Hope Photography: Blog https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog en-us (C) Hope Photography angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) Sun, 15 May 2022 01:17:00 GMT Sun, 15 May 2022 01:17:00 GMT https://www.hopephotographyag.com/img/s/v-12/u630451925-o965305340-50.jpg Hope Photography: Blog https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog 120 80 Antelope Canyon- Tourist Attaction and Totally Worth it https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/5/antelope-canyon--tourist-attaction-and-totally-worth-it Page Arizona continues to grow in popularity, for good reason. The region is filled with unique geologic formations that make it a photographer's dream. The area is home to "Horseshoe Bend" where the Colorado River makes a U-turn almost 1,000 ft below you, Lake Powell with more shoreline than the entire west coast of the US, and Glen Canyon Recreational Area spanning more than 1.2 million acres.

Antelope CanyonAntelope Canyon
Located along a popular route between Phoenix and Salt Lake City, it is also a great stop if Las Vegas is the starting location for your Southwest adventure. Just under an hour to Kanab Utah and Lee's Ferry Arizona with their own list of activities. Two hours to multiple National Parks; Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Grand Canyon. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails and seemingly endless BLM Land (Bureau of Land Management). You could literally spend a lifetime here and not see it all. With so much to see and do in the area, it can be hard to prioritize your activities. While each of the above activities warrants its own blog post, today I am focusing on Antelope Canyon. 


Antelope Canyon is one of Page's most popular tourist attractions with dozens of companies offering tours. Upper Antelope Canyon is the more popular canyon, and it is easy to see why people are drawn here. The stellar canyon walls tower over visitors. As you hike deeper into the canyon, the sandstone canyon walls seem to get more intricate and pull you in.


Upper Antelope Canyon is a fairly easy walk, approximately .25 miles. It is located within the Navajo Nation and a guide is required to access the area. After COVID-19 shook the world, tours through Antelope Canyon have changed since I was last there back in 2017. And they have changed for the better!


Right now, tours are running at reduced capacity allowing visitors more opportunities to get a clear photo of the canyon. Only one-way traffic is permitted through the canyon and visitors must traverse soft sand, stairs, and a ramp. Closed-toed shoes are recommended and masks are currently required.  Tour Guides are well-versed in identifying ideal photography opportunities and will happily help visitors get the perfect shot. Guides communicate with each other to ensure each group can get a clean photo of the most popular views.  One of my favorite companies for Upper Antelope Canyon Tours is "Antelope Canyon Tours". You can find more information here: Antelope Canyon Tours

Antelope CanyonAntelope CanyonAntelope Canyon is an iconic slot canyon in Page Arizona. Water carved unique formations in the sandstone walls creating incredible views around each turn.


If you want to take your exploration one step further, I highly recommend checking out some of the other slot canyons in the area. This year, I decided to book an extended tour with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours and it was definitely worth the extra cost. You can learn more about their tours here: Adventurous Antelope Canyon


We started our tour at Antelope Canyon. It had been almost 5 years since my last visit and it was just as incredible as I remembered. 

Black and White Antelope CanyonBlack and White Antelope CanyonWater carved unique formations in the sandstone walls of Antelope Canyon in the Arizona Desert.


Adventurous Tours is one of the only companies authorized to access two other canyons in the area, Coyote Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon. After Upper Antelope Canyon, my guide took me to a very small canyon right next to Antelope Canyon. Coyote Canyon is shorter and wider than Antelope Canyon giving the sandstone walls much more light. It is significantly less crowded and visitors are still treated to intricate patterns in the rock walls.

Coyote CanyonCoyote CanyonCoyote Canyon is a small slot canyon in the Arizona Desert.


After Coyote Canyon, we went on to Rattlesnake Canyon. This canyon is named after the unique "S" curve of the canyon walls. I had booked the last tour of the day and my guide allowed me extra time to explore this canyon. I loved photographing the unique ladders throughout the canyon, and the incredible "S" formations. 


Rattlesnake CanyonRattlesnake CanyonRattlesnake Canyon is a small slot canyon near Page Arizona. It is named after the unique "S" shape of the canyon walls. Wind gives the sandstone a rough texture outside the canyon, while water has created a much smoother texture within the canyon walls.


Rattlesnake CanyonRattlesnake CanyonRattlesnake Canyon is a small slot canyon near Page Arizona. It is named after the unique "S" shape of the canyon walls. Wind gives the sandstone a rough texture outside the canyon, while water has created a much smoother texture within the canyon walls.


Upper Antelope Canyon, Coyote Canyon, and Rattlesnake Canyon all start from the general same area. Booking the extended tours with Adventurous Canyon Tours does require a little more hiking. 


While Upper Antelope Canyon is considered the most popular tour in the area, it is often booked well in advance. If you can't book a tour with Upper Antelope Canyon, Lower Antelope Canyon is just as spectacular. There are several ladders or metal steps that you must traverse and it is quite long. I definitely recommend close-toed shoes. This canyon is also located within the Navajo Nation and masks are still currently required. Ken's Tours and Dixie Tours run basically the same trip. I went on Ken's Tours, you can learn more about their tours here: Ken's Tours Lower Antelope Canyon.  My guide did use the word "guys" more in one hour than a normal person does in their lifetime; despite this, and my high expectations from experiencing other slot canyons, I was still very impressed with Lower Antelope Canyon. 

Lower Antelope CanyonLower Antelope CanyonThe incredible sandstone walls of Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona.


I don't think you can go wrong with any of the canyons and most tour companies run basically the same trip. I am not partnered with any of the companies listed in this post, these are just the companies that I have personally used and would book with again. When booking your tour, make sure to double-check the time. Generally speaking, Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time but the Navajo Nation does. Make sure you know what time your tour departs and try to arrive early to sign waivers.


So yes, Antelope Canyon is a major tourist attraction, but it is totally worth it.


Lower Antelope CanyonLower Antelope CanyonThe incredible sandstone walls of Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona.

Happy traveling!

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) American Southwest Antelope Canyon Arizona desert Glen Canyon Recreational Area hike landscape Lower Antelope Canyon natural wonders nature nomad Page Arizona Rattlesnake Canyon rv-er Slot Canyon solo tourism travel traveler trip planning Upper Antelope Canyon vacation https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/5/antelope-canyon--tourist-attaction-and-totally-worth-it Sun, 15 May 2022 00:50:15 GMT
Toadstool Hoodoos Trail https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/4/toadstool-hoodoos-trail--utah If you are in the Lake Powell region of Utah and Arizona, I highly recommend a quick stop at the Toadstool Hoodoos trail. This trail is about 1.8 miles round trip with an elevation change of only about 100 feet. The trail offers excellent views of the unique desert landscape in this area. 


The trailhead is located off Highway 89; 45 miles east of Kanab and 12 miles west of Big Water, Utah. There are no fees to access the trailhead and it is open year-round. The trail is dog-friendly if your furry friends are on a leash. As tourism increases to the area, preserving the fragile sandstone formations is very important.

Toadstool Hoodoos TrailToadstool Hoodoos TrailThe desert landscape of the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in southern Utah makes hikers feel like they are transported to another planet.

The first mile of the trail follows a flood drainage path and is fairly level. Before you know it, you will have a short climb to a rock plateau. Visitors are treated to other-worldly views. Hoodoos tower over the red rock landscape like massive mushrooms. 


Toadstools are made up of Dakota sandstone and Entrada sandstone. Over thousands of years, erosion has carved away at the soft Entrada sandstone, leaving behind the much harder Dakota sandstone on top.  Toadstool Hoodoos TrailToadstool Hoodoos TrailThe desert landscape of the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in southern Utah makes hikers feel like they are transported to another planet.


Along the back wall of the rock plateau, the weather has eroded the sandstone away to create unique alcoves. 


Visitors are free to explore the unique area but refrain from touching the sandstone formations. They are fragile and can easily crumble. Drones are not allowed on the Toadstool's Trail, but photographers can still get epic views from the ground.


The best time to hike this trail is in the spring or fall. There is very little shade and summer temperatures can reach extreme temperatures. Make sure to dress in layers and bring plenty of water. It is recommended to bring at least one liter of water per person, for each hour of hiking, and avoid hiking during the middle of the day. 

Toadstool Hoodoos TrailToadstool Hoodoos TrailThe desert landscape of the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in southern Utah makes hikers feel like they are transported to another planet.

The Toadstools Trail is one of many in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The monument spans 1.9 million acres. Back in the 1870s, geologist Clarence Dutton first conceptualized this region as a huge stairway. Ascending out of the bottom of the Grand Canyon into the sky, with the cliff edge of each layer forming giant steps. Looking at these steps is like looking back in time to millions of years of geologic history. 

Toadstool Hoodoos TrailToadstool Hoodoos TrailThe desert landscape of the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in southern Utah makes hikers feel like they are transported to another planet.

Happy trails!


angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) Arizona Desert Escalante female Grand hike Hoodoo Lake landscape Mars Monument National nature Powell remote rv-er sandstone solo southwest Staircase Toadstool trail travel traveler Utah vacation https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/4/toadstool-hoodoos-trail--utah Sun, 03 Apr 2022 02:36:41 GMT
Favorite Side Hustle for 2022 https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/1/favorite-side-hustle-for-2022 Check out my Zazzle store "Designspiration"Designs inspired by photography. As we jump headfirst into 2022, I know a lot of people who are focusing on building their own side hustle to make some extra money. With COVID 19 changing the modern workplace, more people started making the leap to pursue their own passions. As a photographer, I have been building my side hustles for the last few years using a number of different outlets, but my favorite for 2022 is Zazzle. I have been using Zazzle for a while now as a side hobby and recently I have made the push to totally revamp my store. 

Zazzle- Designspiration


Zazzle is considered a print-on-demand service, like RedBubble, or Fine Art America; designers don't have to do the printing or shipping. This is great for people like me who live in small spaces and don't have room for inventory. To give you a comparison, consider Etsy. You have probably heard of Etsy, but if not, Etsy is a global online marketplace where people come together to make, sell, and buy unique items. What's different about Zazzle versus Etsy is that Etsy items are listed and sold by a seller who handmakes the items. This is an awesome way to make money if you like designing and creating. For me, I have not taken the plunge into building an Etsy store for one big reason; Inventory. I live in a 20ft travel trailer and I do not have the storage space to keep all the products I design on hand. And that is why I love Zazzle.

Zazzle is an online marketplace that allows designers and customers to create their own products with independent manufacturers, as well as use images from participating companies. Designers, like me, can upload their images to hundreds of various products. Manufacturers then take those designs and produce them on demand when a customer makes a purchase. Customers can search through thousands of designs, customize them to meet their specific needs, and Zazzle fulfills the order. Designers never have to keep a stock of their own inventory. 


As a photographer, I end up with thousands of pictures. So as I have time, I turn those pictures into usable products like greeting cards, postcards, magnets, face masks, calendars, mugs, and more. There are no fees to get started and designers make a set royalty percentage each time their product sells. Just upload your designs, and let Zazzle do the rest. I have been working with Zazzle for the last few years as a designer and I have loved watching how this company grows and changes to meet market needs.

When the pandemic hit, Zazzle's sales of personalized face masks and puzzles skyrocketed. After an initial dip in sales due to shelter-in-place requirements, Zazzle now continues to see an uptick in customer traffic and sales. Approximately 80 million units are made-to-order from Zazzle yearly.  


Since all of the products on Zazzle are made to order, keep in mind shipping times will be longer than companies like Amazon. But with each purchase on Zazzle, you will also be helping support small business owners. Make sure to sign up for "Zazzle Black" for $9.95 per year. This membership offers exclusive discounts and FREE standard shipping on qualifying orders. This way, you can buy as many custom gifts as you want each year without worrying about shipping costs. 


My store focuses primarily on using photos I have taken in the designs. If you aren't much of a photographer, but enjoy creating graphics and fun text, Zazzle's easy-to-use design tools help your ideas come to life. Check out the design store "Adore Paper Co" or "Redwood & Vine" for ideas.



 Happy designing!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases using the link included in this post. All opinions remain my own.


angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) affiliate artists customizable decor design experience from gift gig home job jobs photographer print-on-demand RVer service side Side-hustle traveler work https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2022/1/favorite-side-hustle-for-2022 Sun, 02 Jan 2022 18:40:47 GMT
I still Love Glacier National Park https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2021/9/glacier-national-park The morning light had just started to break over Lake McDonald. Morning fog dances across the pristine waters. Dense clouds cover the mountains. This is how I remember September in Glacier National Park. Crisp mornings with the first hint of fall, the fresh forest smells, wrapped in my blanket, photographing sunrise.

Sunrise at Lake McDonaldCotton candy sunrise reflects over the calm waters of Lake McDonald at Glacier National Park. It isn't long before more photographers start to arrive. Each of us finding our own angle to watch the colors change on the horizon. Just before sunrise, more than two dozen photographers line the shore, more than usual for this time of year. Chatter and the sound of equipment being set up breaks the peaceful quiet. A portrait photographer began calling out posing directions for a happy couple celebrating their upcoming nuptials. The hum of traffic echoes through the valley. Eager visitors start pouring into the park, hoping to get a parking spot at the trailhead of their planned hike. More than 30 cars wait in construction traffic in Many Glacier, before the sun is even up. Avalanche Parking area and Logan Pass Parking areas are full by 9 am. In years past, Labor Day signaled the end of busy season for many summer parks, but not this year.

As COVID-19 changed the workplace landscape, more and more people are working from home or exploring a new career path. 
Many students have taken to online learning. The start of the new school year hardly means the end of summer's busy tourist season.

I lived and worked in the Glacier area back in 2017. I am so grateful it was the 2017 version of me that was here. Almost every weekend I was hiking new trails. Often leaving Columbia Falls around 9 or 10 am and starting my hike in Many Glacier around 12. I never had any trouble finding parking and on longer hikes, the trails were almost empty. It was my first season in my camper and the first time I had been to Glacier. I was in awe of the statuesque mountains, vibrant blue waters, and graceful wildlife. I was full of energy and motivated to cover as many miles on the trail as possible. 

Sunrise in the Many Glacier ValleyMount Grinnel towers over Swiftcurrent Lake at sunrise in the Many Glacier Valley. That is not the case this year. The 2021 version of me sees long hikes as a luxury. I never felt like I had enough time during my quick trips to Glacier this season. Spending 5-10 hours on a trail was time I just didn't have. This version of me isn't ready to be around people yet. My old favorite viewpoints for watching the clouds and waiting for wildlife are interrupted by hordes of people roaming off-trail and trampling the beautiful wildflowers I just photographed. I am disheartened by cars parking half on the road, half on vegetation, shouting and climbing over each other, just to catch a glimpse of a grizzly. And all I can think is that poor bear just wanted to eat.  Parking lots are full, cars are double-parked at scenic viewpoints, and lines of agitated visitors fill the mountainsides. Even if I had time to fit in a hike, I wouldn't be able to park. 

As much as the park has changed, much has stayed the same. I am still in awe of the statuesque mountains. I still became entranced watching clouds move through the peaks and valleys. I still found enjoyment watching the waves crash along the water's edge. I still found quiet watching the colors of sunrise and sunset change the landscape. I wasn't ready to leave four years ago and I wasn't ready to leave this summer. And my love for the park was completely undiminished. 


Birdwoman Falls, Logan PassBirdwoman Falls towers over dense clouds in the Lake McDonald Valley of Glacier National Park. I still believe Glacier National Park is one of the most amazing parks in the National Parks System. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is an engineering marvel and, to me, one of the finest examples of how humanity can blend almost seamlessly into the landscape. The road passes through some of the most iconic views in the park and offers visitors endless opportunities to enjoy the beauty of these mountains. The reservation system implemented this year to drive the road was intended to help reduce intense parking congestion. When I realized my only remaining opportunity to visit the park was just after the reservation system ended, I knew I might be in for a bit of a headache. 

Part of me knows there are thousands of people out in nature hand-feeding rodents, taking selfies with massive wild animals, and disobeying rules to get that perfect Insta post. But part of me is ecstatic that more people than ever have the freedom to travel and experience these beautiful places. I know that Glacier National Park will find its way into the hearts of many new visitors, like it did mine so long ago. I remain hopeful that by going to these parks, people are learning how quickly our glaciers are melting, how important it is to conserve water, and the necessity to keep wildlife wild.

Sunrise at Swiftcurrent LakeMount Grinnel towers over Swiftcurrent Lake in the Many Glacier Valley. Storm clouds roll over mountains in the distance.

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) beautiful Birdwoman Falls calm changes colorful COVID destination explore female fog Glacier Going-to-the-Sun-Road holiday Lake Lake McDonald landscape leave no trace Logan Pass love Many Glacier mist Montana morning mountain National Park nature nomad peaceful peak preserve remote responsible traveler rv-er scenic seasonal solo storm storm clouds sunrise Swiftcurrent travel traveler vacation viewpoint Waterfall West Glacier work https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2021/9/glacier-national-park Sat, 18 Sep 2021 23:35:05 GMT
8 Tips for Looking your Best in Corporate Headshots https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2021/7/8-tips-for-looking-your-best-in-corporate-headshots Your corporate headshot defines your personal brand for how you want to be perceived. They can be used for your ID badge, LinkedIn profile photos, marketing materials, and more. So, it is very important that you put your best face forward.

A lot of people may use the terms headshot and portrait interchangeably, but they are actually two very different things. A headshot is simply that, a close-up shot focusing on the head and shoulders with a simple background. While a portrait is intended to tell more of a story and features a more decorative scene and may include a full-body image. 


For now, I am focusing on just headshots. So here are some tips for looking your best and feeling comfortable in front of the camera.


1) What to wear

You want to think about what your outfit says about your professional persona. What message do you want to convey? Trust? Authority? Creativity? Fitness? The color is also important. As a doctor, you may want to wear a white coat. If you are an artist, you may choose colors that are more vibrant. Also, consider the background the photographer may use. If possible, ask your photographer in advance so you can plan your outfits accordingly. If you can't, bring a few options to ensure you don't clash with the background. Black on black may not be the look you are going for. 


2) Posing

When you are in front of the camera, moving naturally may suddenly become the hardest thing in the world. A lot of people completely forget how they would naturally smile or sit and the pose becomes very staged. Take a deep breath and relax. Check your posture and sit tall. Take up space in the frame by creating angles, make sure your shoulders are back and chest out. Show off your neck and jaw. Also, try lowering your chin slightly while moving your face closer to the camera. It may feel unnatural at first, try practicing in the mirror before the big day. 


3) Hair

Think about how your hair will look in the shot. Think shampoo advertisements. You want your hair to be smooth, full-bodied, and neat. If you are a fan of the messy bun, try to clean up some of the straggly strands. This is not the day to test out a brand-new hairstyle. You want to be comfortable and present your best, natural self. Bring a brush, dry shampoo, or hair spray on the day to help tame last-minute flyaways. Also, don't be afraid to tell your photographer if you hate your hair a certain way. Not a fan of the side swoop? Tell your photographer. Neither of you wants to go through this whole process just to end up with photos you hate. 


4) Skin

Bright lights can make your skin look more shiny or glassy than normal. You may want to consider bringing some concealer, oil removing wipes, or quickly rinsing your face before the shoot, to help maintain a smooth look. If you are wearing make-up, you want to make sure it presents the right attitude. More natural-looking make-up tends to look best. 


5) Glasses

If you normally wear glasses, it probably makes sense to wear them in the photo. In which case, give your glasses a very thorough cleaning before your photo. It is amazing how much dirt and grease accumulate on your lenses or frames. When you are in front of the camera, push your glasses as far back as possible. Often, they will slide forward and block some of your eyes. If you only wear glasses occasionally, make the decision beforehand what makes the most sense for you. If you decide not to wear them, make sure you leave plenty of time for those pesky little marks on your nose to fade before the photo. 


6) Your best side

If you have one eye bigger than the other, a mole on one cheek, or just a side you prefer, make sure you let your photographer know. If you hate a freckle on your right cheek and all the photos are taken on the right side, you will probably never use that photo.


7) Smile

Along the same lines as tip #6, if you hate your teeth or your smile, and your photographer forces you to show off your pearly whites, chances are you will hate that picture. Maybe you feel more natural smiling with your mouth closed, that is fine. Do what feels natural to you. Again, you may want to practice in the mirror to see what feels and looks the most natural for you.


8) Relax!

Do you talk a lot when you get nervous? That makes it hard for the photographer to get a still shot. Are you a fidgeter? The photographer needs you to sit still. Take a look at some examples of headshots to give you some ideas and practice what works best for you. Pinterest is a great resource for posing ideas. Keep in mind, your photographer may need you to stay in a relatively small area. You might take all your shots sitting down, or standing up. Check with your photographer in advance to see how much time you will have and what variety of poses you can use. 


Click on the images below for examples of professional corporate headshots to help get you started. 

Men's Corporate HeadshotsPinterest posing ideas for Men's Corporate Headshots   Women's Corporate HeadshotsPinterest posing ideas for Women's Corporate Headshots

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) business Corporate fashion headshot LinkedIn media photographer portrait presentation professional Social styling tips https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2021/7/8-tips-for-looking-your-best-in-corporate-headshots Thu, 15 Jul 2021 04:08:24 GMT
Live Camp Work Virtual Summit https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2019/7/live-camp-work-virtual-summit I am excited and honored to announce that I will be a speaker at the upcoming Live Camp Work virtual summit. I will be giving two seminars; one on how I find seasonal work, and one on things I had to learn as a solo female traveler. If you have ever wondered about RV living or the seasonal life, I encourage you to check out this summit where 34 speakers will be sharing their stories and giving great tips. Check it out!

At the end of the summit, many speakers will be giving out a lot of free resources or discounts on their products. Make sure to upgrade your ticket to VIP status and get ongoing access to all the seminars and interviews. With 34 different speakers from a wide range of industries, I am sure you will walk away with more than a few tips on this awesome lifestyle.

Learn more at https://make-money-rv-summit.heysummit.com/?sc=MON7rqV1

Solo femaleWhat I needed to learn as a solo female full-time traveler

Finding WorkFinding work and inspiration on the road

Make sure to head to https://make-money-rv-summit.heysummit.com/?sc=MON7rqV1 to sign up today!


And stay tuned for more photos of Acadia National Park as well as blog posts on my favorites hikes, and things to do near Bar Harbor. 


Happy travels!


angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) camp live nomad RV seasonal seminar summit traveler Virtual work https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2019/7/live-camp-work-virtual-summit Wed, 03 Jul 2019 23:17:23 GMT
Ultimate Ireland Road Trip Itinerary https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/3/ultimate-ireland-road-trip-itinerary Guiness Storehouse St James's GateGuiness Storehouse St James's GateThe St. James Gate Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland. If you are looking for a slow, leisurely road trip, with lots of time for sleeping in and shopping… then this is not the itinerary for you. But, if you are lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in Ireland, and you have the desire to see as much of the beautiful island as possible, then read on.


Day 01: Travel day. I ended up traveling for exactly 24 hours due to a late change in my departure airport so by the time I arrived in Dublin I was exhausted. Luckily, my travel companion wasn’t due to arrive until that evening, so I got to enjoy a nice nap in the hotel. We stayed just outside of Dublin at Tara Towers. It was a nice hotel and walking distance to a good pub. The local bus picked up at the airport and dropped off across the street from the hotel for only €10. We were also within walking distance to the train which brought us into the city for only €4 round trip.


St. Patrick Cathedral Dublin IrelandSt. Patrick Cathedral Dublin IrelandThe grounds of St. Patrick Cathedral in Dublin Ireland. Day 02: Explore Dublin. We took the train to the Tara Street Stop and fueled up with a hearty traditional Irish Breakfast. From this stop, many great attractions are within walking distance. We walked to the Guinness Storehouse via St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The Cathedral was beautiful and a nice stop on our walk. The storehouse was very cool and well worth the visit. With the tour, enjoying a pint at the Gravity Bar, and picking up a few souvenirs, we spent about 2.5 hours here. This gave us just enough time to walk to the Irish Whiskey Museum via the Christ Church to catch our next tour. This was also a great stop. We opted for the premium package with the extra sample and a free whiskey glass which was worth the extra cost. After the museum, head over to Dublin Castle. You can access the gardens for free which offers nice views of the castle. If you have time after Dublin Castle, check out Trinity college. The line to tour the  Book of Kells and Old Library Exhibition was quite long so we ended up skipping this but the campus was still nice. This tour is also €14 per person. After touring the campus, head to the Temple Quarter for music and dinner. The main Temple Street is quite busy with lots of food options. On a Friday night, it was packed with standing room only to listen to music. Luckily, we found a pub slightly off the main road with seating and great music to wrap our day in Dublin.

                Tip: Find a pub that will have music early on to grab a seat for the music. Most of the pubs in the Temple Quarter will have music most nights.

               We enjoyed staying out of the city a bit to avoid having to actually drive through the congested city, or pay for expensive downtown parking. I suggest using public transportation or walking if possible.

Belfast City HallBelfast City HallBelfast City Hall Donegall Square Ireland.

Day 03: Dublin to Belfast. We opted to sleep in a bit as the weather was projected to be quite poor. On a sunny day, a stop in the Mourne Mountains would have been nice. We did drive through but with low clouds, we couldn’t see much. You should arrive in Belfast by early afternoon with time to check out the city. We went to Smithfield Market and found it quite empty, I believe this market is much more popular during tourist season. We really enjoyed the Duke of York and Kelly’s Cellars for drinks (only £3.50  for a pint!)

               Tip: You leave Ireland and enter Northern Ireland. Kilometers become miles, euro becomes pound, and signs no longer translate Gaelic.

               We were trying to line up our trip with St. Patrick’s Day in Galway so we stayed an extra night in Belfast to make the timing work out a bit better. You really don’t need a full day in Belfast if you leave Dublin early enough and take a direct route.


Day 04Explore Belfast. Take advantage of the great food scene in Belfast with another hearty traditional Irish breakfast. I recommend walking the Titanic Trail from City Hall to explore the city. This takes you to several major notable sites. City Hall was an impressive building and following the trail will take you to the “Big Fish” and across the bridge to the Titanic Museum. After the museum, continue following the trail to St. George’s market. We found this market to be much busier with great food and craft vendors. This is a great stop for lunch and stocking up on pastries for breakfasts on the road. We were back at the hotel by 5 pm. We did cover a lot of ground for one day but ran out of things to do.

               Tip: If you have one day in Belfast, keep in mind a lot of businesses have limited hours on Sundays.

               Double-check the hours at St. George’s market. It closed around 4 pm on the day we were there.


Sunset at Giant's CausewayWaves crash on the basalt columns that form Giant's Causeway in Northern lreland. Day 05: Belfast to Portrush. This is a big day. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather. Hop on the Causeway Coastal Route at the Carrickfergus Castle. The Castle was very nice and the town had a lovely harbor to visit. The Causeway Coastal Route follows the cliffs through several charming coastal towns. On a clear day, you get excellent views of the glistening blue water. Your first stop on the Coastal Route is the Cushenden Caves. Another nice coastal town with good beaches. This was also a filming location for Game of Thrones. The caves are free to explore and was a nice way to stretch your legs. The next stop is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Only £8 to cross a narrow rope bridge over clear blue waters. Well worth the stop for the views alone. If you are afraid of heights, I would skip the rope bridge but still make a stop for the views. There is a nice café here with coffee, tea, and snacks. After enjoying the view, it is on to the Dark Hedges, another filming location for Game of Thrones. A few miles inland from the Coastal Route, the Dark Hedges are a unique stop off the main road. Park at the hotel and walk up the road for excellent views of these unique trees. A quick stop here before continuing on to the Bushmills Distillery. As pseudo whiskey experts, we skipped the tour and went straight for the tasting. Generous pours and rich whiskey made for a great stop. After your whiskey break, it should be late afternoon so it is time for Giant’s Causeway. We lucked out with great weather this day, all the way through to sunset. It is a short walk from the visitor center down to the shore and well worth it. The unique rock formations become more impressive the more you climb over them. We waited until sunset which was nice but the sun fell directly behind a mountain range before sunset colors really came to life. If you can, try for sunrise for the sun to rise more in line with the stones. We had a short drive to our hotel in Portrush. After our long day, we did not do much exploring in town.

               Tip: Instead of 2 nights in Belfast, split Belfast into evening and morning activities, then spend a night in Ballycastle. There are a lot of sights near Ballycastle and will get you closer to Giants Causeway for sunrise.


Glenveagh Castle IrelandGlenveagh Castle IrelandThe Glenveagh Castle at Glenveagh National Park in Ireland. Day 06: Portrush to Sligo. This is mostly a drive day, but a stopover at the Glenveagh National Park breaks up the drive nicely. The 4km roundtrip walk to a secluded castle offers good exercise on an otherwise long driving day. After the castle, head on to Donegal. We got a late start this day so we only had time for a quick pint in Donegal before heading on to Sligo for the night. Sligo was a fun town with a great art scene. A small creek runs through Sligo with many pubs lining the sidewalk. We found great live music and excellent food at Fiddlers Creek Pub.

               Tip: Donegal and Sligo are great little towns with lots to enjoy. An extra night in Donegal would have been well worth it! Many famous musicians got their start in Donegal.  And with Sligo’s art scene, there is more than enough to keep you entertained.

               You head back to Ireland today so Kilometers, Euros, and Gaelic are back.


Day 07: Sligo to Clifden. Another drive day but the Connemarra National Park is the prize at the end this time. We drove straight through due to heavy rains encouraging us to stay in the car and wanting to spend an evening in Clifden. But if you have good weather, make sure to stop and do some hikes. The Connemarra National Park is beautiful. We opted for 2 nights here to regroup a bit, and I am glad we did. The Buttermilk Lodge Guesthouse was wonderful. Complimentary tea and coffee at check-in, friendly service, and excellent information on the surrounding area. The complimentary breakfast was delicious and made to order. It is a short walk into the charming small town. We enjoyed browsing the shops and exploring the small town-center before a pub crawl to enjoy live music. It is hard to go wrong with any of the pubs in town. The Buttermilk provided a list of pubs that were scheduled to have music that evening and provided maps that made everything easy to find.

               Tip: Take a driving break at the Kylemore Abbey Castle and Walled Garden before you reach Clifden. The beautiful castle is set in the Connemarra National Park with incredible views.


Clifden Castle Sky Road IrelandClifden Castle Sky Road Ireland Day 08: Explore Clifden. If you are lucky enough to have good weather and you enjoy biking, hire a bike in town and follow one of the biking loops. We were traveling off-season and expected rain so we opted to drive three of the suggested loops. The Skyview Road is an absolute must-see. The narrow country road wraps along the countryside with amazing views of the ocean, old ruins, and blue waters. We also did the Cleggan, and Ballyconneely loops. Each were beautiful and made for a very pleasant day if you like sightseeing. After a full day of sightseeing, take a rest at your B&B before heading out for the night. This town really comes to life at night, no earlier than 10 pm. Griffin’s Bar was our favorite with excellent music and friendly staff. We felt like locals on our second night.

               Tip: If it is warm enough, squeeze in a kayak trip at Mannin Bay. The beautiful blue water and small island formations would make for a lovely day.


Day 09: Drive to Galway. We were lucky enough to be in Galway for St. Patrick’s Day which was an incredible experience. Because of this, we stayed 3 nights in Galway to accommodate the parade and still fit in sightseeing. If I were going on a regular weekend, I would spend 2 days. It is a short drive from Clifden, so enjoy your last breakfast at the B&B and enjoy a leisurely drive to Galway. Take a little nap or do some shopping in the Galway town center and check out when the music starts in the pubs but again, this town comes to life at night. Don’t go out too early. Many pubs in the town center have live music starting at 10 pm.

               Tip: Galway has tons of great shopping, food, music, and pubs. Take advantage of the “small” town and walk around the city center.


Day 10: Day trip to Cliff’s of Moher. Cliffs of Moher coastal walkCliffs of Moher coastal walkThe Cliffs of Moher span almost 8 miles along the western coast of the Republic of Ireland. Sleep in and recover from your night out then take the 1.5-hour drive to the Cliffs of Moher. The views from the cliffs are absolutely spectacular. I recommend waiting until late afternoon so the sun lights the front of the cliffs. We hiked from the Visitor Center approximately 3 miles to Hags Head to get the full view of the cliffs. The trail was very muddy and slippery. Use caution along the trail as landslides are common. There is a shuttle that picks up near the trailhead. After a day of hiking head back to Galway for another night of dancing. We enjoyed The Kings Head and Tig Choili.

                Tip: Keep an eye out for dolphins in the surf below, wear sturdy shoes that can handle mud, and check shuttle times at the Visitor Center for whatever hike you decide to do.


Dingle Bay IrelandDingle Bay IrelandA small bay along the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Day 11: Galway to Killarney. Another beautiful drive on Slea Head Road around the Dingle Peninsula. The views are outstanding. It is a long drive day so make sure to take lots of photo breaks to admire the beautiful blue water. After a long day of driving, head to Killarney for music and drinks. Another great small town with live music most nights.

               Tip: Make sure to break often, this is a long drive day and tomorrow is too so make sure you get a break from the car.

               If you aren’t interested in another night in the city, check out some of the Killarney National Park.


Ring of Kerry Atlantic CoastRing of Kerry Atlantic CoastThe Kerry Cliffs are one of many World Heritage Sites in Ireland and offer views that rival the Cliffs of Moher. Day 12: Killarney to Cork. You will want an early start this day to really take advantage of the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is typically done anti-clockwise for good reason. In peak season large tour buses run anti-clockwise, so if you run opposite them you will be meeting them head-on through very narrow roads. We were behind a couple of busses but were able to get out ahead of them at viewpoints. Also, when several buses were parked together, we knew that was a good spot to check out. A nice stop at the Ballinskelligs Castle will help break up the drive. There is a bridge to cross from the shore to the castle. The Skellig Ring is well worth the extra loop. For a good bathroom break, stop in Portmagee for the 2002 Top Toilet Runner-Up award. After a bathroom break, head to the Kerry Cliffs for outstanding blue water cliff views. The stop is definitely worth the €6 admission. There are wonderful small towns along this drive. Stop in Sneem for a lunch break, or pack a picnic lunch for along the way. You will end the loop at Killarney National Park. You could probably spend an entire day here but at least stop at the Torc Waterfall. There is a parking lot that is only a 5-minute walk to the falls. If you have more time, enjoy one of the longer scenic trails. Enjoy as much of the park as you can but there is an hour and a half drive to Cork tonight. If you still have energy by the time you arrive in Cork make sure to check out the awesome music scene. Cork is the second-largest city in Ireland with great nightlife.

               Tip: Stay an extra night in Killarney to fully enjoy the National Park. Or, stay an extra night in Cork so you aren’t trying to go out dancing after a full day of driving.


Saint Fin Barre Cathedral CorkSaint Fin Barre Cathedral CorkThe gothic styling of Saint Fin Barre Cathedral in Cork Ireland. Day 13: Cork to Dublin. The Blarney Castle is about a 15-minute drive out of Cork but I would skip the tourist trap and enjoy Cork. If you must go to Blarney, it is €16 to pay online or €18 at the door. Bring cash, because it is a €20 minimum card purchase. Expect to wait in a long line and kiss easily the germiest tourist attraction in existence. Remove hats, glasses, bags, and scarves. After climbing a very narrow, winding staircase, you are rewarded with great views of Cork and the castle grounds at the top. Cork is filled with shops, café’s, music, pubs, food, Cathedrals, and much more. You can easily enjoy a whole day here, but it is a three-hour drive to Dublin still. We enjoyed a lovely afternoon before carrying on to Dublin. We stayed at the Finnstown Castle, just outside of Dublin. It had a cozy, castle feel with excellent amenities and nice rooms. It was a short walk down to the Lord Lucan Bar which we enjoyed and only a half an hour drive to the airport the next day.

               Tip: Most of the parking in Cork is about €3 an hour but there is plenty of public transportation, so you can leave your car parked for the day.


Day 14: Time to head home. Unfortunately, your trip has come to an end, and now you have to endure an extraordinarily long travel day. Good luck!


I hope you have enjoyed your trip to Ireland! It is easy to make this itinerary more city-focused or more nature-focused depending on your interests. Ireland has something for everyone. I was constantly in awe of the diverse landscape. From staggering cliffs and crystal blue waters to lush green hillsides. During the warmer months, you may be interested in fitting in more outdoor activities like kayaking, or whale watching. I would love to go back and do more of those activities. Always remember to be respectful of local customs and travel responsibly.


Happy travels!

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) belfast blarney castle city cliff's of moher connemarra national park cork cushenden caves dark hedges dublin galway game of thrones holiday ireland itinerary landscape music northern ireland road trip tour travel trip vacation https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/3/ultimate-ireland-road-trip-itinerary Fri, 30 Mar 2018 18:58:19 GMT
How can you afford to travel so much? https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/2/how-can-you-afford-to-travel-so-much I get asked this question a lot. The short answer is, I work. Hard. I rack up overtime until Labor Laws, or my manager, tells me to go home. Then I keep working. Then, I travel. Hard. And I keep working.  Sometimes I forget why I work so hard. Days like today where all I want to do is suntan on the beach and sip sangria. But then I look through my photo gallery and my list of places still to visit and remember why. So here are my top sources of income while I am on the road.

1) Seasonal Jobs. This is my main source of income. I look for companies that target full-time RV-ers as well as short-term, high paying positions. My favorite website for this is CoolWorks. But Workampers is also a great resource. CoolWorks Workamper

2) My website. This is where my photos are actually available for print. There are a few products available as well including ornaments, calendars, and cards. Hope Photography

3) Zazzle. In my free time, I like to take make products out of some of the photos I have taken and I post these products for sale in my Zazzle store "Designspiration". Sometimes the image on the product is just the photo, and sometimes I use various programs to abstract or manipulate the photo. My favorite products are leggings, posters, magnets, luggage tags, and mugs. Almost any of my photos on my website can be transformed into a variety of products. I am always happy to take special orders. Zazzle  

4) Amazon Affiliate. When I recommend a product in my blog post and I include a direct product link to Amazon, I receive a portion of any sales as a result of that click. This includes when I share a link to the general Amazon site. There is no change in pricing or experience on the consumer side. It is just a small way to help a small business while you shop for things you were going to buy anyways. Save this link as a favorite and shop all year long with Amazon while you support my business.  Amazon

5) Survey Savvy. This really only amounts to a couple dollars a week but when I am not feeling very inspired and I just want to watch TV, at least I can still complete a few surveys and make some money. It's pretty easy. Just complete surveys and get paid. You may not qualify for every survey but usually, in about 10 minutes, you can make a dollar or two, sometimes more! SurveySavvy

6) Rover. This is one of my favorites, getting paid to play with animals! When I am stationed in one area for a couple months I update my Rover account to my new area. I meet with clients to check in on their fur babies while they are out of town. This could be a quick check-in, a walk, or overnight stays. Pay varies depending on service but it can add up quickly especially around the holidays. Use code ANGELA20OFF20 for $20 off your first service.

7) Usertesting. Get paid to test websites before anyone else! Tests usually take 30 minutes to complete and you will need strong Wi-Fi and a quiet room. Sometimes no tests are available or you may not qualify for a test. But generally, it is an easy way to make $10. Usertesting

8) Ibotta. This is an app where you get money back for things you were going to buy anyway. Just search for items in the app and upload your receipt. You can create a shopping list in the app to maximize your refund, or you can review available refunds after you have made your purchases. Use referral code uuwqqfw to get started. 

9) Stash. Stash is an app that makes it easy to automatically invest extra money. I always try to save money but forget to make the transfer. With Stash, I set my investment preferences and the amount I want automatically transferred, and Stash takes care of the rest. Investments take time to grow but it is nice knowing my money is out there working for me.  Get $5 for signing up with this link: Stash

10) Drive for Uber or Lyft. I am no longer an active driver but I still feel like this is worth including. I averaged about $12/ hour but I avoided driving on Friday and Saturday nights, which are traditionally high dollar nights. I had a more fuel-efficient vehicle at the time which made it more cost-effective. I drove with both Uber and Lyft but much preferred Lyft. I made much higher tips with Lyft which was a very nice benefit but you can easily drive a couple hundred miles a day without even realizing it. This one is hard as a full-time traveler since most states will require you to be licensed and/or registered in the state you will be driving in. Since I don't want to change my state of residency that often, it no longer makes sense for me. For $50 in Lyft ride credit, use code ANGELA91097

11) Madera. Madera is an outdoor sporting goods company specializing in hammocks. For each purchase made, they plant two trees. Hammocks need trees too! Any time you make a purchase using this link, I will earn a percentage of the sale, you will get awesome gear, and two trees will be planted. Triple win! Madera

12) Portrait photography. This one is relatively new for me. Most of my experience is in landscape and nature photography but I am on a mission to learn all things photography. I focus on Graduation, Engagement, and Family photos. If you are in need of some current family photos, let me know! 

13) Real Estate and Architecture Photography will soon be on this list too! 

I have started dabbling with Upwork but there seem to be a lot of scams posted instead of real jobs.  I hear Etsy can also be very profitable but living in a small trailer I haven't created enough space to maintain some stock on hand. I also hope to build a printed inventory to sell at Art Festivals.

What are your suggestions for making money on the road? One of my favorite things about being a full-time travelers is that you are so open to all the possibilities. All you have to do is make it happen. 


Happy travels! 

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) amazon create hustle job money photography residual income rv rv-er side traveler write https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/2/how-can-you-afford-to-travel-so-much Sat, 24 Feb 2018 20:34:17 GMT
Changing the way I think about money https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/1/changing-the-way-i-think-about-money When I was in school, I learned about the “Self-fulfilling Prophecy”. If you are not familiar with it, the very simplified idea is that kids that were expected to do well in school most often did exactly that. And kids that were expected not to do well, also ended up doing exactly that. The idea was that our thoughts become our reality. I believe that to be mostly true in my life.

I have taken some pretty big chances in my life that have created some rather successful situations. I always have a Plan A, and plans B-M just in case. I am even fortunate enough to have money saved in case I need a plan N-Z as well. My situation always eventually works out. It may be difficult and it may not be exactly as I picture but it works out. I know that to be true. However, I have struggled with the idea of money for most of my life and it has become quite apparent lately. I need to believe that everything will work out financially, the way I know my situation will work out eventually. So, it is time I change the way I think about money. The thing about changing is, that you have to be ready, willing, and open to the change. You have to mean it. So, I am ready, willing, and open to changing the way I think about money.


As you read this, I want you to think about if these statements are true for you. Feel the weight of these words. In order to change the way I think about money, I need to acknowledge how I think about it now and destroy all those thoughts.


I destroy and uncreate every negative and restricting thought that I hold about money. Any negative attitudes or beliefs I carry in my life. The idea that money is limited. That you have to work hard to receive money. That money is not freely given or received. That having an abundance of money is only for certain people. That I am unworthy or undeserving of being wealthy. That being exceedingly wealthy is dangerous or unsafe in some way. That having an abundance of money will create more issues. That I have to settle for a life less than I dream of. That no matter how much money I have, I will never make a difference. That I am not enough. That money is scarce. That money creates stress in my life. That I have to live by the same beliefs as those that came before me. That you shouldn’t enjoy your job because receiving money was more important than happiness. That my life revolves around money. That life is stressful. That there are things you simply cannot afford even if you need it.


I pull all these negative and restricting thoughts together and destroy them. I replace every one of those thoughts with positive thoughts of abundance. Feel the lightness of these statements and allow that joy to flow through you.

Trail Ridge Road Rocky Mountain National ParkMountain views along the Trail Ridge Road at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

Money is everywhere. Money flows easily and abundantly to me. It is safe for me to be wealthy. I receive money just for being me. Money flows to me in all directions. I enjoy my job. There are infinitely many ways for massive amounts of money to flow into my bank accounts. Money serves me. Money works for me. I deserve to have money piling up in my bank accounts. I deserve to be wealthy. I am capable of joining the ranks of the rich and famous. I can afford anything and everything I truly need. I deserve financial freedom. I am ready for the greatness of my life. Money just shows up for me. I receive an abundant income doing something I love. I receive money easily for my efforts. I have more money than I could ever need. I love money. Every dollar I spend comes back to me multiplied. I live life abundantly. Money is simply a part of my life. I am enough. Life is a celebration. I forgive myself for believing those false statements and I accept this new way of thinking with an open heart.


If you struggle with money, I hope this helps you in some way. 

Happy travels!

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) abundance focus intention money positive thinking the power of thought https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2018/1/changing-the-way-i-think-about-money Sat, 13 Jan 2018 03:14:37 GMT
My experience with Amazon Camperforce https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/12/my-experience-with-amazon-camperforce I have had a lot of people ask me about my experience in an Amazon warehouse. Mostly they were wondering why I, a nature-loving semi-extroverted photographer, would choose to work in a warehouse. I did it to take a break from Customer Service, to get to the East Coast for potential job opportunities for the following season, and to save some money. Working for Amazon Camperforce seems a bit like a rite of passage for full-time RV-ers. We have to try it at least once, and I can see why. So here is a rundown of my experience.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the Great Smoky Mountains before starting work at the Amazon warehouse.

  1. There are 3 main roles: Pick, pack, stow. I was in Pick. I liked being able to move around but it seemed to have the lowest interaction with other workers
    • Pick is essentially a treasure hunt. I averaged 12-15 miles each night walking across the massive warehouse to find the one bin, housing the one item my scanner told me to find. It is very tedious, and you can go hours between seeing another person. Fighting with overfilled apparel bins is frustrating and trying to understand the vague descriptions can be a challenge. I really enjoyed being able to move around instead of some other positions which are more stationary. However, being alone with my thoughts for 10-12 hours a night was not always ideal.
    • Pack is prepping items to be shipped out to customers. You are in one spot for the duration of your shift which can be more physically tiring than walking. But, you are generally stationed closer to other people, so you may actually be able to carry on a conversation. Pack seemed to be the most often trained in another department so it possibly had a higher potential for variation. 
    • Stow is placing items into bins for Pickers to find later. You generally are in a few aisles trying to get lots of product into small spaces. While Pickers rush around you trying to find the items they need. There are generally multiple Stowers in one area so again, a little more human interaction, but you have to cram lots of product into limited space.
  2. It is basically starting a new workout regime. Every Picker I spoke with lost at least 5 pounds in their first few weeks. Some people lost as much as 30 pounds in 3 months. If you want to start your workout early, try this:
    • Walk 12 miles on cement or concrete. Every 1 minute stand in place for 10 seconds, every 2 minutes do one deep squat or kneel to the ground, and do one push up. Do not speak to anyone and do not listen to music. After 2 hours, take a 15-minute break. At 5 hours, take a half hour lunch. At 8 hours, take another 15-minute break. The whole process should take you approximately 10 hours. Repeat for 5 days a week.
  3. Comfortable clothes and shoes are key. Luckily the dress code is pretty lenient, most people wear jeans or workout clothing. If your shoes don’t offer sufficient support and cushion on an unforgiving surface, you will be facing some sore nights. Rock Island State Park Tennessee I also squeezed in a quick stop a Rock Island State Park on my drive to Amazon.
  4. Create your own motivation. There is actually very little incentive to perform well. Especially as campers. It is quite easy to meet rate but there really is no reason to perform above the expected rate. When Peak is in full swing they will try to encourage Pickers to work quicker with a Power Hour. However, luck is much more important than effort during this hour. If you are in an area where your picks are spread out and hard to access, you just cannot compete with someone who is on a path picking 400 gift cards that hour. You can always work hard and compete but you only have a small chance of winning a (taxable) $5 gift card to local eateries.  
  5. Understand your Voluntary Time Off and Voluntary Extra time options. I went into this expecting to work hard, have very little free time, and rack up overtime. I maxed out at 58.5 hours each week in December. I signed up for Voluntary Extra Time, on top of the mandatory 50 hour weeks. Many people opted for Voluntary Time Off which can be offered at any time before or during your shift. The scheduling can actually be quite flexible, I recommend talking to a seasoned employee when you arrive to get all the details early on.
  6. Cross-train if you want hours. If you are a Picker and they offer Voluntary Time Off and you want to go home, you can claim it and go home. If you are a Picker, and you are trained in Pack, they could call you to Pack and then offer the time off to the rest of your department. I wish I had been cross-trained because I rarely opted for time off. However, some full-time associates do not want to cross train so they can take advantage of time off.
  7. If you have bad knees, bad back, bad shoulders, bad allergies to dust, this may not be the right job for you. I think of my self as being in pretty good shape, but I managed to pull my shoulder muscle twice and my hamstring. Luckily, they have medical care onsite where you can get Tylenol and as much Biofreeze as you want.
  8. You will become part of the family. And, even with the tedious, long, painful hours, you will still be sad to leave.  And you will meet people you care about, you will have moments wonderful fun, you will experience a new place, and you have the potential to make really good money.


All in all, I am quite glad I came. Now that my body has rested a bit and the sore muscles have subsided, I can reflect on my time here and know that it was mostly positive. It can be a really wonderful experience, just know what to expect. I am open to the possibility of returning next year but that is what is wonderful but this life. We have so many possibilities open to us at all times. In a few days, I am off to another warehouse to work the return season peak. Stay tuned for more on that.


Have you worked with Amazon? What was your experience? I would love to hear about it!


Happy travels!

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) amazon camperforce full-time rv kentucky peak season rv-er seasonal jobs work https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/12/my-experience-with-amazon-camperforce Sat, 23 Dec 2017 09:14:56 GMT
Why “If it’s meant to be, it will be” is ridiculous https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/12/why-if-it-s-meant-to-be-it-will-be-is-ridiculous We hear it all the time, “Don’t worry! If it is meant to be, it will be!” It is such a nice thought. It gives us hope in dark times and supports our decisions when they seem too radical. But what does it actually mean? That if something is meant to happen, it is fate and everything will just fall seamlessly into place? Horseshoe BendHorseshoe BendHorseshoe Bend is located near Page, Arizona. This iconic landmark features panoramic views of the Colorado River making a u-turn in the massive canyon.


I have been extremely fortunate in my life. I have two very loving parents, a wonderful sister, incredible family. I have been very blessed to get to travel often and abundantly. I have known love. I have worked some incredible jobs and viewed extraordinary places. Some of that was a situation that may be fate, but it all involved an incredible amount of work. The opportunity may be fate, what you make of it is not.


It was possibly fate for me to see a Facebook post from one of my friends who was working as a Tour Guide. It was an incredible amount of work to quit my job, complete training, and work as a tour leader across the country. It was possibly fate to run a tour last summer and meet one of my favorite people. But it has taken effort to maintain a transcontinental friendship. It was possibly fate for me to have seen a job posting for Glacier National Park Conservancy. It was a huge amount of work to sell my house, buy a trailer, get to Montana, get the job, and work at a high energy level for several months.


It was possibly fate, but more likely, it was recognition of an opportunity and hard work to make something wonderful happen.


By claiming it is fate, we almost diminish the amount of work we put forward to make something happen. We are saying that this same outcome would have happened no matter how hard we try. We are saying, we don’t even need to try because fate will work itself out. But that doesn’t feel right to me.


We also close ourselves off to possibilities because fate hasn’t led an opportunity to fall into our laps.  We are saying that because fate hasn’t allowed us to win the lottery we can never be insanely wealthy. We are saying that because fate hasn’t delivered the perfect job to us that we must power through in a job we hate. When, in reality, we create our own opportunities for a better job, a better situation, a better life. We are completely capable of making something amazing happen.


If fate hasn’t created your perfect “meant to be” situation, stop waiting. Create your own opportunities and live the life you want.


angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) fate meant to be solo traveler traveler https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/12/why-if-it-s-meant-to-be-it-will-be-is-ridiculous Sat, 09 Dec 2017 10:19:18 GMT
Top 5 Hikes at Glacier National Park https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/11/top-5-hikes-at-glacier-national-park Acclaimed as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park has something for everyone. Mountains, lakes, waterfalls, wildlife, alpines, meadows, scenic roads, backcountry camping, boardwalk trails, and multi-day treks. An unwavering attitude to keep wildlife wild makes this park ideal for experiencing nature as it was intended. Glacier National Park is a hiker’s paradise with 734 miles of trails. In one summer I fell madly in love with this park and hiked 101 miles of this beautiful place. With 88 different trails, I only scratched the surface, but here are my recommendations for the best hikes. 


1) Avalanche Lake (West Glacier)

Bearhat Mountain reflected in Avalanche Lake This was the first hike I did in Glacier and lucked out with my first grizzly sighting also. A sow and her two cubs were wandering along the shore of Avalanche Lake. I recommend this hike earlier in early May to beat the crowds. There will likely be more opportunities for wildlife sightings and the beautiful Avalanche Creek will be more impressive. This very popular trail will be crowded during peak season (June, July, August), and rightfully so. It offers beautiful views of a 500-year-old Cedar Forest, crystal blue creek, mountain cliffs where Mountain Goats can often be spotted, and views of Bearhat Mountain. During the right time of day, Bearhat Mountain is reflected beautifully in Avalanche Lake. The trail is a fairly steady moderate climb all the way through.

4.6 miles round trip, 600 ft elevation change 



2) Highline Trail (Logan Pass) 

Birdwoman Falls at Logan Pass This was the last trail I did in Glacier. I waited until late September to do this hike after the peak season crowds had mostly cleared out. This trail can be snow-covered in some areas which can make the narrow trail even more intimidating. If you have a fear of heights this trail may not be for you. The first mile or so tracks along the cliffside above the Going-to-the-sun-road. This is an out-and-back trail with many options. Many people turn around at Garden Wall, approximately 4 miles roundtrip. You still get excellent views of Logan Pass, Clements Mountain, Oberlin Mountain, Bird Woman Falls, and Lake McDonald on a clear day. If you continue on you can add a 2-mile roundtrip steep trail to your hike to see Swiftcurrent Glacier and Upper Grinnell Glacier Lake. The technical end of the trail is Granite Park Chalet. One of the many historic structures in the park. With advance reservations, you can stay at this chalet and wake up to the beautiful views of the mountains. One of the most popular options is to hike to The Loop, adding a significant elevation change but cutting a few miles off the total distance. The last 4 miles down to The Loop are quite steep. If you have bad knees, this may not be the best option But, the West Shuttle service stops at The Loop where you can hop on and get a ride back to your car at Logan Pass or Avalanche Creek. The first several miles of the trail are fairly level except for a couple small climbs. If you add the Glacier Overlooks, or shortcut down to The Loop, you will experience more elevation change. Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats often frequent this trail.

11.4 miles round trip, 1,300 ft elevation change


3) Grinnell Glacier (Many Glacier) Grinnell Glacier TrailView of Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, and Grinnell Lake along the Grinnell Glacier trail.

A longer, steeper hike than many on this list but it has two major things going for it. There is one point on the trail where you have a stunning view of Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, and Grinnell Lake. This is the only trail on the list where you actually see a Glacier. I lucked out on this trail and water still flowed down a small waterfall that crossed the trail which was a nice way to cool off on a hot summer day. There are sections of this trail with a steep drop-off, if you are afraid of heights this may not be the trail for you. There is very little shade so bring more water than you think you will need on hot days. The first few miles of this trail track along Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine before you start your climb up the mountains. When you get to Angel Wing viewpoint and look back down the valley you will see the three lakes in their beautiful blues caused by the “glacial flour” which is sediment ground by the moving glaciers. When you finally make it to the top after a steep climb and several rock stairs you will be treated to stunning views of Upper Grinnell Lake, Grinnell Glacier, and Salamander Glacier along the Garden Wall. Along the other side of the Garden Wall is the Going-to-the-sun-road and the Highline Trail. Should you add the Grinnell Glacier Overlook addition to the Highline trail, this is the lake you would see from on top of the Garden Wall.

10.3 miles round trip, 1,700 ft elevation change


4) Iceberg Lake (Many Glacier) Iceberg Lake, Glacier National ParkRugged mountains tower over Iceberg Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana.

Very similar to Grinnell Glacier but without the glaciers or the views of the three lakes. Even without those elements, I still loved this trail. This hike is all about timing. Go too early in the season and the trail will be mostly snow-covered. Go too late and the namesake icebergs could be all melted. But no matter what, it is a beautiful trail. Iceberg is a somewhat easier hike than Grinnell Glacier with a very rewarding view. The summer I completed this trail, the Beargrass was in a super bloom, filling the hillside with the beautiful plant. This plant blooms most years but every 5-7 experiences a super bloom. 2017 was a good year for the super bloom. Even without the Beargrass the views are spectacular. Get the steepest climb out of the way right off the bat before hitting a gradual climb for the majority of the hike. Grizzlies often frequent this trail so make sure to check the trail status before embarking. You will pass over Wilbur Creek, a popular rest stop, as you break out of the forest and your view opens to great views of the glacially carved U-valley as you hike toward the lake. Many people cool off with a dip in the icy water before making the trek back down the mountain.

9.6 miles round trip, 1,400 ft elevation change


5) Hidden Lake (Logan Pass) Bearhat Mountain at Hidden Lake overlook.

The shortest trail on this list starts just behind the Visitor Center at Logan Pass. This trail can be snow-covered most of the season which can mean lots of slipping, falling, and laughing as you try to make your way down the steep mountain. When the snow is melted the trail begins as asphalt before turning to boardwalk. You will have to climb several steep stairs to get to the Hidden Lake Overlook. Mountain Goats and Grizzlies often frequent this area. Many people will turn around at the overlook, or you can continue down to the lake. The additional 1.2 miles to the lake are very steep and makes for an uphill both ways situation. This additional stretch is often closed due to bear frequenting as well so make sure to check trail status. You don’t have to hike down to the lake to get incredible views. The overlook affords beautiful views of the alpine cliffs, emerald blue water, and the other side of Bearhat Mountain. This is a great spot to watch sunset or sunrise.

2.8 miles round trip to overlook, 500 ft elevation change


You really need several days in order to fully experience Glacier National Park. I was there for five months and still feel there is so much more to see. Always hike in groups and bring plenty of water and food. Bear bells are ineffective in deterring bears, the best defense is just to make human noises along the trail so you don't surprise a bear. Bear spray is the only approved defense in a bear attack situation and is recommended for any trail at Glacier National Park. Always check the park conditions before planning your trip here https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm. 

Happy trails!

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) avalanche lake backpack glacier national park grinnell glacier hidden lake highline trail hike hiker holiday iceberg lake landscape montana nature outdoors summer trail traveler vacation https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/11/top-5-hikes-at-glacier-national-park Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:03:13 GMT
How being a solo female traveler has made me a hopeless romantic https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/11/how-being-a-solo-female-traveler-has-made-me-a-hopeless-romantic Polebridge- Glacier National Park MontanaThe Big Dipper shines in the night sky of Polebridge Montana.


I feel like I have read quite a few articles recently by women talking about how it is impossible to date them as a solo female traveler. I always nod along in agreement, thinking yes that happens to me! But somehow, I think I have become more of a romantic. Believing in that one true love. And here’s why.


  1. I spend a lot of time in very romantic places. Stargazing curled up in a blanket in the Badlands. Watching the sunset over the rock spires in Monument Valley. Drinking cocktails watching the ocean waves roll in on the beach. I love doing these things by myself, but it makes me think about having a special someone sitting next to me.
  2. I don’t stay long enough for a relationship to go south. Lately I have only been in one place long enough to get those feelings before it is time for me to take off again. So all I am left with is the happy memories. Sunset walks along the golf course. Surprising me with flowers in between meetings. Full moon hikes. Playing frisbee on the coast. Day drinking floating down a river.  Then I leave and I am left thinking “What if?”
  3. I spend hours alone with my thoughts. I am pretty easily entertained and can generally drive for long hours no problem. But after a few long drive days in a row, lonely sleepless nights, and too many hours alone with my thoughts, I become bored. Then I think about those past relationships and all those happy memories.
  4. I spend way too much time watching Hallmark movies and reading cheesy romance novels. It’s hard keeping up with new shows when your schedule is constantly changing. So instead of watching the same reruns over and over, I watch Hallmark movies. Their over-the-top storylines and less than gripping acting has me swooning for my own Hallmark movie. It doesn’t help that I read cheesy romance novels waiting for the sunset to light up the landscape, or the stars to come out.
  5. Everywhere I look, I see happy couples. Sure there are a lot of tired parents dealing with unruly children, but there are also a lot of couples seeing an incredible place for the first time. Couples taking selfies with their loves. People getting engaged at breathtaking locations.
  6. Pinterest. I am on Pinterest semi-regularly. Usually to get ideas on things to do for upcoming trips or organization strategies for my trailer. But, of course, my Pinterest feed is sometimes filled with designer wedding gowns, unique engagement rings, DIY ideas for the reception, etc.
  7. A lot of my friends are married. My Facebook feed is constantly filled with wedding and honeymoon photos, engagement photos, baby photos, anniversary photos, it’s Friday and I love you photos. As much as I am truly happy for them, it’s a lot of naked babies.
  8. I believe it is quite difficult to actually find a person to marry and therefore am always impressed by those that do. For two people to meet, date, fall in love and get married is quite an impressive accomplishment. Meeting is hard enough, even with those dating apps. Then there are so many options, it is nearly impossible to not be tempted by what else is out there. You have to be in the same general geographic area. Your schedules have to line up, at least a little bit, or you will never see each other. You have to agree on major political, social, and religious topics or at least be willing to never talk about it. Want to have a baby and she doesn’t? Bummer. Then you have to love all the little nuances about this person. Then, if all that lines up. You have to stay in one place longer than a few months.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and I am so grateful I have this opportunity. I love my freedom and independence. I love being able to do whatever I want and knowing that I can. But what if, I had a partner that made the hard things a little less hard, and made the wonderful things even more wonderful. How much better could this experience be, with the love of my life sitting right beside me?

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) dating dream explore female independent love relationships romantic solo travel traveler https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/11/how-being-a-solo-female-traveler-has-made-me-a-hopeless-romantic Sat, 04 Nov 2017 22:13:10 GMT
There is always a Good Bye https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/10/there-is-always-a-good-bye Mount RushmoreFollow your dreams I have been putting off this blog for a while now. I feel like I have so much to say but I never can find the right words. And maybe today isn't the best day to start this, but I am going to anyways.


Here I am, saying Good Bye again. My last post talks about my love for my first home, and looking forward to being home where ever I am in my trailer. But yesterday I left Montana, and felt as though I had just left the place I most belonged. I loved growing up in Oregon but it never really felt like I fit there. Arizona was a bit closer. And when I bought my first house, the people who shared that house with me, made it home. But in Montana, my heart was so full.


In May I moved to Montana to work at Glacier National Park for the summer. It was an incredible summer to say the least. I got to experience all four seasons at the park in five months. For the most part, I worked at Logan Pass. The view along the Going-to-the-Sun-Road of Birdwoman Falls is easily one of my favorite views of the park. Which is part of why I had it tattooed on my arm. To say I fell in love with Glacier National Park and Montana would be an understatement. 


This is not the first time I have left a place and people I love. The first time I left Arizona, last summer, I wasn’t entirely sure when I was going to come back. I knew that I would, I just didn’t know when. It was more of a temporary good bye. During that first summer on the road, I had to say good bye to places and people on a weekly basis. It was a challenging summer in many ways. When I came back it wasn’t long before I was off again. But “permanently”. I sold my house and had no absolutely necessary reasons to return, other than to see friends and family. It was a harder good bye. There was no “I will see you in three months.” It was just, I am leaving and I don’t know when I will be back. I knew I would see my sister, aunt, and uncle again… but I didn’t know when I would see anyone else. And I had to leave some pretty amazing people.


As hard as that time was, I think yesterday was harder. Not only was I saying good bye to people I cared about, but also a place that I felt more connected to than anyplace before. Everyone there welcomed me with open arms. I felt as though I was leaving my home yet again.


It didn’t help that I was alone in my car, slowly driving across three states for the better part of 30 hours before I had a proper meal. By the time I got to Mount Rushmore, I was tired, hungry, emotional, and beat up. I had spent most of the day questioning my life choices. I have always highly valued my freedom. I mean, that is one of the main reasons people opt for a life on the road. But I kept thinking, at what point does the pain of saying good bye to people and places I love, defeat the love of freedom with life on the road. Maybe it already has. Maybe by the time I get to Kentucky I will fall in love again.


But there I was, considering my next move. Underneath the monument of Presidents representing Independence, Growth, Development, and Preservation. Together representing Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.


angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/10/there-is-always-a-good-bye Wed, 18 Oct 2017 04:04:30 GMT
My First Home https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/10/my-first-home A salute to my first homeArizona

A Salute to my first home

For the last few years, I have loved calling this house my home. My Aunt and Uncle helped make that possible. My best friend, Kathleen, helped me build this house into a home.  When Kathleen moved out, my sister helped me keep it a home. Through all my travels, I have loved being able to come back here. It was always a much-needed constant in my ever-changing life. I have always wanted a place to call mine, and that’s what this was. I was very blessed that I didn’t have enormous repair or renovation costs during the time I lived here.


When I first saw this house, the paint was an ugly tan color, the carpet needed to be replaced, and the kitchen needed an overhaul. Right away I had the carpets replaced and, with the help of some of my friends, we repainted. I never did redo the kitchen, mostly because I spent all my money traveling. But I made this house my own and that’s all I wanted. I remember one-night spray painting the vanity in the half bath after a few too many Bloody Mary's. Yet somehow, it still came out great. I designed a full outdoor oasis that I never materialized. This house has so much potential, it just needed someone to spend the money to finish it. Instead of replacing the kitchen appliances, I went to Hawaii. Instead of refinishing the cabinets, I went on a hot air balloon ride in Lake Havasu. And instead of finishing the kitchen, I am selling the house for a life on the road. It was bound to happen. My family asks “where are you” more often than they ask “how are you”. My dad considers my decision to live in a travel trailer for the upcoming summer “normal” compared to what I did last year. But still, I feel this house deserves to be honored for what it was to me. My first home. The first place I could truly call my own.


Although I did not live here long by myself or finish all the projects I set out to, I still loved this home. I have laughed, cried, celebrated, and feared in this home. I have left for months on end. But I have, above all else, loved in this home. I have loved the people that helped me move in, and out. I have loved the people that enjoyed a movie on the couch and a drink in the backyard. I have loved Atticus and Mandi for the unconditional love and antics animals bring. I have loved Kathleen and Cori for making this home so special to me. I have loved the relationships I have held throughout my years here and what they have taught me. Some of my favorite memories will always be dancing around my kitchen, listening to Chris Stapleton, enjoying coffee, while making breakfast. I have loved walking along the golf course and my views of the Superstition Mountains. I have loved the sun shining through the windows and the breeze that rustles the curtains. I have loved the game nights, and the movie nights. I have loved the rolling thunderstorms shaking the house, and the quiet nights where you can hear the soft breeze in the trees outside. And I have learned to truly learned to love the smallest things.


As I sit writing this, the bedrooms are empty and clean, while my living room looks like all hell broke loose. Tomorrow I will move the last of my belongings into a tent and eventually into a trailer. I don’t even know where I will be a month from now but I know this next step is exactly what I am supposed to do with my life and I just cannot wait to always be home, no matter where I am.


But this, will forever be my first home.


**This post was originally dated February 27, 2017 and was posted on another site. For simplicity, I am moving this post to this page.**

angela.goin@outlook.com (Hope Photography) https://www.hopephotographyag.com/blog/2017/10/my-first-home Wed, 18 Oct 2017 03:32:46 GMT