20 – I was supposed to be in Bali

Ang and I have been together for quite some time now and still have never vacationed or gone on a trip where one of us wasn’t working a majority of the time. We realized that because of both of our schedules were nuts, that we were going to have to plan something very far in advance for some time off together to actually happen. Last year we planned a Bali trip that would have started this week. Tickets paid, accommodations booked, Bali travel books read and dog-eared, puppy sitting scheduled. Three weeks before our trip… we had to put on our big girl panties and adult… hard. We canceled our trip with no good possibility of rescheduling any time soon. There was just too much going on to go visit the other side of the world.


My last big trip was in 2015, my friend Danielle and I went backpacking through South East Asia. It was soul filling and terrifying at the same time, we loved every minute of it. From seeing Angkor Wat and the towering limestone islands topped by rainforests of Ha Long Bay, to getting horribly sick and almost being left by our bus in the middle of nowhere at night (no shoes on or contacts in!), through and through it was nothing short of pure ADVENTURE. We found ourselves floating through another world and allowing our perceptions to be stretched and pulled by our foreign surroundings. The sights. The sounds. The smells (those could have been better).

I wanted to feel that freedom of adventure coursing through my veins all over again but I knew our timing was off. If there is one thing I have learned the past few years, it’s that you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes….well, you know.

It’s obviously incredibly important to know when to put down work and live life outside of that world every once in a while…but I think it’s equally important to recognize when you’re going through a crucial time that is going to define the next few years of the everyday. Looking around my half-moved-in home and very full rainbow of a google-calendar on my monitor…that time is very clearly now. As much as I’d love a break from these past few intense work marathon-weeks, I love the vision I have in my head even more. I can see the path to get there and, honestly, it feels like magic. Like actual live electric magic every time I think of these photos I want to create for you guys. This is going to get messy and the next few months are going to be tough, but my bones ache with everything I know this could be. I know I’ve already said this before, but it means so much to see so many of you reading these posts and cheering me on. I feel like I’m in the middle of a marathon, sweaty and barely jogging along, then I look up to see you guys yelling and waving me to the finish line. Art can’t be made in isolation, and you guys will always be my greatest inspiration.



One Comment

  • Heather Shanahan says:

    Bali will always be there. I recently met with a financial planner and he was a little amused that I was there because he rarely every sees anyone of my generation. I want to work hard and save now so that I can retire young and explore the world. But at the same time, I can’t be all work and want to know that I comfortably go on a crazy adventure once in a while. Prior to Nashville, my last REAL vacation was in 2009 and only because I wasn’t working at the time. It is still one of my favorite trips and I can’t wait to do something similar again. 7,300 miles, 22 days, and 20 some national parks and monuments. Every day we looked at where we were, where we knew the next couch we could crash on was, and what could we do in between.

    I woke up one day last year and realized I was working my life away and needed to get back to those adventures. And my Nashville vacation reminded me of that excitement. So I guess I’m saying, get work settled and then get your ass to Bali!

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