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With the invention of Pinterest and Instagram you can plan your own adventures easily, with a world of resources at your fingertips. I dreamed of Cinque Terre and Chichen Itza long before I ever saw them. I pinned to boards and saved photos showing me the world’s most beautiful places. It started small: planning camping trips, and graduated to putting together detailed itineraries for multi-state road trips.
When I finally got a chance to see my plans come to life, they hardly ever worked out as expected. Travel was beautiful, but far from perfect. It seemed to me that all the depictions I had seen in photos, on websites and in writing were misleading; showing all of the good and glossing over much of the bad.
In the last few years I have shared stories from all around the world, and every single place I have been comes with lessons learned. I share these experiences not to discourage travel, or to discount the amazing experiences that come from it. My hope is that when you read my posts you can laugh, and relate to the fact that travel is real life. I hope that next time you travel one (or more!) of my tips can help you out. That your travel becomes better because of it!
Our third day on our unique Oregon & California coastal adventure got off to a rainy start as we headed into the Newport Bay area. If you sign up for Airbnb using my referral link you will get up to $50 USD off your first stay, and $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more, and I will receive up to $20 travel credit, at no extra cost to you! If you sign up for Airbnb using my referral link you will get up to $50 USD off your first stay, and $15 to use toward an experience worth $50 or more, and I will receive up to $20 travel credit, at no extra cost to you! We woke up to a beautiful day in San Geronimo, and it was soon clear that nothing about the rest of our unique California & Oregon coastal adventure would be normal.
One of our greatest accomplishments as a family has been spending a lot of our time hiking with our baby/toddler. We started hiking with a baby when he was around 2 months old, and since then Noel has accomplished around 35 different hikes. Hikes can be as simple as a walk through a park; you’re still getting yourself and your baby/toddler outside! When on long hikes, make sure you give your baby/toddler some time out of their carrier to to crawl, walk or play!
But, while Maui is often ranked the #1 Island in the World by Condé Nast Traveler—and the islands, as a whole, receive more than 8 million visitors annually—there are dozens of incentives to keep a visit to Hawaii off your bucket list. Likewise, most Hawaii celebs treat us mere minions like pals, whether that’s Willie Nelson putting on an impromptu jam sesh at Charley’s on Maui’s North Shore, Pierce Bronsan eating tapas at the next table over in Kauai, or Owen Wilson hitching a ride in, again, Maui’s Paia. Whether they’re country keiki who ride horses on the islands’ upper slopes or beach brats that can’t seem to get enough time in the ocean, the children of Hawaii understand from birth that the best life is one that’s lived outside. All of this is nothing to say of the dearth of noise you’ll find on the islands’ serenest beaches and hiking trails, like Maui’s Haleakala Crater, which scientists deemed the quietest place in the world.
My favorite part of Pinterest is the ability to quickly save “Pins” to boards and come back at a later time to actually click on the links and read the information. Another great way to get print information in the form of a “guide book” is to get your hands on tourism materials. Food is a full on sensory experience, and walking through markets or listening to stories of how a family got into the mozzarella making business (I got to watch real mozzarella being made on the Amalfi Coast!) can really add to the experience. If you started out with an idea of traveling through the Balkans in Europe, now you probably have an idea of which cities and towns you want to see, some good restaurants or types of cuisine you want to try, and some potential options for accommodations.
Nothin but 🏔 . This was the view yesterday on Blackcomb Mountain, where I climbed up to 6000 ft and then snowboarded all the way back down 🏂 . Are you a winter sports person? I learned how to snowboard three years ago, but this was my first time back on the slopes since before I was pregnant with Noel! I took a few terrible tumbles yesterday so I’m resting today 😬 . . . #truthfultravel #proudtobeftb #femaletravelbloggers #teamkaptainkenny #whistlerblackcomb #blackcombmountain #beautifulbritishcolumbia #hellobc #optoutside #freshairandfreedom #itsbetteroutside #womenwhosnowboard #snowboarding🏂 #seatosky #whistlercanada
A friend sent me a headline yesterday, sharing that Seattle hasn’t seen a fully sunny day since November 30th 🤪 . I have to be honest, in that it has been a tough few months. Lack of energy, Noel waking up earlier and earlier & feeling like I want to do nothing except sit down at the end of the day. I now realize there is probably a reason...so instead of being harsh on myself for all the things I didn’t do this month, I wanted to share the things I accomplished 🤗 . ✅ Wrote guest posts for three different websites ✅ Resolved my website going down, the permalinks changing & then my website crashing ✅ Finished planning the main itinerary for a West Coast Roadtrip (my first full itinerary for someone!) ✅ Three hikes, 6 workouts & a lot of walks with the dogs ✅ Two whole date nights. Dinner in Seattle & watched Knives Out (SO good!) ✅ Mommed hard. For real, it’s the hardest job I have. Teething, new skills & getting older mean Noel’s sleep is always all over the place. Tiny people are work! . Tell me: What did you accomplish this month? This beautiful view is one of the few days we had any sort of sun, and I actually joked that I was hoping the Vitamin D would reach me from the other side of the island 😬 . . . #truthfultravel #seattlegloom #fidalgoisland #deceptionpass #lighthousepoint #visitwashington #vitaminsea #washingtonexplored #pnwonderland #visitwhidbeyisland #pnwhiker #pacificnorthwestisbest #lottiebay #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #itsbetteroutside #freshairandfreedom
I wish I was on a beach right now, but instead it is Seattle’s gloomiest month, and I have for sure picked up a cold 🤧 . Are you a naturally adventurous person? Here I am at Crescent Bay in Laguna beach, looking out over the water. When I started traveling there were a lot of things I was scared to do: go in water where I couldn’t see my toes, climb big things, be on an airplane...the list goes on! . My husband is always gently judging me into doing things, because before we even try something I’ve thought of the hundred ways it could go wrong 😂 . I’ve learned over the years to go with the flow a little more often & swim in deep water, get on airplanes on my own, ones that are far (flight to Australia I’m looking at you!) & climb things because the view at the top is always nicer 🤗 . Anyways, this beach apparently has small leopard sharks. And I got in the water anyways. It was a proud day ☺️ . . . #truthfultravel #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #visitcalifornia #lagunabeachcalifornia #crescentbaybeach #socalbeaches #lagunabeachcalifornia #socality #girlsthatwander #womenwhoexplore #adventureisoutthere #beachesofcalifornia #vitaminsea #itsbetteroutside #wearetravelgirls #thetravelwomen #californiaherewecome
Another photo from my latest post of the top places to visit in California 📸 . Some of my favorite things to do in San Fran: get an ice cream sundae from Ghirardelli’s 🍨, take a walk along Pier 39 (where you can find yummy food & alllll the seals) & head over to this viewpoint of Golden Gate 🌁 . It’s crazy, but I’ve never shared a photo of San Fran on my Insta before. I’ve been 3 (4 maybe?) times but I’ve shared so much of the rest of the world that California hasn’t been given the love it deserves . And in the name of transparency, I was interrupted about 6 times while trying to write this caption, as Noel decided during his independent play time he was going to move his entire play structure off his mat and across our nice new floors and bang his rattle against the beautiful hardwood 😰 He’s definitely entering the mischievous phase 😬 . Have you ever seen the iconic bridge in person before? It’s pretty massive! . . . #truthfultravel #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #sanfranciscobay #californiaherewecome #goldengatebridge🌉 #sfbayarea #onlyinsf #alwayssf #bayarea #cityscape #visitcalifornia #sanfranciscolove #visitcalifornia #californiathroughmylens #femaletravelbloggers #realtravelwomen #wearetravelgirls #girlsthatwander #travelgirlscollective
I finally watched #FreeSolo a few weeks ago & I gotta say, free climbing may be one of the most insane things people have decided to do with their time 🤯 . Me? I prefer trails with well-worn paths. This waterfall hike in #Yosemite isn’t as exhilarating as climbing El Capitan but it is really fun! It ends with climbing to the top of the waterfall & looking down over the edge 💧 . My first trip to California is where I did my first real hikes. Since then I’ve been hooked & my home in the Pacific Northwest gives me so many opportunities to get out & move my body 🤗 . Are you a hiker? Or a climber? What is your favorite outdoor activity? . . . . . #truthfultravel #proudtobeftb #yosemitenationalpark #vernalfalls #vernalfallstrail #chasingwaterfalls #dontgochasingwaterfalls #visitcalifornia #nationalparks #yosemitepark #californiathroughmylens #californiaherewecome #hikecalifornia #optoutside #freshairandfreedom
🗺 Washington State 🇺🇸 . Home sweet home. Confession: I couldn’t place this beautiful state on a map when I decided I needed to visit to see orcas in the wild. As luck would have it, Adrian was offered a job out here and so began our adventures. What was meant to be a “temporary move” turned into me packing my belongings & joining him 😎 . There are mountains, there is ocean, and we have built a beautiful life out here. As of this Fall, we are finally green card holders 🎉!!!!! . Did you make a big move this decade? Where in the world did you choose as your new home 🏠 . Happy New Years Eve everyone. May this coming decade be filled with bold decisions, confidence, health & lots of travel 🌎 . . . #truthfultravel #proudtobeftb #teamkaptainkenny #washingtonstate #washingtoncoast #wildwashington #washingtonexplored #pnwonderland #olympicpeninsula #rubybeach #rubybeachwa #girlsthatwander #thetravelwomen #westcoastbestcoast #pnwisbest #pacificnorthwestisbest #optoutside #itsbetteroutside
🗺 QLD, Australia 🇦🇺 . I still can’t believe I went to #Australia last year! Shoutout to Ryan & @alyssabussolaro for living there, because it was one of those destinations I never even thought I would have a reason to visit 😊 . I loved everything about my short time in Queensland. The beaches, the koalas 🐨, the food & the nature. I am so excited to take Noel there one day soon 👶🏻 . What is your most unexpected destination of the decade? Australia, New Zealand & Yukon were amazing places I never thought I’d visit 😀 . . . #truthfultravel #proudtobeftb #tkkaustralia #thisisqueensland #travelmemories #queenslandweekender #visitaustralia #ausfeels #thisisqueensland #seeaustralia #qldparks #escapethefake #strayamate #moretonisland #moretonislandnationalpark #oceania #vitaminsea
🗺 France 🇫🇷 . My entire honeymoon traveling around Europe was a dream, but especially France ☺️ . Sleeping in a cave (you have to check out the cool troglodyte Airbnb!), exploring castles & treks to the top of a town to get this view for breakfast are some of my favorite memories . What European destination was your favorite of this decade? A close second & third for me are 🇬🇷 (the place that started all my travels!) & the 🇬🇧 (family roots!) . . . . . #truthfultravel #teamkaptaimkenny #proudtobeftb #vitaminsea #seatheworld #riviera #frenchriviera #frenchrivieraguide #roquebrunecapmartin #france🇫🇷 #explorefrance #cotedazurfrance #cotedazurtourisme #frenchrivieraconnect #francejetaime #jaimelafrance #suddelafrance #travelbucketlist
🗺 California, USA 🇺🇸 . I was recently thinking about the fact that I’ve been to California over and over in the last decade (tbh, I only visited for the 1st time in 2013 but its become like a third home 🏠) & haven’t written much about it. So I spent all of December carefully curating a post of the top places to visit ☺️ . On that list is #BigSur, which is a stretch of road located just past Monterey of Big Little Lies fame. One of my favorite memories here is camping right on these cliffs, and waking up to the sound of the ocean far below 🌊 . What is the most beautiful view you woke up to this decade? Apart from camping in Big Sur, waking up in a tentalow in Maui & to mountains out my door in Banff/Canmore top the list 🏔 . . . #truthfultravel #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #bigsurcoast #bigsurcalifornia #californiaherewecome #californiathroughmylens #roadtripusa #waterlust #bestofthedecade #travelbucketlist #girlsthatwander #thetravelwomen #wearetravelgirls #intothesur #highway1 #wildcalifornia
🗺 Maui, HI 🤙 . It’s that time of year again! Time to count down my favorite travel places! 2019 is the end of the decade, so I’m going to attempt to count down my 5 favorite places of the decade (so many favorite places to choose from!)😱 . Maui is an obvious choice! The Aloha lifestyle, the beaches, the slow pace of life...Maui really is a dream. I’ve been twice, and you can check out a cool place to glamp, a Road to Hana Guide & tips for traveling with a baby on my website! . What is your favorite tropical destination of the decade? In the next decade I’d love to make it to: Aruba, Tahiti & Seychelles 🏝 . . . #truthfultravel #2020goals #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #hawaiianislands #visitmaui #mauinokaoi #alohahappy #havealohawilltravel #tkkhawaii #mauirevealed #exploremaui #vitaminsea #bucketlisttravel #mauibeach #bestof2019
Hope you’re having a relaxing holiday season filled with love 😊 . It’s been a busy Christmas season, and I am so excited to get back to normalcy today. A quiet trip to the library with baby is just what I need after two and a half weeks of travel & lots of socializing 🤷🏼♀️ . How has your holiday season been so far? Although my trip to #NorthCascades was at the beginning of December, all the snow in the mountains & the scenes started off a beautiful season filled with lots of love & family. Did any of you have a White Christmas?! ❄️ ☃️ . . . . . #truthfultravel #wanderwashington #merrychristmas #happyholidays #northcascades #usanationalparks #nationalparks #nationalparksservice #pnwonderland #pnwisbest #diablolake #washingtonexplored #teamkaptainkenny #proudtobeftb #natgeolandscapes #itsbetteroutside #freshairandfreedom #whitechristmas