As I drove home from work one evening this week, I got thinking about the variety of the experiences you can have being alone. I have a great deal of friends near and far, but I’ve spent a lot of time in my own company over the years–sometimes by choice and sometimes by circumstance.
For example, as an introvert, I spend a great deal of time in my own company and love times of peace and solitude. I work a job that is heavy on customer service, so at the end of the day, all I want is to curl up in my room and read my book. I’ve recently taken up hiking and, when I have the trail to myself, the world gets all quiet in a way that fills up my spirit. Being alone is restful–a haven away from the loudness of life.
But being alone isn’t always bliss. Continue reading
If we were having coffee, we’d be meeting at my local coffee shop once again. Because summer is finally here, I’d be sipping an iced vanilla latte on the back deck, basking in the morning sun. What would you be having?
It is so good to be back with you all again! I just returned from a vacation out west and, while hiking in the mountains was a great adventure, I missed these weekly chats. What have you all been up to?
It’s crazy that summer is finally here! Spring is slow to come here in Minnesota, but summer appears in the blink of an eye. One day, you’re wearing light sweaters complaining about too much rain and, the next, it’s eighty degrees.
With the sunny weather and kids being out of school, the library is busy this time of year. Our annual Summer Reading Program is up and running. We had a kids musician come for our opening program this week, which was really fun. Next week, I’m launching Lego Club, summer preschool story time, and having the local princess candidates in to read to the kids. I’ve been in post-vacation catch-up mode all week, running around like a crazy person, but it’s good to be back. Continue reading
There is something about a road trip that gets my heart racing. When I’m having a bad day, thinking about an open highway is the perfect escape. Growing up, my parents loaded my brothers and I in our minivan and drove us around the country–from Maine to Alabama to national parks out west.
It’s been about a year since I’ve properly traveled. Last April, I did a month-long trek across Europe on my own. Upon returning, my bank account was dangerously empty and I’ve been focusing on my librarian career ever since.
Still, it was high time for a road trip.
This past weekend, I took a few days off and made the trek with a friend from Minnesota to Nashville, Tennessee. Round-trip, we drove 1,500 miles and spent about 24 hours in the car. Our only mishap was a speeding ticket in Iowa.
The further south we went, the world came alive. It was as if we pressed fast-forward on Spring. Grass and flowers emerged, the temperature dropped, and leaves sprouted from trees. By the time we arrived in Nashville, we had stripped down to t-shirts and shorts for a few days of summery warmth. Continue reading
As another year comes to a close, it’s time to reflect.
By global standards, 2016 was pretty much a train wreck. Personally, though, it was a beautiful journey that I will tell in three parts.
A year ago, I was an unemployed college graduate with no idea of what I wanted to do with myself. You see, for the majority of my life, my intuition has been my guide. Until this point, early every major life decision has been guided by instinct. College? My gut lead me to the right fit. Major? My heart found home in the English Department. Work at camp in the summers? It just felt right.
The future, however, holds infinite possibilities and the prospective paths had me absolutely paralyzed. I had absolutely no idea of anything. My intuition, the little tug that pulls me in the next direction, had failed.
So, at the beginning of 2016, I felt my heart tugging me back to Europe and, against all logic, I followed. Continue reading
When one travels for an extended period of time, certain aspects of foreign life cease to leave you in wonder. Cobbled streets, castles, and cathedrals blend together. It’s just another city, just another place to walk, just another destination. Your feet become weary and your heart longs for home.
And then… out of nowhere, a city sneaks up on you and gives you a sucker punch to the gut. You’re absolutely breathless and it’s a little painful because it came when you didn’t expect it.
For me, Vienna was just a place on the map–a grand capital to check off my list, a place to become a little more cultured. I didn’t expect the city to move me. I didn’t expect to fall in love. Continue reading
This past weekend, my family took a day trip to Northern Minnesota. It was the first time we’d been together in six months and wanted to celebrate. We gathered our belongings, grabbed coffee at the local shop, and drove two hours to the port city of Duluth. After a brief picnic lunch on some boulders at a little park along the shore of Lake Superior, we continued along the North Shore–enjoying views of the lake through the pine forest.
Our mission? Hiking. We did a 6 mile loop on the Superior Hiking Trail along the Split Rock River. The trail was muddy and nearly impassible at points. After attempting to skirt around the edges, I gave up and slopped through the mud. It reminded me of the footpaths in England and wished I had a pair of trusty Wellies. By the end of the day, my legs were crusted in a layer of slime. Continue reading
Traveling alone is, in many ways, a liberating adventure… but like anything, it’s got it’s challenges. Being able to come and go as you please is a blessing, but what is the point of experiencing beautiful places if you without someone to share it with?
Encouraged by my L’Abri tutor and several friends, I took footage throughout my month-long journey aiming to make a video. Doing so helped me through the loneliness that can come with solo travel by giving me a way to bring others into my adventures. As I travelled, the thought of making this video really did help me during the rough days. Instead of feeling sad and mopey about being alone, I was so focused on and excited about capturing my experiences in a creative way that negativity was driven from my mind. The idea kept me going. Continue reading
Well… after four months living abroad, I’m finally home in Minnesota. I’m sure that nostalgia and longing to be out in the world will come eventually, but right now, all I feel is drained. Continue reading
After being on the road for a month, living out of a suitcase and staying in hostels, the thought of going home is strange.
It’s bliss to imagine all the comforts of home: Understanding the language, sleeping in the same bed for more than a few nights, not having strangers coming in and out at odd hours while I sleep, actually eating regular meals… The list goes on. Continue reading
I’ve spent the past few days staying with friends in the city of Innsbruck, Austria. It’s a stunning city, located in a wide valley in the middle of the Tirol Provence. Unfortunately… my first couple of days were rainy. Most of yesterday was spent enjoying the city center–sitting in cafes and wandering into beautiful Baroque churches. I knew there were mountains (after all, I’ve been here before!), but couldn’t actually see anything. That is… until today.
This morning, I had the opportunity to go hiking with my friend Anna and her mother. Thankfully, I’ve been traveling in a pair of heavy-duty boots and was well prepared for the climb. Continue reading