Monday, October 31, 2022

Giving Birth To Something New & Sparkly!

 Hey Friends~ 

    I've taken some time off this past year to focus on my healing and to also marinate on my direction going forward personally, professionally, and creatively. Recently, my main website crashed due to some unfortunate circumstances with my website hosting company (who I've since left). But--as in all unexpected challenges--it's also given me an opportunity to reflect on changes I had been wanting to make in my life. 

    Quarantining for this past couple of years has helped give me the opportunity to truly reflect on how I want to spend my energy and my creative focus moving forward

    The good news is that I'm brewing up something new, sparkly, and uplifting to unveil! A new brand which is going to fully reflect the entirety of who I am as a person and the light and joy I want to share with the world. It's going to be colorful, joyful, and involve my multimedia storytelling as well as some other special bonuses. 

    I very much look forward to sharing it with you all once my new website is complete in a few months. Pls stay tuned for the announcement....

    And if you'd like to be receiving some of my juicy email updates, you can sign up by clicking on the subscription button to the right or sending me an email at "" I promise not to bombard you with too frequent emails. My email updates (once a month normally) will include travel inspiration, details from my healing journey dealing with a chronic illness, as well as resources and inspiration for living your best possible life. 

    You can also follow the fun on social media:

    Instagram (personal): 

    Instagram ("Around The World Thurston Girls"):

    Facebook (personal):

    Facebook ("Around The World With The Thurston Girls"):

     In the meantime, SHINE ON! 

    With love,

    Rachel Sarah 

Photo Credit #1 (glitter): Sharon McCutcheon

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

"Around The World With The Thurston Girls" Presentation Kicks Off 2019 At The Santa Barbara Woman's Club

What fun it was to present our Around the World with the Thurston Girls platform to the Santa Barbara Woman's Club yesterday! We were asked to be the first speakers of 2019 for the prestigious organization and had an absolute blast kicking off the year sharing tales and travel tips from our 18 years of travels around the world! 
We felt waves of positive energy and high interest during our remarks and travel tips. Impressive questions during the Q and A. Savvy and well traveled audience. Delicious tea and accompanying foods.
Thank you, thank you SBWC for your warm welcome and enthusiasm. It was an absolute joy having so many friends come out to support us including former SB mayor and friend Helene Schneider. 
Tremendous thanks to Perry Cabugos for his brilliant photography/video and to Ingrid Sarrat for helping to inspire our name when she interviewed us for a webinar many years ago. We've also just launched our Facebook Fan Page and would love your support in taking a moment to "like" it! Just visit here:

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hey Guys and Gals~ 

Welcome and happy summer to you! If you are trying to visit my website ( and have found yourself unwittingly redirected here....

I have recently received news that the company I've hosted my main website through for countless years has just suffered the devastating loss of their web server (and the loss of all of all of their backups as well). 

So what does this mean exactly?

This means unfortunately, that my website (along with thousands of other clients' websites of theirs across the country and around the world) has gone into the ether and is gone for good. Rip ;-) 

Yup, you read that correctly. ;-) 

So--instead of crying uncontrollably into my Matcha Latte--I'm choosing to look at this as a fabulous opportunity to create a brand spanking new website which is even more amazing that my last one! And a website which integrates my writing, photography, video work and travel around the world. In the meantime, if you are interested in hiring me for any photography or writing or would like to be subscribed to my fabulous travel adventure and healing journey email updates, pls feel free to contact me at: "" 

You can also scroll down to the list of keywords in the right column to peruse blogs I've written over the years or a range of photo shoots I've done over the years to check out more of my portfolio that is still intact and online (until I post my new website).

Thanks again for visiting me and hoping you have a blessed summer that is free of technological challenges...;-) 

Rachel Sarah Thurston

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Santa Barbara Writers Conference

In Celebration Of The 2016 Santa Barbara Writers Conference
Owner: Monte Schulz
Conference Coordinator: Grace Rachow
Logistics Coordinator: Erin Munsch
"Write On!" Editor In Chief: Marianne Dougherty
Chief Of Operations: Jim Alexander
Marketing and Financial Coordinator: Margaux Hession
Ombudsman: Fred Klein
*And a whole team of devoted, long-time volunteers who help make this conference flow!

I've lost track of how many years I've been involved with the amazing Santa Barbara Writers Conference as both a writer and as a photographer....from my estimate it's been about 14-15 years now that I've dedicated a full week to immersing myself in the microverse that magically appears in the heart of Santa Barbara every June. It's a week that is packed with inspiration from fellow writers, publishing experts, literary agents, editors, publishers, and award-winning novelists, poets, and non-fiction writers. 

In short, it's a week to remind each of us that--as writers in what can be a very solitary pursuit--we are not alone and that we are stronger and become better when we surround ourselves with excellence and a community of our peers who are also striving for excellence. 

I have made lifelong friends from around the country through the conference, have found writing mentors who continue to inspire me, and built up a community of fellow writers with whom I can exchange inspiration and critiques throughout the year. 

Over the years my relationship with the conference has grown into becoming one of their main event photographers as well as running the Annual Talent Show with my co-host Margaux Hession and long-time friend and Mentor Matt Pallamary. The Talent Show continues to be a great way of just relaxing and celebrating a very long and exhausting week.

It's a month's worth of celebration, inspiration, interaction with mentors, fellow writers, editors, agents, and internationally renowned novelists and non-fiction authors.

Simply put: It's an incredible, magical, and mind-expanding week. Writers come for encouragement and feedback but end up coming again and again largely b/c of the "family" feel of the conference and for the friendships that we all make.

Sending out a BIG shout-out to Monte Schulz (the "Admiral"~ owner and our literary figure head for the conference), Grace Rachow (our heroic Conference Coordinator) and all of our hard-working fellow volunteers who have spent many years putting their love, sweat, and tears into helping to ensure that the conference runs so smoothly! Between us all, we have a wonderful team and SBWC "family!"

And now I'll put on my "photographer's hat" and let the photos speak for themselves. Looks fun, doesn't it?! ;-)

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Santa Barbara Women Of Achievement Awards Luncheon

This is hands down one of my very favorite awards events of the year! I've been photographing for the Santa Barbara Chapter of the Association For Women In Communication for more years than I can count and the "Women Of Achievement" Awards Luncheon never ceases to inspire and draw some of the biggest movers and shakers in Santa Barbara. 

Held this year at the beautiful historic El Paseo Restaurant (which features balconies overflowing with flowers and giant murals), SB-based Congresswoman Lois Capps and Communications Consultant and author Lois Phillips were honored with this year's awards. Also presenting and in attendance were Mayor Helene Schneider, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, Supervisor Janet Wolf, and AWC's Poet-With-The-Mostess Perie J. Longo who delighted the audience with her poem tributes to each of the Loises. 

I always come out of this event feeling buoyed by the inspirational, driven, and visionary women who inhabit and ROCK Santa Barbara on a daily basis!

Please enjoy this slideshow and feel free to share the link with your friends and leave comments below.

*If the music doesn't come on at first, just refresh your browser and try again. 
**To view in full screen mode, just click on the rectangle icon in lower left hand corner of slideshow window. Voila! ;-)

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Association For Women In Communication's 2015 Santa Barbara Holiday Party

Association For Women In Communication's Santa Barbara Chapter
2015 Holiday Party

I love this time of the year and especially connecting with fellow AWC-SB friends in celebration of the holidays! Please feel free to share the link to this page on FB with your friends as well. Just cut and paste the address to this page from your browser and share on FB. 

Happy Holidays to you and congratulations to "Member of the Year" Lynn K. Jones and "Nonprofit of the Year" Villa Majella.