May, June, and July 2022 | Recap

Where does the time go? Three months without a monthly recap, and arguably the most packed, travel-filled three months of my life! From quitting my healthcare job, a cross country USA road trip, a few weeks at home, and then jetting off to Peru for the start of our longterm travel adventure, it’s hard to even know where to start.

Grab a coffee or tea, sit down, and let’s catch up! This blog post is LONG and photo-filled!

I’ve also added a brand new section (scroll down past the photos!) all about our longterm travel budget, what we spent in Peru in July, and if we met our budget or not. (Traveling with an accountant will do this to you, you know…)

Happy times at Lake Humantay in Peru in late July!

Where was I in May, June, and July?

  • Countries: USA and Peru.
  • Cities: So many! Let’s do states, instead: California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan (USA). Then Lima and Cusco, Peru.
  • Flights: 2.
  • Days on the road: 90. Yep, all of them.

May, June, and July on the blog…

I didn’t write much in May and June because the life upheaval was REAL. In July, I blogged a bit more (although I have SO much more to share – stay tuned).

Here’s what’s new on the blog:

May, June, and July adventured like…

Quit my healthcare job and moved out of my apartment in Redding, California. Way back at the beginning of May, I finished up the last week of my healthcare gig. It was bittersweet. I felt quite sad to leave some patients and coworkers who I’ve grown to love. But it was time for the next adventure.

Checking out the Lake Shasta Caverns in Redding during my last weekend in town!
A gorgeous bouquet one of my patients got me for our last session together. Not gonna lie, we both cried.

Spent an amazing few days in San Francisco… with Dan! Yep, Dan quit his corporate job in England and flew out to San Francisco to meet me (with my car full of ALL my belongings). We spent an amazing few days in San Francisco (staying at HI Fisherman’s Wharf and eating allll the gluten free food).

Dan and I at Twin Peaks in San Francisco on our first full day in the city.
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco! We walked 13 miles this day, all the way to Sausolito lol.

We started our cross country road trip by driving up California’s coastal Route 1. One of the most iconic and beautiful roads in the world! Previously I’ve only driven it between SF and LA, so I was really excited to see its lesser traveled northern section.

We stopped for BBQ oysters at Tony’s Seafood on Tomales Bay – at my mom’s recommendation. Apparently she and my dad came here a lot when they lived in California. She even sent me a photo of her pregnant with me eating the same oysters! I think Tony’s Seafood isn’t quite the hole-in-the-wall it was back then but man… it was delicious.
Enjoying those coastal California views!

We spent a few days on the Mendocino Coast, my favorite part of California. The first couple days, we stayed at the luxurious Inn at Newport Ranch, and the next few days we stayed at a cozy B&B closer to Mendocino – Glendeven Inn. Both were sponsored stays through the blog that I’m planning to write about this month! And both were so magical and special in their own way.

Probably the best hotel room view I have or will ever have – at the Inn at Newport Ranch. Can’t wait to share all about this place!
The llamas who lived on site at Glendeven Inn! Such cuties.
Dan and I at Russian Gulch State Park, with my favorite view in all of California.
Dan enjoying a classic clam chowder bread bowl in Fort Bragg (just north of Mendocino). This was one of our favorite meals, with sea gulls swooping, harbor seals splashing, and surrounded by tons of locals (and their dogs!).
We spent an awesome morning at Sea Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. Also planning a blog post about how you can visit this place too!

Next, we drove north through the Avenue of Giants and Redwoods National Park. Thus began the real road tripping experience, as we realized we were in this for the long haul and not just a long city escape! Redwoods was our favorite national park. It was also the beginning of our camping adventures (in this tiny two person tent I bought on Amazon…).

Standing on the Avenue of Giants, a road surrounded by towering redwood trees. I can’t even describe how majestic these trees are.
Dan and our tent, for size comparison LOL. From the Inn at Newport Ranch to THIS.

We spent a few magical days road tripping the Oregon coast. In mid-May, we crossed out of California and breathed a sigh of relief at the lower gas prices in Oregon, LOL. Along the Oregon coast we camped, stayed at one motel, did all the hiking and beach walks, ate huge gluten free pancakes in Florence, saw tons of sea lions, and spent a very special few days in Cannon Beach – one of my very favorite places in the USA.

Enjoying a hidden beach in coastal Oregon, where the sea lions swam right up to shore!
Dan and the most beautiful sunset we saw along the Oregon coast.
Finally in Cannon Beach! We spent a few days here soaking up all the nature and beach time (this was our last stop on the coast).
Dan and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.

Then, we spent five days in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland we mostly ate (ALL the gluten free food) and walked around the city. We both had high expectations for Portland that the city didn’t quite meet. Highlights were the open mic night at our victorian mansion hostel (where one of the performers actually grew up in the same small town as me!), gluten free corndogs, and lots of donuts…

Dan and his Voodoo Donut – a Portland must-eat!
We went to tons of gluten free places while in Portland (I’m FINALLY going to write my gluten free guide! Stay tuned!). Including this gluten free beer tasting!
On our last day in Portland, we road tripped the Columbia River Gorge. To be honest, it was way too crowded for my taste (unlike how I remember it from my last visit back in 2015).

From Portland, we spent a few days on a press trip in the Tualatin Valley, and then drove north to Seattle. We both really enjoyed the Tualatin Valley (where we stayed in a tiny house, and went to lots of wineries). I’m excited to write more about that area, but I have some freelance pieces I need to publish first before I share on the blog! As for Seattle, by the time we drove there we were both pretty burned out from the constant travel, so we actually stayed at my friend Meghan’s house for two days, mostly in our pajamas, and didn’t do a lick of sight seeing.

Enjoying the vineyards of Tualatin Valley, right outside Portland, Oregon!
Obviously we had to pick up this box of gluten free mochi donuts for my friend Meghan (who is also celiac) who hosted us in Seattle.

From Seattle, we drove inland for the next section of our cross country USA Roadtrip! We first drove through Montana, and stayed a few days at Glacier National Park. Then, we drove through Wyoming to spend a few days camping at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons. All of the national parks were amazing, but it was a little cold and even though it was June at this point, a little before the main season so parts of the parks were still closed.

Dan and I after a hike in Glacier National Park!
We found this excellent gluten free restaurant right before the entrance to Yellowstone.. it’s actually inside the teeny tiny Yellowstone airport. As we drove up I couldn’t believe we were in the right place, haha. The perfect reward after about 12 hours of driving!
We had two full days to explore Yellowstone and we saw Old Faithful geyser go off twice, plus pretty much every other major sight in the park. We are so lucky we visited just a few weeks before floods ravaged the park.
Doesn’t this look appetizing (actually, it is). We ate lots of dehydrated camping meals during this portion of our road trip!

Next, we kept driving east through South Dakota! In South Dakota, we saw Crazy Horse, drove the Needles Highway, saw Mount Rushmore (anticlimactic), went to Wall Drug (overhyped), and spent a couple days at the mega cool Badlands National Park. South Dakota is way cooler than I ever gave it credit for!

Dan modeling at Mount Rushmore. It was raining during our visit, so we couldn’t do the hike closer to the monument. I knew I would feel this way, but it was way less impressive in person than its hyped up to be.
Dan during one of the crazy hikes we did in the Badlands. Yes, you had to climb this ladder!
Sunrise in Badlands National Park! This park is so underrated and sooo interesting to see. I’m really glad we made the stop.

With our road trip nearly done, we spent a few days with friends in Chicago. After a wild 14 hour driving day, we made it to Chicago where we crashed with my friend Mary for a couple days. I finally got to meet her boyfriend Matt, we had a charcuterie party, and just chilled. Then, we crashed with my other friend Essie for a day, and went to an Abba festival! I hadn’t seen either of them since prior to the pandemic and it was just so amazing to have this reunion after so long!

The charcuterie party of my dreams at Mary’s apartment. The police even crashed us (the upstairs apartment was having a loud housewarming party and they accidentally came to our place instead. You should’ve seen the policemen’s faces as they opened the door to four people playing board games and eating charcuterie at 1am LOL. Wrong house…).

From Chicago we drove home to Michigan. This was my first time at home, seeing my parents, since January! We spent an amazing few weeks relaxing with family and friends, eating at all my favorite restaurants, and doing my favorite Michigan things.

Dan and my dad rode bikes 40 miles to my family’s cottage! We spent pretty much every weekend at the cottage and it was great.
Dan and my family dog Maggie – a match made in heaven.
My Mom and I on the shores of Lake Michigan!
My mom and the absolutely stunning views of northern Michigan!
Dan, my Mom, and I even visited a Meadery in northern Michigan. I can’t say I enjoyed the mead that much but the food (and the cornhole) was amazing.
Reunited with some of my best friends – Mary, Lydia, and Liz – at my family’s cottage in Michigan! Totally filled my heart spending time with them.
Caught this snap of my dad during the bike portion of his triathlon that we attended during our last week in Michigan.
Of course, baby Marshall! I loved cuddling and playing with him for three weeks in Michigan.

I sold my car, Madge. (Yes, I named my car Madge). After 10 years, and TWO cross country road trips during that tenth year, plus my work as a home health therapist driving around rough roads all day… it was time. I was really sad to sell this car that I love so much, but with Dan and I heading off for our travels, it was time. Luckily, I was able to sell her to one of my dad’s colleagues for a fair price just one day before we left!

Good old Madge. I’m going to miss my first ever car!

Dan and I packed our (giant) backpacks, and left for the start of our longterm travel adventure! As most of you know, we’ve been dreaming about a round-the-world trip pretty much since we met back in 2013. The pandemic put a delay to that, and also changed our location plans – read more about that in this blog post. But on July 9, we hugged my parents goodbye and flew from Detroit, to Fort Lauderdale, to… Lima, Peru!

RELATED | Big News: The Longterm Travel Adventure Begins

Dan and I (and Marshall) just moments before we left for the Detroit airport! Our backpacks are just sooo big …
Views over Fort Lauderdale after our 8 hour layover, as we flew to Lima! (Yes, we flew Spirit on both flights… we got a great deal but the leg cramps were real).

Once in Peru, we spent two weeks in Lima doing a Spanish school. We both knew zero Spanish so we thought this was a smart way to kick off our South America travels. We ended up LOVING the experience (read all about it here) and are already making plans for another Spanish school along the way…

RELATED | Best Spanish School in Lima: Peruwayna Review

Dan and I at the Magic Circuit of Water in Lima, during an outing with our Spanish school.
A VERY happy Dan with some churros in Lima that we waited like 30 minutes for! We just saw a long line of Peruvians and joined in… apparently it was worth it lol.

Next, we flew to Cusco and did the 5-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu! This trek was incredible, but surprisingly exhausting (honestly, I felt worse after this than after the 11-day Everest Base Camp trek!). I’m very excited to share photos and blog posts on the experience next month. The trek ended on July 31st, which means I’ve brought you all up to date!

Dan and I at Humantay Lake, on day 1 of our Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu!
My biggest struggle in Peru so far has been the food. I was glutened twice in Lima and I’m really struggling more than I expected to on that front. One thing that made me happy was finding my favorite Schar chips in Cusco!

July travel budget and expense breakdown…

Yes, a new section!

I am traveling around the world with an accountant, so you best believe we are trying to stick to a budget – and tracking all our expenses.

We set a rough budget of $1,500 per month, knowing that some countries may be more expensive than others. To be honest, we expected Peru to be less expensive than it is. Inflation is real y’all and it’s everywhere – not just at home. The good news for me is that the US dollar is strong (although, the bad news for Dan is that the British pound is not).

Here’s a breakdown of my July travel budget and expenses:

  • Accommodation: $293.51
  • Travel: $158.83
  • Activities: $598.40
  • Food: $305.77
  • Miscellaneous: $13.78

Total: $1,370.29

Overall, I’m technically under budget… however we only spent 23 days of July traveling (prorated, our budget would be $1,112… so I guess I’m over budget, but at least not by much!).

As you can see, activities definitely makes up the biggest expense category which surprised me at first! However, in July we did two weeks at a Spanish school and a five day trek to Machu Picchu (we got this trek at a media rate in exchange for a review, but between the deposit and tips it was clearly still a big expense).

We didn’t spend as much money on food or accommodation as I expected. For food, we saved quite a bit by cooking at our Airbnbs, and also by getting catered to for five days during our trek. For accommodation, we’ve been aiming for $15/person at Airbnbs and private hostel rooms, and that’s paying off!

May, June, and July blogging income report and update…

I started sharing my blogging income report in these monthly recaps this year, and you guys seem to like it! However, I’m not going to share the report for May, June, and July, mostly because this post is already SO long (and I still need to work on my own spreadsheets). So, thanks for bearing with me, and I’ll be back at it next month!

Upcoming in August…

August is already here, so I’ll give you a sneak peak into this month’s adventures! The month started off with three days in the Amazon jungle at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica (sponsored stay) and I can’t wait to share the photos from that experience. Then, we came back to Cusco with a plan to do tons of day trips, but ended up feeling quite burned out and unwell (the altitude + probably a stomach bug), and have basically just been on our laptops, working, watching Netflix, and drinking bad coffee this whole time.

We are heading to Arequipa next, and haven’t booked the rest of our travels but I do foresee us being in Peru for the remainder of August, too. We’ll see.

Stay tuned on the blog and Instagram this month because I’m on a roll with posting and I can’t wait to share more!

Please, please, please let me know in the comments what you’ve been up to this Spring/Summer, and what you are excited for in the remainder of August!

Looking for more?


  1. Love this post and catching up on your whereabouts. So happy you enjoyed the Badlands. That was definitely an unexpected highlight of my cross-country journey. Looking forward to reading more!

    1. Ahh thank you! Yes, the Badlands were awesome. It was probably my favorite after Redwoods National Park! I’m going to try and do these monthly recaps actually monthly instead of every 3 months lol. There’s just so much going on!

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