It's been a couple of weeks since I've posted a location update, that's because I've been traveling to Indonesia and getting settled into my home for the next month in Canggu, Bali. I booked in at Dojo Bali – the most buzzing, beautiful, hip coworking place I have visited so far. I look forward to taking the next several weeks to recharge and focus on an upcoming transition in my business. This is the perfect place to practice slowing down and tuning out some of the unnecessary noise that can really distract me from my goals and dreams. I'm feeling pretty grateful for all of my opportunities to travel and to experience inspiration from people and places around the world.
I did the long haul from Park City back to Michigan this week. I picked up a co-pilot in Utah (who, conveniently, is also a photographer) to help with the drive. Having a second driver also bought me some extra time and allowed me to take the long way; making a long stop in South Dakota to visit Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore National Monument and Badlands National Park. Having a second driver also helped a ton with staying caught up with work. It's my busy season, so spending several hours a day on the road can be tough.
The van did great on our 2,500+ mile road trip, I'm so happy to have my big blue lady back. Enjoy these lovely photos from Isaac.
The big news this week is that (after 45 days) I have my van back! She's running well and we've gone on some mini adventures to test her out before making the long haul to Michigan next week. It's turning into fall which means strange weather, shorter days and busy work schedules. I look forward to getting back on the road and exploring some new places across South Dakota, Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Pictured below: rental dog Rico.
In Montana, the smoke from the wildfires is so thick that everything has an orange glow and I wake up in the morning with a sore throat. There are well over 200,000 acres of wildfire burning in the state right now and even after driving nearly 400 miles south to the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho, you can still see the orange haze from the fires. It's a strange time.
After long work days, I have been exploring the quiet, serene lakes and rivers of the Northern Rocky Mountains and relaxing at camp.
Today marks five weeks without the van. Last Friday, I stopped at the transmission shop in Salt Lake City to check on Salty. The bad news was, they had hit (yet another) snag in fixing the transmission. The good news is, she wasn't alone - I was happy to see another Eurovan camper keeping her company.
I had plans to meet up with a friend in Montana so I rented a car and drove to Missoula for my birthday. This is my first time really spending time in Montana and, so far, I really like it. Lovely mountains, clear lakes, cute towns and - best of all - it's kind of quiet. I visited Glacier National Park, ate Huckleberry ice cream, watched a smokey sunrise (from the forest fires!), camped by the Blackfoot River and spent the week working from my friend's Airstream!
I had a super productive week in Lake Tahoe. It was fantastic having the opportunity to meet my clients face-to-face and to see some of the fruits of my design labor with my own two eyes. Any free time I had, I made sure to spend relaxing by the lake and catching up with old friends.
After a busy week of meetings and projects, I rewarded myself with a (15 hour!) train ride through the Central Valley and Southern Coastline on the Coast Starlight to Southern California to visit a childhood friend. For anyone who hasn't taken the train just to take the train, it's a lovely, relaxing, worthwhile experience - I highly recommend it.
Next week: back to Utah. Crossing my fingers that the van is finally fixed and I can continue my road trip!
After treading water for another week in Utah and getting (even more) bad news from the mechanic, I decided to continue west to Tahoe via the California Zephyr Amtrak train and a Hertz rental car. Don't worry, I'll go back and get Salty when she is ready for the road. In the meantime, I look forward to catching up with some clients in Lake Tahoe.
Other highlights include: coworking in an Airstream, a puppy named Rico, getting a Lyft ride in a Tesla Series X to Salt Lake City and watching a Sundance Film in the rain at Red Butte Gardens.
You'll notice that there are no beautiful blue photos of the van this week, that's because she is still hanging with the mechanic. Salty is having her transmission rebuilt - a lengthy and expensive fix. Fortunately, I am "stuck" in a great spot with supportive friends with extra beds and cars and very big hearts. For everyone who romanticizes about Van Life, this is an all-too-real reminder that it's usually not all starry nights and seaside breezes!
I'm working on a new personal project that combines my travel stories, my drawings and maybe some fun photos taken with my new Fuji Instax camera! Stay tuned on that.
It's time for the ski resorts to kick-off their winter planning, so the High Mountain Creative studio is about to be very busy with exciting new projects. The best part is, next week, I will get to spend some face time with my clients in Lake Tahoe that I will be meeting in-person for the first time - can't wait!
Cross your fingers and pray to the VW gods that Salty and I are back on the road this week.