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

New Mexico | Exploring Taos art community & driving through forest fires

I love the desert. If you followed my journey through Arizona, you’d know just how healing the desert is to me. There’s just something about the warm tones, heat, sunshine, open spaces and prickly plants that makes my heart feel complete. And when I was in New Mexico, I experienced all of those feelings all over again. I explored the city of Taos, which is a beautiful artist community and I witnessed the devastating forest fires first-hand, which was terrifying and beautiful in its own right. I loved New Mexico, here are photos from my stay there.

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Driving through the deep forest and emerging to see rocky mountainsides and cliffs is one of my favorite things in the world. As a young girl, I remember driving into the woods with my birth father. We left the house around 4am, and I slept the whole way. When I woke, bright and beautiful rocky mountainsides would be the first thing I would see. To some, they’re just rocks, but to me, there are so many memories within nature. I hold it so near and dear to my heart.

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Exploring the artist community of Taos was absolutely beautiful. All the buildings in the town were historic adobe buildings, surrounded by art, flowers and delicious food on every corner. For lunch, I ate at the Alley Cantina, which is the city’s oldest building! It was built in the 16th century by the Pueblo Indians (yes, 16th century!). It was amazing. If you have a chance to visit, I highly recommend it for the great food and amazing history and culture 👍🏼

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new mexico sunset

Overall, my stay in New Mexico was full of downtime, lots of outdoor time and enjoying the sunshine. I slowed down a bit and caught up on a few books I’m reading, and thought a lot about my past, present and future. The desert always brings out the over-thinker in me, but it’s always constructive. 😊

Have you ever visited New Mexico or Taos?

New Mexico | Exploring Taos art community & driving through forest fires

Road Trip Essentials | Bare necessities that make traveling simple!

*This post is sponsored by Clarisonic and HC Media. Read more about my disclaimer here.

If you don’t already know, I’m traveling to all the U.S. states! I’m currently on the road, and as I type this, I’m looking out at the Georgia forests and the sun setting over the lake. I’ve been on the road for about two weeks now, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been using the same few things each and every day. I’ll call these my “Road Trip Essentials” although, this will probably change as I continue my travels. These are just the items that have made traveling simple so far!

1. Notebook

I can’t go a day without writing. I write everything down, from things I did that day, how I felt, things I struggled with and overcame, memories that flooded my brain, quotes and scriptures. You name it, I write it down and I keep to look back on later. I have a few notebooks that I’ve filled over the years and I’m so glad I kept them because they’re full of memories I want to remember forever. Especially while I’m on this adventure, keeping a notebook of places I see, people I meet and struggles I overcome will be great to look back on later.

2. A good book

So far this year I have read a few great books and I’m looking forward to having lots of downtime and quiet, peaceful places to dive deep into more. Also, if you have book recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments! I’m always looking for new ones! 😊

3. Camera

I love taking photos and while I’m on this trip, I know I’ll be seeing tons of incredible places, so a camera is necessary! I’ve been using my iPhone so far, but I really want to also try and distance myself from my phone – so I’ll also be using my camera!

4. Portable charger

When I’m not in the car, charging my equipment is interesting, so I always carry a portable charger with me to make sure I never run out of juice! I use one from Belkin and it gives me up to 3 full charges on a single use!

5. External hard-drive

I have tons of photos in raw format and lots of different edited formats, lots of articles, my manuscript for my book, etc. And I can’t imagine losing all of those things, so I keep everything backed up on my external hard-drive! Mine is from Lacie, and it’s top of the line (for my standards, anyway)

6. Carryall bag

With all this stuff (not including all my road trip snacks…) I have to have a way to carry it all! So I use this carry-all bag! I love it because it’s water-proof and has separate compartments for my laptop, chargers, passport, etc.

7. Cozy blanket

On the road, I’ll be taking naps at random places, going in and out of colder weather, and will want a feel of “home” so I’m also carrying a cozy blanket with me! I got this one from my dad, he had it from when he was in the army!

clarisonic mia

8. Clarisonic Mia

Last, and probably most important, is my Clarisonic Mia! When I was getting ready to begin my life on the road, I knew I couldn’t bring 10 different skincare routines with me. So that’s why my Clarisonic Mia is so awesome! For a complete sonic cleanse, all I need are 3 things!

  1. Clarisonic Mia 1 Device
  2. Pore & Blemish Gel Cleanser
  3. Acne Brush Head

So far, I’ve been using this for 2 weeks, and I’ve experienced incredible results! It’s so simple to use, it’s portable to use on the road, and it actually works.

The best part? I’ve teamed up with Clarisonic to give you 15% OFF! If you’re interested in kicking acne and adult acne in the butt, seriously give this a shot. My skin was never awful, but this just made it that. much. better.

(Use code: HERCAMPUS between June 1-July 15 for 15% OFF all products here!)

Road Trip Essentials | Bare necessities that make traveling simple!

A Life on the Road | Leaving comfort behind for a life of exploring and discovering

If you had met me a few years ago, I would have told you that having a secure, stable job, a home, and a routine were the most important things in life. I’ve grown since then. I’ve gone down that path and I’ve realized that following a structure like that only led me to being unhappy. I was secure and safe, yes. I was able to pay my bills and I always had food to eat and a roof over my head. But after I got it all, I found that I was still lacking something – true happiness and freedom.

After all my searching, I was still lost.

I thought that once I got that job, furnished that home, and found that person – I would be happy and complete. I thought that’s what life was supposed to be. But I was wrong.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to love and be loved – but I came to realize that as long as I neglected myself, I would never find true happiness.

So, I left everything I knew. I came back to Hawaii, a place I find comfort in. For the last 8 months, I’ve been working on myself every single day. I’ve been focusing on my heart, mind, soul, and body. I’m happy. I’m strong. I’m confident. Months ago, I was a wreck, I was unsure, I felt hopeless and lost. Now, when I think of my past, I don’t shatter into a million pieces – I am able to realize the growth and the lessons, and I give thanks to my past.

I figured life out (I think)

After the last few months – painful heartache, a nuclear missile threat, volcano eruptions, and many other life changes – I’ve realized what is important to me. (Yes, it took alllll of that for me to come to my grand realization)

Life is not about getting the structure and stability that comes with a job, house and security. Don’t get me wrong, those things are nice and a necessity to a certain extent – but they are not what life is all about! (at least, not to me anyway).

Here is an equation that has helped me make my decision to live life on the road:

Life = Short

Earth = Big

What does that leave me with? Obviously, traveling as much as I can right now to see as much as I can and experience everything while I still can.

So that’s what I’m doing.

A life on the road | How, where, when

There is way too much to see in this life to be stuck behind a desk. This world is waiting for me to embrace it, so embrace it I will!

Later this week, I will be flying to the east coast, and that’s where my adventure will begin.

I’ll be visiting every US state, every National Park, roadside attraction and of course… the UFOs!

There’s no end destination or date, I’ll just be traveling around as long as I please or until I’ve found a place I’ve fallen in love with enough to settle down (whichever comes first!)


I’m excited for this, I’m excited to see a new place every day, experience something new, breathe in new surroundings, meet new people, and become fully engulfed in discovering more and more of myself.

I hope you come along for the ride ❤

A Life on the Road | Leaving comfort behind for a life of exploring and discovering