The Best Gear for Summer Hiking

I will preface this post by admitting I am not a gear junkie, or a technical expert. I don't shop every season for the newest products, or even know what the latest and greatest performance apparel is.

But I do appreciate quality made products that are built to last, and I like supporting companies that advocate for the environment and actively participate in taking care of it.

lcarvitto-summerhikinggear1-min.jpg

When I'm purchasing new gear, I ask myself a few questions; 

Quality/Functionality - What are the materials? Can I wear or use it for more than one activity? How long will it last? 
Comfort - Can I move and groove without ripping seems?  How well does it fit my body type? Will it still feel good day 3 of a camp or hiking trip? 
Sustainability -  How is the product made? How does it affect global environmental issues? Does the company have a mission that aligns with reducing pollution and using recycled materials? 

Below are 10 items I've tested (and fallen in love with) on the trails from the Pacific Northwest to New Zealand. *Before purchasing straight from the store, look for used gear at second hand shops (like Assent Outdoors in Seattle) or online at REI's used gear website. They select and inspect the gear and clothing before putting it up for sale. This helps keep useful products out of landfills! 


1.) Patagonia Ascensionist Pack 35 LB
I dig this bag because it's light and versatile. On longer hikes when I need to pack more, I can release the compression straps on the sides to manage a larger load. There is a foam back panel that provides structure and it has super soft/padded hipbelts. The top pouch is great for keeping important things within reach and the only qualm I have is that it lacks a seperate section for a hydration bladder.

2.) Sawyer Water Filtration System:
I have the squeeze water filtration and the S1 filter and purifier. You can get over 1500 uses out of the S1 filter and it was designed to remove bacteria, protozoa, chemicals and pesticides while improving the taste and odor of the water.  The purifier uses a proprietary foam membrane in a durable silicone bottle in which molecules stick to the surface of the adsorbent foam. Kinda wild right? 

* Get Involved: Help bring clean water to people that need it by donating a filter–or any amount toward the purchase of one–through one of their many international humanitarian partners.

lcarvitto-summerhikinggear4-min.jpg

3.) Non-Toxic Sunscreen: 
SPF 15 is the minimum rating dermatologists recommend, and it should be applied 20 minutes before sun exposure. The FDA recommends re-application every two hours regardless of the SPF rating. Look for a sunscreen that’s labeled “broad spectrum” which will shield skin from both UVB and UVA rays. And remember that the higher you climb, the more intense the sunlight (and potential to burn) will be. 

4.) Sawyer Picadin Insect Repellent
One thing that can ruin what should be a wonderful outdoor experience is a swarm of relentless biting insects. Mosquitos are particularly pesky in the Northwest as are ticks early in the season. One time, Jared and I backpacked to an alpine lake and the mosquitoes were SO bad that we immediately pitched our tent and stayed there for the rest of the evening. The sun wasn't setting for another 5 hours, but there were droves of them so we cooked dinner in the tent and fell asleep early. 

  • Sawyer’s 20% Picaridin insect repellent is non-greasy, offers all day protection, actually has a pleasant smell (citrus), and is safe for use on adults as well as children. The repellent comes in a spray and lotion form. 
lcarvitto-summerhikinggear1-2-min.jpg

5.) Topo Women's Tech Pants:
I can't walk out of the house without receiving a compliment on these pants. I wore them hiking all over New Zealand and they've become my trusty travel pants. The tailored fit is ultra stretchy, lightweight and breathable. I use the cinch chord locks at the ankles to crop them below my knee in hotter weather, and they have a durable water repellant finish which is great for someone like me who spills often and loves the water. 

6.) Keen Women's Hiking Boots Targhee 2: 
A trail tested favorite. I've hiked in these boots for the last 5 years and appreciate how easy they are to break in. The boots are super supportive, comfortable and lightweight. They have durable waterproof protection that stands up to wet weather, and the outsoles have great traction. I prefer low cut boots to high cut that wrap around the ankle and have used these for day hikes as well as 4 day backpacking trips. 

7.) Chaco Sandals - Women Z2 Classic Wide Width: 
After miles of hiking, nothing feels better than taking off my boots and switching over to sandals. Gotta let those feet breath! I stole Jared's pair (which he has had for a decade) for the longest time before finally getting my own. The adjustable straps custom-fits to your foot and a toe-loop for additional forefoot control. They are on the heavier side for sandals but they are the most durable I've ever used. 

lcarvitto-summerhikinggear3-min.jpg

8.) Marmot Dreamweaver Jacket: 
I wish summer automatically meant solid 80-degree temperatures no matter where I am and what time of day. But summer storms are real, and wind tends to visit us on the summit of a mountain. I throw this jacket on over my fleece or puffy for extra warmth. It's waterproof, breathable, seam-sealed and incorporates stretch shell material. 

9.) Eno Double Nested Hammock: 
This hammock tucks into a integrated stuff sack, making it super easy to toss into your backpack for a day hike. It's lightweight (weighing just over a pound) and can sleep 2 people - great for that afternoon nap to rest your mind and muscles.  

lcarvitto-besthikinggear1-min (1).jpg

10.) Hydroflask Water Bottle:
The build quality is better than most water-bottles (I can attest with the number of times I've dropped it) and the insulated double-wall keeps your water ice cold, or coffee piping hot. It's not that lightweight, and the wide mouth version doesn't fit in cupholders, but I will sacrifice for gulps of cold water after a hot hike day. 

Lodged Out: An Outdoorsy Unplugged Retreat for Creatives

My pre-arthritic fingers needed a rest from the continuous typing, scrolling, and tapping. 
My mind desired clarity not tethered to a timeline and born out of a lack of distraction.  
My spirit craved the type of energy that occurs effortlessly from an authentic connection, refreshingly honest conversations, and pure untouched landscapes.

 Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

180228_lodged out_13.jpg

Three days at Lodged Out provided all that and then some. 

I had been keeping an eye on the tech-free camp since my friend Haley attended their inaugural camp in Idaho. (She did a great feature about it on She Explores. You can read it here. ) It encapsulated so much of what I love and live for - connection and community, creativity, the outdoors, and the chance to really unplug. 

When I found out there was going to be a winter camp just over the pass from Seattle, all arrows were pointing to 'sign up'.  The decision was one of the best I've made for myself in the past six months. Now that I've been home and had time to process the experience, I can see that my participation was an important investment for both my personal wellbeing and professional growth. 


About Lodged Out

Lodged Out exists to bring like-minded people to the mountains for experiential learning so they can rid themselves of distraction and immerse themselves into an experience with inspiring people - because when you disconnect, you reconnect.
— Founder Bobbilee
 Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Founder Bobbilee at Tall Timber - Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

Lodged Out - Tall Timber Style

It's hard to imagine a more picturesque place than Tall Timber Ranch for a retreat. We had the entire grounds to ourselves and bunked in cute A-frame and bunk-house style cabins. Situated about 30 miles Northwest of Leavenworth, Tall Timber borders the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area and is surrounded by alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains. The area became our playground every morning as we strapped on Nordic skis or snowshoes and tromped (or glided) around the camp.

180227_lodged out_1.jpg
Nothing to do, Nowhere to go, No one to be
— Lodged Out Speaker, Tatiana Simonian

One morning we went searching for a waterfall, the next morning a group of us sat by a glacier river and talked about everything and nothing. The first 3-4 hours of the day were free to spend however we liked. And we liked to spend that time together. Distraction free. Cell phone free. Any type of screen free. My guess is that the lack of distraction led to a more immediate connection with one another. There was a presence in conversations - eye contact, intuitive body language, thoughtful questions - all of the signs that point to active listening. There was a distinct sense that not only did we all want to be there psychically, but we wanted to be there for each other emotionally. 

2018-03-14_0001.jpg

Lodged Out - Workshops + Speakers


I was particularly excited for the outdoor stewardship workshop with Katie Boué and creative writing workshop with Erin Rose Belair. 

I spend a lot of time recreating and promoting an outdoor lifestyle, so I was eager to learn about how to be a better advocate for the outdoors. If you're interested in learning how to do that, give Katie a follow. She's a fantastic resource. 

I also spend a lot of time writing, both personal journaling and for client work. With anything you do often, it's easy to slip into a pattern or habitual way of doing it. My writing had started to sound all the same to me. I was hoping the workshop would rattle some dormant creativity in me and it did! Erin taught us about lyrical essays and gave us a framework for creating our own. I've shared the essay I came up with at the bottom of this post if you're interested in reading.  

After our workshops, it was whiskey and dinner time followed by speakers and fireside chats. Being the grandma that I am, I rarely made it past 10pm. I would feel a high from the day that would carry me to the edge of the night before crashing from emotional exhaustion. But it was the good kind of emotional exhaustion. The kind that emanates from giving people your full attention, talking and listening for hours, and trying new things. 

 Photo by Retreat Photographer  Alycia Lovell Photography

Photo by Retreat Photographer Alycia Lovell Photography

Bye Bye, Tall Timber

When the time came to leave, I experienced a range of emotions. I was creativity inspired, ready to start new projects and dive into work. I was somber about leaving new friends.  I was anxious to  depart the quiet of the mountains and enter back into the chaos of the city, the chaos of everyday technology. And I was motivated to be a better outdoor activist, a better ally to WOC, a smarter entrepreneur, a more vulnerable and present friend, daughter, sister and wife. All of this as a result of taking 3 days to unplug with 35 or so creative strangers in the woods. 

Follow Lodged Out to get updates on their retreats. 
Instagram @lodgedout

Untitled Lyrical Essay -

I’m thinking about cooking dinner with Jared
Do-si-do’ing around each other in our tiny kitchen,
working separately on the same recipe
trying not to choke on the smoke rising from the cast iron
this hundred-year-old home needs a fan

vegetables sizzling, oil crackling
the occasional ‘oh shit’
vibrates off the mint green walls we didn’t paint
The music floats in from the record player in the living room

we pause and reach for each other
one hand held and one hand resting
on a back
or a hip
we start to move, small steps
creating small circles as we spin around
our favorite room in this hundred-year-old home

I wonder how much longer we’ll live here?

live simply
simply live
city living sometimes feels like anything but
I daydream about a new place to plant intentional roots
but where?

We’ll take certain things with us
the Belgian linen sheets that shelter our bodies at night
furniture that’s been passed on from parents
the record player, boxes of well-loved books
and the cast iron that’s heard our laughter, our curses
and watched us dance circles in our tiny kitchen

I’ve heard the phrase
”you can always go back”
but whoever actually does?

You live in the past, or you live in the present.

Travel: New Zealand - 3 Weeks on the South Island

From the moment we landed in New Zealand,  I knew that we were in one the most beautiful countries on Earth. Sure, I had spent hours eyeballing internet imagery and knew it was going to be exquisite.  But nothing compares to experiencing it first hand.  The country is the definition of utopia, elaborate with diverse landscapes and climates, brimming with friendly locals, travelers and happy farm animals. As opposed to a lot of the yearlong travelers we met, Jared and I had three weeks to experience the country's vast scenery. With that timeline, we stuck to venturing around the South Island. 

180206_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_48.jpg

 

 If you are reading this and are planning your own trip to NZ (whether it's booked or a bucket list) this would be my one piece of advice: go for as long as possible.

To maximize on our time, we adhered to a 2 night minimum stay so we aren't continuously packing, unpacking, checking in and checking out of AirBNB's.  Below is our three week itenerary and a few helpful tips about traveling through the country.  Reach out or leave a comment if you have any questions or additional advice for readers. 


1. Abel Tasman National Park (3 days, 2 nights): 

  • Location: Top of the South Island
  • Distance: 37 miles / 60 km (in full)
  • Size: 55,672 acres and New Zealand's smallest national park
  • Campsite Price: $15 pp, must be booked in advance
180129_new-zealand-forever-stoked-lcarvitto_2.jpg
For at least 500 years Maori lived along the Abel Tasman coast, gathering food from the sea, estuaries and forests, and growing kumera on suitable sites. Most occupation was seasonal but some sites in Awaroa estuary were permanent. The Ngati Tumatakokiri people were resident when, on 18 December 1642, the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman anchored his two ships near Wainui in Mohua (Golden Bay), the first European to visit Aotearoa - New Zealand.
— DOC Abel Tasman
180128_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_9.jpg

Beginning in Abel Tasman was 100% intentional.  We needed to experience the opposite season than the one we were in. We enthusiastically traded in short, dreary winter days for the heat wave of summer. Exposing our skin to the sun was marvelous and I was surprised at how the act of wearing a bathing suit could be a source of so much joy.  

We took a 2 hour water taxi ride which dropped us off at Totaranui, a popular beach for locals.  On the way in we saw seals, sting rays and got a historical background of the park from our driver.  Once we were dropped off, we started towards our first camping spot at Onetahuti Bay. Out agenda was simple; soak in the sunshine and get some water therapy. In between that we cooked, read and made conversation with other campers. Two in particular, a couple from Wellington were on a tour promoting a waste-free life. Read about how they inspired my post about reducing waste while traveling here.

The second night we camped at Te Pukatea, a section of the trail accessible only by boat or hiking. There were only 7 campsites, and we found ourselves alone much of the time. We enjoyed the quiet and reveled in our distance from technology. For some, having no cell phone service is a cause for a breakdown, but we love it. Jared actually kept his phone off the entire three weeks! 

180128_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_3.jpg
180129_new-zealand-forever-stoked-lcarvitto_1.jpg

Tips: 

  • Make sure to sunscreen your entire body. I forgot to cover my feet and my poor feet burned, which then caused them to swell and created nasty blisters. 
  • On the day you hike out, stop at Hooked On Marahau to refuel before hitting the road. I don't typically eat meet but holy hell that burger was divine. 
 But seriously, a burger and beer after hiking is so necessary. The Hooked Cafe is conveniently located right outside the park.

But seriously, a burger and beer after hiking is so necessary. The Hooked Cafe is conveniently located right outside the park.


 2. Punakaiki / Paparoa National Park (3 days, 3 nights):

  • Location: West Coast 
  • Established: 1987
  • Size: 10,6181 acres
180130_punakaiki_3.jpg
180130_punakaiki_4.jpg

From Abel Tasman we drove south west towards Punakaiki.  Jared had found a sweet off the grid cabin and we splurged by booking 3 nights. We  didn't have any plans, which was probably a good thing since a cyclone rolled in and we couldn't leave our cabin! We were safe, but stuck in the cabin for over a day. We did manage to take a quick trip to the popular Punakaiki Pancake Rocks. A short, paved loop trail  takes you through incredible Limestone landscapes.  It was one of the most "touristy" things we did, but it was fascinating to read about the rocks 30 million year old history and how they were formed.  

* We found the cabin on Canopy Glamping. Our off the grid-hut was built by a local builder and artist, and consisted of two small timber huts, adjoined by a covered outdoor kitchen and living area. Everything from the furniture and decor, to the materials used to build the hut were intentional.  

180130_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_13.jpg
180130_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_21.jpg
180130_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_14.jpg

3. Wanaka (4 nights) 

Wanaka was one of two towns we stayed in and we fell in love with it instantly. Any location that combines easy access to the outdoors, healthy creative food options, and a friendly community immediately has me daydreaming about a move.  Wanaka gets bonus points for being surrounded by water. Everyday, we followed the same simple pattern of coffee + breakfast, a hike followed by lunch and another coffee, downtime (reading/nap), a walk around town, and dinner. I love staying in a place long enough to develop a little routine. Below is a list of hikes we did and cafes/restaurants we ate at. 

180202_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_29.jpg

Hikes in Wanaka: 

180202_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_27.jpg
180203_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_35.jpg
  • Roy's Peak - 10 miles roundtrip; 4-5 hours
    The proximity of this hike from town makes it an accessible trail for travelers. From the lake level, a steep gradient begins and doesn't let up till you finish at the top. There is a 4,000 feet elevation gain in the (almost) 5 mile climb. The views are spectacular and urge you along the way as you pass farmland, tussock and on a clear day, Mt. Aspiring. 
  • Rob Roy Glacier - 6.2 miles roundtrip; 2-4 hours
    This trail can be summed up in one word: diverse. Along the short 3.2 mile walk to the glacier, you pass through a gorge, beech forest, and an alpine valley. The drive to the trailhead felt longer than the hike itself, but the valley floor is gorgeous and home to adorable roaming cattle and sheep. 
  • Isthmus Peak - 10 miles roundtrip; 4-5 hours
    This peak tops at around 4,543 feet and is similar in  length and elevation to Roy's Peak. The track overlooks Lake Wanaka and Lake Hāwea, with views of the Southern Alps and the town. It's a long steady climb that's well maintained and not as crowded as Roy's. The best part (in my opinion) was walking through the fields of alpine tussock. 
 Moody clouds rolling in as we climb to the top of Isthmus Peak.

Moody clouds rolling in as we climb to the top of Isthmus Peak.

 Feeling wind and freedom at the top of Isthmus Peak.

Feeling wind and freedom at the top of Isthmus Peak.

Where to Eat & Drink in Wanaka:

  • Ritual Espresso Cafe: Anything off the breakfast menu + delicious baked goods + coffee
  • The Big Fig: "slow food served fast" - Modern Middle Eastern eatery right on the lake and open all day. Finish off your meal with one of their carrot cakes.
  • Francesca's Kitchen: Arrive early or book reservations in advance. Authentic, affordable Italian cuisines and an extensive New Zealand wine list. 
  • Kika: One of our top meals while in New Zealand. The trendy spot is tapas-style dishes that are inventive and seasonal. We were close to returning for another dinner but opted to try something new. Jared and I shared the Roasted cauliflower, whipped tahini, pine nut furikake and dates, the Roasted carrots, harissa, yoghurt, rye granola, and the Lamb shoulder, preserved lemon, rosemary, chilli.  I would order it all again in a hearbeat.

4. Mt Cook National Park, (2 days, 1 night) 

  • Location: Central part of the South Island 
  • Established: 1953
  • Size: 174,772 acres 
180206_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_51.jpg
180206_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_45.jpg

Staying overnight at the bright red Mueller Hut was one of the highlights of the trip. You know how some trips (or more specifically hikes) are about the journey? Well this one wasn't. This hike was definitely about the destination. It is only 3.2 miles but has a total elevation gain of 3,280 feet. I hadn't looked into it until I searched online and saw the estimated climb time of 4 hours. That long of a trek for that short of mileage usually means one thing- UP. The first bit is stairs, stairs, and more stairs. We passed a guy coming down who said "this was the stairway to heaven, now it's a stairway to hell." With my mental and physical energy focused on the uphill, I couldn't be bothered to think about tomorrow when we too, would be headed back down.  

We finished in 2.5 hours and I hastily bundled up on the deck of the hut, ate my sandwich and fell asleep in the sun. The remaining hours of the day passed slowly. We chatted with day hikers, explored the surrounding area and made a little home in the bunkhouse we shared with the other overnight hikers. 

Our hut warden for the night was Neville, a local kiwi who had been volunteering at Mueller for the last 10 years. He pointed out the mountain ranges in view, gave us a history of who climbed it when (shout out to Freda Du Faur, first female to climb Mt. Cook), and what stars we would see as the day shifted into night. 

Within 12 hours, we experienced the the most spectacular sunset and sunrise. At almost 6,000 feet up, we had a 360-degree panorama encompassing glaciers, ice cliffs, and some of New Zealand’s highest peaks.

180206_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_47.jpg
180206_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_50.jpg

5. Kepler Track (3 days, 2 nights) :

Location: Fiordland National Park
Distance: 37 miles / 60 km
Hiking Time: 3-4 days 

180208_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_59.jpg
180208_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_58.jpg

The Kepler Track is one of nine great walks in New Zealand. Great walks are New Zealand's premium tracks and are accessible from major towns that are well serviced by local operators and accommodation and transport providers. They are well formed/maintained and easy to follow. (Abel Tasman is also a great walk!) 

180208_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_62.jpg

By the time we began the Kepler Track, we had hiked 6 days in a row. My body felt simultaneously strong and drained. I knew it would be a great hike but I was also craving stillness and a soft bed. We had originally planned to do the hike in 4 days but ended up finishing in 3 because that soft bed was calling both our names. Not to mention we were both getting eaten alive by mosquitos and we had hit a hiking breaking point. 



We started the hike in mid afternoon but walked a relatively flat and shaded 9 miles to our first camp spot at Broad Bay. We began the second day early, knowing that we had 15 miles to go with the most elevation gain of the trek. We stopped at the Luxmore Hut for a quick snack, bathroom break, and to layer on more clothes. Now that we were at the ridge line, the temperatures were much cooler and the wind was whipping. Raindrops felt intermittently as we  walking along the spine of the mountains. It was the highlight of the hike, looking down at the lakes and seeing other mountains jut out from the water.

At around mile 10 we began the descent and with every achy step we got closer to our home for the night, the Iris Burns Hut . Sleep came really easy that night. On day 3 we began the trail early, moving quickly through the beech forest and finally back to the car park.  We were able to book an extra night at our AirBNB and were enjoying and a shower and Netflix by sundown. 

180208_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_55.jpg

6. Te Anau (3 nights)

180210_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_64.jpg

Our AirBNB was situated out of town on a lovely farm and we didn't venture to town that often. Multiple people told us to go to Doubtful Sound vs Milford (because Doubtful was the less busy/chaotic spot) so we did book a full day tour though Go Orange cruise.  Despite Seattle-like weather, cruising through the fjords was gorgeous and it was a nice break from being on our feet. We did drive up to Milford Sound just to take in the scenery and stopped to do a quick hike to  Lake Marian . The rest of our time was spent on the farm or near Lake Te Anau. It was the perfect way to spend our last few days in New Zealand. 

180210_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_65.jpg
180210_new-zealand-road-trip-lcarvitto_67.jpg

2017 - A Year in Review

At the beginning of 2017, I attended a "New Year Desire Map" Workshop. I'm no stranger to workshops and retreats that focus on personal development, but this one gave me a new perspective on setting goals and intentions.  Instead of focusing on the things we wanted to achieve, accomplish, or attain - our facilitator asked us to first think about how we wanted those things to make us feel. What is at the core of those goals and desires? How will achieving this goal make us feel? Excited? Empowered? Independent? 
Once we gained clarity on that, we dove into our core feelings which paved the way for intention setting. (*This was a 2-day workshop so there is more to it than that but you get the gist right?) 

This was going to be a big year of transition and personal development. I was just a few weeks away from giving my workplace an exit notice and I was excited but anxious. Ready yet feeling unprepared. I was in a tug of war with mind and spirit, and who was winning changed at every moment. I pushed that baggage out of my mind for the workshop and wrote down how I wanted to feel and my intentions for the new year. These were my conclusions.

"I want to feel brave, committed, aligned, impactful and confident."

2017 Intentions

  • I will believe in myself as a creative human. 
  • I will commit to improving my skills in writing and photography. 
  • I will drop comparison and substitute support and encouragement. 
  • I will believe that abundance is TRUTH and that there is room for one more. 
  • I will kick fear out of the driver's seat. 
  • I will manifest and create the vision of my life I've had for years. 
170903_outdoor-brands_30.jpg

This year I felt the weight of my privilege, exacerbated by the fact that I was able to quit my job and go on a personal quest for meaningful work.  Not having a full time job (which I had previously latched on to as 'my purpose') to go to every day played with my ego. Amend that- it's still playing with my ego, but I'm consciously working on it. I feel like I'm on the right track but I constantly have to check my inner saboteurs. They like to tell me I'm not good enough, that I will never make enough money freelancing, that I should probably go back to a steady 8-5......
Honestly, that has been the biggest challenge of the year wasn't quitting my job.

The biggest challenge was believing in myself.

 Photo By Nick Lake 

Photo By Nick Lake 

Even in moments of self-doubt, I am reminded that there is so much to be grateful for, especially as I reflect on the friendships, community and experiences the last year has given me. 


TRAVEL: The Universe willing, travel will always be a significant part of the year.

171102_outdoor-portfolio_1.jpg

2017 Travel Itenerary

February: Cannon Beach, OR, girls winter road trip
March: Monterey, CA, to celebrate my mom's birthday@ | Olympic Peninsula, another girl's trip (this was definitely the year of building strong female friendships!) | Oahu, HI, to warm up, visit friends & swim with sharks
May: Italy, Belgium & London
June: France, my best friend flew over from Seattle and we journeyed through Paris, Dijon, Annecy and Aix-En-Provence. 
July: Wallowa, Oregon, one of my favorite backpacking trips to date | Salt Lake City + Bonneville Flats Utah, for Outdoor Retailer
August: Orcas Island, San Juan Islands for Doe Bay Fest | Lake Tahoe, CA for our annual family vacation
September: Lake Tahoe, CA  | Tofino, BC
November: Yosemite, CA for my grandmother's 97th birthday! | Sunshine Coast, BC | Vancouver, BC
December: Ventura, CA, for a beachy Christmas with family

2 months in Europe was the highlight of my year. I got to travel with all of my favorite people (family, husband, and best friend) while making new friendships with host families and locals. There are so many places and cultures I'm keen to visit and learn about. Next up? New Zealand to kick off 2018!  

A few of my favorite photos from Europe. 

And back home in Seattle....

  • I got a coach. 
    Shane Eubank
     is my work/life coach and we check in and chat bi-weekly. He has challenged me to define and live by my values, helps hold me accountable, quiet my sabetours and inspires me to dream BIG.  
  • I have a workspace that isn't my kitchen table.
    Freelancing/working from home can feel ultra isolating and lonely. Thankfully I have enough friends that are also freelancers and a few of them decided that working together is way better than working separately. They started a co-working space called Treefort and it's a motivating and supportive space and community to go to every week. 
  • I joined the She Explores team.
    She Explores is a website and podcast for "Inquisitive women in the outdoors, on the road, and besides." The founder Gale has built and nurtured an incredible community of women from all parts of the Globe and I'm thrilled to be assisting with content. 
  • I focused in on what I REALLY want to do with photography.
    I explored with types of photography but found myself right back where (and why) I started. My inspiration always points back to outdoor spaces and people. Recently, I've been drawn to women entrepreneurs and creatives. I want to shine a light on their gifts and promote their talents. I'm also setting an intention to begin photographing retreats, specifically women retreats and those centered around personal development and health and wellness (like, a yoga retreat in Norway?! #manifesting). 

As the year comes to an end, I'm reflecting on how I want to feel in 2018, and what intentions will rise from those feelings. How do YOU want to feel in 2018? Is there a goal or intention you're looking to accomplish?