Last Weekend I had the opportunity to travel through Central Oregon and visit the Pine Mountain Observatory outside of Bend where I was able to check out Saturn and the M1 star cluster through high powered telescopes. Central Oregon has one of the best night sky viewing areas in the world and I would highly encourage anyone interested in astronomy to go visit sometime. It is simply incredible! This is my first ever attempt at night sky photography so I hope you enjoy!
I don’t leave for Spain and the Camino de Santiago for another 2 weeks…but my bag is packed and I am ready to go!
The good thing about packing so early is that it gives me time to make sure I am not forgetting anything important and not bringing more than I need. The bad thing is that I keep looking at my bag and desperately wanting to leave tomorrow.
But, to be honest I’m also a little nervous. I may be a vagabond, but I tend to stick close to people I know. I’ve never spent 6 weeks traveling entirely solo. I’ve never hiked 600 miles. I’ve never even been to Spain. I’ve done many challenging things in my life, but this is new and different and is making me feel a little uncertain as to what will happen.
But, I guess that is the journey. I’m looking for something new in my life and in my travels and I can’t stick to what I already know to find it. So for the next 2 weeks I will wait with anticipation while my bag sits there nicely packed and reminding me of the adventure ahead!
I am a vagabond; that much is clear to me. But I am also drawn to building creative and meaningful community at home. This makes me feel torn on a near constant basis and the process of fuzing these two realities together seems to be more alchemy than a hard science. At least I have yet to discover the secret. It seems that the life of a vagabond is lonely and isolated from stability, while filled with adventure and personal growth; while life in community is repetitive and predictable, but gives the opportunity to know others and a place intimately. Now these two realities are not necessarily mutually exclusive, or even reflective of what I describe above, but for me it feels this way. And of course while traveling I dream of my life at home and while at home I can’t stop thinking of getting back into the unknown.
This time around I made it just over a month in Portland before the itch set in. An itch that I couldn’t scratch without buying a plane ticket. After returning from Korea and Japan this past May I was excited about being home for some time, putting in my garden, maybe further developing my romantic relationship and hopefully finding a job. I figured I could at least go for another year before needing to travel again. But, the good feeling of being home only lasted about a month. The vibrant green of spring in the Pacific Northwest began to fade, my garden went untended, my relationship spoiled and only rejection letters from potential employers found their way to my inbox. My new dream of living a full and exciting life while remaining still dissolved…
…Now to be fair, I probably didn’t give things enough time. I expected stability while demanding excitement. I didn’t allow things to flourish from a place of newness, but allowed them to stagnate though a place of the familiar. Instead of holding tight and allowing for a new chapter to emerge, I chose to escape. It’s what I do best. So, I decided that I would spend 6 weeks in Spain in order to walk the Camino de Santiago, something I have wanted to do for years. I figured this would buy me some more time to try my hand once again at growing roots when I return.
While I desire some of what stability offers and often find myself attracted to staying put, the feeling never lasts. Some people find the idea of traveling frightening, but exciting; I feel that way about being stable and in one place. But, just like people who are afraid to travel and would benefit from facing their fears, I should probably face my fear of staying still for a time in order to gain the lessons of that experience. So now I intend to try again when I return from this trip. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if in the end it turns out that I am destined to be a wandering vagabond and will have to find my desire for community and stability in other ways.
But, I am excited to embark on this next adventure in search of clarity and to have the opportunity to do more travel photography in a part of the world I have never been. Who knows if I will find any answers on my journey, but I know it will help fulfill my wanderlust while giving me time to contemplate my next steps at home.
I leave August 2nd, so stay tuned for photos and stories from the road!