Summer Bucket List Mark-Off #1!

So over the course of my 9 day vacay from work, I was able to do some things on my summer bucket list (yay!)! Two of them were visiting the mountains and hiking a challenging trail.

My roommate and I traveled to my favorite mountain city in the world, Asheville, NC. We drove up and explored downtown Asheville for a few hours, checking out the boutiques and even having lunch/dinner at Chai Pani (a delicious Indian street food restaurant) topped off with a dessert of chocolate ice cream from French Broad Chocolate Lounge. As we were walking the streets, we came up on this really cool “Before I Die” chalkboard where people write things that they want to do before they die. (Mine says “become a nurse”!)


Since it was getting dark, we decided to head towards the campground since it was on the Blue Ridge Parkway (and about 30 miles outside the city). We camped out in a tent on top of a mountain at Mount Mitchell State Park. It was understandably cold (I mean with an elevation of 6,684 feet this was expected) but also very windy. The sounds of the wind against the tent were unsettling, so we didn’t get much sleep.


Despite the sleep deprivation, we were champs and toughed through a 5 mile hike the next morning! It was quite a strenuous hike, but we summitted Mount Mitchell… which happens to be the highest point east of the Mississippi River. 🙂


After we reached the peak, we hiked back down to the park office and drove into the city again to get dinner. We ended up grabbing a yummy burger and a beer at Wicked Weed Brewery (one of Asheville’s own breweries), a coffee from High Five and stopped by the shopping outlets before coming home.

Needless to say, it was very awesome!



Finding Peace

It’s the second to last week of the semester and the good ole’ Lord knows I have been a bundle of emotions. Some of the time my mind screams “when will it all end?!” Other times, I break down and cry. And then there are the rare moments that I just find……


peace noun | \ˈpēs\ : a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions

Call me a hippie or whatever, but until recently, I feel like I’d never known the true meaning of peace. I’ve used the word in so many senses but never truly understood what it meant for me. Peace, for me, is to be completely calm. No attachment to any thought, feeling, event, person, object, task, or idea. It is to just be. Here in the moment. Now. No fixation on anything in the past. No projection of the future. Peace is complete freedom and contentment with all of the world around you in this respective moment.

Not to say that these methods do not help, but I have learned that no amount of meditation, yoga class, self-help reads, green tea, deep breathing, hot baths, essential oils, or massages can bring peace… Unless you are truly and honestly willing to accept the moment for exactly how it is.

That moment could mean being stressed, heartbroken, ecstatic, devastated, confused, and so on… but peace is allowing these emotions and thoughts to flow freely and accepting them for what they are.

“Leave your front door and back door open. Let thoughts come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.” – Shunryu Suzuki

Peace is about acceptance…. of the present, and, ultimately, of ourselves.