The road trip has come to an end, my friends.
We arrived back home earlier this week, and it has taken me a few days to settle back in and unpack. Or at least think about unpacking. Truth be told, my car still has sleeping bags and several bags in it. I have to say that there is a bittersweet feeling as my fingers type these words. It was an amazing experience. 6 weeks on the open road. Completely free. No set schedules with places to be or people to entertain. Just my car, my camera, and the road. I can’t describe what an incredible feeling that was. If you’ve never been on the road, I highly recommend it. Just go. Don’t plan or think too much. Just grab your keys and a camera (preferably film) and go.
But even though I’ve just come back from almost two months of literally living out of my suitcase, I’m already itching to go back on the road. The absolute freedom of being meandering the country at my pace and photographing everything in sight was intoxicating. I’m
a little addicted now, and have decided that this will have to be my life. The first of many trips, traveling on the road and photographing the shit out of the country.
Realistically, how can I expect to come back and follow convention in the 9-5 world when there is just too much out there to see?
I do realize how incredibly lucky I’ve been to have the opportunity to travel at my own leisure to where the wind takes me, and that not everyone has that ability or freedom. This journey has only reinforced my belief that it is the most important thing in the world to follow your dreams and never give up on what you believe in, even if it seems desperately impossible.
When I first decided that I wanted to travel on the road, I thought at the very least it would be an adventure that I could hold onto and remember, if someday my life didn’t turn out the way I thought. If I wake up when I’m 45 and have a minivan full of kids and husband who needs his pants ironed, at least I could look back and say that I had this time in my life to really live out my dreams.
It was everything and nothing I expected. I never dreamed we’d receive support and film from Kodak. Or that we would meet all of the crazy characters that we did. From the bartender in New Orleans who drinks Everclear before lunch, to the store owner in Roswell who insists that aliens have visited him and the government will destroy us with superbugs, or Angel Delgadillo the “Mayor of Route 66” who passionately encouraged us to live our dreams and pursue our passions, no matter what anyone thinks.
This mission was equal parts wonderful, crazy, unbelievable, hot, dirty, emotional, uplifting, infuriating, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and so much more. I can’t imagine not having gone.
And now, as I sit here scanning my film and thinking about student loans and where my next paycheck will come from, the road seems so far away but so close at the same time. It’s right there at my feet, ready to take me wherever I need to go. This is just the beginning. Until next time…
More photos to come.