It's been one helluva summer, y'all!
It's been one helluva summer, and my life has changed a ton since my last post.
For starters, I don't live in the Golden State anymore — partly because I became seriously ill back in July. It hit me seemingly out of nowhere, and after enduring an unexpected hospital stay sans medical insurance, I moved back to the Missouri Ozarks to recover my health and finances. But I'd already decided to come back to MO for a spell before all of that happened, and I'm happy to be here.
I'm actually loving it, y'all. No traffic! No parking bullshit! No $1,200 monthly rent payments! I'm surrounded by super tall evergreens and hummingbirds and I get to see my family everyday; it's great. I love California, and the American West will always have a special place in my heart — but my stress and anxiety levels have dropped significantly since I got out of the LA area, and it's such a comfort to be among family and lifelong friends again. I feel like I'm exactly where I need to be. Not dealing with earthquakes anymore is a nice bonus, too.
Aside from getting so sick I could barely eat for two weeks, and nearly experiencing full-body organ failure, the summer was actually amazing and adventurous as hell. Before I got sick, I went on a mini solo road trip to Joshua Tree National Park!
I also got to go on a much longer solo road trip where I stopped in Grants Pass, Oregon for a family reunion. I visited Crater Lake National Park with my mom and aunts while I was there, and it was even more majestic than I remembered. After that, I moseyed up to Portland, OR, where I spent several hours in the Portland Japanese Garden, waiting out traffic, enjoying the views, and taking photos for other tourists. It was a delight.
Post-Portland I spent two nights in an awesome Air B&B in Milwaukee, OR, where I took a couple of days off from sightseeing and visiting loved ones so I could earn monies in peace. Then I drove to Ruby Beach and the Hoh Rainforest — two of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I also spent a night in the Forks Motel in Forks, WA before heading to Seattle to visit friends. From there, I drove like a mad woman from Lynwood, WA to Long Beach, CA in under 36 hours. IT WAS EXHAUSTING. But I'm so glad I did it, especially since I got sick shortly after returning to southern California. I'm doing much better than I was a month ago, but it's probably going to be awhile before I have that kind of stamina again.
Oh! Also, I got to visit Grand Canyon National Park for the third time on my way back to Missouri from California. My momma was with me, because she's awesome. She flew out to LA when I got sick because I didn't want to be alone — which y'all know is weird for me, if you know me at all. She's the best. I love her.
Anyway, I'm planning to dedicate a whole blog post (or maybe even an article, if I can find someone who wants to publish it) to my tips for solo road tripping in general, and more specifically, for visiting Joshua Tree National Park, Crater Lake National Park, Olympic National Park, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Grand Canyon National Park. But for now, I'm just going to leave you with a list of the pieces I've had published since the last time I posted on here, in case y'all wanna give them a gander.
Check out my latest pieces below, and thanks for stopping by!!!
I've had more than 2 dozen pieces published by Bustle since I re-joined the BDG team as a commerce writer back in May — so rather than link out to 24+ different pieces, here's my Bustle author page: https://www.bustle.com/profile/elizabeth-enochs-1910184.