Happy Trails, 2019!!

Greetings!

Well… I’m hanging my head in shame at the length of time between now and my last post. Not shame, really, but I do feel like I haven’t devoted the time to this blog that it deserves. I truly enjoy documenting my travels and looking back through pictures from the amazing places I’ve had the great fortune to visit but I’ve had a number of other side projects happening in the last few months and I fell off the blogging wagon, so to speak. But as with last year, one of my resolutions is to write more often, so we’ll see how that goes.

Despite my radio silence as of late, I’ve still been traveling somewhere at least once a week since the summer. Many trips for work, many last-minute meanderings through our beautiful state of West Virginia exploring back roads, and many visits to various paranormal events. I returned from my Christmas visit to my family in Columbus, Ohio this past Thursday and that marked the last travel of 2019. I visited 21 states this year, 7 national parks, half a dozen national monuments, 8 national memorials, a dozen or so state parks, and dozens of haunted/paranormal locations. It’s been a whirlwind and I loved every moment of it. Except for that creepy night driving through pitch-black northern, rural New Mexico and southern Colorado mountains in a snowstorm with elk lining the winding roads. Yikes.

There is already a trip on the docket in January but for now, I’m enjoying being at home, on holiday break from work, and relaxing. And yes, my idea of relaxing is writing, reading, cleaning out and rearranging various closets and cabinets throughout the house, working on one of my other side ventures, Outer Realms Bathworks, and doing some serious researching for 2020’s paranormal trips. Over the last few days we’ve been bingeing “Hellier,” which is a documentary about strange events in rural Kentucky that basically lead down this astounding rabbit hole of paranormal and not-so-paranormal activity happening in that area and beyond. It’s fascinating and ties in fairly directly with some investigations I and the group I often investigate with, has done, in terms of the types of phenomena and the locations in the documentary. Between that and some other research I’ve been doing and the long list of paranormal hotspots I have to visit, I am beyond excited for an intense focus on high strangeness this coming year.

Mothman Statue in Point Pleasant, West Virginia

You may have seen on Instagram, but in September, my good friend, Tonya Madia, and I launched a paranormal-themed business called Outer Realms Bathworks. We create and sell candles, soaps, and wax melts that have a paranormal theme – Tonya makes the soaps and I make the candles and melts. Our debut was as a vendor at the Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia in September and we had a great lineup of other festivals throughout the rest of the year – This is partially why this blog has taken a bit of a backseat. Starting a new business, in addition to my regular more-than-full-time job and traveling, pretty much consumed all of my time. But the response to our line has been tremendous and I’ve poured more candles and made more trips to the local post office to ship orders than I ever could have imagined – we are so thankful for everyone who has supported us these last few months.

This month also marks the one year anniversary of moving to West Virginia. There were a number of reasons to move here, but one of the most significant ones was that I just felt like it needed to happen. I felt like I was supposed to be here. And I have a few ideas about why I’m supposed to be here, but I will save elaboration on those for the new year πŸ™‚ What I can tell you is that being here, in a relatively rural area (at least compared to places I’m used to living), has been far better than I could have ever imagined. I wake up every single morning and look out over the mountains and the lake and feel such immense gratitude. That gratitude for my surroundings, the people in my life, my work, the opportunities I have, is something I acknowledge every single day. I know how fortunate I am and I never want to lose sight of that.

The Lake

Although 2019 has been an amazing year, I can’t wait for what 2020 will hold. I wish all of you a wonderful new year and I look very forward to hearing from you and sharing more travel with you in the coming year!

Monument Valley

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