I just spent 9 days on the road photographing Seattle, Olympic National Forest, Vancouver, Banff National Park, and all the amazing little towns, states, and provinces in between. The border agents stole all my fruit. Two bald eagles swooped right in front of my windshield. I slept in my car and hiked rainforests at dawn. I'm back in Calgary, and very happy about the thousands of new photos I just fed my computer.
This week I planned to write about how new scenery and routine allow perspective and inspire improvement. Fortunately I took some notes I that say what I wanted to. Hopefully they give you some insights.
Question the assumptions you make about travel. Are you sure:
- You work best in your routine? The only way you’ll know is if you jump right out of it.
- Having all of your stuff is important? I've had my happiest days lately sleeping in the backseat with a jacket and a backpack. A lot of times I was so excited to get to the next place that I didn’t eat, but my growling stomach still let me do it because it was fun.
- Sleeping in a hostel is better than a car? You need to book a room, go to that city, check in at a specified time, pay a lot of money, and share a room with other people. In a car you can pull over wherever you feel like, change your plans, use your own blankets, and leave on your own schedule. Free breakfasts and showers are nice perks but they slow you down and can put you somewhere you don’t want to be.
- You need to be showered and polished every day? Freshening up with a cloth and a toothbrush is mostly effective at making you feel nice for one day. Especially when it allows you to wake up at dawn and watch the sunrise on a beach. Also, I've never let my hair grow out this much and the shaggy side shave actually looks pretty badass.
- You really like cities, parking, paying for every little thing? In a rural area you can enjoy your life without being rushed or fleeced every time you want to explore. There are also fewer cars on the road and no one’s going to be mad if they get to pass you.
- You should listen to your fears? Several times I kept driving when I wanted to go home and been rewarded for it. Right after I debated turning back, I found this path to a hidden driftwood beach. It was one of the nicest moments of my trip.
Taking a long road trip makes your OCD side f-off for a while and adventurous you gets to see how it likes the driver's seat.
Let me know if any of these thoughts resonated with you, I’m off to do laundry, wash the car, and edit.