North America

It's easy to get lost exploring vast and far away places, but so many of us fail to fully explore our own backyard. After years of dreaming abroad, I found the most epic beauty in the place I call home while living in a van and traveling the States.

unique places to visit in wyoming

Four Unique Things to Do in Wyoming

January 14, 2021

Four Unique Things to Do in Wyoming January 14, 2021 I first visited Wyoming when I was eight on a family road trip out west. It’s a familiar story for those from the Midwest, especially in the late 90s and…

The Best Gear For Hiking and Traveling With Cats

December 6, 2020

The Best Gear For Hiking & Traveling With Cats January 25, 2020 We’ve been traveling with our two cats for nearly three years, and have learned some pretty important lessons along the way. Recently we visited South Dakota, their 20th…

granite peak montana

Granite Peak: Everything to Know About Climbing Montana’s Tallest Mountain

November 23, 2020

Granite Peak: Everything to Know About Climbing Montana’s Tallest Mountain November 23, 2020 Distance: 28 Miles Elevation: 12,808 Feet / 4,500ft Elevation Gain Route: Southwest Ramp/Couloir The pinkish-orange sunrise lit the valley and lakes below as we hobbled over steep…

how to plan an elopement

How to Plan an Adventure Elopement For Under 10k

October 25, 2020

How to Plan an Epic Adventure Elopement For Under 10k October 24, 2020 Surprise! We’re married! After traveling around the world together for over six years, Josh and I eloped surrounded by our family in Glacier National Park on September…

longs peak hike

Longs Peak Hike: What to Expect When Climbing Colorado’s “Deadliest” Mountain

June 15, 2020

Longs Peak Hike: What to Expect When Climbing Colorado’s “Deadliest” Mountain June 15, 2020  In terms of statistics, Longs Peak is only 14th on the list of hardest 14ers to climb in Colorado. There is no class 5 climbing and…

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…

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…

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…

michigan road trip route

Four Road Trip Routes in Michigan You Need to Take This Summer

April 22, 2019

Four Road Trips You Need to Take in Michigan This Summer The entire population of Michigan is emerging from their winter habitats, eyes squinting beneath a forgotten sun. Unlike the newly released season of Game of Thrones, winter is not…

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…

Want to Climb a Mountain? Six Easy Peaks to Climb in North America

January 23, 2019

Want to Climb a Mountain? Six Easy Peaks to Climb in The United States There are thousands of mountains around North America (and the world) that offer the sweet reward of a mountain summit without guides, technical climbing experience, or…

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…

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…

Best State to Visit in the Fall

The Six Best States To Visit In The Fall

September 26, 2018

THE SIX BEST STATES TO VISIT IN THE FALL   I’m currently in South Carolina. It was 86 today and I attempted to wear a fuzzy sweater. I’ve unapologetically ordered a PSL from Starbucks. It still wasn’t worth $5, but…


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.…

Four Incredible North Carolina Mountain Secrets

July 19, 2018

Four Unique Places to Visit the North Carolina Mountains     I’ve found myself falling more in love with North Carolina every time I explore it.  As a travel blogger, I’ll be the first to admit that it grows harder…

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…

How to Support Ethical Animal Tourism

March 25, 2018

How to Support Ethical Animal Tourism   Oh, animals. They’re fluffy and cute, sometimes massively terrifying, and other times mildly so. We’re instinctively drawn to interact and be in their presence. I mean, who doesn’t want to cuddle an adorable…

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…

Six Overrated Tourist Attractions

November 28, 2017

SIX OVERRATED TOURIST ATTRACTIONS     There are certain places which travel beyond our expectations, and then there are those which fall short. There aren’t many (or possibly any) places I can say I hate, but there are a few…

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…

The Cabins of Serenity Springs: Ultra Romantic Getaway

August 26, 2017

THE CABINS OF SERENITY SPRINGS: ULTRA ROMANTIC GETAWAY   What happens when you get the chance to go to an ultra-romantic, picture-perfect, cabin/glamping resort in Indiana but your boyfriend is 1500 miles away? You invite your best friend, buy multiple…

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.  …

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…

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…

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…

I Got Robbed in San Antonio

November 21, 2016

WE GOT ROBBED IN SAN ANTONIO Operation #vanlife is proving difficult. Much more difficult than living out of a backpack for three months in Europe. Who would have thought? Here’s a recap of the first three weeks on the road: Day…

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…

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 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…

8 Tips for Tight Budget Travel

March 4, 2016

8 TIPS FOR TIGHT BUDGET TRAVEL   Some of us are visual learners (myself included). This week I decided to take a different approach to share some of my tips while traveling on a budget. What is the twist? AN…

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…

A Life Behind Miguel’s Pizza

November 11, 2015

A Life Behind Miguel’s Pizza Situated among the rolling mountains of Kentucky is a slice of heaven for rock climbers, food lovers, and camping fanatics. Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is known to have the best rock climbing in the eastern…

8 Things Backpacking Teaches Us About Life

August 5, 2015

8 THINGS BACKPACKING TEACHES US ABOUT LIFE     1) Rewards don’t come easily We hike miles for hours, days, and weeks to summit high points, discover new places, and reach destinations. We choose not to experience the world from…

Eat Nothing and Climb Everything: Budgeting in America’s Southwest

July 25, 2015

EAT NOTHING AND CLIMB EVERYTHING: BUDGETING IN AMERICA’S SOUTHWEST     Yes, it’s true…America’s southwest is full of tour buses, selfie sticks, crowded parking lots and heat strokes. Why would anyone want to visit such a place? Because it’s really…

Secret caves Michigan

5 Adventures in Every Midwest State

June 24, 2015

5 ADVENTURES IN EVERY MIDWEST STATE   12 states officially claim the Midwest as home. Although we may not have towering mountains or vast oceans, we are spoiled with lush forests, freshwater and unpopulated blissful hikes. So set the remotes…

A Day Guide to Acadia National Park

June 18, 2015

A DAY GUIDE TO ACADIA NATIONAL PARK   If you follow me on social media, you’ve seen how much I absolutely loved Acadia National Park (and Maine in general). There are a lot of states I visit and love, yet…

I Climbed a Mountain to Reach a Parking Lot (and Loved it)

June 3, 2015

I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN TO REACH A PARKING LOT For the past four hours, I’ve been sweating, swearing and falling my way up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. I see the summit and just as I’m about…

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