Podcast Episode #20: Battling Travel Fatigue, ft. Kings Canyon & Theodore Roosevelt

It’s no exaggeration that our trip to all 59 national parks was a dream. But it’s also no exaggeration that the trip was hard at times. Amazing, yes, but also hard. With any kind of travel, extended or short-term, travel fatigue can set in when you least expect it. Since we were traveling almost non-stop… Read more »

Mixing business with adventure in Eastern Uganda

** This post is a bit different from our usual content, but I wanted to share this amazing visit I just had to Uganda. Now that we’re not traveling 24/7 and returned to “normal life” in St. Louis, it’s more important than ever for us to realize adventure (and the lessons it offers) comes in… Read more »

St. Louis Getaway Weekend in Shawnee National Forest

We are now fully settled back into real life here in St. Louis. Even though our lives were very different — dirtier, more exposed to the elements, more awe-inspiring — six months ago, we snapped back into reality in almost no time. Cole and I love living in St. Louis, primarily because almost all of… Read more »

Podcast #19: Recap & Preview

Good morning, lovely readers! Hope your view today is as gorgeous as mine was yesterday morning when I recorded this podcast: snowy & still.  This morning, as you read this, we are probably already on our way to BELIZE! So excited to break away from the wintery midwest weather to the beach for some snorkeling,… Read more »

Podcast Episode #18: Weather Woes, ft. Great Smoky Mountains and Grand Teton

Despite what our Instagram may look like, our trip was not all sunshine & rainbows. We traveled for a full year, so we saw all of the extremes: pouring rain, snow, desert heat, tent-destroying winds, and, yes, lots of sunshine & rainbows. Today on the podcast, we’re sharing two of our park experiences that were very… Read more »

17 Experiences to Have in 2017

For awhile now, Cole and I have been dabbling in the experientialist lifestyle. I read a book during our trip that completely shifted my thinking about the stuff in our lives, and ever since have been singing to the tune of simplify, minimize, and focus on experiences.  We’re not doing a perfect job, by any means…. Read more »

Podcast Episode #17: Our Top Ten National Park Animal Encounters

You GUYS! This is probably the most fun podcast episode Cole and I have created. It was so hard to narrow down our top animal experiences during our year in the parks, but we managed to break it down to just 10… plus some honorable mentions… plus some “still on our list” candidates. Does this… Read more »

You Are Now Free to Move About the Midwest: Flying with Air Choice One

*This post is in no way sponsored by Air Choice One. We wish it was :)* Raise your hand if you feel personally victimized when you discover a new travel hack or an amazing deal that no one ever told you about before. Hello! Today (well, two weeks ago by now) I am sitting in… Read more »

Switchbacks Ep. 16: Interview w/ gap year cowboys on a shoestring budget

In the 59 national parks we visited last year, we met a lot of fellow visitors. (Except in North Cascades, where we literally ran into Z.E.R.O people on any hiking trail.) Among all the unique people with interesting stories we met during our trip, 59 of those people made it onto our “People of the… Read more »

How to Travel Lightly + What I Brought to Argentina

Argentiiiiiina! Our dream of visiting this country — specifically Patagonia — came true, thanks entirely to our whirlwind experience on The Price is Right last spring. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this & this). We returned home a month ago and have missed it ever since. Read our posts about… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Great Smoky (and cloudy, and rainy) Mountains

    I have to be honest, when I look back at our 5-day visit to Great Smoky Mountains, one memory blocks out all the others. Clouds. Never-ending clouds dumping buckets and buckets of rain. I think we saw blue skies peek through twice. I would estimate it probably rained 40-50% of our total time there and… Read more »

  • How to Pack for a Backpacking Trip

    **A few of these links are to items we have received for free. All opinions are 100% our own** Going on a two- (or longer) day backpacking trip anytime soon? Sweet! Do it! Carrying all your stuff around is amazing and fulfilling and satisfying in so many ways. #notsarcastic Whether you’ve done this before or… Read more »

  • SHENANDOAH: 7 essentials for a National Park family vacation

      I was indoctrinated in the National Parks from a young age. Annual family vacations out west to visit family, join in 1840s era rendezvous and visit National Parks were a huge part of my childhood.   When we went on our most recent park family vacation (Grand Canyon in 2009), I doubt my parents… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Oh, Shenandoah!

    Coming off more than a week of visiting and meeting up with family and friends throughout the eastern side of the country is tough. We already miss the familiarity of traveling with people we know. We also already miss the indoor sleeping, often on amazing beds 🙂 After we visited Acadia National Park in Maine,… Read more »


    It’s hard to sit and put into words what we experienced at Acadia National Park last weekend. It was cold. Very cold. Like 45-and-windy-when-you’re-trying-to-hike-cold. But even so, the beauty at this Maine gem stares you in the face, through the cold and through the wind. So far on our year-long trip, we have been careful… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Acadia National Park

    Maine has always called to me. I think there’s something just fun about exploring to the very edge of something. In this case the something is our country.   We got the chance to explore the best of Maine in Acadia, New England’s only National Park. We were worried that this late into October and… Read more »


    Niagara Falls has changed a lot since it was first documented by westerners in 1678. It was bought up by private hands and harnessed for hydroelectric power. It became the country’s first and most popular state park as notable citizens like Frederick Law Olmsted push for its protection. And it attracted more and more tourists (presently an… Read more »

  • CUYAHOGA VALLEY: A Community Gem

    Within a day of arriving at Cuyahoga Valley National Park last week with four adventure days ahead of us, a few things were clear. The trees were alive with the colors of fall. We would not be lacking any LTE. And Cuyahoga Valley National Park really values its community. It didn’t take us long to… Read more »

  • VIDEO: Cuyahoga Valley National Park

    Coming from our first leg of red rocks and canyons of National Parks in the Southwest, I don’t think we could pull much more of a 180 than next visiting Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Don’t forget to use #switchbackstyle to share your fall adventures and you can win awesome prints from PurpleMooseBasics.com like the one… Read more »


    Both Elizabeth and I come from families of enthusiastic board gamers. At holidays, for a weekend in, in the car or on vacation, our favorite family times always seem to center around games. The first time I visited Elizabeth’s hometown when we were dating we went to a coffee shop (I might not have told… Read more »