Before we move on to 2019, or kick-ass 19 as I like to call it, I’d like to recap all the amazing things that happened for Runaway Alice Photographer this past year.
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Success is what you choose for it to be and it looks different for all of us.
Today I’m sharing the top 5 places on my travel bucket list! What are the places on your list?
Oregon. Where you'll go and never want to leave.
Looking back at a year ago today with mixed emotions but a joyful heart.
While in Utah we got to hang out with these two awesome people, Brandon and Leigh. And also their adorable dogs Piper and Lily. Brandon and Leigh travel in a Vanagon Westfalia named Humboldt. They've done a lot of work to it complete with awesome maps inside. You can tell a lot of hard work and love has gone into this place to make it feel like a home away from home when they are traveling. Brandon and Leigh are some of my favorite people in the world. Good as gold, always there to lend a hand, compassionate, hard working, and um fantastically sarcastic. They hold a special place in my heart.
I'm drinking out of a coffee mug that used to be mine but I'm not in my kitchen. A cooler with our last name on it is sitting out in the hall. One of my favorite floral blouses is in the laundry basket. It's like that moment that you first wake from a vivid dream and can't tell where you are. But you know something isn't quite right. It's like the sinking feeling of dejavu.
Before Zach and I left with our daughter to travel the US for a year, we sold our house in a hurry. To say it was chaotic was an understatement. Zach would have gladly set our belongings ablaze in the front lawn to save the hassle of dealing with them. But we opted for peddling them on our friends and family any chance we got. Our former belongings are scattered across East Tennessee and on up to Virginia. I don't miss them. Each time we gave away another thing I thought it would be so hard. Once gone however, it was like it was never there. They were just things after all.
Now as I sit at our friends house, having just crossed the US in a rush to tow their truck home, those things are reminders. Reminders of the home we renovated. The home that we brought our daughter back from the hospital to. The house that we won't be returning to.
Coming back made it just feel like a long vacation. That we should walk through our front door and find our house just as we left it. That we'll sigh and clean and cook and put our daughter to sleep in her crib and crawl into our bed to whisper to each other about the adventures we've had.
It's a strange feeling to yearn for a place that is so close and yet no longer what it was. Not for us. I guess that is the duality of what we are doing. That I both crave more travel and miss a place. That I feel both lost and more on a path than I have in a long time. That I both have a home and am homeless. That I am both homesick and already home.
It's strange to see something you've never seen before. Most of us have been around long enough that we have experienced a lot of this planet. Sure, there are many places I have never been before. Something I'm slowly but surely rectifying. But it is rare for me to think, "Huh, I've NEVER seen this."
About a week ago I experienced my first full blown sandstorm. We're talking zero visibility, lightening, thunder, and high winds. It was awe inspiring and beautiful and terrible all at once.
It safe to say that I love moody scenery. I love the drama and the unusual nature of it. I love fog. How it envelopes you. Consumes you. This had the same mystery to it but was harsher. The sand danced and shifted until you were unsure if it would come in blankets or waves. Or would it be completely gone in half a mile. There was also just a sheer force to it. While fog creeps, sand dares you to come out and face it.
I was itching to have a model with me. Some woman in a long flowing dress. Some brave soul to go out and be daring and play. However, we were just rolling through. It's on my shot list though and I feel privileged to be able to mark something off my list that I hadn't ever seen or experienced before.