America was Never Great!

Trump’s leading campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again!” People wore it emblazoned across their red trucker hats and t-shirts. What Trump and his supporters were really saying with that slogan was, “Make America Racist Again!”, “Make America Sexist Again!,” “Make America Polluted Again!” and the list goes on and on. America was never great!…

Security vs. Freedom

I haven’t blogged in a while. Life has gotten in the way of my thought process. I try not to force writing, if I don’t have to. I would rather blog when I feel inspired to, not because I think I have to. Anyway, there has been a lot on our plate lately. Not only…

Valentine’s Day Should Become Random Act of Kindness Day!

I’ve never really liked Valentine’s Day. It might have something to do with almost always being single on the holiday and seeing everyone in their happy relationships being lovey dovey. I also just felt like, why do we need a day to remind us to be loving towards those in our lives that we care…

How I Learned to Say Yes to Me!

We live in a culture that encourages us to always say yes. Yes to our boss. Yes to our partner. Yes to the salesman. But, does it encourage us to say yes to ourselves. In the United States, you are valued for how hard you work. If your boss asks you to take on an…

I am Woman! Hear Me Roar!

On Saturday, I participated in something historical and it moved me to tears. I marched in the Million Women March in Portland, in solidarity with the march on Washington, D.C. I joined 100,000 other women in Portland to stand up for women’s rights. In cities across the globe women marched in solidarity and for their…

Take a Mental Picture!

These days most moments are captured by our phones and posted immediately to Instagram and Facebook. No experience seems to go undocumented. We have become so addicted to taking pictures of everything, that we almost go through withdrawal if we can’t. Is this trend about saving memories, or sharing our experiences with the world so…

Snow Days Bring Out the Humanity in Us!

When I was a kid, we played outside until it got dark. We hated when our mother’s would call us inside. Year round you could find us running with our friends from the block or riding our bikes to the local candy shop to buy something with the pennies we’d collected. The internet and smart…

Get Your Hands Off Women’s Healthcare!

I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. Who do these Republican White Men think they are!! Last time I checked, none of you have a vagina. You wouldn’t even be able to handle a vagina if you had one. So, please stop trying to tell me how to take care of my vagina. Stop…

Happy New Year!

Going along with the age old tradition of making New Years resolutions, I would like to say Happy New Year to everyone and to list my resolutions for the year. I figure maybe if I write them down, I’ll do better at checking if I’ve kept up with any of them. This always serves as a…

Home for the Holidays!

Going home for the holidays always draws up various emotions for people. If you are someone who left home after high school like me, you either look forward to going home each year at the holidays or you don’t. This really depends on your reasons for leaving. For me, leaving meant finding myself and my…

Working in the Australian Outback: A Nightmare Abroad.

In 2012, my sister and I developed this elaborate plan to leave the country and travel for 6 months or more. At first we planned to teach English in Thailand and then travel around SE Asia for a few months, but that plan didn’t fit our timeline. Then I received an email advertisement from a…

The Starfish Throwers: We Can All Make a Difference!

Last week, Ethan and I watched a documentary called “The Starfish Throwers,” and it reminded me of a very important truth. Every one can make a difference whether it is to just one starfish or to many. The documentary was about three individuals who had dedicated their lives to making a difference. One was a…

How to Shop for a Wanderlust this Holiday!

Buying gifts for people around the holidays can be fun or very stressful. If you want to buy something that they will not return or regift, you need to understand what type of person they are and what stuff they will like. As a wanderlust, I could care less for fancy jewelry, but I love…

10 Reasons You Should Quit Your Job and Travel for a Year!

This coming July, my fiance and I plan to get married and quit our jobs to take a 6 to 9 month honeymoon. We are flying to Argentina and working our way up to Mexico. When we tell people our plan, most people react with confusion and surprise. It is not a common concept in…

We Need to Speak Out!

I haven’t really known what to write since Tuesday night. I know that I need to speak out though, because sadly we live in a country and world that silences the voices of those who aren’t white, heterosexual males. No matter how loud the marginalized populations scream, they fall upon deaf ears. That is not…

5 Reasons You Should Travel with your Sibling!

If you have siblings you understand that there is a very special bond there that is different than any other. No matter how much you fought as kids, your relationship remained in tact (for most of us at least). You depend on each other through hard times and celebrate the good times together. You share…

Traditions Make Me Happy!

I realized this past weekend, how addicted I am to keeping my traditions. Halloween just came and went, but I wouldn’t let it go before I at least practiced a few of my favorite traditions. I get really depressed if I can’t practice my traditions for every holiday and season. I made sure to visit a…

Don’t Move to Portland!

My mom grew up in Oregon. She lived in Klammath Falls until she was 3 years old, then her family moved to Portland. They lived in the Hollywood district with 11 kids. There were months when they couldn’t pay the electric bill, so they lived in darkness. My grandfather was a missionary for the Christian…

Don’t Let the Rain Stop You!

Last weekend was Ethan and my 1 year anniversary and we planned this lovely day to recreate our 2nd date. On our 2nd date, we went to a pumpkin beer festival at a local brewery, ate lunch at another brewery, drove to Sauvie Island to pick pumpkins, picked pumpkins, ate roasted corn, talked for a…

How to Make Relationships Work When You’re Both Busy!

My fiance and I have been together for a year. We both work in nonprofits and certain times of the year are really busy for us. It is hard to keep a relationship healthy, when you barely have time for each other. When we first started dating, it was right before the holidays and my…

Stop Being So Hard On Yourself: You are Fabulous!

As my 29th birthday approaches in three days, I am forced to reflect upon not only the past year of my life, but my life as a whole. It is hard to stop and just appreciate all that we’ve done in our lives, when we always feel pressured to be doing more. As young adults,…

Weddings Don’t Have to be Stressful!

I wrote a post two months back about being stressed about getting engaged and having to plan a wedding. I have a tendency towards stress and anxiety. I even started seeing someone to talk to, while working through this process. I overthink a lot of things and I get overwhelmed easily by these thoughts. I…

You Gotta Have Faith!

I am not religious. Faith doesn’t mean the same thing to me as it does to the Christians. I am not talking about a faith in God that he exists. I am talking about faith that everything will work out. I’m spiritual. I believe there is something out there whether you want to call it…

Exploring the Open Road: Eastern Oregon and Washington

We set out on a mission: to see Eastern Oregon and make it to Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge Amphitheater in Washington. We needed a vacation badly. Both of us work too hard and never take time to relax. So, six months ago and only three months into our relationship, we started planning an…

Be a Weekend Warrior: Get Active on Your Days Off.

It is Friday, and the week has finally wound down and you are ready for the weekend, what do you do? Do you look forward to sitting in your pjs all weekend watching Netflix, or do you have a list of chores and errands that need attending to? How about some social events or adventures?…

13 Signs You are Not 22 Anymore

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with accepting my age and I’m not even that old yet. I’m almost 29 years old and I’m starting to miss everything about my early 20’s. People keep reminding me that everything changes in your late 20’s and there is no going back. I’m frustrated with my weight, my…

Reverse Culture Shock

So many people talk about the culture shock you experience when you leave your country and visit a completely different culture, but what about the culture shock you experience when you return home from a long stint of traveling. This culture shock has always been a lot worse for me. I love entering new cultures…

15 Things Only Backpackers Understand

If you have backpacked through Europe, or Asia, or South/Central America there are certain truths you understand that those who don’t travel or just take vacations won’t. I’ve been backpacking since I was 19 and studying abroad in the Netherlands. I loved filling up my pack and taking off for five days each week to…

Women Can and Should Travel Alone

Women are not encouraged to do things alone. We are seen as fragile and at threat by the world and dangerous men. As a result, women are left to live in fear instead of feeling the strength to do things on their own. When a woman wants to travel alone, she is strongly discouraged from doing…

Music Can Change the World

Life would be pretty dull without music. I was raised a music lover. My family loves music. I can’t imagine living in a family that doesn’t. No matter what kind of music people like they have a reason for each track they choose to play. Music speaks to them and their experience. It paints a…

Take Time to Watch the Sunset

The common phrase is “stop to smell the roses,” but when my sister Mandie and I were traveling around Australia and SE Asia we decided to change it to “watch the sunsets.” We made sure to pause every evening and wait for the sun to set. We shared libations with new friends, propped ourselves on…

An Active Relationship is a Happy Relationship

It is easy when you are in a long term relationship, to settle into a routine. You get up each morning to the dinging of an alarm, one of you hops in the shower while the other prepares breakfast, you kiss good bye, and then each evening you make dinner and stay in watching your…

Weddings: Are They Worth the Stress?

A good majority of little girls dream about their wedding day. They imagine their Prince Charming riding up on a white horse and whisking them off their feet. I was definitely one of them. I talked about getting married on the beach one day or by a waterfall. Of course, I didn’t know who I…

Give it a Year: So Much Can Change.

Are you struggling right now? Does it seem like nothing is going your way? Well, I’ve been there. I’m sure we all have. When you are dealing with the world crumbling around you, it is hard to see the light. We feel like there is no way things will get better, but they will. Every…

Take a Break! What it is like Living in a Workaholic Culture

While Europeans are off enjoying leisure time on the beaches of the French Riviera or islands off of Spain and Italy each summer, Americans are stuck inside working unless they are teachers. Most Americans average 2 weeks a year of vacation, but most people don’t even take advantage of their ability to take time off….

Love Conquers Hate!

Reading the news these days or going on social media, makes me depressed. I’m tired of waking up to hear about yet another mass shooting or black man being shot by the cops unprovoked. It happens so often that we have become desensitized to it. We are all up in arms for at least a…

12 Signs You Have the Travel Bug

I have been afflicted with the same disease for 16 years. I can’t seem to shake it. Nothing seems to make it go away. I’m of course talking about the travel bug. The only cure for this disease is more travel. And even then, while I’m traveling, I’m dreaming of more travel. I fear I…

The Rapist is Not the Victim

This weeks top news story, besides the sad primary election, has me really fired up. Reading about the outcome of the rape case at Stanford infuriated me. How is it that again and again, we worry about the future of the rapists’ lives over the victims? It worries me that we still live in a…

Unplug and Rejuvenate!

It is so easy these days to become addicted to technology. As much as I personally hate how people are glued to their screens, I too suffer from this addiction. If I’m waiting for anything, my phone comes out of my purse and I’m aimlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, or emails. It is scary how…

No Regrets Bucket List

Most people have a bucket list; a list of things they want to do before they are a certain age or before they die. Sometimes they are wild things they wouldn’t normally do or things that force them to overcome their fears, but a lot of times they are just life goals they hope to…

Chronic Illnesses: The Silent Sufferer

I’m going to talk about a topic that I’ve never written about and I barely ever bring up to people, but that has impacted my life for some time.  A chronic disease “is one lasting 3 months or more, by the definition of the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented…

What is Your Passion?

“What is your passion?” my 8th grade English teacher, Mr. Batt, asked the class, before handing out our new assignment. We all looked around the room at each other with confused wrinkles on our foreheads. What does passion really mean, we thought. Mr. Batt read our expressions correctly and decided to explain. “The next book…

Climb That Mountain!

Life is not easy! Do not be fooled! Life is beautiful, exciting, challenging, troubling, but not easy. Life is like the mountain I climbed this past weekend. And by climbed, I mean hiked, because let’s be serious I’m no rock climber. Anyway, on Sunday, my boyfriend and I decided to climb (hike) Dog Mountain. Dog…

My Top Travel Experiences!

Whenever I tell people where I’ve traveled, I always get the same question: what was your favorite place? This is quite possibly the hardest question to answer. How can I select one place out of 25 countries, 100 cities, 1,000’s of experiences? It is impossible. For anyone who has traveled a bunch, you can probably relate…

Weekend Getaways: A Great Break from Stress

The last few weeks my boyfriend and I have been feeling overwhelmed with stress about work, money, the future, you name it. Our lives always seem to be so busy, running from one thing to the next. Then my best friend came to town last Thursday to visit with her fiance. They wanted to visit Seattle…

Best Friends Forever

Having friends in your life is important; having a best friend is essential. When you are growing up you learn that it isn’t really important to have tons of friends or acquaintances. Sure, when you are young it seems like the popular kids are the happy ones. They have so many friends surrounding them and…

10 Things I’ve Learned From Traveling

A lot has been said about the importance of travel. There is a reason for that. People who travel learn more about themselves and the world. It is hard to gain an understanding of the world if you never leave your hometown. Mark Twain said, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many…

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others- Just Be YOU!

It is so hard these days to be content with our own lives. Every time we sign on to social media we see photos of people getting engaged, getting married, announcing pregnancies, having babies, parading their babies around in a cute manner, travel photos, and on and on and on. People have been comparing their…