artichoke and strawberries

The Produce Sold Along Highway One Was Berry Big

I got artichoked up about it.

If you’ve ever driven along the California coast anywhere between the Bay Area and Monterey, you’ve likely seen the fruit and vegetable stands scattered along the highway. “Sweet Cherries!” “Sour Cherries!” “Avocados 5 for $1!” Signs lining the road encouraging you to stop in for some cheap produce. If you’ve never stopped in at one, (I get it, it’s not your standard Trader Joe’s) you should.

These places have some of the best (and biggest) produce I’ve ever seen. This past weekend, I found artichokes the size of my head and strawberries almost as big as my fist. The best part about these stands is they are going to have local produce.

Given that California grows “over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts“, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that these stands sell the best. I won’t forego my next Trader Joe’s run, but if I’m already driving along Highway 1, I almost always stop at a stand for a car snack or veggies to cook for dinner.

In Season Produce

Of course, the majority of what the stands will be selling will be in season. However, if you want to be extra certain or if you’re on the hunt for the best produce at your local supermarket, check out what’s in season!

In Season Early May

In California, we’re lucky to have a lot of growing time. Especially in May. Some highlights include: apricots, blueberries, cherries, and artichokes.

For the whole list and to find out what’s in season any time of the year or any location in the US, check out this seasonal food guide.

The Road to Success for Long Car Trips

The driving force of a good car journey.

“Are we there yet?” Let’s be honest — after 5 hours in a car, is there anyone not thinking that? Whether I’m the driver or a passenger, there’s always a point when I just want to get out of the car. Add in never being able to fall asleep in a car, and I’m always thinking of new ways to make car trips more productive, entertaining, or just bearable. During my recent road trip, these were the main reasons I didn’t drive myself (completely) insane. Pun intended.


My favorite podcast to listen to in the car has most recently been the BBC 2 Confessions podcast. Listeners write in their confessions and the hosts read them out then decide whether to “forgive” or not. One of my favorite confessions is a woman’s story from when she was a kid: she and her sister burn everything in her mother’s closet except a ball gown to keep a bonfire going for as long as possible.

The podcast ended in December, but there are tons of past available episodes to play. I have also heard that the show will be starting up again on Scala radio and they say they’ll be starting up a podcast soon. Right now, they are only on Youtube.

If confessions aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other options for podcasts or audio books. Whether you want to learn something new, have a good laugh, catch up on current events, or get into politics there’s probably at least a dozen different podcasts to choose from. Here are a few ideas from Afar Magazine to get you started.


Okay, this is a given. It’s the classic road tripping tool. Blast your favorite genre and sing along. If you use Spotify, they have some excellent already built playlists. This one was my favorite for this past road trip.


If you’re driving with people, playing games is a great option. I’ve grown especially attached to a game based on license plates. Take the letters from a license plate and try to think of a phrase with those letters as the first of each word. For example, the letters STW might turn into “Snakes Take Weapons” or “Speak Truthful Wisdom”. Try to think of the wackiest phrase and everyone in the car will end up laughing.

If that game isn’t your cup of tea, you can look here for a few other game options.

Have any other ideas? Share your road trip tricks in the comments!

Road Tripping Drove Me Crazy

In a good way

I discovered cruise control on this trip and I’m not exaggerating when I say it has done wonders for my driving. Okay, I started driving in July 2018, so I’d probably improve no matter what after doing 3 to 8 hours of driving each day for 6 days, but still.

Starting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I went up to Denver to pick up a friend who drove to Salt Lake City via Moab with me. Then I had two 6 1/2 hour solo driving days and one slightly lonely night of camping until Oakland, California.

The entire time, three thoughts kept running through my head. One, “where can I be spontaneous and find something I wasn’t looking for?” Two, “where am I sleeping tonight and can it be free?” And three, “where can I find the cheapest gas??” Well, the most spontaneous I got was going to a lunch spot in Reno and ending up with a bowl of rice, sea food, cucumber, sea weed, and mango. I’m not going to say it tasted bad, but I drank a lot of water with it and had to throw away the last bit because I was so full.

Most of the trip, I found free campsites. My friend showed me this website that shows a ton of free campsites around the country (and some in other countries too). A lot of the campsites they show are more for campers or RVs and sometimes just rest stops or parking lots, but there are plenty other gems in there like this one I found near Austin, Nevada.

We found all three campsites we used from that website and they were all A+ (toilets, flat ground, accessible, nice views).

As for cheap gas, the further west I got, the more expensive gas prices got. However, the small towns in Nevada generally had more expensive prices than somewhere like Reno. Google maps also gives a ball park idea of prices and Siri can also tell you average gas prices of different cities (for when you’re driving alone and can’t look at your phone).

The Best Place to Have a Cool Adventure is Iceland

Keeping it chill

As much as adventuring and traveling alone has it’s peaceful and enlightening moments, I have to admit it does have its downsides. For one, I’ve have a lot of time to think about what I’ve left behind in Scotland. The past year, I have made some amazing friends and met people I will never forget. While I hope to stay connected with many of them in this exciting world of technology, it is far from being able to send a quick facebook message and meet up 30 minutes later for a spontaneous sea dip. I miss that. I think it’ll be a long time before I stop missing the community I found in St. Andrews. Traveling alone is such an extreme difference, it’s hard not to miss it even more.

Don’t get me wrong, I love traveling alone – you meet way more new people and get to do exactly what you want without having to compromise. Just today, I’ve met an English guy named Terry who spends 6 months out of every year traveling and a German girl named Carol who also studied English and is now a marketing manager. On the other hand, when I’m by myself in my tent, it’s cold, and the wind is shaking the tent like crazy, it can be hard to remember there’s a world outside the tent where you’re not all alone.

In other news, it took me two hours to cycle just under 10 miles today because of headwind. Some horses looked at me like I was from mars then started running along the fence with me. So far, I’ve had at least seven people say in some way or another either, they’re impressed I’m cycling by myself in Iceland or I’m crazy for cycling by myself in Iceland. I’m inclined to go with the latter.

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