#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

MOST RECENT

the lines of sleep are still imprinted on my skin and looking in the mirror i regret having woken up so late. i always hate missing the morning, missing the suns early rayed face greet the day and kiss the trees awake. ⁣
it seemed like a less gratifying awakening to rise and see that it was already too high in the sky to pass on similar affections to start my day with too. ⁣

i suppose my body needed it, this rest. ⁣
i have been in motion for a long time now at a pace i can’t maintain anymore like i once could. ⁣

my very nature is to be adaptable. to fall into step with whomever i am next to. to be in a moon like state of waxing and waning. ⁣
there are times for that adaption. times when that allows me to do life with people more fully and well. ⁣
but my stride is a little slower in its metronomic daily swing, if left unhindered to perform in the way it was made to. ⁣

i haven’t risen with His voice in some time either. ⁣
another regrettable thing. ⁣
and another reason a slower pace feels like it needs to be implemented more frequently, so as to make time to just sit and listen.⁣

i splash water on my face, simultaneously washing the sleep from it and reminding myself i have a date with the water today. ⁣
i am glad to be back by the water. ⁣
for it has always been a place of rest. ⁣
one of my homes.⁣
and with the events of recent weeks that feels needed. ⁣

my mind is often at war with the slower tendencies of my body, for it has no such tortoise like pace. it’s stride is more like that of the hare’s, hurried and harried and constantly in motion. ⁣
it is a hard, but rewarding, reminder to prod it into remembering that slow and steady wins the race. .
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#rewilding
#thewildnesstonic
#livingslow
#intentionalliving
#morningwriting
#theartofslowtravel
#theartofslowliving
#morningreflections
#yosemitenationalpark
#anywhereonthewaterisaplaceicallhome
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip
#writingsfromawouldbebeatnik

<- - -Take The Road Less Traveled- - -> .
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a lot of the time the opinions that people share with us in reference to warnings and advice for our lives are communicated from a place of their own regret, past mistakes or fear. .
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but a life ruled by fear and “what if” is not a life well lived. .
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we are all created differently. that is the incredible beauty of Gods artistry and hand in shaping each of us individually.
we are not all meant to live the same life. .
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my hope in sharing the various parts of my life that i do on here is that it encourages you.
encourages you to pause and think about things that have become routine or autopilot.
encourages you to listen to your inner voice that has become hard to hear due to being surrounded by so much stuff and noise and busyness.
encourages you to stop living in a scarcity and fear based mindset and instead one of abundance, enough, and trust. .
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but, most of all, encourages you to embrace the things on the other side of those fears.
because i think most often, it is just on the other side of the hard and scary and unknown that a huge part of who we were created to be is waiting for us.
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i am not perfect at living in these mindsets all of the time myself, but i think in sharing our stories and struggles with others in varying ways, oftentimes we not only challenge them but ourselves in the process. those are the kinds of people i want to be around, the kind of community i want to be a part of and the kind of person i want to be.
none of us are meant to go it alone. .
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#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

shed the malaise that you accepted into your day.
you have the ability to let it go.
to choose to see the day as the gift that it is.
you will never get to do this day over, so do it well.
you get to decide your mood.
you get to place this feeling down in favor of different one.
change course.
smile, even if you don’t feel like it.
unclench your fists so that there is space between your fingers. -
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even the more painful things, the things that bring something more than grayness, perhaps a deep black hardness.
that too can be let go.
that too can be placed aside.
piece by piece.
sometimes it will take longer (for the very nature of darker things is that it takes longer to lighten them)
but the time is available to you, you only have to accept it.
don’t let that thing add weight to your being and become a part of you.
you were made to be light.
grow closer to yourself again, don’t let the dark bits get in the way and create a barrier.
don’t let past experiences destroy the future.
don’t feed the dark because what you focus on grows in size and intensity. -
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this is the only moment you exist in.
not tomorrow or next month.
so enjoy the scenery, you’ll never be here to look at it in just this way again.

my wardrobe is 98% vintage/thrifted/secondhand/handmade.
#slowfashion is important to me (and if you don’t know what #fastfashion is, I recommend starting with the documentary #TheTrueCost on Netflix!) not only because it’s just a more fun way to shop but because it’s more sustainable and ethical and keeps me conscious of acting out that mindset in other areas of my life.
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This wasn’t always as prevalent in my life as it is now.
Though I grew up thrifting with my Momma, who I credit for giving me a love for this kind of lifestyle, it took me years to really educate myself on how much damage the fast fashion industry and excessive consumerism is doing to not only the world we live in but the human beings who are dehumanized in the factories that make these clothes. Not to mention the human beings whose minds and hearts are always being poked and prodded into a state of dissatisfaction and told that what they have is not enough.
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It was a while before I could walk past those stores and not be tempted by sales and pretty prints displayed on plastic. It took a lot of determination and repetition, but over time it’s just become a habit. I don’t even consider buying clothing at chain stores now. It is just so far removed as an option from my mind at this point. But it took time for me to get there and lots of little steps! So if you have the desire to shop more ethically, don’t be hard on yourself. You’re probably not going to be able to quit cold turkey! Just start slow. Think twice before you purchase something as to what it really means to buy it. What are you supporting with your dollar and what are you contributing to your life and the world at large with that purchase? Just starting to think about it is something!
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I’ve been hosting a #virtualyardsale over on @agirlnamedleneyshop this week! Adding more stuff soon, but check out the story highlights to see what’s still available. But hey, don’t buy something if it’s not going to add value to your life, ok?
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This thermal is from @maysplace_stl and was one of the best souvenirs from #thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip. I mean, my life’s motto printed on a vintage thermal? Hell. Yes.

I feel like I have a lot of homes at this point in my life.
Places I more or less feel settled in. Places I partially call mine. That I can come back to no matter how much time has passed and it feels comfortable. Places too that I can’t physically return to but are still labeled in my mind as ‘Home’. .
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But there hasn’t been a place that is wholly mine for a while now and I realize that is part of why I loved living on the road so much these last few months. My car, Blue Moon, is the only big tangible thing that’s all-the-way mine and for some reason it just feels good to have something grounding like that, to completely rely on and call yours.
And the road too, the road, even though it is so wide and expansive and metaphorical in so many different ways, it feels like mine too. It’s generous enough with itself to allow for multiple inhabitants and owners and it is always reliable in the sense that it is always there. .
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I started to share this image thinking I would write about something else, but this came out instead. So I guess it’s what I’m really feeling today, right now. There is overwhelm and eagerness and sadness and frustration and joy all mixed up inside my person right now but most of all: anticipation.
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip opened up a whole hallway of doors for me and, for the first time in a long time, instead of being overwhelmed by the world being my oyster, I feel clarity and focus and I’m ready to pick a door and walk through it and See if it leads to another home. .
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#theknittingqueenscastle

13,354 miles
59 days
34 rolls of film
30 states
1 Subaru
1 tent
1 brother
a lot of tacos
= the adventure of a lifetime
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we did it kid.
we just had the adventure of our lives.
we drove across the country and back in 59 days and it has most definitely changed my life.
more on that another time.
but i just wanted to say for the public record, thanks for being (one of) the best brother(s) a girl could ask for.
wouldn’t have wanted to do this road trip with anyone else.
(not just because no one else in my life is as patient as you when i’m in thrift shops/book stores/taking photos of flowers on the side of the road... but that is a plus)
now onto the next adventure...
-•-•-•-•-
and thank you @heath_herring for what i think has ended up being my favorite photo of my brother and i together on this trip.
glad you could be a part of our adventure too my friend.
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#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

been traveling these wide roads for so long

my heart’s been far from you

ten-thousand miles gone —River by Leon Bridges
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started the morning of day 59 on the road with this song. there have been a lot of songs that have helped rotate the wheels on this drive across America and back. when my own words can’t quite express the moment, there’s always a song that can at least begin to.
there are countless thoughts i want to write down and share about this trip, but for now... this will do. .
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

i got to live my 1970s dream the other night in a Westfalia on the Mississippi.
(although i have to admit, our tent, Little Jimmy, is a lot better at keeping out the mosquitos, but she sure does photograph well...) #nevernottakingphotosofvws .
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#airbnb
#vanlife
#westfalia
#best_airbnb
#vwwestfalia
#vancamping
#adventurehomes
#missouricamping
#airbnbexperiences
#inavandownbytheriver
#roadtripacrossamerica
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

i call this one: Breakfast In A Motel 6 .
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i have such a weird little love for cheap hotels and motels. perhaps because they remind me of the early days of shooting weddings, and the thrill of showing up and having a room booked in my name just-for-me, or perhaps because of the adventures i’ve had with various family members and friends during we-just-need-somewhere-to-sleep moments on the road. or perhaps because they always have the best string of fascinating individuals who all look like they contain within them a lifetime of stories. .
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also, there’s a song called Motel 6 by River Whyless that i discovered on this trip that’s become one of my new favorite songs. you should go listen to it. .
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it’s day 52 of being on the road, currently in South Dakota but headed to an assortment of some or all of the following so if you have suggestions of things to do/see/eat let me know!
——> •Nebraska •Kansas •Iowa •Missouri •Minnesota •Indiana
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#lifeontheroad
#wandermoreworryless
#theshadowdiaries
#morningsun
#travelingphotographer
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip
#motel6roadtrip
#motel6
#shadowsense
#slowmornings
#livefullyalive

today is day 50 of being on the road.
i had to sit and just read that for a minute.
i cant believe it’s been that long.
there are events and people and places at the beginning of this trip that feel like a lifetime ago.
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i’m in Montana as i write this, which means the trek back East has officially been underway for a few days now. which for weeks felt like a thing that was always so long from ‘now’, yet, here it is. headed home.
i have to admit i’m a bit apprehensive of returning to Virginia. i think it’s going to be somewhat of a shock after the constant change and on-the-go living i’ve been doing for weeks on end now.
i admit too that i miss faces more than places.
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this trip isn’t over yet, though it’s much nearer to the end then the beginning, something my heart is somewhat aching over today.
but it will be good to see all of my people again. to swap Summer stories and exchange hearts and hugs.
hopefully they recognize me under all this dirt and dust and sunkissed skin...
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#TheWildandWonderfulAmericanRoadTrip
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#naturalbridgesmonument
#drivingacrossamerica
#womenontheroad
#sheexplores

my life’s never been one of rule following and going by the books and checking off predetermined boxes.
not out of rebellion or spite, but simply because i was just wired differently. .
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being a rebel can be a moniker of over glorification and an excuse for doing what you want just because you want to do it, all the while disrespecting other people/places/things in the process.
i don’t want to be that kind of rebel. .
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but there are a lot of norms in this society i do want to rebel against. .
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that you can’t amount to anything if you haven’t gone to college.
that you have to be married at a certain age or by a certain age.
that because i’m a woman i can’t do ——
that because i’m a woman i have to do ——
that it’s weird to travel/live/do anything alone.
that you have to have certain possessions to be deemed successful or cool.
that money will fix it.
that you have to own/buy/wear this.
that likes determine value.
that being in debt is okay.
that your worth is determined by how busy you are.
that if you didn’t instagram it it didn’t really happen. .
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my life has always been one to defy norms.
i didn’t have a traditional upbringing in many ways and that has lead me to living an untraditional life.
but you know what?
i’m so grateful for that.
a lot of people don’t know how to react to me when i tell them i have very few of those check marks to measure themselves against me with.
but i don’t mind. .
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because i want to live a life that can’t be measured. .
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#alifewelllived
#alifewelltravelled
#finditliveitloveit
#intentionalliving
#rewildingforwomen
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip
#lapushwashington
#lapush
#anywhereonthewaterisaplaceicallhome
#explorersgonewild
#explorersclub
#sheexplorespnw
#womenontheroad
#travelingphotographers
#dirtyhippies
#theadventurehat

pulling into the marina my insides felt like they wanted to be on the outside.
it came like a wave, the emotion, hitting me suddenly and all-at-once. .
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i missed my Father.
the East Coast water.
the marinas i grew up in.
the boatyards that were the playgrounds of my youth.
the decks of the boats that had ferried me into and through adulthood. .
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my brother has joked that all i care about is being near the water when we’re looking for a campsite. which is true, though i only passively realize it in the moment. whether it’s creek, stream, river, bay or ocean—i try to get as close to it as i possibly can. .
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“it’s either in your blood, or it’s not” i overheard a woman on the dock say to the man standing next to her.
i assumed, based on our location, she meant sailing and being on the water. .
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well.
it’s in my blood.
it’s in my blood in a way i will never be able to outrun, outgrow, ignore or shake.
this whole trip, i’ve been saying i’ve been driving across the country and back, but really i’m realizing that i’m driving from one coast to the other.
there’s been a lot of beauty in the middle of this country, in the open desert and amongst thick forests and on top of mountains shrouded in mist.
but it is on shorelines and immersed in blue where i feel most at home. .
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#daughterofasailor
#anywhereonthewaterisaplaceicallhome
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip
#porttownsend
#porttownsendwashington
#woodenboats
#thisboatwasforsailandiwantedtobuyit
#sailinglife
#westcoastsailing
#tumblehome
#woodensailboat

this is a post about a very special person.
this beauty is my friend Anna.
we became internet-friends and then real-life-friends a handful of years ago and i was over the moon to get to come see her again on this trip. (some of you may remember she was the first in my #ArtistsInFilm series too!)
she has been a source of endless encouragement and inspiration for me, directly and indirectly, and i hold her pretty high up there with the handful of amazing women i look up to who are running their own businesses and following their dreams and passions all-the-way. she has taught me so much and is always so transparent and genuine (a rare combination these days) and never ceases to share what she’s learned to help other small business owners. .
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she opened up a storefront, @homebodyportland, over the weekend with the equally lovely Max of @rootsandcrownspdx and i absolutely loved being able to come see it in person on its second day of opening (traffic from Crater Lake didn’t allow me to make it for the soft opening but it was no less lovely on its second day in business!)
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on top of all of THAT and all she already had going on this weekend, she shared her tiny cottage with my brother and i and gave us a much needed home base and place to slow down from being on the road for over 40 days on #thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip ! (friends who leave their doors open for you and greet you with wine and palo santo should be elected for president in my opinion). .
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alright alright, i could go on but i mostly just wanted to put out into the world my gratefulness for this human being and to say that:
1. if you’re in #PortlandOregon please go visit @homebodyportland
2. you can watch my instagram story for more photos of my visit!
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i love you dear Anna.
keep being exactly you.
the world is so much better for it. .
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#thepeopleimeetandthestoriestheytell
#womenentrepreneurship
#womenownedbusiness
#portlandoregonartist
#experimentalvintage
#homebodyportland
#badassbossbabe
#homebody
#bossbabe

these are the kinds of books that turn me on. (alternate caption: Leney should not be allowed to walk into @powellsbooks after drinking a margarita)
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relishing in a slow morning with some extra reading time today.
what are you reading this weekend?
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it’s day 40 of #thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip and i have to tell you all, i’ve never left Virginia for this long. i’ve traveled my whole life and have almost-always been on the move but there isn’t anywhere i have ever called home other than good ol Virginny, or been to longer than a few weeks. (i never even went away to college... or even WENT to college for that matter!)
but The Road feels like home.
and i’m realizing that more and more with each passing day. .
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#livingontheroad
#slowmorning_routine
#drivefastliveslow
#sustainableliving
#slowlivingbooks
#sustainablereading
#livingadifferentkindoflife
#rewildingwithbooks
#booksofinstagram
#bookrecommendations
#slowreading
#bookworming
#goodreads

i have such a love for wildflowers.
if i were a flower that’s the kind i’d be.
but not just any wildflower, the kind that makes its home along the roadside. ✺—✺—✺—✺
(i could also line the highway for a good while with the rolls of film i’ve shot of them on this trip...)
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#rewildyourlife
#oregonflowers
#wildflowerchild
#roadsideflowers
#theartofslowliving
#lessonsfromnature
#flowersofinstagram
#drivingacrossamerica
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

- - - > coast to coast <- - -
my brother and i have officially driven all the way across the country in my trusty steed Blue Moon.
making dreams come true has never felt this sweet.
so many words, so many feelings. all will be saved for sharing later i am sure.
for now i am reveling in this cool air, on this highway, on this coast.
East coast i do love you something fierce but i’m being reminded of why they say the West Coast is the best coast. .
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#sheexplores
#westcoastbestcoast
#womenontheroad
#droveacrossthecountry
#usroadtrip
#highway1
#californiacoast
#hwy1
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip
#travelingphotographer
#theadventurehat
#womenonroadtrips

these are the kinda pit stops i make...
—⌓●—⌓●—⌓●—
who else loves thrifting?
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most of y’all know that i am an avid thrifter and vintage lover, but what you might not know is that 98% of my wardrobe is in fact thrifted, vintage, handmade or secondhand. i don’t shop at chain stores, malls, online or at any big retail shops. i shop small, local and secondhand as often as possible in every area of my life but especially when it comes to clothing because #fastfashion is something i’m not about.
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i started my vintage shop @folkling largely for this reason, to help spread the perspective and story of finding beauty in once-forgotten and cast-off things and to remind you, and myself, to think intentionally about what you’re buying and why you’re buying it. .
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i’ve been getting some new ideas for the direction of @folkling on this trip as a matter of fact and i have to say i’m getting pretty excited about them. .
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it feels like such a blessing, hell, it IS such a blessing that i get to incorporate so many of my passions and interests into making my living and creating my art here in this crazy wild world. but i couldn’t do it without all of you. feeling very grateful for the whole supportive and encouraging lot of you.
if i could take you each on a thrifting adventure i would. ;)
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#slowfashion
#folklingfinds
#thriftingdiaries
#secondhandfirst
#thriftingontheroad
#downwithfastfashion
#vintageinstagramshop
#slowfashionmovement
#thewildandwonderfulamericanroadtrip

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