“I’m really not that kind of girl.”

I don’t know if you know this, but after you’re single for awhile, there are inevitable milestones.

The first time you decide to stay in and watch Netflix instead of going out? Check.

Deciding to dye your hair a crazy Crayola color? Check.

Then there’s the big one. The one action that every single girl should take, even if she’s uneasy about it. I’ve talked other single friends about it, and the answers vary from:

“I would be so nervous.”


“I’m really not that kind of girl.”

I’m fairly adventurous, so I’m honestly surprised at how long it took me. A lot of girls go back and forth, as there’s obvious concerns and considerations. But last weekend, after months of consideration, I accepted my fate as “that kind of girl”.

I did it.

I booked solo international travel. And for the second time in my life, I chose Reykjavik as my destination. With Paris as a secondary stop.

The rest of the weekend was spent daydreaming about dried fish, thick accents, and planning glacier/hot spring related excursions.




Seriously, though.

Iceland ranks in my top five of most loved things, right after my cabbage patch doll Fire Addams (I named him when I was three, no regrets). It’s always symbolized potential. I’m confident my love for this cold island will always be something that defines me.

But enough with the mush and on with the adventure.

So far, I’ve planned a few incredibly exciting things:

#1. New Years Eve in Reykjavik

Bonfire in Reykjavik, via  MongFish on Flickr CC.

Bonfire in Reykjavik, via
MongFish on Flickr CC.

I booked New Years in Reykjavik just because, but apparently it’s a thing. They’ve got all of these really cool traditions that vary from epic bonfires to setting off 500 tons of fireworks. I mean, damn, read for yo’self:


So, I will be joining local Icelanders in a lot of fire related traditions. Which is pretty fucking cool.


#2. The Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon via  Jason Eppink on Flickr CC

Blue Lagoon via
Jason Eppink on Flickr CC

The Blue Lagoon is a huge tourist attraction… that I didn’t go to last time I was there. Which is great, actually, because I can revisit all of my favorite Reykjavik spots while checking out new stuff.

But probably just sitting in the Blue Lagoon with some kind of fancy face cream slathered all over my face. I will go big.


#3. Staying at The Best Fucking Hostels

Kex Hostel via  LilyyyB on Flickr CC

Kex Hostel via
LilyyyB on Flickr CC

Reykjavik has the best hostels by far. Kex, Backpackers, Hlemmur… this place is incredibly social and clean, with very aesthetically pleasing accommodations. I would post which one I’m staying at, but I don’t want the internet to stalk me.

Just believe me, they’re all good.

I practically lived at the Backpackers in Akureyri (pretty sure I ate about five of their burgers over the course of 2-3 days), and between Hlemmur and Kex, I really didn’t want to try any other hostel in the city. Except when I was exceptionally poor and did not have a choice.


#4. Um, duh. Montmarte.

smoking via zoetnet on Flickr CC

smoking via zoetnet on Flickr CC

When I arrive in Paris, I will go right to Montmarte. I will spend a weekend cuddled up in some awesome Airbnb. I will eat bon bons and macarons. I will rename myself Marguerite, I will pretend I’m French.

(Also, a picture of the Le Consulat restaurant has been on my desk for months, so I will obviously also be going there.)


#5. Um, duh. Marion.


I am SO excited to see my French sister. Marion and I will smoke cigarettes (sorry, Joan), wear red lipstick, and drink incredibly too much red wine. We will talk about boys, eat incredible French food, and she will very likely bring me somewhere inspiring and wonderful.

Versailles with Marion

Versailles with Marion

(I will also drink wine with Laurent and read to her two adorable children.)


I’m still making plans, which will probably also contain a substantial amount of time on a glacier, another random European city, and at least a night or two with my best friend (also named) Melissa in London.

Although a lot of my excitement for this adventure comes from just the enthusiasm for travel, a lot of it has to do with being surrounded by a substantial amount of things I love, in a short amount of time.

Those people, those places. Pure joy.








Sailboats & Red Lipstick

When I was 20 years old, I left my family and moved to Philadelphia. I knew one person that lived in the city, a boy named Andy that I had gone to high school with. Aside from some family at least an hour away… that was it.

For my 21st birthday, I got a tattoo on my foot. Spontaneously, I selected a blue feather. It’s by far my favorite one, out of my three, and I’ve never regretted it, or felt scared when I got it.

Every year, there seems to be a benchmark of courage I hit. Unintentionally. Of course, my favorite would be the Iceland thing, the adventure abroad I fully embraced.

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Annabel & Melissa’s Excellent Outfit Adventure

“Where are your cardigans?” Annabel asks, leafing through the large pile of clothing on my bed.

“I don’t have any.” I reply, rustling through some crop tops.

“Do you have a collared shirt?” she tries again.

Over the next few hours, it would surface that besides cardigans and collared shirts, I also have no belts, lipstick, or eye shadow.

If I had to describe my style to a stranger, I’d settle somewhere between hippie dippie Indiana Jones and Peter Pan chic.  My wardrobe varies from leopard print high heels to brown combat boots. Patterned rompers and colorful skirts.

Once, I unintentionally dressed like Lara Croft. 

on 6th Street.

on 6th Street in Austin, combat boots and dress.

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Two Pictures, Two Years




I took both of these pictures, over two years apart. It took me another five months to see the similarity between the two images. I don’t know either one of these men, and they don’t know each other. 

The first photo was at Harpa, a concert hall in Reykjavik Iceland. I was there in July 2013, walking around and taking in the incredible architecture. I noticed this older man sitting there, by himself, just looking out over the bay. It gave me feels so I took a pic.

The second photo was taken by Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX. I was walking by with Kate and Shana, and again, noticed an older man sitting and gazing out over the water.

For all I know, they could be the same man. I didn’t see either one of their faces. I just walked by, noticed them being introspective, and snapped a picture.

Crazy, right?

“C’mon, Iceland.”

My favorite thing about travel are the surprises. I travel with the intention of being surprised. Most of the excursions, restaurants, and people I encounter are by chance.

The Shoji Spa in Asheville, N.C. was no exception.

When Claire and I were conspiring about our upcoming weekend adventure at her kitchen table (she’s a meticulous planner), she listed out various places she really wanted to go.

“How about you?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?”

I had only been to Asheville once before. Honestly, I didn’t really care where we went. I figured we’d end up at some interesting places anyway, which is why I’m not much of a planner to begin with.

But for Claire, I tried.

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Serendipitous Sundays

For a few weeks, I’ve have this… idea stuck in my head.

I couldn’t quite put it into words. Through scattered talks with my co-worker Annabel, I tried to summarize it. Finally, she sent me a post on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page that of course, said everything.

She talked about how when you’re lost, you “must tirelessly search for clues”. About how her seemingly pointless fixations with learning Italian, losing herself in meditation, and going to Bali resulted in:


Absolutely everything.

That journey brought me EVERYTHING.”

If I could look back and pinpoint my clues, they would seem just as insignificant. But I also believe in the journey, and the little things you find along the way. A book in an airport bathroom, a thrift store jacket.

I can’t say I always felt lost during those times, but this past Sunday, I definitely was.

Lost, that is.

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Questions, Claire & Asheville

“Wait, am I still in your phone as this?”

My thumb is hovering over a contact, “Melissa W from Queensboro”.

The petite, dark haired girl driving confirms it, then offers to update it.

“It’s fine,” I say, texting myself the photo I wanted.

We’ve just left Chimney Rock. She’s carefully steering our Nissan Note (a rental) back down the mountain. As she navigates around the sudden curves, I swipe through all of the pictures from our morning hike.

There’s me, back faced to her, gazing at the view of the French Broad River. Then, an identical photo and pose, but with Claire.

And finally us, ecstatic at 2,880 ft. 

At what seems like the top of the world, we’re about five or six hours from where I first met my dear friend, Claire Becker.


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“Guys don’t like short hair.”

When I was 20(ish), I decided to cut my hair short.

My hair was a dark brown then, and I liked how simple it was. It was right before a road trip I was taking with my friend Becky, and her mom, Katie. We RVed down the East Coast, which was challenging, invigorating, and really really fun.


Here I am in Kentucky, short hair in tow.

I loved it.

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