The Summer of Wandering - 2015

"Don't be afraid. There are exquisite things in store for you. This is only the beginning."
- Oscar Wilde
 

Whew. I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus simply because I haven't stopped moving for months + weeks on end! Probably no excuse, but alas, I'm finally taking the time to sit.. to organize and sort photos, and in doing so, I am able to process the whirlwind of the past 6 months.

At the very beginning of 2015, I had a thought to myself, that I wanted this to be a year of exploration and learning. (Not that other years haven't been... but I felt the adventure bug stirring big time). Lo and behold, ten months into the year, it HAS been that, and so much more than I could have anticipated. This has been a year of being pulled to the edges of endless unknowns (i.e. quitting all stable jobs, giving up housing situations), but also of such trust and goodness. I have seen some INSANELY beautiful places, ventured with friends, pursued my art, and taken classes in new cities. And despite my complete mental/emotional/spiritual/physical exhaustion, I am realizing that these seasons are special. They are hard (and often chaotic) but they are RARE. I know the adventuring won't last -- or at least, it will begin to look different. So, at the end of the day, I have been feeling real full of gratitude lately for this wild ride called life.

If travel teaches you one thing, it teaches you to see. It wakes you up from the rut of the mundane. Removed from any bit of stability and routine, something happens, and you pay attention. I think that is one of the biggest things I have gleaned from this season of wandering. In each place I have visited, I feel like I have learned something.. seen something. From awe-filled coastal cliffs, to urban streets of community + art, I have been exposed to more beauty and goodness than my little spirit can contain.

There is a line from an Arthur Rimbaud poem that continually came to me while on the road. It says, "A thousand dreams within me softly burn..." And man, THAT'S how I felt. Over the past 3 or 4 years, I have been filled with more vision and dreams for the future than I ever have. Dreams that involve making bridges between creative communities + neighborhoods in need. Dreams to travel and tell stories, to speak of the good works being done all the time, all around me. Dreams to speak hope into this often dreary world. And I don't know how to explain it or why, but seeing the dazzle of new cities and places fueled and sharpened these visions again and again. 

Whew. Honestly, I could keep writing forever. I don't know enough words or the right words to perfectly describe these past few months, but I can say that it has been a beautiful, grace-filled, inspiring ride. And it's only just begun. 

So here, below, I have compiled my favorite photos from Portland, to Cali, to Detroit, to Chicago.... Let us remember that the ride is grand, adventures are endless, and goodness abounds as we open our eyes to it. 

 Astoria Beach, Oregon Coast

Astoria Beach, Oregon Coast

 Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

 Just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah

Just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah

 Salt Flats, Utah

Salt Flats, Utah

 Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

 San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA

 Half Moon Bay, CA

Half Moon Bay, CA

 Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, California

 Pigeon Point Beach, CA

Pigeon Point Beach, CA

 Big Sur, Coastal Hwy 1, California

Big Sur, Coastal Hwy 1, California

 Los Padres National Forest, CA

Los Padres National Forest, CA

 Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, CA

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, CA

 Santa Monica Blvd // Los Angeles, CA

Santa Monica Blvd // Los Angeles, CA

 Detroit, MI

Detroit, MI

 Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL