The last post of the trip…

So once I left Colorado it was back to Kentucky to pick up my car and also to speak at a local college in Indiana. Just recently I started doing some public speaking gigs and my speech initially was geared towards other professional photographers. When I was asked to speak to college kids I did a bit of tweaking and it rocked! The students were SO incredible. They were engaged, enthusiastic and extremely talented.

I stayed after and spoke to a couple of students one on one and that turned out to be probably the best part of the experience. I got feedback within hours of the talk about changing lives and inspiring their passion. I was floored and flattered. I was so excited to have been a part of their journey, even if it was only for a few hours. It made me that I want to do a lot more public speaking and I want to do it now!

My last stop of the trip was Nashville, Tennessee. I went there to experience the amazing city and to see my awesome friend of 20+ years, Sarah! Sarah moved to Nashville about 8 years ago to pursue her dream of being in the music industry and she is crushing that dream! It’s been so amazing because her and I have been on what I love to call “the road to happiness,” for the same amount of years. We both started going after our dream career at the same time and it’s been incredible to share this road with her.

 

Sarah is one of the few people in the world that I can sit down with and be real with on any given occasion. She lets me tell it like it is and she gives it right back. She is a truly beautiful person on the inside and the outside and I feel so lucky to call her my friend. She also recently got engaged to a super stellar guy and guess who is going to be their wedding photographer?!

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I spent a few days in TN longer than I expected because of a huge ice storm. It was insane to see how another state reacts to bad weather and it made me feel like an invincible New Englander but truth be told this ice storm was no joke and would have caused trouble even here in Ct. The good news is that it made for an impromptu ice storm party at Sarah’s friends house. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard or enjoyed meeting strangers as much as I did that day. We mixed champagne with card games, good food and great company. My first and last Nashville ice storm party was a success.

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From Nashville I drove to Roanoke where my father used to live. It’s always held a special place in my heart. I drove back to old familiar surroundings like his old house and the famous Roanoke star! Even though it was bitter cold, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with a warm and fuzzy feeling of very special childhood memories. IMG_8189IMG_8202IMG_8214

My last day on the road was supposed to be my second to last day on the road but I just kept driving. I was so close to home and I needed my bed so after 10.5 hours of driving I ended up in Essex, Ct at the Black Seal of course. It was amazing to be greeted by my best friends and a cold beer. It’s taken a few days to actually feel settled now that I am home. I felt like a stranger in my own home for the first 24 hours. But now that my pup is home, my laundry is done and I’m unpacked- home feels amazing.

So I guess thats it. This incredible 3 week journey is over. I saw and experienced things I never imagined possible. I got to see some of my favorite people in the world as well as meet some new very special people. As cliche as it sounds I learned a shit ton about myself on this trip. Things that I truly needed to unravel. Things that I have brought home with me, and things that I’m still figuring out. But this trip was one of the best decisions of my life and I will cherish these blog posts and my photographs forever.

Were there any other questions? Oh ok, yes you in the back? Oh you were wondering about that boy I met in Fort Collins, Co? Well, he’ll be here in two weeks and my tickets are booked to go back 3 weeks later to see him in April. So things are going well, to say the least 🙂

Stay tuned…the real adventure has just begun.

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