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Category: Adventure Up

WA Unexpected `

WA Unexpected `


When I woke up July 11th 2017 I had my bag packed and flight outfit set aside for a 4:30 flight to Chicago Illinois. I was going to be flying standby to visit my friend for about a week in the Windy City.  Where we planned to eat some Chicago-Style hot dogs, walk Navy Pier, and take selfies out in Millennium Park.

Now how did I go from heading to Chicago to ending up in Spanaway Washington? 4 failed standby flights later I was met with the task of buying at least a one way ticket to the US mainland and try to get to Chicago from there. I had been at the airport for 9 hours, (that is two large coffees, a sandwich, and a phone battery length of time). Searching for the cheapest flights I found a flight to Seattle Washington for $456. I had a friend there that I was sure I might be able to meet for coffee during whatever duration layover I may be there. So a few phone calls and card transactions later I was officially headed to Seattle for at least a day.   ….. Which turned into a week!

I was greeted by my friend at the SEATAC airport around 8 in the morning & we found ourselves on our way up to Mt.Rainier by 11. Although I was there unexpectedly I was definitely digging this so far. In the first three hours that I was there!

There were lush Evergreens every where you turned (no wonder it is called the Evergreen State), and wildflowers lined the roads the entire way up the mountain. I can only imagine how scenic some of the camping spots must be in the area.

Our first stop was Alder Lake. I hadn’t seen a lake with so many beautiful blue hues since I had been up in the Sierra Nevadas. I could of easily spent an entire day just exploring the area.

Our second stop was Narada Falls. It was nice to hike a path that was framed with a forest instead of a jungle. A tad cold compared to Hawai’i, but it was a favorable change. We came at a perfect time to capture a few pictures of Narada Falls. The way the water was cascading down the cliffs, and the angle of sun, gave us a beautiful rainbow in the mist at the base. It gave off a very mystical feeling.

After a few homemade musubi’s and a little bit more driving we finally had made it to Mt.Rainier. It was incredibly picturesque. The landscape was a mixture of The Materhorn and The Sound Of Music. As soon as we had parked we made our way directly to some of the walking trails. There was deer on the side of the hills, and snowy patches with more wildflowers blooming alongside them. Had I really been in flip flops walking around Waikiki just 24 hours prior? Sometimes traveling feels so surreal to me.

After getting a hold of my friend who was in Chicago, and having one amazing day exploring the Mt.Rainier area, I made the decision to stay in Washington. Although still ill packed, *my 50 cent vintage suitcase held only skirts, shorts, and cutesy tops- not pants and sweatshirts, I wanted to experience more of what this state had to offer.

The following day I joined my friend and her family on a trip up to Seattle. They had decided to stay around the the Pike’s Place Market for a few hours, and immediatly noted all of the little coffee shops in the area. I may have to make a bucketlist just to knock off all of them one day. We walked around while men tossed fish across store fronts, people took selfies on a golden pig (I am one-guilty), and stuck gum on walls.

I think by far one of my favorite parts of this was just walking around and seeing all the different people that were there, and the old buildings.  I’m a sucker for culture.

The following days were relaxed and started off with a cup of coffee every morning on her back porch. There was hiking, eating hot dogs while watching baseball, and some nature walks around a local park/ lake. I brought three cameras with me on this trip. My regular Digital Canon, a Canon AE-l (film camera), and my brand new InstaxMini 8. I actually took more photos on the two film cameras than my digital, so they will be uploaded…eventually. 

In the end I had a great trip, even if it was extremely last minute and all around spontaneous. But in honesty those kind of trips are my favorite! I can’t wait to explore the area a little more in depth next time and see what else this beautiful state has to offer.


Until next time Washignton….

My Favorite Waterfalls in Australia

My Favorite Waterfalls in Australia

Who doesn’t love a good waterfall? The way the water cascades and is framed by curtains of mist has a hypnotizing effect. They are both graceful and incredibly powerful. I had the opportunity to explore just three of the amazing waterfalls that Australia has to offer. Check them out below!

  1. Purling Brook Falls | Springbrook National Park

    One of the highest falls I had seen in awhile, coming to about 358 ft (about half the size of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite), it felt like you could look up forever and still see the water cascading over the top. The view from the top of the trail is breath taking in itself, but to get a good perspective of it’s height you have to hike to the bottom of the valley. The hike along the cliffs was a great adventure and offered views that just can’t be done justice through pictures or detailed accounts. At the base of the falls, rainbows shoot off through the mist and the colors of the surrounding rock face truly saturate the landscape with rich warm colors. If your looking for a day hike in Queensland, I would highly suggest this one.


  2. Killen Falls | Tintenbar New South Wales

    We actually found out about these falls from a young guy about our age that was working at the 7 Eleven by our AirBnB. We went to go get our morning coffee and hot chocolate for our trip to Bryon Bay that day, and as we were checking out he suggested we make the stop at the falls that were about 35 miles from our destination. We were not disappointed. The way the falls had carved out the landscape around it reminded me a lot of the cenotes in Mexico. You could walk above the falls and behind them. Although we were heading into Bryon after this pit stop, we didn’t care we had to go behind the falls. it was misty! We definitely were soaked after a few minutes back there, but its a picture taking experience I won’t ever forget.


  3.  Curtis Falls | Tamborine National Park

    The trek to Curtis Falls was more of a nature walk than a hike I will admit. The walk however offered breathtaking views of the subtropical rain forest, and you could really immerse yourself in the environment. You walk through minor switchback under massive eucalyptus trees and on bridges over a small creek. The waters give of opal hues in the mid day, and the leaves of the trees and greenery glow shades of yellow and green, this was one of my favorite places in Australia. The falls themselves are fenced off by the top to detour anyone trying to get that perfect selfie and slipping on the mossy rocks at the base of the falls. Although the falls were the point of us coming to the area, I do believe that the greenery and beauty of the trail itself stole the show.



10 Gift Ideas For The Adventurous Soul

10 Gift Ideas For The Adventurous Soul

We have all been there, it’s your friends birthday in a week and they already have absolutely everything they could ever want. They are the type that if they want something, they buy it and you are left with no gift ideas for this year’s birthday. If you find yourself not being able to afford a day out, or a mini trip to a beach or the mountains, here are some gift ideas that will please any friend with an adventurous soul.
*This post may contain affiliate links*

  1. Passport Holder

    We all know how long the process of getting a passport takes, there is the forms, awkward photos, and long waiting period. So a great cover or holder is a great idea as a gift for a friend who makes good use of theirs! You can even get them customized for an extra special touch.

    Passport Wallet $29+




 2. Jewelry

Coordinates have hit a certain craze lately, but that’s not the only adventurous themed jewelry that is out there. Check out some of the items below that are perfect for any wandering mind.



3. Key chain

You have like all of $5 to your name but don’t want the birthday person feel unloved so here is a little something to make them smile. A personal favorite are the types that have “multi-use” – ya know to open water…



4. Journal

Does your friend not have a written bucket list? Get them started! A journal is perfect for their adventurous mind to write down all of their ambitions and lists of mountains they want to hike one day.



5. Stickers

Another smaller idea to add to the mix. Stickers are great to slap onto canteens, vans, and coolers. Who doesn’t like to add a little personality to their gear?


6. House Decor

If you are like me, your obsession with the outdoors doesn’t just stay outside, it follows you into your home. Artwork and house decor that revolves around wanderlust and the outdoors is one gift you can’t really go wrong with as a gift.



7. Camera Equipment

If your birthday person loves to bring their camera on their excursions, then a new camera strap is a unique gift that can be fully customizable and would get a lot of use.



8. Piggy-Bank

Support your loved one’s travel dreams by getting them a piggy bank besides the coffee can they have in the freezer. You can go with the classic look, or with the more hipster scene by getting them a glass growler piggy bank (bonus points if it has beer in it).



9. Apparel

We have seen the ads on Facebook that show John Muir quotes on t-shirts and jackets, everyone secretly wants one. There are loads of companies now that offer outdoors related apparel that can be worn both by the campfire and on the town.



10. Camping Supplies

This is a little more generalized but no one can really have too much camping supplies. There are the obvious things like tents and new boots, but some of us have those friends that a little homemade dry shampoo wouldn’t be the worst of gifts to give.



Of course the best gift would be an all expense paid trip to wherever they wanted in the world, but this list was geared towards those who maybe are saving for that a little later 😉 Is there something you think I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Fly High

Fly High

Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson said the above quote back in the 1800’s. He sure was a man of his time, a pioneer to free thinking and going against the routine grain. I would love to think that I too go against the grain of day to day life, but i’m not convinced that I am there quite yet.

I’m sure my mom thinks I stay up late at night just coming up with adventurous schemes to get my heart rate up a little bit. Little does she know, she’s totally right. For this particular Friday morning I had a new scheme, I had let my mind stew in the idea for a few months, I dreamt about it.  I flew a helicopter.

“You are crazy. There is no controlling you” -Mom

“They let you operate? You were in control of a helicopter? Only my sister. Only MY sister.” -Brother

“Now THAT is cool. That is way cool. ” -Dad

Yeah a helicopter. For some reason the past few months I had become nearly obsessed with the things. I was researching flight schools, watching YouTube videos, and studying the handbooks, all BEFORE I EVEN WALKED IN. Ill admit I was nervous. For the first time in a while I found something that gave me such a rush even talking about the subject.

I opted for the Mauna Loa Helicopter School at the Honolulu Airport, and on April 21st found myself in a small room learning pre-flight safety measures. As my instructor was discussing what mast bumping was, it hit me, I was about to be handed controls of a helicopter in 30 minutes. I had never even been in a helicopter. What I was getting myself into I wasn’t entirely sure but God was I ready.

Outside I was given the briefing on the main aspects of the helicopter, a Robinson R22. It was tiny, but the rotor blades that stretched above our heads were not quite as small. We made our way through the checklists, went over the controls, and gauges, and after making calls to the control tower, we were airborne.

We had just cleared the airport, and he handed the controls over to me.

Okay so I drive my car everyday, I’ve rode off road vehicles, motorcycles, the works. Controlling a helicopter is like NONE of the above. It’s a challenge. The movements you make with the cyclic are so small but have such great actions on the direction and pull of the aircraft. It was a struggle. But my instructoor was right there the entire time to direct the controls if need be.

Out of my total flight time there were only brief moments that I actually took in the view that was all around me. Seeing the island from above definitely is like nothing I have seen before.

Now I don’t have any actual photos from the flight since I was taking in the whole experience and stowed my phone away, but I think you’ll like the visuals I have for you. They do the trick right?


Flying over the USS Bowfin in Pearl Harbor

Dramatic Views of Diamond Head State Monument



I would definitely rate this as one of the best things that I have done while living out in Hawai’i, or just living in general.  My head has always been in the clouds, so why not make that my job? Being up in the sky getting the best views around. It’s a thought that I have debated the past few months, and I will  let you know if I continue with the idea of flight school. Until then enjoy more overly enthusiastic selfies documenting my first ever logged flight hour.



Why I Moved Over 2,000 Miles Away (Twice)

Why I Moved Over 2,000 Miles Away (Twice)

  I was 19 the first time I packed up my stuff and left home. It was a month after my 18th birthday, and it was a moment I had dreamt about for years.  I was going to be flying over an ocean for over 6 hours to my new home. It was going to be a blank slate, uncharted territory, and a new adventure.

I knew for the first time that I wanted to leave home around 15 years old. I read books and read blogs about people who lived in vans and traveled across the Americas, back packed from one country to the next, took up part time jobs for months at a time so they could jump around from state to state. I wanted to be one of them. I wanted a nomadic life style, a little bit against the grain, by damn I wanted to be an adventurer.

A few close friends of mine knew about these dreams for years, and sometimes tried to throw the typical arguments around in the air. ‘What about school? A van isn’t a real house. You need a career. Why not do it for just a Summer?” I told them my aspirations not for approval but I guess to make it sound a little more real, to actually express these thoughts past the inner workings of my mind. That’s when I started my bucket list journal, that thing wasn’t going to detest my wild ideas.

 Now something I want to clear from the get-go, I did not want to leave because I didn’t love my family. I LOVE my family, and frankly I am surrounded by very life-loving family members. I think watching them sometimes not really reach for their aspirations is what really pushed me on some days to make the decision for myself to just do it.

I come from very hard working parents, both of whom love a good time away from “real life” every once in while. But they find their escapes in very different ways. My mom finds her escapes by driving to different cities, enjoying coffee by the beach, and just spending a little bit of time away from home. My dad works harder than practically anyone else I know, working sometimes 16 hour days, his get aways are sometimes as simple as reading a book in his chair accompanied by the cat, or a week out at the sand dunes where he can ride for hours over 30 miles away from the nearest town. So as you see, it’s not like I came from a boring, do nothing family, it was just that my escapes include living life that is a little different.

One day during my first year of college, I decided I was running away. Not in the sense that I wasn’t telling anyone where I was going, but I needed an escape from my long commutes and my crappy part-time waitress job. I loved reading and working hard, I loved my family, but I needed to reorganize my life style. I wanted to instead of revolving my life around work and school, I wanted them to revolve what I loved the most, the outdoors and all it has to offer.  That’s the day I applied for the University Of Hawai’i at Manoa, and took that first step to another life.

I didn’t find out for a few months that I got accepted, but when I did, I didn’t tell anyone. I was changing the course of my life, and that was both scary at satisfying at the same time! I decided to tell them in a very Ashlyn way, by surprising them 😉 You can watch the video here.

I had done it. I had successfully ran away, without dropping out &  without being homeless. The feeling that I had the moment I stepped off the plane and onto Hawaiian land is a feeling that I do not believe can ever be replicated. I had left California to challenge myself to really chase after the lifestyle that I wanted to embrace, and to do it by myself. This venture was to test to see if I could really do it. I got to live there for 9 months before I had to head back temporarily. It had been my choice to go home (in a way), but it didn’t last long. A year later I found my self packing boxes yet again to move back to Hawai’i. I have now been living in the islands for two consecutive years. As my Uber driver said the other day

“This place, this island, it just gives me a feeling. You feel it no where else. But here, Hawai’i it gets in your body, makes you younger…”

Hawai’i is not my final destination, I know that much. It is more of my initial launch. Moving to a different state gives me a bit of a high, one that can not be brought on synthetically. I can tell now after living in Hawai’i that I have the ability to start somewhere new, and truly fall in love with it as much as the place I grew up. Now that I have lived here for this long, I can slowly sense that itch to move again- I just have to find that next destination.

Look Shirts!

Look Shirts!

I have been receiving quite a few questions on whether or not I was going to try and fully brand TMAD. I had put thought into it, and asked a few people their ideas about taking this just one step up. So here is my tester, I am starting with a campaign site just to see how things play out with these two designs. (*The plus is the profits are going to help me afford my tickets for a secret trip planned for September 😉 )


Check them out and please leave comments on any feedback you may have! 

5 Adventurous Families To Follow Now

5 Adventurous Families To Follow Now


Whether you’re a single parent, or a family that has 6 children, there is always time for adventure. I have come across these Instagram accounts over the past few months and find these families as true inspiration. The following accounts feature these families day to day adventures with their little ones, and prove that just because you decide to have does not mean that your sense of adventure gets the boot.





So this account is not necessarily just one family, but is composed of multiple! All enduring in one project to get their children out and into the wild!

Check Out Their Website!




I will always have a soft spot for the families out here in Hawai’i. Island keiki are just natural born adventurers.

Check Out Their YouTube Channel!




This family does is all! AND they are traveling all over the globe! They release a new video of their wild adventures each Sunday!

Check out their YouTube Channel!




Can You Say Family Goals?
They also have a YouTube Channel!




I grew up camping just like these kids and their wild family. This account makes me want to go hike and bring my God kids along!



Did I miss some? Have a favorite family you follow on Instagram that I did not feature? Link them in the comments below!





It’s time to make a new beginning, or a new ending. That’s the best part of life, we don’t know what chapter we are in  

Today was a day of checking off errands then ditching them for some quiet from the city. I grabbed a book, my camera, and my car keys.

In an hours time I reached Green World Farms and sat outside it’s doors with a hot cup of coffee.  

There’s a sense of freedom when you run from your house, your chores, your responsibilties for the open road. The windows down and wind twirling and spinning your hair, music blaring along it’s swirls.

This with the painted golden hour land scape is the cure for a clogged mind. This is what strips you a bit, exposes your soul, resets your mind.  

Here is where you get to guess what chapter you are in.

Californians Who Endured The Rain

Californians Who Endured The Rain


Originally I am from Southern California, where the state has been in drought for years. When it rains social media feeds are “flooded” (ha) with posts about the weather, as if their fellow neighbors did not already know. But while browsing through my news feed during this storm I found a few people who really took the rainy days by storm (i’ll stop with the puns).

I present to you, the people who adventured it the hell up during this week’s California storm.
Boogie Board Guy

Someone had to do it….

Rubber Ducky Man 

SUP Man 

Surf Kid


And for our Californians who got snow, these kids..

See just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you have to stay inside, you just need to get a little creative, through on a wet suit, and go shred in your front yard.

4 Books Every Hiker Should Read

4 Books Every Hiker Should Read

*this post may include affiliate links

I love reading, especially on those inbetween days when I don’t have a lot of money to go out or the weather is really bad. These are just a few of the books that I have read recently that I believe every hiker should give a chance before their next adventure.

 Into The Wild

“Our joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. “
-Christopher McCandless

This is one of my all time favorite books. Into The Wild is about a young man, Christopher McCandless (also known as Alexander Supertramp) and the biggest adventure of his life. He goes from being a college grad from Emory, to traveling across the country, getting stuck in Mexico and eventually living off the land in rural Alaska. What personally grabs me about this text is how passionate his personal writings are about life and nature. If he was still alive today I’m sure his writings would be found next to legends like John Muir and Ralph Waldo Emerson.


 “I simply did not let myself to become afraid. Fear begets fear. Power begets power. I willed myself to beget power. And it wasn’t long before I actually wasn’t afraid” -Cheryl Strayed

This book has become very popular in recent years due to a movie release and a mention in the Gilmore Girls reboot. It’s about one woman who set off to conquer the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail, a trail that runs from the border of Mexico, through the United States, to the border of Canada. It was not just the hike that made this author note worthy, it’s that she did it alone as a female. Cheryl Strayed explains what inspired her to embark on this journey as a normal woman who was just looking for a little escape from life. Although the movie is pretty good, I truly recommend the book, it’s a great read, and anyways books always give more details than the movies do.

Almost Somewhere 
“We think we are so important, our problems so large, but then a place like this renders us small, our problems nothing more than the echo of birdsong in wind, maybe not even so much as that” -Suzanne Roberts

I read this while camping in Mammoth and Yosemite with my family back in 2015. It’s about three girls all completing the JMT John Muir Trail, a trail that goes from Mt. Baldy to Yosemite, together and what it was like along the way. It’s always inspiring hearing how a group of younger individuals can conquer something great without technology. Following through Suzanne Roberts writings you get a taste of not only what to expect on the hike but what it is like to do it with two other women. It was a relatively quick read, but the type that you could back up again sometime and still enjoy it as if it were the first time that you read it.

A Walk In The Woods

“I wanted to quit and to do this forever, sleep in a bed and in a tent, see what was over the next hill and never see a hill again. All of this all at once, every moment, on the trail or off.”
-Bill Bryson

I can never help but think of my father and neighbor when referencing this book. It’s about two men in the later years who go out to seek finishing the world’s longest foot patch trail, a total of 2,000 miles, stretching from Maine to Georgia, the Appalachian Trail. What sets this book off as different from the rest is its author’s sarcasm and bluntness about completing a 2,000 mile hike. Bryson is real with his writing, and tells his story as if he was telling it to any group of friends sitting around a dinner table. Although there are sections that can become tough to read, as they are a little slow, once you get past them, you find your self laughing all over again at Bryson’s sarcastic comments, and feel like your back on the trail with him.