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

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 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!

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

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