Turning 26 and a Brief Blogging Break

Hey guys! So I just turned 26 this past weekend. To celebrate, I spent five days with family and friends at my cottage in Michigan and it was glorious (aside from political drama – I can’t wait for this election to be over).

The strawberry cake I’ve had every year since I was 16

I have so much I want to share with you on the blog. Namely, my trip to Iceland back in May.

But this summer is flying by – how is it already the end of July?! And with all this beautiful warm weather, frankly the last thing I want to be doing is writing blog posts. So I’m going to take a brief blogging break until the beginning on September, when I’ll be back in full force. (Or as full force as I get these days – about a post a week, ha.)

Upcoming plans

I’m headed to Europe in late September! More specifically to England (Manchester, Lakes District, London) and France (Paris, Brittany). Plans include seeing friends, drinking in pubs, and smuggling raw cheese back from the motherland.

And if all goes well, I’m going to Africa for Christmas!!! I have six family members living in Kampala, Uganda, and it’s time to pay them a visit. I’ve wanted to travel to Africa since I was a child and am beyond excited to finally see it (As a kid I used to obsessively draw safari animals – anyone remember Drawing Discoveries?)

Recap of goals

As you may remember, I made some goals on my last birthday. Here’s how I did:

1. Visit three new American cities.

I half-did this. I visited Seattle, and hit up several cities I’ve visited before (San Francisco twice, Chicago twice), as well as some smaller cities like Telluride and Newport Beach, California. Which honestly is fine – my trip to Seattle was really expensive, and I’d rather visit cities where my friends and family.

2. Go to a big music festival like Coachella or Bonnaroo.

Yes! I went to Coachella AND Pretty Lights in Telluride. But I’m hoping to go to more festivals this year – I’m very obsessed.

3. Blog once a week at MINIMUM.

Nope. Sometimes I don’t get a post out, but quality over quantity, right?

4. Go on a big trip abroad!

Yes, several! I went to Nicaragua, Mexico City AND Iceland during my 25th year.

Also, I don’t think I’ll set birthday goals this year, as I set goals at the beginning of the year anyway.

. . . . . . . . . .

The state of the blog

As far as blog content goes, I’d love to hear from you guys. What kind of content would you like to see more of? What posts do you skip? Also (no hard feelings) do you even read blogs anymore, or do you prefer micro-storytellling platforms like Snapchat or Instagram?

And as always, I’d love to hear your travel advice! Have any must-dos for England, France, or East Africa?

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About Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is a travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Uganda. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour Magazine.

14 thoughts on “Turning 26 and a Brief Blogging Break”

  1. Ashley, you’re going to love Uganda! Kampala is one of the better examples of the larger African cities (in comparison to Nairobi and Johannesburg-both of which I’m not a fan of). I loved whitewater rafting on the Nile in Jinja, trekking with the gorillas in Kisoro, Uganda (on the border of Rwanda, but permits can be hard to come by in certain months). Off the beaten track a bit in Uganda is Sipi Falls, a relaxing place with few travelers/tourists.
    If you venture outside of Uganda, my hands down favorite is Tanzania! From Zanzibar, to Mount Kilimanjaro, to the Serengeti, there is a ton to do! I’ve written about all of my experiences at the places above in my blog, so feel free to check it out!

  2. It was wonderful seeing you at the cottage! Nothing can compare to your birthday parties at the Point—and the tradition of your strawberry cake! I love England! And also have not been to Brittany
    but have read a lot about it. It sounds fascinating. Of course going
    To Paris, seeing your friends and spending tine with them–how great is that! Africa? Just talking with a friend last evening about her trip there. She is an animal lover and enjoyed a safari, bringing back
    carvings and pictures and the appreciation of being part of it. I love
    your being in an expanded world and love sharing in your travels.

    Much love, Gamma

    • It was so wonderful seeing you at the cottage Gamma! Thanks for making my birthday so special as always. And yes, I will call you soon to ask for advice on what to see in England. Thanks for commenting :) Love, Ashley

  3. Dear Ashley,

    I wrote you a long email and it seems it was erased because it stated I
    had said that before. I guess the responses are censored. I will try
    again somewhat. I loved seeing and being with you at Point Lookout.
    I also am excited about your upcoming travels, especially Africa
    because this will be your first time there. I shall look forward to your
    responses and photos.

    I love you, Gamma


  4. Have fun in Europe! I just got back from a month in Greece! Also I’ll be in Michigan in a few days driving around with my sister. Sandboarding at Silver Lake and exploring Ann Arbor are on the agenda. Any tips? Oh and I definitely prefer blogs to snapchat!

  5. Happy birthday! Also, I’m loving your blog content. Maybe not particularly constructive feedback there, but it’s true :-)

    Hope you have a lovely summer, and looking forward to reading your blog posts once you get back from your blogging break.

    Where in the Lake District are you headed? Let me know if you need any pointers / suggestions / someone to meet for coffee :-)

  6. Oh, I am living in Manchester ;) I wish my English was better. Then I will be your guide :D My advice: take the umbrella!

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