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travel

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On Being a Houseguest

On Being a Houseguest

As I traveled this year for the CYOP Road Trip, I began to realize the joy involved in being a good houseguest.

Before I get to that, can I make a confession? We don't often have houseguests in our space. Our home is open-concept almost to a fault. There is zero privacy. And while that works for me and my husband (and the occasional solo guest for short stays) just fine, it can make things a little more difficult when we have couples stay or guests who need a place to crash for longer than a few days. It also means I am completely in awe of those who have houseguests on a regular basis. 

So, when friends I'd never met in real life, family members and near strangers offered up a place to stay during my travels, I knew I wanted to try and be the best possible houseguest I could be.

I learned a few things along the way and I'm thrilled to be over on Clementine Daily this week to share my top five suggestions for being a solid houseguest—regardless of the circumstances surrounding any particular visit. As the holidays approach, I plan on using my own tips a time or two as well!

You can read the full article right here. Happy and safe travels, my friends! 


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When More Than One Place Feels Like Home

That feeling you get when you sleep in your own bed after days or weeks away? That's the good stuff. I don't ever want to give up that first deep sleep in a familiar place. It's just too good.

Yet, lately I've had the distinct feeling that so many places could be "home." As we travel around the states, conversations often turn to where we might end up some day. We don't really talk about moving or roaming in terms of right-this-minute changes, but we've been known to look at a city, town or rural valley surrounded by towering mountains and note with a sigh, "yeah... I could live here." 

For so long we've been tied to one place—and in many, many ways we still are—but there's been this glimpse of what it might be like to reside someplace else for a while. I'm honestly grappling with that feeling. It feels glorious to be comfortable in so many different places, but it also feels strangely disorienting once we arrive home. I try not to fall prey to that grass is greener business, but I often ache for elsewhere. I find myself missing the places I've fallen in love with along the way.

While I don't have the answer to this conundrum, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter. I always try to appreciate my current surroundings as much as humanly possible (which should be evident herehere and here), but I'm wondering how my fellow travelers and explorers deal with the constant pull of other places. 

Spill it, friends.


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Let's Talk About Adventure

Here's the thing about adventure: it's a concept that can mean whatever you'd like it to mean. Some of us experience adventure by traveling great distances and pushing the limits of our comfort, while some of us find adventure just steps from our front door.

When it comes to outdoor adventure, however, there seems to be an interesting "all or nothing" mentality permeating the web. It feels as though we're being told that going big—whether that means going into extreme environments or engaging in potentially dangerous activities—is the only option.

I'm here to tell you that going big is not the only option. I love to try new things and experience new places. Those tackling incredible goals (I'm looking at you, Diana Nyad) are 100% inspiring and I'm so grateful to have the chance to follow their journeys. Yet, we don't all have to reach that far to find adventure. We don't need a closet full of gear or stringent training schedules to step outside our comfort zones or push ourselves to experience new things. 

Outdoor adventure is special in that way, my friends. We get to define the experience we're seeking and we have the ability to just go and find it.

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So tell me: what are your thoughts on outdoor adventure? Do you prefer all or nothing adventures or do you consider simple excursions to be adventurous enough?


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The American River + Michael Caine + Happy Links

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"Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but alwayspaddling like the dickens underneath." // Michael Caine

Happy Links:

  • I haven't stopped dreaming of an Airstream life after finding the Riveted blog. So. Much. Chrome. {sigh}
  • As I mentioned several months ago, we're in the midst of planning our trip to Glacier National Park. I've been following the park's Flickr stream to keep up with their work as they get the park ready for the spring/summer season. There's still so much snow!
  • Have you all heard of Dear Photograph? The site is based completely on the idea of matching an old printed photograph to the same location in its present form. It's brilliant.

Wrap it Up:

  • I finally wrote about the process my mom and I are going through to get rid of excess and simplify our lives. Spoiler alert: it feels pretty great.
  • A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking thesecret tunnel tours at the Cal Neva Resort on Lake Tahoe. If you're at all interested in history, retro decor and conspiracy, I highly recommend you take a tour.

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I'll be spending a few days in the Denver area, so be sure to follow my Instagram feed {@JenSnyder} for updates!

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Featured: Wand'rly Magazine + Vacation Rentals

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Wand'rly Magazine has just launched their 9th issue and my latest feature for the publication, which had me digging into the details behind vacation and room rentals, is now live!

Here's an excerpt:

"After a long day on the road, every traveler needs a place to rest for the night. Some may prefer tents, RVs or tricked-out buses, while others would rather get their shuteye in hostels, motels or high-end hotels. Some wanderers, however, choose an increasingly popular option: the short-term vacation rental.

Since the mid-2000’s, websites such as HomeAway.com, FlipKey.com, Airbnb.com and Roomorama.com have offered easy access to various types of lodging for those seeking unique spaces. With listings ranging from rustic cabins in the woods to grand seaside castles, it’s easy to see why rentals have caught the eye of savvy travelers.

Many of the websites offer the same type of information regarding rental properties, such as number of bedrooms, amenities, rates, reviews and location; but they can differ when it comes to the type of listings found on each site, the payment and reservation process and how owners get feedback from travelers. We’ve rounded up a handful of the most popular vacation rental websites to find out what you need to know before booking your next stay."

You can read the full article here.

If you have yet to check out Wand'rly Magazine, you should stop in and see what the new issue has in store. Those interested in experiencing the Airstream life or living like a local while on the road will find plenty of good information!

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Your turn: What is your take on the vacation and room rental scene? Love it? Hate it? Have any experiences you'd like to share? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it all in the comment section!

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