Behind the Inner Compass Blog

An introduction to Sara Beth and the story behind Inner Compass Blog.


My name is Sara Beth and I’m a nature-loving weekend wanderer. I live for the freedom of weekends and am often found exploring Shenandoah National Park, hiking along the Potomac River, or enjoying other nearby outdoor opportunities.  Exploring nature on the weekends is my way of finding balance in the work-first-and-always culture of DC. 

Some quick facts about me:

• I was born and raised in Driftless Wisconsin.
• I’m an educator by trade. I’ve previously taught in middle school and high schools. 
• Since 2009, I’ve developed online courses for physician membership societies. 
• My favorite road trip foods are Cheddar Cheese Combos, Diet Coke, and Twizzlers.
• I’m saddened by the inequality plus-size people face in the outdoor world. 
• I love to read and typically read more than 20 books a year.
• I had ankle reconstruction surgery in 2017 and am still rehabbing.
• I’m slightly terrified of oceans, but love rivers and lakes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
• I’m most active on Twitter, I also frequent Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
• I’m a huge fan of personal quests and have several in progress (see below).


  • Join the 50 State Club (50/50) – Completed August 2015 100% 100%
  • Visit all 59 US National Parks (30/59) 50.8% 50.8%
  • Visit each Continent (2/7) 28.5% 28.5%
  • Visit all 417 units administered by the National Park Service (101/417) 24% 24%
  • Unique National Park Service Units Visited in 2018 (1/15) 6.6% 6.6%
  • Tour Each National Football League Stadium (2/31) 6% 6%


The journey to launching Inner Compass Blog is quite long and winding. For your sake, I’ll share the short version here. Inner Compass Blog is basically my way of documenting my journey to refocus my life after losing myself in work and personal stress. I was struggling to build a new career in online learning and for the first time found myself immersed in the at time toxic world of corporate life. Personally, we were in the midst of a years-long infertility journey that nearly destroyed my body and spirit. Soon enough, I had drifted pretty far from my true self.

As many seeking changes do, I talked to my closest friend and confidant, my husband, about my struggles. We discussed the stressors in my life, possible solutions, and came up with an action plan. During this time of reflection and action, it reminded me about the first time I heard the term inner compass. I was just a normal high school student from Driftless Wisconsin and who was struggling to decide which university to attend. Everyone had an opinion and I was struggling with what I thought at the time were two equal options. My Mom sat me down and had a nice little chat with me about how I needed to cut the noise, take time to weigh my options, and follow my inner compass. I took her words to heart, set off to university (I made the right choice), studied abroad, traveled throughout Europe, returned to Wisconsin, moved to Las Vegas, and fell in love with a wonderful man who truly completes and understands me. It was with his love and support that we started working through our action plan.

First, we put down literal roots when we bought a house far out in the DC suburbs. Mountains and hills make me happy, skyscrapers do not. Second, I found a new job that would allow me to have a better work-life balance. Third, we stopped fertility treatments. We still don’t know what our future looks like in regard to children, but right now, we are enjoying and embracing the DINK lifestyle. Fourth, I took stock of all my little side projects. I finished graduate school, I put my travel blog on pause, stopped my genealogy research, and put a small business I was beginning to explore on hold. Fifth, we began spending nearly all our free time in nature. Nature recharges my batteries and makes me happy. The plan was in place and we’ve been staying the course since.


It may seem odd for someone who just put a blog on hold to start a new blog and typically I would agree. However, I’ve always been one to document my life and starting Inner Compass Blog seemed appropriate and therapeutic. Moving from a travel-focused blog to a lifestyle blog allowed me to fully share my journey towards a happier and healthier me. Incorporating this journey under the “Inner Compass” name was something I should have done years prior. I’ve been using the Inner Compass handle online since around 2007 but had drifted so far from its meaning over time that I thought about abandoning the handle numerous times. Thankfully, I never did as it was the perfect handle to describe my new journey!

I began blogging in college on a platform called MindSay. It was a short-form blog with paragraph-length updates about my college experiences. I made wonderful friends through that blog that I still am in contact with today. We were all at a similar stage in life and it was reassuring to know that we weren’t on our journey’s alone. Fast forward a bit to my senior year of college, I made a last minute call to take a semester away to study abroad. 

While I was studying abroad, I sent weekly emails on Tuesdays (I only had one class that day) to my family and friends. These “Happy Tuesday” emails summarized my studies, weekend explorations, new friends, and everything else that was going on in my life. They were a hit with everyone and I continued them after I moved to Las Vegas upon graduation. It was through this process that I decided to start a new blog about genealogy. 

I blogged frequently about my genealogy research for several years and had made amazing connections with folks from around the world. However, it became difficult for me to keep digging for my ancestors when I knew it was unlikely I would ever have any descendants. So, after one of our last miscarriages, I stopped researching and writing about genealogy. Instead, I started a new travel blog. The blog was focused on trip summaries and weekend travel opportunities around DC. Eventually, I felt boxed in by the narrow focus of that blog and decided to take another break from blogging. Obviously, as I mentioned before, that didn’t last long! 

In the end, Inner Compass Blog is and will continue to be about my journey forward in life. I will nerd out on national parks, share our hiking adventures, and even write the occasional super personal post. Most of all, Inner Compass Blog is my way of connecting with those around me who are on a similar journey to simplify, find meaning in their actions, and stay true to their inner compass. 


I lost myself, I made a plan, I found myself, and I’m working every day to stay true to my inner compass. ;)