Hey guys! I hope you're having a wonderful summer.

I've tried to blog more recently (see examples A, B, and C), but haven't written anything of the personal nature in a while. So, I wanted to update you on what I've been up to this summer.

Where I've been

At gorgeous Muncho Lake in British Columbia, Canada

As you may know, I'm attending grad school at the University of Michigan this fall (!!!). So in the meantime, I've been traveling as much as my dwindling funds will allow.

In June, I ventured east to Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, and Russia. The trip opened my eyes to the often forgotten countries of the USSR, and I'm now dreaming of visiting Kazakstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. I just need to learn a bit of Russian first!

In July, I road-tripped from Calgary, Canada, to Anchorage, Alaska with Jessica from Curiosity Travels, one of my all-time favorite travel buddies. (Canada was our sixth country together!) We drove 2,400 miles, and saw a ton of wildlife: 17 bears, three moose, and countless caribou. We also took a shot with a petrified human toe in the Yukon (yes really).

I had a blast on both trips, but I fell particularly hard for the Republic of Georgia and Alaska. Georgia was quirky and mountainous and wine-obsessed — basically my perfect country.

And Alaska is so stunning and wild – I can't believe it took me this long to visit!

Hanging out in Denali National Park on a very rare bluebird day 

I got bangs

Me in Moscow – another place that blew me away

Another update – I finally took the plunge and got bangs! While they are admittedly more work (I have to bring a straightener on trips now or I have a mullet, lolz), I'm obsessed with them and only wish I had got them sooner.

I turned 28!

Guys I'm old! Well not that old. But I am now firmly in my late twenties.

Honestly, I'm fine with getting older. The older I get, the more I feel I have ‘permission' to focus on the things that matter to me, instead of spreading myself too thin like I did in my early twenties. Maturity and that.

What's next

I have exactly a month until grad school, so I'm spending August at my cottage writing a non-fiction book proposal. I've got about 4,000 words so far. I've realized that writing a book is now or never, and it's never going to get easier – I just have to sit down and do the work.

I won't be posting in August – as in past years, I like to take the month of August off from blogging and the internet as a whole.

But come September, expect posts on the following subjects:

  • My feelings about Anthony Bourdain's passing (something that's been on my mind all summer)
  • A post about my favorite cities in the world – I wonder if we share any of the same ones?
  • Photos and stories from all the places I've visited recently. And a series of posts about the Camino de Santiago (FINALLY).

Anyway, what's up with you guys? Any big trips on the horizon? Where have you been this summer?

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Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein

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