It has been a wild year, and I have fallen behind my typical on top of everything work ethic for a number of reasons. You might notice a few changes in this post. The first and most obvious being that I solely shot my adventures on a beat up Nikon film camera that I acquired from a 1973 Detroit Free Press reporter. The second and most important is that I have a DOG. And lastly, that I was back to traveling solo, again.
2019 began with a broken heart and a broken van. I had big plans to be spending the majority of the winter further exploring Utah with my five week old road dog, Sequoia, but after a few months and many thousands of dollars trying to repair an unidentifiable problem in the Sprinter, I had to abandon that plan and make a new one. The new plan included spending time out in Marfa, Texas; the Florida Keys; and of course my beloved Savannah, Georgia.
I’ve had this need to explain myself for some time now and I am not entirely sure why. Maybe because parts of me care what people think, or how I feel they might think. It is my decision to be active on social media and make my life and relationships public knowledge and that can bring feelings of shame or embarrassment at times.
For anyone that has been following these journeys over the last five years, it is no secret that there have been a few romantic partners a long the way. You have witnessed our love grow in new cities and on mountain tops and then you have seen them disappear and then all of the sudden someone new emerges. And for whatever reason, the fact that surprises people the most is that literally every partner I have had in my adult life has broken up with me. I know my contributions to this end result and where I fall short, and to summarize - travel and distance in relationships is HARD. I could imagine that I would make a similar decision if I was in their shoes. To have the person you love most tell you that they would rather be somewhere else. Definitely unfair. If I remember correctly, in one ending argument the words, “All you care about is the van,” were spoken loudly and that was the truth I needed to swallow. I wasn’t ready to sacrifice this dream for companionship.
Hearing that truth was what I needed. It is what prompted me to finally sell my house and move into my van full time. It also fueled me to step outside of my literal metal box and to seek new friendships with like minded individuals. I started a hiking club, found love again in Tennessee, and spent more hours than I ever have during a wedding season (mostly)enjoying my family.
I took pictures on film because I still needed to take pictures, but I needed to also be present. Which is clearly why it has taken me nine months to blog. It was my busiest and most beautiful work season ever. Not only have I experienced tremendous growth as an individual, but as an artist and entrepreneur. The lessons have been abundant, but that could be because I am finally paying attention.
It is almost time to get back on the road, and to be honest my heart is starting to feel a pull for something new. I can’t say that this will be the last winter in the van, but I am feeling really empowered and proud of the miles covered over these last five years. Maybe a little tired, but that could just be October talking. I plan to always feed this restlessness and that could be in the form of maybe a new house on wheels, or something overseas, or a new business venture. Regardless, and as always, filled with so much gratitude for this life.
Winter, 2019. Kodak Portra.