2016 – A year of heart exercise

Well, it serves me right for complaining that my 2015 felt uneventful during last year’s post. This year has had just as many highs as there has been lows for me. It certainly has been the biggest roller coaster that I am still on and I can’t see the end in sight anytime soon. 2016 …

Nanaimo, Canada

With a wonky birthday week, Chris wanted to take me somewhere. I was secretly hoping for a trip to Harry Potter Land, but Chris said I’m on my own for that. Haha. Ok fair enough. So we ended up in Nanaimo, Canada! I have never even heard of Nanaimo before, but it’s a cute little city …

My First Transit: Oxnard to Oakland, California

Whale off the starboard bow! I looked up from the quarterdeck just in time to see the head of a dark whale come down from a breech. I immediately reverted to an 8 year old self with glee and yelled down through the aft cabin stairs, “WHALE!” Clambering from all openings of the boat, several …

Two Weeks Before the Mast: Tall Ship Training

The heart is an incredible muscle. Sometimes I wonder if my heart truly feels the way I think it feels or if it’s just my brain telling me that’s how it feels. The battle between heart and mind is real. And never have I felt more conflicted, elated, excited, terrified all at the same time, …

60 hours in San Francisco

Before I embarked on a two week tall ship training program, I spent the weekend with a dear friend of mine in San Francisco. I’ve never been a big fan of California, but then again my only real exposure to it has been Los Angeles (gag) and the Cali transplants that are taking over Seattle. …

Alaskan Helicopter Glacier Trekking

As a hopeless romantic, I live for real-life movie moments. My last day in Skagway did not disappoint. I thought we were heading out for the boat tour we had to miss at the beginning of the trip, but when we pulled up next to the airport without a dock in sight, I began to wonder. …

Mendenhall Glacier

What’s amazing about Alaska is that glaciers fill your backyard on a regular basis. I mean what do you do with a 2 hour layover in Juneau? Visit a glacier of course. Meet: Mendenhall Glacier. As part of the Tongass National Forest, the far too easy access visitor center is a mecca for tourists during …

Laughton Glacier and the Yukon Route

My first real Alaskan excursion was definitely one of my favorite hiking experiences ever. Who doesn’t love getting dropped off at a trail head in the middle of nowhere by a train? It’s only about as fun until you’re sprinting back at the end of the day to catch the last train back into town. …

Skagway Walkabout

One of the reasons why I dislike short vacations is that not only do you have to be efficient with your time, but if something goes wrong (which it usually does), your options to try again are limited. Unfortunately, our first full day in Skagway was interrupted by the worst weather Skagway had seen all …

Skagway, Alaska

You would think after swimming through seas of people in India, that I wouldn’t be so unnerved by large amounts of people, but I guess I wasn’t excepting to feel that way in Alaska. Because it is rather unnerving to see 10,000 people descend on a small town of 1,000 people in a matter of …

Wild Alaska

Feel the crisp, clear air. Take a deep breath. Listen to the billowing winds, close your eyes and it feels like you might be standing on the edge of the world. Ah….ALASKA…a relief from the seemingly relentless Seattle summer heat this year. After a good two minutes of this bliss, a gust of wind reminded …

New Orleans Round Two

Since the magical moment I fell in love with New Orleans (it only took one night), a piece of my heart yearned to be back, yet knew it wouldn’t be long before I would be. Lucky for me, one of my best friends is getting married this year and she chose New Orleans for her …

‘Cause I’m Just a Girl in a World…

But you’re JUST a woman, single, and young! How/Why are you here? You don’t know HOW many times I heard one of these words with that exact question while I was traveling. It kind of still amazes me that people have such a hard time I could be any of these three AND traveling, let …

2014 – Taking Chances and Learning to Focus

What a crazy year it’s been. Once again I’m amazed how many things can happen to you to in a year and how fast relationships can grow and disappear.  I pretty much sucked at blogging this year, and for that, I can terribly sorry, but I am hoping to get caught up over the next week …

A Walk on the Wild Side

There is no doubt that Patagonia offers anything less than stellar experiences for nature lovers of all levels. From mountains to wildlife, Patagonia has it all. Over the last couple of weeks we experienced some incredible views form mountain tops and from the icebergs on the water. It wasn’t until we got to Ushuaia when …

One Year of Being Home

Today is Mother’s Day. Besides the general I am thankful for my mom, who has gone through more than I could ever imagine to have to go through in my life, I am so thankful for everything in my life now. Today also marks the year that I have been home since my travels. It …

Returning Home: The Realities of Relationships

Ok after all my vague posts about being at home…These are my honest feelings on my adjustment to being home. Be warned: it’s long. And it’s a diary. But I guess I’m not good enough of a writer to succinctly tell you my lessons without giving you the whole back story…so here we go… Nothing …

2013 – Lost, Loved, and Inspired

It only seems fitting that on the last year of 2013 that I write an update to my post-travel life. It’s been a while since I’ve continued the saga of my strange journey that began almost two years ago. I know many of you want to know what I have been doing, and ow my …

Jordan Ranch – Texas

Life in Texas really doesn’t get much better than on a ranch. I have always envisioned long empty fields with plenty of cows, but Jordan ranch was beautiful, authentic, and showed plenty of signs of hard work. With 2,000 acres to work with, there is a lot that needs to be done! Bill’s parents were …

Gruene Explorations and Enchanted Rock

Before we made our way to Jordan Ranch (the most looked forward to part of my trip), we made a few stops for some sight seeing. Besides rolling through the country hillside, the highlights were visiting a small town called Gruene (pronounced “green”) and going on a nature walk/hike up “Enchanted Rock”. Gruene Dusty, small, …

How to Buy Boots in Texas

There are not very many places where I can think of particular souvenirs I aim to bring home. I prefer to stumble across my sentimental items such as saving corks from special bottles of wine in Italy or prayer scarf from a student in India. But there was one thing I knew I wanted from …

A Glimpse into Austin

I’ve never been to Texas. Never really thought I would ever go, even though it seemed like one of the most obvious places every American should go to. I mean…it’s TEXAS. Big haired, boot wearin’, tex-mex and BBQ eatin’ folk was what I was expecting. And I wasn’t too far off. While I’ve heard Austin …

Lost…but Not Forgotten

My home was recently invaded and unfortunately, my most prized posessions were stolen. My photos. Lap tops and electronics can be replaced, but not my precious precious photos. 13 months of my life abroad stolen. From my laptop AND the backup external hard drive. I could never afford cloud storage space due to the high …

Traveling By the Numbers

Some of you may not know, but I’ve been off the grid because I actually came home to Seattle earlier this month as a Mother’s Day surprise for my mom. I’ve managed to calculate my travels into a short list here for you: Days abroad: 396 Countries flown to: 5 (6 if you count flying back to …

Mount Etna

It doesn’t surprise me at all that among the beautiful places Italy has to offer for a wine fair, that I would end up in the foothills of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano. Located on the east coast of Sicily, 3,329 meters (10,922 feet) high, Etna is the largest active volcano in Italy. Because …