Tag Archives: USA

Arizona Road Trip Itinerary: One Week in the Grand Canyon State

Arizona Road Trip Itinerary

Note: this post contains affiliate links

A detailed Arizona road trip itinerary to spend the perfect week seeing the highlights of the Grand Canyon State.

If I didn’t have such a love affair with California I would seriously consider moving to Arizona. The state is filled with diverse landscapes, friendly locals, and so many good road trippin’ options. You really can’t go wrong with an Arizona road trip, because every corner of the state is filled with natural desert beauty.

I went back to Arizona for the second time this past November and somehow ended up even more amazed by what the state has to offer. I’m now trying to get my dad and stepmom to move here from Oregon so I can have more excuses to visit.

Continue Reading

2018, A Year of Finding Home

Arizona hiking Monument Valley

After spending so much of 2017 on my own, I made it a plan in 2018 to build up more of a community in my life again.

I did this in two ways:

  1. Finding a home base so I didn’t have to live out of a backpack anymore.
  2. Planning my trips based on which friends I wanted to see and catch up with the most, above seeing as many new countries as possible.

Because I made community such a big focus of 2018, I felt constantly loved, supported, and surrounded by good energy this year.

It was a wonderful year in so many ways. Another year of growth, of nurturing my oldest and newest friendships, and leaning even more into my independence.

Continue Reading

2017, A Year to Myself

2017, A Year to Myself | The Atlas Heart

I never expected 2017 to be a year to myself, but then again, I guess you never really know what life will bring you with each new year.

I should know better by now.

Even though I didn’t expect it to be a year to myself, I can say with full clarity now that I’m so very glad that it was. This was the year that I found my independence again, understood fully what I deserve in my life, and embraced my alone time.

I’m someone who is already pretty good at being alone. I’m an introvert, most of my pastimes are solo ones – reading, playing my guitar, listening to music, cooking. And my work is very much a solo pursuit, from writing to doing digital marketing for clients.

I’m used to being alone, but 2017 was a year where I really just had myself to pull me back up from my bootstraps, to lean on, to make sense of stressful, happy, and sad situations.

Continue Reading

Book Review + Giveaway: Why LA? Pourquoi Paris?

Book Review & Giveaway - Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? - Paris, France | Europe Travel

*EDIT* We have a winner!! CONGRATS to Toni! You’ll be receiving your book in the mail within a couple of weeks.


It has been so long since I’ve hosted a giveaway on this blog, but when I got an email in my inbox about an artsy new coffee table book about LA and Paris, I knew I wanted to learn more about it.

The book that landed in my inbox was called Why LA? Pourquoi Paris? by Diane Ratican, illustrated by Eric Giriat and Nick Lu. It’s a colorful book full of captivating artwork and words that paint an expansive overview of both cities.

I’ve heard Paris compared to New York a lot, but rarely have I heard Paris compared to LA. The comparison peaked my interest because, from a distance, it doesn’t seem like the two cities have much in common.

Continue Reading

Why I’m Choosing to Settle

Shore Acres State Park, Oregon - USA Travel

Here it is. That dreaded post that eventually happens to most, if not all longterm travel bloggers. The post that says they’re finally ready to stay in one place.

When I say I’m settling, I don’t mean in the way that I’m settling for less than I deserve, but more  that I’m settling for my sanity and productivity. I’m settling for me, and I’m okay with that.

I remember reading these types of posts from the bloggers I used to follow religiously, and I would always feel let down, like they were a sellout somehow. That they gave up on travel. But the truth is, this lifestyle that I’ve been living for the past 4+ years, it’s not sustainable, at least not for me.

Continue Reading

Why I’m Thankful & Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

Why I'm Thankful and Why We Should Acknowledge the Other Side of Thanksgiving

No matter which side of the American election you were on this November, you’ll have to agree that where America stands on the world stage is a bit uncertain right now.

My country has decided to put someone in power who has no previous diplomatic or political experience. We have decided to choose a leader who wants to close America’s borders, and increase the ethnocentric mindset that already exists in this country.

This has caused alarm for a lot of American travelers and expats. I’m unsure if visa regulations will change for the worse in the next few years.

I’m dreading how much anti-American sentiment I’ll get from other foreign travelers for simply being from a country who elected someone like Trump. I’ve already received backlash from other travelers in the last couple of weeks and I didn’t even vote for the guy.

Continue Reading

Video: How to Spend a Day (or Two) in Santa Cruz

Things to do in Santa Cruz for free | West Cliff Drive | California

I’ve been focusing more on the video side of blogging recently. I wanted to share with you all my brand spanking new vlog around my hometown of Santa Cruz, California.

I spent a day filming around my favorite spots to give you a glimpse of Surf City USA from a local. If you enjoy the video, make sure to like it and subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’ll be attempting to do weekly videos on there from all over the world, so stay tuned!

Continue Reading

What to Do With Two Days in Tacoma

Tacoma, Washington on a Sunny Day

Tacoma has had a renaissance of sorts in the last few years. People used to comment on the “Aroma of Tacoma” in reference to the overbearing sulfur smell that used to hover over the city. Visitors would pass right on through on their way to Seattle, seeing Tacoma as a backwater city and one that wasn’t worth the stop.

A lot has changed in a short amount of time. Travelers are finally starting to see the draw of this Pacific Northwest city and all it has to offer. I was luckily enough to visit Tacoma for the first time this past July and I was impressed with the beauty, history, and local hangouts that I found there. If you’re unsure of what there is to do in Tacoma, or you’re simply looking for a new and lesser known city to explore in Washington – these are my recommendations on how to spend two days in the city.

Continue Reading

A Gondola Ride in the Middle of the Pacific Northwest

A Gondola Ride in the Middle of the Pacific Northwest - Gig Harbor Gondola

If you told me a few months ago that I would soon ride a gondola in the middle of the Pacific Northwest, I would’ve thought you were crazy. A gondola in the Pacific Northwest? It seems like such an absurd notion, but it’s an experience that was all kinds of awesome once I experienced it for myself.

The only other time I stepped onto a gondola was in Venice, Italy back in 2011 when I was on a TopDeck tour around Europe. None of the 20-something year olds I was traveling with could afford a gondola ride by themselves, so 5 of us split the cost and piled into one together.

Continue Reading

5 Incredible Experiences to Have at Mt. Rainier National Park

5 Incredible Experiences to Have in Mt. Rainier National Park

I’m a sucker when it comes to beautiful nature landscapes, lush forests, waterfalls, and, in general, Pacific Northwest vibes. Don’t believe me? Just check out my Instagram! When I received a recent invite for an InstaFam trip in Washington, including Mt. Rainier National Park, I said yes immediately.

I had heard about the magic of Mt. Rainier for awhile and I’d been wanting to visit the national park for myself before I left Portland. Life gets in the way sometimes though, and I thought I had missed my opportunity to visit the park, at least this time stateside. When I realized I would not only get to finally see the mountain up close, but to see it with a guide from Visit Rainier, I was beyond excited for the trip ahead.

Continue Reading