A little bit of a preface:
When you're running your business all by yourself and you're the one doing everything, one simple blog post that you have to make but have no idea what you want it to be about can be quite stressful. That's why it comes in handy to have people you can talk to about it and hopefully they will have a very good suggestion. Austin really came through for me on this one, as I was telling him how worried I was on Sunday night.
He suggested that it be travel related, and that I talk about where I've been and where I want to go, and even some future goals of where I want to be in my life. When he started talking about it, my mind immediately went to the road trips I had been on as a kid. I thought it was a great idea.
Now, on with this procrastinated blog post!
Where I've Been:
I haven't been to nearly as many states as Austin has, but I've still made my way to some of the prettiest places in the US. The first road trip my parents took my brother Josh and I on was to Michigan to visit our grandma (or as Josh and I called her, Grams) and a two of my Dad's sisters. We went around Thanksgiving - or maybe it was Christmas, I can't remember - and there was snow on the ground for what seemed like the entire time we were in Michigan. We were only about 4 and 5 at the time, but I remember having a lot of fun. I remember the hotel that we stayed in on our way there, and the long drive.
The next road trip was probably the best road trip of my childhood, when my parents, Josh, and our younger brother Caleb, drove through New Mexico and Arizona to get to the Redondo Beach area in California. We stopped at the Grand Canyon, arriving around the evening time. There were lots of other people there, and my mom told us to stay back from the chainlink fence that separated us from the drop-off. Even though I was glad she told us to stay back now that I think back on it, at the time I really wanted to see as much as I possibly could. Throughout that whole trip, I remember being in awe in my mind at how beautiful everything was. I noticed the way the golden morning or evening light hit the ocean or the trees or even our van. I remember taking note of all of these beautiful details, just not being able to articulate or capture it the way I truly wanted to.
Since then, I have traveled to cool and breezy Colorado, beautiful Washington, Arkansas and Missouri for Thanksgiving for three years in a row, I rode to Florida then flew back to Oklahoma by myself, and I have been to various state or national parks here in Oklahoma, all while growing up and forming my photography interests and talents.
Where I Want To Go:
My lust for traveling and exploring started somewhat recently, although I believe the root of it started from the California trip. I find myself imagining Austin and I in our car that is scattered with backpacks, snacks, and pillows, heading to the PNW. Our radio is on and Molly, my camera, is sitting in my lap. I imagine driving through desert landscapes that are scattered with Cacti, driving along side the ocean, with water to our left and green land on our right, and driving through snow covered mountains and thick forest with tall trees. I imagine the cool ocean air, and the damp and earthy air. I imagine stopping at gas stations, exhausted from the drive but still so happy to be where we are.
These past two or so years, I've kept telling myself that I want to start doing more traveling and exploring. My mind keeps showing me this perfect future reality that I have, saying "this could be you!".
Here is a current list of places in the US that I'm just itching to go to.
- The Grand Canyon. My memory of it from when I was 6 or 7 is fading and I don't ever want to forget what it looks like.
- Sedona, AZ.
- Northwest Oregon & Portland area. Austin has been to NW Oregon for work, and he describes it as indescribable. Out of all the places I want to go to with him, this place ranks highest on my list.
- Zion National Park, UT.
- Mt. Massive, CO. This is another place that Austin has been to, but I haven't. He went hiking on Mt. Massive with some friends, and told me about a trail they found that's tucked in between two mountains, and a lake just outside of the Mt. Massive. He made it sound incredible.
- Joshua Tree National Park, CA.
And my shorter but still just as important list of international destinations I dream of going to.
- Scotland. I have always wanted to go to Scotland, but when I saw the photography work from Dylan and Joanna Kitchener, it just made me want to go even more.
- New Zealand. A big part of why Austin and I want to go to New Zealand is because of the Lord Of The Rings movies, but also because of how beautiful it is.
One day I will have gone to all of these places, getting amazing photos and having incredible experiences along the way.
Where I Want To Be:
That "perfect reality" I mentioned earlier is where I want to end up, as well as some other elements thrown into the mix, like shooting weddings in different states/countries, having client work all over the states, getting to know more and more couples, all while having Austin by my side as we raise our kids, is the dream. There is something so freeing about traveling and seeing new places.
The goal is to incorporate travel into my work and into my client experiences. I hope to keep growing in my work and in my confidence, and find more peace among all this chaos that life sends our way.