Alone in Europe

I have been traveling alone in Europe for the past two and a half weeks. I am a girl and I am alone.

Since graduating high school I have gained a love to travel. I am also looking where to go next and how I’m going to afford it. I took a gap year and worked so that’s I could travel. I work during the school year to travel. Most of the money I earn I putting into savings so I can travel.

Before this summer, I have always had someone willing to travel with me. But, this summer everyone either couldn’t afford to or had plans already. So I booked a flight to Europe for a month and made no plans other then to visit my two friends.

The reason I made no plans was because it made it seem real that I would be alone. I was so scared to be alone and traveling. I have traveled alone in the United States but never internationally. I even live alone and was scared to be all alone somewhere.

However, throughout my life I have learned that when I push myself out of my comfort zone I feel my most alive.

So I did it and now I’m here in Corfu, Greece. Sitting in a Starbucks writing this from my iPhone.

This trip has made me realize so much about myself and how strong I can be. I have traveled to 4 countries alone and will go to six by the end of this trip. I have learned to lean into my anxieties and find ways to calm myself. I have seen beautiful places and met beautiful people. I feel I’m becoming more confident in myself and who I am and what I am capable of.

Overall, yes traveling alone as a female can seem scary but it is best to face those fears. To embrace them and let yourself be free.

Hikes Near Eugene, Oregon.

Over the past three years of living in Eugene, I have been able to discover some pretty cool hikes. I love sharing places to go because it makes the outdoors more accessible for everyone.

So below is a list of my favorite hikes in and around Eugene. Some I put because they are easily accessible for people around Eugene and the others are just nice hikes near Eugene.

Fall Creek

Every term, I go to fall creek at least three or times. It is usually never crowded during the week and I only see around one or two other people every time. It is a  peaceful getaway that is close to Eugene. There are multiple hikes in the area, some have been closed for fire damage. I usually do the Fall Creek Trail. I know currently there are a lot of fallen trees on the trail but normally it is a very nice trail.

Mt. Fuji

Zoli at the peak of Mt. Fuji.

Zoli at the peak of Mt. Fuji.

The view from the top of Mt. Fuji is spectacular. It can be relatively easy hike depending on where you start. There is a 360 view of the surroundings at the top. You can see Waldo Lake, Odell Lake, and many peaks around. The hikes can range from around 15 miles to three and a half, depending where you chose to start. When I hiked Mt. Fuji, I met the women who runs Hike Oregon. She has great content on hikes in Oregon and ones near Eugene.  

Mt. Pisgah

Sunset at Mt. Pisgah

Sunset at Mt. Pisgah

Mt. Pisgah is a 15 minute drive from Eugene and has a large amount of hiking for being so close to Eugene. You can hike to the peak or do a more relaxed hike near the bottom. There is a lot of birds throughout Mt. Pisgah and sometimes dears. Getting out to Mt. Pisgah early in the morning is a great choice because not many people are out and it is good hike to do before school.

Waldo Lake

Waldo Lake

Waldo Lake

Last year, I hiked around Waldo and it was great and relaxing. No one was there and my friends and I swam in the freezing cold water. However, I went back two weeks later and there was a disturbing amount of mosquitoes. Luckily, I keep bug spray in my car. Even with bug spray I got a couple bits. My mother chose not to wear bug spray on her face and she got about twenty mosquito bites on her face. To hike around the whole lake is 20 miles. Many people chose to backpack around the lake. They will hike about ten miles one day and camp out and finish it the next. This would be a great way to start backpacking. The hike is very flat and easily done by people with no hiking experience, if they hike and turn back. Usually, I hike a certain amount and then turn back. Also, Waldo Lake is a great lake for kayaking and paddle boarding.

Yoran Lake Trail

River along the Yoran Lake Trail

River along the Yoran Lake Trail

This past weekend, I went out to Odell Lake and tried to do the Yoran Lake Trail. It is a relatively easy hike but I did not make it that far. Odell Lake received over 26 inches of snow this season at the base. This is a large amount of snow for Odell Lake. So as I tired to hike the Yoran Lake Trail it was covered in snow. I made it around 3 miles according to my GPS watch but I turned around because it was impossible to see the trail. I added this to the list because I really enjoyed the hike and I am going to do it when more of the snow melts.

Umpqua National Forest

North Umpqua Trail

North Umpqua Trail

Umpqua National Forest has so many great hikes and usually is not crowded. I recommend the North Umpqua Trail hike and Trestle Creek Falls Loop. They are both very pleasant hikes. Trestle Creek Falls Loop has a ton of waterfalls and you can bring your dog on the hike.

Trestle Creek Falls Loop.

Trestle Creek Falls Loop.

Here is a I made to a story map about these hikes. I also included a couple more that I like in the map.

Breaking Female Stereotypes in Salomons New Social Media Campaign

In recent weeks, Salomon an outdoor clothing and shoe company released a new social media campaign focused on combating female stereotypes. The campaign ask participants to post a photo on Instagram or Twitter that they believe challenges a female stereotype and come up with a catchy caption to go along. All post must be tagged with the #SalomonWMN and @salomon (@salomonsports on Twitter).

The top ten entries win an invitation to the Salomon Women’s Weekend. Twenty top finalists win a new backpack that Salomon just released.

Salomon is doing with this campaign what many other outdoor brands fail to do, break female stereotypes in nature. This campaign is pointing out the stereotypes that women live with and showing how women break those stereotypes.

In its bare bones, this campaign is very similar to many other social media campaigns. It has a prize that can be won and you have to mention the brand in your post. The difference is that there is a focus on women in the outdoors.

Personally, I have seen few campaigns that focus on women breaking stereotypes in sports or the outdoors. One notable campaign is REI’s “Force of Nature” campaign.  This REI campaign is similar to Salomon, however I never of heard of the REI campaign when it was released. Also, I find this video to be uninspiring and not interactive for the viewer. I enjoy what REI is trying to do with the campaign however I do not think that it really challenges these stereotypes.  

I really enjoy Salomon’s campaign and the focus on breaking female stereotypes in the outdoors. However, I do think Salomon could do more with this campaign. Just having it on social media makes it not as widely viewed. Salomon should incorporate this campaign into there print and video advertisements. If this is something that the company feels strongly about they should be able to make it a part of the brand’s image.

For the campaign, I decide to make my own Instagram post and this is what I came up with. During the summer of 2018, I went to Argentina and during that time I went spelunking. This photo was taken during one of the narrowest parts of cave. I made the caption “But you might get dirty” because I think one female stereotype is that women always need to be clean and nicely dressed.

But you might get dirty?

But you might get dirty?

Why I Made This Blog

As a child, I lived to run around my backyard and play with my sisters. My fondest memories as a child stem from being outside and enjoying nature. As children, my sister Courtney and I had different territories in the yard that were our “homes”. We spent hours tending to these parts of the yard and pretending to live in these parts of the yards. I chose the area with redwood trees that I could climb to to tippy top to and scare my mother. My mother became so distraught to these climbing tactics that she decided to cut all the branches off that we could reach. That promptly ended my tree climbing career.

I did not grow in a family that went camping, backing or climbing regularly. I grew up in a regular middle class family. On the weekends we would play in sports matches and then hangout at home. My parents did not push me to go outside during every possible moment. I had never gone camping until I was 18 years old.

This is the same for many people throughout the U.S., they grew up with families that were not outdoorsy. However, joining the outdoor community in your twenties can be daunting. Especially for women, since the outdoor community has always been seen as a “boys club”. I found that it was scary to get involved and it was hard for me to feel like I fit in.

I got involved in the outdoor community when I was 18 years old. I had no experience camping, biking, hiking and climbing. I was completely new to all these skills. Especially as a women, I felt getting involved in many man dominated areas was daunting. Over time I got over this fear and learned that I hate rock climbing but love to go trail running. How hiking in pouring rain for hours can really test your strength. Now, I can happily go on a 14 mile hike alone and feel fine about it. It took me a long time to get to this point and I went through many trials and tribulations with the outdoor community before getting here.

This is why I created this blog, I hope to see through a communications angle what the outdoor community is doing and how they are including women. My post may look at what brands are doing from a sustainability point, why are there less sponsored women athletes, and my own personal stories. I found that joining the outdoor community as a women was hard and I want to help change that for others.

By looking at the outdoor community through a communication lens it will allow me and the reader to see what the current culture of the outdoor community is. I hope to shed light on the unequal representation of women in the outdoors and how women get treated differently in nature. In no way was this blog made to hate on the outdoor community but it is rather to show where there is room for improvement. I want this blog to point out what has been going on for years in the outdoor community and why it needs to be more gender inclusive.

Zoli and I on top of Fuji Mountain, Oregon.

Zoli and I on top of Fuji Mountain, Oregon.

My mother and I after hiking the Inca trail

My mother and I after hiking the Inca trail

20 Questions About Me


Since, this is the start of my new blog. I figured I would do a get to know me questionnaire. For people that don’t know me this will help them to understand me a little more. The main focus of MadelineOutside is to spread my travel experience and tips, but since it is about my experiences it is also about me.

Just some background information before I start the questions. I am a Junior at the University of Oregon majoring in Public Relations and Geography. I grew up in the San Francisco bay area and come from a family that has been there for more the 5 generations. I love to experience new things and go to new places.

  1. What’s your favorite book? - I am a reader. Over the course of the year I generally read up to 30 books. When I took a year off from school, I was able to read 60 books throughout the year. My favorite book in the moment is Swell: Sailing the Pacific in Search of Surf and Self by Liz Clark. This book was incredible. I have never read a book and related to so many of the problems that have incurred to an author. Her struggles as a solo-traveler really struck home to me. It showed me I am not the only one with these reservations and fears. The book also taught me that I need to move past these fears and just do it. I read this book coming off a 3 month trip to South America and it just enlightened my need to travel again. Also I now really want to learn how to sail. So hopefully that happens at some time.

  2. Where do you most hope to visit? This is going to sound crazy, but I truly hope to visit every country in the world. I know this isn't necessarily possible. But, I am going to try anyway. So in the end, I am happy to go anywhere, even places that I have already been multiple times.

  3. What is my favorite class in school? In the moment, I am really enjoying my strategic communications class for public relations. It is making me excited about the work I could do in the future. Also, it makes me happy with the choice I made by choosing to be a public relations major. The class is making me more motivated to work in public relations and start my career.

  4. What is your dream job? My dream job would be to do environmental communications for an organization. However, right now I am hoping to do public relations for any type of company. I am just hoping to get a real-life experience of working in public relations.

  5. What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid? I always dreamed of being a baker. I was obsessed with baking. Instead of drawing flowers, I would always draw cake ideas. I exclusively watched the Food Network growing up and regularly would tell my dad what to cook. Sometimes I would pretend to be sick, just so that I could stay home and bake. Baking was something that I could do all alone and that I was good at.

  6. What’s one of your favorite memories?- Many of my memories stem back to specific events or trips. I think my favorite memory is going horseback riding with my entire family in New Mexico when I was about eight. It started hailing outside and a giant storm system came through. We were in the back country of New Mexico with one guide. My family was not outdoorsy and we were very unprepared. My father chose to not wear a helmet, so the hail was painful for fun for him. This is my favorite memory because my family was doing an activity altogether that was adventures.

  7. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self? - This is funny question for me to answer, seeing as this was only four years ago. But when I turned 18 I was in high school with no idea what I wanted to do. If I could tell my 18-year old self something, I would say embrace what you want to do. I really wanted to take a gap year however my parents were not into it. At the time I felt a strong need to please my parents. So instead of planning out a gap year, I decide to go to college. Which ended up not happening and me taking an unplanned gap year. Which, to this day is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  8. If you could invite 3 people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would they be, and why? - First, I would invite both my grandmothers because I would really want to know there thoughts now that I am older. I was 15 when my mother’s mom died and 17 when my father’s mother died. I know that is not terribly young, but I feel like I wish I could have known them better. Then I would invite Julia Child probably just because I was obsessed with her when I was younger. I looked up to her as a chef and being a self-made woman.

  9. What’s your guilty pleasure? Reality TV. Without a doubt. I love a good reality television show. I am not into the Bachelor. But, I really enjoy Jersey Shore or Teen Mom.

  10. If you had to choose only 3 adjectives to describe yourself, which would you choose? - Independent, Curious, and Adventurous

  11. What is a dream you have that you’ve yet to achieve? - I have always dreamed of joining the Peace Corps. Since sophomore year of high school, when my teacher talked about her experience in the Peace Corps I have always wanted to join. I have told all my close friends I want to. It is something I truly want to do and hope to do in the near future.

  12. What was the last thing you read digital or in print? - Last thing I read fully was Palestine by Joe Sacco. I currently am in a Comparative literature class on war and politics in comics. It’s a interesting class and of course I love a good graphic novel. The book was very intense, however I did enjoy it. Also the book is written by a University of Oregon graduate which is cool.

  13. What are you most proud of in the last year?  - I am most proud is my health. During my three months in South America in the summer of 2018, I gained a nasty stomach issue. It caused me to feel terribly sick for 5 months. I lost around 20 pounds. Which before this I never really had any major health issues. It made me realize how lucky I am for my health and I never take a good day for grantee. Some days I still feel very sick but they are becoming less and less.

  14. What would be the title of your memoir? - How do you spell that?

  15. What was the best birthday you ever had?  - My 22nd birthday was one of my favorites. I had a large party with all my friends and it was just a good time. All I want in a birthday is to be surrounded by friends and family.

  16. What is your favorite video game? - Mario Kart but on the GameCube. It is by far the best video game ever.

  17. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been? - I feel that ever place has some type of beauty in it. The only place I have ever been truly awed by the beauty was in Bariloche, Argentina. I went on a hike with my mother and it was raining the whole time. When we got to the top of the hike there was a full rainbow perfectly around a valley. It is to this day, the best view I have ever seen.

  18. If you could shop for free at one store, which would you choose? - Goodwill. It is cheap and it has all categories of items. Also, I prefer to not buy new clothes because of how it affects the environment.

  19. What's a movie you can practically quote from start to finish? - I don't really have a movie that I can quote fully but a TV show I do have. I was obsessed and I mean OBSESSED with Gilmore Girls growing up. Literally, everyday at 4 it would air on ABC family and I had to watch it. My mother use to use it as a way for me to do my homework. First, I had to do my homework then I could watch Gilmore Girls. Not shockingly it worked.

  20. What’s your pet peeve?  - This is a very Eugene thing to say but my biggest pet peeve is people riding their bikes on the side walks. It is annoying and I have seen multiple people get hit by cars because of riding their bikes on the sidewalk.