Shalee Wanders Adventure Blog

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.

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…

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…

Camping_with_cats

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…

The Epic Five: Utah’s Insane National Parks

March 20, 2017

THE EPIC FIVE: UTAH’S INSANE NATIONAL PARKS 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 which makes up this beautiful…

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…

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

AROUND EUROPE IN 90 DAYS (VIDEO)

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…

How to Visit 25 Countries for Under $3,500

September 6, 2016

HOW TO VISIT 25 COUNTRIES FOR UNDER $3500   When you leave to travel an entire continent for 90 days, you come home feeling as if everything has changed, even though it hasn’t. That was me when I drove into…

Mount Olympus: A Trek up Greece’s Highest Mountain

August 8, 2016

MOUNT OLYMPUS: A TREK UP GREECE’S HIGHEST MOUNTAIN   And I peeked over the edge, only to realize that a thousand-foot cliff waited for me on the other side. I was roughly 400 vertical feet from the summit of Mount…

European towns: Quedlinburg, Germany

Traveling Europe on A Budget

July 31, 2016

TRAVELING EUROPE ON A BUDGET Currently in Warsaw, Poland downing a foreign alcoholic cider that cost a whopping .62 cents.   ANYWAYS. I hear you’re interested in traveling in Europe? Backpacking maybe? So you’ve decided to travel through Europe and…

The Island of Cies

June 15, 2016

THE ISLAND OF CIES   Arriving in Europe on June 2nd with no plans, no itinerary, and a limited budget was probably one of the scarier things I’ve done while traveling. I’ll admit that although I’m not a planner (or…

Red River Gorge Cabin Life: Treehouse Edition

May 26, 2016

RED RIVER GORGE CABIN LIFE: TREEHOUSE EDITION   Last week I returned to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for some climbing and exploring. On my first visit last October, I fell in love with the area and the atmosphere…

An Alternative Graduation: Hot Air Ballooning

May 9, 2016

AN ALTERNATIVE GRADUATION: HOT AIR BALLOONING   I’m a college graduate, guys. I’M A COLLEGE GRADUATE. Whew. What a weekend. Last week my pending graduation was finally beginning to hit me. My Facebook feed was filled with classmates taking pictures…

Travel Essential Packing List

May 3, 2016

TRAVEL ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST

An Audition to Be the Director of Toughness

April 14, 2016

AN AUDITION TO BE THE DIRECTOR OF TOUGHNESS   A while back I auditioned for Columbia’s Director of Toughness and made it all the way to the final round. It was one of the most unique experiences, although it has…

Behind the Blog: How to Start your Own

March 29, 2016

BEHIND THE BLOG: HOW TO START YOUR OWN It’s new and relatively unknown. Blogging is a concept many people are trying, but not many know what they’re doing. It’s evolved significantly in the past few years, and the future looks…

Fathom Travel: A New Kind of Adventure

March 21, 2016

  Recently I took a trip that included beaches and mountains, but not the kind you’d typically find me on. This was a new adventure, one that wasn’t your typical vacation. I’d never been on an impact trip. I had always…

How to Save for Your First Big Adventure

January 6, 2016

HOW TO SAVE FOR YOUR FIRST BIG ADVENTURE   You’re dreaming of it, right? You want to lie on the beaches of Thailand, skydive over the mountains of New Zealand, picnic next to the waterfalls of Iceland, and camp under…

Over 550,000 views in 2015! THANK YOU.

December 30, 2015

OVER 550,000 VIEWS IN 2015! THANK YOU! I can’t believe 2015 is almost over and I can’t believe I have been blogging for almost two years. When did this happen? Where has time gone? My site stats for the year…

A Family Affair: International Adventure Travel

December 10, 2015

Guest post: Jake Oliver. There’s nothing I love more than family holidays; the chance to visit exotic regions and discover new cultures alongside my favourite people in the whole world! It turns out I’m not alone; according to the Family…

6 Michigan Lighthouses too Pretty for Words

December 3, 2015

SIX MICHIGAN LIGHTHOUSES TOO PRETTY FOR WORDS   When I’m old, frail, and slightly senile, I want to be a lighthouse keeper. I want to have a cat named Indiana Jones, a beautiful view of a lake, and most importantly…

How to Make Iceland Affordable

October 21, 2015

HOW TO MAKE ICELAND AFFORDABLE     1. Tent it How cold do you think Iceland is? The answer is not as cold as you may think. Tenting is completely doable in the summer months and will save a traveler…

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