Tag Archives: USA

101 Things to Do in California

101 Things to do in California

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips. 

There are countless options for things to do in California. It’s a state that offers so much in terms of varied landscapes – from the desert to the beach, mountains, and redwood forests.

Having lived in California for 23 of my 28 years, there’s a lot I love about this place I most recently moved back to and now call home.

And I’m not alone. In the US, California has been the place to move to, a state of transfers and outsiders who come here for the high standard of living, the beautiful coastline, or maybe to make it big, either in Hollywood or the tech industry in Silicon Valley.

California is a place for laid back vibes, dreamers, and outdoorsy folk. Although there are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to California (and Californians), you can’t put the people or the landscape in a box, it’s much too varied.

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A Guide to the Best Missoula Breweries

A Guide to the best Missoula breweries

*Note: this post contains affiliate links

A Guide to the Best Missoula Breweries so you know where to drink (and what to drink) while you’re in town.

I had no idea about the craft beer scene that would welcome me when I arrived in Missoula, Montana.

I had heard from a friend living there that craft beer was getting bigger around town, with quite a few recent Missoula breweries opening up, but every person and their mom says their city has the best craft beer scene in America these days.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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