Diary of the Open Road: RIP DAILY JOURNAL
RIP DAILY JOURNAL
Months before even owning the van or having mapped out a route for this road trip, I had been thinking about how I would document it, the photographs I would take, stories I dreamed of telling. I wanted to be so invested in this journey and pushing myself to post a journal about it daily seemed like a good discipline to ensure that I would do just that.
But about seven days in, way back in Tennessee, the reality of road-life began to set in with our first breakdown. I remember sitting on the hotel floor at midnight after one of the most stressful, confusing and long days I've had in years, mind and body exhausted, trying to collect my thoughts together and construct some sort of write up to explain the day's events. I realized then that creating content every single day was no small task, but I also made the decision to keep persevering through the process. I don't like giving up on things because they are hard. I only like giving up on things when they aren't worth it.
Since beginning this journey, so much of how I see travel, photography, and documentation has shifted. I talked about this a bit a few posts back, and of course, I'm still processing through it. But for relevance sake, something significant I am realizing is that I want to be intentional about what I document and what I don't document. I want to create content that means something to me, and I've noticed a pattern forming. I've been forcing it. A good number of these posts have been motivated by stress, not creativity. When you only have access to power and wifi for hours, sometimes minutes, sometimes not at all, in a given day, there is a great level of pressure I'm learning has been working against me. Sometimes, I thrive under pressure. More often than not, my best work tends to come from careful and thoughtful processing. Editing and reediting, writing and rewriting, until I feel my words and photographs have best represented what I felt in those moments, and the message I want to share through them.
It takes time.
And there just aren't enough hours in the day.
To be more specific, the handful of journals I have felt have done a good job of capturing a day fully have taken a minimum of eight hours to shoot, edit, write, upload, post etc. Eight hours in a coffee shop daily doesn't really give room to embrace the experiences that should be filling my time.
(+ my coffee budget has run out ya'll.)
Nearly half-way through our time on the road, I'm realizing what a gift these experiences are. A gift with an expiry date. And from here on in, I want to give myself the freedom to make living it a priority first and document what I feel is truly worth capturing.
Quality over quantity.
Content motivated by renewed creativity and passion, not stress or urgency.
Keeping this journal daily has been such a good experience. It has stretched me greatly and challenged me to create content when I don't even feel like doing dishes in our compressible, plastic sink. That's valuable. It's helped me grow.
But with a great lack of wifi and the unpredictably of each day and the fact that I am travelling with another human which requires compromise, it isn't realistic anymore for me to keep it up, and I think I will be able to be putting much better and more original and honest content out there by releasing myself of this pressure.
To be clear, I'm not letting go of the journal altogether. Not even close. I'll still be documenting and writing every day, just not posting. I won't be forcing myself to create a journal just for the sake of it. When you hear from me, it'll be something worth sharing.
I already feel much better about that. I hope you do too.
Thank you so much to all of you wonderful and encouraging people who have been following along with this journey. The sweet messages have been motivating me like nothing else, and I appreciate each one so much more than I could say.
I can't wait to share new adventures over the next few weeks. We'll be heading into Oregon soon. A state I've wanted to visit for a long, long time. I'm sure I'll have quite a bit to say about it.