follow the flow
a travel journal and photography journey
What a ride. Literally.
Delilah, our sweet, safe, big-butted van home... you have carried us from California, through Oregon and Washington, and traveled the distance through Canada to get us to Alaska, and back again. You have kept us safe and warm as we explored so many natural wonders of the US. You have supported us through the desert, snow and mud, over rocky terrain that I worried would hurt your tires. You have stayed classy, strong, and resilient through it all. And as we head back towards California, I am feeling so grateful.
Terence and I are currently taking a break from the van while visiting Sedona—staying in a charming airbnb, with a full kitchen, a bathtub, and multiple rooms. Being in this space makes it all the more clear what has been revealing itself to us over the last few weeks: we are ready to live in a house again. And simultaneously, I am being filled with sensations, memories, vibrations of gratitude for lady Delilah, and how I will likely miss her once we do, officially, move on.
Never in my life did I imagine I would do something like this—live in a van and travel around the country. But now that I've done it, I realize what lessons and beauty and richness I would have tragically missed out on if I hadn’t.
To be clear, living in a van is not easy. Instagram and vanlife YouTube-ers may make it look like the dream life, a simple life, a life full of adventure and lacking in responsibility. But ohhhhhh boyyyyyy is that inaccurate...
Cooking cleanup without hot water.
NO HOT WATER.
Keeping the space clean and tidy so you can find anything.
When it's too damn hot.
When it's too damn cold.
When the mattress freezes because it's too damn cold.
When sitting for hours at a time and being in confined space every day becomes a detriment to health and happiness.
When pooping outside is the last thing you want to do.
When taking a shower out the back of the van while it's 28 degrees out is actually the last thing you want to do.
When you're stinky as death, but hey, wet wipes will do, because it's 28 degrees out and the shower is out the back of the van.
When the thing that would make everything better is to lay on a carpeted floor to stretch.
You get the idea...
Even in our van, which is super pimped out compared to most, has had me confront many layers of discomfort and compromise this year. But I know that without the challenge inherent in this journey, I wouldn't have been able to experience the powerful lessons I learned by going through it all...
I can't assume that my needs will be met, I need to ask, claim, create what I desire.
I don't actually need all the stuff I accumulate.
I am capable of surviving and thriving through so much more discomfort than I anticipated.
Vanlife with a partner will bring up the shit hidden in shadow, and also create the opportunity to lovingly accept each other as we are.
Creativity and Logic are equally important. (perhaps in different moments)
Adventure and Stability are equally important. (perhaps in different moments)
Movie nights can be sacred nights.
Compromise is a skill that behooves us to be cultivated.
Pee bottles are pretty clutch.
The energy of a space greatly impacts quality of sleep.
My health and vitality are a priority, and I can choose to opt out of atmospheres and activities that don't support me in that.
Our earth is an outrageously beautiful, powerful, diverse, wise wonderland of opportunity awaiting to be connected with.
To name a few.
I'm liking seeing this list right now, but there are deeper multitudes to what I have learned and cultivated in myself this year that are too great to put into words. But I can say that I feel different. In a wonderful way. I feel fuller. I feel like I've aged—like I've earned a new ring in the trunk of my tree. And for so many reasons, I feel myself in the most creatively inspired and creatively grounded places I've been in for many years. And for that, and so many things, I am grateful, grateful, grateful.
So, thank you, Delilah. You are quite a gal, and we couldn't have done this without you.
P.S. After December, it’s likely that this blog will be morphing into something new. I’m really excited about what it feels like it wants to be next. More art. More writings about life and human-ing. More photography, focused more on movement and people.
There's almost a year's worth of writing from my heart and mind and spirit on here, and SO MANY photos, from this last year of adventuring and growing. I’m not yet sure what I’ll do with these writings and photos once this blog feels complete. I hope you’ll enjoy what exists here while it still does.