Turning 28 + Some Life Updates

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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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.

12 thoughts on “Turning 28 + Some Life Updates”

  1. Love your blog sooooooo much! You are an incredible writer & I feel so lucky to be able to read your inspiring, authentic, heartfelt, & honest words, adventures, perspectives, & stories. Keep being you :) and please keep blogging! :) Always a privilege and an honor to visit this website! You will rock grad school at UM :D xoxo

  2. Thanks Ashley for writing about Bali. Even if its 4 years since you wrote about your journey there. Im twice your age – and have started my travellinglife in a small way – Bali seems to be next upcoming place to visit – this fall. Last winter I was in India.
    Im following your homepage and once again – Thx for writing about your travelling.
    Regaards
    Ella

  3. Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, and Russia must have been amazing, I would love to visit them and the other forgotten soviet bloc countries too. Was it easy to get visas and out of interest how well travelled/safe did you find them? Also, belated happy birthday!! Amazing that you’re writing a book proposal, hope it is going well

    Jenny | localleo.co.uk

    • Thanks so much, Jenny! For Azerbaijan I had to buy a visa in advance online. Georgia was free to enter, no visa necessary. Russia is the hardest to enter by far, but I had a Fan ID for the World Cup, which basically means you don’t need a Russian visa.

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