All posts tagged: featured

rainy day in knoxville tennessee

Life Lately: Settling into My New Life in Oregon

I’ll start this off by giving you a short summary of the last few years: This time four years ago, I was living in China. Three years ago, I was living in a lonely apartment in DC and in a long distance relationship. Two years ago, I was a new Canadian resident, living in a big house on a lake. Last year, I left that relationship and put myself back together in Hawaii. This year, I’m settling into my new life in Oregon. It feels strange piecing the last four years of my life into four short sentences, because there’s so much that fits into those four years — life lessons, memories, huge milestones, moments I’ll never forget, good and bad, love and loss, travel, experiences and so much more. It feels odd stumping it all down to a tiny paragraph, but I’m saving the good stuff for my book 😉 Where Am I Now? When I left Hawaii, I didn’t have a plan. I just knew I’d be traveling for a while. Well, for nearly 5 …

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mount shasta sunrise

Heading West | Visiting Roswell, Carlsbad Caverns and My New Home

Just like that, My Great American Road Trip is headed back west. If you read my post when I started traveling back east, you’re probably very confused — honestly, so am I. Over the course of 4.5 months, I crossed the entire United States from coast-to-coast THREE times. It’s a really long and complicated story, but basically I got to Tennessee and then decided to turn around and go all the way back to Oregon to stay for good. After all these months of traveling, I’m finally calling Oregon my new home, and that feels so, so, so good. Here are my photos from my trip heading west, where I visited Roswell, the Carlsbad Caverns, and experienced all the changing autumn leaves 🍂 When I left Oregon a month ago, I headed straight for Missouri where I stayed for a week. Then, continued on to Tennessee. This sunset in Missouri knocked me off my feet, but it was also a turning point. While I was in Missouri, I started to miss Oregon more and more. …

south dakota snow in september

Heading East | Snow in September, Dinosaurs and John Mayer’s House

My Great American Road Trip is heading east! In a little less than a week’s time, I made it from Oregon, to Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa, to Missouri where I’ll be for a week! It was a crazy few days. I saw snow in September, a man walking a dinosaur, and drove through John Mayer’s home in Paradise Valley (which was a DREAM come true). Here’s some bits and pieces of what I saw on my journey back east! Check out the rest of my Travel posts to catch up! 🚙 Leaving Portland was a wild ride. When I first crossed into Oregon, I felt in my heart that I was going to make it my home right then and there. But as time went on, I flew to Nashville for business, I had some conversations with the Big Guy upstairs, and had many heart-to-hearts with myself in the shower, and then felt that maybe it’s not time to settle down yet. So onward and upward. A traveler’s life for me (for …

fall leaves in washington

Life Lately: Heart Update & Life on the Road

Although I’ve been posting lots of travel photos showing my life on the road, it’s been some time since my last “life lately.” In short: Life has been pretty grand lately. But, here’s what I’ve been up to, where my heart has been, and what’s next for me. 😊 I went to Nashville for a quick one-day trip On a Monday, I hopped on a plane at 5am. I spent the day in Nashville for a meeting, then boarded a plane back to Oregon. It was the quickest trip I’ve ever been on, but I also learned so much. In between the rushing around, I got to see Nashville in all its grit and glory and met some incredible people. I’ve done over 250 bible studies. When I was doing my bible study the other night, my app told me that I’ve completed over 250 programs! Since I’ve been traveling and in-between places, I don’t always get to attend a church service. So instead, I do my own daily bible studies on my own. And …

get paid for writing

How to Get Paid for Freelance Writing

I’ve been a freelance writer for a while, but only recently started to earn substantial money from my work. Freelance writing is an extremely competitive market, but it’s not totally impossible to make money—or a career— out of it. I have a few resources for blogging and business, working from home and book writing, but I really wanted to compile a list of sites to help you get paid for freelance writing. Happy writing! 👍🏼 Sites that pay you for your writing Babble Pay: This Disney company pays up to $150 per article Topic: Family, parenting, lifestyle The Penny Hoarder Pay: Up to $75 per article Topic: Money, investing, debt, careers Cracked Pay: Up to $250 per article Topic: Comedy, pop culture, personal experiences Paste Magazine Pay: ~$50 per article (in the form of feature profiles, essays, reviews) Topic: Music, TV, video games A List Apart Pay: $200 per article Topic: Web development, web design, tech Dorkly Pay: ~$75 per article Topic: Video games, anime, pop culture Entrepreneur Pay: $1/word Topic: Business, entrepreneurial Confrontation Magazine Pay: Up to $200 per article Topic: Short stories, poetry, nonfiction Affiliate sites for …

pikes place fruit stand

Washington | Exploring Downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier

There’s something special about Seattle, and I can’t quite place it. I just love the feel of the city, the gloomy skies, the UFOs everywhere. Seattle is just different—and I like that. My recent trip to Washington was great! I spent my time exploring Downtown Seattle, camping in the woods, and meeting family I’d never met before! Have you seen the rest of my Great American Road Trip posts? 🌼 Have you ever seen a cuter face?! Look at this happy puppy! 😍 I am one happy camper 🌞 There’s nothing better than being above the tree-line and seeing nothing but green for miles and miles. The Pacific Northwest is so gorgeous. Fun fact: John Muir is my favorite person in the world. Did you know it’s because of him that we even have National Parks and green, open spaces that are protected? When I was younger, I was so interested in him, his books were all I would read. I even made my dad take me to Muir’s home in California, we did the …

crater lake oregon

Oregon (Part 4) | Exploring Bend & Crater Lake After the Wildfires

I first went to Eastern Oregon four years ago to visit friends, so going back this time around was great! I was reminded what a beautiful little city it is, and I was so happy to be spending time in the wilderness. For the week I was there, I spent time exploring Bend and Crater Lake after the wildfires ripped through. Luckily, there wasn’t too much damage and it was still as beautiful as ever. *Have you seen Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of my Oregon trip? 😎 How adorable is this camp? I loved this little log cabin in the woods. I grew up with the Redwoods in California, but I will never get over the beauty of these giants. They’re so amazing! I’ve been making dog friends everywhere I go, and it’s awesome. I need a dog asap! Also, I’ve been reading a lot. Recently, I’ve started reading Harry Potter! I’m currently about to finish the Prisoner of Azkaban and it’s so good, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to …

oregon coast

Oregon (Part 3) | Staying on the Oregon Coast and Sand Dunes

When I was going to college, one thing my roommates would look forward to was the weekend. Not because of the parties or sleeping in, but because sometimes we’d visit the Oregon Coast and Sand Dunes! I loved that two-hour road trip with my best friends, it was so special. So when I visited again after all these years, all those great memories came rushing back. *Before you read on, have you checked out Part 1 and Part 2 of my Oregon trip? 😊 My “Great American Road Trip” began on the Atlantic Ocean, and I made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean. It felt incredible standing here, staring out at the Pacific—an ocean that I grew up with in Hawaii. The ocean has a way of making you feel small, doesn’t it? Fun fact: Lighthouses are one of my favorite things in the world. There’s just something about being that light. Their job is to shine and guide ships to shore. I want to be like a lighthouse—shine and help people. (Cheesy? Too …

johnson hall university of oregon

Oregon (Part 2) | Visiting my College Town in Eugene

I graduated from the University of Oregon close to five years ago now (yikes), and visiting my college town in Eugene was so surreal. When I graduated, I didn’t think I’d be back. Don’t get me wrong, it was amazing and I have nothing but love for the school and the place, I just thought that chapter was over. When I went back this summer, it felt so strange! Everything had changed, yet it had all simultaneously stayed the same. Here are photos from my second leg of my Oregon trip. If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1! And catch up on my other posts from my Great American Road Trip 😎 I’m totally biased, but the University of Oregon is the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen. The buildings are gorgeous, they’re the birthplace of Animal House, there’s over 400 species of trees, and everyone’s smiling all the time. It felt so good walking across campus again. This was probably one of my happiest days. So many great memories are rooted here, I can’t wait …

welcome to oregon

Oregon (Part 1) | Eastern Oregon & Mt. Hood in the Summer

If you follow me on my Twitter or Instagram, you know I’ve been in Oregon since July. JULY. I’ve been sitting on this Oregon content for a while because at first, I wasn’t quite sure how to put it all together. So, I’ll be rolling it out in parts (four, to be exact!). As soon as I crossed over the border into Eastern Oregon, I relished in the sweet Oregonian summertime. Here are photos from my stay at Mt. Hood in the summer! Crossing the border into Oregon felt like a warm, overdue embrace. The last time I was here, I was graduating from University (which was over four years ago now!). Coming back here felt like coming home, and after months of traveling to new and foreign places, that was a great feeling! I don’t know about you, but I have a thing for abandoned places. I love visiting run down places and towns that time forgot about. In the four years I lived in Oregon, I never once visited Mt. Hood. Ever. So …