The Pursuit of Life

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A New Adventure | Moving Home to Florida

Article Circle, Alaska

What an incredible sabbatical this has been.  We have been on the road exploring the West for 7 months and our road trip has recently come to an end.  I am in mourning.  BIG TIME.  I have loved this time for us to be free, to explore, to see the most beautiful, varied, breathtaking landscapes that our country has to offer, all on our own time without a schedule, without normal everyday stresses, without any strings attached.  It has been a dream – that is the only way to describe it – and it already seems like a dream.  Like it didn’t happen.  I have to remind myself that it did happen and we were so lucky to have been able to take some time out of real life to explore and satisfy some wanderlust for a while.  If you think it has gotten the wanderlusting out of our systems, you are sadly mistaken.  It has only whetted our appetites for more travels, more meeting new people, more adventures, more crafting our lives to be what we want them to be.  But now it’s time to put down some roots and get back to reality, as much as that pains me.  And so we have moved back home to Florida!

Florida life

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Flying Above the Glaciers in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska

Glacier flightseeing, Wrangel St. Elias National Park, Alaska

If you do one thing while visiting Alaska, it MUST be soaring through the mountains and above the glaciers that cover so much of the vast expanse of the state.  It is one of my favorite things that we have ever done. And if you really want my opinion, you should do this in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, the country’s largest national park, my personal favorite national park, and one that pretty much nobody I’ve chatted with has ever heard of.

Glacier flightseeing, Wrangel St. Elias National Park, Alaska

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Live With Intention | Building Your Tribe

Rendezvous Island, British Columbia

I love the idea of building a tribe and collecting people consciously and intentionally. One of the most important life decisions that we can make is who we choose to surround ourselves with.  Several weeks back we spent some time with new friends at their amazing home on a tiny island off the coast of British Columbia.  We were having lots of inspiring and insightful life discussions, my favorite kind of chat, and a few times they mentioned the idea of collecting people along the journey of life.  They sort of rephrased it and said – well not collecting people, as if that somehow sounded strange.  And I thought – what’s wrong with collecting people?  I love it.  It is one of the infinite reasons that traveling is my absolute favorite thing to do.  I collect people I meet when I travel as some people like to collect t-shirts from the places that they visit. It is vitally important to be thoughtful and intentional about collecting the people that you include in your tribe – so how do you do it?  Here are 5 types of people who should be in your tribe.

1.  Those Who Will Lift You Higher

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Denali National Park

Denali National Park, Alaska

We spent a lovely few days in Denali National Park and Preserve, probably Alaska’s most popular national park, in the South Central part of Alaska.  Certainly it is Alaska’s most visited park if you don’t count the hoards of people who briefly dip their toes into Glacier Bay National Park from their massive cruise ships.  Filled with wide open spaces, beautiful mountain ranges and roaming wildlife, we were excited to finally get to Denali, which we’ve heard so much about.

Caribou, Denali National Park, Alaska

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So, what exactly do you guys do all day?

Driving through British Columbia

We get this question often – what exactly do you do all day on your road trip?  What’s a typical day look like?  Excellent question, and honestly it varies from day to day and area to area.  But here I’ll break down some examples for you.

Road tripping through the Yukon

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Sea Kayaking in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kayaking Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

Kayaking amongst the glaciers, icebergs and wildlife in Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park has been one of my favorites on a trip full of truly magnificent experiences.  It was a long weekend filled with breaching whales, thunderous calving tidewater glaciers, curious seals, fun conversation and (perhaps most thrilling to me) lots of new knowledge about glaciers and Alaska.

Kayaking Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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Women Are Adventurous Too

Salmon Fishing, Soldotna

Women can be and are adventurous too.  And that doesn’t make us an anomaly.  If I have to hear one more time “You like to do this?! I would never get my wife out here!”, I might lose it.  On this road trip we have met lots of people from all over the country and the world, from all walks of life, taking lots of different kinds of road trips.  Over and over and over again, Ryan has been congratulated (almost exclusively by men) on finding himself a wife who would agree to a trip like this – the implication being that women aren’t supposed to like to do these kinds of things; outdoorsy, adventurous, rugged things.  “Wow you’ve got yourself quite a wife, I could never get mine to live in such a small camper!  She couldn’t live without her kitchen or her bathroom mirror!”  Nobody is looking at me wondering how I managed to get my husband out on the road like this.  Now there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to go camping and not wanting to live out of a tiny camper spending your days hiking and fishing.  I know plenty of people for whom this would be miserable – both men and women.  The problem is that solely because I’m a girl, people assume that these aren’t supposed to be my hobbies, and I’m not supposed to want to go adventuring and wandering like this.

Arizona sunset from the camper, Sonoran Desert

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Alaska | Briefly in photos

Grizzly Bears in Denali National Park, Alaska

Oh my, we have been blindsided by the beauty in Alaska.  It is one thing to admire this place from photos and a documentary or two, but it is a completely different animal altogether to be confronted with the raw, breathtaking, seemingly endless expanse of wilderness that is Alaska.  To say it is overwhelming is an understatement.  We are also completely exhausted – there is so much to do and we are trying to fit as much as we can into each and every day.  While I am a little behind in sharing the details of our adventures on the blog, I hope to have some time in the next week or so to catch up.  In the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos from the last few weeks that we’ve spent in the Last Frontier, and as always feel free to follow along on Instagram at @thepursuitof_life.

Holgate Glacier, Aialik Bay, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

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Easy Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

Easy cast iron dutch oven peach cobbler over coals

We recently celebrated Ryan’s birthday on the road, and I always love to bake him something delicious and sinful for his big day.  This year I thought I’d try out a recipe that I found in the cookbook that I got with my Lodge cast iron dutch oven for easy Peach Cobbler.  It was painfully easy, but there are a few modifications that I’d suggest to make it even tastier, and I goofed a bit and didn’t follow it exactly anyways (oops!).  I normally prefer to bake things from scratch but it’s great to have an easy go-to recipe that you can use with some pre-made ingredients.  Plus, calories don’t count on your birthday!

Easy cast iron dutch oven peach cobbler over coals

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Road Trip Beauty Routine

Outdoor living, Southern Utah

Realities of living on the road – brushing your teeth outside with no water!  Southern Utah

With 4+ months of living out of a tiny teardrop camper with no bathroom, it’s a fair question – what is your beauty routine on the road?  This is a funny one for me to answer because I’ve never been great at making myself up in the first place.  Despite watching my mom do herself up beautifully each morning before work my entire childhood, I didn’t use a blow dryer or tweezers until well into my high school years and didn’t discover makeup until my besties in college used to make me up for fun.  I just never really had much of an interest in it.  As I’ve gotten older I’ve started to wear some mascara, blush and eyeliner and make sure my hair looks decent before popping out the door for work or socializing with friends.  I’ve never been a makeup-to-the-gym kind of girl, but aside from working out, I do usually make myself up a little bit before I leave the house.  So – beauty routine on an extended road trip?!

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