follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
Victoria, BC, Canada
This writing is for the people who have shared their care, kindness and love these last few weeks as Terence and I have been traveling.
This writing is for the people who have offered us places to stay and rest, showers, a place to do laundry, and moments of connection within their busy days.
This writing is for the people who met us for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a show, went on walks with us, and showed us pieces of their life as we were passing through.
When you stayed up late with us talking, sharing your vulnerabilities about your relationships, your work, your dreams and fears...
When you got silly and weird and honest and playful with us, even when we were still learning to know each other...
When you shared your talents, your skills, the crafts of your soul with us, and allowed us to witness you in your radiance...
When you honored yourself in your needs, while still creating space for us in your home with genuine joy...
That made my heart smile.
And so I just want to say to you, you wonderful humans out there, you know who you are: thank you. And we appreciate you! I hope you know that spending some time with you, your family, friends—however brief—while we are along our travels, was a gift. A rejuvenating, fun, inspiring, warmth-bringing, gift.
Here we are. We are two weeks in. Two weeks into our van travels. On our way to Alaska, having passed through Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle is next. And right now—as I sit in the van in the middle of a forest with no other humans in sight or earshot—what feels present with me is my partnership with Terence. There is a sweetness in the air, with us. A lovely way of listening and loving and honoring between Terence and I, that has been found over the last week or so. But it hasn’t been an easy ride so far.
When I think about these last 14 days, I feel some aggravation and frustration on the surface of my being. And it feels like it is past oriented. It feels like a part of me is holding onto some resentment and sadness about the tension that was between Terence and I when these van travels began. About how it hasn’t felt easy or smooth or clear to connect with each other in a compassionate way since we've been on the road. About how it still feels difficult, and not very fun at times.
When I drop into these thoughts, there is an angry part of me. A part that feels really satisfied by being in rage and righteousness. And I know this part really well. I know that it's a part of me that just wants to be heard. That just wants to be listened to. That just wants to know that it's okay to feel this way. And that it doesn't have to become a story. I know that if I allow this anger to be felt, if I go express it to the trees, stamp it into the earth, or let tears fall at my feet—which I actually ended up doing in the midst of writing this blog post—that the rage, resentment, righteousness and frustration are cover-ups. Cover-ups for sadness and loneliness. Cover-ups for a desire to connect. Cover-ups for feeling afraid of the unknown. Cover-ups for the mirrors of myself that are being offered by my partner.
As a wise man and woman once said: you’re never upset about what you think you’re upset about.
As I write this I am softening. I am feeling the tenderness of my heart. And I’m also feeling how necessary and important and beautiful it is to fully feel the angry-righteous-aggrivated-frustrated-resentment-rage so that I can fully feel everything that is underneath. And as I reflect on those moments when I crouched amongst the trees, feeling the subtle mist of rain on my face and the sound of a stream nearby, I felt utterly surprised that once I gave myself permission to feel my anger...laughter, and faith, and love, and also childlike innocence were hiding underneath. I certainly have the cunning mind to bypass the harder feelings to get to some of the softer feelings underneath if I want to, but driving over a bridge to get to the other side of a river will never deliver the same fullness of experience as swimming across the river myself.
I just chuckled to myself as I re-read this. Because I realized that this is where Terence and I find ourselves as well. It’s not just a me thing, it seems—it’s an us thing. We are not bypassing our shit. We are wading through our rivers together, getting wet and cold, but also clean and refreshed, through the ways we are meeting each other with honesty.
There have been moments of anger between us. Moments of frustration and miscommunication. Moments of sadness and fear. Moments of not knowing how we will find connection again. And then…there have been moments of smooth ease and playfulness. Moments of dancing with each other with intimacy and sensuality. Moments of being totally and utterly silly with each other. Moments of desire and attraction and flirtation. Moments of feeling like we are great team mates, journeying together with freedom and abandon and love.
And I am reminded that the journeys of life and love are never as linear as we imagine they will be. But that if we don’t make them wrong, they offer strength, and resilience, and beauty, and much better stories too.
So, here we are. Two weeks in. Feeling some challenge in the relationship. And feeling some strength in the relationship. And neither is better than the other. And I am learning from both. And I am grateful for both.
As I move across this river with my partner. Feeling fucking cold and wet at times. But catching his eye, smiling, laughing, and holding his hand, because we are in this together.
Santa Cruz, CA
This is quite a new kind of blog post for me, because I find myself in two very different emotional frequencies at once as I write this. Frequencies that feel difficult to put together in one piece of writing, but they certainly belong together, here.
So I will do my best to give them both their voice. And I imagine by the end you will understand what I mean.
One of the emotions present...
HOLY SHIT I JUST MOVED INTO A VAN-HOME WITH MY PARTNER AND WE ARE ON OUR WAY TO ALASKA!!!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Terence and I left on Monday afternoon from my parents house in Ojai. My mom and dad have been SO stunningly generous, caring, loving, and welcoming over weeks of us staying in their home, using their driveway to get Delilah (our van) ready, and allowing the house to get temporarily filled with our things. We owe most of Delilah's developmental stages to their amazing support.
My heart felt SO full as my parents and my sister were sending us off. We had a gorgeous Mother's Day dinner the night before, of gratitude and manifestations and well-wishes and love. And in the moments before we left, we sat on the porch, the Topa Topa mountains in the distance, sharing hugs and smiles and laughter. Tears of joy filled my eyes to be surrounded by such incredible people, and to be able to call those people my family. Bathing in the familiarity of this home, about to drive away in my new home.
I kicked my legs up one by one in the air as we were officially walking to the van, feeling the epic-ness and excitement of what was about to happen. And as we were driving away (with horn-honking and cheers of course), I noticed a lacking of something... a lack of anxiety about timing, destinations, or activities. We're not heading to a place for a specific thing at a certain time to then come back. We can go wherever, whenever, and we get to call the shots in each moment. We get to be inspired and curious adventurers. And it feels like freedom. And I've gotta say. It feels really damn good.
The other emotion present...
The last two weeks between Terence and I have been some of the toughest of our relationship. It might not have looked like that on the surface to anyone watching. It didn't even really look like that to me while I was in it.
We were getting the van ready, for two straight weeks, van-this, van-that, doing doing doing, busy busy busy. When we weren't working on the van we were mostly talking about the van. I didn't want this, but I participated in it, because it felt like what needed to be done to leave on time. In hindsight, I don't believe this is true. And underneath all our vanning, our relationship was suffering. Because our intimacy had taken a backseat.
I don't feel the need or desire to go into the details of what's going on between us. That feels like our stories our shit our stuff.
But the feelings in me about it are ones of disappointment that there wasn't better communication. Anger that there wasn't more kindness and compassion and patience. Shame that we both thought we were right all the time. And sadness that our connection was sacrificed for a van.
We're in Santa Cruz right now, after spending two nights in the beautiful Big Sur. And the things that have been left unattended to are beginning to surface with each other. And it's uncomfortable. And I feel heavy. And I feel the grief in us both. And we are talking, we are sharing our emotions, we are making new agreements with each other, we are calling each other out on the patterns we see, and there's movement. And honestly, it does feel really sweet to be cradled by Delilah as we go through this.
I sometimes notice a it should have been different, why wasn't it different tape playing in my head. But the truth that I keep coming back to, even when I really don't want to, is that it wasn't different because it wasn't.
So yes, these two emotional frequencies. One of the unbelievably-epic-and-magically-wild-adventure-to-be, and one of oh, my relationship is in pain...
And here we are. And we are on this once in a lifetime journey together. And I’m committed to being present for all of it.
Meet Delilah! The newest addition to the Terence and Teagan family!
Delilah is a 2018 Ram Promaster. We bought her from a dealership in Portland, OR, and there she stayed for a few months as she was given a makeover by the one and only Overland Van Project. Dustin is the best. Skilled and talented and a delightful human. If you’re thinking about van-life, he is the way to go for a literal home-on-wheels. Terence and I are absolutely in love.
After our journeys in Australia and Costa Rica at the beginning of this year, we got off a plane in Los Angeles, and pretty much got right back on another one to go pick up our new home and drive her back to Cali. The last few weeks have been busy busy busy busy busy. Yes, truly, that many busy's. Hence the lack of blog posts. Forgive me friends! Getting ready to drive to Alaska in a van is no joke, and in the midst of other life-things. Two of the last three weeks I wasn't even around to help—I was in Arizona taking part in a beautifully life altering ceremony (which I'll write about another time), so Terence was on his own for a little while. And I must commend my absolutely amazing man for his focus and skill in pimping out Delilah with certain touches that I wouldn't have even thought of—touches that take our van-living to a whole new level. Also, shout out to my mom for making our seat cushions, on her first try ever! And I'll give myself a pat on the back as well, for bringing my feminine essence into our build to truly make our van feel like our home.
In a way, this is the first home Terence and I have bought together. We skipped the house with a yard and opted for a slightly bigger yard. We were renting a space together in Santa Barbara last year—a beautiful, safe, loving little spot, where we grew hugely as individuals and as a couple—and taking this next leap of buying, designing, and traveling in our home feels both Right and Risky. We have both joked many times that if we survive the van, we can survive anything! But I feel truth in this. And I feel trust in this. Mainly because I feel truth and trust in us. Van-living will test us—our communication, teamwork, responsibility, and our ability to allow and create the fun, the silliness and the sweetness in the midst of a completely new way of living. It definitely feels like we are stepping “in” with each other in a new way. And honestly, it feels natural. Natural and ripe with opportunity.
So far, we have taken Delilah to Lucidity Festival, and given her some test runs while we visited friends in Santa Barbara. And she is delightful! Delightful Delilah, I like it. Warm and cozy and functional, and certainly pretty to look at too. Right now she is nestled in the parking lot (as my mom now calls it) of my parents home in Ojai, receiving love and final touches from Terence and I, and anticipating her time on the road, which is coming up shortly.....
And how did Delilah get her name?
Well, we were at the DMV...THE MOST EXCITING START TO A STORY EVER BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER... and we needed to get the van registered. There were some obscene fees that they said we needed to pay for not registering the van within the first week of our purchase. But we were in Australia and Costa Rica before actually picking up the van and bringing her into California dudes, so we couldn’t register the sweet thing within our first week of purchase and these fees were bumming us out.
Everyone in the DMV either looked miserable or looked like they were expecting that they should feel miserable. I imagine many of you reading know this feeling. So when our number was called by this bright and genuinely warm woman, we were surprised and so pleased.
"You said you just drove it into California?"
"Yes we picked up the van a few days ago from Oregon and drove it straight here...."
"Oh, then you don’t need to worry about these fees..." she said, as she used her magic black marker to cross out numbers on the paper in front of us.
"And the van isn’t a commercial van right? You’re living in it with a bed and kitchen?" She said.
"Yes!" We said.
"Then the fees will be much lower when we register it as a camper." She crosses out more with her magical black marker wand of truth.
"Thank you so much!" Terence and I are smiling at each other, almost in disbelief.
"I've gotta say, you are so different from any other DMV worker I’ve ever met." Said Terence, laughing.
"Yeah I know." She said, smiling.
"What is your name?" I said.
“Delilah.” she said.
And I knew, like a clarion call--whatever I'm dramatic--that our baby was named Delilah.