August 2019 | Recap

Before summer has completely left the air, before everyone’s out here crunching leaves and downing pumpkin spice lattes… I thought I would share my August recap 🙂 For me, August was a month of polar opposites. I jetted off on a great trip to the pacific northwest, before coming home to bury myself in the library. Here’s everything I got up to in August…

Loving the sunset views in Vancouver from Kits Beach <3

Where was I in August?

Canada (Vancouver, Squamish), Washington (Seattle, Mt Baker), Michigan (Lansing, Flint, Detroit)

Instagramming in August…

Again with the Instagram hiatus! No posts or stories from me in August. I’ve actually been very into photography this month and took some photos I’m very proud of. But not back to the ‘gram… yet.

Just couldn’t handle the beauty of August wildflowers on the trail in Washington!!

August on the blog…

August adventured like…

  • The month started over in Seattle, WA. Dan flew from England to join me, and we spent a few days at my friend Meghan’s house. I only met Meghan in April, as we were randomly assigned as roommates during the Everest Base Camp trek. Now just a few months later I got to see her lovely home in Seattle and have her show me around the best gluten free eats and hiking trails. Travel is so great that way, isn’t it? I love how it’s forever connecting me with super inspiring people and throwing me out of my comfort zone.
  • After Seattle, Dan and I road tripped up to Vancouver. We spent a solid week stationed in Mount Pleasant, using our days to explore all the hiking trails nearby. We hiked almost every day, culminating in a 30km, 11 hour trek to Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi NP. Honestly one of my favorite trips to date, and was just what I needed as I’ve been craving mountains ever since I returned from Nepal! We also got to meet up with my friend Stephanie (probably my oldest friend – we met around age 3!), and her Kiwi boyfriend, who have been living in Vancouver for the past year. I already shared my gluten free guide to Vancouver, but I’ve got a couple hiking-related posts coming up, too!
  • Saying goodbye to Dan was really sad, as usual… this long distance relationship life is weird guys. I feel like it’s been a bit of a “bell curve” in that it was quite difficult at first, then we got used to things, and now that it’s been nearly two years back in the international LDR situation it’s getting harder once again. Always worth it tho!
  • After the big PNW trip, I returned home via Cleveland, Ohio. Random, I know. But my dad was competing in the national triathlon championships (Go Dad! Forever impressed with his athletic prowess). Also got to stay with my college bestie Julia for a couple days, right as she started up the school year as a preschool teacher. It was absolutely lovely to see her and her family, and a good transition for me from ‘vacation mode’ into ‘study mode’….
  • Soooo the second half of August? I’ve spent that in the library! Yes, I’ve been studying for my board exams, as recommended 6-10 hours a day, 6 days a week. It’s difficult and stressful, and means my minimal social life has essentially vanished. I’m doing my best to just keep chugging along though and not spiral into a ball of nerves. I haven’t taken an exam in a VERY long time, but I used to be a decent test-taker so I’m just reminding myself of that to stay confident. Hoping to take the exam in early October so keep me in your thoughts!
  • In the midst of this all, I ran a 10 mile race in Flint, MI, and PR’d! 
  • What else? Freelancing has been on fire this month! I made the biggest income I have so far in my time as a freelance travel writer. Pretty wild considering this month was a two-week vacation and then two-weeks of full time study! I think I’ve just worked out a good client base, and have jobs that are higher value now. So I’m quite pleased with the freelance situation, although I’m worried about maintaining the level of work through September as I continue to study 6 days a week. Trying not to burn myself out!
Dan & I at Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi NP in British Columbia!! He totally puts up with me over the years as I’ve graduated from dragging him on walks around Exeter, to 30km treks through the Canadian wilderness… lol.

Hanging with Meghan in Washington! She took us to Mt Baker for the day and it was a perfect afternoon of wandering in the sun.

Dan … ever patient with my never ending hunt for the perfect gluten free pancakes!

Okay yah real life, I’m mildly terrified of horses (and this pic looks like horses are mildly terrified of me??? Hahah). But when in Cleveland, I got to tag along to the barn with Julia! It was so cool to see her riding, even though I cringed a bit each time the horses came too close haha. Blame it on the disastrous pony birthday party I had at age 6!

Home sweet home <3

Stress free…. LOL I WISH. However I did enjoy working on a freelance project this month that took me on two daytrips to taste alllll the coffee in Detroit! Highly recommend Narrow Way Cafe on Livernois 🙂

August in health…

  • I’ve now almost completely transferred my care to University of Michigan. This is annoying in that each appointment needs an hour commute each way, but the care is at such a higher level it’s totally worth it.
  • The endo life is, well, what you’d expect. Some days are okay and others are agony, and I’m growing more accepting that this is just how it’s going to be. My new doctor at UofM’s chronic pain clinic prescribed me Flexorel, a muscle relaxant. This was helping a lot with my day-to-day pain, but it made me soooo sleepy. So, alas, it has been discontinued as I kinda need to, ya know, be awake for studying. I’ll be switching to a new muscle relaxant (which can’t come soon enough) and I’m hopeful this one will have less side effects.
  • In other news, I finally had an appointment with the gastroenterology doctor I’ve been waiting 7 months to see! I’ve had sooo many tests over the last couple years. My doctors think most of my symptoms are due to endo and dyssynergia, so this is mostly to disqualify any last possible conditions. So lots more diagnostic tests coming over the next few weeks/months!

August read like…

  • I’m still working my way through the [amazon_textlink asin=’B01H2AQVJE’ text=’Outlander’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence06-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’334d9338-98ed-4d0d-808c-62f17d64a7b2′] series, now on book #4. To be honest, I enjoy them but they are a bit mindless – perfect for me as so much of my brain power is spent at the library each day.

August mantras…

Well, that’s me for August. Like I said, a month of polar opposites! As I gruel away in the library, it’s hard to imagine that a month ago I was clambering on mountains on the West Coast. What did you all get up to in August? Any fun September plans? (Let me live vicariously!!)

Sarah xx

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