Adventure: (n.) dare (v.) take a risk, take heart

By the time you read this I will have re-written my words a thousand times and again in my head before putting them here. This is it, then. The beginning of my blog, as a photographer. You should know it IS a little nerve racking, and feels vulnerable.

Very.

Let me start with a story. Stories are what keep us interacting with each other, right? They're the lifeblood of our beliefs, our choices, they are what we pass down to our children and grandchildren and put on textured parchment and bind and carry with us our entire lives. They're documentations of etched moments from the past that irreversibly imprint themselves on our present.

So I'm going to tell you a story that leads to a choice that affects my now, and your future.Image

Last year, around January, there was this Austin guy who messaged me on Facebook. He was one of about 3 or 4 young men who were messaging me at the time. I had met him once before at a wedding I was photographing in the beginning of 2011, and, incidentally, knew of him already through several mutual friends.

At the wedding, I thought this Austin guy was rude. Truly. We both knew of each other, and I was the photographer, and clearly couldn't do any socializing, and I thought it was terribly impertinent that he never bothered to say hi or introduce himself. He did make a comment to me about some photo I was taking during the reception, something lighthearted and trivial.

I went to my hotel after the reception that night, thought about other things, and forgot about him. (Except for the one time I sent him a Facebook message about a theological article and didn't talk to him after that. (I didn't know that was what he secretly wanted.))

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Fast forward to January 25th, 2012. An invitation to coffeeDate: "Sometime". He was in seminary Minneapolis. I was in Oklahoma City. I figured there was more of a chance he would be coming through my city, than I in his. (Oklahoma City is conveniently located beside I-35, the backbone of mid-western travel from Duluth, MN to Laredo, TX.) So I reciprocated the offer, only lazily dreaming of the possibilities of such a message.

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Fast forward again, 5 months. We're dating. Long distance. We're seeing each other an average of 4 days every 16 days. (As I write this, we've been dating 315 days and I've seen him an average of 4.2 days, 15 times.) So we miss each other a lot.

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Fast forward again: November. We decide to take a roadtrip. The one we never got to take as highschoolers. The one that you dream about and never take. He has never been to California. And I'm from there. And he's never seen the Grand Canyon. (And I was like, What?!) And what if, maybe, like a crazy dream-come-true, we drove along the coast of California and tent-camped and lived a bohemian life for a few months? (Also, Dating long distance sucks. Big time. (Especially if you really, really love the one you're with.)) So what better way to spend concentrated, "real" time together? Overcoming obstacles and unforeseen dangers and driving directions together? Right?

And now?

It's happening.

My Austin guy has brought me on so many adventures already, but this one will be grand.Image

And so the last time he was here, we bought an atlas. A big, fat, thick one. And we sat down with my parents and furiously scribbled out in pencil the places we want to visit in along the west coast. Seattle! Portland! The Redwoods! Napa Valley! Santa Rosa! San Francisco! CoarsegoldYosemite! San Diego!

Oh the plans! We leave for the West Coast on May 23rd, with the starting point in Minneapolis, hitting Seattle (around June 2nd) , adventuring down to San Diego, backpacking in the Grand Canyon (June 29th-July 2nd!), and ending in Austin on July 8th.

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Now, here's where YOU come in. (Yes, this ALL has a point.)

We want to visit you, if we're in your area! Send me a note at my personal email address: arkraftdesigns(at)gmail(.)com.

Here's the deal: I will be trading one portrait or family session in return for lodging for three people at your house/apartment/teepee home. My brother, my boyfriend, and I would be SO happy to meet you if we can! We will also need a tour guide for San Francisco and possibly San Diego.

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Are you in? We are. This is our adventure. Join us.

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