I am currently sitting in an open air home at the kitchen table of strangers wearing nothing by my sandals. Surprisingly [or not?], it doesn’t feel weird at all. That’s probably because I’m at a “naturalist” camp in the hills of Montenegro + no one is wearing more than their sandals. I’ve never been the world’s biggest fan of clothes + the 80-90+ heat has convinced me these naturalists are onto something!

Of course, that’s not the only thing going on in my life right now. I haven’t even started the list yet + I’m guessing it’ll be a long one, mostly because I forgot to write a “currently” post in June. Whoops. So here’s what I’m up to…

…after a week in Iceland I spent just over two months roaming around Switzerland, hitting the German, French + Italian speaking regions.

…finding new friends along the way, friends that encourage stupid things like cycling across Croatia in July.

…bribing one of those friends into coming along to suffer the hot, hot hills with me! Then “suffer” in the cold, cold air conditioning of Chloe the Clio! Oh, the struggle of cycling

…taking on another Workaway volunteer exchange in Montenegro, which is how I ended up in some remote hills, naked.

…learning, once again, that my “yay travel” limit is about three months. Anything longer + I’m genuinely missing home, which isn’t bad but it does put a damper on the adventures.

…running a hostel in a Swiss chalet, again + loving it, again — turns out running a business is fun when you’re not the one paying the bills! #shocking

…discovering there is no amount of sugar you can dump onto a banana to make it actually taste good. [but you can bake it into a tasty - vegan - banana cake if you’re keen!]

…truly looking forward to going home, but in a good way — I miss people + pillows + “my” mountains + good wifi + Robb’s kitchen + everything. I think I miss…home.

…enjoying my last bit of time as an unemployed traveler, because the push to properly “adult” when I get home will be strong. Probably.

…in a slight panic about the Wilderness EMT upgrade course I have waiting for me on the Western Slopes of Colorado come Labor Day weekend…do I remember enough!?

…slowing down + enjoying my time. Partly because a European cappuccino makes me happy. Mostly because it’s too freaking hot to move!

…diving into the second Game of Thrones book, which is thankfully moving more quickly than the first one. Figured I should read the books if I’m visiting all the filming locations in Iceland + Croatia!

…petting stray cats all around the Balkans, but not *all* the stray cats because some are downright cranky.

…dreaming of the days I had no hair — my hair is not the world’s biggest fan of a helmet, sea water + cheap shampoo.

…creating a lengthy “worth buying a plane ticket to see” list. You know, in case I forget about something cool the next time I get antsy to move about.

…eating ice cream + gelato like it’s my job because it’s cold + delicious, but mostly because it’s cold.

…figuring out how to link buses together, usually via FlixBus, because the Balkans don’t have trains like Switzerland does [shocker].

…consequently spending hours upon hours on FlixBus going through upwards of 7 countries in 24 hours on a bus, which is just as exciting as it sounds [assuming it doesn’t sound very exciting].

…realizing that packing a bicycle into a bag + carrying it around is not practical, graceful or fun.

…doing it anyway, because cycling back to Switzerland literally is not an option [time wise, mostly] + a bike bag is the only way to get bikes onto buses.

…getting lost in the back alley ways of walled fortresses + cities, which is even cooler than it sounds.

…contemplating what I’m going to do for a job this winter season — there are options + none are set in stone. I’m telling myself this means I still have a little room for creativity.

…ditching ultra races on my calendar as I haven’t been training at all + volunteering sounds like much more fun.

…except maybe a shorter distance [read: less than 100 miles] has some appeal still, especially the Mad Moose Events.

…still eyeballing another go at Big’s Backyard Ultra…because it was so insanely miserable I want to do it again.

…forcing myself to stop this list before I start to bore even myself!

On that rather abrupt note, that’s all I have for now. By the end of the month, I’ll be back in Colorado doing Colorado things. Thanks to the fact it’ll still be summer, I’ll have a few weeks of unemployment to spend roaming the Rockies with Max [+ sometimes Robb, because apparently, he’s doing that work thing still…]. If all goes well I’ll be working as an EMT at a few ultra races + volunteering at others. Maybe even running one or two shorter ones…


3Up Beth · August 2, 2021 at 10:14 am


    Heidi Kumm · August 7, 2021 at 1:07 am

    see you in Fruita…who’s WTF slogan makes me smirk like an immature teenager.

Derek Loranger · August 7, 2021 at 7:02 pm

I hope San Diego is on your list at some point in the future. We have vegan options. 🙂

    Heidi Kumm · September 5, 2021 at 9:53 am

    I would like to spend some time on the road, on my own time…maybe east, maybe west. I’ll hit you up if I come that way!

      Derek Loranger · September 5, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Please Please Please do. Katie can vouch for Burger Bench. 🙂

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