27 May 2016

Packing for a Long Trip

I pack last-minute.  Always.  And I almost always under pack.  So how do I pack for a long (in this case, 3 weeks) trip?  It goes something like this:

Step 1: Throw everything including your smallest suitcase on the very messy bed (you're going to take the sheets off and wash before you leave anyway).

Step 2: Sort through and get rid of stuff from the last trip that you know you don't need.

Step 3: Consult your randomly-scribbled list and throw some more things on the bed...go in search of the things you have no idea what you did with after the last long trip...freak out because you can't find that one thing you absolutely need, add some more stuff just in case.

Step 4: Check the weather for your destination(s)..DUH! Rethink everything you've packed.

Step 5: Fret that you have too much. Fret that you don't have enough.  Rinse. Repeat. 

Step 6: See if it all fits. Adjust if necessary.

Step 7: Check the weight (if you're flying with a weight restriction)

Step 8: Open it all up and leave it there in hopes inspiration will strike and allow you to make it all perfect.

Step 9: Add, subtract, add, subtract...spend far too much time thinking about whether or not you need rain pants and/or a mini-tripod.

Step 10: Decide it's fine if you only have one pair of socks and 14 t-shirts (or vice versa). Who cares...you're on vacation!!

How do you pack?  Do you take too much...to little?  Do you have any super packing secrets? What's your one MUST HAVE item?

19 May 2016

Why India? - A Guest Post by Angie

While I'm off soaking in thermal hot springs and figuring out how to take up permanent residence with the Icelandic Elves, I bring you a post from Angie who blogs about travel, veganism, yoga and much more. 

Hello Far From Kansas readers! I am Angie from Angie Eats Peace and am honored to guest post today about my own upcoming travels.


My husband and I are fortunate enough to work for the public school system and have most of the summer off from work. We try to make the most of our time off and are generally hopping on a plane as soon as the last school bell for the year has rung. We have exploring some beautiful parts of Europe (Spain, Portugal, France and Italy) and last summer we visited China and Japan. This year we are headed to Northern India and Nepal.

Most of our family, friends and co-workers know that we travel every chance we get and have both been asked multiple times where we are going this summer. We have both been surprised to find we are getting similar responses when we share that we are going to India. We are getting confused looks and being asked, "Why India"? Usually followed by, "aren't you scared"?

My response has been, "Why Not India"? But, if someone is truly interested, I share the following with them:

I am truly looking forward to India. It's going to be life-changing. I just know it. I am going in with high expectations, but also the realization that I am incredibly ignorant about what I am about to experience. I open to what the many temples, holy sites, the Ganges river, the market place, the ashrams, the food and most of all, the people, have to teach me.

I travel to learn, to connect, to experience and to EAT. I do not travel to relax, to be comfortable or to have an experience that I could easily have in my own country. Most of my trips are spent walking, exploring, searching, talking and connecting. I rarely lay on a beach and relax. This extremely flattering photo below was taken by my wonderful husband in a park in Paris. I completely crashed after two weeks of travel and endless walking. I needed a quick nap before going off again to explore the city.


The one time I did NOT love a travel experience was when I stayed at a resort in Cancun. Although I loved some of the excursion activities, I did not care for the all-inclusive resort filled with other Americans and non-traditional food. I like to feel out of my comfort zone and be pushed to understand a different way of life. I love realizing that there is SO much more to the world than my own narrow viewpoint.

I know India will have so much to teach me about my own comfort zone and force me to confront parts of myself that I am currently unaware of. I look forward to what I will learn and what I can share when I return.

I will be posting some pictures here and there, so if you care to follow along, you can do so on Instagram or visit my blog around August, when I am back from my travels.

Thanks Angie!  I know I'm looking forward to hearing about this trip and I'm jealous that I'm not going!!

08 May 2016

Skagit Tulip Festival - Sundays in My City

Feels like I just got back from vacation (it was a one-week vacation but still great to get away). Now I'm leaving again in less than a week. Where am I going?


In the mean time, a little glimpse of the trip I just took.  When you've been to the Keukenhof and ridden a bike through the Dutch tulip fields it's hard to imagine anything can ever compare. 

I won't say the last remaining garden at the Skagit Tulip Festival (when we got there everything was already topped (meaning they'd plucked the blooms off the stems) except this last garden and they were working on it) was a rival to the Keukenhof but it was a nice stop on the way from Vancouver back to Seattle. There was plenty to be seen and it was deceptive in size...looking quite small at first but ending up much bigger than it looks.

Of course, I took hundreds of pictures...one just can't help trying to capture all the colors and different shapes and sizes.

Is there a tulip festival near you?  Have you been to one?  Do you have a favorite color tulip?

Linking up with Unknown Mami for her always-eventful Sundays in My City.  Check it out!

Unknown Mami