Hey dudes! Can you believe September is gone? As this post is published, I am likely under general anaesthesia, away with the fairies in the hospital! I’ve had a rather last minute surgery scheduled to cap off a month of medical frustration (or maybe, to start a new month?). I chat a bit more about this in the ‘health’ section. But luckily, there were lots of fun things in September to complement my ongoing medical saga.
I realized this week that it has been one year since I graduated from my Master’s program in the UK. That also means it’s been one full year since I left formal education (for the first time since I first entered it 20 years ago). One year since I was set free on the world.
And what have I done in that year? Everything, and nothing, it seems.
As you guys know, I moved back to my home state of Michigan in December, and since then I have been exploring and appreciating it as much as I can. One thing I’ve wanted to do for years is attend Grand Rapids ArtPrize…but the whole living in another country thing kind of got in the way. Each year my mom would go and then send me photos of her day, and I was just so so jealous! This year, though, I made it happen. We drove over to Grand Rapids for the first full day of ArtPrize and it was really everything I dreamed it would be.
Dan and I went to Lagos this summer and had an wonderful week of chilling in the sun, reading and drinking cocktails, and more adventurous activities like coastal hikes and surfing! Of course I was also on a mission to find the best gluten free Lagos Portugal food to share with all of you. Luckily, Lagos did not disappoint!
It was three years ago on a particularly drizzly English day when Bura Surfhouse popped up on my Facebook ads. With a bit of curiosity and a yearning for (even internet-sourced) sunshine, I clicked over to the Bura Surfhouse website. A hostel on the algarve coast of Portugal, featuring yoga classes, a pool and bar, barbecues, pancakes every morning, a short walk from five stunning beaches, daily surf/hiking/paddle board/kayak outings, and (the kicker) weekly trips to walk the local humane society puppies?! Well, it’s not really a surprise that I spent the following three years with Bura Surfhouse at the back of my mind every time I planned a trip!
I did a poll on Instagram the other day, and I was so surprised to see that 98% of you want to see more Michigan content! One common thought among Americans, especially those of us hailing from the Midwest, is that you have to travel far away for any kind of excitement. Michigan is certainly a different pace than I experienced living in England, but it is special in its own way, and so close to my heart. Michigan is a stunning state, home to more coastline than any other state in the USA! But so many travelers (both international ones and those who live in MI!) still don’t know what our state has to offer. Which is why I’m bringing you my Michigan bucket list.
This past week I scooped up the last of summer, and witnessed the switch from summer to fall in Old Mission Peninsula Michigan. Seriously. One day it was 95 degrees and sweaty, and when I awoke the next morning to the patter of rain, I had to bundle into my sweater. The leaves outside had bloomed into orange patches.
Mackinac Island is one of the most unique places to visit in Michigan… but it also has all the makings for a gluten free traveler’s nightmare. A remote island, only accessible by ferry, with one main road, no cars, and hours from any large grocery shops? That sounds like the kind of place where a gluten free traveler could waste away on limp salads and cross-contaminated side dishes. Could being the operative word. I am so pleased to say that my gluten free Mackinac Island experience was incredible.
With my move back to the USA this year, as well as my health issues, I’ve been forced to change how I travel. No more £30 weekend trips to Prague, or last-minute flights to Norway. My travel has become more mindful, more local, and more planned. But one thing that has remained constant is my love for travel polaroid cameras!
August has flown by for me. I feel like I just got back from my trip to the UK and Portugal… but life goes on! I had one trip this month to Mackinac Island… a northern Michigan island I’ve been to four times and loved every time. I have also made some progress with my chronic health condition this month… both within the ‘alternative’ medicine sphere, and the very traditional Western medicine sphere.