The bookish traveler who’s a little bit weird

Photo by author

Hello out there! My name is Keara Lou! If you’re not sure how to pronounce my name, remember this. The word ear is in the middle of my name. Lots of people get it wrong on the first try, so don’t worry! I won’t be offended if you get it wrong too.

I grew up in Northern Michigan, my hometown surrounding a massive lake that looks like a deformed lemon on a map. Another lake wasn’t too far off with some of the clearest water you’d ever see. Houghton and Higgins Lakes are popular vacation spots; small travel companies called…

The state will see some change in two weeks

Near Ross Lake, Beaverton, Michigan Photo by Keara Lou

Finally, we’re getting our first blip of returning to normal. Today, Governor Whitmer announced Michigan hit the 55% vaccination threshold, and we’ll start seeing the first ripple of change in two weeks. We need to wait two weeks for the vaccine to take.

Nearly two weeks ago, Governor Whitmer announced a four-step vaccination plan to get the state back to normal. The only thing Michiganders have to do is set up an appointment and start getting vaccinated.

  • 55% vaccinated: Anyone forced to work from home because of COVID-19 restrictions can go back to work.
  • 60% vaccinated: Banquet halls, sports arenas…

It’s about time

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Another step in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic happened. The FDA authorized Pfizer to distribute doses to children ages 12 to 15. The vaccine proved to be 100% effective against any COVID-19 infections after getting the second shot.

This move is a massive step in Michigan’s fight against COVID-19! According to Michigan’s website, the age group with the most infections is 10–19. Michigan also saw a record number of kids getting hospitalized, prompting the state to make tighter mask restrictions with children. In April, the average hospitalization rate in kids was 1,150 for kids 10–19. …

They’re worth the risk of disappointment

Photo by Karen Zhao on Unsplash

Yes, I know, the book is always better than the movie. But I can’t help it! It’s an incredible feeling seeing your favorite books turned into a film.

Yeah, I know a terrible film adaptation can put me in a day-long fit, but most avid readers understand that not everything they read is going to make it to the movies. And there are some books out there that would be super boring on film if things didn’t change for the film. If the changes make sense, even the most avid readers will let them slide.

I still remember how excited…

Here is why that’s a good thing

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Medium groups across my social media exploded in glee today. Random authors received a $500 bonus for creating exciting content and getting lots of engagement.

I eagerly combed through my email to see if I got a bonus too. As you can tell by the title, I didn’t get it.

Six months ago, I would’ve thrown my hands in the air and given up on this platform. I would’ve given into the negativity and loudly complained on these same groups.

Now? I’m see the lack of a bonus as a good thing. It sounds strange to be happy with not…

And the eye-opening topics readers seem to like

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

I’m not the biggest fan of writing about Medium, but sometimes I don’t mind. In this case, I’m taking a page from Tim Denning’s book and making a top-earning list for the month. Maybe I’ll move to weekly if people are genuinely interested in my experience.

I’m going by the articles that made the most money. It doesn’t always mean they’re the most viewed. But they do help reflect what my readers are interested in reading about.

The top earning articles of April

Are these my most viewed? I know they’re not. My most-viewed article of the month made no money because the views were primarily…

One word can change your emotions as you read

Photo by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash

Words matter. It’s a lesson we forget about and relearn over and over again. But any time we see things in the news, we remember it.

We remembered it when Trump tweeted, “Liberate Michigan!” and terrorists created a plot to kidnap the state’s governor. We saw it when Trump made wild theories about the election and extremists rioted at the capital.

We see it on both sides of the political spectrum when people claim the other side is no different from Hitler. …

How being in a pandemic affected the solo trip

Grand Canyon Western Rim. Photo by author

Being under quarantine for the past year put a lot on my mental health. I hadn’t had a solo trip since I came back from China. I knew I needed to get out and be somewhere I’d never seen before, but it’s hard to do when there’s a global pandemic raging around the country.

In April, I finally got my chance and booked a trip to Las Vegas. I needed a break from the long Michigan winter. I’d never been to the Southwest before, so I figured now or never.

The hotel offered paid tours of different landmarks around Vegas…

There are other reasons people are hesitating

Tobacco River. Photo by author

Last week, Governor Whitmer rolled out a four-step plan to reach the 70% vaccination goal and reach herd immunity. It looked like a simple plan. All we have to do is schedule vaccination appointments and get the shots. We didn’t have to be fully vaccinated either. We only need the first dose, and restrictions will start easing.

Right now, over 50% of the state had its first dose of the vaccine. We’re not far off from the first benchmark. However, a wave of vaccine hesitancy is making it harder to get people their first dose. Compared to a month ago…

My great-grandma’s 101st birthday during the pandemic

It’s not every day you meet someone who’s 101. It’s even more bizarre when you realize your grandparents made it that far. It’s fun bragging to people; my grandma’s in her 100’s now.

COVID-19 killed her 100th birthday party. This year, she wanted to do something for her birthday. Only immediate family got invited, and we did something small for her. We had masks in our pockets in case she wanted us to put them on. …

Keara Lou

Forever Middle Child. If you can’t see me, I’m either lost in a book or wandering my world.

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