Activities Featured Posts

15 Things to Do in Grand Teton National Park

I've spent a lot of time in Grand Teton National Park so I compiled a list of 15 of the best things to do in Grand Teton

A few summers ago, I lived and worked right outside of Grand Teton National Park in Jackson, Wyoming. I spent a lot of time exploring the park, hiking the trails, and stopping at every scenic overlook on the map. There are so many fun things to do in Grand Teton National Park, and I’m glad I was able to experience most of it.

Grand Teton is best known for its namesake mountain range, the Tetons. Once you’ve seen the jagged ridgeline of the Tetons, you’ll recognize it instantly in any photo. People ski nearby in the winter, but summer is an even better time to see the Tetons. Grand Teton is a popular spot for climbing, mountaineering, and hiking.

Among the many things to do in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll find serene hiking spots, historic buildings, incredible viewpoints, and an abundance of wildlife. This park is definitely an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy biking, walking, and climbing.

However, if you don’t have much time to spend in the park, you can still see and do a lot. There are plenty of things to do in Grand Teton National Park in just one day. Maybe you don’t want to do a big hike or gear up, but you can still check out all of the sights and cool spots around the park.

Most of these are easy stops off the main park road.

Continue Reading

Featured Posts Travel Inspiration

Travel Reading List: 8 Books I Read in New Zealand

I love to read when I travel so I put together a list of the books I read while I was in New Zealand

What you read while you’re traveling can have a big impact on how you perceive the place you’re visiting.

I didn’t read nearly as much as I would have liked during my 10 months in New Zealand. Considering I spent a total of 6 months in one place, I really could have read a lot more. Actually, I ended up reading more when I was moving around and staying in hostels than I did when I was sat still with a job and my own place.

I read quite a few good books during my time in New Zealand so I wanted to share some of those with you guys. I love reading when traveling, and reading about traveling, so I’m planning to write a lot more about books here in the future.

Here are the 8 books I read while in New Zealand and what I thought about them.

Continue Reading

Featured Posts Photo Diary

Oamaru Historic District: Victorian Heritage in New Zealand

Explore 19th century Victorian architecture in Oamaru, New Zealand. Walking through Oamaru's historic district takes you right back to the Victorian era with preserved limestone buildings & cobblestone streets.

The town of Oamaru isn’t on the main backpacker trail around New Zealand. It’s not a big city, there’s no nightlife scene, and it’s generally a pretty quiet place. I heard about this seaside, South Island town in passing, but it was only mentioned for the penguins. However, the name stuck in my head.

Back in December, I was looking for a place to stop-over between Christchurch and Dunedin, so I did a quick search for ideas. After seeing a few photos of the Oamaru Historic District, I knew I wanted to add it to my itinerary.

If you read my post about Art Deco in Napier, then you know I’m really into architecture. I couldn’t give a lecture on it, but nothing inspires me to take out my camera like a beautiful building (except maybe a well-placed cactus). Oamaru’s Historic District is the town’s original commercial center, where original Victorian buildings still stand.

Continue Reading

Places of Interest

Steampunk HQ // Oamaru, New Zealand

Steampunk HQ is a gallery & museum in Oamaru, New Zealand. It's dedicated to the steampunk style, which is inspired by Victorian era technology.

Oamaru, New Zealand is mostly known for its beautiful Victorian style architecture. The white-washed buildings and old warehouses have been preserved in the Historic Precinct. As you walk the cobblestone streets, you may believe you’ve actually been transported back to the 19th century. All of this makes it the perfect setting for Steampunk.

Because of the Victorian architecture, Steampunk culture has flourished in Oamaru. Artists and enthusiasts gather here for a little taste of 19th century England. Steampunk artists show and sell their work in local galleries, and you’ll find plenty of Steampunk fashion and costumes in the shops.

Steampunk HQ, a gallery established in 2011, is the center of it all. It’s the best place to get a taste of steampunk culture and find out what it’s all about.

Continue Reading

Journal

Travel Announcement: Southern USA Roadtrip

I like to keep you guys updated with my travel plans as much as possible. I usually post about places weeks or months after I’ve visited, so it’s not often that you’re getting real-time stories here on the blog. Social media is the best way to see where I am at any given time.

I’ve been back in the good ole’ USA for almost 3 months now. I left New Zealand on January 23rd, and I’ve sort of been hiding out at home in St. Louis ever since. Why? Well, I’ll get to that story when it has a conclusion.

I’m really excited to finally get back on the road, though. I absolutely love road trips, and there’s no better place to roadtrip than the U.S. It’s my favorite way to travel in general, and definitely my favorite way to see the United States.

Starting this weekend (April 22) I’m going on a roadtrip around part of the Southern USA. While I’d love to do a full-on Southern tour, I’m trying to keep it pretty short. I’m spending a week (+ a few days) on the road, most of it with a good friend who I haven’t seen in a year and a half!

The very loose itinerary is taking me through Kentucky, Tennessee, and little bits of North Carolina and Georgia. I wish I could see a little more, but this is a good start. I’ll be going to Knoxville, Asheville, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I’ll also be hitting up a few other areas focused on the great outdoors in Northern Georgia, and then rounding back up to Chattanooga and Nashville before heading back to St. Louis.

I really wanted to take this route because most of my road trips and adventures around the U.S. have taken me out west. I haven’t seen much of the eastern part of the country at all, even though it’s much closer to my hometown than any part of the western U.S.


I can’t wait to head out on this road trip and share it with you guys on social media. I like to post daily travel journals on Tumblr, as well as lots of photos on Instagram and updates on Twitter.

I will be creating plenty of blog posts from this trip, but those won’t be published until after I return.

Thank you for following along.

See you guys on the road!

Stories

The Tsunami Warning

“Courtney! Courtney, wake up! We have to go!”

I woke up to insistent knocking on my cabin door. I thought I was dreaming, but as my eyes slowly opened, I realized this was real. I looked around the dark box that I called home with blurry vision.

“Courtney, hello!” My friend’s French accent rang through from outside.

I felt as if I had only just fallen asleep, but I looked at my phone and saw that it was after 2 am. I heard my friend knocking at the cabin next door, yelling for them to wake up too. My natural assumption was that she was totally wasted.

I got out of bed just as she came back knocking.

“Courtney! We have to go right now!”

I opened my door, still only half-conscious. “What’s going on?” I asked, slightly annoyed.

“Read this,” she said, showing me a tweet on her tablet. “There’s a tsunami warning. We have to go now.”

It took me a minute to understand what she was saying. The couple next door walked out of their cabin as I looked at the tweet in question.

“There was an earthquake,” she continued. “In Kaikoura. Now there’s a tsunami warning here. We are supposed to evacuate.” Only then did I notice the sirens going off in the distance.

Continue Reading