Tag Archives: Bucket List

Packing Light by Allison Vesterfelt

Packing Light

Packing Light is the account of writer Allison Vesterfelt’s decision to quit her job, sell her stuff, and drive through all 50 states in a beat-up Subaru with her friend Sharaya. But it’s not just a we-did-this, we-saw-that kind of book.

Vesterfelt dives beneath the surface of her trip and shares her heart and the lessons she learned on the road— lessons about packing more than you need, letting go of baggage, leaving rules behind, trusting God, and not being afraid to use the gifts He’s given you.

Since reading Packing Light, I’ve become a little obsessed with Allison Vesterfelt. I followed her on every form of social media I could, got really excited when I thought she lived in Minneapolis (I was totally going to ask her if I could take her out for coffee), and nearly cried out when I found out she moved to Nashville less than a year ago. Anyway . . .

Her book changed and challenged me in too many ways to sum up in a neat little blog post, so I’m going to share some of my favorite quotes and let you decide what to do with them.

 

On Rules

“Rules give us a false sense of control. They make us feel like if we just follow a list of instructions, we’re sure to get the outcome we want . . . Rules never buy us the safety we think they will” (pg. 122).

“I hope we never stop asking ourselves what the intent is behind the rules we’re following, and if they’re accomplishing the objective” (pg. 123).

“We need a generation of people who aren’t rule-followers—who aren’t rule-breakers, either, but rather live lives that aren’t dictated by the rules at all . . . How much more in tune would we be with the twists and turns of our journey and prepared to handle them with conviction and grace, if we didn’t think the ‘rules’ were protecting us?” (pgs. 123–124).

“The reason rules don’t protect us is that the rules presume that every circumstance, and every person, is identical” (pg. 151).

 

On Pride & Insecurity

“The more I think about it the more I think that my insecurity is really pride. My insecurity makes everything all about me” (pg. 210).

 

On Fear & Regret

“You don’t have to go. You can stay home. It’s up to you. But if you let fear stop you from doing what you really want to do, you’ll regret that forever” (pg. 246).

 

On God’s Direction

“God wasn’t telling me what to do. He was just helping me to see what I actually wanted. He was saying, ‘Here’s permission to want what you want, regardless of what anyone else thinks. Here’s permission to be the woman I created you to be. You think you don’t have the resources, but you do. I will provide them. You think you aren’t strong enough to face the obstacles, but you are. I’ll be with you the whole time. Here’s permission to live your life, not dictated by fear of what might happen. Go ahead . . .’” (pg. 247).

“When we stop seeing God as a controlling God who tells us what we have to do and what we can’t do, we stop feeling so much anger toward Him” (pg. 247).

“Our life is not ruined. We’re not being punished. We’re not doing it wrong. God isn’t mad at us; He’s just waiting for us to wake up, to take responsibility, and to start living life with Him. He’s waiting for us to do something beautiful, something courageous, something totally out of the ordinary” (pg. 247).

“There comes a point where we don’t need anyone to tell us who we are anymore, we just need to take the information we have and run with it” (pg. 210).

 

Camping in Copper Harbor

Last week was glorious. We set off on Saturday for six days of camping at Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor, Michigan. I’d always wanted to go there. It’s the northern-most city in the Upper Peninsula. According to one of the locals we talked to, there are only 80 full-time residents.

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One of the best parts of the trip was being forced to unplug. We were already planning to “forget” our phones in the car, but when we got up there, we had no cell signal. At all. On the way home, we had to buy a map and navigate the old-fashioned way because we couldn’t even use the GPS on our phones. With the exception of a few reservations, we didn’t even pay attention to what time it was. We got up when we wanted, went to bed when we wanted, and basically did whatever we wanted. All week. So, so lovely.

I apologize in advance for the picture overload. I can’t help it.

Most of the week was in the mid-sixties and we had a few days of rain. Not exactly summer weather, but nearly ideal for camping. The first night was so rainy we got dripped on while we slept and ended up covering the tent with a tarp. Of course it didn’t rain much after that.

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When it’s chilly, you do what you have to do. Like make fashion faux paus you swore you never would when you were eight and you saw your relatives do the same thing.

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Notice the pjs.

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When you wake up on a rainy Sunday, of course you find a local place to get some warm coffee, hot chocolate, and pasties. We went to the Tamarack Inn. So charming.

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Nothing like reading with Lake Superior waves crashing in front of you. Way more comfortable on sand though. I got bruises from sitting on those pokey rocks.

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We came across this little guy in the middle of the trail. He didn’t move when we got close.

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All these tree pictures are from our hike through Estivant Pines, a virgin white pine forest.

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Our campground was on Lake Fanny Hooe.

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Brockway Mountain Drive was my favorite scenic part of the trip.

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Those green spots are copper.

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The bell buoy. We could hear this from our tent. Every morning. Every night. All day.

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I wish I could take credit for this photo. But it’s so good I have to tell you Jonathan took it.

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The Copper Harbor Lighthouse

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We found copper!

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A view of the town from the harbor

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This was an adorable book store. I would have bought half the store if I didn’t already have a stack of books to read.

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So I think one of my aunts taught at this school. But maybe that’s just family legend.

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We left the campground on Friday morning and headed for the Porcupine Mountains, which was another part of Michigan I’d always wanted to visit. There were some pretty podunk little towns on the way. We spent the night at a cute little motel in Ironwood, Michigan.

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Lake of the Clouds

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This trip ended like most do—we were content and crabby and full of happy memories. If I have anything to say about it, we’ll be going back.

Click here for my list of the top ten things to do in Copper Harbor.

Hudson’s Hot Air Affair

When I was a little girl, my aunt and uncle helped plan the local hot air balloon festival. Every summer, I got to spend an entire weekend watching balloons launch, fly, and glow. The whole thing was magical. Then, when I was ten, my family moved to a different town that also hosted a hot air balloon festival every summer. It was close enough to our house that we’d often see the balloons fly over our house. And then, when I moved to Minnesota, there were no balloons. It was sad. Until . . .

Until I randomly came across a website about Hudson’s annual Hot Air Affair. Not only is there a balloon festival within driving distance, it happens in FEBRUARY. That’s winter, guys. If a hot air balloon festival is awesome in June, it can only be awesomer when there’s snow on the ground, right?

So last weekend, when my cousin Rachael came for a visit, we took her with us to see the balloon glow on Saturday night. This is before we all looked like Rudolph (it was maybe 15 degrees out).

If you don’t know, a balloon glow is when they inflate the balloons at dusk and take advantage of the dark to make the balloons “glow.” They don’t actually launch. They just look pretty.

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patchwork-balloon-2 quilted-balloon balloon-glowballoon-glow-2My favorite part about this festival was that they actually let you out on the field. We got to stand right next to the balloons. It might be different for the launches, but it was the coolest thing. I had so much fun, and now I want to go up in a hot air balloon even more than I did before. I’m not a huge fan of heights, but I’m willing to suck it up for that experience.

Spring Bucket List

Happy-SpringIt seems odd to talk about spring when this is going on, but the calendar says it’s spring even if the weather doesn’t. Despite the fact that my 20-minute drive home turned into a two-hour drive home, I’m celebrating the season with a list of things I want to accomplish before summer gets here. So here’s my list. I’ll post about them as they happen.

 

  1. Run outside.
  2. Take a yoga class.
  3. Read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers.
  4. Clean and organize all three closets in our apartment. Maybe with this, or this, or this.
  5. Visit a new park. Maybe this one?

Do you have anything on your spring bucket list? (Or maybe you’re still refusing to believe it’s spring?)