Journal Three: Diary of the Open Road

Diary of the Open Road

Diary of the Open Road: Day 17


This road trip isn't what I thought it would be, and truly, I'm thankful for that. 

I don't care as much about the things I thought I would care about. And I care more about the things I hadn't even given thought to. 

Before hitting the road, I dreamed about it all through photographs other people had taken. I was drawn to the west coast's beauty because of pictures I had seen. I had a list of destinations written on a napkin I've kept for months. I had photographs already imagined and stories I already written in my mind to tell.

I suppose that's the culture of travel these days. We have apps to tell us the best cafes in an area and use a hashtag to find the most desirable places to visit, take a photo or 300, and move on. 

I've been guilty of this in all of my travel experiences thus far, but the events of the last handful of days opened my eyes in a way they hadn't been before. 

We stopped. 

After a series of van complications, we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere in Texas in a small town that could have taken less than an hour to explore, on the surface anyway. There were no mountains, no white walled cafes to Instagram. There was far more than that. There was a beauty that exceeded the limits of what a photograph could possibly capture. That beauty was in the conversations we had with strangers who became friends. It was in the mystery of boarded up buildings and broken stone left to the dust. It was in the generosity of people who not only opened their doors, but shared a piece of their lives with us. 

That is the story I want to tell because it's the story I actually lived. It's not the glamorous mountaintop views (although those will come), but it was just as, or even more, significant than those. I can let both the things impact me significantly if my heart is open and not distracted with my ideals of what this trip should be. 

This camera is a powerful tool. But I want photographs I take to mean something. I don't fully know what that looks like. But I know the difference between an empty photograph and a meaningful one. I'm good at "missing the point". My problem is usually "getting the point". 

I'm just as excited to get to the west coast as I was seventeen days ago, but I think the heart behind my excitement is shifting. In all honesty, I can't put my finger on exactly what that means, but considering this is a daily journal, I'm sure you'll hear of it when I figure it out. 

I love this journey and this season. 

Truly can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 


sarah kierstead