adventure travel blog - 1

We each hold our own definition of adventure. Here, I dedicated to all the moments stepped out of a comfort zone. Stories, places, and situations that pushed limits, whether physically or mentally. Here's to overcoming barriers. One second of bravery can lead to a lifetime of adventure.

overrated places in the US

The Most Overrated Places in The United States (And Where to Go Instead)

May 21, 2020

The Most Overrated Places in The United States (And Where to Go Instead) May 21, 2020 1. Gatlinburg, Tennessee  Although beautifully situated in the Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is everything a mountain vacation shouldn’t be. There, I said it. What visitors…

Minimalist Packing: How to Pack Everything Into a Carry-On

January 12, 2020

Minimalist Packing: How to Pack Everything Into a Carry-On January 12, 2020 It doesn’t matter how long I’m traveling for or what kind of weather I’m flying into: I pack only in a carry-on. Always. I was once an obsessive…

Norway - Backpacking in Europe

December 18, 2019

The Best (And Worst) Countries for Backpacking in Europe December 15, 2019   Best: Norway  Although expensive, Norway’s flexible camping laws quickly offset higher costs for goods and services. More so, backpacking in Norway is completed with ease thanks to…

best road trips

The Four Best Road Trips to Take in 2020

November 8, 2019

The Four Best Road Trips to Take in 2020 November 8, 2019 Utah’s Grand National Park Tour Distance: 432 miles Driving Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes Trip Length: 5 Days Highlights: Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National…

ironwood mi

This Small Midwest Community Hides Some Of The Country’s Best Hidden Adventures

October 21, 2019

This Small Midwest Community Holds Some Of The Country’s Best Hidden Adventures October 21, 2019 There’s something about a place that feels like home the moment you arrive. Less than four hours after landing in Ironwood, Michigan, I’m standing in…

afford to travel

I’m 26 and I’ve Traveled the World. Here’s How I Afford It.

September 17, 2019

I’m 26 and I’ve Traveled the World. Here’s How I Afford it. September 17, 2019 I’ve been to more countries than years I’ve been alive, which often ignites an interesting conversation that revolves around how I afford to travel at…

iceland travel guide - west fjords

How Iceland Has Changed, And Why You Still Need to Go

August 28, 2019

How Iceland Has Changed, And Why You Still Need to Go August 28, 2019   The initial draw of Iceland was its remote, wild landscapes that tested the adventurer in all of us.  Road tripping Iceland is much different now…

My Whitney Summit Via Mountaineers Route

What to Expect When Hiking Mt. Whitney’s Mountaineers Route

July 20, 2019

What to Expect When Hiking Mt Whitney’s Mountaineers Route July 20, 2019 Mountaineers Route July 2019 – photo by Josh Super   It was 2:30 am on July 13th, 2019, when I poured boiling water over the overly priced backpacking…

Six Underrated Places to Visit in the United States

June 26, 2019

Six Underrated Places to Visit in The United States June 26, 2019 1. Savannah, Georgia What popular cities like Miami, Los Angeles, and New York lack in charm, Savannah brilliantly flourishes in. Blush & blue colored Victorian-era mansions line old…

A Complete Guide to Road Tripping Western Scotland

May 17, 2019

A Complete Guide to Road Tripping Scotland’s Western Highlands May 17, 2019 I can’t pinpoint the exact moment Scotland piqued my interest. Maybe it was a picture of a highland cow on Instagram, or a tip from a fellow traveler…

Melbourne Australia things to do

Seven Rad Things to Do Around Melbourne, Australia

April 6, 2019

Seven Rad Things to Do Around Melbourne, Australia Melbourne is one of the few places I’ve visited twice. In a world of new adventures, I often opt to visit new places instead of returning to old destinations. However, thanks to…

Nine Incredible & Unique Places to Stay in the United States

March 17, 2019

Nine Incredible and Unique Places to Stay in The United States Walhalla Treehouse, South Carolina If there is a place in the United States that perfectly combines adventure, romance, and luxury, it’s the Walhalla Treehouse. If there is anything in…

A Solo Hike Up New Zealand’s Gertrude Saddle

March 7, 2019

A Solo Hike Up New Zealand’s Gertrude Saddle   Updated: March 31, 2020 Around dawn, I peeked my head out from the thin blanket I had spread across myself in the backseat of my compact rental car. The night had…

February 15, 2019

You Can Come With Me to PERU!   I’ve been keeping something under tight wraps the last couple months. Ever since returning from Colombia, many of you have reached out wondering if they can join the next trip. I heard…

The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping

January 5, 2019

The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping 1. Free campsites Yes, there are actual camping areas designed specifically for free camping. Don’t expect anything fancy, as 9/10 times the campsite will include nothing but a fire area, but you usually find…

Lost in Translation: Why We Thought We Were Being Robbed in Colombia

December 6, 2018

LOST IN TRANSLATION: WHY WE THOUGHT WE WERE BEING ROBBED IN COLOMBIA   As I packed up the last of my belongings at our Colombian mansion I couldn’t help but think how smoothly the trip had gone despite the many…

12 Gifts Every Adventurer Will Love

November 22, 2018

12 GIFTS EVERY ADVENTURER WILL LOVE 1. Airbnb Gift Card ($50-$100)   Travelers like to stay in unique places. Something more thrilling than the local Hampton Inn. What better gift than a gift of experience? Airbnb is a home-rental site…

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan

The Four Weirdest Places We’ve Slept While Traveling

October 15, 2018

The Four Weirdest Places We’ve Slept While Traveling   I’m sorry if this is your first time here. We’re about ready to get to know each other real quick. Josh and I travel on a tight budget, which often times…

Hidden Waterfall Michigan

Six Hidden Michigan Secrets

September 16, 2018

Six Hidden Michigan Secrets     Michigan is consistently and vastly underrated, but we like it that way. There are rarely crowds which ruin beauty, and there are still dozens of unexplored and relatively unknown places hidden throughout the Upper…

Europe on a Budget: Slovenia

Six Travel Hacks to Extend Your Dollar in Europe

August 24, 2018

SIX TRAVEL HACKS TO EXTEND YOUR DOLLAR IN EUROPE   I’ve heard it time and time again. Travelers spending anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $25,000 for a ten-day jaunt through Europe. The thought of traveling overseas automatically means spending…


A Guide to Camping With Cats

August 1, 2018

A Guide to Camping With Cats     “Your cats actually camp?” Yes, yes they do. But the process hasn’t been easy, and a cat isn’t going to go from catnip and couches to a tent in the woods overnight.…

How to Go From Counting Quarters to Counting Countries

June 19, 2018

HOW TO GO FROM COUNTING QUARTERS TO COUNTING COUNTRIES If you’re reading this and live in the United States or another first-world country, you are more privileged to travel than a vast majority of the world. It doesn’t matter where…

30 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Michigan Right Now

June 5, 2018

30 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Michigan Right Now From the golden shores of Saugatuck to the rocky cliffs of Lake Superior, Michigan holds some of the most pristine and untouched beauty in the country. Still not…

Chicamocha Canyon: Colombia Travel Tips

How I Managed to Get Eleven People to Travel to Colombia

May 22, 2018

How I Managed to Get Eleven People to Travel to Colombia     If you ask me how I managed to get eleven people to travel to Colombia, I don’t have an answer. Rewind a few months. I’m sitting in…

Living in a Van

May 3, 2018

WHY YOU NEED TO GO LIVE IN A VAN FOR SIX MONTHS     I miss it. I miss it every day. I miss pulling over whenever it felt right. I miss having no deadlines or time constraints. We were…

Female Solo Travel New Zealand

Seven Places to Go When You’re Lost, Broke, and Ready for Adventure

April 12, 2018

Seven Places to Go When You’re Lost, Broke, and Ready for Adventure   You’re at a crossroad in your life. Maybe it’s a failed relationship, a crappy job, or just a total “over it” outlook on life. You’re ready to…

New Zealand Solo Travel

It Took Me Three Days to Fall in Love With THIS Country

March 8, 2018

IT TOOK ME THREE DAYS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS COUNTRY     I think New Zealand is the world’s “most wanted” travel destination. Have you ever had someone tell you they DIDN’T want to visit the land of…

Stories Behind My Ten Favorite Travel Photos

February 8, 2018

STORIES BEHIND MY TEN FAVORITE TRAVEL PHOTOS Pictures are worth a thousand words, but sometimes they’re worth much more. Travel or not, we each have photos we cherish that capture a particular moment of happiness. Or perhaps a not-so-happy moment…

How I Snagged a $21 Flight to Australia

December 28, 2017

HOW I SNAGGED A $21 FLIGHT TO AUSTRALIA   I recently had you all guess where I snagged an international flight for $21 on Instagram. I received dozens and dozens of questions from you asking how it was possible once…

How Much Does it Cost to Travel The World for a Year?

November 6, 2017

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO TRAVEL THE WORLD FOR A YEAR   The $$$$ of travel is a question I get more often than not. And of course, everyone who asks that questions knows the answer: it varies. But…

How to Travel With Your Significant Other and Not Kill Each Other

October 16, 2017

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER AND NOT KILL EACH OTHER     I’ve stood on a lot of cliffs with my boyfriend, Josh. Together, we’ve traveled to twenty-some countries and over thirty states. To be honest, I’m surprised…

8 Tips for Making Road Tripping Easier

September 21, 2017

8 TIPS FOR MAKING ROAD TRIPPING EASIER     Whether taking a short weekend trip to Northern Michigan or a trip across the United States, there are a few things I’ve learned about making life on the road easier, more…

Glamping in Idaho Will Make You Believe in Narnia

August 17, 2017

GLAMPING IN IDAHO WILL MAKE YOU BELIEVE IN NARNIA   Sometimes the best places come with the lowest expectations. Five years ago if you asked me to choose between a trip to California or a trip to Idaho I would…

A Proper Guide to Road Tripping the United States

July 21, 2017

A PROPER GUIDE TO ROAD TRIPPING THE UNITED STATES   The vast, wild, and untouched landscapes of the United States draw millions of adventurers to head out on a road trip every year. From the Rocky Mountains of the west,…

The Most Insane (And Scenic) Hikes in the United States

June 28, 2017

THE MOST INSANE (AND SCENIC) HIKES IN THE UNITED STATES   From hiking on the ledge of thousand-foot cliffs, slippery granite slopes, and white deserts, here are seven of the most insane and scenic hikes in the United States.  …

Four Reasons Why Everyone Should Visit Scandinavia

June 6, 2017

FOUR REASONS EVERYONE SHOULD VISIT SCANDINAVIA   Scandinavia might have words like menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene, and the winters might be brutal, but if you’re looking for awe-inspiring landscapes, friendly people, and saunas with beer, it’s a region not to be missed. Consisting…

One Year of Travel: A Photographic Journey

May 14, 2017

ONE YEAR OF TRAVEL: A PHOTOGRAPHIC JOURNEY It’s officially been a year since I declined a full-time job after graduation to embark on a life-altering adventure. I could write a book (actually, I am writing a book…eek!) about everything that…

Eight Other Travel Blogs to Inspire Your Wanderlust

April 3, 2017

EIGHT OTHER BLOGS TO INSPIRE YOUR WANDERLUST   When I begin looking for my next destination, I don’t often turn to guidebooks or the Travel Channel. Instead, I gain most of my wanderlust from reading other blogs. Bloggers tend to…

underrated places in the United States - Utah

The Epic Five: Road Trip Utah’s National Parks

March 20, 2017

The Epic Five: Road Trip Utah’s National Parks Updated: March 21, 2020 Sunrise in Arches National Park   Within the borders of Utah sits five incredible and awe-inspiring national parks. How many can you name? The stunning and magical landscape…

Seven Things That Suck About Long Term Travel

March 7, 2017

SEVEN THINGS THAT SUCK ABOUT LONG TERM TRAVEL   I dreamt for years about traveling long term. Waking up every day in a completely new environment, without the slightest clue to where I was going next or how I was…

An Inside Look at the Van Life: Q&A

February 27, 2017

AN INSIDE LOOK AT VANLIFE: Q&A   Living in a van isn’t the most usual lifestyle. And with an unusual life comes many questions. Few people will ever understand what living in a van for months on end entails. The…

Bucket List: The Glass Beach of Northern California

February 16, 2017

BUCKET LIST: THE GLASS BEACH OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA There are few places that stand out in such a way it almost seems fictional. For example, a beach made entirely of sea glass. In the quaint (and extremely adorable) Northern California…

adventure travel blog: Shalee Wanders

The Best Places to Visit in the United States: 2017

February 9, 2017

THE BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN THE UNITED STATES   I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow I’ve ticked off 42 states on the United States map. You know what that means, right? I’ve got 6 1/2 years…

Please Don’t Ruin This:

January 28, 2017

Below is a selection of photographs showing fragile environments affected by our decisions as a country and world.

A Road Trip up the Pacific Coast Highway

January 3, 2017

A Road Trip Up The Pacific Coast Highway   Oh, California, I have such a love-hate relationship with you. A magical coastline, (mostly) beautiful weather, mountains, redwoods, orcas, and oceans. There aren’t many places in the world where Christmas Day…

Making Travel Photos Insta-Worthy

December 5, 2016

MAKING TRAVEL PHOTOS INSTA-WORTHY   I take travel photos. I’ve never put on make-up for a photo. Usually, I’m hiking, sweating, probably unshowered and may or may not have shaved my armpits in the last three days. I have a…

European towns: Cheb, Czech Republic

8 Alternative European Towns to Visit

November 13, 2016

8 ALTERNATIVE EUROPEAN TOWNS TO VISIT We all know about Paris and Rome. We’ve added Santorini and Cinque Terre to our list of “must-see” places. Twenty years ago these sights were busy, today they are a tourist hell. Sure, some…

How to Renovate a Van into a Home

October 31, 2016

HOW TO RENOVATE A VAN INTO A HOME   I’ll always look back and remember that my first home was a van. Nearly two months after arriving back to Michigan from Europe, I am preparing to embark on yet another…

Around Europe in 90 Days

October 18, 2016


What Happens in Europe…

September 25, 2016

WHAT HAPPENS IN EUROPE…   Three months in Europe comes with a lot of memories (and mishaps). When beginning a journey of such magnitude, you know that along the way you will create stories both good and bad, and come…

Shalee Wanders, LLC 2019