Anyone’s Alternative Destinations – Bratislava

Europe is a MUST DO for most travelers from all corners of the Earth. There are so many different cultures mashed right next to each other, creating a unique opportunity to experience several cultures in a relatively small geographic space. I’ve personally always been obsessed with this continent, so getting to actually SEE the real deal behind all the maps and books was a life changing experience. When you hear “Europe,” you might think of drinking wine in Florence or taking a walking tour along Continue Reading →

Denali, a Park Like No Other

I can’t fully describe the excitement I felt when the plane began descending, and through the clouds I could make out the distant mountains surrounding Anchorage. I’m getting chills and a sudden craving to return—a powerful magnet drawing me back—just from writing this. We landed sometime around midnight, but the sun was still out, settled just on the horizon line like a tiny, far-off ball crossing a tight rope, refusing to fall and allow darkness to take over. Five-ish restless hours of attempted airport-bench sleep Continue Reading →

7 Backpacking Lessons Learned in the Smokies

One day I was mindlessly browsing Facebook as we all do, and I came across a post from my friend and former campus minister Todd. He asked if anyone in East Tennessee would like to backpack the AT through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park from Fontana Dam to Davenport Gap; I was immediately interested. After some sporadic Facebook messaging, I decided to join Todd with only about a week to prepare for a five day, seventy-two mile hike. It would be the longest backpacking Continue Reading →

Peace in the (Yosemite) Valley

Rolling amber hills stretched out before us as we coasted through the desolate Southern California interior between Santa Barbara and Yosemite National Park. Daydreaming most of the drive, I awoke once to look out over the expanse and find a lonely farmhouse perched atop a mound about a mile off the highway. I wondered who lived there, what that life was like (so isolated from other people), and why it was vacant. Sadly we had no time to stop and explore and continued our drive Continue Reading →

Mojave Mini-Adventure

Where do you want to go for vacation? Ask a hundred people this question, and you may receive as many answers. But I would bet few if any would say “the desert.” Why? Because deserts are desolated, isolated wastelands? Maybe that is the exact reason you should visit a desert, at least for a day and a night. The guys and I will always remember our stay in the Mojave Desert as one of our favorites from the entire road trip! Arriving in Baker, California Continue Reading →