“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” ~Gilbert K. Chesterton
Often I wonder if people actually take a moment to connect with the places they photograph. They will travel miles to find a particular location and only spend the few moments it takes to get their perfect shot.
And then they leave. Onto the next best shot.
Through the many places I’ve had the pleasure to experience, I pause to observe. I watch people come to and from, with selfie sticks and tripods, too absorbed with snapping the best photo to ever look up from their device and truly appreciate their presence.
And then they leave. Onto the next best shot.
So whenever I travel, I come with two things in mind: 1. Don’t be a tourist 2. Pause, Reflect, & Connect
And with all that in mind…after having visited Cape Kiwanda the day before, our road trip continued along Highway 101 to make our way back to Seattle. We had no locations in mind, and all we wanted to do was drive and stop to our heart’s desire. And it was only perfect that our King Sun decided to stick around for the entire weekend!
With only Google Maps guiding us, we first came across Oceanside, OR and decided it would be a perfect spot to explore the beach.
We sat to absorb all the goodness. I snapped a few other photos with my phone as my bf pulled out a notebook and pencil to draw the scenery, but it’s too bad I recently traded in my phone and lost all my photos.
That is the reason I feel it is so important to truly connect with every place we visit. Memories are not memories unless we can actually remember. Photos can trigger memories, but photos cannot make up a [real] memory. So what happens when photos are lost?
After some healthy snacks and relaxing under the sun, we kept driving up Hwy 101 toward Cape Meares. At first glance, this place was so reminiscent of Deception Pass in WA. What do you think? =)
We explored the various look-outs and stumbled upon the light house. I’m not sure why I only photographed the light house with my iPhone and not my camera. So, since iPhone photos are lost, you only get this photo of the Light… minus the House :-D
Just around the corner, we realized that Cape Meares was home to the amazing Octopus Tree. I love trees! So I was especially happy to have met this wonder. Can you imagine the many years it has lived? The people it has met? The events it has witnessed? So insane…
It has quite the history if you care to read more about it here.
We jumped back on Highway 101, passing Manzanita, OR. Have you ever looked in your rearview mirror and noticed what a spectacular view you’re leaving behind? That’s exactly what happened here. Just…look at this winding road. And so we pulled over.
When we continued driving, we realized our day was soon coming to an end, and we were nowhere near Seattle yet. One last look at my Google Maps, and I noticed that we were really close to Fort Stevens State Park — home of the Peter Iredale Ship Wreck. I had only seen this gem on social media and was completely taken by surprise that it was so close to our WA border.
Detour? Not a problem! Catching a sunset here would be the perfect end to our day. And it was…
Amazing was this gem, no doubt.
Mother Earth does it again…She ends her day with such a beautiful sunset. The perfect end to our road trip. We jumped onto I-5 after leaving Fort Stevens, and headed to Seattle with the biggest smiles on our faces. How could we not, though?
And so with every place that I visit, I strive to lose the tourist mentality. I don’t travel to simply photograph and say that I’ve been somewhere. I travel with the intention of experiencing the very soul of a location. Pause, Reflect, and Connect.
I pause, right on my tracks, to observe everything there is to my surroundings. I notice the colors, the sounds, the wildlife…
I reflect, letting my imagination run wild. How did this place come to be? Who roamed before me? What stories can it possibly hold?
I connect, taking a moment to awaken every sense. I see, touch, listen, and breathe. And I feel — truly feel — to remember the kind of emotions a place made me feel. Was I happy? Excited? At peace?
It is these simple things that create memories for as long as my brain can handle them. It does not matter that I lost all my iPhone photos. Looking back at what photos I do have, I realize I have so many more vivid memories that are only for me hold dear. And I am perfectly OK with that.
Love and Magic,
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Stay curious, wild hearts!