Hey guys! So I just turned 26 this past weekend. To celebrate, I spent five days with family and friends at my cottage in Michigan and it was glorious (aside from political drama – I can't wait for this election to be over).

The strawberry cake I've had every year since I was 16

I have so much I want to share with you on the blog. Namely, my trip to Iceland back in May.

But this summer is flying by – how is it already the end of July?! And with all this beautiful warm weather, frankly the last thing I want to be doing is writing blog posts. So I'm going to take a brief blogging break until the beginning on September, when I'll be back in full force. (Or as full force as I get these days – about a post a week, ha.)

Upcoming plans

I'm headed to Europe in late September! More specifically to England (Manchester, Lakes District, London) and France (Paris, Brittany). Plans include seeing friends, drinking in pubs, and smuggling raw cheese back from the motherland.

And if all goes well, I'm going to Africa for Christmas!!! I have six family members living in Kampala, Uganda, and it's time to pay them a visit. I've wanted to travel to Africa since I was a child and am beyond excited to finally see it (As a kid I used to obsessively draw safari animals – anyone remember Drawing Discoveries?)

Recap of goals

As you may remember, I made some goals on my last birthday. Here's how I did:

1. Visit three new American cities.

I half-did this. I visited Seattle, and hit up several cities I've visited before (San Francisco twice, Chicago twice), as well as some smaller cities like Telluride and Newport Beach, California. Which honestly is fine – my trip to Seattle was really expensive, and I'd rather visit cities where my friends and family.

2. Go to a big music festival like Coachella or Bonnaroo.

Yes! I went to Coachella AND Pretty Lights in Telluride. But I'm hoping to go to more festivals this year – I'm very obsessed.

3. Blog once a week at MINIMUM.

Nope. Sometimes I don't get a post out, but quality over quantity, right?

4. Go on a big trip abroad!

Yes, several! I went to Nicaragua, Mexico City AND Iceland during my 25th year.

Also, I don't think I'll set birthday goals this year, as I set goals at the beginning of the year anyway.

. . . . . . . . . .

The state of the blog

As far as blog content goes, I'd love to hear from you guys. What kind of content would you like to see more of? What posts do you skip? Also (no hard feelings) do you even read blogs anymore, or do you prefer micro-storytellling platforms like Snapchat or Instagram?

And as always, I'd love to hear your travel advice! Have any must-dos for England, France, or East Africa?

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley Fleckenstein

Ashley is an American travel and lifestyle blogger who lives in Uganda. Since college she has au paired in Paris, backpacked the world solo, and lived in Colorado. She's been to forty countries but somehow still gets lost in her home town. Her work has been featured by Buzzfeed, Forbes, TripAdvisor, and Glamour magazine.
Ashley Fleckenstein
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