my mind, however the winner of 2012 came from Georgia, USA! This is extending over the edge of Stone Mountain outside of Atlanta. I will admit it is a pretty sweet picture.


So the time has come again in which I’d love your help to narrow it down for the current nominees! If you go to the top of this page or click here, you’ll find the column of handstands to choose from. You can simply comment in the space below, or email me directly at

Thank you for all of your votes! Cheers to a new year, the open road and much love all around!

Can you balance in a handstand on the equator?

My final 48 hours in Ecuador was spent in the capital city called Quito. Between checking in, checking out, bus transfers and rides to the airport, my “tourism time” was limited so I’m going to wrap it ip in one post.

Although it was a short visit, my adorable accommodations made for the perfect hideaway from the busy streets surrounding it. The Butterfly Hostel is a combination of rooms for temporary guests and apartment styled living for extended stays.


The kitchen was useful and the common area was overflowing with vibrant colors.



The owner Diana is beyond welcoming, almost instantly feeling like family. She helped with directions, local eats and “anything needed”. Thank you for the wonderful conversations and warm greetings!

Exiting the hostel took me on a fun walk through the popular neighborhood called Mariscal, otherwise known as the tourist district or “gringolandia”. I really didn’t spend too much time exploring here because my ultimate goal for the day was to get to the equator.







My trek of reaching the equator consisted of a walk to the metro that dropped me off at the terminal to board the bus to the final transfer leading me to the “Metad de Mundo”. (Middle of the world -aka- the equator). Due to the crowded journey and not so safe areas, the pictures I captured along the way were minimal.

These are the only two photos I snagged. First, a woman selling chocolate covered strawberries topped with a marshmallow. I have yet to mention how much they love their marshmallows here!


To my knowledge, this isn’t a typical sight but it made me instantly say in my head, “In case of an emergency, please use as a flotation device”.


As I finally made it to the entrance of the park, I was fully prepared for the mobs of tourists and families that would be following the guides.


Hmm, looks like I have the place to myself. I actually felt a little awkward walking around this huge park as one of the only visitors.





Most of the store tenants that I passed appeared to be so eager to see another human, that it almost felt mandatory to stop and look at every shop. Even harder to say “no gracias” to all of them.




I made it!


They say it’s hard to walk in a straight line on the equator, turns out standing on your hands is easier!


On the way back I treated myself to a frozen yogurt, just my size! Can you imagine a chain shop in the states trying to stay in business selling this option?


I now leave Quito with a major announcement to all of the people who know and share my love for frozen desserts. An Ecuadorian traditional delight has now topped my list over ice cream, gelato and brace yourself… Even better than frozen yogurt!

Helado de Paila means “ice cream from a copper pan.” Sugar, pure fruit pulp, and egg whites are placed in a brass pan, which is on a bed of ice, sea salt and straw (to slow down the melting of the ice). The pan must be previously prepared by boiling it for three days with ash and bitter orange. The ingredients are then stirred as long as necessary to make the mixture freeze.

This simple but time consuming process develops what I can best describe as the creamiest snow cone mixed with the iciest frozen yogurt. My favorite part is the extremely cold, firm texture that prevents it from instantly melting in the South American sun.

I preferred the non traditional flavors that included but wasnt limited to chocolate and my personal favorite of vanilla. I devoured mine with so much enjoyment that I forgot to take a picture! Here are a few I found online. Introducing Helado de Paila!






Well that’s it for now Ecuador, next stop is Peru!

Travelers tip: I highly suggest not going on a city search for Piala the day of your flight out of the country… Without a map! I barely found my way back before heading to the airport. Oops.

Vote for the “Handstand photo of the year”

It brings many smiles to my heart when I think back on the incredible last year of travels.

I thoroughly enjoyed making these shots and I’d love YOU to pick the favorite! After open nominations, the top 5 are below in no specific order. Please vote now in the poll box provided. Love, joy and gratitude!

Tossa De Mar, Spain


Machu Picchu, Peru


Grand Central Station in New York City, New York


Ipoh, Malaysia


Stone Mountain in Atlanta, Georgia


Which is your favorite handstand photo of 2012?