We Adventured So Hard

A few years ago, Anthony and I took a big road trip to South Dakota and had a blast just exploring, so that’s our new summer vacation thing, I guess. This year, we drove to northern Michigan, spending a day in Traverse City and three days in Mackinaw City / Mackinac Island. It was pretty magical and we adventured so hard and my feet are still so tired, you guys.

Here are a bunch of (mostly) unlabeled photos from our trip, because I am lazy but also really want to share everything we saw and did.

The One with the Faces

Two years ago, I was a newspaper-making machine, designing newspapers across the country. My jam was the Rapid City Journal in Rapid City, South Dakota, and I fell in love. The paper had talented photographers who made the city look even more beautiful than it is in real life. I told myself I would go there one day, if only to see what a sky that blue really looks like.

This summer became that one day. My dude and I packed up my red hatchback and drove from Chicago through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and South Dakota to see big heads carved into a mountain. Among other things.

We hiked, we ziplined, we minigolfed. I shattered my phone at Mount Rushmore. We stood, breathless, arms around each other, looking out at the Badlands. We fed peanuts to prairie dogs. And we saw every bizarre thing on the side of the road, including, but not limited to: pink elephant with glasses, giant mouse eating cheese, giant cow, big bison, Corn Palace, skeleton man walking skeleton dinosaur, six-ton prairie dog.

People have asked what my favorite part of the trip was, expecting me to say the Black Hills or Badlands, but I feel weird giving the real answer: My travel partner.

How to: Survive a Second Year

Year Two of Adulthood!

Huzzah! We made it another year on our own-ish! This one was much busier than last year, and while we may feel like we have this adulthood thing down, there are still plenty of things we learned. So let’s get to it.

Realize you need introvert time. And schedule said introvert time. Since I work nights, that means most mornings are my introvert time. And one of my weekend days is spent with a nice afternoon (three- or four-hour) nap.

Travel. Even little trips into the nearest city are nice. Do things that get you out of the bubble of your apartment, your front porch, your commute to work. Adventure and happiness is all around.

Do the self-care thing. In an evening, on a weekend, whenever you find a pocket of time, just relax. Breathe. Drink water. Eat something healthy. Take a bath.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BT-uiSvD7vl/

Get a question-a-day journal. And get ready to watch your life change over the next few years. This Amazon review has a photo of a woman’s page asking “Are you in love?” and the answers go from NOPE to I’M MARRIED over five years. How lovely is that?

Find a planner situation you love. For me, that means Google Calendar (bless) and a few other apps for habit tracking and countdowns and to-do lists. Analog people dig their Passion Planners and bullet journals, but digital fits my life better. And I can still ogle people’s journals on Instagram. Win, win.

Set a book-buying ban. And do your very best to follow through, with the only exceptions being surprise visits to indie bookstores and attending author events. Realize that these exceptions mean the rule is broken at least once a month, but, hey. These books ain’t gonna read themselves. (Maybe write a tongue-in-cheek post about how you have royally failed your book-buying ban.)

Say hello. I go for a walk around my neighborhood most mornings, and it’s just more cheerful when I say good morning to the people I pass and they smile and say it back. Bonus: Friendliness means you might get to pet more dogs.

This year has been about finding myself and finding the things that make my world a little more comfortable and happy and peaceful. And now all the puzzle pieces of my life are coming together. It’s been a great year, friends.

ICYMI: I was hilarious last week

I spent my long holiday weekend being sick.

everything-hurts-and-im-dying

And during this stupid cold, I produced some of my best tweety material, and feel it did not get the love it deserved. So, here it is. In all its snotty, Pseudoephedrine-induced, sometimes-tweeted-while-sleeping glory.

https://twitter.com/alholstrom/status/772169396798230528

Thank you, thank you. I’ll be here all week.