It is currently blizzarding in central Wisconsin, so I figured it’s time to write about an adventure I had with my brother this past August as we drove from Portland, OR to Port Edwards, WI. The 42 hour route we had planned was ambitious, but how often do siblings get to go on a road trip together?! We wanted to go all out.

I was in charge of planning. Maybe because it was my internship that landed me in Portland, or the fact that it was my car we were driving, or simply because I’m the older sister so obviously I was supposed to plan the route. Anyway, I may have put off planning until a few days before we left. Oops. As I was looking at the part of our trip where we were going to drive through Yellowstone National Park, I started researching hotels. Since this was a budget road trip, I was trying to find relatively cheap hotels. Around Yellowstone. Yeah, that was impossible. Maybe we would have had a chance if we hadn’t been trying to find a hotel five days in advance, but there’s also not much around the park save for the “gateway towns”: the communities that border entrances to the park. We were going to enter through West Yellowstone, MT. There’s a Days Inn, Holiday Inn, and several local motels RV parks, but all were booked when I checked. It was also mid-August, so a prime time to visit the park. No wonder we couldn’t find anything!

Luckily, I had a back-up plan. What if we camped?! Brilliant idea, I know. I was living out of a suitcase all summer and was grossly unprepared to go camping. However, a little craigslist searching got me a $15 tent, and after a Target run I had a queen size air mattress with an electric pump (I invested in one of the double high ones as I decided to use it as my bed when I moved into my apartment two weeks later). I had a blanket and a sleeping bag in the trunk of my car, along with one camping chair I always keep with me. That’s really all you need, right?

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Seattle’s midwinter clouds returned. Soon, the sky darkened. Warm jasmine tea kept me company as did the cold winter air. Across the street, an old, abandoned house welcomed three crows. Perched on the old chimney, they cried out one at a time and subsequently flew away… becoming one with the gray skies.

Something was amiss. 

It had been 3 years since the Kraken Wars. I was beginning to grow listless, lifeless, and bored. For a soldier of the night like me, I pined to relive the nightmare, the loss, the pain, and the bloody tears from my enemy’s eyes. Jerome, I will find you and I will kill you. 

And now as the tea kissed me for the last time, a familiar sight returned. Three crows. It could only mean one thing: the Kraken stirs. 

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Study abroad programs are becoming more and more popular these days. Students from all around the world have recognized the advantages of these programs as they offer them high-quality education, the experience of immersion in a foreign culture and an opportunity to expand future employment prospects. On top of that, studying abroad is an amazing opportunity to travel around the world. But traveling isn’t cheap and depending on how you go about it, it can easily drain your wallet. In order to help you get on the right track, we have prepared a few tips to help you travel within your budget as a student studying abroad.

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