Monument Valley, Utah

Location: Monument Valley, Utah
Date: February 2017

I took a new job in February 2016, and it’s been phenomenal for my travel schedule! When we hosted a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona, I knew I’d be taking some additional time to explore an area of the country I’ve yet to really see. Additionally, I just needed some personal time to be outside, away from my phone, and to get my head straight. So obviously, a trip through northern Arizona and southern Utah was in order.

Just across the Utah border is Monument Valley. It might look familiar if you’ve ever watched a John Wayne movie as the location was the setting for many western films. Personally, I just loved this area for how different it is from the East Coast. And one of my favorite things to do is hop in a car and explore. This area was perfect for that.

Utah Monuments Valley February 2017

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Australian Outback

Location: Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Date: July 2015

The summer of 2015 saw one of my biggest adventures yet. Six weeks abroad, making stops in five countries along the way. But, the majority of my time (five weeks) was spent in Australia. And yes, Sydney is lovely. The Gold Coast is splendid. The Great Barrier Reef is amazing. But, the Outback was so much more fun than I anticipated. We spent an entire week out there, and the sights were spectacular. But, the night skies were incredible! This picture is pretty neat in my opinion, but to see these stars and the Milky Way with the naked eye was something I’ll never forget.

Australia Milky Way August 2015

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Hobbs Pond, Maine

Location: Hobbs Pond, Hope, Maine
Date: September 2011

Sometimes you just need a break from life. I was at that point in the fall of 2011 and decided to retreat and explore new areas. That brought me to a small cottage on Hobbs Pond, which lies just outside the small town of Hope, Maine. And by small town, small even by my Iowa small-town standards. I had a lovely week with this view, full of rest and relaxation to recharge my batteries. And as I explored a large portion of the state that week, Maine quickly became one of my favorite places to visit in the United States.