2018 – the Year of Left Coast Adventures

West Cost States Map

& Photography & Writing & Other things

With 2017 officially behind us now, now is the time to look forward to the new year, to make plans, set goals, and take stock of where we want to go in our lives. But, it is also a time of reflection. Reflection on the previous year, the previous couple of years, the past five years, and the like. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are days where anything and everything are possible if we can only imagine it.

As I look forward to 2018 and try to figure out just where I want to go with my life, I find myself struggling with first defining who am I? Am I a writer? Am I a photographer? Am I an adventurer? Am I a blogger? Just what the heck am I anyway?

With all these questions swimming through my mind, it dawned on me; I’d fallen into the trap of letting what I do define who I am. It should be the other way around, who I am defines what I do.

So, I am someone with an adventurous spirit, who writes and photographs those adventures and shares them with the world.

2018 – the Year of Left Coast Adventures

West Cost States Map
Map of West coast states
Source: Wikipedia

Okay, I have always had an adventurous spirit, but this year is going to be epic. I am taking my life in a new direction when it comes to adventure; each day will be an adventure! Cliché? Perhaps. I have downsized my life and will be embracing the #vanlife lifestyle (okay, in my case it’s more like #carlife, but it’s the mentality that matters most).

Why am I declaring 2018 the year of left coast adventures? Because I will be spending almost the entire year traveling and exploring California, Oregon, and Washington out of my car. When not in the car I will be out adventuring. Hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and other adventurous things that come my way will be pursued with a passion. What makes the journey is everything that happens from the moment I step out the front door until I get back home.

The plan is to take five to six months to slow travel from San Diego to Seattle, with some trips inland to visit other areas like Yosemite, Death Valley, and a few others. I have already identified a couple hundred hikes (yes, that does say hundred) I want to do on this trip, giving me tons of things to write about and photograph. A lot of my planned hikes are to scenic areas that can only be reached on foot with photography being the driving force behind these hikes. The hardest part of nature photography these days is finding things that haven’t been photographed to death; this means having to work harder to find and get to those places.

After reaching Seattle, I will move inland and reverse the process and travel north to south with the seasons. Ultimately, I’ll end up back in the deserts of the Southwest where I’m starting this adventure.

2018 adventure goals: to have as many adventures as I can cram into this year and to let no opportunity for an adventure to slip by.

2018 – the Year of Writing

Writing has always been a part of my life, so declaring 2018 to be the year of writing may not be accurate. Perhaps, it would be better to say, 2018 – the year I refocus on my writing. Over the past few years, I have gotten out of the writing habit. With writing, like most things in life, the more you do it, the easier and better it gets; the less you do it, it tends to become rusty, requiring more effort and time for the same word count.

2018 writing goal: to write and share something at least three times per week.

2018 – the Year of Photography

2017 was a strange year from a photography standpoint for me. My Canon 6D camera developed a sensor issue and eventually became unusable and with only about 30,000 articulations on the shutter. This left me with my old Canon T2i camera, a seriously outdated camera. The image quality of the older camera left a lot to be desired and I didn’t have the money to replace the 6D with another full-frame camera. It wasn’t until August I was finally able to pick up the new Canon 77D camera and started my photography back up with a three-week adventure in Bears Ears National Monument.

It felt wonderful to get a camera back into my hands, lifted to my eye, and to return to creating images of the world around me. So, with my new camera in hand, 2018 is going to be the year of photography. I am scouting for the best landscapes and adventure shots I can get this year and with my long road trip up the left coast, I am certain tons of photographic beauties will be had; or so I hope!

2018 photography goal: to create images and share those images with people at least 3 to 4 times per week.

2018 – the Year of the Blog

2018 will be the year of my blog. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the year I return to blogging on a regular basis.

Why a blog?

For me, a blog is a perfect outlet for the things I create. I can blend my writing and photography into one; while a photograph may be worth a thousand words, a photograph, and a thousand words is worth more. I see a blog as where everything gets married together. A blog is my ultimate canvas. I have a presence on Instagram, but that is where I share images. I also have a presence on Medium, but that is where I share stories and other writings. It is only on my blog that I can marry these two creative outlets into one and that is why I enjoy blogging.

2018 blog goals: to share 3 to 4 posts per week, blending my imagery and words.

2018 overall goals: to go on adventures, write and photograph those adventures and share them with others. To create something, anything, on a daily basis…

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