Peru Hop: aka The Gringo Express

In 2013, two Irish guys named Will and Conor had the idea to create a hop on hop off bus service for backpackers in Peru. This way backpackers had a safe, convenient and affordable way to visit spots in Peru that previously were missed on the backpacker circuit, but were worth visiting. Now they have…

Tips and Facts to Prepare for the Machu Picchu Inca Trek!

My husband and I just completed the Machu Picchu Inca trek this week. For months leading up to it, I was feeling anxious and scared that it would be too hard. A lot of people who have completed the trek tell you it’s doable, but difficult. Most people warn about the altitude and the infamous…

Overcoming My Limits: Rainbow Mountain and Red Valley

I’ve never been so challenged in my life! This trip has really helped me see past my self-imposed limits and know that we truly have no limits. I was terrified about climbing Rainbow Mountain, but this trip is all about facing my fears. So we went for it! We had a 3am wake up call…

Salar de Uyuni: Well Worth the Height

If you have the money and the time on your South America tour, don’t miss Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. You can take the tour directly from Uyuni, Bolivia or enter from San Pedro de Atacama. For Americans you must pay for a visa to enter Bolivia for $160 US, but I promise you it…

San Pedro de Atacama: Desert Tourism

San Pedro de Atacama sits at about 6,000 feet above sea level and is home to the driest desert in the world. There are so many beautiful landscapes in this area that San Pedro has become a hotbed for desert tourism. It attracts Chileans and foreigners to its small outpost in the desert, an hour…

Mendoza is More than Just Malbec!

For any wine lover, Mendoza, Argentina falls under destinations to visit for wine tasting. It is the capital of Malbec wine. They are the main grower and exporter of this delicious red wine. So, you would be remiss to not take a wine tour in Mendoza if you love Malbec. Once you finish wine tasting…

Valparaiso: Artist’s Paradise

We arrived in Valparaiso after a very uncomfortable and exhausting overnight bus trip from Pucon. Our weary eyes struggled to take in the sights out the taxi windows, but we already had a sense for how unique this city would be. When the taxi screeched to a stop at our hostel, the crooked smirk of…

Chile’s Lake Region

After finishing up our adventures in Bariloche and Bolsón, Argentina’s Río Negro lake region, we crossed the border back to Chile. The drive from Bariloche across the border provided spectacular views as we snaked through towering mountains of green and white.  We climbed in elevation, passing over the mountains. Trees wore white cone hats of…

Mountains floating in the Clouds

We continued our upward climb along the gravel road with what felt like no end in sight. Our destination: Piltriquitron, a mountain refugió seated atop the closest mountain to El Bolsón, Argentina. The name comes from Mapuche Indians who inhabited the area originally and it means the mountains that float in the clouds. The description…

Patagonia: “The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go!”

Patagonia has always called my name. I’m a mountain person. Don’t get me wrong, I love the beach, but I much prefer a good hike in the mountains. Just seeing mountains with their snow caps in the distance makes my heart warm. One of the main reasons I moved to Portland, Oregon was for that…

Agua, Agua y más Agua

We arrived in Puerto Iguazu after a very tremulous plane ride that had Ethan and I both praying to survive and clutching eachother and our armrests for dear life. Luckily, we did land in this humid little town on the border of Brazil and Paraguay in one piece.  Thank god for that, because Iguazu Falls…

Buenos Aires: The Beginning

We arrived safely in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Since then, we have kept ourselves very busy exploring this massive city. We started off our stay with a $100 cab ride from the Airport, because we forgot to negotiate a price beforehand. Then we discovered our hotel reservation wasn’t valid anymore and they switched us to…

Miami: Before the Hurricane

It is always strange when you are planning something for a long time and it feels like it will never actually arrive and then all of a sudden the moment is here. For what seemed like years, Ethan and I planned this trip. It existed in our minds and on our google searches. For all…

Travel isn’t All Umbrella Drinks and Selfies with Monkies!

I was inspired to write this after a friend posted a blogger’s post about how travel isn’t always fun and easy like people think and that we are made to feel bad about complaining when travel gets hard. I completely related to this post, because after years of traveling, I know it isn’t the vacation…

Transitions are Hard, but Worth it!

It seems about every 2-4 years, I go through a big transition. Just when things get comfortable in my life, I either decide it is time to shake things up or the Universe does it for me. There is something about routine and comfort, that I just can’t handle. As soon as I start to…

Wedding Advice from a Newlywed!

I literally just got married two days ago, so it is fresh in my head. Lots of married people gave me advice before the wedding and I tried my best to listen to it. Of course, it is hard though in the thick of it to remember all those thoughtful words. So, if you are…

To the Dad that Breaks the Mold!

Every year when Father’s Day is getting closer, you see commercials for Home Depot and Lowe’s advertising grills and tools to buy your father. Stores have sales on ties and belts. The card aisle is flush with cartoonish pictures of men in lounge chairs, playing golf, or fishing. But what about the dad’s that don’t…

Time Has No Pause Button, So Enjoy it While You Can…

Life is zipping by me. I swear each year time goes a little faster. One minute, I’m meeting Ethan for tacos for our first date and now we are getting married in 40 days. It’s been a whirlwind lately, between planning a wedding, working full time plus extra side jobs, attending multiple pre-wedding events for…

We’re Not Settling Down, We’re Saddling Up!

I’ve never liked the idea of settling down. To me it sounds boring and like the end to a fun life. People always speak about marriage and committed relationships as finally settling down. To those who always looked forward to meeting the one, settling down, and having kids, this concept is accepted as an end…

A Letter to My Mom for Mother’s Day

Dear Mom, I love you to the moon and back. I love you to infinity. I love you this much You are my inspiration. You may not have known it, but I was always looking up to you. You turned an at-home daycare into a blossoming business with multiple locations. I loved visiting your office…

A Letter to All Who are Bullied.

*warning this contains spoilers for the show 13 Reasons Why… I recently decided to watch a new Netflix show that everyone was talking about on Facebook. This show was like a train wreck; I couldn’t peel my eyes from the screen, but it increased my blood pressure and seeped into my dreams bringing back past…

Dear Worry: It’s Not Me It’s You…

Dear worry, We need to talk. I think I am finally ready to call it quits. No, this isn’t like the last hundred times when I pushed you away and then came running back to you when I couldn’t deal. This is for real this time. You’ve done nothing but bring me down and it…

Ways to Stay Positive When Life Gets Tough!

Life has not been easy the past two years. Last year, I discovered I had some health problems I needed to deal with. My partner and I also had a head on collision that caused a considerable amount of stress and pain for both of us. Finances have ebbed and flowed. We’ve tried our best…

15 Tips for Preparing for Long Term Travel!

*Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I simply love these brands or websites and am providing the links but I get no kickback for providing them* Our big 9 month honeymoon is creeping closer and closer and being a veteran to long term travel, I have established a tried and true list for preparing…

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…