July 2021 | Recap

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I know the end of my July is going to be a chaotic mess of preparing for my surgery in Atlanta on August 2. So I have written this July recap early! After all, most of my fun July events are over, and the rest of my month will be taken up with closing out work before three weeks off, and rooting for Simone Biles at the Olympics (duh!).

So here’s a slightly early peek at what I got up to in July. I hope you are all having great summers so far!

Where was I in July?

  • Countries: 1 (USA)
  • Cities: Lansing and Traverse City, Michigan; Vero Beach, Florida
  • Flights: 3
  • Days on the road: 10
Looking out over the ocean in Vero Beach, Florida early in July!

July on the blog…

July adventured like…

  • Florida trip: My July started off in Vero Beach, Florida! I’d flown down on June 30 and spent the next six days in Vero Beach, visiting my grandma and uncle who live there and who I hadn’t seen since January 2020 due to the pandemic. It was a really great trip – full of good food, fireworks (over fourth of July), beach walks, fishing, and even a late night sea turtle walk which I wrote about here. But it was also kind of a sad trip. My grandma, who is the OG Endless Distances fan, has Alzheimer’s Disease. After not seeing her for over a year it was upsetting to see how her disease has progressed, and that much of her personality is changed. It was so nice to see everyone but I left Florida feeling pretty sad.
  • Passport renewal: Well, I finally sent off my passport for renewal, just in time for pretty much every news outlet ever to publish an article on how this is the worst ever time to renew your passport. Cool! (Jokes). I did write this blog post about saying goodbye to my passport… which is quite self indulgent but one of my favorite articles I’ve ever written. I feel like it brought me back to my blogging roots and really helped process the travels I’ve been blessed with over the last decade, and how I’ve changed during that time.
  • Mediavine status: Ooh this one is VERY fun for me to announce. I haven’t announced it elsewhere yet, because frankly, only other bloggers really understand. But last month I was accepted to Mediavine which is an ad network that is regarded in the blogging community as having one of the highest payment structures. I was nearly at “Mediavine status” last summer but they doubled their minimum pageview requirement for the application. I was kind of devastated and did NOT think I would be able to reach that point in a year. But I did it!! I’m finishing up my current ad contract now and in September I will finally be able to launch my Mediavine ads and start earning the big bucks. Lol! If anyone wants to hear more about this side – the behind the scenes of blogging – let me know in the comments or shoot me an email!!
  • A brief northern Michigan break: Last week I spent a few days up north with my mom on kind of a spontaneous trip. We stayed with a family friend who has a cottage on the Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City, then visited my aunt and uncle at their cottage on Burt Lake. In total it was just 3 days, and I did spend some of that time working on my computer, but it was really nice to get away because I’ve been a little bit stressed and not really enjoying Michigan summer as I usually do!
  • Surgery prep: Yes, as for the reason I’m stressed… I’m literally counting down the days (7, as of writing this) until I fly to Atlanta for my long awaited endometriosis excision surgery. There has been a TON of prep this month – including plenty of doctors appointments in Ann Arbor, buying lots of things I will need (for now you can check out those products on my Amazon Shop but I might make a blog post next month), last minute bookings in Atlanta etc. I’ve also been overwhelmed with preparing to take three weeks off work. I’ve never taken this amount of time completely off work before because as a freelance writer I can usually just travel with my laptop. It’s been a doozy and this week is the final countdown. I’m still not sure if I can finish up all my work in time for Friday so we’ll see!!
My grandma during our visit to Vero Beach earlier this month.
My mom enjoying the ocean in Vero Beach! She and my dad were on a 3 week road trip of the southern US and we timed our trips to Vero Beach to be together.
Early morning coffee on my last day in Vero Beach. Bittersweet trip for sure.
I bought this Osprey backpack earlier this month! I’m being optimistic about all the adventures I’m going to go on post-op 🙂
Lots of medical appointments this month as I prepare to leave all my specialists in Michigan to fly down to Atlanta for surgery.
Aaaaand lots of doctor appointments means lots of blood tests and feeling a bit like a pin cushion. Just a day in the life at this point!
Gorgeous sunset on Old Mission Peninsula in Michigan last week.
Treated myself to some donuts from a 100% gluten free bakery in Traverse City Michigan during out trip 🙂
My mom in a lavender garden on Old Mission Peninsula during our little trip up north. I LOVE lavender season in Michigan.
Wouldn’t be summer in Michigan without some toasted marshmallows on the beach 🙂
Scouting some spots for a photoshoot I’m doing for a travel magazine in August. A little stressed about the timing with my surgery but very excited for this assignment all the same!

Upcoming in August…

Well, the really huge news, and honestly what I’ll argue is the biggest event of my life so far, is my upcoming surgery on August 2. I know I’ll be in good hands at the Center for Endometriosis Care but I’m still pretty freakin’ nervous.

I’ve had a few friends ask what they can do for me at this time. I have not done a Go Fund Me for this surgery although it is out of network and a huge financial burden. I feel a little uncomfortable with GFM. I am very lucky in a way that I saved up enough money over the past few years for a round the world trip, which is allowing me to afford this surgery instead. (Yes, the American healthcare system is a shambles and that is a different convo, and I will still be appealing for insurance coverage in the Godsend chance that works). You can financially support me by reading this blog, sharing posts, clicking on affiliate links, etc. For example, next time you buy from Amazon, click through my Amazon Shop first and I’ll get a small commission.

Mostly, small things like a card in the mail, cute photo of your dog, or good luck insta message on August 2 are extremely appreciated. Just send me those good vibes! I will be needing them.

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4 Responses

  1. What a great post, Sarah – your grandma is so cute and so glad you got to visit with her! Would love to hear more about the Mediavine thing (congrats!!) out of curiosity. Also, really happy for your that your surgery is coming up so soon even though I know it’s a nerve-wracking event. I myself had to have a surprise surgery this month (literally have never been to a hospital before in my life, let alone a Czech one, omg) and was so so nervous but in the end they took such good care of me and so glad to have it out of the way and continue healing. It is so worth it, of course. I wish you all the best for a smooth and easy procedure and be sure to take it easy on yourself and give yourself plenty of grace in August 🙂

    1. Aw thanks yes her smile is so cute isn’t it! She’d just gotten her hair done so she was happy about that lol. Feel free to send me an email about Mediavine and I can send you over the link etc. I don’t launch ads with them until mid September but I’m excited, I’ve heard really good things. And thanks for the kind words on my surgery… definitely feeling like a ball of emotions this week. I hope you’re doing okay after your surgery? And enjoy your trip back to the US!!! You are visiting Washington soon right?

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Oh hey! I’m Sarah, the writer behind Endless Distances. When I’m not here, spilling all my gluten free travel and wellness travel tips, you can… find me on the floor at parties petting the dog.

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