Author Archive for Wander the Arctic

wander the arctic

I compare my mind to the arctic

A forbidden space

Cold, dark, isolated

Questioned by many

Embraced by few

Criticized by most

But praised for its beauty by those brave enough to enter

Always a risk, never a guarantee

What you see is not always what you get

Easy to become lost

No amount of comfort can ever make you feel safe

But if you haven’t yet turned around to run away

I invite you to wander with me.

feeling guilty about being happy…

Hello Wanderers! This is going to just be a brain dump-journal-rant type of post and I am sorry if it does not interest you but I am very curious as to if any of you can relate to what I am about to say. Also, I really need to express what has been consuming my brain -and well- that is exactly why I have a blog to begin with.


My biggest depression -for lack of a better way to put this: trigger…- has always been and probably always will be: jealousy. Over the years the jealousy has jumped from concept to concept. And it has been extreme. I have lost so many friends because as soon as they had something I wanted, I would lash out on them and hurt them so badly emotionally to make sure they wouldn’t want to chase after me when I left.

For the past about 3 years my biggest reason for jealousy was engagements and marriage. I wanted to be engaged or married so badly that I would have mental breakdowns for days when I would get on social media and see an engagement announcement or wedding photos- even though I was extremely happy in my relationship. I don’t necessarily think these feelings stem from me wanting a materialistic item such as a ring or a wedding but they more stem from me feeling inadequate compared to my peers -in the same way I dropped my best friend when I was 16 because she got her driver’s license before me.

I recently became engaged and I have never been happier. I am so excited to marry the man of my dreams in December. I haven’t stopped smiling and feeling on top of the world -until I start feeling guilty for being happy……HUH!?!?!?!?!

Let me explain: I am so freaking happy. I honestly have never been happier. I want to stand on top of a mountain and announce to the world that I get to marry the absolute man of my dreams. But I stop myself from doing that because I fear that there is someone else like me out there who is having a mental breakdown because they saw my engagement. I want to spare their feelings. I’ve expressed this to my friends and they tell me I deserve to be as open about my happiness as I want. I can post as many pictures as I want and tell and many people as I want but I can’t bring myself to do it. It pains me so much to think that I could be hurting someone else and not even know it.

This is probably a really weird problem to have but I would honestly love some thoughts on this. Can anyone else relate? I would love to talk to someone about this who can relate.

My response to anyone who tells me I shouldn’t go somewhere because its “not safe”…

You said where I’m going isn’t safe

A land of violent crimes and hate

But what you fail to understand is that you can relate

How can you worry about me going overseas

When down the street

There is a school teacher begging:


“Don’t hurt them”

“They have so much life left”

“Just shoot me”

Girls much too young are forced to grow up

Too quick to judge, you label them “slut”

It’s hard to believe they aren’t the ones to blame

When those types of teachings-

You chose to take away

“Snap out of it”

“You’re too young to be sad”

“This is the land of the free, your life can’t be that bad”

You can’t say that our home isn’t scary

When I tremble in fear every time I see someone open carry

“They’re protecting you” -you say

“It’s their right to bear arms”, its a rule

But that’s not always the case

Ask any parent with kids in school

Tell me again about the risk that I’m taking

About how it’s different from the choices you’re making

Because I’ve learned

At the end of the day

That a house is not a home

Unless you feel safe.


The Truth About Why I Stopped Running

I used to be a runner -not a good one, but I believe that if you run (not just from hungry bears or someone trying to mug you) you are a runner. Running was my primary way of staying fit. It was the only exercise I liked. I used to have a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states. That goal died a year ago. In the fall of 2016, I started running again after depression made me stop for almost a year. I spontaneously signed up for the Sioux Falls Half Marathon and my love for running was rekindled. During the fall and winter seasons of 2016, I checked South Dakota, Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana off the map. I booked a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to run the Louisiana Half Marathon in January 2017 but a few weeks before the race, I got pneumonia My flight and hotel were non refundable at that point so even though I was unable to participate in the race, I decided to travel to Louisiana any

My trip to Louisiana was honestly one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt so depressed and helpless and it made the entire experience so miserable. I even tried to book a flight home immediately within an hour of arriving at my hotel. I was so mad at myself for not being well enough to run. Obviously, it was not my fault I had pneumonia but because my brain functions in a very self-punishing way, I was convinced otherwise at the time. At that point in time, I was also signed up for half marathons in California and Alaska as well as a full marathon in Indiana for later on in the year but at that moment, in my hotel in Louisiana, I decided that I would never run again. I stopped being active and started treating my body like crap.

A year has passed and as I am embarking on a brand new fitness journey, I am beginning to realize how much I miss running and how big of a role it played in my pos


itive travel experiences. Running gave a lot to me physically, mentally and travel wise.


I miss the excitement of booking a running adventure. I have decided to give it another try. I haven’t quite decided

when and where to start, as I am incredibly out of shape and quite a bit heavier than I was when I was actively running and training

but I am excited to color a few more states in on my running map in 2018!

How I Have the Confidence to Travel Alone

Happy Monday! If you didn’t happen to catch my Facebook update last night, I have been really sick with the flu and a lung issue and that is why the daily posts Friday through Sunday didn’t go up. I apologize and I thank you for understanding. Now that we have that out of the way, I am going to answer a question I get asked ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME. On the internet, in my personal life. Everyday.

How do you have the confidence to travel alone? How are you not afraid? Wow. I could never do that. My husband would never let me do that. Don’t you worry about something happening to you? It would be so boring. People would judge me for being there by myself.


The simple answer is this: I love to travel and sometimes, most of the time actually, solo travel is my only option if I want to go somewhere. And it’s always been that way.

About a year and a half ago, I had a huge realization about life being short and I know that sounds pretty cliche but stick with me. Around the same time, I also had the realization that I am a freaking adult and if I want to go somewhere and do something, who or what is stopping me?! I grew up as an only child and still today I have a pretty small circle of friends and family. I don’t have hundreds of friends who also have the travel bug or who can afford to go somewhere every couple months. But I also firmly believe that just because you others don’t want to do the same things as you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the opportunity to do them.

But if I am being completely honest, I was never scared to travel alone. Maybe something is wrong with me. Who knows. I’ve always been more comfortable with strangers than with people I know and I’ve always been more confident by myself than with a group. Granted, I have yet to do solo international travel (although, I have done international travel with groups of people I barely knew so that is basically the same thing). I would love to travel with others always but for my goals and aspirations, based on what my life currently looks like, thats not feasible so solo travel it is!

I hope this helps answer any questions you may have. Let me know if you would like more posts about my experiences traveling alone versus traveling with other people.

5 Experiences You Need to Have in 2018.

Happy Thursday! I’m still at it with the New Year’s posts so please forgive me. Looking back on 2017, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite experiences and I want to share it with you. I had the best year ever in 2017 because of these experiences!


Travel Solo

I traveled by myself a lot in 2017. Traveling solo seems terrifying at first. Many people ask me how I have the confidence to travel by myself or say things such as “I would never do that. I would get bored” or “wow my husband would never let me do that”. One of the best ways to get to know yourself is by spending time with yourself. When traveling, you get to know yourself in different circumstances and situations. I highly recommend trying solo travel in 2018. Maybe you don’t love the idea or traveling across the country alone but try taking a small road trip or a weekend somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. I promise that you will learn a lot about yourself and realize that you are good company.

See Your Favorite Band/Artist Live

If you are a music lover, then you know that there is no better feeling than seeing your favorite band or artist live. Seeing a popular artist you love doesn’t aways mean you need to drop hundreds of dollars on a concert ticket. While it is pretty cool to be up close and personal, they sound the same whether you are on the floor or way up in the nose bleeds. If you can just live in the moment and bask in the music, you will have the time of your life. It didn’t occur to me until early last year that “hey I’m an adult and I can go to whatever concert I want to”, so it that hasn’t occurred to you yet, this is me bringing you a revelation.

Spend Quality Time With Someone You Don’t Know Very Well

In simpler terms, make a friend. For my birthday this past summer, I went on a weekend trip with a girl from work with the same birthday as me that I didn’t know super well. I know. That also sounds scary but honestly, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We went to two concerts, one that I wanted to see and one she did and we went to an amusement park. It was one of the most fun weekends of my life and now I have a really good friend!

Have a Conversation With Someone You Look Up To

In 2017, I met the person I had looked up to my entire life. I actually met her twice. I honestly am still on cloud 9 six months later. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity (although in my case, it was). It can be someone you’ve admired from afar because lets be honest, we all have that person. So have a conversation with them. Pick their brain for knowledge. Let them know they inspire you. It sounds cheesy, but its life changing.

Do Something That Scares the Sh*t Out of You

Yes, thats right. As if the previous four haven’t scared you enough, do something that scares the absolute shit out of you. For me, it was getting in a helicopter. I knew for months I advance that I was going to have to ride in a helicopter but when it was time, I saw the helicopter and said hell no. But I did it and after the first two minutes, I stopped being afraid and enjoyed breathtaking views of glaciers. Whether the thing that scares you is getting on a plane or riding a ride or even going to the ocean, do it. You will thank yourself so much.


I hope these 5 experiences will help make 2018 the best year yet for you. I know I plan on doing all 5 of these again this year!

17 Things I Learned in 2017

Here I am showing up with one last post for 2017. I know a lot of people had a rough year but 2017 was such a good year for me. Yes, I had moments that were bad but overall it was one of my favorites. I also learned quite a bit about myself and the world so I compiled a list for you:

  1. Always double/triple/quadruple check your travel reservations.
  2. Don’t feel guilty about something that you had nothing to do with.
  3. Knock off beauty blenders are shit. Buy the real one.
  4. Don’t let anyone give you shit for your taste in music. If you think its awesome, its awesome.
  5. Take off your makeup EVERY NIGHT. Your skin needs it.
  6. Tailgating without a car is way more fun.
  7. When someone you haven’t spoken to in years shows up in your life with their negative opinions, don’t take it to heart.
  8. You don’t have to run away to have an adventurous life.
  9. Your passion in life and your job/career aren’t necessarily the same thing.
  10. Listen to bands that cost $20 to see (and see all of them)
  11. Going to concerts is always a good idea.
  12. Wear GOOD shoes (f*ck fashion sometimes)
  13. Always tell your friends how much you appreciate them even if it seems repetitive.
  14. You can’t change stupid shit you did in the past no matter how hard you try.
  15. You’re never too old to go to Disneyland
  17. People are the most important aspect of life. Show them love and they will show you love in return.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years Eve! Thank you lovelies for the past 4 months and here’s to 2018!

The Story of 2017.

Hello Blog Friends. Here we are at the end of 2017. It’s so weird. 2017 was such a long anticipated year for me and to think that its just about over makes me sad and nostalgic. I want to reminisce. Since I didn’t start blogging until the second half of the year, I thought I would do an overview of the entire year. It’s going to be somewhat of a long post, but my longer more travel-y posts tend to do better. I will be throwing some mental health stuff in too. So lets get right on into it.

January 2017 started a little rough. I remember ringing in the new year depressed. In 2016 I ran quite a few half marathons but in December I got really sick. I had planned to run in Louisiana in January but when the time came, I still wasn’t breathing well enough to run but since I had already booked the trip and most of it was non refundable, I decided to travel to Louisiana anyway and see what else I could do. It was a terrible decision and to this day I wish I had just stayed home. I stayed in my bed in my hotel for 3 days and all of my flights were terrible complete with the worst airline customer service I had ever experienced. After that trip I went on a “running strike” aka I said I would never ever run again.

February was a whole lot better. I traveled to Los Angeles, California to visit my best friend for 5 days. They were 5 really good days and I miss California and my best friend so much. I got to walk on the beach, go to Disneyland and just have a good time. For 5 days I didn’t think about mental illness and it was amazing. Thankfully, my happiness lingered for a while after this trip. I didn’t travel in March but March was still a good month. I got really into music and art in March which luckily, has stuck. March was nice turning point because I got my passion for music and art back and I had lost that over the past few years.

April was the month of road trips. I experienced St. Louis, Missouri for the first time. My friends and I took a 4 hour road trip to St. Louis because we wanted to visit Twisted Ranch -a restaurant that has 27 different flavors of ranch dressing (I think I tried 15). We also had a blast visiting City Museum. We saw the arch but it was closed while we were there so we couldn’t go inside. I did, however, get to go inside a few months ago. The second road trip in April was to Cleveland, OH for Easter. The third was to Columbus, OH to kick off concert season. I got off work at 2pm, drove 3 hours to Columbus to see Knuckle Puck and then drove 3 hours back home to make it to work at 8 am the next day. It was exhausting, but so incredibly worth it because incase I haven’t mentioned it 800 times before, Knuckle Puck is my favorite band to ever exist and I would travel the globe and back in a day to see them. I didn’t travel in May either but I did get to see Soundgarden in concert exactly one week before the tragic death of Chris Cornell. I am so thankful I got the opportunity to see them.

June was pretty freaking cool and probably my second favorite month of 2017 (the first obviously being the month I went to Alaska). I visited the Lincoln Log Cabin in Illinois which was pretty cool. I love anything Abe Lincoln so obviously it was the best day ever. I also got to see the Total Package Tour, twice which was definitely something I never ever thought would happen.

I took yet another road trip in July. My good friend and I share a birthday so we decided to celebrate by going to Cincinnati, OH to see two concerts and go to King’s Island. We saw Sam Hunt and Avenged Sevenfold and I went out of my comfort zone and rode roller coasters (I hate sudden drops so much). It was a really fun weekend and I am so glad we went.


Do I even need to explain August? In August, my lifelong dream of going to Alaska came true. After 10 months of planning and anxiously awaiting, I visited Alaska. I have several posts about this trip so I won’t drag on this already probably too long post any more with details but it was hands down, the best 10 days of my life and **spoiler alert** Alaska 2019 can’t come soon enough (what?! yeah!!!). Check out Alaska posts here. (I’m also not done blogging about Alaska. Sorry not sorry.)

September was when Istarted blogging! Yay! I started blogging as an outlet for my PostAlaska Depression. I also got to go to several concerts and just had a good time with my friends. I really have learned to cherish the time I spend with my friends because I don’t get to spend a lot go time with them.

In October, I saw Knuckle Puck again. I went on a day trip to St. Louis and finally got to go in the arch. I got to hear Knuckle Puck play their new album live the night before it was released. I also went to Atlanta, GA to see the one and only Halsey. I got to stay with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and quite honestly, didn’t know that well. I know this sounds cheesy, but I really cherish the bond we formed during this trip. I definitely plan on visiting this friend again in the future and hopefully spending more time in the Atlanta area because it was my first time being there and I really liked it. 

In November, I took a road trip to Cleveland. This trip was unfortunately the victim of some of my irrational emotions but I still had a wonderful time seeing my family and seeing The Maine live. I also saw Jack & Jack live in November.

Here we are in December. Aside from the fact that I have been sick in bed lately, I’ve spent a lot of time this month soaking up time with my friends and family and thinking about my goals for 2018.


Thank you for all the support in 2017. I can only hope 2018 will be full of as much joy and love as 2017 was.


Low on Self-Esteem, So You Run on Gasoline.

Last Thursday, I traveled to Atlanta, GA to see Halsey in concert. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that Halsey is my favorite artist on this planet. Her music is wonderful and if you are unfamiliar with it, please check her out. Right now. Open a new tab, YouTube Halsey and let your ears be blessed. I had floor seats and was right next to where she was able to run off stage and down an aisle. I stood about a foot away from her at one point and trust me, it was one of the highlights of my life. It was by far one of the best nights of my life.

My love for Halsey goes beyond her music though. I discovered Halsey at one of the lowest points in my depression. I had just been diagnosed with the mental illness I have after several years of wondering and I felt like nothing in the world could ever lift my spirits again. I didn’t think there would ever be any coming back from that. Once you learn a truth you’ve been avoiding for so long, you can’t unlearn it and it’s devastating on so many levels.

I never knew what someone meant when they said and artist saved their life until I discovered Halsey. I never believed that one person who was such an indirect figure in a persons life, could save them. I decided one morning on my way to work, while in the Starbucks drive thru to download Badlands on a whim. I had heard of her and liked what I heard and needed new, good music to listen to. I fell in love. In the Starbucks drive-thru. At 7:30 on a Tuesday morning. I learned later on about her struggles with mental health and found her to be so inspirational for openly talking about her struggles and allowing herself to be real when it feels like most other “celebrities” glamorize mental illness or at least make it seem like it doesn’t have to be as deep as it truly is. Halsey lets it be real. She doesn’t pretend it’s going to be ok -she works through it  until it is ok, no matter how impossible it seems. I find that to be so inspirational. I didn’t have the opportunity to meet her but one day when I do, I will personally thank her for saving my life that morning. Her music gave me life when I thought mine was over.

I Went to Atlanta for 48 Hours.

I originally intended to make this post part of my Solo Wandering series but it occurred to me that I really wasn’t wandering solo during this trip. I have a friend who moved to Atlanta about a year and a half ago and although we didn’t spend a lot of time together before he moved, we have gotten very close and when we found out that Halsey, one of our favorite artists, was playing in Duluth, GA, we decided that I had to come visit. It was a short trip -48 hours short. If I didn’t have work conflicts, I would have loved for it to be much longer but I have already decided that I am for sure coming back in the spring.

I got a quick tour of the city, mostly in the car. We didn’t have much time to explore but we did go up to the Sundial bar and it was a really cool view of the city from the 72nd floor. I won’t lie, the rides up and down in the glass elevator gave me horrible flash backs of those amusement park rides with sudden drops -I hate those more than anything. I also got a really fancy real estate tour of Atlanta too because my friend is in the business and was extremely excited to show me some of his projects. I enjoyed it a lot.

I am going to do a whole separate post next week about the Halsey concert so I won’t go too much in depth about that in this post but HOLY FREAKING SHIT is she amazing. And I had GOOD seats.

As cheesy as this sounds, my favorite part of the trip was still just seeing my friends and spending time with them because I just love my friends so much. I can’t wait to wander around Atlanta a lot more in the future. This trip brought me so much joy and for me that is sort of a big deal.