Today Daisy and I are off for our two week road trip from San Francisco to Las Vegas!

After a rough quarter that had me feeling extremely overwhelmed, I'm more than ready to hit the open road and see what adventures traveling has in store for us this time.

One of the best parts about embarking on a new journey is the chance to disconnect, reflect and have different experiences than what you know in your day to day. I have reached a point that I really need to do all of these things and figure out where I'm heading.

Sans laptop, I'm heading to California to tune into myself and find what I really want this balance to be all about.

All I know is that it will definitely always involve travel. There is nothing better than going out to explore the unknown. Except maybe coming back home to share it with everyone you miss while you're gone.

I'll be back to share soon!

Image via 1


Dying to Go Destinations: San Francisco, California

With the wrap-up of my last Autumn Quarter ever, I've finally been able to focus a bit more on planning the epic road trip I started talking about a few months ago.

Starting in San Francisco, Daisy and I will make our way down the Pacific Coast Highway with stops all along the California coast. We'll also cut over to Temple City to see my lovely auntie and finish up our West Coast adventure with a few nights in Vegas!

In previous trips to CA, I've gotten as far north as Santa Barbara, but can't wait to actually experience everything North Cal has to offer! I've always wanted to go San Francisco, but the opportunity was never there when I've visited before.

Now that we're driving ourselves, we've got free reign to go everywhere and anywhere our little hearts desire.

From taking in the sea lions at sunrise to hanging with the hippies in Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco has Amanda Boleman written all over it and I can't wait to experience it all in real life in just 5 days!

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Election Night in Chicago

Although I haven't actually gotten to see the President speak in the flesh, I feel so blessed to have been in Chicago for the past two elections.

I will never forget 2008: climbing on porta-potties to catch a glimpse of the big screens through the throngs of thousands gathered from Grant Park all the way back beyond Millennium Park. Crying and hugging the strangers around me who were just as ecstatic as I was that we had elected our first African-American president. Feeling like a part of something bigger than myself and not even worrying for a moment about my safety, despite warnings from others that the rally may turn violent.

There was nothing but pure excitement and hope for what was to come and I am beyond thrilled that the American people decided to continue down this progressive path to see where this amazing man will lead us.

Admittedly, my vote in '08 was not the most informed decision. Everyone around me, including my family and very liberal classmates at DePaul, were all voting Democratic so it seemed like the right thing to do. Obama's fierce messages for hope and change also played a role, igniting something within me that I had never really cared about before, but in all honesty, I just figured that someone with his amount of swagger should be the man in charge of my country. 

Four years later, my experiences abroad along with my education (and an extremely political ex-boyfriend!) all contributed to a much more educated decision -- that oddly enough didn't change a bit.

Gathering at the Thompson Center at Clark & Randolph, I was disappointed to see that the crowd wasn't as energetic and massive as back in '08. But don't get me wrong--it was still incredible to be in the President's home state, surrounded by his supporters and celebrating the progress we can make with four more years. Popping the bubbly, I couldn't stop smiling from ear to ear to be standing with so many of the people that joined me in 2008 in support of Barack Obama.



Rock the Vote

My Fellow Americans (and all of you wonderful international readers!) - if you haven't noticed: TODAY IS ELECTION DAY! 

For this momentous occasion, I've transformed my favorite date night dress into the ultimate election day duds with a smart blazer, thick black tights and red and blue accessories to bring it all together. 

Rather than trying to push my political opinions in these last few voting hours, I am simply here to state that I hope each and every one of you exercised your right to vote for what you believe in today. 

Voting absentee from Illinois for my home-state of Minnesota, it was extremely important for me to VOTE NO to both the Marriage Amendment and Voter Restriction Amendment on this year's ballot. 

I am also incredibly proud to say that just as I was in 2008, I am in full support of President Barack Obama in the 2012 election. I hope Chicago will be celebrating tonight just the way we did all over the streets of downtown four years ago.

Note: In stating my political opinions, I am in no way saying that they should be yours or that they are right. They are simply what I believe in and I am not here to start any sort of argument!



Over the past few weeks--maybe even months--I haven't been feeling quite like myself. Some of my actions have caused me to second guess what I'm doing and where my life is headed.

When all of my friends were freaking out about graduation last year, I rest assured knowing I still had the bonus year of my 5-year Master's Program to look forward to. But now that time seems to be ticking away faster than I can keep up and there's only two quarters left of my college career, it's my turn to panic.

The worst part about all of this added stress is the fact that it seems to be self-inflicted. Of course school brings on all of its regular moans and groans, but all of my outside worries and fears seem to stem from my own mistakes and self-created anxieties.

Take for instance, trying to change my major with only two quarters left of school. Prompted by my video and multimedia work at RedEye, I decided to take broadcast journalism for a spin. I learned quickly that this is not the kind of thing you can just dive into! 

Luckily I figured out it wasn't for me before I got too involved and have since decided to refocus my efforts back to print/online journalism with an emphasis in multimedia storytelling techniques & blogging. Since this realization, I've been a lot more centered and am looking forward to applying for new internships in freelance travel writing and web producing for Winter Quarter.

Beyond the professional, my personal life has also become a cause of stress and uncertainty. In this crazy transition stage of my life, I feel like I'm at a crossroads with what I want for myself and unfortunately, I was dragging someone else along on that roller coaster ride far longer than he ever deserved to be on board.

While I don't regret any minute of our beautiful time together, I know that to truly get better and find my way, I need to take some time to tune into myself. It's time to breathe and reboot--all by myself. 

There is still no certainty for what life has in store, but I'm looking forward to keeping calm & carrying on with whatever comes my way.