Blogger Spotlight: Marinel

By Giovanna Tapia

After working as a lawyer in corporate america for 15 years, Marinel decided to transition out of that lifestyle to become a full-time mountain nomad and trekker. Through her blog, Brown Gal Trekker, podcasts, and workshops, she hopes to inspire others to do the same and explore more of the beautiful world we live in.

The blogger, Marinel, in front of mountains.

Marinel on one of her many trekking adventures.

Most recently, Marinel went back to the her homestate of Washington, where she explored the stunning, glacier-filled Mt. Baker and the lush Snoqualmie National Forest. We'll let her fill you in on her stay in the Evergreen state!

A landscape photo of Mt. Baker in Washington.

It's no wonder Washington is called The Evergreen State, look at all that green!

What was the best part about glamping in Washington state?

I love the convenience of the accommodations, in terms of its location and proximity to the major sights and trails in the area. In Mount Baker, for example, the accommodations were near the town center, where I dined or bought any necessities. At the same time, the trail heads were just a few minutes away.

Describe each of the accommodations you stayed in, in three words:

Rejuvenating. Cozy. Convenient.

A photo of the cabin in Mt. Baker from the exterior.

This cozy cabin is the perfect place to relax and rest up after a long day of trekking.

How did you get into trekking and hiking?

I discovered it later in life when I moved from Seattle to Washington, D.C., where I practiced as a prosecutor. My job was highly stressful, and as a result, I was looking for an outlet to destress. That's when I discovered there was a large national park near D.C. and one day, I decided to try hiking it.

That first time hiking was somewhat unpleasant, because everybody was walking at different paces, and many hikers were being left behind. To be honest, it was almost my first and last time hiking, but for some reason I decided to try it again.

From there, hiking became a ritual to allow myself to get away from everyday chores and obligations. I then discovered wilderness backpacking, which quickly became my favorite way of spending time in the outdoors, besides my usual affinity towards traveling overseas.

A landscape of Artist's Point in Mt. Baker, Washington.

The gorgeous view of Mt. Baker glacial peaks from Artist's Point

Do you prefer traveling solo or in groups? Why?

I find joy in doing both. Obviously, travleing in groups affords the ability to share the experience with others which can add more meaning to it. However, going solo requires you to reconnect with yourself and enjoy sometime to reflect on life. Solo traveling is a great way to experience freedom in the sense that we are able to roam wherever, whenever, and however we want.

A stunning view of Lake Ann in Mt. Baker, Washington.

The pristine and calm waters of Lake Ann of Mount Baker make for a beautiful spot to sit and reflect (literally!).

What is your favorite season to glamp? Why?

I find anytime can be the perfect time to glamp, especially since glamping means you have the comfort of having a warm bed, hot showers, and home-cooked meals. That's exactly why it's quite a treat to be able to glamp as opposed to camping or staying overnight in the outdoors—glamping allows for you to spend time in nature anytime without worrying about the weather or other natural elements.

A view of the Chain Lakes Loop and Lake Ann trails in Washington.

Marinal hiked along the Trail Lake Loops in Mount Baker, pictured above.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the fall?

Fall is my favorite time for hiking and trekking—so traveling in general would take me to the national parks in the West Coast or perhaps overseas in Europe somewhere or in far away places like Mongolia.

Where are your favorite places to travel in the summer?

As summer can be rather hot in the U.S., I would prefer to travel to places in South America or Africa.

For more unique, nature-based getaways in Washington, have a peek at our Washington portal!


Check out where else Marinel's trekking and travels have taken her on her blog, Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram. You can also hear more about her transition from working as a lawyer in corporate America to becoming a full-time nomad on SoundCloud!

4 Unique Ideas for a Romantic Getaway in Texas

By Giovanna Tapia

Looking to plan a romantic evening with your significant other, but running out of new ideas to keep the spark burning? Look no further, the Lone Star state has plenty of romance-filled options that will leave you wondering why it is referred to as the Lone Star state to begin with!

couple with dog on couch

Get up and off your couch—explore the great state of Texas in style with your significant other!

Here are just a few of our favorite romantic Texan activities to enjoy with your partner.

1) Explore the vineyards of Texas' countryside

grapes on a vine in Texas wine country

The wineries and vineyards of the Texas Hill Country are some of the largest wine producers in the United States.

Uncork and unwind by indulging in some Texan wine at one of the many vineyards through Texas' countryside. Though Texas might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of fine wine, the heart of the state's countryside happens to be one of the largest and oldest wine-growing regions in the United States. Wine Road 290, in particular, is becoming increasingly famous for its scenic vineyards set amid the rolling countryside hills. Wine not check it out yourselves?

We recommend staying at this quirky and romantic cabin rental in the charming German-influenced town of Fredricksburg.

quirky-romantic-cabin-rental-texas-getaway

Fredericksburg offers plenty of glamping accommodations for couples looking to experience Wine Road 290.

If you are looking for a bit more of a secluded experience instead, check out this adorable tiny house that sits within close proximity to some of the best vineyards:

Charming Tiny House for Two in Texas Hill Country

Join the tiny house movement and enjoy a stay at this hand-crafted tiny house in the Texan Hill Country.

2) Go stargazing in the desert

Stargazing in Texas desert near Terlingua

There are few places better than Western Texas for a romantic night of stargazing.

Embrace the Dark Sky Ordinance and go stargazing in Western Texas, where the dry desert air makes for some of the brightest stars you'll ever see. Allow yourselves to get away from all of the light pollution of the inner city and let the Texan stars light up your world instead.

If this sounds like something for you and your honey, head over to Terlingua, Texas, which is known to be one of the best places to experience total seclusion and truly dark skies. Snuggle up with your significant other in this unique eco-dome for a truly unforgettable experience.

stargazing from an eco-dome in Texas

This unique eco-dome is just two miles from the ghost town of Terlingua.

3) Explore a geological wonder

If you and your significant other are looking to get hot and sweaty, might we suggest taking one of the more strenuous hiking paths in the beautiful Big Bend National Park? This National Park is located in western Texas and is so mesmerizing that it is often referred to as a geologic wonder by scientists. The dramatic mountain range surrounded by weather beaten canyons and arid desert is sure to provide an adventurous getaway for any couple!

Glamping near Big Bend National Park, Texas

Big Bend National Park is a wildly stunning natural region with a fascinating history.

Check out this wonderfully unique adobe cottage rental that allows great access to Big Bend National Park, while also providing complete privacy and comfort.

This cottage is conveniently located near Big Bend Ranch State Park and Big Bend National Park.

4) Pamper yourself in seclusion

Want to get away from it all without sacrificing style and comfort? Allow yourselves to be pampered with massages, wine and cheese, and chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne while being just minutes from the gorgeous Guadalupe River at this rustic cabin.

Treat yourselves to a pampered getaway in the Texan countryside.

Here, couples can relax in the hammock, take a stroll through the gardens, cozy up around the fire pit, or soak in the outdoor hot tub—all while taking in the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Even our friends over at Texas Outside are singing glamping's praises and have come up with a great breakdown of nine different types of accommodations in Texas. What are you waiting for? Check it out here!


Want to book your romantic getaway for this fall? Check out our Fall Getaway Collection for a countrywide selection of our unique accommodations!