Why I had never been anywhere

The journey of becoming a travel photographer and blogger started for me in 2017. I had been to a few states and major cities in the United States, but had never really been anywhere. Life was just busy. Working a fifty plus an hour a week job. Having kids and a husband. Every moment not being spent at work, was being spent with my family. Who had the time for fantasies of far off places. I barley had time for my friends.

Then life happened.

My grandmother got sick. Cancer. My grandmother had been the center of my universe for most of my life. The first best friend. Role model. Now she was sick, and she lived on the other side of the country. I tried, but I couldn’t afford to fly to go see her. Tickets for four anywhere could be expensive, never mind across the country. So, my husband and I decided to drive.

Neither of us had ever done a long road trip, never mind driving clear across the country. The thought of it was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Could we even do this? With three kids and a dog? Were we crazy? But, I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to see my grandmother. So we just did it.

 

My husband Will, Tayler and Hunter sleeping in the back of the truck while we were on the road to California from New Hampshire.

 

It’s funny how one experience can change everything.

When I started to drive, my eyes were opened. I saw these big beautiful landscapes, cities, and beaches… and I started to realize how much I was missing out on. There had always been dreams of traveling to Paris, Rome or even to see the pyramids in Egypt. Never had I thought that there was so much to see in my own country. I started taking pictures with my iPhone, posting to my then very novice Instagram, and the rest became history.

Why had I never been anywhere? What was the point of working and paying bills if I wasn’t living or experiencing anything? Was this really what life was about? Not being able to do anything or go anywhere? It couldn’t be. So, when I got home, I made some changes.

 

A stop on the way to California – the Grand Canyon.

  

Change is good.

What changes did I make? I stopped spending money on stuff. You never realize how much you spend on useless objects until you start paying attention. Before my “awakening”, I always had to have the newest and best of everything. It’s an American disease. Consumers by nature, we always have to have the newest and shiniest things. Had to have that brand new iPhone. Then the latest TV. Trendy clothes. New furniture. It went on and on. I was spending so much money on things I didn’t need. So, I just stopped.

Traveling was going to take money. Experiences were much more important to me than things. So I saved, every chance I got. I brewed my own coffee, instead of buying Starbucks everyday. I started buying clothes that were more timeless and less trendy. Staying home during my non-travel time and saving the money I would have spent on other things. It’s actually not as hard as you would think. When something matters, you make it happen.

My life is so different now.

In 2018 I purchased my first professional camera and taught myself photography through YouTube videos and online master courses. Now I travel every chance I get! Life is no longer about working to pay the bills. I now work to pay for vacations and weekends away. Living every moment as if there is nothing beyond this one life we have. That is what Navigating Nirvana means to me. Living and experiencing my heaven on earth, and inspiring others to do the same. My personal state of perfect happiness.

Before we left on that first cross country road trip I had been to six states, four major cities, and only one national park. As I write this I’ve now visited forty two out of fifty of the states in the US. I’ve explored twenty five major cities, and twenty two National Parks. I’ve also explored two new countries. I still have eight incredible states left to explore, and many new countries and continents to adventure to. And, you’ll be happy to know, my grandmother is still with us and at this moment doing very well.

To learn more about me and what this page will contain, please visit my About Page. I would love to hear more about you! Comment below and let me know your first name, where your from, and how you found me.

Thank you for stopping by.

 

Grandma Pat, Tayler and Hunter at the San Diego County Fair

Stop number one on our road trip – Niagara Falls