Three Crazy Trips I’m Planning For 2018

I’ve been pretty silent about my trips this year. I think it has to do with a little bit of burn-out surrounding the whole “travel blogger” thing. I started backpacking because I loved seeing the world and because I’m a writer who starts to lose their sanity if they aren’t writing every day—never to get attention. After traveling, and living abroad, I kind of hit a wall as far as what my motivation for travel was. Was it to get followers? Likes? Pad my portfolio?

There isn’t anything wrong with any of these things, but I needed to take a step back from the spotlight (if you will) and rediscover why I want to travel. The answer I came up with is that I want and need to travel for my own artistic inspiration and spiritual certainty.

As far as art goes, discovering the classic works of art has always been one of my number one goals with travel. I’m in love with the works of Van Gogh, Renoir, Gauguin and Monet. I also love seeing new illustrative styles and sculptures. As a writer, I’m also always looking to discover the literary backgrounds of the places I travel to. I’ve visited the hometowns of Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter, Ernest Hemingway, and Charles Dickens just to name a few. I hope to see more.

All that being said, I’ve thought long and hard about the three trips I’ll be taking this year. These are where I’ve decided. FUN FACT: None of them are on the list of “Must Visit Spots for Millenials in 2018”. I didn’t choose them because of anything like that. I picked them because they speak to my heart.

1. Quebec City, Canada

When I was nine years old I went on a road trip with my family that lasted about a month. During the road trip I had my ninth birthday and we crossed over into Quebec, Canada. For those of you who don’t know, Quebec is the French speaking portion of Canada and from the moment I heard people speaking I was in love. Obviously now I know that French-Canadian and French are very different, but as a kid I had no idea. The minute I got back to Seattle I asked my mom to enroll me in French lessons, and I’ve been studying the language ever since. I absolutely adore it. Rather than Montreal, where I went last time, I’ve decided to stay in Quebec City. I’m super excited for this adventure, and for being able to see the Chatêau Frontenac! Cities with castles are just better.

2. London, England/Paris, France

For my birthday this year I’m planning on returning to the UK. The focus of this trip will probably be literary, since I’ve seen a lot of the main attractions. I may also try to stay in a beautiful spot by the water for my birthday. This trip will likely extend to Paris, as well, since I’ve always wanted to take the train across the channel and it’s been on my bucket list.

I think one of my favorite things about revisiting spots is that you get familiar with the cities and therefore you’re willing to take more risks. You feel comfortable enough to go into random pubs on the street, or to wander off the map a little. Funny enough, I really didn’t like London the first time I went…or really even the second time. But now that I’ve been there a few times it’s starting to grow on me.

3. Arcata, California

This is my least planned out trip because it will probably fall late in the year, but I’m planning on visiting some family in northern California, and exploring the Redwood Forest! I’ve wanted to head down there for a while, but I just haven’t been able to make it for various reasons. I’m super excited to go spend some time enjoying nature and seeing one of the natural wonders of the world.

BONUS: I’m also probably going to be taking a weekend trip to Vancouver, BC but stay tuned for more details!

The Truth About Interning At A Non-Profit

The year after I graduated from college I lived with eight people in a three bedroom apartment on the beach. True story. I was working for a non-profit called Krochet Kids International, which works to empower women in developing countries, such as Peru and Uganda, to rise above poverty through employment and financial/job training. The company is honestly just amazing, and you should definitely take a hop over to their site, if you haven’t heard of them before (or even if you have).

I’ve been thinking a lot about my time in Newport Beach, lately, and how much it turned me into the person I am today. It was one of those turning points in my life, that sent me down the path I’m on now, and I’ve really grateful for that opportunity. Here’s what I learned from my time there:

1. People Matter

When situations get crazy in your personal life, or in the world at large it can be easy to stop thinking about others, and start focusing more internally. I get it. We’re human and we want to protect ourselves. But building a turtle shell existence is not going to help or save you. What it will do is harden you to the things that are going on. Traveling is important to me, whether I’m taking a day trip or a weekend vacation because it introduces me to all types of people, traditions, cultures and places where I don’t “belong.” It makes me feel small.

Maybe it sounds crazy to want to feel this way, especially in America’s power and success obsessed culture, but hang with me for bit while I explain. When I lived in France I felt a lot of emotions, but one of the biggest ones that I remember was frustration. France is unique to western Europe in that a lot of people won’t speak English to you, if you try. So, if you don’t know the words for how to express yourself you’re just left standing stupid. Personally I think it’s healthy to feel stupid sometimes. It puts things in perspective. Moving back to the U.S. obviously I have a lot of advantages, being from here. I speak English, obviously, and I know the cultural do’s and don’ts of living here. But I’ll never forget how humiliating it was in France to not know the word for something. I’ll also never forget how grateful I was when someone stepped in to help me communicate. The word relief doesn’t even begin to explain.

When I’m here I reach back to those times, when I see someone struggling in a culture/country that’s clearly not the one they’re most familiar with. Why? Because people matter, and when it boils down to it, we’re all just trying to feel valued and accepted.

Coolest bosses ever?

2. I Am An Introvert…And That’s Okay

Living with 8 other people was insane. We had a tiny kitchen, a tiny living room and I shared a bedroom with three other people. Personal space was not a thing. To be honest, looking back, our accommodations were probably borderline, if not definitely, illegal somehow. But throughout that time I realized the importance I have for a quiet place, and quiet time. I spent time on the beach and in parks just simply sitting and journaling and reading. Those were things I always had the luxury of easily doing growing up, because I grew up in a house of very quiet/almost hermit-like people. But when I lived in California I had to very intentionally make time for the things that were important to me. I had to make time for me.

What did I learn from this? Well at the time, that I need my own space (hence never sharing a room with roommates again) but also that it’s not only okay for me to be introverted, it’s actually great! A lot of people misunderstand that introverts are “lonely” when they’re spending so much time alone, but that’s usually not the case. As an artist, and a writer I need that alone time in order to make and create things. Creating and building is how I feel fulfilled and happy. No need to worry about this hermit.

3. There’s Always A “C” Option

I have this chronic condition where I always want to “do the right thing”…to the point where sometimes I do the wrong thing because it’s the rules, and the rules must be right, right? Wrong.

After my internship in the OC I wasn’t sure what my next move would be. Would I continue to live in California? Would I move back home? I had panic attacks for a good month before one of my friends sat me down and reminded me that it wasn’t “Should I stay in California” vs. “Should I move home.” There were so many other options – one of them being “neither.” While this sounds so obvious, as I’m writing this, I remember being completely astounded at the time. It opened my mind to so many other possibilities for what the next step could be. To this day, when I’m comparing one thing against another I remember to consider option C – neither one.

4. It’s Not The Work – It’s The Team

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that they quit their day job of 40 weeks to pursue working for themselves for 80 hours a week, and are so much happier. Well, while I was working in California that really was the reality of the situation. While I wasn’t working for a business that I started, I was working for one that had a clear goal and mission to help other people. And let me tell you: we WORKED. We worked weekends and week days, and nights and early mornings and it was insane. I remember working alongside the founders at Krochet Kids as we worked so hard to build this brand to help others who most of us would actually never meet. I learned so much about honest hard work and how much a common goal can bond strangers together.

Most days I was flat out exhausted. But it was also one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Because, when it comes down to it, how long you’re spending doing something is not what wears you out, it’s what it is that you’re doing, and who you’re doing it with.

5. Reach For The Stars

My internship with Krochet Kids International was not a spur of the moment idea. For three years I had dreamed of doing it, while I was in college. I loved the brand and everything that it stood for and I thought that working for such a passionately invested company was going to be the pinnacle of my existence. The only problem was…I was terrified to apply. Why? Because if I didn’t get it, that was it. That would be the end of the dream that I had held onto for so long. And what if I did get it? I would have to pack up/get rid of everything that I owned in order to move to another state and live/work with people I didn’t know.

Having now moved/lived/worked in France, it’s crazy to even think how scared I was of the potential to move a couple states away, but at the time it terrified me. It’s moments like this when you have to take a deep breath, and let your heart overtake your mind. Usually I’m not an advocate for heart over mind decisions (shout out to my overly analytical Scandinavian-American upbringing) but if you hear that little voice pressing you toward something so much that you’re thinking about it for three years? Honey, you need to do it.

Throughout so many of my travel decisions I’ve been so scared to fill out the applications, apply for the visas, board the planes, start life over, but each and every time I’ve seen my life blossom in ways I could have never imagined, before. Don’t be afraid to take the leap, you never know what adventures life could have in store.

The best. #interns

Los Angeles Day 1-2


It’s pretty hard for me to rest when I travel. In fact, even though it’s called a “vacation” I usually generally end up trying to fit in as many things as possible. This trip is no exception.

When we first bought tickets to LA, for a trip to Harry Potter World, it was pretty spur of the moment. And by that I mean there was no plan or thought that went into that purchase at all. We saw cheap tickets, we bought them. And after that I pretty much forgot about the trip, with the exception of buying a wand and knitting my roommate a Gryffindor scarf.

Usually I plan out trips pretty crazily with mile long lists of what I want to do and see in each place. This trip didn’t start with a list, but one somehow one manifested itself by the time we checked into our Airbnb. So here we are, at the end of the second day, and I haven’t had one moment of down time. Luckily LA is a huge city filled with awesome things to do – how could we NOT fill our itinerary?

We boarded our plane from Seattle to LA pretty early yesterday, and were lucky enough to get seats next to each other (despite Spirit airlines trying to up-sell us for the exact same seats we got for nothing). The flight itself was perfectly fine once we took off into the air. But, true to their reputation, Spirit airlines made us wait a full hour on the plane before taking off. Needless to say, we arrived quite a bit later in California.

Nothing could dampen our spirits, though…except, perhaps, the impossible task of getting from the airport to downtown LA. We finally (and by finally I mean after asking three people) we were told that the “only way” to get there was via taxi. This was a lie. And I guess we should have seen it coming, since we were asking someone who worked for the taxi company. After stumbling around we finally figured out you can take a shuttle to the metro from the airport, or a bus to the transit center and then go to the metro.

We met an all too happy bus driver who exchanged his life story for every transportation related or directional related question we asked. With his help, figured out that the best way to get around on the metro and the buses is to buy a day pass and use that, unlimited, for the whole day. It’s definitely a good deal once you’re jumping from bus to bus from each tourist attraction to the next.


Once we finally found our way to downtown LA we visited Last Bookstore which is a bit like Powell’s Books (for those of you from the PNW) but with pillars, book art and a mammoth head on the wall. It was fun, but most of the books were priced higher than my budget. Not to mention that, in order not to be charged $60 for our backpacks (thanks again Spirit Airlines) we needed to keep them under certain restrictions, such as size and weight.

After the bookstore, we headed to our Airbnb, which was described to us as an “up and coming” neighborhood. For those of you who don’t know what that means in LA, if means that it probably could be considered the ghetto, but slowly people with higher incomes are moving in…house by house. Sadly it’s still a bit scary to walk around in the dark or anything, but the house itself is a converted residence to now almost dorm with somewhere around 10 sparsely decorated rooms. Oh, and the walls have absolutely no sound proofing…and I do mean none.

Once we got to our house yesterday we were just about to call it a night when we saw an add for a museum we wanted to hit up. Buuuuuut it was closed. So we started brainstorming other ideas. I thought of Roller Derby for absolutely no particular reason (except that it’s awesome – duh) and it turned out that not only is there Roller Derby in LA but their Championship game was last night.


Let me tell you something about Roller Derby: those girls are insane. The energy was an A+ in the warehouse turned Roller racing rink (or is it called a race track?). The language was definitely rated PG-13, and there was a gloriously bizarre amount of black lipstick and face paint. Throw that in with some short shorts, fish nets and tight tight clothing and you’re in for business!

A few highlights from the night:
– That time a girl triple lapped the other team
– When one of the teams literally had more than 100 points on their opponents
– When one of the smaller players got slammed over the railing by the elbow of an opponent…which by the way is against the rules (although I don’t feel like that girl gave a shit that she was breaking them)

All in all I left the place grinning from ear to ear. What a night. The energy was insane. If you ever have the chance to go see a Roller Derby or go to the LA ‘Dolloseum’ do it.

And…I was planning on including day 2 in this post but I’m falling asleep so I’ll write it up tomorrow. Time for some sleep!

Review: The Chairman

To bun or not to bun? That is the question. “What kind of bun would you like?” is more of the question. I was so glad to find this little shop this week, among my lunchtime shenanigans with my coworkers. At this shop I had, what has now OFFICIALLY been documented as the best hamburger of my life (even though the people at the front counter would like to add that it is like a hamburger, not a hamburger…it’s a hamburger) and I got a salad the size of Rhode Island. In addition (oh yeah, there’s more) I also ordered some delicious apricot soda, which was completely weird at first, and then my favorite thing ever. The location of this venue, while seeming a bit on the rough side, is worth pressing through to get to this delicious food. I’m no foodie – but I’ll be raving about it for years to come.

Ordered: Coca-cola braised pork baked roll, seasonal salad, apricot soda

Where: 670 Larkin St San Francisco, CA 94109


Went: Thursday January 7th, 2016

Wifi: ? (You’ll be too busy eating to notice)

Reservation Needed: No

Tip: Do your research to see if you would prefer a baked or a steamed roll!



San Francisco: Fourth Time And Still Charming


I have been absolutely terrible about keeping up with blog posts since I’ve been traveling the past few weeks, but since writing is something that I do while I have alone time, and down time, it was harder to do while traveling with a couple of friends around the UK/Ireland.

Fast forward, though, and I’m not sitting in the cutest apartment EVER in San Francisco, CA.

I am absolutely in love with San Francisco. I love the city, I love the vibe, and I love all the crazy that makes it what it is. This is my fourth time here, and I’ve loved every time, for a lot of the reasons I love other cities around the world – each time I come here I have SUCH A GOOD TIME. And it’s always for completely different reasons.

This time I’m here for work, but since I have an extremely rewarding workplace, it doesn’t feel that way at all. Yes, we’ve been working hard, but I feel like I’m on vacation more because I’m not sitting around lazy (which is my least favorite kind of “enjoyment” ever).

I’m reading this book right now called, “Reality is broken” and it talks about how humans aren’t wired for “fun” in the way that we often think about it: ie. binge watching TV. What actually motivates us to be happy with out days/lives is “hard fun” or things we have to work at. That’s how I feel about my time in San Francisco. I love being able to work hard, love where I am and have a little apartment dedicated to my own time of reading, writing and sleeping off jet-lag (real talk).

This weekend I’ll have a little bit more free time, as well. I’m trying to come up with some great stops to visit (specifically geek oriented) but I’m really just grasping at the dark, since I have no idea. Here’s my list so far:

San Francisco Public Library: “First editions, foreign translations, criticism, periodical and biographical material relating to Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes are included among these 250 volumes.”

Artist in Residence, Rachel Dukes, hosted by the Cartoon Art Museum

Mr Holmes Bakehouse: French Bakery with an awesome name

Cable Car Museum

Lovejoy’s Tea Room: British tea done right

Haas-Lilienthal House museum tour

Borderland Books – Geek books and comics

Pacific Heights walking tour 

Great Fire/San Francisco fire tour

Big Bus Tour

Wells Fargo Museum 

What am I missing out on San Franciscans!? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

Also: Here are some of my favorite pics so far:

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San Francisco: Fin


Somehow, no matter when, where or how I fly, I end up sitting next to the screaming child. This time I got extra lucky, though, because I have one in front AND behind me. Glory.
Well, all trips can’t be perfect, I guess. And this one has been a pretty extraordinary one, overall.

CONFESSION: Pre this trip I think I had forgotten how to have fun.

It’s hard to admit , but I was pretty uptight coming to San Francisco. I think I was so intent on getting everything set with my move to France that I’d put blinders on to anything other than that.

I’ve talked before about the mirror test while traveling. When you take a minute to walk past a mirror and notice your face. Well, yesterday I walked past a mirror and realized something crazy – I looked rested…and happy. Sounds crazy, but it’s been a while since either of those words have applied to me.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I only really only feel truly happy when I’m traveling.

Since the first and second day were so great, it seemed like asking too much to have a third perfect day, but then yesterday happened.

NOTE: A lot of this trip’s successes is because of an extraordinary Couchsurfing host, so a huge thank you to her!

Yesterday started off with the decision not to pay for transportation. So my host and I started to look up car sharing services and signed up for a few with some free minute promotions. All in all we saw pretty much the whole city for under $10.00 ( for both of us) which you’ll know is insane if you’ve ever tried to travel, with another person, around the whole city in a day.

On Saturday I saw that there was a Walt Disney museum in San Francisco, which I had never even heard of before – a fact that shocked me, since I’m such a huge Disney nerd. So, first thing we did was head over to the museum…which is literally I’m the middle of nowhere. I would never guess the museum was there, the building looks more or less like a mess hall at Barracks..

I was most excited for a special exhibit at the museum for Mary Claire, who was an artist and illustrator for Disney movies such as Peter Pan, Three Amigos, Cinderella and my all time favorite Disney movie, Alice In Wonderland.

The exhibit was amazing! I got to see original story boards and illustrations for some of my favorite movies, while learning about an amazing woman who not only worked full time and traveled the world as an artist, but also raised kids and was married – which I can’t even imagine. My favorite part of the exhibit, though, was being able to see inside her sketchbooks – they were a mess. Its pretty rare to be able to see inside another artist’s sketchbook, especially those who are professionals. It was so great to see that messiness is normal, beautiful and productive. It was so refreshing!




After the museum we made the long trek over to the Palace of Fine arts, which basically looks like something out of ancient Greece, but was actually built in 1915 as part of the Panama Pacific Exposition. Its so incredibly beautiful and a MUST SEE for anyone visiting San Francisco.



After the Palace, we tried to get some shots of the Golden Gate bridge, but the weather was no cooperating so the bridge was covered 90% with heavy fog (we’re talking, cannot see ANYTHING). Still took some pictures, but it was kind of a bummer not to be an!e to see all of its glory. We walked across the bridge, whip whirling wind and mist in our faces, and then decided to walk back the way we came, before we froze to death…or our legs fell off.



All in all, I could not have dreamt of a better trip. Everything didn’t go as planned, and I will have to go back down to San Fran in a few weeks to still apply for my Visa, but all in all I could have asked for more. In only three days I feel revitalized, refreshed and with a renewed sense of purpose. I really needed some down time to recuperate, and the funny thing is, I didn’t even know I needed it.

After regrouping, I’m going to be going in again August 1st to apply, and then begging and praying that they process my visa before my plane ticket on August 18th! Fingers crossed! Prayers much needed and appreciated.

San Francisco: Day 2

Yesterday I spent three hours drawing. I can’t even remember the last time I drew something. To be fair, I do prefer to paint as my medium, but sometimes I think I get so deep in the business side of my art that I forget to just do some just for my own enjoyment.

Yesterday I went to a park called Dolores Park, which isn’t too far from where I’m staying (The Mission District). It had a great overlook of the city and it was so pretty outside that I just sat there for a while sketching.

Afterward, I got a chance to walk around the city and look at some of the beautiful houses here. I love the style of houses all smashed together. It has a hybrid style of European and beach style and I kind of want to dig up one of the houses and take it back to Seattle with me.


One of my favorite parts of yesterday was when I found out there was a jazz festival happening! I love me some jazz, so I headed over and had fun seeing some awesome bands…including a metallic gorilla. Afterward I met up with my host and some Thai girls, and we went and got Thai food. So good.

NOTE: Despite being in California, San Francisco is really cold when it’s windy out. I’m really glad I remembered this from last time I drove through, because last night I ended up wearing wool socks, moccasin boots and my down jacket. Happy Summer!

Last night we walked around downtown San Francisco, which was kind of neat because it was late enough that there weren’t very many people on the streets, so we got to see everything without huge crowds.

Today we’re biking to the Golden Gate Bridge and (hopefully) going to the Walt Disney museum. I’m such a huge Disney nerd that I’m way too excited for the museum.






San Francisco: Day 1

When something doesn’t go your way , you have two options: You can mope over your “losses” or you can search the scene for the silver linings ( spirit of Bradley Cooper, come to me!).

When I first came to San Francisco yesterday I was pretty upset about having to travel here for “no reason.” In my over analytical mind I didn’t know how I would be able to enjoy a trip that had no purpose. But then, when my plane was landing I felt that little voice say, “trust me.” And I decided to give this trip a chance.

Yesterday, was arguably, one of the best days I’ve ever had while traveling. When I showed up to my Couchsurfing host’s house I immediately felt welcome and then found out there were already FOUR other Couchsurfers there, making our host a complete all star.

The role call included: Two French guys who are hitchhiking (not to be confused with the word “highjacking”, which had been lovingly confused) and Couchsurfing from Montreal to Mexico City. Two Brazilian east coast au pairs, who had decided to travel together after both of their original companions had backed out. Our Mexican host, who is au pairing here in San Francisco while going to school. It was her au pair family’s house that we all were staying in.

When I first heard there was such a full house my first thought was, ” Where is the nearest hostel?” But I’m so glad that I stuck to my guns and came anyway.

The thing I love the most about Couchsurfing are the people who do it. The people who surf and who host are some of the most adventurous, open minded, kind, warm and exciting people I’ve ever met. Every time I surf I cannot say enough about how amazing the people I meet are.

Yesterday we started with me saying I wanted to see the famous hill of Victorian houses, which led our little clan on a metro adventure, bus routes and hiking up a giant hill to FINALLY find the houses…under construction. It really didn’t matter, though, because everyone in our group was so fun that we had a great time in the park across the street taking jumping pictures and laying in the sun.

After that it was bus and cram-and-smash trolley car over to Pier 39 to see some water front beauty. The pier was a madhouse because it was Saturday, but we managed to make if fun, and then headed back to the house, where we made some pasta for dnner and said our goodbyes to the girls and then, later, the guys.

At this point I had been awake for 36 hours (other than some dozing in the plane) straight. Remind me to smack myself next time I decide to pull an all nighter before a morning flight. But after such a fun and crazy day, I floated into bed and slept for 12 hours.

I can’t even believe how good my first day in San Francisco has been! I had kind of forgotten how to have fun, in a way, since I’ve been so zoned into all of my French visa stuff, so I think it has/will be good for me to just relax for a bit and enjoy the city.

Tomorrow I’m going to the Golden Gate bridge, and then once I get back Tuesday I’ll be posting all our awesome pictures!



It Will Take A Nation Of Millions To Hold Me Back

Sequim, Washington
Sequim, Washington

When I was a kid I really liked painting my nails. Or, rather, all of my friends really liked it, and I really wanted them to like me. The problem was, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money, and the incomes of most of my friends’ families were well above the “midde class” line. I couldn’t afford to get a manicure done every week like them, so I taught myself. I don’t know how much nail polish and nail polish remover I must have gone through, but I sat down in my bathroom for hours and figured out how to paint flawlessly with both my right and left hand.

Today, when I was painting my nails, I kind of had to laugh when I thought about this. I was such a stubborn kid… and I can’t honestly say that I’ve grown out of it. At some point, I got so used to being told I couldn’t have/do things, that I made a game out of getting/doing them anyway. I affectionately referred to it as – “Watch me.”

Overall, I had a pretty unconventional childhood. I was homeschooled, didn’t have cable or internet in my house and owned enough pets to open a petting zoo. But I still was borderline obsessed with fitting in. I might have been spending hours in the library, devouring every part of Teen Vogue before it closed, but I was still reading Teen Vogue – every month.

Despite being an adventurer by nature, it wasn’t always fun. But looking back I’m really glad that I went through those years. The reason being, when I see something I “can’t have,” I don’t see a stop sign, I see a detour.

My mom always used to always say, “You might have to work twice as hard as other people, but you can, and will, succeed.”

There are always going to be obstacles in life that can seemingly prevent you from going down the path you dream about, but I want to encourage you to see it as a challenge, instead of a roadblock.

You are probably guessing where this is going next, but this principle applies to traveling, as well!

I was thinking this week about how essential it has been for me to find creative ways of traveling and pursuing the places I’m passionate about. There’s no way I would be able to practically do what I want with my life…so I have to find impractical ways of achieving my goals.

This weekend I’m going to San Francisco and I’m so extremely excited! I haven’t taken a vacation since last fall and it feels way overdue. Since this trip was not at all in my budgetary plans, I have a budget of nothing to spend on it. But, I’m still managing to make it happen.


Well, there are a few ways.

1. Always travel at an inconvenient time: Because, let’s face it – it’s inconvenient for you, it’s inconvenient for everyone else. When I fly, I will be flying out Saturday (aka day after 4th of July) at 7:00am. Fun? No. Necessary? Yes.

2. Couchsurfing: I was going to originally stay in a hostel, because I couldn’t find anyone to host me (because of the holiday), but I opened my invite up to the world, and got a host invitation a couple days ago (cutting it a bit close, huh?). So, I get to share my trip with a lovely local, and I’ll also be only 15 minutes away from the embassy, which is perfect!

3. I’m not taking luggage: Yeah, it’s four days, so I might be justified in taking more than a carry on bag, but I’m sticking to a light packing list so I’ll just be taking my backpack. It carried me through two weeks, I feel like I can make it through 4 days 🙂

4. I’m bringing things to do: I’m viewing this trip as a retreat, more so than a vacation, really. As much as I want to run around and be a tourist, what I’d really like to do is finish a book. So, I’m bringing my tablet, so I can write, and some books so I read. I obviously will go out and do fun things, but this helps it not be essential to spend money, if it isn’t absolutely necessary.

5. Looking up free events etc: On the other side of things, I do like going out sometimes, so I’m doing my research and looking up some free concerts, events etc. that I can go to without having to spend a whole lot of money.

Like I said, I am so excited for this little journey, even though it isn’t going very far from home. It’s coming at just the right time, and I can’t wait to see what adventures are going to come out of it! I’ll be posting updates here, as well as on Instagram, so feel free to follow along!

Sequim, WA
Sequim, WA

Back On Le Train

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Life has been crazy. I haven’t been blogging for the past couple of weeks because all the sudden my life shifted into fast gear and I kind of lost my footing for a bit. Summer has begun, and everything keeps chugging along. Work has been ridiculous – in good, but exhausting, ways.

My work day currently looks something like this:

6AM – Wake up

6:25 – Bus to work

6:45 – Arrive at work

9:30 – Leave work and bus home

10:00 – 2:30 Paint/write/try to catch World Cup games/eat/study french

2:45 – leave for work

3:30 – 7:30 Nanny

8:00 – Come home, eat dinner, paint

10:30 – Go to bed (if I’m lucky)


Needless to say, it’s been pretty hectic.

Mais, c’est la vie.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Next week will be my last week working mornings, which is going to be fantastic since I can then actually stay up later than 10pm and get things done (I’m a pretty hard core night owl). Other than that, here are the top 5 things that have happened since I’ve written last!


1. France in the World Cup: Sorry if you’re not into soccer (and shame on you), but this had to be #1. France is making me proud with their football playing in the World Cup, and I’m so excited to be able to watch them play Nigeria on Wednesday! I was able to watch the France v. Switzerland game in a French café here in Seattle, with a bunch of French people, while eating French food – and it was the most magical day ever. Best friend dates are the greatest, huh?


2. Booked hostel in San Francisco: Booked my hostel and I couldn’t be more excited. I was going to couchsurf while I was in San Francisco, but since I’m going on a holiday weekend there weren’t very many options for places to stay. Also, the hostel is only 10 min walk from the French Embassy, which will make getting to my appointment easy – yay! I still can’t believe I have to go all the way to San Francisco to apply, finger crossing and prayers are completely appreciated that all of my paperwork will go through seamlessly. Otherwise I’m going to be in a bit of a pickle…I’ve never understood where that phrase came from.

3. French tutoring: My French tutoring is no more. It really is the most tragic thing ever, because I really liked my French tutor. But now he’s gone back to Paris, so I have no one to help me. Commence weeping. That being said, I am DETERMINED to keep studying and practicing French so I don’t fall back into the chasm of ignorance before jumping on a plane to Europe.

4. Sending email to church in Paris: This is more of a “I need to do this” but it’s finally time for me to start sending out emails and stuff to people in France so I can get con-nect-ed. I don’t know why I said it like that.

5. Quit my j-o-b…my second job. I have been passing out most days from exhaustion, so it was time to say goodbye to job number two starting next week. There’s just too much work to be done getting ready to leave, and I really want to be able to focus on spending time with my family and friends during the last month and a half (holy shit!) that I’m here. I’m still going to be subbing at the Boys and Girls club through August, but no more 6am wake up calls. Thank the Lord.

5.5. French Kiss: I watched this movie and it is a true gem of the 1990’s: corny and fantastic. It has Meg Ryan in it, so of course it is perfect. If you haven’t seen it, you absolutely must.

It feels so good to be back writing, again!

(only 51 days until I leave! Eek!)