Tag Archives: change

we drove across the country!

24 May

hello, readers!

i am happy to report that i am writing this from our new little home in tacoma, washington! we made the journey (and had our internet installed today), so i wanted to share a photo from each day of our cross-country road trip. i have a lot more to say about many things, but this will have to suffice for now.

wednesday 17 may:
we left pleasant view, tennessee at 0430 in the morning. we planned about a 12 hour driving day (our longest by far) so we left early – but since i was so excited to get started, i didn’t sleep much to begin with haha. below is a picture from a little town called dakota dunes, south dakota where we stopped for the night – i took this photo on a run!


thursday may 18:
on day 2 we drove to rapid city, south dakota. we spent that whole day delighting in south dakota! i’ve never driven across the state east to west, but the landscape is ever changing and beautiful. although we also checked out mount rushmore, nestled in the black hills, here is a crazy photo from the bad lands national park! (also, that hat did fly off of my head once, and i had to chase it down before it was swallowed into the landscape)


friday may 19:
we drove to bozeman, montana on this day. we started off, though, driving to deadwood so chris could see the town that was the basis of the deadwood hbo show he loves. it snowed!!! it was snowing in may deep in the black hills and it was wild to me (especially since we didn’t get any snow in tennessee this winter). anyway, montana is breathtaking. i had never been there before, so i pulled off on many exits just to take a photo of the scenery. like below:


saturday may 20:
after a super fun night out in bozeman (seriously!), we woke up early to first drive to yellowstone before we continued our journey. this was a great decision. we drove around yellowstone national park for about five hours gazing on the rugged terrain and prairies, and seeing SO MANY BISON! i loved it. i would have pet them if i wasn’t so scared/or if the park rangers weren’t right there telling people not to haha. after we went to yellowstone, we drove back up into the mountains to whitefish, mt.


sunday may 21:
whitefish was amazing and i already miss it. it is a little ski town north of the beautiful flathead lake and we are obsessed. with the scenery, the people, the restaurants and breweries and the vibe in general. our first night there we went to dinner and the waiter asked us how we were doing – and, i kid you not, he answered for us with “of course you’re great, because you’re here!” and i agreed with him! anyway. on sunday we woke up and drove to glacier national park! below is a photo of chris playing in the crystal clear water. we also went on a hike up to avalanche lake, and thankfully i didn’t have to use my bear spray (the thought of even using it terrified me – bears are scary!).


monday may 22:
monday was the last leg of our journey!! we drove through the rest of montana, and then through eastern washington – which has a very high prairie feeling. below is a photo of this incredible overlook which shows the arid quality of east washington – but also the elevation.


we made it!! over the length of the drive, my car gained over 3,000 miles (we took my car through the extra expeditions off of the route, since i left room in the passenger seat for a second person haha) and we drove through ten states!! 1/5 of america in one go! my main take away is that america really is america the beautiful. we didn’t go for more than four hours without the landscape changing completely. i entered this trip with a lot of trepidation and anxiety, but it ended up being so much fun. i’m super glad chris planned in an extra night in whitefish, so we could have a little break. because believe it or not, i got sore from driving?? my shoulders and neck and back needed a break from being seated and alert all day.

needless to say, we now live in the pacific north west in an adorable old home we are renting. step one of huge-life-change complete!
IMG_8686(we went to lowes and immediately bought some deck chairs lol)



new year’s resolution

1 Jan
today is the first day of the new year! wow! looking back at my year, i’ve had a pretty fantastic one. fantastic and globe-hopping and full of love. this summer i went on a romantic and fantastic vacation to rome with christopher, and i began my african adventure in july. i’ve been in seven different countries, three different continents, and slept in three different “homes,” pretty crazy.

anyway – this is the first year in a while where i have actually set up a resolution for myself. 

being away from my normal life and my “at home” job have really done wonders for the way that i see the world and my associated priorities. i love my job here. i have loads of job satisfaction, i feel like i make a difference, and my boss here is great. at home, i have none of that. i would come home from work and cry, i would dread coming in in the morning, my jaw was locking up from stress. i was a mess, i thought i was a resilient person, but it turns out that i’ve never been faced with very much adversity in a workplace environment. i would keep this job here in africa forever, if i could have my family and friends with me. but reality has struck, and my time here is up very soon. which has got me worried about the future and my job life. 

unfortunately i am not in a field/situation where i can just walk up to my boss and dramatically yell, “i quit!” rest on my laurels for a little, and then start the job search again. i am thankful for having a job, but i am not thankful for being miserable all of the time. so i have proposed a change in my life – by way of new year’s resolution!

this year, i resolve to improve my mental and spiritual health. 

we were exchanging resolutions at breakfast today and someone asked “well how are you even going to quantify that?” and i said, “easy, the less i cry after work, the better of a job i am doing at my resolution.” 

here is my plan: 
1. make it a habit to go to church every week. i wouldn’t consider myself particularly religious, but i always feel more calm and self centered after sitting in mass for an hour and listening to someone preach love and happiness. 
2. i’m going to attend yoga once a week. another hour of centering myself can’t hurt. i’ve already had a reaffirming sign: i searched for yoga classes in my area, and one studio offers free yoga on sundays to military personnel! score!
3. on top of that, i’m going to try to take time, every day, to sit somewhere quiet and just sit for ten minutes or some short amount of time to quiet my mind. i want to leave work at work. i don’t want the precious hours i spend on the phone or with my loved ones being consumed by me complaining about my miserable time.

4. i will start up my gratitude journal again. in my last slump, i made it a habit to write down three things that made me smile during the day in a journal before i went to bed. this practice has been proven to make you a happier and more resilient person because you spend your days searching for happy and positive things instead of being a downer. so that can’t hurt either.

i am hoping this plan will make me stronger, so i can be true to myself for the next three and a half years until i can actually quit.

i was told, by one of my peers back at home, that i “needed to bring hope back” to our organization when i came home. i won’t be able to do that if i have no hope within myself. so here i am, hoping my resolution will allow me to be the positive beacon that i used to be and be able to help bring some happiness in the workplace.