23,057

Somehow I’ve found myself back in San Diego having done what I set out to do: I spent at least one night in each contiguous state in just under ten months. Crush made it 23,057 miles and only broke down twice. I learned how to live out of a car, how to …

Mackintosh Homestead: Lyndeborough, New Hampshire

“Live free or die” greeted me from the license plates of cars I passed as the interstate gave way to windy rural highways, and contemporary suburbs faded away as repurposed mills rose up. Houses stretched farther and farther apart as thick green forest with just the first hints of autumn colors eagerly filled in …

10 Lessons from the Road

Somehow it’s been almost eight months since I started this road trip: I’ve survived 236 days roaming the country in a car that’s hellbent on breaking down in inconvenient places. I’ve worked on nine farms, couchsurfed in eight cities, pitched my tent in nineteen campgrounds, crashed in fourteen hotels, and slept in one Walmart parking lot. …

Exploring the Fourth Coast

In my last blog post, I talked about leaving a WWOOF host early. I packed up, left a note, and then got in the car and started driving to… well, I had no idea where I was going. I wasn’t due to start at my next farm for another five …

How I quit a WWOOF gig

At several of the farms I’ve WWOOFed for, I heard about WWOOFers who left suddenly, either with a hastily-written note or without any explanation at all. I listened to these recounts with silent amazement at the departed WWOOFers’ audacity – I could never do that. Until I did. My first …

On finding balance between experiencing and writing

News flash: it’s been a while since my last blog post. In the two months since that post was published, I’ve sat down numerous times to write and included some variation of “get it together and work on the blog” on my daily to-do list more often than not. It’s …

A Fortnight with Krishna

I arrived on the day the koi were fed for the first time since they began their winter hibernation. It was radiantly sunny – a welcome change after colder days in Montana and Idaho – and small groups of people in both street clothes and traditional Indian dress strolled through the …

Exploring the Olympic Peninsula

Last month I finally realized my dream of visiting the Olympic Peninsula and walking through the Hoh Rainforest. (Mom, if you’re reading this, I know that technically I’d already been, but visiting a place as a toddler doesn’t really count, does it?) It was absolutely worth the wait. I fully believe that …

On wanderlust and restlessness

Last month I found myself wandering alone up an Issaquah trail through mud and drizzle because I was convinced that if I spent just one more minute inside I was going to lose my mind. Before leaving her house, I told my grandmother “I need dirt” as means of explanation. Did …

It’s been 50 days since I left San Francisco…

…and exactly one week before I leave the familiarity of the West Coast. Next Monday I’ll be leaving my grandmother’s home in Bellevue, WA, and crossing through Idaho, Montana, and then Idaho again (I’m bypassing my trip to Yellowstone because it’s still hitting -8F there – brrr!) before heading into …

On missing my cat and fighting travel guilt

I miss my cat. And yeah, before we get into it, I really like cats. My parents had cats when I was little. I begged my parents for a kitten until I finally got one when I was 11. A few years ago an old boyfriend and I heard some meowing in an …

MONTHLY VIDEO: FEBRUARY 2016

Last month I spend time with my family and friends in San Diego, got my first WWOOF experience at Homeward Bounty Farm in Grenada, CA, couchsurfed for the first time in Ashland, OR, and finally arrived at my grandmother’s home in Bellevue, WA. In March I’m looking forward to spending time …

Homeward Bounty Farm, Grenada, CA

I wasn’t really sure what to expect as a WWOOFer. I figured I’d get to indulge my passion for learning, cut some travel expenses, and meet intriguing people. It was fair to assume I’d spend my time covered in dirt, probably sleeping in a tent, and doing a fair share of the …

Red Bluff, CA

Today I woke up in a gorgeous campsite by the Sacramento River. I made some tea, packed up camp, wrestled my tangled hair into a braid, and drove into town to Tremont Cafe and Creamery, a friendly little place that sells a huge breakfast plate for $5 and hasn’t seemed to …

Lost Hills, CA

“I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there’s no going back. It’s all very well, to set off on a train with no money telling yourself that you’re really quite a brave and adventurous person, and you’ll deal …

It’s been two weeks since I hit the road…

…and it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Sure, I gave up my apartment and put all of my stuff in a storage unit, but I’ve been staying at my parents’ house in San Diego and it feels like any other visit. I keep reminding myself I’m not going back – my time …

MONTHLY VIDEO: JANUARY 2016

  In case you missed it: I’ll be doing monthly videos during my gap year to give anyone who’s interested a peek into what I’ve been up to. This January, I spent time with friends in San Francisco, prepared to move out of my apartment, visited Muir Woods, Sutro Baths, and …

The Five Questions You’ve Been Asking About My Upcoming Trip

As my daydream of road-tripping across the United States has become more of a reality, I’ve shared my excitement with the people around me. And while I’ve gotten a lot of support and helpful suggestions, I’ve also received plenty of confusion and concern. Sometimes it’s hard to stay excited about …

YAY! I’M A GRADUATE!

Two weeks ago, I submitted my last assignment to San Francisco State University. An hour later, I locked up the Journalism Department and slid my keys under my supervisor’s door. When I left the humanities building for the last time, I left as an unemployed college graduate. It was strange to …

FIVE BOOKS FOR THE INTREPID WOMAN TRAVELER

Books are wonderful. They smell good. They feel good in your hands. They can transport you to other places. Some books can even encourage you to really go to places you might have told yourself are too foreign or too scary or just too far off the beaten path. These …

WHY WWOOF?

  In the communal kitchen at Buttercup Farms Garden in Clayton, Calif., two walls are covered with photos of past guests. Jorie Hanson, the farm’s manager, doesn’t know exactly how many people have passed through since the farm’s opening in 1986, but said that a hundred of those people have …

WWOOF! // DEPARTING JANUARY 2016

I’ve spent the last few weeks chasing a story about WWOOF in the Bay Area. A hundred miles made their way onto the odometer. Five truly captivating people have made time to talk to me. Dozens of pictures have been taken. I expected an emphasis on learning the how-to’s of agricultural life, …

Go, Girl! – Why solo female travel should be encouraged, not feared

Solo travel, while accepted and often encouraged for men, is more commonly portrayed as dangerous and irrational when it’s a woman traveler. Employment, relationships and families can hold women back, even after they overcome concerns about safety and loneliness. But global views are changing when it comes to women’s autonomy. …