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It was intense and comfortable at the same time, and it felt totally natural to show her all the things we’ve talked about, or that she’s seen on social media, for years now. The strawberries bursting out in the garden. My kids and their inquisitive eyes and questions. The loft office where I do all my writing and thinking. The pie bar in town, and the cookie shop one town over.
It was a bit of a dream to meet her, and I didn’t think it would happen so soon. It was a dream to show her the life we have made here, and to hear about the one she has made out there. All of the familiar and still exciting parts of this life – the strawberries, the writing, the photography, the love. What was so cool was that she was on a road trip with her husband, fulfilling one of his life dreams to visit a museum in The Berkshires. It jumpstarted my brain and my heart, as I have been thinking lately about the honeymoon I never took with Cassidy and how we’re planning it now. It’s one of the biggest dreams.
Lately I feel like I’ve been waking up my dreams, one by one. I’ve felt like I’ve been on a path of momentum with my career and relationships for the last year or so. Of course I’m afraid of slipping backwards, and sometimes I do, but I’m realizing it doesn’t really work that way. We’re always inching forward, I believe. We’re always on a path – working and figuring things out. I started my blogging business a little over a year ago. I started my photography business about three years ago. I like to play the long game, which is necessary with two young kids, but I love watching my dreams “wake up.” I feel more alive.
Travel makes me feel more alive. And I love to do it creatively, because I can’t go anywhere without my camera. I always hope to live my life on the edge – of my own comfort zone, and of my wildest dreams. Here are my favorite travel photo tips:
1. Get up early. You just never know what you’ll see at dawn, will you? One of my dreams is to get boots up to my waist (does that exist?) and sit with a tripod and a zoom lens in a lake at dawn, just to see what kind of wildlife comes through. By the beach, you can see sunrises. If you’re hiking, rock climbing, or on a mountain, the morning light will take your breath away, just as much as whatever you’re doing does. I firmly believe that to really “get” a new place, see it at dawn.
2. Choose the right kind of lodging. There’s a saying about getting a room with a view, isn’t there? In Ocean City, Maryland, once, I chose an oceanside motel at the absolute wrong time of year for swimming and tourism, (but right for pricing) just so I could sit from my balcony and watch morning dolphins swim by. Every morning, it was like they’d wave as they passed me by. Whether it’s the mountains, the oceans, or whatever else grabs your fancy, consider what you’ll see right from your room.
3. Talk to people. I’m an ambivert, which means I can absolutely thrive off of alone time, or being in the midst of people, and sometimes that changes by the hour. By the minute! When I’m in a people mood, there’s nothing like talking to the people around you. Whether they’re locals, or other tourists, you will be inspired to hear and discover stories taking place around you. You could find a subject right there on your vacation, or find out about a hidden secret or gem to photograph.
4. Change your perspective. I’m all about the bird’s eye view, but I also really love to get low and see what’s above me. I’d say I do that so much, that I have to remind myself to go above, just as much as I go under. And all around. Just LOOK.
5. Don’t stop. Don’t stop traveling. Don’t stop shooting. And realize that “exotic” can be found anywhere. It can be someone’s backyard, just the way your backyard is exotic to someone else. This world is varied, alive, and thriving. There are stories to be told anywhere you look. I love to travel light with the equipment and look for stories everywhere I go. I’m a big fan of filling up the frame, or changing perspective to show something small in a large field. Don’t stop looking at this world.
Something cool, along the subject of travel and creativity, is SToK™ Cold-Brew Iced Coffee, which is simply made for people like me – who need an endless stream of inspiration and lightning bolts. You know I’m picky with my coffee.
Look at it. It’s just waiting for you. Whether you’re a photographer like me, or a computer game designer, web designer, painter, or rock climber, you know you often need something to take your hobbies, creative skills, and careers to the next, geeked-out level. SToK™ is that geeked-out coffee that helps you go, wherever you will go. Whether that’s morning moose, morning dolphins, or night-time cityscapes. Whether that’s on the yellow brick road, or way off the beaten path.
SToK™ is slow brewed, like all of my better ideas, and I have a lot of hare-brained ones too! That’s all ok. It’s just pure coffee, with no weird ingredients. They use an Arabica Blend and it’s a Brazilian Blend Flavor profile. And oddly, I had a dream two nights ago that I was in Brazil trying to post on Facebook that I was in Brazil. Perhaps I’ll get there someday. Maybe you will too.