Sights, sounds and tales from Uke Fest.Read More
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DotComDIY #CollectiveBias
You know how you can just feel the fall coming? Even when it's still warm, and you're sure summer will never leave you... and then slowly, those blue-sky early-September days give just a hint of what's to come. There's a subtle breeze and all of a sudden it's time to get outside and feel that autumn euphoria. Of course, around here the only way to celebrate the change of season is with a road trip! Windows down drives to find a place where the mountain air gives you that little shiver of excitement for cooler weather.
This list is all the necessities to build your own road trip car care kit (right in time for those steep mountain drives and hilly terrains you'll experience on those upcoming fall travels!) Plus, as a girl who travels with her touring musician partner often, I've got a special concert giveaway at the close of the post! (hint, hint, my favorite music video ever is November Rain... can you guess what the giveaway is?!)
Read on for more, and at the close of the post learn all about why Pennzoil is my oil of choice.
Road Trip Car Care Checklist
- Paper Maps
- Motor Oil
- Jumper Cables
- Tire Patch Kit
- Water Jug
- First Aid Kit
- Work Gloves
- Bungee Cords & Zip Ties
- Flashlight / Batteries
- Rain Poncho
- Alcohol Wipes
- Utility Knife
The fabulous thing about this list, truly truly, you guys - is that it's all available for online ordering. We get our cars serviced at our local Walmart, and they've made serious improvements in their online shopping experience lately. Pickup options now include (1) delivery, (2) in-store pickup and (3) curbside pickup. I, for one, NEVER ever want to go brave the checkout line, so ordering online is my go-to. On those days I realize I forgot that one thing that I just can't travel without I chose the curb-side assistance. You just provide your name and the time you'll be there to pick it up, and a Walmart employee will bring your items to you. 🙌🏽
Keep reading to learn about my oil of choice and then find the details on that contest I mentioned above (have you guessed what it is yet?!)
More about Pennzoil:
Pennzoil High Mileage – This is what we choose for Ben's SUV, it's for vehicles with 75K+ miles (and we put tons of miles on that car). We also buy the Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic High Mileage for my car (it's just approaching the 75k mark. This product includes a revolutionary process that converts natural gas into pure synthetic base oil. Combining it with high performance additives means it's proven to deliver less oil burn off than conventional motor oils made from crude oil (and that's important to me!). It keeps pistons up to 20% cleaner than the toughest industry standards to help keep the engines running clean and performing strong. These oils are made with the mission of keeping engines running clean and going strong.
Okay! Now about that contest!
You'll also receive $10 Ticketmaster Ticket Cash with the purchase any 2 qualifying Pennzoil Motor oil (in-store or online) by uploading your receipt.
I can't wait to see where you all are traveling this fall, be sure to keep tagging me when you're sharing on insta! #AWanderfulLife! And keep following along, I've got lots of fun adventures to share with you guys this fall!
You'll Also Like
Hi wanderful friends,
So this week I'm spending some time decompressing out in the magic of the Rocky Mountains for a few days... it's a quick little respite before the whirlwind of my book launch gets fully underway.
If you haven't yet pre-ordered you've got a few more days to do so!
I've started to schedule my first round book events and as soon as things are finalized I'll give you all the details. I can tell you this so far: if you'll be in New York City I'll be speaking on September 19th and New Orleans friends, save the date for an event at Martine Chaisson Gallery on September 16th! Yay!
In the meantime, here's a little photo preview and a couple of outtakes from the first two road trips featured: The Pacific Coast Highway and a jaunt from Miami to the beaches of 30A.
Miami to 30A
photo credits: (1, 2, 3, 7) Allister Ann, (4, 5, 6) David Donelson & Amanda Bjorn, (8, 9) Hunter Holder, (10) Hello Miss Lovely c/o Kaylyn Weir
As I spent last year trekking across America documenting travel, style & culture stories for my second book Wanderful, The Modern Bohemian's Guide to Traveling in Style, I often returned to the beaches of the Pacific Coast Highway, artistic hideaways in the Mojave & Sonoran deserts, and the California canyons.
Traveling the cerulean blue surf breaks, experience the flora of the canyons & the wildly energetic art havens tucked way out in the desert gives me a soul connection I've only experienced in one other place (a few summers ago on a 4 month summer adventure in the Southern Coast of Spain - and that feeling reignites for me in SoCal).
Today I'm taking over the instagram page of Passport by Forbes - the journey begins on the Santa Barbara boardwalk and ends here, in Salvation Mountain. I trekked solo for 3 days, and ended this adventure with friends - celebrating the birthday party of a dear old friend from New Orleans.
Read more about traveling solo here - and come back over the next few weeks for photo tours of each destination I stopped in along the way.
The rainbow-hued Salvation Mountain, built with adobe clay and painted with a half a million gallons of donated paint, is a favorite destination for aspiring artists and wandering off-grid types too.
I arrived into Joshua Tree for a night of birthday fun (i.e. a bit too much pink wine and lots of story telling as the sun fell over the monumental rock formations all around). The next morning I took the wheel of my friend's jeep, 4 friends (new and old) piled in, and we hit the road to Salvation Mountain. A few hours later.... south of Palm Spring, east of the resort ghost towns of the Salton Sea and through Slab City (a desolate RV filled village home to snowbirds and serious off-gridders) the five story high man-made structure was in view.
Take time to travel up the hand-painted yellow brick road to reach the summit and then explore the ingenious labyrinth of Technicolor caves below.
After spending most of 2016 on a series of cross country road trips I knew it wouldn't take long before I hopped a plane, train or automobile to get back out there. I live for adventures that involve the great outdoors and while I truly wasn't intending to spend much of this summer traveling (I have a book release to prepare for! Ahhhh!) it was inevitable, I suppose, that the bug would bite at some point and I'd have to get out there.
One of the things that really occurred to me on last year's road trips was the meditative feelings that are often induced while solo traveling. I'm finding that more and more I'm making last minute plans to go out traveling alone. I'm not getting all Into The Wild on you guys, but honestly, it's a whole lot easier to plan when it's just you and the world. There's not too much coordination required and double honestly: I kind of like traveling alone even more so when I'm intending to document the experience ... the creativity arises differently when it's just me, the camera, and the sights and sounds of nature.
A few weeks ago I decided to take one of these trips. I was already planning a visit to Los Angeles to see Ben play a few shows, and then in the meantime, a friend called and would be hosting a birthday party in Joshua Tree, so, well there in the middle of LA and Joshua Tree I'd have 3 days for solo trekking.
I rented a car, studied up on a route and with a plan of a day drive along the PCH followed by a day of canyon hiking and then a day of desert wandering I was ready to go.
I've gotten pretty good at knowing what to pack and how to prepare (and I've shared a lot of that with you here), however, it's a bit different when going at it alone.
It's so incredibly important to take stock of your intended journey to best prepare and to create a plan in case of an emergency too. Here’s how to get started.
1. Pack Maps & Guides, Charge Up and Inform Your Friends of Your Plans
It doesn't matter how experienced you are, out in the wild it's easy to get turned around. GPS and phone service is often non-existent so a paper map can be your best friend. Battery power can drain quickly (especially if you're using your phone GPS) so having a back up source is necessary too.
In regards to routes: there's all sorts of trail tracking websites that you can get recommendations from others that have gone before you. That's good to get some perspective on the landscapes (and the creatures) you'll be meeting along the way. Example: on this particular trip, while hiking Topanga Canyon I came face to face with a coyote for the first time... hi Wiley, don't take me out please. His presence was ominous however, I knew from what I'd read he likely wasn't very interested in me. And while you might be in the mood to go all Thoreau-rogue (and I highly recommend you do!) it's important that someone knows where to find you if you don't report in. A bee sting or a slip & fall might be nothing at home, but out in nature those things can make easy trekking difficult fast.
2. Protect Yourself, You Delicate Flower!
Conditions can change fast and you'll be glad you've got extra gear if the rain kicks up or the temperature drops at night.
Here's a few things you should never travel without:
- water, and lots of it (the recommendation is a gallon per day per person, however I always go with a bit more than that...) you never know when you'll need it to clean up with too, and if for some reason you stay out longer than planned extra water is the #1 necessity
- extra cotton T-shirts and lots of layers (if you're hiking distances you'll sweat and you'll want cotton to wick away the moisture)
- rain gear, and potentially mosquito repelling clothing or sprays (rain + heat is a mosquitos favorite condition!)
- a sun hat, to keep yourself face protected, but also to keep critters from getting in your hair (yep, that's real)
- plenty of sunscreen, SPF-rated lip balm and sunglasses with UV protection
3. Let the Creative Muse Flow
Okay, so now that we've talked about the practical things that will keep you healthy, and well alive...here's a few ways to invite in creativity while traveling alone. I (and so many others before me) find that time out in nature alone lends to brilliant creative moments. I always pack my cameras, extra polaroid film for quick moments, a journal and a favorite read. I'll bring some sort of mystical study materials, maybe a constellation map or the birth charts of my 3 closest friends... (when I get home I'll tell them all about the things I've learned about them!).
And if I'm being super real... I pack a pretty vintage dress and take a few photos documenting me... in my element. Why not?! You'll always have the memories, of course, however, the photos make for lasting keepsakes too (and who doesn't want that instagram moment?).
I'll be back again soon with more details on that solo journey. If you haven't yet been to Joshua Tree, it's my second trip this year and I'm kind of obsessed... Salvation Mountain and Santa Barbara were on this route too. More to come and thanks for following along my wanderful babes!
This feature has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlueLizardSummer #CollectiveBias
brb.... I'm off the grid and hitching a ride here.
Ok, not fully. That's one of the airstream trailers at Salvation Mountain.
About an hour and a half from Joshua Tree, Salvation Mountain sits on the south end of the Salton Sea - hyped in the 1950s as the French Riviera of the American West, the Salton Sea is a present-day resort ghost town where the water content is so salty it can’t sustain life. The rainbow-colored Salvation Mountain, built with local adobe clay and painted with donated house paint, is a favorite destination for magazine editorial photo shoots, music videos, fashion-loving bloggers, and Instagram stars. (More on that in my book, btw!)
I visited Salvation Mountain this weekend and will be continuing along this road trip (it's including stops in Santa Barbara, Laurel Canyon (LA), Venice, and Joshua Tree) before heading back to Nashville for Bonnaroo this coming weekend.
I promise to get caught up here when I return!
In the meantime, follow along on Instagram to see the sites on my stories as they happen!
When you fall in love there's that feeling... you know it... the butterflies, shortness of breath, cold sweats - as I type this I'm thinking that's also how it feels when you're coming down with a stomach bug, I know ... but then once all of that subsides there's this constant elation that occurs on that fall into love.
That's how early Summer '16 felt to me. The month of May began with another trip with Allister, this time to Santa Fe. And then a few weeks later Ben and I took off for a 3 week trip stretching from the border of Mexico (getting to the border was a journey in itself) ending all the way north in Whitefish, MT at the Canadian border.
So here we are, my "best of" part 2.
Best Place for a Gothic Romance
Ben and I started that 3 week road trip taking off in a rental SUV from Dallas and about 8 hours landed in Marfa. The enigmatic darkness of the winding road into Marfa is almost strange. If you arrive at night Marfa appears suddenly, a mirage, muted colors rising out of a sea of black.
Best Place to Start Your Own Personal Walkabout
My first true desert road trip truly came alive here. It's a drive that stretches on and on. We listened to old country love songs and the sound of the silent Chihuahuan Desert along mile after mile of mountainous formations. Not sure what you'll find in Terlingua, TX? Watch the opening scene of the 80's film Paris, Texas and you'll get it. This trip also resulted in my recommendations on how to make it out of the desert terrain alive.
Best Place to Find Your Artsy Side on the Open Road
Santa Fe and Bisbee each exude a quirky arts colony vibe and Madrid is equally adorable and just a short drive from SF. There’s a beatnik bohemian energy brimming. Each location has a historic main street filled with inns, galleries, restaurants and shops that are perfect for connecting to your own inner artist.
Best Place for a National Park Adventure
The winner of this one?! America. Like all of it. Yellowstone was our 6th National Park, and in reality, I couldn't pick just one. We started at Big Bend, planned for White Sands and then after that we were bitten. We made it all the way to Yellowstone by way of the Grand Canyon and Zion within two weeks and finish the trek on week three arriving in Glacier National Park. Buy the yearly pass and do it you guys.
Ben and I ended the month in Montana with friends. Allister joined us again there for another photoshoot and, well you'll have to wait to see those amazing photos when my book comes out this fall.
I'll be back again this weekend with July - September 'best of's' starting with a trip up the Eastern seaboard with my lovely friend Keiko. Hope you guys are enjoying this series and getting some good travel ideas!
As I started taking a look back at the year, I planned to write a recap of my favorite destinations, adventures, hotels and national parks... and it occurred to me: this country is full of brilliance, and there's way more to write about than just a few "bests." My travels this year showed me how much we truly have to love about the places and the people that are out there.
My intention in taking the 10 + road trips ranging from a 5 day drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to a 3 week journey from Mexico to the Canadian border that I did this year, was to cover as much ground as possible to create a book (due out in '17) and stories for this space that inspire the wanderlust in each of you.
Each of those trips was the most magical for it's own particular reason. And, in every conversation I've had about those trips I'm inevitably asked about my favorite ... and every time I don't have an answer.
I began the year home in New Orleans. I declared a new personal mantra: "Be all that you DESIRE" and from there I set my plans for the year and took off.
Back to that plan of writing about my favorites: knowing that I can't answer that question I don't know why I expected I could give you a round up of favorites here. So instead - I'm taking a look back at each month - the destinations, experiences and discoveries made along the way and I hope that you'll gain a little inspiration (and some recommendations) for your own travels to come!
With that! Enjoy my personal "best ofs" for 2016. I'm starting with the opening of the year, the Winter through the Spring of 2016... and I'm breaking this into a 4 part series. This journey in part 1 will take us from New Orleans to the mountaintops of the Grand Tetons to a little two lane highway known as the PCH.
Best place to be one with nature where you wouldn't expect it:
Plenty of people travel to New Orleans for the beads and Bourbon, however, take a drive just a little ways out of town in any direction and you'll arrive at some of the most beautiful waterways and swamplands. Honey Island is quiet (i.e. the gators are hibernating) and extra green during this time of year, btw, I highly recommend a visit.
Best place to catch a parade:
Ok, ok, so I know. This one is kind of like cheating. It's obvious and we haven't even left New Orleans yet. But, really?! Could I not mention Mardi Gras?!
Best place to get caught in a foot or two of snow:
In early March I took off for an Out West Tour with Ben and the Grace Potter band, we started in Boulder and traveled through the mountains ending in Missoula, Montana. It was my first time seeing a Buffalo in real life, my first time stepping into a snowbank that was as deep as my waist and where I realized I'm as much of a mountain girl as I am a beach girl. That trip set in motion a series of out west visits I'd make in the months that followed.
Best place for a toes in the sand, windows down, radio loud, running with the horses, and the baby animals too, under the big Redwoods, into the mystic girls trip:
I took off in early April for my first true road trip of the year. The PCH with Allister Ann, the lead photographer for my book and a wild child of a girl who would become a fast friend. I got off the plane, spent a day in Venice Beach and then she and I ventured north day over day for the next 5. I wrote a travel diary about the first leg, wrote tons more for my book and am vowing to make this little excursion one that happens yearly. We stayed at the Madonna Inn, a family farm larger than San Francisco near Santa Margarita, and a cabin in Big Sur before I continued on on my own to finish the trip in SF.
I'll be back next with my 'best of' for the Summer months. We'll be going to Santa Fe, Marfa, Terlingua, and a National Park or... uhm 6.
See ya then. And cheers to the new year! Love you guys for being here.