Monday Travel Memory: The Sahara

Happy Monday, ya’ll. How was the weekend? Jaro and I checked out the Portland Seafood & Wine Festival (which was awesome), met a friend for drinks, and tried a new-to-us sports bar for the Superbowl. Wasn’t wow-ed by the game or the commercials, or the bar… but at least we’re getting out.

So. I’m on a sunshine kick these days. I guess that after living in Amsterdam and now Portland, I relish any moment that I can (or did) soak up some Vitamin C. And sometimes, the sun can truly be art, no? Since it’s on my mind so much, thought I’d share one of my favorite images from our trip to the Sahara Desert last winter:

Sahara Desert

I love how the sun is a giant, bright, white ball in a cloudless, blue sky above those truly spectacular dunes. So simple, yet there aren’t enough words to describe it. Pretty sure Jaro and I just stood there, alone, like a coupla idiots, staring at it as it slowly dipped behind the sea of sand. Awe-inspring.

Monday Travel Memory: Cannon Beach

Happy Monday, kids. It’s a cold, wet day in Portland, but what’s new. Got a recent (and sunny) memory to share. Last Monday, Jaro had the day off (let’s not forget why) and we decided to head to the Oregon coast. We needed a little breather from all the house hunting stress. A two hour drive through pine forests lead us to Cannon Beach- a quaint, little beach town filled with art galleries and cafes. So cute. We strolled through town, wandered down a huge stretch of sand and finished the afternoon warming up over made-from-scratch clam chowder.Oregon

Cannon Beach, ORCannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach, OR

It will be interesting to see how our definition of travel changes as we adjust to life back in the U.S. We have to realize that not all travel needs to be exotic or foreign. Sometimes, it can be a short ride away. More on that later.


Monday Travel Memory: Olympic National Park

Pacific Northwest

The only other time that I spent in the Pacific Northwest before our move was back in 2009. We took ten days to drive all around Washington state, ferried over to the San Juan Islands and even scooted up to Canada for a few nights.

One of my favorite experiences was hiking in the Olympic National Park. The glacial rivers, the mountains, the pine trees… It all created such a gorgeous, peaceful scene. I love this photo. Look at me, I’m like Pioneer Woman.


Monday Travel Memory: One Way Tickets

Moving AbroadThis is us at O’Hare Airport on our moving day just over a year ago. One-way tickets from Chicago to Amsterdam. We were starting a new adventure and receiving a new title: Expats. I remember being so excited I could barely sleep or eat. I remember laughing with Jaro’s brother and sister-in-law as they drove us to the airport. But, I also remember sitting in the lounge crying on the phone with my dad. The range of feelings I experienced that day was intense. Eager, nervous, giddy, sad, proud, anxious, happy… all of it. It was one of the most emotional days of my life. I spilled my champagne all over myself and my seat when we boarded the plane. I was a mess.

This week we have one-way tickets from Amsterdam to Stockholm, our second international move. Over the next three days, we are packing up our apartment and saying goodbye to Amsterdam. It’s not as difficult as our first move, but it is still a mix of sadness and excitement. I guess we should take a picture of ourselves at the airport again, huh?

Looking at this picture and thinking about that day, I can’t help but reflect on how different our lives are. Not just where we reside, but also how much we’ve changed.

It’s been a good year. Here’s to another.


P.S. My first travel memory (sort of).

Monday Travel Memory: My First Vacation

In addition to the new Friday series about future travel, I’d also like to share memories of my previous travels. Hope you like it. 

This is me on one of my first vacations (hooray for traveling young!), if a three-year old can have such a thing. I think I had already been to Sea World though at the ripe age of two, but I’ll need to fact check with my mom. And nab a picture to share.

It was the 80’s. I think this is the summer before my little brother came along. I was a couple years old and my parents did the most awesome thing parents can do for their kid – They took me to Disney World. Aren’t parents amazing? As an adult, I now realize how selfless mine were to travel to places like this for us kids. This isn’t exactly a memory (off to a great start here…) since I can’t remember what rides we went on or how many Mickey ice cream bars I ate… and I don’t know what happened to that sweet Goofy hat. All that has faded away with time. Thing is, I’m sure it hasn’t for my parents. I’m sure they remember how much I enjoyed it, which made them enjoy it too.

Parents are the best. I miss mine more than usual today.


P.S. If you haven’t noticed, things have changed here on the blog! New categories, a more recent photo of us and updated “About Us.” Click around, share with friends, give us a “like” to make our day. Let me know what you think! x