Misty, blurred, bright. Feeling like your entire existence is on black and white film. Water hangs in the air, suspended indefinitely just above pavement and cobblestones. Angry Frenchmen pay me no attention as they scurry down sidewalks; places to go and baguettes to eat.
Romance is everywhere; it fills rooms and dominates energies. Romance for lovers, romance for adventure, romance for all the enlightening sights and sounds I’ve discovered. This city’s romance knows no bounds. It’s not just for the couples; Paris is for the romantics, paired or not.
When I think of you, Paris, I will think of delicate lace, wet cobblestones, and too much bread. I will wistfully remember the clicking of heels on streets at 4 am. Laughter over a bottle of wine and a rude waiter. Speechlessness when I want to say something, and moments when I didn’t feel the need at all – like that night we watched the Eiffel Tower light up in all of her splendor.
I will always remember the day you served me all of my idols on a silver platter, walking down the street following a fashion show I will one day attend. The empowerment I felt in that moment, it can only be felt in a city like you.
Getting lost in your city streets didn’t taste like panic like it usually does; it felt like freedom vibrating across my skin and the rain acted as my guide. I explored with an intensity, feverishly eager for all the knowledge and experiences you had to offer.
Paris, most importantly you taught me that my greatest love is and will always will be with myself. Me and only me. I and only I can teach myself what I am worth. And Paris, with you I am worth everything.” – Journal entry, March 4th, 2017.
Stepping into what used to be the Grand Hall; all that’s left is moss and broken stones. The energy of lives that once filled this room still vibrates in the air, though weakened after hundreds of years. Green and golden hues fill each and every crevice and crack. Spiral staircase towers and medieval architectural planning construct a playground. Curiosity all consuming, it pulls me to each new doorway. I skip down halls, dance through old bed chambers, giggle with an adolescent excitement as I climb my way up to the top, taking the steps two at a time.
The ceiling crumbled centuries ago, but I would wager that the princesses and princes who once lived here would have preferred it this way – natural light exposing every thoughtful detail, inscribed initials and family crests. Grand windows would have once let light kiss the floors, but now the sun’s rays flood every room without obstruction.
Window seats provide the same function they were once intended for; sitting, gazing, wondering. The journal comes out, the pen pours ink. What is it that’s making my heart burst here? I’m in love with this place. I’m in love with the way I feel here; enchanting, magnificent.
Something so grand that makes me feel so minute and humbled. People felt here, people loved here, people lived here. Their entire world reduced to rubble around me. Joys and sorrows long forgotten, but still present – the taste of abandoned ruins is so bittersweet. It’s a spiritual experience to truly recognize evidence of other worlds than your own; the palpability of knowing you make up less than one second in the clock of the world and its history.
All the wonders of the world don’t compare to what I’ve unearthed here. It’s a storybook, and coming here in solitude is allowing me to understand how I am in fact my own fairytale ending. I am a princess, twirling about in what used to be the King’s Throne Room. I record a mental movie of myself in this moment, later to be projected onto my dreams, and I continue on my way.
To be honest, I didn’t think much of it at first. Our first impression was what we saw as we came in through its southern entrance – meaning we had to drive for 2 hours through a vast forest of scraggly evergreen trees. I won’t blame this part of the forest for the wildfire it had to endure not too long ago, but I was not in awe as I had been while viewing the Grand Teton National Park.
But, as things usually go, I was proved wrong but nature. Once the forest cleared for the first time, I could finally see the beauty and I finally understood what made this park so special.
There’s something about Yellowstone that is still so natural. Virtually untouched by man – once you get off the two lane road that runs through the park – it emits a sort of calm that I’ve never experienced before.
It holds knowledge that we can’t comprehend, and contains stories that we’ll never hear. It exists in its own microcosm within our world, unaware of the troubles we humans face outside of its borders. The herds of bison have no regard for our troubles, and the many bears that live there were happier than we were to avoid an encounter. Yellowstone exists for the livelihood of its inhabitants, and that is what makes it such a beautiful escape for us mere humans.
So yea, that was Yellowstone.
And that’s it for the road trip!
You may be sitting here wondering – what the hell were the 6 states? By the time we reached our destination of Vancouver, we drove through: Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Not even to mention we had to drive across California to begin the trip! Now I’m settled into Vancouver for the summer and you can expect a post from here soon. Before then, though, look forward to one of my favorite shoots from back home in California!
Check out my last post for an intro into my 6 States, 6 Days series to stay in the loop!
So on our last day in Sun Valley, I told myself: “Enough is enough, I need to put on a cute outfit to feel like myself again!”
I don’t know how you guys feel about this – but when I travel, I want to romanticize everything about the adventure I’m on. I shamelessly want to feel like my trip is a beautifully shot film, and I like to dress accordingly. So on a road trip, especially a road trip to the outdoors-y destination of Sun Valley, you can see that I would run into some trouble.
The main conflict, of course, is where practicality and my personality collide. My romantic imagination would prefer to wear a flowing midi dress on a nature hike where reality needs me to wear hiking clothes and a baseball cap. I had to accept that my fashionable movie moment just wasn’t going to happen on this trip – and after a short internal struggle, I accepted this whole-heartedly.
I accepted that for parts of the trip, the romance lay within the nature I would be viewing. How I remember those precious moments will not be tainted by the heinous athletic clothing I chose to wear. But I still made time for the moments I needed to feel like myself and exist by my own rules, and these photographs capture those moments where my last post’s photographs did not.