Welcome to my blog, Among the Pines!

I always find myself dreaming of far away places, people I have never met and sights I have never seen. Traveling has become one of the largest parts of my life and I created this blog so I can share my experiences and tips with all of you, and inspire you to get out and explore.

I was born in New Mexico but grew up primarily in Kansas with my mom, stepdad and three younger brothers. My mom works as an analyst for sprint and my stepdad is in power plant sales. My two younger brothers ( Ben and Joe) are in high school and the other (David) attends Purdue University for engineering.

Since my parents divorced at a young age, I would always go back and forth visiting my mom and dads families. My dad was a teacher in New Mexico, but recently remarried and now owns a shop with his wife and my cat Asher called Finding Gems located in Creede, Colorado.

High school was a mix of cheerleading and singing in choir both for the school and for Allegro Choirs of Kansas City. I did some of my first international travel through Allegro, touring in France and Switzerland.

When I first came to college I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life (honestly, I still don’t). So I went undecided my first year, and the summer between my freshman and sophomore year, I went on a road trip from Kansas up to Squamish, British Columbia hitting all the national parks along the way. I fell in love with each park I visited and knew that was what I wanted to do. When I came back to Kansas State, I decided that Park Management and Conservation and Environmental Sciences was the way to go.

After declaring this major, I took a chance at applying to a variety of National Parks to see if I made the right choice. After a long and nerve-racking process, I was then hired at Olympic National Park in Washington the summer between my sophomore and junior year. I left to a completely unknown place and was excited and nervous all at the same time. After arriving and spending my summer with complete strangers in a place I’ve never been and having the time of my life, I knew that the traveling lifestyle was for me.

When I arrived back in Kansas for my junior year, something seemed different. Its a funny thing coming home. Nothing Changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realize what’s changed is you. (F. Scott Fitzergerald). I’ve always been told solo trips are always the most liberating experiences and I never knew why, until I came back for school from this trip.

Another one of my favorite quotes is by Miriam Adeney:

58defa7d3036678efc3c3a64d50dfc46After I graduate from college, I plan on working at National Parks around the world. I dream of living in a different country every year and specializing in travel around the current country as well as top things to do in each park.

I love girly things like doing my hair and make up, making flower crowns, drinking wine and shopping. But other times you’ll find me barefoot, bathing in rivers and lakes, and washing my clothing in sinks (lol). Travel isn’t always pretty, but it does make for great stories.

A new interest I have developed over the past few years is gem hunting. I know, gem hunting?? Some of the most intense yet gorgeous hikes around America that I have done, have been to find gems like quartz, amethyst, turquoise, diamonds and so much more. You can read more about this awesome hobby here.

A song that describes me the most would be Wild Child by Kenny Chesney ft. Grace Potter. If you haven’t heard the lyrics, follow them here. I highly encourage you to listen to the song if you want to learn more about me.

I also enjoy paddle boarding, Dr. Pepper, music festivals, long walks on the beach, stargazing, animals, photography (although I’m still learning), driving jet skis around the lake, and collecting seashells.

Some of my favorite places I have been are Maui, British Columbia, Washington, Switzerland and Colorado. I have been to 30 states and 5 countries so far, but plan to add many more this upcoming year!

I want to inspire everyone of all ages to travel the world while you’re young and able. There is so much to learn and see out there, so why not take the chance while you still can? And remember, wherever you go, go with all your heart.

XOXO,

Liz

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