A Life Extraordinary

We get one life, so lets live!

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100 Extraordinary Adventures

(**Adventures 1-11 can be found at the bottom of the post!**)

Hello dear friends! Continuing with the updates, the Rebel Badge Book isn’t the only challenge I’ve taken on recently.

Let me explain.

10, maybe 15 years ago it was super popular for bloggers to challenge themselves every year with a number of challenges aligning with their age. So 20 in 20, 31 in 31. You get the idea. The aim was to finish those challenges by their next birthday. I was totally sold. I faithfully made my lists of challenges for a few years and I promptly forgot all about them a couple months later. Seriously, I doubt I ever finished even half of a list.

This year, in the middle of July I turned 37. A number I still have trouble wrapping my mind around because I definitely don’t feel 37, but that’s not the point of this post. Anyways, a few days after my birthday I started to feel the itch for a challenge. It was before I found my Rebel Badge Book again so that wasn’t even on the radar. That’s when the memory of those birthday challenges of old popped into my mind, but they weren’t quite right. I didn’t want to come up with a diverse list I wouldn’t finish. Instead I tried to think of a challenge I actually had a chance of finishing.

And then it came to me.

I love travel, I love adventure, but I definitely don’t take advantage of all the opportunities I could. I wanted 37 to be my year of adventures. But 37 didn’t feel like enough. I felt like I could finish 37 easily. Instead I wanted more of a challenge. Thus the year of 100 Extraordinary Adventures was born.

I did set some guidelines for myself, so I wouldn’t have to question if something would count (or wouldn’t). Here’s what I decided qualifies:

  • Any event, experience, or activity that I don’t regularly do in my life
  • Experiences can overlap, but they have to be distinct (ex. A trip to NYC as one and going to the top of the Empire State Building as another)
  • It can be something I’ve done before
  • It can be events I experience that are a result of circumstances beyond my control
  • The same experience can’t be counted twice even if done twice (unless they are similar but distinct. Ex. I can count going to two different concerts but I cannot count going to the top of the Space Needle twice)

So there you have it! So far I’ve been 37 for about 50 days and I’ve been on 11 adventures. I still have a long way to go to hit 100 but because of this challenge I have a lot of adventures planned for the fall I probably wouldn’t have otherwise planned.

My plan is to share these adventures with you here. Starting with those first 11 adventures I told you about.

Adventure 1: After my shift in in July I stuck around Alaska for a week. The original plan was to go halibut fishing out of Whittier but the weather didn’t cooperate. That’s OK, I got to visit friends on the Kenai Peninsula, go to the AK Sealife Center, and hike in Whittier (which I’d never been to before!

Adventure 2: I got to go see Train, Jewel and Blues Traveler at Climate Pledge Arena with Mom! It was amazing! Even better, I got the tickets from FirstTix so they were almost free!

Adventure 3: Leah sent me a text one day and asked if I would be willing to do a Polar Bear Plunge with her in Barrow (so the Arctic Ocean). I knew this may be the one time where I’d actually agree to do it so I said yes. The water temp was about 32 degrees and the air temp was barely warmer, but I’m so glad I jumped in!

Adventure 4: This is one of the situations that was out of my control but an adventure none the less. We flew to Point Lay to do a medevac but when we got there the front landing gear wouldn’t deploy. We then had to return to Barrow and go through a big emergency landing procedure. In the end the pilots were able to get the gear to deploy at the last minute and all was well.

Adventure 5: I spent the first 18 years of my life in Washington State and various years since but I’d never been to the WA State Capital. My friend Marybeth and I went on a thrifting adventure that took us to the Olympia area so we thought huh, why not stop by! It was the weekend so it was closed, but still, it’s a cool building to see!

Adventure 6: I’m a big nerd at heart and I’ve always wanted to go to a Comic Con. This year, since I was going to be home for it I decided to go ahead and splurge on a ticket to Emerald City Comic Con! It was so work it. I loved seeing all the different things for sale, the cosplay, and I got to see a panel with Rachel Leigh Cook and Freddie Prinze Junior, from the second row!

Adventure 7: The weather was gorgeous on my August break in WA so one day I decided to take my nephew Zeek to the Cougar Mountain Zoo (which I hadn’t been to since I was his age. Then afterwards we stopped by XXX Rootbeer for ice cream and onion rings. We even made a quick detour at Snoqualmie Falls before heading home!

Adventure 8: Remember how I said the August weather was awesome? Well it was hot too so my Dad asked if I would like to go boogie boarding out at Westport on the WA coast with him one day. Unfortunately it wasn’t nearly as hot on the coast (more like 64 degrees), but we went in the water anyway! We would come to Westport all the time when I was a kid but they last time I was there was 2009!

Adventure 9: So I bought a new car! That’s not technically this adventure but it was part of it. The day after I got the car I drove up to Sunrise on Mount Rainier to meet a friend and hike around. The wildflowers that day were insane!

Adventure 10: I love going to FUNKO HQ in Everett but it’s a decent drive so I only go once every year or so. Ever since I’d learned you can build your own Pop! That looks like you I’d been wanting to get up there so I loaded up my new car with my sister, BIL, and nephew and we made a day of it.

Adventure 11: I don’t spend much time in downtown Seattle, mostly because it takes so much effort to get there. I had a friend come in from out of town for a cruise so we met on the Seattle waterfront, got fish and chips from Ivars and fed the seagulls while watching the sunset. It was pretty great.

And there we have it! Adventures 1-11. I’m currently at work so adventures may pop up, they may not, but these next 2 weeks off I have are shaping up to be pretty exciting indeed!



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I’m Back Baby!

Hello friends! Long time no talk! So much has changed since the last time I posted…in 2020. So, instead of boring you to death with every little detail I’ll give you the Cliff Notes of what’s happened since then and then I’ll get to the part about why I’m back!

Where I’ve Been and What I’m Doing Now

Ok, when we last saw each other the Pandemic had just started. I’m was living and working in TX and about 4 months into my no (low) spend year. Since I’m a paramedic there was no time off or work from home for me in 2020. Between my fulltime job and my PRN paramedic job I actually worked more hours in 2020 than ever before. When it comes to my no spend challenge I did do super good the first half of the year, I even took a super frugal road trip to the southeastern US (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida). I car camped and swam and went crystal digging. It was marvelous! And then by the time September came around all the stresses of life (plus the fact businesses weren’t taking cash anymore) caught up to me and I definitely started to spend my emotions. I didn’t go wild and crazy, but “I fell off the wagon” would be an accurate description.

By the time 2021 rolled around burnout was really catching up to me. All of the work hours, mandatory overtime, long work commutes… I just wasn’t enjoying it anymore. So I decided to contact the FD I had worked at in Alaska in 2017 to see if they needed any contract medics for the upcoming Salmon fishing season. I got hired and mid march I moved out of my apartment in Bastrop, put all of my stuff in storage, and flew out to Bristol Bay where I spent the next 8 months saving the lives of fisherman and enjoying everything Alaska had to offer again.

When the contract ended in November my general plan was to return again for the 2022 season and spend the off months with my family in Washington State. Then I found a job posting for a flight medic position with the North Slope Borough in Alaska. It was cool and unique and I couldn’t pass it up. I interviewed and they offered me a temporary position (which is turning permanent next month)! It’s a government job which is almost unheard of in this field and we do both Medevacs and Search and Rescue. Oh and it’s literally in the Arctic! We’re based out of Utqiagvik (Barrow) which is the most northern town in the US and literally sits on the Arctic Ocean. I work a 2 weeks on 2 weeks off schedule, which has it’s challenges, but I love that it gives me the chance to travel without needing vacation time. I still spend my off weeks in WA (usually) and hope to get an apartment soon. Then I fly up to Alaska for every work shift. I’m definitely collecting some airmiles!

Ok, Now the Why I’m Back to Blogging Part

I won’t lie, I’ve considered getting back to my blog for awhile now but I just felt blogging is almost a dying art. Everyone watches Youtube or Tiktoks or gets on Instagram…but none of those places are good for writing out stories and visual words…

Back in February of this year I traveled to Europe with a friend and had the privilege to meet and have conversations with a lot of awesome humans along the way, several of which, when they heard about my life. told me I should start a blog or youtube etc. and they would totally read it. I seriously considered it. I got so far as to make a post in March. It was just a pic, but it was a start! Still the motivation wasn’t there though.

The kick in my pants actually came from a recent challenge I decided to tackle. Several months ago I bought a book on Amazon called the “Rebel Badge Book” which is basically a guide to earning merit badges for doing life shaping activities and adulting. There’s even a pretty thriving community online, which is cool considering the book only came out in 2021. Anyway, I’ll talk more about the book later, but one of the badges, aptly named “Writer,” has “start/write in a blog” (and be consistent for 6 months) as one of it’s components to earn the badge. So here I am!

In the weeks and months to come I plan to share a lot. I plan to share about my progress with the badges, share about my life in the Arctic, and share about my favorite, budget adventuring! I have two trips planned so far this fall (Vegas and Europe) so I should have lots of content! Then I may throw in some creative and budgeting stuff along the way. We’ll see!

Anyways all, I’m happy to be back and can’t wait to share this journey with you!

xoxo, Amanda