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 😉

rainy day in knoxville tennessee

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 months I’ve been living on the road, traveling from place to place, and living freely and simply. No life commitments, no material belongings, no end destination in mind. Just the open road.

A few weeks ago, I was on the east coast and then decided to head back to Oregon. It took about a week to drive from the east coast all the way back to the west coast, and I’ve been here in Oregon for about a week now.

Settling into Life in Oregon

Last week was full of interviews, work and house hunting. And I’m praying that some good opportunities show themselves to me in this upcoming week! I’ve had some amazing conversations and meetings with some incredible people, so I’m very hopeful.

This weekend was rainy (of course, it’s Oregon…) so it was full of football, stocking up on some warmer clothes, and seeing friends. After traveling so much in such a short amount of time, it was really nice to take it easy and relax.

Finding the Good in Waiting

I’ll be honest: it hasn’t been the smoothest, easiest ride. I’ve been extremely overwhelmed and feeling quite directionless. Should I live here, in a bigger city? Or should I take this job? That job? And there’s also been a heck of a lot of this: “WHAT IF”

There’s also been a lot of waiting: Waiting to hear from a job, a house, people, if there’s a better opportunity, another sign, a better time. Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I know everything will figure itself out, and that everything will be fine — because it always is. But, it’s still hard to sit in the unknown.

Where Faith Comes In

That’s where an important part of my life comes in: my faith. I know He’s up there doing big things for me. He has a plan for my life, and He already knows how things will work out. I want everything figured out right now, but things might not be working in my time because it doesn’t align with His time — and I have to remember that His time is the right time.

I’m overwhelmed and feeling lost, but this is where the biggest part of being a Christian comes in. As Christ’s followers, we’re His sheep and He is our shepherd. We’re small, we don’t know the way, and we get lost from time to time. He is our shepherd, He knows the way, and He is the only one who can save us and guide us when we’re feeling lost.

We don’t know the way, and that’s why we have to be patient and do things in His time.

I tend to forget that, when I get wrapped up in me, me, me. But I’ve been spending more time sitting with my bible, and then I’m reminded of the bigger purpose, the greater goal: Living my life for Jesus, being patient, following Him, and just seeking joy.


Anyway, this was just a little heart update. Oregon is my new home. Things are happening for me in my life, slowly but surely. I’m practicing patience, obedience, and gratitude. And I’m seeking joy in my every day. As always: God’s got me!

How’s everything in your life? What are some big things happening for you? How can I pray for you and your heart? ❤️

Life Lately: Settling into My New Life in Oregon

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 🍂

missouri highway sunset

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. My heart was being pulled into 100 different directions, but at the end of every scenario I played out in my head, I was led back to Oregon. Of course, I didn’t know I’d actually go all the way back west, but that’s exactly what ended up happening. Crazy how life works itself out, isn’t it?

nashville honky tonk central

whiskey row nashville

johnny cash museum nashville

mcfaddens nashville

Nashville was every dream I’ve ever had. This city is bustling with people, music and culture and it made me so happy. It was as if a country radio station came to life. Every corner had something fun going on, and I could have spent a full week there and still wouldn’t have seen everything Nashville had to offer. I can’t wait to go back one day!

knoxville tennessee

greetings from knoxville tennessee

After staying in Nashville, we made our way to Knoxville to visit some friends! It was so much fun meeting new people and hanging out in a hip little city. If you’re ever in Knoxville, look up Da Hula Bowl! It’s a Hawaiian food truck and they’re really good friends! The food is awesome, but the couple who run it are even better. ❤️

While in Knoxville is when we decided Oregon is home. So after spending a few nights in Knoxville, I made my way back across the country toward Oregon. Toward HOME.

ruby falls chattanooga tennessee

ruby falls chattanooga tennessee

After leaving Knoxville, I was in Chattanooga. Driving through, there were tons of signs for Ruby Falls, which is 1,000 foot underground waterfall — yes, really. It was incredible!

rainy day in knoxville tennessee

The next few days were a blur, and then I found myself in New Mexico!

carlbad caverns

carlsbad caverns carlbad caverns

While in New Mexico, I went to Carlsbad Caverns! This was on my list for a long time, so I’m really happy I was able to go! It was AMAZING. If you ever have the chance to visit the caverns, I can’t recommend it enough!

Tip: Go early in the morning when they first open, and you’ll have the place to yourself!

roswell new mexico roswell new mexico roswell new mexico

Then I did another Bucket List item: Roswell. If you aren’t familiar with Roswell, it’s basically Alien Town, U.S.A. There were aliens everywhere, and it was awesome! 👽

arizona desert arizona teepee arizona state sign nevada desert

Driving through Arizona for the third time this year was amazing. The first time I was in Arizona this year, I experienced some major healing, and being back there again a few weeks ago felt so great!

nevada lake

Nevada was beautiful. It was a long and tiring drive through the desert from Las Vegas to Reno, but it was beautiful nonetheless. Some say the desert is boring with its 100 shades of brown, but there’s something so unique about it, it makes me really happy.

california state sign

Crossing the border into California felt special. I was born here in California, and being in the state always feels good ❤️

mount shasta sunrise mount shasta sunrise

When I woke up at 4am and left California, Mount Shasta came out to say hello. This was the most beautiful, golden autumn morning!

eugene oregon mckenzie river eugene oregon armitage eugene oregon neighborhood eugene oregon homes autumn in oregon

And finally, I made it to Oregon. I made it HOME.

The last week has been full of applying for jobs here in Oregon, house hunting, car shopping, and stocking up on warmer clothes. It’s been busy, stressful, overwhelming and full of unknowns — but the best things in life are that way. I know life will slow down, and everything will figure itself out. But until then, I’ll keep working hard and praying harder. Nothing new there 😉

I hope life has been treating you well. I hope you’ve been embracing this autumn with your loved ones. And I hope any stressful situations you’ve been facing dwindle and make you stronger. ❤️

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

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! 🚙

portland highway portland oregon skyline

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 now, anyway).

idaho in fall idaho wilderness idaho in fall idaho in fall

“Autumn… the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

– William Cullen Bryant

hot chocolate in mug

campfire in the woods road trip in van

Scenes from a campsite. Have you ever seen anything more “campy” than hot chocolate, a campfire, and bumper stickers on a van? 🌲

jasmine eclipse jasmine eclipse

Feeling like sunshine lately. I’ve been drinking tea instead of coffee, because it’s so much better for my heart, anxiety, and stomach! Letting myself sit in the sun and just be still. I have been reading and writing—two things I could never live without. Keeping a great balance on my work. Working enough to stay busy and make a “living,” but saying “no” when it gets to be too much. And I’ve been increasing my patience and decreasing my worry-wart syndrome.

I’m just a ray of sunshine these days, and I’m proud of my progress. Only love and light in this heart of mine! 🌼

road trip reading

You’re lovely, you’re lovely, you’re lovely. Don’t let yourself forget it.

montana sunset montana sunset

This night, the sky was gorgeous. It was a gloomy day, and then out of nowhere the skies lit up with the most beautiful orange, pink and purple hues. After the sun exploded the sky, the world became a dim violet and then quietly turned into night.

Then, a deer jumped in front of the truck, wrecking the front bumper and trailer. Luckily, that was the only damage, but it was an eye-opener for sure!

yellowstone river montana yellowstone river montana yellowstone river montana yellowstone river montana

Spent time daydreaming here on the shores of the Yellowstone River in Montana. I was very happy on this day 😊

Also, I have to mention that I drove through Paradise Valley, which is where John Mayer got his inspiration for his titled album (and he also has a home there!). Before you ask: Yes, all I listened to while driving through Montana was John Mayer. It was a pretty magical moment for this super fan 🤷🏼‍♀️

south dakota border sign idaho autumn sunset badlands montana south dakota dinosaur

This view will always make me weak in the knees. I love the pale blue sky, the rocks, the desert-scape, the browns that never seem to blend together. I could live in the desert.

When South Dakota comes to mind, what do you think of? For me, I always thought I’d never go there. But once I was there, I realized how much I would’ve missed out on if I hadn’t driven through. There’s actually so much to see! If you love quirky roadside attractions, this is the place, let me tell ya.

Also, I’m pretty sure South Dakota is home to 98% of America’s sunflowers. There were fields for miles and miles!

mount rushmore in snow south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september

Then… it snowed. In September! I literally went from 70 degrees and sunny to 30 degrees and freezing in an hour. It’s amazing how the world works like that. I loved it and I had a blast in the snow (which I hadn’t felt since I was back in Canada! 😳), but I’m not ready for winter quite yet. I want autumn forever!

What’s the weather like where you are? Is it getting cold yet? Are you excited for fall and the holidays? 😊

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

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. 😊

washington campground

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 apparently, I’ve done a heck of a lot of them! Go me!

I got new freelance clients.

Aside from my day job, I do freelance writing on the side and I’m excited that I’ve got some new clients! They’re old clients that I had in the past, but I’m happy to be helping them out again 👍🏼

Also, I feel like this is a great segue: If you need freelance writing or anything, drop me a line!

I discovered a new favorite artist.

If you know me at all, you know how much I love ending my days with some good ‘ole worship/christian music. Recently, I started seeing this girl everywhere. Billboards. Celebrities Instagrams. Spotify ads. Before all that, I’d somehow never heard of Lauren Daigle. But once I gave her latest album a listen, I became a HUGE fan. Like, huge. I can’t stop listening. Her voice. Her lyrics. Everything is amazing.

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/jasminekeclipse/playlist/5QC0YDvw2n6XnSZyw0ABF2

I’m heading back east on my Great American Road Trip.

I’ve been in Oregon for the last (almost) two months, and now I’m in the process of heading back east. As I write this, I’m currently on a lake in Idaho! Once I get further east, it’ll be late autumn/early winter, which beckons the question: Where to stop? When to stop? Where to plant my roots?

This trip has been the trip of a lifetime. I’ve seen things I never would have seen if I didn’t do this. I’ve met amazing people with amazing stories. I’ve spent so much time with myself and my mind, that I’ve really gotten to know myself and love myself so much better. I’ve improved my photography and writing skills. And most importantly: I’ve gotten the break from life that I so desperately wanted and needed.

That being said, I do miss the every day conveniences of “normal” life. I miss sleeping in a bed. I miss flushing a “real” toilet. I miss getting dressed and going to work (yeah, I said it). I miss forming relationships and going out with friends. I miss a home church. I miss buying white shoes and being able to keep them clean—it’s impossible on the road. I miss steady cell coverage and reliable Wi-Fi connection.

All in all, this road trip will be wrapping up soon. I just don’t know when or where or under what circumstances. But that’s all part of the adventure, right? 😉

Fall is here! (The best time of the year)

It’s getting colder and the world is exploding into orange, yellow and red color. Driving through forests and valleys blanketed in autumn colors makes my heart so warm and happy. Fall is my favorite time of year, and I’m so happy I’m able to experience it again this year!

Last year, I was in Hawaii for fall (boo hoo, I know other people would love to be in Hawaii instead of the cold, but not I!). Anyway, I’m happy to be back in a place where I can have all four seasons in the palm of my hand. This world is so beautiful and the changing seasons remind us that life is ever-changing and ever-fleeting!

Winter is also here?

While passing through South Dakota, it snowed. SNOWED in September. It was a pleasant surprise, but I definitely wasn’t prepared 😂

south dakota snow in september south dakota snow in september


What has your life been looking like lately? What are you most looking forward to this fall? (Is it snowing where you are?) 🍂

Life Lately: Heart Update & Life on the Road

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! 👍🏼

get paid for 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 writers

Mixbook — 15% per sale and $20 affiliate bonuses

Blurb — 15% per sale, plus affiliate bonuses and free products

Grammarly — $20 per sale, $25 affiliate bonus

More Ways to Make Money Online

Ultimate Social Media Guide

  • 9 Pinterest group boards
  • 7 Facebook groups
  • 6 Instagram hashtag sets

Ultimate Blogging Resource

  • Setting up your blog
  • Optimizing your site
  • 10 programs to help you land brand deals
  • Making REAL money

10 Blog Topics that Generate Crazy Traffic

*Disclaimer: Some links may be affiliate links. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do 😉


How to Get Paid for Freelance Writing

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? 🌼

washington campground

washington puppy

Have you ever seen a cuter face?! Look at this happy puppy! 😍

RV in seattle jasmine eclipse jasmine eclipse

I am one happy camper 🌞

mount rainier mount rainier road trip

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.

john muir mount rainier

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 Muir Trail, and I have all his books (one of them I have in three different versions!) Anyway, I’m a big fan of Mr. Muir. 😂

chehalis washington washington state fair chehalis antiques ivars seattle

Visiting this little town in Chehalis was like stepping back in time. Everything was vintage, it was SO amazing! If it weren’t for the gloom and cold winters, I’d totally live there.

pikes place buildings seattle public market pikes place florist pikes place market pikes place fruit stand piroshky piroshky seattle seattle ferris wheel

This was my second time visiting Seattle and Pike’s, and it was as though nothing had changed from the last time I was there. The only difference was that I changed, which made the city feel even better. Have you ever felt that way visiting a place?

washington skies washington skies

Oh, these Washington sunsets. The skies were an orange/purple/pink because of the wildfires, but they were so pretty. Beauty in the madness, I guess! 💜

Washington | Exploring Downtown Seattle and Mount Rainier

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? 😎

bend oregon camp bend oregon camp

How adorable is this camp? I loved this little log cabin in the woods.

bend oregon forest

I grew up with the Redwoods in California, but I will never get over the beauty of these giants. They’re so amazing!

bend oregon river bend oregon river

I’ve been making dog friends everywhere I go, and it’s awesome. I need a dog asap!

bend oregon vintage donuts

Bend has so many thrift stores, vintage shops and garage sales. It was fun hitting up all these places (and getting free food!)

crater lake oregon crater lake oregon crater lake oregon

How beautiful is the moon? I love seeing her during the day time. I wrote a little bit about the moon recently, if you’re a fellow moon nerd, you should check it out! 🌙

crater lake oregon crater lake oregon crater lake oregon crater lake oregon crater lake oregon crater lake oregon

Before you ask, these are the shorts I’m wearing!

bend oregon

Okay, but how incredible is that water?! These photos don’t even do it justice—it was so BLUE and bright and beautiful!

I’m so happy I was finally able to see Crater Lake, and it turned out to be the most beautiful, clear day! Did you know this was a volcano, but it exploded and collapsed on itself, and that’s why it’s a lake now! Nature is so amazing.

*Some links may be affiliate links for my Dalmatian and coffee fund 👍🏼. Visit my Disclaimer page for more info.

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

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? 😊

oregon coast oregon coast

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?

pacific northwest map oregon lighthouse

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 bad 😛)

oregon forests jasmine eclipse oregon coast jasmine eclipse

I turned 26! 🎉

oregon fog oregon coast fog

I’ll never get tired of morning fog. It’s so cozy.

oregon coast forest oregon forests german shepherd puppies oregon german shepherd puppies oregon

While on the coast, I got to play with puppies! This was one of the best days ever. It reminded me how much I love animals, and can’t wait to adopt again!

oregon forests oregon lake

Oh, Oregon. You’re too beautiful for words. I love you.

*Some links may be affiliate links for my coffee habit 👍🏼. Visit my Disclaimer page for more info.

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

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 😎

johnson hall university of oregon Lundquist College of Business

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 to bring my children here one day!

king estate winery king estate winery king estate winery king estate winery king estate winery

If you’re ever in Eugene, one thing you have to do is visit a winery. They’re everywhere! I stumbled on King Estate while driving around aimlessly in the countryside, and it was beautiful! The most amazing thing was the owners started the winery without knowing anything about wine! They just started growing grapes because it was something they were passionate about—how cool is that? While I was there, I got a free tour and samples, and spent the rest of the day in the sunshine.

register guard eugene eugene oregon camping

Mornings look like this lately. I’ve been having one of my favorite breakfasts, and made the switch to tea. I’ve been ignoring my phone and computer until about 10am, and I’ve been reading the news or books instead! If you can, I recommend doing this. I’ve been so much happier!

eugene oregon farm stand

A good reminder for peaches and people 👍🏼

oregon blackberries fern ridge eugene fern ridge eugene

Blackberry bushes are everywhere. I’ve been snacking on these nonstop, they’re so, so good! Best part? They’re free!

eugene oregon

In August, I celebrated my second month on the road here in Oregon (and spoiler: I also spent my third month on the road in Oregon. I’m that behind on posting haha). I’m grateful for this season in my life, because learning so much, seeing so many places, meeting so many people, and seeing who I am becoming and realizing who I want to continue to grow into.

If you have the opportunity to take a break from life and road trip, DO IT.

*Some links may be affiliate links because student loans don’t pay themselves 👍🏼. Visit my Disclaimer page for more info.

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

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!

welcome to oregon oregon road trip

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!

historic oregon historic oregon historic oregon historic oregon

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.

mt hood oregon mt hood oregon mt hood oregon mt hood oregon

In the four years I lived in Oregon, I never once visited Mt. Hood. Ever. So I was really excited to finally visit this time. And it was BEAUTIFUL. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is in the winter!

mirror lake oregon mirror lake oregon

At Mount Hood, I visited a place called Mirror Lake. After hiking to the lake and eating breakfast here on this log, I sat and let the beautiful silence envelope me. I sat and thought about how I got to this point—not here at the base of this mountain, but here at this point in my life.

Remembering that just a year ago, I was living in another country with an entirely different life, struggling with my own mind. And when I was sitting there watching the world wake up before my eyes, watching the mountain, birds, and wind reflected in the lake, I knew I’d made it. I felt content. I felt joy burning through my cheeks.

My life has made a total 180 from where I was last year, and I’m so unbelievably happy with the person I’m becoming. I’m glad to have left the person I once was behind, because this new me is so, so, so much better—and it’ll only go up from here. Thankful, so thankful.

snake river oregon

On that hike, I also found this poem in the forest. I took it as a gentle gift from the universe. I hoped to meet the author out there in the woods. Maybe next time.

“Delving into muted expressions, like a record stuck on repeat,
the rest of the album waiting to be sung.
The song that was never heard, beckons a melody of truth
more poignant than the last drop of aged brandy.
Tongue trembling,
jaws clenched,
your eyes shed a mirage.”

Thank you, mysterious writer. You’ve inspired me to write again.

snake river oregon snake river oregon snake river oregon snake river oregon mt hood camp

I was very, very happy here in the woods, walking up the riverbed, wading through the water, drinking in the sunshine. It felt so great to be back in Oregon, and my stay at Mt. Hood was a wonderful welcome!

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