Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The road is an open place for discovery.  Discovery of one's self and discovery of the unknown.  A chance to reconnect with the soul; a chance to reconnect with the spirit of adventure.  WIth the busyness of this life, we often forget the child within us and get caught up in schedules, duties, and feeling like we cannot disconnect from the world around us.  But, every once and awhile, we should silence these voices.  The road calls us to let go.

Taking a road trip alone is scary to most.  The thought of not knowing who you're going to turn to when you get lost, of not having someone to talk to when you get lonely, and the possibility of bumping into strangers along the way can be terrifying.  The fact is, however, that being alone and hopping in a car and heading out to the great unknown is actually exhilarating.  It quiets your mind and allows you to forget about the responsibilities at home.  It is the greatest way to meditate on the things you're grateful for and on the things you want to do next in life.  But most of the time, it keeps your spirit still.  

There are, of course, a couple requirements when taking a solo road trip.  

The first:  Make a great mix tape.  Nothing is better than rolling the windows down, and letting the wind blow through your hair as you belt out the words of your favorite song.  My recommendations are classic rock, especially when you want to feel free and on top of the world.  Play this as loud as you can and remember...roll the windows down!  Another recommendation is something melodic and peaceful.  Something that reminds you to be thankful for being alive and being able to see the magnificent country that is before you.  This is great when driving through a tunnel of trees or winding around a mountain.  Remember to breathe as you take it all in.

The second:  Either plan your trip ahead of time and memorize the route, or bring a road map.  Using your cell phone connects you to the world that you're taking a break from and it is nothing but a distraction.  Another option is to have an idea of where you want to go and just drive.  There's nothing better than exploring and happening upon things that were not planned for, such as finding a great swimming hole or a great place to have a picnic.  You might be surprised by what you find!

The third:  Bring a journal and a great book to read when you take a break from driving.  Document what you see around you, who you have met, what things you're learning about yourself.  Then, catch up on the reading you've been wanting to do and get lost in a great story.  This time you'll have nothing to pull you away from those pages.

The fourth:  Don't be afraid to talk to strangers.  Of course you must use caution, but you'll find that most people are pleasant and willing to help you along the way.  Usually they'll fill you in on the best places to eat or the cool spots to hang that only the locals know.  If you meet an interesting person, get their contact information and keep in touch.  The next time you head in that direction, you may have someone to visit or possibly some place to stay!

The last and final thing:  Disconnect from all that distracts you.  Turn off your phone, don't check in on facebook or twitter, and tell your friends and family you'll call when you get back.  If you don't do these things, you won't enjoy the freedom of being on the road.  You don't get the full recharging your mind and soul needs and you forget to connect to what is in front of you.  Get out of your car, take a hike, and explore.  Let go and be free!

LOCATION: Sequoia National Park
DATE: August 2012

Photos and words from my solo journey north
from Los Angeles, CA to Sequoia National Park.

Monday, August 26, 2013

I want to live, I want to give. I've been a miner for a heart of gold.  It's these expressions I never give that keep me searching for a heart of gold.  And I'm getting old.  Keeps me searching for a heart of gold.  And I'm getting old.  I've been to Hollywood. I've been to Redwood.  I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold.  I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line that keeps me searching for a heart of gold.  

And I'm getting old.

LOCATION: Sequoia National Park
DATE: August 2012

Lyrics by Neil Young.

Monday, August 19, 2013

My travel work was recently featured on Trendland last week. Go and take a look here.

DATE: December 2011

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Old Man's Cave is located in Southeastern Ohio and is one of my favorite places to explore in the Hocking Hills Region.  As you enter the lush forests of the Appalachian foothills, you'll find yourself wondering if you're still in Ohio—everything around you feels so prehistoric.  You're forced to look up at trees that stand so tall. With their large roots powering out of the ground, its hard not to notice them. Temperatures begin to change as you descend down and a cool cloud of moisture sets in.   This moist world is home to a plethora of flora.  Moss grows rampantly on trees and on stone, while ferns blanket the ground beneath your feet.  This is a magical place—this Old Man's Cave. And if you're like me, its a place you never want to leave.

LOCATION: Old Man's Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio
DATE: June 2013 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ohio holds a special place in my heart; especially during summer.  There's so much life.  So much color.  I miss the ladybugs, the Queen Anne's Lace, and the fireflies that inhabit the fields in my small hometown.  As a child, I explored these fields, day-dreaming and taking pictures like the ones above. And even as an adult, I find myself doing the same thing every time I return home.  There will always be a piece of me that yearns for these moments — where I can be all alone in a world full of beauty.

LOCATION: Covington, Ohio
DATE: June 2013