Today I am celebrating my 2 year anniversary of this blog! Because of this milestone, I wanted to share some of my thoughts about what blogging has meant to me and some of the many changes I have experienced as a result.
Two years ago when I made my first post (https://theperpetualvagabond.com/2011/05/31/today-2/), I was terrified at the idea that people might <gasp> actually look at my work and that for the first time ever I would be exposing myself to both criticism and praise (which were equally difficult for me to hear). At first I just posted here and there, when I felt like it, as I was crawling out of a dark depression and creative stagnation that had lasted for many years. I was not confident in my work, but I did enjoy having somewhere to put it that I could at least reflect upon from time to time. Up until that first post 2 years ago I had not shared my work with anyone in years and this was my attempt at trying to be daring and maybe spark new creativity in my life.
And the amazing thing is that it worked. Less than a year later I began taking photos at Occupy Portland protests and had my photography featured in a number of local and national publications.
some of my photos from that time can be found here:
Also during the spring of 2012 I decided that I would travel to South Korea and Japan and try my hand at travel photography. During that trip my photo essay on Kyushu Island, Japan was featured on Freshly Pressed and suddenly I had an audience that I never expected. In just a few days I received over 10,000 views and hundreds of comments.
This “success” just made me want to work harder and made me feel like there were actually people out there that were interested in what I was doing. So, I kept at it.
I traveled to Spain in August of 2012 to walk the Camino de Santiago and had a life changing experience. I was able to blog about my trip while on the trail (although I’m not sure that the weight of my camera and iPad were worth it, next time I will blog when I get back!).
Many entries from my time on The Camino can be found here: https://theperpetualvagabond.com/?s=Camino
Then in the fall of 2012 I was Freshly Pressed again for an essay I wrote on this journey I have been on to reclaim my life and creativity called: The Swifts, Conflict, Decision Making and Following my Dreams. This one, though, was a bit more difficult for me to see end up so public, as it was extremely personal and I wasn’t really sure I wanted too many people to see it…I guess putting it on my blog was risky, but I never thought it would end up getting so much attention. But, there it was and the response I got was incredible. So many people let me know that the essay touched them personally and made a difference in their lives. I felt so honored to have people I have never met feel impacted by my words.
Also over these past 2 years I have found inspiration as a photographer in my home and around the Pacific Northwest, which I had often overlooked before, but now brings me more joy and beauty than I have known anywhere else in the world.
Which brings be to today. Two years later. I’m happy, inspired, excited about the future and in love with life. I’m not sure that I would be where I am today with these many adventures and personal breakthroughs behind me if it hadn’t been for blogging and my commitment to taking a risk and sharing myself with the world.
So, thank you to each of you that has followed my journey, my photography and my work. Without your support I’m not sure where I would have ended up. I am eternally grateful!
On a personal note, I got married last weekend to the love of my life (which two years ago I would have never imagined was ever possible!). We eloped and took our own photos of the ceremony. Here is one of them:
I’m not sure where there next two years will take me, but I can only hope that they will be anywhere near as amazing as the last two. One thing is for sure though, I will continue to share my photography and my words on this blog and I hope to continue to inspire others to find their own creative voice, whatever that may be!
~The Perpetual Vagabond
Here are a few photos from my first day on The Camino de Santiago. They are more or less in order of the day, which was 27 kilometers, 1200 meters of elevation gain, and for me 10 hours of walking. I have hiked in many parts of the world, but this was one of the most challenging and beautiful things I have ever done! I am currently on day 4 of The Camino, resting in Pamplona, Spain. I have many more photos to share once I can get to them. Enjoy~
In the Summer of 2006, my travel partner Daniel and I spent 40 days cycling through Ireland and France. Neither of us had any significant experience traveling by bike and we undertook this journey on used mountain bikes we bought in Ireland (not nescesarily recommended but doable!). Anytime “real” cyclists would see us and our bikes they would exclaim, “you can’t tour on those!”. But, that is exactly what we did and without too much fanfare made it with only minor hiccups. We did experienced crazy weather, broken-down bikes, and terrifying roads, but we also experienced beautiful scenery, the kindness of strangers and life in the countryside of Europe in places where many travelers never go. In total we traversed 1000 miles down and across the the west and south coast of Ireland, through NW France and finally through the French Alps.
We traveled slowly favoring seeing an area over gaining ground and had little agenda or plan as we went. The experience of self propelled travel was incredibly rewarding and I would recommend it to most anyone.
Some of the trips highlights were: The WHOLE West Coast of Ireland, seeing standing stones in NW France, watching the World Cup during mid-afternoon breaks at local pubs, ending up on the Tour de France route in the Alps, amazing food, “luxury” campgrounds (with pools, kitchens and bars) and seeing things just slow enough to enjoy them but just fast enough to stay interested.
At the end of our tour we were forced to sell our bikes in a hour window of time in Lyon when we discovered we would not be permitted to take them on the train to Germany. Letting go of that bike was one of the hardest things I have ever done, although I’m sure my tears were as much about the end of the journey as they were about saying goodbye to my trusty steed.
All of the following photos are scanned from film prints and the quality is pretty poor, but they still tell a story of an incredible journey that I will never forget. Hope you enjoy!