First of all, #NotPregnant because that is literally the first thing anyone asks me. So no, not pregnant but still excited about this big news!
Mr. Yell and I have decided to move to Seattle, Washington in August! Zach has been accepted into grad school in Seattle and we have been wanting to move there for quite some time, so we are taking this incredible opportunity to go on a new adventure.
We have been planning and preparing for this new part of our lives for a over a year and I am so excited to finally share our plans with everyone. We are both so very excited for this new chapter and doors that are opening for both of us as we venture westward.
Please feel free to share any advice with me if you have any, I will definitely take as much as I can, and if you are in the area, hit me up! Let’s be friends!
I was always the kid who would be forced outside to play, and then instead of running around, I would sit and read… because technically I was still outside.
I loved nature, I just didn’t like camping. I HATED camping. I didn’t like the lack of showers, good food, warmth, or books. I wanted a cabin… not a tent.
However, as I got older I have really started to fall in love with the outdoors, and with being out in nature. I love hiking and camping now. Nature has started to become a place to relax and reflect, that alone has made me slowly but surely fall more in love with camping.
Zach and I have recently started to go camping more often. We want to work up to a backpacking adventure, but we are starting small with camping trips where we don’t pack out all of our stuff in order to try new gear and refine our skills.
One of the pieces we bought was a tent. We bought a 3 person tent that was light-weight, easy to assemble, and perfect for us.
However, it took us a bit of time to get to the end result of buying our tent.
Buying a tent is a big deal. There are so many options and variants to tents that it is overwhelming to know where to start.
For Mr. Yell and I, we just asked ourselves 4 important questions:
How many people do you want to fit in your tent? Do you need a family size? Do you want a two person tent? How much room do you take up as an individual? How much space does your gear need? For Mr. Yell and I, we really wanted a two person tent. We wanted something small so that less area would be disturbed. However, once we started looking at our needs, we realized the 3 person tent would be better. This way we have plenty of room for us, and our gear.
Mr. Yell and I are slowly getting into backpacking, so for us the answer was NOT heavy at ALL. We wanted something light and easy to pack, this way we have room for other things like… food. This narrowed down our options considerably since we wanted a pack around 5 lbs and no more than that to conserve space and energy when on the trails.
Again, since we are starting to make tent camping a bigger part of our lives now, durability was a major factor. We wanted to buy a tent we could use for a few years and not just a season. This meant looking at what our tent was made out of and how it was put together.
How much set up?
Like most people our answer was “None. No set-up please!” But also like most people we realized we don’t live in a fantasy world and will have to set up our own tent. Since I am not a master at puzzles and Mr. Yell and I knew we didn’t want to freak out over instructions, we really wanted a tent that took under 15 minutes to set up. We wanted easy and quick so that when we do start backpacking for longer hikes, we don’t have to waste much energy on our shelter. The tent that we ended up choosing promised a 10 minute set up time and it is definitely fast! The poles are already connected by bungie cords and the hooks are twist and snap to attach the poles to the fabric. Definitely a win for us!
Just remember: buying a tent can be a pretty serious commitment because of the cost, so don’t be afraid to take your time when looking, be sure to ask questions of yourself about what you want vs what you need, and ask others questions as well.
Home… Such a funny word. For some, this brings memories of family in cozy rooms, yummy food, and welcoming smells. Memories of fights between siblings, traditions for holidays, and getting ready for school. For many people, home is wear they grew up; a town, a house, a school, or a city. To “come home” is what a person does to visit their childhood room and show visitors their teenage haunts around town.
Home [hohm] noun
1.a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2.the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.
For me (and many others)… home is different.
In the traditional sense I don’t have a “home”… and I never have. I have never experienced the giddy feeling that one attaches to a building. I moved around several times in my childhood so houses, even towns, don’t really provide me with warm, fuzzy feelings of “being home.”
The closest I have ever come to feeling at “home” in a place is with climates. I feel at home in cool mountain air or when smelling a cool, salty ocean. Smelling evergreens and feeling cool breezes through my hair are things that feel at home to me. I am not entirely sure why, but places with these things are places where I feel not just relaxed, but a sense of belonging and purpose.
Since I haven’t lived in that type of a climate since I was very young, home to me has since become the people in my life.
Not family as much as the friends who have surrounded me. My family has always been very spread out, so while that family is obviously there and loving, the friends I have made have become family. Those who have taken the time to know me and love me, even at my worst, these are the people who enable feelings of comfort and “coming home”.
So this summer, take some time to figure out with whom your home lies, and come home. Take time to visit with those who love you and care for your well-being, and be home to those people as well.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Mr. Yell and I enjoyed our 1 year anniversary in the desert a few weeks ago, and we loved it! One of our favorite parts of Marfa was where Mr. Yell and I stayed for the last half of our trip: the magical El Cosmico.
We stayed with an Air BnB for the first couple of days of our trip, but once we moved over to El Cosmico, the Marfa Magic was amplified. El Cosmico has everything including: tipis and yurts, outdoor hot tubs and showers, and several areas for hammocking around the property.
El Cosmico caters to really anyone since they offer camping spots to pitch your tent and have a community kitchen if you would rather cook than eat out. While Mr. Yell and I were there we saw couples, families, and friends making road-trip stops; proving that not only is this place for everyone, but that El Cosmico is a must see!
Going into this experience, I had some very high expectations due to some other places Mr. Yell and I have stayed (similar to El Cosmico) and honestly this place was wonderful. While we were mere “honeymooners”, there have been movie stars who have stayed here to really experience the real Marfa Magic while filming. (Kevin Bacon and Matthew McConaughey were rumored to be in town while we were there…. so you never know who you will see!)
I really just loved the relaxed atmosphere and the community house in the front of the property. The house has free coffee and teas in the morning, records playing constantly, a fun gift shop, and cool drinks for sale.
The only things El Cosmico could improve on would be working on providing more of the “little things” (see Tree House Point for some GREAT examples) and having some of the lights and campfires going during non-festival times. There was a night we would have loved to make s’mores or enjoy the full experience, but there are only two festivals in Marfa a year, and we happened to miss them both… so that meant way less lights and no campfires. So if you want the full experience, be sure to hit up the music festival in March or the film festival in July.
Other than that, everything was lovely and Mr. Yell and I felt so refreshed after our visit to the desert, and El Cosmico definitely played a part in that.
So if you’re ever in Marfa… head on over to El Cosmico!