badlands national park

A few weeks ago my husband and I returned home from 6 weeks of living on the road, traveling the Western half of the United States [if you’re interested, read more here]. We left home excited and wide-eyed about all the things we would see and the experiences we would have. Let me preface this by saying neither of us are really campers or skilled outdoors-people…

For 6 weeks we ate up pavement, reconnected with friends that had moved away, did a lot of jumping in and out of the car, smelled the salt air, marveled at the canyon walls as we hiked through shallow streams, ate some really good food and some not so good food, went to bed early and woke up with the sun – more or less we were in awe of the beauty, the changing landscapes and just how much there is to see as each day passed.

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I had all these ideas of the things we would experience and feel, but these things differed greatly from the idea I had of what they would be on the day we pulled out of our driveway. To sum it up, the feelings we came home with were ones of fullness, gratitude and most importantly, perspective.

We lived in a space the size of our not-that-big master bathroom for 6 weeks and we didn’t miss one. single. THING. that filled our house. For those of you thinking “I’m not outdoorsy” let me just say that I completely understand. I’m not one to spend my weekends heading out on a hike or to corral my friends for a camping session. However, after this trip I know intimately that getting out and experiencing the incredible spaces we are surrounded by can be life-giving. We’ve made a conscious effort to focus on #experiencesnotthings. It feels totally freeing not to be amassing more unneeded “stuff”. [but, oh how I really wanted those Sugar Paper gift boxes at Target!]


I think what companies like REI are doing by paying their employees to have Black Friday off and #optoutside is an incredible statement about what the holiday’s should be about. Relaxing, re-charging and spending time with the people you love. 

So, for this reason – I won’t be posting any Black Friday deals or even putting gift guides up until after Thanksgiving has passed. Instead, I want to let you know that many State Parks are offering free admission on Black Friday. 

If you want a suggestion of great National Parks to go to or things to see, shoot me an email! I would love to hear from you!

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