What I learned.

I never even once thought of the people I’d meet on this trip. I was like, “I’m a solo traveler within a group; everyone is going to be doing their own things.” It didn’t even occur to me that I might meet people and even more so, meet people that I could grow to adore in such a short time.

Just writing that makes my eyes swell up with tears. The people I met this week were just as incredible as Iceland is. I focused my writings a lot on the trip itself but haven’t included much about the people that I’ve met along the way; mostly for their privacy. I have some feel-good stories and many moments in my journal that I’ll keep for myself to remember them by and cherish forever. I don’t know if any of us will ever cross paths again in this life, but I hope we do. It makes my heart so warm knowing there are people in the world that have the same wanderlust spirit and taste for adventure that I do because it’s easy to forget that when surrounded by people with different desires.

G (Gunner, our tour guide) was absolutely incredible. She is so proud of her heritage and of her country. She’s kind and welcomes you warmly and she’s so consistent. She’s not “on” and you can’t see through her because she is 100% genuinely authentically incredible. There was an elderly couple on our trip that had been all over the world; 100+ countries in their time together. The last time they’d been to Iceland was 1966. My mom was one! While some of their travels over the years was for work; a lot of it was for adventure and pleasure, too. They said that our guide was one of the top 5 EVER. In the 50+ years of traveling, Gunner Rosdottir is in their top 5. Talk about a compliment and it doesn’t even do her near as much justice as she deserves.


Guys, I’m so proud of myself. Like, in the best possible way. I can’t even think about it without crying and all of these feels are the most wonderful kind.

I noticed on face book that people are posting what they looked like at the beginning of the decade and at the end; most of them glow-ups but honestly that’s only due to fashion. I reflected on this on my last jaunt of a flight home. Physically, I’m much heavier now than I was at the beginning of this decade; is that a glow-down? I’m sure I’ve learned how to do my makeup a bit better and I’ve hopefully upgraded my fashion game but so much more has changed internally for the better rather than externally.

My life is split up into a handful of segments and I don’t know if that’s normal or not. A decade ago, I was in the early years of what would become a rocky and tumultuous relationship. I was more insecure than I’d ever been in my life and thought that by loving someone harder, I could fix them. Seven years ago, I was forced to leave that relationship because my mom and brother moved me out in the middle of the night due to an explosive conversation they heard when I secretly dialed my moms number. That didn’t last. He was broken and I was the only one that could salvage what life he had left in him. Or so I thought.

He didn’t share the same sense of adventure that I had. So, five years ago, I took the first step into not waiting around anymore for my life to begin. I started traveling with my mom. I feel like my first trip with my mom, through reflection, was my first real step into gaining Independence from an abusive situation. It took me another three years before I finally left that broken relationship.

Two years ago, almost to the day, I left the man that I’d loved with every ounce of my being for nearly a decade; for my entire adult life. I don’t know if i’ll ever be able to love someone the way I did him ever again. I know I’m capable of love; I’m a lover by nature but he took a piece of me that I’ll never be able to give someone again. A love that was fueled by pain. A love that I’m not willing to go through or forfeit to anyone ever again. I want a love that will move mountains, not dig graves.

That same two years ago, I was so unbelievable lost and broken in the truest sense. I came to realize that I wasn’t a person. My entire being existed to make his life better. I didn’t have a sense of self because it died when I left. I wish I could have told that girl then what I’d be doing now. She never would have dreamed of visiting Ireland and Scotland in 2018. She never would have dared go on a solo trip to the North Shore in her home-state. She didn’t think she’d ever get to see the Grand Canyon and she never ever, in a millions years, would have guessed that she’d travel to Iceland alone. I wish I would have told that girl that she’ll get through the pain and immerse the cocoon of heartbreak stronger and more powerful than she could have ever dreamt. I’m so proud of the woman I’ve become. I’ve always been strong but I can’t get over just how strong I am. How I can do this life and do it well, all on my own.

I know that I frequently reference this period of my life; this relationship.. And while I’m not defined by it now, it did define my life and who I was in it for a third of my life. So, I think it’s okay to refer back to it because it will always be there and it’ll always be a stepping stone of chapters in my long life of book. I’m only 30. I have so many more pages to grow from.


Thank you, dear readers, for coming on this journey with me. I’ll leave you with a quote by an Icelandic Nobel Peace Prize winner. Our tour guide recited it to us on one of our magical days traveling through the land of fire and ice:

“Where the glacier meets the sky, the land ceases to be earthly, and the earth becomes one with the heavens; no sorrows live there anymore, and therefore joy is not necessary; beauty alone reigns there, beyond all demands.” – Halldór Laxness

A Mini Auto-Bio.

lgoI finally updated my “About Me” section. Included is the below text. I wanted to share a brief synopsis of my life. I don’t have a sob story and my life hasn’t been full of whimsical travels or anything; but I do have one, a life that is. I have a story. And through this blog; I plan on bringing my story to life. Bring my perspective and my thoughts to the surface. I plan to find me and this is the preface:

I’ve decided to start this new blog for the year twenty fourteen. I haven’t really made up my mind on the exact purpose but I just knew that I needed a fresh start and a fresh outlook. I needed to reassess my life and the way I was perceived based on the lack of life that I put out into the world. I’m on the track to find myself through writing and through living.

I was born and raised in a dinky area near the Canadian border known to most as Roseau, Minnesota. Anyone from that area knows that you’re really not from Roseau; everything around there is pretty much known as the ‘surrounding area.’ For awhile we lived in Salol but finally settled in the country near Wannaska, enjoyed our winter sledding in nearby Malung.  Spent summers in Hockeytown, USA (Warroad) and went to school in Roseau. We were rivals with the Warriors and the Gators but knew everyone from here, there, and in between. 

Looking back, I really miss the shit out of that place. I miss the people, the friends, the freedom. I miss the happiness and the school. The teachers and the sporting events. I miss my grandparents and the restaurants. I miss the memories. I miss it all.

When I was in 9th grade, we migrated to an even smaller town (more like village) called Viking, Minnesota. The same surrounding area thing occurred here. We were a mile from “town,” school was 15 miles (or 8 minutes if you know how to drive on country roads) over in Newfolden. Most everyone who needed or wanted a job would circle over to Thief River or Karlstad which funny enough are in opposite directions. We’d go to the fair in Warren and party by Old Mill.

Reminiscing about my high school days aren’t as enjoyable as my Roseau life. I had a fine time. I made friends, got into trouble, and acquired my fair share of memories but I didn’t love it. I was and always will be the outsider, the new kid. My summers weren’t filled with friendships and no one called me or wanted to hang out with me first. I was usually a last resort. Switching schools mid-high school isn’t really something to brag about unless you plan to be an all-star athlete. Life long friendships had already formed and your lucky to squeeze yourself into a long lasting circle of confidants.

It’s the past though and it’s a period of life that I firmly believe helped form me into the person I’ve become. 

Since high school and actually during, I attended college in Thief River. Due to the uneducated staff and quality of academic standards in Marshall County Central; I really had no clue what I wanted to be when I “grew up” so I just opted for my A.A.

I sometimes bitterly wonder where I’d be in life if we had stayed in Roseau. The school was better, I excelled in all my classes, I was in a great group of friends, all of that. I don’t like to think about it often because than I instantly feel guilt. We moved because my mom had been making a long commute to and from work daily for years and it had taken a toll.

I don’t resent my parents for moving, how could I? I love them. They did what was best for our family structure. It just really blows that I have constantly had the “what-if” jingling in my ears for years.

Setting that aside, I met the love of my life the summer after high school. We’ve gone through rough patches where the pain and distress in our relationship was worse than an amusement park ride derailing. Thankfully, we’ve been one of the few couples that have fought and fought hard. There were many and I mean many times where we had no one to believe in us. Our families, in their own right, “knew” it wouldn’t last and quite frankly probably wanted it to end. Through the years we’ve lost friends and I myself pushed a lot of people away because of love.

In short, we made it. We pushed through the hurricanes, the tornados, and the tsunamis. I really am not sure where my family currently is on forgiveness and acceptance but it’s a process. There were moments that I am not proud of and there are moments that Channing wishes he could take back but the past is the past. It stays there for a reason. 

What really matters is what is deep in our hearts. We make each other laugh, we see each other through the toughest and the best of times. We care for each others lives and the people in them. We are stronger because of our past and we look forward to another 5 years 9 times over.

I want to one day be a mom of two sweet, healthy, little babies, live in the country in a beautiful home with hundreds of acres of land. I want to have two dogs and a cat. I want my children to go to a good school and be raised with love, morals, and respect. I want to dream. I want to write. And I want to travel.

That being said; those are really the key points involving the people in my life. I live for my [family] parents, brothers, and Channing. They are my world. I have many dreams and goals both personally and professionally. You’ll get a peek if you just bare with me.