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

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

Saying goodbye to my island home

A few months ago, I came back to Hawaii seeking comfort. And a few months after that, I decided I was ready to move on with my life. The islands healed me, and I knew I was ready for new adventures and a new chapter. Saying goodbye to my island home wasn’t easy, but it was time and I’m looking forward to what my future holds for me! Here’s what my last few days looked like on Maui. Man, will I miss those waters…

Always in my heart, always my home. Hawaii I love you. Thank you for healing me. ❤


Have you ever left your home? This is my umpteenth time leaving, but it’s for good this time. I don’t plan on moving back. Visiting, definitely. Living there, never. This world is too big to stay in one place!

Saying goodbye to my island home

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

The title of this post makes me cringe. If you read my last life update, I had two MONTHS left in Hawaii. Time is really escaping me! It’s hilarious too, because I had this entire elaborate plan of posts to write, but I have no time to write them. I’ve been so, so busy lately. Here’s what I’ve been up to…

Packing, packing, and more packing. The last few weeks have been full of running to Home Depot to buy more boxes, paper cuts, lots of dust and heavy lifting, garage sales, and rediscovering old photos, trinkets and memories. The movers came and took everything, and next week all the furniture will be gone. I purchased my one-way plane ticket. Now it’s REAL! Any guesses where my destination will be? 👀

I started writing again! (Not on this typewriter, because inefficient and I gave it away to a kid at the garage sale, but you get the point). I finally started writing my book way, way back in January (oh, God), but it got put on pause because of travel and starting a new job.

In the shower the other day, where most of my life-changing thoughts happen, I wrote an entire scene in my head. I hopped out of the shower and brought it to life on my computer. Slowly but surely, it’s coming along and it feels great!

Any other writers out there? Please tell me I’m not alone with my shower thinking! 🙄

In between everything else, I’ve been trying to find time each day to slow down, let my brain turn to mush and watch a show (I’m really into Parks & Rec and Twin Peaks right now!), read a book (currently reading The Child by Fiona Barton!), or go for a walk around the neighborhood.

Mother’s Day was beautiful. I felt so lucky to spend it with my mom for the first time in 3 years! (I can’t believe I was away that long… sorry mom!) We took her out to brunch at restaurant that overlooks the entire island, and I think she felt really special, which was the point ❤

Since it was Mother’s Day, I also spent some time walking down memory lane and found these photos. This was the last photo I took with my stepmother before she lost her battle to cancer. She was a very special person to me, and I feel grateful for the 10 years she was in my life. And this little angel was her therapy pup, his name is Chemo! 😊

The weather here has been pretty strange, and I can’t help but think it’s because the island doesn’t want me to leave (I sound like LOST. Remember that show?!) In all seriousness, the Hawaiian culture is very in tune with nature and spirituality – so it’s hard not to think this way. When I was vacationing here back in August/September last year, we went up to the summit of the mountain to watch the sunrise the day before we left to go back to Canada. And it poured, we were covered in clouds, and we didn’t have a sunrise. Never in the 20 years that I’ve lived here, has that ever happened. I took it as a sign that I shouldn’t leave. Now that I’m about to leave for good this time, it’s been cloudy, gloomy, rainy for months. Call me crazy…

Although it’s been pretty stormy and gloomy lately, sometimes the sun peeks through the clouds and lights up the sky with orange and yellow hues. And that’s like life, really. It can be bleak, dismal and dark. Sometimes it feels as though you’re under constant cloud-cover. But then there are moments when the entire world explodes with color, the clouds open up, the air stills, the birds sing in unison, and all feels right.

Amidst all the craziness that IS life, I live for moments like these. I hope you find some beauty and some calm this week.


 

 

*Some links may be affiliate links because these 4 cups of coffee a day won’t pay for themselves! 

Life Lately: Two more weeks left in Hawaii

What are your daydreams?

One morning, I was staring out the window while eating my breakfast and I let my mind completely run free. Instead of thinking about all the things I had to get done that day, I just let myself daydream, I allowed the “what ifs” that I normally shut up, I welcomed wonder, I bounced from thought to thought and I did it all while watching clouds drift by.

Do you want to know what I thought about? I thought about…

How much I wish our society wasn’t based around working and paying bills.

Moving to Europe to learn how to make cheese, or excel at pottery, or own a flower shop.

My upcoming road trip across America and all the gas station pit-stops, Americana roadside attractions, and new freckles I’ll get.

My future Dalmatian puppy sitting in the front seat of my future Subaru or Volvo station wagon.

The possibility that all of this is just a huge simulation, or that there are “lizard people” running rampant (I’m on a documentary kick right now, okay don’t judge me).

How obsessed I was with dinosaurs when I was younger, and how I would crawl around on my hands and knees and collect egg-shaped rocks (aka dinosaur eggs) and name them all Courtney.

Becoming a mother, it’s all I want! I can’t wait to raise a family, and make them cute lunches for school, and clean up their messes, and teach them to be kind and open-minded above all else.

Sailing the seas and getting caught in a storm. I’m not quite sure why, but I think about this often.


What about you? What do you daydream about? 😊

What are your daydreams?

Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

Life has been pretty busy and fast-paced lately, but it’s good. So, so good.

If you read my last post, I’ve been here in Hawaii for 6 months now, which I still can’t grasp. Time FLIES. And it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down.

Here’s what life has been looking like lately.

I had the flu and it rained for about two solid weeks, so I was cooped up inside for a while. The last few days have been gorgeous, and I finally got out, laid in the sun and remembered just how beautiful this world is.

My work schedule is pretty crazy, so I barely get out and explore Hawaii these days. But since I only have two months left here, I want to prioritize exploring because I know I’m going to miss this island so much once I board that plane.

This past weekend was full of self-care and relaxation, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I started (and finished) Big Little Lies and Santa Clarita Diet, and both series were amazing! I slowed down after a busy week with work, took bubble baths, started a new yoga flow and bought some new books.

Here are some of my favorite books, but do you want me to share the books I’m currently reading? 

Also, since I finished both shows… I need new show/movie recommendations!

I just want to talk about my work for a second. I wake up at 3am because I work east coast hours, I typically work 10 hour days and work often runs into my weekend. I juggle tons of different tasks, I’m always on the phone, in meetings or putting fires out. But I love what I do. I actually find myself going to sleep excited to wake up in the morning to start another day of work, because I’m that passionate about our mission and I love my team. For the first time in my career, I feel like I truly belong somewhere and like I’m needed.

It’s sunflower time on Maui! There is a huge field in the middle of the island dedicated to harvesting sunflower oil for alternative fuel, and the flowers have started blooming again. It’s such a beautiful thing to see. It makes me so happy when I drive by it!

This huge map is taped up on the wall, and every morning when I walk by it I get more and more excited for my grand adventure. The goal is to leave the islands in June, which gives me two months to plan and pack. I will be writing a completely separate post on this adventure, because it’s that huge.

But in the meantime, what are some of your favorite places in America? 🙂

Life Lately: Two more months left in Hawaii!

Life Lately: Crazy Hawaii weather, finding happiness + lots of changes

My life lately has been anything but boring, bland or “routine.”

Since coming back from my trip to Nevada and Arizona, I’ve made A LOT of changes in my life (and I’ve actually stuck to them!!) And when you’re reading this, I’ll be unpacking from my trip to San Diego!

I’ve been so busy, that I haven’t had time to post here, but I have been posting a lot to Instagram and Twitter (if you want to follow me there).

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on in my life lately.

coffee

Spent my first Valentine’s Day alone for the first time in many years. It was tough because it was different and filled with memories of the last few Valentine’s I spent with him.

But I got through it, I treated myself to flowers, sweets, a bubble bath and my favorite Mark Ruffalo movies.

desk, work at home, home office

maui mountains

I started a brand new job and I as of today, I’ve been working here for a month! I rearranged my work area and this is what my desk and view from my office space looks like! It’s a super fast-paced job and I really jumped in at a hectic time, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I love the people, the company mission and how important my job makes me feel. I’m in a really great place career-wise.

The weather in Hawaii has been insane lately. Our “winter” consists of lots of storms, rain and strange things like water spouts! Can you believe these two pictures were taken less than an hour apart? Crazy.

Another thing I’ve been LOVING lately is being awake every single morning for the sunrise. I used to wake up before the sun every morning, just to sit in silence and watch the skies wake up. But in the last few years, I haven’t done that.

In the last month, I’ve been awake for every single sunrise, and I love it. (I also start work at 5am, so technically I have to be awake, but that’s beside the point). But starting next week when the time changes, I’ll start at 4am… yikes.

san diego marina

san diego marina

A few days ago, I got back from a trip to San Diego. It was the first solo trip I’ve taken since leaving Canada, and it was liberating. There’s something about walking through an airport on your own, catching a cab and sleeping alone in an unknown place. It was wonderful.

Lastly, the other night I sat down and wrote prose for the first time in YEARS. It felt so good to let my heart spill out onto paper.

I write every day, but I haven’t written anything poetic in a long, long time and I hadn’t realized how much I missed it.


Would you be interested in my posting some of my prose here? I’ve been thinking about what I want this online space to be. I’ll be honest, initially I wanted this to be a place for many topics for the sake of monetization. However, I’m in a much different mindset now and want to focus more on my writing and photos – a more personal approach.

What do you think? ❤

Life Lately: Crazy Hawaii weather, finding happiness + lots of changes

Last Days in Canada

Three weeks ago, I decided to leave the home and life I made myself in Canada. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make, and it was really rough on me. Luckily, friends from work were there for me, friends from college kept me company on the phone, and my mom flew up to help me pack up and move.

Here are some photos from my last moments in Canada – a place I was lucky to call home for even a short while.

Canada, I’ll never forget you and all the lessons you taught me.

Last Days in Canada

Home

You’re probably wondering where I’ve been. The last you heard from me, I was going on vacation to Hawaii to visit my family – that was a month ago. Since then, I’ve been silent on social media, here on this blog, and I haven’t been on my phone much either. 

I’ve got an explanation, but to keep it short: I’m back home in Hawaii for good.

You’re probably thinking: What about Canada? Your life? Boyfriend? Cat? Everything?

The funny thing is, sometimes life doesn’t work the way you think it will. Things change. People change. And before you know it, nothing is the same. 

It’s pretty wild how much everything can change in the matter of a few days. But it’s somewhat comforting as well, to know that no matter what, you’re never stuck in a situation, you aren’t necessarily tied down to a specific place, job, person, or life. And if you aren’t happy with your current place in life, you have all the power to change it.

So here I am, sitting at my desk in Hawaii. Here I am, writing this in the middle of the night because for the life of me, I can’t shake this time difference. Here I am, working on crafting my new life.

I’m terrified and nervous and overwhelmed, but I’m also excited and grateful to have this opportunity to start fresh in a new place with my family to lean on.

As always, thank you for sticking with me through all the craziness and changes and ups and downs and twists and turns. I’m grateful to have you as my little support group, you make everything easier and much more fun.

Cheers to changes in life!

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