Hi! I’m Olivia!

I’m a traveler, foodie, Portlander, list fan, and spreadsheet lover. Powered by Tofu is my personal creative outlet for exploring, creating, and living the good life.

For me, the “good life” has a lot to do with adventure – from travel experiences to adventuring right here in Portland, Oregon – challenges like 30 new things before 30, being outdoors, travel tips and guides. It usually includes food – from finding all the breweries in a new city, cheese, IPA, coffee, to cooking up a new recipe from my summer garden. My good life is rounded out with fitness (challenges, running, yoga, half marathons), happiness, family, friends, seasonal fun, and list making.

One of my favorite things is time savers and hacks – probably how you found me in the first place – with tools and templates to save you time and money… more to enjoy the good life, yeah?

I originally created this blog as an outlet for all things food, apartment dwelling, Portland roaming, and MBA pursuing back in 2007.  It then morphed into a way to keep track of my 101 Things in 1,001 Days/life list project.  So when I decided to quit my job to spend a year traveling around the world, I thought it would be fun to just continue the adventure here.

I’m a strong believer in living consciously (purposefully, deliberately, or whatever it is the kids are calling it these days), which is what got me interested in Life Lists, a 30 Before 30 list, and annual goals. I love the idea that you’re working on specific, verbalized goals, and while a year later you may not care about 1/4 the things on the list, you’ll still have a lot of really cool things accomplished.


My round the world trip:
I started my round the world trip in Beijing, China in late February of 2008.  From there I traveled to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, back to Thailand and back through China to come home to Portland.  I spent two months in Portland (we have amazing summers), before heading to Eastern Europe. From Budapest, Hungary, I travelled to Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Morocco, and then back to Spain before taking the slow boat (a transatlantic) back to the States (via Portugal & Bahamas).  After spending the holidays in Portland, I finished up my travels in Costa Rica and came back to Oregon.

Post-RTW life:
Post-RTW I found a job, got a cat, bought a house, and fell in love with Portland all over again. [Not all at once] And after almost four years at a travel company promoting independent and long-term travel, I took the leap to self-employment. I work with small to mid-size businesses and startups helping them grow their businesses through email marketing, content strategy, and analytics at Early Bird Strategy and also offer blogging resources like Editorial Calendar Templates and other downloads.

FAQ: What does “Powered by Tofu mean”?
I’ve been a vegetarian all my life, so it’s always been a running joke that I’m “powered by tofu.”  We even made t-shirts in high school that said “powered by tofu” with a tofu block on them. Alas, I swear that PETA stole my line for their Powered by Tofu shirt that was all over the Internet for awhile. Great minds think alike. :) Anyway, while I still cook mainly vegetarian, I consider myself more of a “pescatarian” now, since I eat fish, and bacon. I won’t be changing my blog to Powered by Bacon, so Powered by Tofu it is.

Let’s be friends on Instagram!


  • Reply
    September 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Hey! I found your site a few years back after the NY Times piece about women who travel solo. I fell in love with your site, as I also enjoy making lists and was about to embark on a semester abroad. (I found that NY Times article while researching about my trip.) I found your 101 Things in 1001 days endeavor so much fun and very cool to follow along =)

    It’s been a while since those days and yet I’ve found my way back to your site, so this time I had to say hello. In any case, I love your site (and your frugal bon-vivant site too), and I look forward to following your blog again. Cheers! – AM

  • Reply
    August 1, 2010 at 3:31 am

    Hi gal!

    I’m from the other side of the globe.

    I found your blog while searching for travel blogs a few months back.

    Love your travelling stories and the title of your blog (i’m a tofu lover).

    Since then, i’ve been tuning in to your blog every now and then. Your blog is really inspirational and i enjoy reading the things you blogged about.

    Will there be an entry on travelling again anytime soon? lol

  • Reply
    February 3, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Hi Olivia!

    I just discovered your blog while perusing the internet for information about Costa Rica. I really enjoy reading it and am intrigued by all the commonalities we have.

    I am a twenty-something from “the other Portland,” powered by tofu, a compulsive list-maker, and have recently been bit by the travel bug. After spending 10 glorious days in Costa Rica last month, it’s all I can think about. I really envy your decision to take a year-long trip around the world and hope that I can do something like that one day, too. I’m sure you’re right that “the hardest part is just deciding to do it!”

    I really look forward to reading your archives about the trip, and seeing how you’re transitioning now that you’re back.

    I included a link to my blog, but it’s been inactive for a long time.

    Thanks for a great resource!

  • Reply
    January 14, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    I just found your blog and LOVE it!! I look forward to reading more!!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Hey Olivia! I wanted to say thank you for inspiring me! I have started my own list now :)
    Keep up the good work!!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2009 at 6:22 am

    Like your blog! keep it and let’s share our travelling experience!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2009 at 6:15 am

    Love the blog! keep it up!

  • Reply
    megan v
    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 am

    How Amazing! My biggest question is (as what you did is my DREAM!!!!) how can one reasonably be able to afford to do this? What’s the secret?

    • Reply
      July 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm

      @megan Thanks, I have a blog post in the works in answer to your question! The short answer is saving like crazy, living on the cheap, and then traveling on the cheap. :)

  • Reply
    June 24, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    I just found your blog, after reading the NYT article about women traveling solo. What an inspiration. Just wondering since you seem so motivated… what ever stops or slows you? How do you maintain a healthy esteem to do so many things?

  • Reply
    June 24, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Hi fellow wanderluster! I read your remark to the NYT piece on solo women travelers – good thoughts all around. I checked out your blog as well. Coming from Boston you SHOULD definitely visit New England in the fall. I’m a west coaster my self, but it’s quite different out here. Also, your garden would be great friends with my roommates garden.
    I’ll yell hello in your direction when i’m home in OR this summer!

  • Reply
    June 11, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Hi, I LOVE your blog :) I’m also having a quarter life crisis and about to embark on my 7 months trip around the world and found ur articles really helpful. Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 9, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Hey just saw your link off the site lifehacker.com.au and thought i’d give you some props for what you’ve done, I really like the idea of having specific goals to work towards, good idea having the checklist on the right hand side

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