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Umpqua Hot Springs

The Umpqua National Forest is full of beauty, it’s much like a smaller Columbia River Gorge in my opinion.

While taking Highway 138, to or from Crater Lake, it runs along the spectacularly turquoise North Umpqua River.

There are plenty of natural wonders along this highway, but the Umpqua Hot Springs is one to be recognized above all else.

It is fairly simple to find, if your heading east on highway 138 from Roseburg, it’s just past mile marker 59, follow signs to Toketee Falls.

Toketee Falls

The hike to Toketee falls is about a two mile, fairly easy hike. There are plenty of viewpoints, but you do have to use a rope to get down to the bottom to get the best views.

There will be warning signs telling you not to go down the rope, so whether you do so or not is up to you.

To get to the hot springs, you will continue straight on this road for another two miles, it will break off at one point, stay to the right. You will continue down that road for another two miles and the parking lot for the trail head will be on the left. The trail can get fairly steep, there are rails to help you up the steepest points.

Hiking Bag

It is possible the road will be blocked off, it was when we went! If there is significant snow, you will have to park at the closed gate and hike the two miles to the trail head.

I personally think that the snow made the hot springs even more beautiful.

Even in the snow, these hot springs were still plenty hot, there is about a total of seven or eight pools, they get colder as you go down.

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Working And Traveling Is Easier Than You Think

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of programs all over the media that allow you to travel in groups and work while traveling. These programs are amazing and make the process very simple; they put you with a group, allow you to share rooms so that the prices are cheaper and overall it seems like an incredible experience.

There are also other ways that you can work and travel, like work on a cruise line, be a flight attendant, teach English abroad and a few others. But I think the perspective that you must join a program in able to work and travel needs to be rethought.

None of these programs ever stuck out to me because I wanted to travel for many different reasons but personally never wanted to stay in a group and have a set-up group schedule. Hopefully, I’m not the only one that feels this way.

You can work and travel in many other ways besides these, here are some that have worked for me.

Use Craigslist In The Area You’re Traveling

This seems so simple, and it is, but also very effective! My boyfriend and I traveled the coast for six months and every city we went to, we browsed Craigslist for available jobs, from one day gigs to temporary jobs. And we found many, from loading up boxes to photo shoots!

You can also post up a resume on Craigslist, offering your skills. For me, I offered writing and photography and I actually booked some autobiography and resume gigs for decent pay!

Talk to the businesses in your city

Yes, I’m aware this seems very different than what most travelers would do, but we found our best travel job on the road by simply asking around!

We went from one business to the next, told them our story and asked if they needed any miscellaneous help. We scored ourselves some jobs at a restaurant for two months, made over minimum wage, plus tips and made some amazing friends and memories! We got so many responses by sharing our stories that not only did people need help, but they wanted to find ways to help.

People offered simple yard work or clean up jobs. It got to the point that we had to start turning jobs down because we already had a few and needed time to still explore the area and enjoy our travel.

We did not have trouble finding a job anywhere that we went. Yes, I’m serious… anywhere! We were even honest about the short amounts of time we were willing to work.

Here are some things I did not do during my travels, but would consider for the future that are more based from a computer.

A virtual assistant

Online Marketer

Freelancer websites (UpWork, Writers.work)

The reason I never brought myself to try these things may have subconsciously been because I like to meet new people and work physically, but these jobs can give you more flexibility and even better pay. Being a digital nomad is worth looking into!

If you would like me to write something about places you can make a bit of money with writing/social media posting, please let me know in the comment section.

Something I want to say as well, is that online surveys are not worth your time and should not be considered a source of income. I have tried nearly every online survey platform out there and it takes aggravated, boring decades to make a simple ten dollars.

Making money while seeing the world does not have to be through a program and it does not need to be made in one spot. We made a decent amount of money with these simple strategies while traveling five different states and experienced so much more than we could in one city.  It may seem intimidating, but it is so exhilarating and really allows you to grow and become a more independent person.

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New Moon Ritual

moon

The next new moon will be in our sky this 18th and the time couldn’t be any more perfect the current situation in my life. Though I am so happy to be back home with my loving family, working and earning more money for a future of adventures, I still long for the open road.

Having so much time to travel had allowed me to explore myself so much and I had never been so happy. So I guess a life of 11 hour work days, six days a week has left me little time to continue exploring my spirit and I am in deep need to reconnect.

This next new moon is the perfect time for me, as well as anyone, to reset their paths in the right direction and remove negativity from that path, this is what I will be doing this next new moon.

First off, because of my lack of time outdoors lately, I would like to do my ritual outside (that is if it’s not raining, which it does a lot on the west coast). I feel this is the best way to perform any ritual, as it connects you best to Mother Earth and the universe above.

Before your ritual, write down on little pieces of paper, a word or two describing emotions, habits, actions or thoughts of any kind that you want to let go of. For me, a few are negativity and disconnect. Bring these with you for your ritual.

First, set your surroundings with lots of candles and burn sage and\or rosemary around your atmosphere, to cleanse your aura of negative energies, I like to leave the smudge stick burning in a bowl next to me.

Your choice of crystals are a good choice to keep around your for rituals as well, for mine I chose amethyst and moldavite to help with spiritual connection, vanadinite to promote accomplishment, black tourmaline to deflect negative energies, citrine, as it is my birthstone and gives energies for good luck, clear quartz and selenite.

Sit yourself down and meditate a few moments under the night sky, recognize it’s meaning for new beginnings and about the things your about to let go of and know that they may not come back into your life.

When you feel ready, open your eyes and burn each piece of paper you had written on earlier, one at a time. As the words burn, give yourself time to really understand the words you wrote down and that by burning them, you are ridding them from your life, as they are only harming your spirit.

After you are through burning the negative intentions of your past, meditate with your future intention in your mind. Close your eyes and envision your future with all the intentions you wish your future to withhold. Remember that there is no time frame for this, envision all that you can, as long as you want, as if it’s already in your present.

Meditate with these intentions for the remainder of your ritual and when you open your eyes, know that you have become closer to your higher being, closer to a more positive, spiritual you.

Namaste

Want a custom ritual? Click here.

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Cape Disappointment, WA

The Washington coast goes a bit unnoticed when put next to the beautiful Oregon and California coast. This coast is unique in so many ways and gives an entirely new moody feel of the ocean. The Washington coast contains lots of rain, wind and fog but it is also what makes it so different and a must-see experience.

Cape Disappointment State Park is located in Ilwaco, WA, very close to Astoria, OR and has many wonders to see within the area full of beautiful temperate rainforests.

When you first enter into the park, each side of the road are covered in greenery, there are a few lookout spots that tell the history of the area, like Beardman’s Hollow. There are many wooden bridges throughout the park as well that work well for photography!

This cape contains two lighthouses, the first you will see is the North Head Lighthouse, which is only a quarter mile, easy hike. Of course it tells you to not go close to edge of the cape, but many people had already crossed the fence so I found no harm in doing the same. The view is gorgeous and you can walk far out onto the grass-covered cape to see the Pacific Ocean.

The next lighthouse is the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, this trail is a half mile and a bit more difficult. There are many hills, but it is a very pretty hike with access to beaches along the way.

Along the way you’ll run into Dead Man’s Cove, one of my favorite views of the coast, especially when the lighting is just right. You have to walk down to the beach if you want the best view, but no matter how you see Dead Man’s Cove, it is a spectacular view.

Once you get to the lighthouse, the view overlooks all of Ilwaco and Astoria, you can see the Astoria bridge and all the boats coming in from the ocean into the bay area. The view is perfect for some photographs.

Within the Cape Disappointment State Park you will also have the chance to see Fort Canby and many of it’s batteries as well as the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center.

 

Find the Location here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Smaller Spaces, Bigger Love

I guess you could say that living in a small home can really challenge a relationship. There’s not much room for any personal space or personal time, nor much space to hide your living habits. To some people, these circumstances can seem intimidating, we considered it a new opportunity for growth.

At first I thought such a little space of living wouldn’t require too much cleaning, but three animals along with all our belongings has required us to come together with creative ways to keep things tidy.

Every obstacle is a new challenge for us to solve together, how to keep certain things away so Forrest wont chew them up, places to put the cat food so Forrest wont eat it, making sure the animals have plenty of fresh air while were gone, how to hide things that we don’t want to see, like garbage, recycling, laundry.

We still find ourselves getting rid of things we don’t need and our ability to condense is a lot stronger than before. We both share a dedication to our living and to make sure that we are happy in it.

Our views have changed about personal space and personal time, we hardly have any personal belongings, we share everything together. This lifestyle, this home and our relationship has become our greatest commitment.

There is an entirely new feeling that comes along with living with someone in a small space, you feel incredibly close at all times, everything feels so much more intimate and you begin to be even more involved in one another’s thoughts and lives. This a feeling I will never give up.

Smaller spaces has not created bigger arguments, it has allowed us to grow even closer. Before we left on this journey, I can say that any arguments were truly due to the impatience and dissatisfaction with how we were living, and I think that many couples feel this.

We had a different set of priorities, like money, rent, bills, work with an endless cycle of not going out and doing what really made us happy and never speaking about what really mattered to us.

But I have never been happier than I have, being set free in these smaller spaces and making our big dreams happen together. I realize that a new lifestyle has made me continue to see the man of my dreams while we speak of genuine conversations and see the beauty of the world together.

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I’ve Never Felt As Blessed As I Have With Less

At first, minimizing my things was simply to make sure I had just enough to fit into our 37 ft. r. v, yet it soon started to become much more than that.

Now living in a space much smaller than any other permanent living situation I have ever been in, I don’t remember exactly what it was that I sold in the first place. I know my every belonging and I cherish them more than I’ve ever appreciated abundance.

Every item that I have has an importance to me, and if it doesn’t, than I have no further use for it rather than to give it to someone who will appreciate it more.

I have found that I appreciate a gift a lot more than I ever have, I appreciate generosity and kindness more than any thing that can be bought. When I find myself looking for something that I need, I no longer seek out nice retail stores, but rather thrift stores and yard sales, for I have no need to be ashamed in doing so. I’ve found things of far more character in these places that cost much less.

I’ve also found myself giving much more than before, oddly enough because I have less things, but I find that the law of attraction brings things of value right back to me because of it.

I’ve realized that all the pointless stuff I bought at one point was simply to fill a void within me, much like a lot of people do. But it’s as if now my heart is too full for meaningless things to be in my life. I used to find myself with more than I truly needed but always unsatisfied and wanting more. Here I am now, I could pack my personal belongings into a few boxes, and I feel so blessed for all the things I have. I have a home, food, water, a job, amazing friends and family and a loving boyfriend, I have three gorgeous animals and I don’t need anything more.

With this mindset, I find that more meaningful gifts and people have come my way, and I am far more grateful for them than I would have been previously.

Everyone’s version of minimalism is different, it is okay to have many of something that has great value to you, it’s getting rid of the things that truly have no value to you at all. There is always a long conversation with yourself that, that item may be useful at one point, but let’s be honest, it never is.

To me, I like to keep a lot of spiritual tools around, crystals, incense, candles and such, but I cherish each and every one of those belongings and have found no purpose in extra clothing, shoes, makeup, hair accessories, décor, ect.

I am starting to recognize what all the hype was about minimalism, it is all about progression and the change of mentality along the way. It’s going back to simplicity and realizing that’s all you ever needed to feel full; less things to distract you to rediscover what really makes you happy.

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Travel Hotspot Down Highway 101

So many times I have drove down Highway 101, just the drive home and sometimes further to Astoria, Seaside and Canon Beach. I drove it to school, I drove it basically whenever I needed to go anywhere at all. But it has taken me until now to recognize that, that very road is a famous scenic byway for travelers down the Washington, Oregon and California coast.

A staple during our travels so far down highway 101 has been stopping at the Elixir Culture Co., a company my aunt owns and has grown into a beautiful, lively destination for travelers down the coast, located in the small town where I grew up, South Bend. The Elixir is full of love that is always sensed as soon as you walk inside, a place to unwind and connect while looking at the beautiful bay right outside the windows.

The Elixir is full of color and unique floral design of which my aunt Nancy creates herself from Washington grown flowers. All choices are made with intention to help the town thrive by selling local products such as handmade mugs, shell jewelry, honey, photographs and as many locally farmed products as possible. The shop also has vegan options for delicious coffee’s and snacks and lots of lovely bouquets and plants around to purchase.

What I have always appreciated about this shop is the atmosphere of comfort and the care for everyone who walks inside and the nonprofit support the company makes to help local business thrive.

Nancy’s plans for the Elixir are big and bold, and I am so excited for the growth that will be happening. She plans to make her own flower farm using permaculture gardening, to be able to make all her bouquets with her own flowers. She would also love to teach others how to make their own flower farms and harvest some of her own foods for the shop as well.

It’s a beautiful thing to be in this shop and hear the stories from traveler’s, where they began their journey and where their next destination is. The Elixir is a must stop shop for just about anyone travelling down the 101 highway, come by and use the internet, unwind and tell your story.

 

 

 

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Limiting Our Things For Limited Spaces

Anyone who walked into our home would definitely think that we didn’t have many things. Within the last few months we have been selling so much and I felt quite minimalistic. But when we officially started packing all of our things, we made the decision to rent a U Haul because we weren’t going to have enough space, I realized I really had a ways to go before considering myself a true minimalist.

We thought this U Haul would have plenty of space, but after an hour or so of loading, we began noticing that we would need to fill the bed of the truck as well, and that was still pushing it for space.

Some things were going with to be sold at a family members yard sale, but this was still in our home. We were on a time crunch and running out of space, we found ourselves simply throwing away the things that would have trouble fitting. Which made me question it’s worth to me in the first place and why I ever thought that I needed it.

To me, this was a big eye opener in my life. Why were all these things necessary? After getting rid of it all, I couldn’t remember why I ever needed it and I felt so nice to let it go. This really hit me as beautiful feeling that I needed to share, so that I may inspire someone to challenge themselves to do the same and ask themselves the same questions.

Even when we started moving our things into the R. V, we threw away and sent even more things to yard sales.

More than half of our previously owned worldly possessions are no longer a part of our lives, and it makes me feel so free of clutter. It feels good to know that everything I own, I treasure.

 

Clearly, when you are moving into a space that doesn’t fit all the things you have, you have no choice but to get rid of things; but if this is not the case for you, you could try multiple other things to simplify your belongings.

Something I would suggest is to get rid of one thing a day. I don’t mean tossing out your shirt with a stain or your overused toothbrush, I mean things you come by in your everyday life that you notice you never use.

It may be easier at first, but doing it for a month or two will lead to ridding so many items from your life and forgetting you ever owned them.

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A Letter To My Fellow Travelers

Dear Fellow Travelers,

The house is nearly empty, we’re selling things one by one, packing a box a day. The pile of things we are ridding from our lives is nearly gone and with each thing that sells, I feel fuller.

I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait, that leaving was too far away and that it would take forever. But once I stopped thinking about it so much, I stopped and realized that this month is our last month of rent. Our month notice needed to be in, we needed to sell more, put in our two weeks very soon, we needed to get R. V insurance, invest in carpet cleaning, buy a tow bar and start putting our things into no more than five boxes each.

It seems as if we’ve been planning this trip for a year with nothing but pure wanderlust and impatience at this point. We have planned every last detail, studied every map and yet I know that when we are settled in, when we start counting the miles south, we’re going to think, “what the hell are we doing?”

A question full of nervous excitement, a question that will make our heads explode and leave us screaming with either scare or excitement or both, I haven’t decided yet.

Remember to let this nervousness fuel us. Remember to let it fill us with ambition and remember to never let it lead to second guessing.

For what would we ever go back for? But think of all the reasons to go forward.

Remember to challenge ourselves, remember to constantly impress ourselves with our creativity and courage. May we remember that there is always a solution and remember to keep bringing positive energy our way.

May we always remember the last trail and the next waterfall when we feel trapped. Remember to take advantage of time. Time to write, to be creative, to find ourselves, fill our passions, to meditate and never stop learning.

And if we ever find ourselves scared, remember why we did this…

To be different, to challenge ourselves, to adventure every single day, to find creative solutions, to remember to be content with what we have, to grow, to live fully, to learn about ourselves and learn the things we never had time for, to sleep under the stars, to connect with mother earth, to escape the boundaries, to escape the gossip, the schedules, the “idealistic” life.

Remember we did this to prove that we could, to finally start the endless exploration of our lives and remember that it has just begun.

Because this is what makes us happiest, if only we let go of all negative energy that cannot live in our lives no longer.

 

 

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The Adventure Announcement

It has been only three months since I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

Since then, though I have not yet moved forward in that field, I have discovered a great deal about myself and a great deal of the world in adulthood and the time “making a living” consumes.

I adore the job that I have, though I need more time for myself and my passions. Many people probably feel this same way but let it go, but I will not.

I am a woman with a vision and a deep wanderlust, no worldly struggle or discouragement will block my path. I have just started off in the world as a full-time employee and cannot imagine the rest of my life in the position. And I do not mean the same job or the same field, I mean spending my whole life simply paying my bills with the biggest concern of more money, more money rather than living with adventures every single day.

I will continue to strive for my own happiness and some may call it craziness, but I have come up with my next move, my next adventure in this life.

My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip down the Oregon/California coast, down to Las Vegas, across to the Grand Canyon and back up through Utah and Idaho.

Why?

Well why not? Sometimes you need to throw yourself into a situation so you have no choice but to figure it out and grow into a stronger person for it. We have a map where we have marked several natural wonders along the way to see.

How long will this road trip be?

Well that’s just the beauty of it, there is no time limit here, because this is our lives and I will enjoy every minute of it and take my time to soak it all in. We live our lives too much in a hurry; to get down the road, get ready for work, go to that next appointment. We rarely really observe what is around us, slow down for a second and enjoy the simple beauty of being alive in this beautiful world. I don’t believe that such a thing should be a rarity.

It astounds me how many people seem to think our decision is crazy, like it’s illogical, stupid and that I should focus my time on a career. But I expect to live around 80 to 90 years old, a few simple years of that time frame should be spent to challenge yourself to new heights and travel to new places; this alone can teach you much more than a full-time job can.

The simple thought of this trip makes me so ambitious, I have never been so excited, so passionate about anything, and I quiet seriously mean anything. I know that any questions and any struggles that head our way, we will figure them out, just like you must with any other complication in life, our struggles will just be different.

Before you worry about our lives, I assure you that we have a thorough plan as to how we will live that I will explain in detail in my next adventure entry.

But for now, if you would like to follow our adventure with my words and photographs, this would make me very happy.

If you guys have any advice, questions or suggestions, I am entirely excited and open to them all. This will be our first-time major road trip and we are aware that there will be many trial and errors and we are ready to only learn and grow from them.

The beauty of our very own United States is overlooked and we are determined to see our own country that we have not yet explored, before we explore another.

*I will also be writing a book about our thoughts, travels and experiences. I will have a sneak peek up soon*