Hello and welcome! I’m Kristen. I’m a lover of hiking, traveling, photography, and sunshine! I’m here to encourage you to travel and see the world, and also to get outdoors and explore!
So what’s my story? I grew up in Indiana and was bitten by the travel bug early in life. My parents were amazing at planning family vacations, so I quickly fell in love with seeing and experiencing new places and cultures.
I studied abroad in Vienna in the spring of 2007 and loved every second that I got to spend there. Each weekend my roommates and I planned a trip to a nearby city, so I quickly figured out the best ways to plan a quick trip and find the best things to do to really get a feel for each new place we visited.
After college, I moved to Ohio for a few years and often spent more time traveling to see my friends that had scattered all over than I did at home! I learned how to budget (both money and vacation days!) to be able to maximize my vacation time to see new places and visit old friends without going broke!
Then, in January 2013, I planned a visit to Seattle to visit one of my best friends from college, J. He had just moved to Seattle for a new job and kept sending me pictures of all the mountains, so I had to go see! We headed up to Whistler for some amazing skiing, and…long story short, we decided to start a long-distance relationship. Then we REALLY had to start budgeting for plane tickets and vacation time! We were always searching for the cheapest flights — which most of the time meant red-eyes from Seattle to Ohio (not in a hurry to do one of those again!) and turning trips into long weekends in order to avoid flying on Fridays and Sundays as much as possible.
After a year and a half we’d had enough of long-distance, and I made the big move out to Seattle! We planned the most epic two-week road trip across the country, hitting 9 states, 5 National Parks, and 3 state parks along the way. We hiked over 70 miles and I took over 2000 pictures! (Check out my National Park guides for a lot of those pictures and tons of info on where to stay/what to do!) It was an incredible trip that I will never forget.
J grew up in Michigan, so now that we’re finally in the same place, a lot of our travel budget goes toward taking trips home to visit our families. Traveling – both to see our families and also to explore new places – is a huge priority for us, and we’ve set up a great system to set aside money each month into our “travel fund” so that it’s easier to take these trips. I’m planning a post soon to share my budgeting tips and travel planning tricks if you’re interested in setting up something similar!
I love living in the Pacific Northwest because there are SO MANY things to see and explore. We have such an active lifestyle and are always heading out to hike, bike, kayak, or ski somewhere new! I started this blog back in May 2015 as a way to share our adventures, and it has grown into an awesome place for me to share my photography and our experiences. My hope is that my trip reports, guides for things to do, and tips for budgeting and trip planning will hopefully inspire you to start to travel more and to get outdoors and explore, wherever you are!
To get started on the blog, check out my Travel Destinations page for guides for things to do, my Get Outdoors page to find some amazing hikes, my Gear You Need page for my favorite gear recommendations for all kinds of travel and outdoor activities, and my Resources page for some tips for planning your next getaway!
I’d love to connect with you on social media – my current favorite is Instagram – head over and follow me there! I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, so follow me there for more updates!