Follow My Adventures As A Nomadic Wanderer!
Traveling has always been one of my favorite things to do. I love exploring new places and cultures. The one good thing this pandemic has brought me was the freedom to work from home. And with that, I began working from home…but from different locations.
Now I know what you’re thinking. What does all this have to do with being a nomadic wanderer? Well, my newfound way of working from home and doing what I love permits me to always be on the go and see new and amazing sights.
What started out as a home office in Chicago has turned into writing while on the road about my daily adventures. My husband and I got a camper, and we wander around the US searching for all the amazing places to explore, some local recommended, and while he drives…I write!
So join me on our journey and find out the breathtaking adventures I’ve been on. And if you consider yourself a nomadic wanderer, let me know about the experiences YOU’VE had!
P.S. The article you are now reading catches me on I-90, heading for Missoula….Stay tuned for what we find there!
Nomadic Wanderer In: House On The Rock, Spring Green, Wisconsin
First thing’s first. Even though I’ve lived close to and visited Wisconsin my entire life, we found a hidden gem and stumbled upon House On The Rock as soon as we left Illinois. I wasn’t sure what to expect at first because it’s such a diverse location.
But bottom line, it’s one of the most exciting and unique museums I’ve ever seen in my life. Technically considered a tourist attraction, House On The Rock is a compound of architecturally distinct rooms, gardens, streets, and shops designed by Alex Jordan Jr. We were impressed by the many collections we found here.
This place had everything from an entire exhibit on lighters to a mini colonial town. I especially loved the Doll Carousel Room, which houses one of the biggest carousels in the world but is also filled with many other unique ones to explore.
My husband’s favorite aspect was the Infinity Room. What seems like a long, neverending corridor is actually a 218ft long room with 3264 windows. And it’s all counterbalanced by 105 yards of concrete.
This is the type of place where you can’t get bored no matter how long you stay. We even had to take a break at one point because our feet were killing us, so I definitely recommend some good walking shoes for this one!
All in all, it was 5 hours very well spent, and we would gladly revisit this place.
Nomadic Wanderer In: Split Rock Lighthouse, Two Harbors, Minnesota
To be clear, I’ve never visited a lighthouse, so for those of you who have, bear with me while I geek out a bit. We took a scenic Lake Superior Scenic North Shore drive, and I searched online for sightseeing locations in the area.
When this lighthouse popped up on my radar, I immediately wanted to stop and visit it…and we were NOT disappointed. The building is picturesque, positioned on a high cliff above Lake Superior, and I highly recommend visiting.
Besides the incredible view, we got to learn about the history of the lighthouse, shipping on the lake, and the inner workings of lighthouse keepers’ lives. The lighthouse was open for tours, and we were even allowed to see the keepers’ houses, an oil house, and a fog signal building.
All this while we were guided by one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met! Ultimately, we ended up enjoying it so much that we actually spent a few days here. We explored the state park and went on a few hiking trails. I can easily say that this was one of our more “relaxing in nature” types of experiences
And by the way, this entire area has some of the most friendly and helpful locals you could ever meet!
Nomadic Wanderer In: Edgerton Explorit Center, Aurora, Nebraska
Ok, so this one is one of my husband’s picks. But to be honest, I ended up having as much fun as he did. The Explorit Center is all about hands-on science learning experiences. We’re talking about the fun side of scientific exploration and discovery.
We were lucky because we went during the week, so we practically had the “playground” to ourselves. I especially liked the strobe light exhibit. It was interesting to see the various ways Edgerton’s photogenic developments allowed the capture of different types of movement.
There were also lots of hands-on displays that we got to experience, from electrical exhibits to the history and techniques of underwater exploration. All in all, we spent about 2 hours here.
Afterwhich, we got hungry, so we decided to explore Aurora. Surprisingly, it was one of the most charming small towns we’ve ever seen! Their downtown main street makes you feel like you’re in one of those Hallmark movies, and it’s filled with old-school “mom and pop” shops.
Spoiler Alert: My husband had to drag me away from the art galleries!
Nomadic Wanderer In: Crystal Mill, Crystal, Colorado
I’ve been waiting for this one for quite a while. Growing up in the city, I’ve always wanted to experience America’s great outdoors. And let me tell you…Colorado does NOT let you down!
I had a few locations in mind before we headed for this beautiful state, but once there, we met a friendly local that recommended we check out Crystal and the old mill that’s there. We learned that pioneers created the road to the old mill over 200 years ago.
We spent the day hiking and saw some breathtaking scenery. It was also really cool to see the mill itself. Our imagination got the best of us, and we started picturing living here all those years ago.
It’s important to note that driving to the mill seems a bit too dangerous. We were warned beforehand, and I’m glad we were. Hiking up on the road, we crossed a cliff at one point that made me glad we left the camper behind.
Also, knowing that our day would probably be long, we packed up a lunch and water to keep us energized for the way back.
Do YOU consider yourself a nomadic wanderer?
Nomadic Wanderer In: Seeley Mansion, Abilene, Kansas
Well, this one is another stop courtesy of my husband. And yet again… I LOVED IT! If you’re a history buff, you already know that Abilene is a historic town and also the home of Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The former president’s old house is what attracted us to this town, but what impressed us more was the Seeley Mansion. It’s a Georgian-style home from the beginning of the 1900s.
What drew us was that stepping within its walls brought us back in time. The decor, furniture, and even the grand ballroom are sights that deserve to be seen. But what we found MOST interesting?… An antique bowling alley inside the home!. You DEFINITELY don’t see THAT every day.
And besides this gorgeous mansion, you won’t believe where we had our lunch! AN OLD STEAM TRAIN! Yup, you heard that right. We rode on a century-old steam train and had our lunch in an open-air train car while riding around and seeing the sights of Kansas. Who knew this state had so much to offer?!?
I’m really starting to believe that life as a nomadic wanderer is the life for me!
Nomadic Wanderer In: Oklahoma
Well, you’ve probably noticed that I didn’t specify any particular locations on this one…I couldn’t!!! This state began as a “let’s see what happens” type of wandering. To be honest, it’s never been on my radar, but we figured we would just drive and see what happens.
Lucky for you, we did, though. The things we visited and did are worth writing an entire article about…and maybe I will. But this is one of those states you drive through, see the signs, and say: Hey! Let’s go see what all that’s about! So let me give you the highlights. This is the very reason why being a nomadic wanderer is the life for me!
From start to finish, Oklahoma is full of quaint, small towns that make you wanna move in and never leave. One stop was Lavender Valley Acres. I saw the sign and made him stop! It’s a little farm that offers ten different varieties of lavender. Imagine the smell of the lavender soaps or creams you buy, but multiply that by ONE THOUSAND PERCENT! I even bought some goodies at their gift shop.
We also visited Lendonwood Gardens in Grove. It’s technically a botanical garden, but it’s so much more. This eight-acre garden is filled with a gazebo, bridges, curvy pathways, and over 1,200 plants. It also has one of the biggest rhododendron collections I’ve ever seen.
Throughout the state, we also hiked through many forests. But worth mentioning the most is Oklahoma’s Outback. While we didn’t find any kangaroos, the abundance of wildlife didn’t disappoint. The rock formations were pretty impressive as well.
Update: Due to my overdoing it on the lavender, our entire camper smells like a flower field. I fear my husband may be missing his man cave and regretting this life as a nomadic wanderer!
Nomadic Wanderer In: Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton, Missouri
We played a game of close your eyes and put your finger on the map with this location. Guess what we found?… The remains of a CASTLE!!! To be more precise, I landed on Ha Ha Tonka State Park.
As you’ve probably guessed by now, we love nature, so we figured we’d explore a few hiking trails and call it a day. We drove toward it, and as we arrived at the park, we looked up and saw a castle. Now you KNOW we couldn’t pass this up!
We hung around and explored the ruins, and then we walked past the water tower, down under the natural bridge, and took the stairs down to the spring. We even rented a kayak and went out on the water.
Disclaimer: Bring some water shoes with you because the entrance to the water can be pretty slippery due to all the moss. But in the end, it was a beautiful day, and the hikes were reasonably easy.
So, what did you think about my life as a nomadic wanderer? We’ve been to many locations but these are just a few of my favorites. Let me know if you want to hear about more places like this because I’ve got many more up my sleeve! But it doesn’t end here. We’re eager to explore as much of our great country as possible and to experience more great adventures, so let me know if there’s some hidden gem in YOUR hometown we should check out!
Next up? If you also want to become a nomadic wanderer start with: Mining Towns!