Category Archives: TO THE OPEN ROAD
…of the dark road ahead of us, mountains to the left, ocean to the right, our headlights the only thing faintly illuminating the way. Highway 1 on the California coast at night, and a shooting star flashed across the huge expanse of black, it took away our breath, made us hold hands and smile. Twenty six days on the road and this was our last. Headed home, to the next unknown destination, with full hearts and clear eyes, and memories enough to fill a book. We realized that what was important was how we got there, to our final destination where we spent a grand total of seven hours before flying home. The miles of road behind us and the stories we saw and experiences we shared with people were what mattered, not the end destination. This is a picture I did not take with a camera, instead I took this one with my head and my heart. :)
these past few months we’ve slowly been sharing about our roadtrip out west last november (click the tag ‘november road trip‘ if you want to browse through the archives!)… we set out on our trip with the desire to experience travel in a different way, a way that did not revolve around sights and tourist destinations but as much as we could around people and where they lived and what was important to them. we wanted to give back to people that had meant something to us and also to complete strangers, something from our heart and for us that was photos… i’m sure there were many ways in which we fell short of this goal, but still we learned so much and i am so thankful that we made this trip happen. those four weeks of traveling were some of the best… if you ever get the chance to just pack up and go, i couldn’t recommend it more. it might not even be as hard to do as you may think… an adventure may lay just outside your front door in many cases. we’d just encourage you to take whatever chance you get. many thanks for following along as we’ve shared! we’re now taking suggestions for the next adventure in the comments section below… ;)
Traveling with a view to connect with as many people as possible along the way is really humbling. We’d never before really traveled the way that we did on our trip out to the west coast in November… the number of kind souls that opened their doors to us, fed us, had amazing conversation with us, basically invited us in with open arms…. it was the best thing possible I could have hoped to have gained from this experience.
Mary and Joel are two of those kind souls, and they were our last stop on the way from Toronto to Los Angeles. We said goodbye to them overlooking Monterey Bay sometime in the mid-afternoon and booked it to LA to catch our early morning flight the next day to fly home. These two. We met them in Portland (where they live) earlier that year as we both attended the same photography conference and we felt like we’d connect again at some point.. part way through our trip we heard from them that they were spending a few weeks in their airstream and would we have time to stop by to catch up? Yes. We met in Santa Cruz and they took us up the mountains outside of town to the plot of land where they and their two cats have their airstream parked. The view is incredible, we sat in the warm sun and ate deep fried burritos together… and our friendship was sealed :)
These guys inspire us in their attitudes about life and in their enthusiasm for living adventurously. Their Portland/Airstream way of life is unconventional and awesome and one that we give a hearty two thumbs up to.
We made this for them below, we just had this picture of them in our minds, driving from rainy Portland to their little sunny getaway and so we made this little video :)
I was challenged the other week to ‘find joy where you are‘. I have the quote hanging up in my office now. You guys… I didn’t realize how this phrase would totally convict me. Because sometimes, honestly.. I’m in kind of a perpetual state of wanderlust. :) I just want to pack up my bags and go most of the time. Sure, I miss home and love being back home after being away for a while, of course.. but sooner or later it hits me and I want to go again. I just love seeing new things, exploring the little fraction of the world that I can. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and we’ve been super fortunate (and have always put a huge priority on) traveling… really every spare penny goes towards it… and I think we always will. But still, I feel the challenge to find joy where you are, whether that is somewhere new or somewhere you’ve seen many times before. I think it’s fine to long for something in the future (travel or otherwise), but the challenge comes from not letting the joy of where you are now escape you. How often, even when we are somewhere we love, or doing something we love, do we still pine to be somewhere else, and allow the goodness of where we are right now escape us?
These are some photos from our journey from Portland down the west coast to San Francisco. There are a lot of photos.. :) It is such a breathtaking part of the world, and the minute we were out on the road we looked at each other and said “I wish we had more time here”. But….. find joy where you are. Those few short days were what we had and I wish we’d soaked it up even more than we did. Those few short days I remember as my feet up on the dashboard with the guy I love beside me, perpetually looking at the time and one of us finally saying quietly ‘we really need to get going’. Please, if you ever get the chance to drive this stretch of road, don’t turn it down. What follows is just a glimpse of why. xo, jenn
The coast of Oregon & northern California.. November, 2012
This past week we have found ourselves nestled in the mountains of Colorado, rubbing our eyes and scratching our heads and being generally in awe at finding ourselves there. This trip was not anticipated but as we’ve come home and let it soak in, we are struck again by the serendipity of life and realization that we needed the clear blue skies, the lodge in the woods, and the conversations with the incredible souls we met there more than we could have known. We knew it would be fantastic but we really had little idea how much we would be changed.
Coming home has felt like leaving summer camp, with that same hole inside of you, the hole that each person has left behind. The depths to which everyone shared and loved was incredible, and I realized that I’m not always as open or as loving as I want to be. We left with that same hope that even though we are gone from that home Ashley & Jeremy Parsons made and invited us all into, we will continue to remember and take up the call to create fantastic stories out of our lives, and to create images that really matter for the people we connect with. Dave and I can’t thank you Ash & Jeremy enough for the gifts you’ve given us… !!
Words really do fail in these cases to describe experiences like this, so that is why I lean back on images :) A short film up there ^^ and a few stills down below, of our time out in Colorado, that serve to take us back and remind us of everything.
Be brave, be you, and don’t give up you guys. xo, jenn
Divide, Colorado, March 2013
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