In 2012, my husband and I, along with our 4 children (then ages 2, 5, 7 and 9) walked the famous ‘Way’ pilgrimage: The Camino de Santiago. I remember spending weeks researching the right gear for the trip. One of the essentials most important to me was my backpack. I spent hours pouring over online reviews. I wanted a pack that would fit well with my smaller frame, but promised to be comfortable. After all, I would wear it for hours each day for days.
The pack I ended up purchasing, and one that I have subsequently recommended to friends and to-be pilgrims was/is the Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Hiking Backpack.
You might ask, why are you writing about this backpack 6 years after you walked the Camino de Santiago? Well, I am now planning another big hiking adventure and my (now) teenager needed a backpack. I wanted to find a lightweight, women’s fit backpack and guess what pack once again appeared consistently at the top of all reviews?
Yep, you guessed it.
The Deuter ACT Trail 28 SL Hiking Backpack.
So, I bought it. Comparing the pack to my six year old pack, it seems there are few changes, if any, besides the removal of a strap and a less bulky hip belt pocket–changes which I assume help reduce the weight of this already light pack.
I’m the mom who drags her kids around Manhattan just to get a good chai latte. There is no such thing as a ‘long block’ when chai is calling my name.
For me, a good chai latte consists of the right amount of spice and sweetness with mild, not bitter almond milk.
Given how much time I spend at Starbucks #starbucksschooling my kids, you might guess that I’d be obsessed with Starbucks chai lattes. Nope, no sale. I like Starbucks chai lattes if they contain regular, cow’s milk, but I prefer to avoid dairy when I can. While my teen really likes Starbucks almond milk, I think it is bitter and has an overly roasted, almond, nutty taste. She thinks maybe I’m a bit nutty. I also think the chai concentrate that Starbucks uses is heavy on the sweetness and light on the spice.
When I’m in NYC, I enjoy trying chai lattes at the many unique coffee shops scattered around the city. When I’m in the mood for a sure-to-like cup, these are my go-to coffee shops for a good chai latte. They serve chai lattes made not from real spices and/or a pre-made concentrate, and not from powder mixes.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters at Amazon
Best Chai Lattes in New York City
In 2015, we took off on a 50 State Adventure. 1 Mom + 4 Kids. In a 31 Foot RV. Mom in the driver’s seat. My tween as co-pilot and expert navigator. My 3 others as entertainment crew. My husband flew to meet us around the country on weekends. We completed the contiguous 48 States that year in just under 6 months. In 2016, our family flew to Hawaii (our 49th State). In early 2017, we flew to Alaska to complete our epic 50 State Tour.
You can read about our adventure on our blog. But quite honestly, the posts are few and far between, as we spent more time adventuring and driving than writing or documenting the details of our adventure, other than through photographs.
Along the way, we raised awareness and money for Suicide Awareness and Prevention. We named our mission Miles of Light in honor of my children’s grandfather and my husband’s incredible father who took his life in 2014. He was a beautiful being who would have loved hearing our road stories.
Our story was featured on She Explores. You can read that here.
Our photos can be found on Instagram @wanderschooling.
There is nothing quite like the RVlife / vanlife / full-time travel / nomadic lifestyle and experience. It is life altering. Every mile, every road forever shapes everything ahead.
We are so glad you found us. We hope you’ll wander with us. Follow us on Instagram and we’ll follow your family adventures back.