Category Archives: nature

California Dreaming

I seriously need to post more!! But it’s better late than never I guess! 

Last Thursday – yesterday, I traveled from Detroit, MI to San Jose, CA. I visited two friends who I met while volunteering abroad, and another friend who I met in Sweden last year through study abroad. 


To start, my friend Kaila picked me up from the airport with her roommate, Anthony. We got drinks for happy hour on the water, and I ran into the freezing Pacific Ocean (I only had one drink mind you)! 


Visiting San Francisco and exploring by myself on Friday afternoon was full of fun, hipster vibes, and amazing Mexican food! 


The following day Kaila drove us to Felton, where we hiked in a redwood park, met some hippies, and snuck into a music festival with them! It was an interesting day to say the very least… 


I was able to grab dinner with another friend who I met in Thailand, Wendy. We reminisced about our time abroad with some Thai cuisine in Mountain View. 


Lastly, I spent the day with my friend who just moved to SF, Ali. She’s originally from Montana, so we had fun wine tasting in Napa for the first time! 


I had a wonderful time with friends in Cali, and I can’t wait to go back someday! 

South Haven, Michigan

I know that the title of my blog is “A Michiganian Abroad,” but I have been doing a lot of domestic travel since I’ve been home from Thailand. 

This summer has been filled with student loan payments and a new job, so my international trips are on hold until 2018! 


On Thursday, I traveled to South Haven, which is right on Lake Michigan, for an overnight work retreat. The scenery was beautiful, the food was amazing, and the company was much needed! 


A few of my team members live out of state, and getting to know them for the first time was awesome. We had ice-breaker challenges and I won the cup stacking competition (I never win anything…)!


I went swimming in Lake Michigan with Kevin for about an hour. The water was much warmer than usual, but the waves were as high and frequent as I remember. Tonya and I skipped rocks for a while and I failed miserably every time. I still loved my time on the beach with them; they’re two of my favorite coworkers and getting to know them better over the two days meant a lot to me. 


As dorky as it sounds, being in South Haven was a highlight of my summer. My company owns the property we stayed on, and I can’t wait to go back! 


At dinner, we played adult Clue/had an interactive murder mystery game. I’ve always wanted to do this and it was so much fun! The only awkward part was that my character had an affair with my boss’s character, but we had to play the part! I had to cry every time someone mentioned my dead lover’s name, which was “Sal Fee” (like selfie)! 


Sitting around the bonfire with a view like this was something special. Tonya, Steve, Kevin and I played corn hole and the sunset came alive. I can’t wait for next year’s retreat! 

Askøy & Bergen, Norway (Part III)

At the beginning of 2018, I hope to go on a trip to Europe with my brother.  He will graduate college in December of this year and has never gone to Europe, so I figure this would be the perfect gift for him (expensive, yes, but perfect…) 🙂

And if that doesn’t work out, then my mom is willing to take his place!

Until my next adventure in Europe, I can look back on the past and cherish the memories I have already made as I excitedly plan on making some new ones in the near future 🙂

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I hope you all have a great Monday and a great week ahead of you! 🙂

Askøy & Bergen, Norway (Part II)

It has been MONTHS since I last wrote about my Norwegian adventure!  I haven’t stopped reflecting on my time in Norway with such incredible hosts.  I stayed with Kjell, who was my mom’s foreign exchange student in high school.  I hadn’t met him prior to staying with him, and it was great to hear about his time in America with my mom, uncle, and grandparents!  I was also touched to meet his wife and children; they are truly a second family to me.

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The view from Kjell’s home on Askoy

One of my favorite, and perhaps most memorable parts, of my two weeks in Norway were the boat rides Kjell took me on.  We were able to see his many summer homes and have great conversations along the way.

Above is Kjell’s parent’s home.  The red shed is where I would be asked to help him gut the fish we caught in the North Sea, little would I know!

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I remember that afternoon like it was yesterday; Kjell was taking me through the neighborhood on one of the family’s fishing boats.  He was showing me all of his favorite fishing spots, while sharing childhood memories.  I felt so close to him and I felt like I reliving his fondest memories.

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We eventually stepped out of our fishing boat and hiked a little bit.  He showed me his favorite spots where he, his siblings, and neighbors would play; Kjell even showed me the only spot where small flowers could grow along the sea!

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After some light hiking, Kjell and I had to cut the fish we caught in the North Sea (Kjell: 5, me: 2).  I didn’t have it in me to cut the fish, so I kept his mom company as Kjell prepared the fish for cooking.

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I remember feeling guilty for “taking the life of two fish,” but Kjell cracked a joke that made me feel so much more at ease!  He said, “Well, think about this, you’re feeding my sweet mother.  Without you, she wouldn’t have dinner tonight!” It made me laugh more than I probably should’ve!  And that was the best seafood I’ve ever had 🙂