2+ Years in 5 Minutes

While Eating Ant Bums has been gathering dust in the ever-growing expanse of the internet, a lot has changed for me. I’ll give a quick summary here (with all the best photos, of course!) before we get into the good stuff – the “what’s next.”

. . .


February – May 2015: If you hadn’t heard, I spent these four months traveling abroad in Tanzania to study wildlife ecology with the School for Field Studies.



Downtown Charleston, one of the best preserved cities in the US.

June – August 2015: In a dramatic change from fieldwork, I spent three months living in Charleston, South Carolina in an NSF REU program working on a Computational Genomics project. (Want to learn more? Click here.) Then visited Massachusetts and New Hampshire for the first time!

September – December 2015: I spent an intense four months completing the first half of my senior year at Reed College in Portland, OR.


January – May: Four more months of intense studying and completing an independent research project (and, let’s be honest, a few days of intense partying), I got my Bachelor’s degree in Biology.


Fishers are not this docile without a lot of ketamine.

June – September: I moved to Southern Oregon near Ashland to work as a field tech studying diversity and ecology of the Pacific fisher, a little known, fierce and incredible animal – the closest living relative of the wolverine.

October: Went back to Portland for my first glimpse of a quarter-life crisis.

November – December: Moved to Santa Cruz, CA to start my dream job at the UCSC Paleogenomics Lab. I’ve been living there ever since, with the occasional side adventure to scratch the travel itch.


February: Spent a long weekend in Seattle to visit my great aunt and uncle. We saw beautiful blown glass, space-age architecture, and played some maniacal mini-golf.


James relaxing on our private outdoor porch in Mexico (after we learned we had internet).

May: Relaxing trip to Baja California, Mexico with my partner James, where we read piles of books, swam with sea lions, and tried to learn to like tequila (it didn’t work).

August: Drove to Southern Oregon to see a smokey partial eclipse with my friend Victoria.

September: First time in Maine to visit James’ family (totally fell in love with Acadia National Park!).


The view from partway up the treacherous Precipice Trail in Acadia National Park.

October: Drove to Joshua Tree, CA for my first-ever music festival!

December: Went home to Minnesota to see the family for the holidays. James was not a fan of the weather there…

. . .

Whew, that was a whirlwind. I could hardly remember everything I had done. But there is a reason I came online, and it wasn’t to reminisce. In less than a week, I start my next big life adventure, and take a giant leap into the unknown.

James and I have quit our jobs and we’re going to South America!

I hate to leave you on a cliffhanger but you will have to stay tuned for New Year’s Resolutions, itineraries, and the big question: why are we traveling?

. . .

Sharing is caring! Every time you like, comment, or share my blog, it stokes the fire in my soul and fuels me to write and photograph more of this amazing planet. Thanks for your support!







4 responses to “2+ Years in 5 Minutes

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