I’m originally from Michigan, lets just say the metro Detroit area. Last autumn I went home to do my first 5k (of my adult life) around the Detroit zoo. Naturally I tattooed my arms with dinosaurs, and naturally I rubbed them all off before the end of the hour. But I digress. I have been living in a few different places over the past almost 3 years, and it has been quite an experience and so different than I ever could have imagined.
My wall back at my home home with travel inspiration, this is mostly the US, but I aspire to travel everywhere I can in the world. I still have so much to learn from other cultures and ways of life. Natural scenery is something I always long to see more of. There’s something so magical about nature that makes you feel so alive. I’m just beginning to learn how everything works together and it is so important to me that others see how important ecosystems EVERYWHERE are. My life goal is to somehow combine education and earth appreciation with travel and make a living; don’t we all wish that?
In the summer of 2011, I moved to the west side of the state to intern at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary as a designer and interpreter. There I met Tom and I am still with him today. It was an amazing summer, a dream job and launched me into where I am today; loving birds and loving teaching/learning
Pardon the horrible phone photo quality… I then moved to Arizona in late September of 2011. I worked as a park ranger through the SCA at a national monument comprised of three native american sites. It was such an eye opening experience to live in a desert and try to imagine how people lived there in the past.
Sometimes things living at the park got very lonely and I had a lot of time by myself, it got dark early, being winter and for the most of December I lived in the desert alone. I tried to keep a positive attitude knowing that I lived on a national park. But it was very hard, my first time that far away from home, away from friends (having just recently graduated), and away from my boyfriend who now lived back in England. I saw black widows, I saw rattlesnakes, but I also saw migrating ducks in a well that was filled with over 2 million gallons of water daily from an underground spring. I’m glad I had this experience and would recommend it to anyone, I miss my friends dearly, but I know I am on the path to something amazing.
It’s hard not to post a million photos here because Orcas Island is one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived. I moved there in the spring of 2012 on my next environmental job venture. I went from living by myself working with a handful of older park rangers to working with 30 other people in their 20’s sharing a house with 9 others. My roomates there Hannah and Allison became really great friends of mine and helped me keep sanity throughout it all. 40+ hour workweeks with young teens trying to get across information about the oceans, the forests, themselves all while trying to learn about those things myself. The two springs there I did some of the most growing I have ever done. I stepped out of my comfort zone and into my challenge zone, and I’ve yet to go back.
Funyaking, because Kayaking required self rescue in the 40F degree ocean, and I was fine without having to leave the bay.
It’s fun to have a day off from the YMCA
Tiny invertebrates everywhere, larger ones too. I will most likely post on the blog about them at some point.
And then I saw Orca whales May of 2013 and my life up to that point was complete
Between seasons of doing outdoor environmental education I went and lived in England for 2 months. Some of my favorite times have been in Sheffield. Tom and I shared a one room bedsit and that’s when we really knew we could be together forever. Long distance is so hard, and there are ups and downs just as any relationship has, but the times we are happy together are literally the happiest I have ever been. I’ll learn from the hard times and forever float in the mushy ocean of our love.
I think this might be the moment when I realized most things in life will be hard, but you just have to put on a brave face and look at them in the most positive way you can. Looking back on everything I’ve done, it was always hard, but I have fond memories. Enjoy/live in the present, be thankful for the past, and always stay hopeful/excited for the future, but always try your hardest to love where you are. “Wherever you go, go with all of your heart.” (okay this photo isn’t really when I realized that, but it works)
summer house, beautiful lighting
summer house, dream nook
and here I am now, it’s taken me awhile to find a place I can call home in Seattle and I have felt downright sad for too long now. I’m going to hold my chin up, put on a smile and take my own advice to just be okay with where I am, maybe even happy.
winter house, current view from my back porch