Embracing Nevada - Val in Real Life

Embracing Nevada: A Georgia Girl Moves West

Twenty-two years. Half of my life. That’s how long I’ve called the Atlanta area home. (The other half was in Florida, for those that aren’t in the know.) And now […]

Moto Metaphor - Val in Real Life

Motorcycling: A Metaphor for Life

Throttle therapy is an amazing thing. Lately when I’ve been out on the bike to clear my head, I’ve been musing on how much motorcycling is a metaphor for life. […]

Carson City Sheriff's Office Extreme Motor Officer Challenge 2016

Carson City Motor Cop Competition

Each year, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office hosts the Extreme Motor Officer Training Challenge. This year marked the 13th anniversary of the event, designed to bring motor officers together for friendly competition, […]

identity - val in real life

Postcards from Real Life: Identity

In the wake of changing my name, I’ve gotten many inquiries about how and why I chose it. Keep in mind this took over three years of searching and consideration. […]

Appomattox Court House - Val in Real Life

Virginia’s Appomattox Court House National Historic Site

Back in April, I ventured out for my second time at the Horizons Unlimited Traveller’s meeting in Appomattox,Virginia. Before I left, I extolled the virtues of extended travel and how it […]

New Name - Val in Real Life

A fresh start, a new name.

It’s no secret that I’m an independent-minded woman. Or that I’m a feminist. Or that I’ve been through a lot of changes in the last few years. Or that I […]

Val in Real Life

Turning Misfortune into Opportunity: A Photographic Journey

Each April I return to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for the spring photography workshop led by the fabulous Bill Lea. While it’s largely a family reunion for me […]

val in real life

For the love of extended travel…

For some, extended travel seems wearisome. Spending weeks (or months, or years) on the road, not seeing your home, managing your life from a distance, finding laundromats, having to find […]

Horizons Unlimited - Val in Real Life

Embracing Community with Horizons Unlimited

When I attended my first Horizons Unlimited Travellers meeting in April of last year, I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being a delightful feast of adventurous souls, […]

Ted Simon's fear quote - Val in Real Life

Postcards from Real Life: Fear

News flash. I’m not fearless. I’m often told I am and it makes me laugh. I think “Are you kidding me?!?” Of course I have fear. Lots of it. To the […]

Death Valley Super Bloom - Val in Real Life

Death Valley Super Bloom

A few weeks ago, I got to shuttle myself out to Death Valley National Park for the Super Bloom. The timing was such that I had to be there President’s […]

motorcycle safety - val in real life

A Motorcyclist Wonders… Can You See Me Now?

It’s no secret that, in spite of a lot of effort by motorcyclists to remain visible while riding, the all-too-common scenario of “I didn’t see you!” is still the predominant reason riders […]


Staying inReach with DeLorme

A while back I talked about some of my strategies for personal safety on the trail. One of the pieces of that strategy is a GPS tracking device. Whether I’m […]

#ThankfulForFamilies - Val in Real LIfe

#ThankfulForFamilies Instagram Contest

Your friendly, neighborhood outdoor family bloggers have put together a huge Instagram contest for you! Follow the steps below to enter to win one of the GOBS of prizes in […]

TomTom Bandit Review by Val in Real Life

Adventures with the TomTom Bandit

I have a new friend, the TomTom Bandit. This little guy is a feature-packed action camera and I’m quite tickled with it. I’m very new to the action camera market. […]

Overland Expo East 2015 - Val in Real Life

Overland Expo East 2015

Even for adventure travelers, the conditions were somewhat daunting for this year’s Overland Expo East event in North Carolina. The rain and winds were the courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin. At […]

GeigerRig 710 - Val in Real Life

Hi-Viz Hydration with GeigerRig

For the last 3,000+ miles on Nina, I’ve been testing out the GeigerRig RIG 710 hydration engine. Here’s the scoop… What’s a GeigerRig? Hydration packs are largely the domain of […]

Adventure Travel - Val in Real Life

What is Adventure Travel?

I’ve been in full-tilt travel mode the last few weeks between three different events. And guess what? Much of that time has been spent riding in the rain, sleeping in […]

Bikes, Blues, and BBQ - Val in Real Life

Joining Progressive for Bikes, Blues, and BBQ

A couple of weeks ago, I partnered with Progressive Insurance to ride to my first major motorcycle rally. Since my motorcycling interests skew towards adventure travel, most of my experience […]

Val in Real Life

Parenting Teens

This week when I shared the nuts-and-bolts of visiting Bandelier National Monument, I had to think back to why I enjoyed camping there so much. Certainly it’s a very agreeable […]

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