,f150,exploremore,truckcamper,journal,park,water,liveyouradventure,adventureculture,journey,roadtrippin,campground,bay,adventuremobile,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,fourwheelcampers,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.24]

waking up on the side of the road, i went for a ride shortly after the sun rose.  there was a nice haze and fog in the early morning.  i parked next to a field for breakfast and then headed over to a nearby park.  i either took a nap or worked on the computer before going for a walk.  after exploring the park and adjacent bridge, i headed over to the campground i'd be staying at for a couple of nights.

it looks like i spent a good number of nights at the campgrounds once i got to washington.. i don't recall if i needed to work a lot and was there for the internet and a place i could sleep undisturbed, or if i wanted to just check out the various campgrounds and see what life there would be like before heading to the coast to explore.  it was probably a combination of both.. when planning my route to the west coast, i was thinking of heading towards most of the campgrounds as i made my way around.
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,exploretocreate,journal,discovertheroad,park,trees,switchbacks,liveyouradventure,journey,offroad,stayandwander,dirtroad,hyperlapse,wanderlust,homeonwheels,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,switchback,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.21]

i left the campground and filled up one of the containers of propane for the first time.  it'd be good to have it ready to go so i could easily switch it out if the current one ran out again when it was cold.  i then headed back east towards the north cascades to sauk mountain.  it was a bumpy, winding switchback dirt road up to the top.  i don't remember if the girl i had run into a couple days before told me about it or if i had found out from someone else or just seen it on the map.  it was pretty steep and a bit of journey to get up and down it.  on the way up, i got 4.1 mpg and on the way down 44.4 mpg.  on the way down, i had the truck in 2nd or 3rd gear in 4x4 low so i wouldn't have to brake most of the way.  at the parking lot up top, i could see the peaks of nearby mountains over the top of the low clouds.

i then headed back west and north toward the canadian border.  in the middle of the day i discovered that most of my electrical components were not received power.  it was a friday and i didn't know if i'd be able to get ahold of the camper manufacturer or dealer.  i had just bought a lot of refrigerated food, and ended up drinking a lot of carrot juice that day or the next.  i didn't know what was wrong and if i was going to have to find some place to get it fixed while on my trip.  luckily i heard back from the dealer the next day who said it might be the gfi switch that got bumped.  i didn't even know there was a switch at the bottom of the breaker box, though it did the trick.  something must've hit it on the way up or down the winding switchbacks.  i ended up staying at a rest area a little south of the border, and wrote about my frustrations of being on the road (and life) that evening.  there was certainly a bit of a learning experience to be had when traveling across the country in a camper.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #road #nature #haze #smoke #mountains #cascades #trees #park #stars #starlapse #timelapse #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #discovertheroad
four years ago today [2012.09.18]

after spending a couple nights at the first campground on the trip, i was back on the road.  i stopped at a town up the road, wenatchee, and discovered a nice little local grocery store.  it had lots of healthy and specialty foods that i’d never seen before.  i ended up trying quite a bit and liked most, if not all, of what i had discovered.  there was a really nice girl who worked there that told me about a good hike to lake ann when i mentioned heading over to the north cascades national park.  i didn’t end up going to that part of the park though it was nice to meet friendly people along my journey.

on the way to the park, i saw lots of haze and smoke from recent fires.  when getting up into higher elevations, i began to find some breathtaking views of the mountains, some of which still had a little snow or ice on them.  after leaving an overlook, i kept heading down the road to see what else i would find.  i wanted to stop at a nice spot where i could photograph the stars over the mountains.  i almost regretted leaving the area where i was as i wasn’t seeing anything for a while.  a bit later, i found one spot along the side of the road a little later though it wasn’t quite what i was looking for.. less than ten minutes up the road, i found a nice spot overlooking ross lake just as the day was ending.  i spent the night here sleeping under the stars.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #park #rvlife #adventurelife #discovertheroad #hyperlapse #nomadiclife #nationalforest #trees
four years ago today [2012.09.15]

i woke up this day at the rest stop just over the oregon border and explored some of eastern oregon.  i had never been to this part of the state and it was very different than the northwestern part i'd previously seen.. it had a very dry feel to it like the states i had just been in.  perhaps it was due to the drought that year, though there still seemed to be a different feeling in the air.. i recall signs of or the feel of old western culture like i'd seen in some places on the way there.

i drove through a national forest or two, and made a couple short stops there on my way to washington.  the day before i had booked my first campground stay, and i made it almost all the way there after leaving oregon.  i slept on the side of the road a little over half an hour away.  after ten days on the road, it was going to be nice to take a little break the following day.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,waterfall,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,geyser,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,nomadiclife,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,journey,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.12]

i woke up at dawn and headed into yellowstone national park.  i think i was told it'd take eight hours to drive the whole loop though decided to do it anyway.  i think i stopped at most of the main locations around the loop for at least a little bit.  at one of the areas i decided to go on a hike down a trail where i only saw one other person.  part of me was a little concerned as there could be bears in the area, though i had no encounters or issues.  it ended up being nice exploring an area that felt pretty remote as most spots in the park had other tourists.

i made it around the loop and to old faithful around dusk.  someone had said it wasn't going to be that long for it to go off, so i walked around and waited a bit.  it was getting really cold and was pretty dark, though after having waited so long already, i figured i might as well stay as it couldn't be that much longer.  i ended up waiting over an hour for it to go off.  it was pretty neat and went really high in the air.

freezing after having waited so long for the old faithful geyser at yellowstone to off, i spent the night in the parking lot there.  i think there were signs saying no overnight parking or camping or something, and i had seen buffalo wandering in a nearby parking lot, so i kept the top down and slept on the roll over couch rather than the bed over the cab.  i was still on my first propane tank and had wondered how long it would last.  this night, the coldest night of life on the road so far, i found out what happened when it ran out.  in the middle of the night i woke up hearing the heater just clicking every so often like it was trying to start but not igniting.  most of my bedding was up under the closed pop up top.. i only had one small blanket and it was below freezing outside.  i didn't go outside to figure out how to switch out the tank and just tried to stay warm and make it through the night.  the next morning, the temperature was well below freezing, something like 21 or 23 degrees.
badlands,bison,blog,buffalo,camper,camping,cave,driving,f150,fordf150,fourwheelcampers,homeiswhereyouparkit,hyperlapse,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,nationalpark,nature,overlook,park,roadtrip,rockformations,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wildlife,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.09]

on this morning i woke up on sheep mountain table in the badlands.  i had spent the night sleeping under the stars with my camera photographing them all night.  i explored the area a little more before continuing on my journey west.  when planning the route toward washington, i decided to zig-zag my way across the map so i could visit all the northern states on the way there.  this day i took a slight detour out of south dakota into nebraska.  i would look for green spots on the map to go visit.  after either having lunch or a bathroom break at one of these green spots in nebraska, i headed back to south dakota on the way towards wyoming.

while in nebraska, i learned that the google maps app on my old phone might know better than me.  i had seen what looked like a shortcut that it wasn't telling me to take.  when i attempted to follow this road, the dirt path went up a pretty steep hill in the middle of what seemed to be a field.  i decided to try to follow it anyway as i had already started going that way.. i ended up having to put my truck into 4x4 low and then go up backwards back over the hill just to get out when i saw there wasn't a road or path on the other side.

i explored a couple places along my route in south dakota and decided to check out wind's cave national park when i saw it on the map.  i took a tour in one of the caves, and then drove up through one of the nearby state parks where i saw some more buffalo that were also right on the road like in the badlands.  i wanted to make my way towards devil's tower to photograph the stars over it, though i recall it being a bit of a drive and i think i was getting tired plus i didn't know if i was going to be able to find a spot with a good view that i could park at all night.  i'm glad i decided to keep going and made it there.. when i arrived, i found a spot along the side of the road just outside the national monument with a clear shot of the tower.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #rv #camper #camping #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #fourwheelcampers #fourwheelcamper #fwc #fordf150 #ford #f150 #driving #road #westward #headingwest #goingwest #freedomthinkers #exploremore #wanderlust #ontheroad #getoutside #optoutside #roadtrippin #writing
four years ago today [2012.09.06]

on this day i was about to embark on a journey across the country, one without a date to return home.  my home would be my pop-up truck camper as i began life on the road.  it was a new chapter in this adventure called life.

summer was almost over.  i had been helping a friend with his startup company since i left florida the end of may, much longer than anticipated.  i wanted to get on the road west weeks earlier to have plenty of time to explore before it got too cold in the northern states.  i planned out the first 10 days from chicagoland to the first campground i'd be staying at in washington, and figured i'd make my way towards the coast after that, though had no other plans set in stone.

i felt i might not want to leave once i got to california.  i had been there once before, nearly a decade earlier.  i recall sensing the beautiful, relaxed feeling in the air when i first arrived.  it was quite unlike florida.. perhaps it was because i was on vacation someplace new, though there was still something about it that felt different.  the nature was quite striking and there was so much of it.  i'd been to washington and oregon a couple times after my first trip to california, and also appreciated the landscapes found there.  i was excited to be heading out west and getting to explore the middle states of the country i'd never yet seen.  something about the wide open land always called to me.

i’ve put together a youtube playlist of all the 2012 life on the road films in chronological order if you want to watch them one after another. here’s the link:

www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYlEKn8xkNmVcJzBPGDznWUqHbu51wGC3
 

to see pictures from my truck camper journeys or read more about the adventure, visit this link:

markmarano.com/what/truck-camper

(you’ll need to scroll past all the videos as they’re also on that same page)
 

see the short one minute videos i’ll be posting on instagram (and read a little bit about each day), look here:

markmarano.com/what/truckcamper+instagram/
 

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[in california]

reflecting on a few recent miracles..

one miracle i wrote about recently was feeling motivated/inspired to work on the life on the road films i shot back in 2012 and never completed.. in the past 2.5 weeks i’ve been able to crank through more of them than i had when i first started working on them 2-3 years ago. today i was able to start and finish one with nearly the most number of shots. going through the 600+ shots didn’t take as long i was estimating. it was a little slow in the beginning though picked up quickly. these past few days i’ve been asking for divine grace to help me make the edits needed rather than struggling with needing to control it and make it perfect. i’m almost done with another video that’s rendering now (#56). it’s a miracle i’m moving quickly since yesterday, as i was stuck on day #50 from thursday night through sunday morning.. the adobe software kept crashing and i had to keep trying different workarounds to make it through and it dragged on for so long. i had to surrender and accept what was happening (after getting mad in the beginning when it seemed to be crashing for no reason). the editing process has also gotten simpler as i’ve allowed myself to feel the grace and accept the videos aren’t perfect. more than once i’ve left in things that i could change or tweak (mostly because i didn’t want to wait hours for it to render again, but also because i’ve been shifting my perspective on them). these past weeks have been a bit long and i’ve barely done anything other than sit in front of the computer, though i’m grateful how much progress i’m making on completing the films.

earlier this afternoon when i was waiting 2.5 hours for the second/final render of the video of day 55, i had plenty of time to shower and run a couple errands. i went to open up a couple new bank accounts as i received an offer in the mail that had a nice bonus for opening up the accounts. when opening up the accounts, i found out i needed $25 to open up each of the accounts and i had only brought $25 for one of the accounts as i thought i could transfer the money over for the other account as per what the offer stated in the fine print and what i was told when i called. i asked if the transfer i was planning on doing would work though was told they really wanted the money at the time of opening. i accepted that i was going to have to make another trip to the bank, and it might be the next day as my normal bank closed early and i don’t carry my atm card with me (and i was planning my errands around the time i had to wait for the videos to render and didn’t want to waste more time). i left the bank and got in my car and saw it was only 3:55.. my normal bank closed at 4 (and i was thinking it was after 4 already and wasn’t rushing like i would’ve been had i known i was cutting it so close). i left and headed down the road to my regular bank and didn’t get stuck at the couple lights on the way. i made it there in only 2 minutes and ran inside and was able to withdraw the funds. i headed back to the new bank and then went to whole foods to pick up a couple things on sale. i got home and the file was just about done rendering. it was a miracle how it all worked out in perfect timing so that i didn’t have to make another trip nor lose any time that i could’ve been working on the videos.

perhaps the nicest miracle is that every so often (and recently while working on the videos) i’ve been feeling a feeling that i could describe as being satisfied or relaxed or peaceful or love. as i was typing the last sentence, causeless love/joy came to mind. it feels natural or simple, almost like it’s who we really are as the layers covering it up dissolve. i’m not sure if it’s from freeing all this attention/energy when making progress on these videos and getting them off my plate, or if it’s from growth in my journey. perhaps both. it doesn’t really matter exactly what it is or how it happened. i’m grateful for it and for moving into a place of allowing. it’s much simpler than struggling or trying or any of that sort of thing the mind likes to do. i may not be perfect or always feeling it though i know the resistance will continue to fade away as i expand and evolve and transform.

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

a recent miracle is that i was inspired to create a technique that has saved (and will save) me lots of time and frustration editing the video clips i shot a few years ago during my trip out west. i hadn’t touched any of the files in over a year and a half, though was feeling motivated recently after completing the last couple years’ worth of time-lapses. i really didn’t like dealing with correcting technical issues due to imperfections in the files the camera created.. many of the films have hundreds of clips and it was very tedious and frustrating to have to be cutting off the end of each clip. when i began working on the film i left off, i used the old technique and found it not to be too bad at first though was finding myself frustrated with it. i tried another one after and think i wasn’t enjoying the process too much, so decided to take a different approach for the next one. the first idea i had come up with wasn’t going to work that ell, though i then thought of another idea to run all the clips through a script that would automatically chop off the last half second of them (alleviating the majority of the frustrating issues with them), and then import those clips into the video editor. it didn’t work perfectly as the editing software didn’t like the very short clips, though i’m sure it has saved an enormous amount of time and frustration. in the past week, i’ve been able to start and complete 10 of the films. i’ve made it past the point of getting to california in the trip (where i had previously thought if i could just make it to then, then i could take a break or give up), and it’s going pretty well. it still is a long process though i’m finding myself more patient with it and enjoying it much more than when i had first started.

another miracle today was that i was much more patient and didn’t get anywhere near as angry as i could’ve when i discovered the car dealer had scuffed/scratched up the paint on my door handles and doors when doing a recall to replace the door handle brackets — i was actually surprisingly pretty calm and accepting though i did feel a bit of a charge that passed fairly quickly once i sat down and accepted i had to wait again (and started working on my computer while waiting to find out if they could buff it out or not).. this was very different than how i felt and reacted nearly two years ago when i first bought the new car and experienced them doing a bad job touching up a ding on the hood i found. today i was able to treat the service advisor kindly, especially at the end, though even when i first got back to the dealer and was feeling the charge of anger and intolerance. earlier today while waiting for the recall work to be done, a little miracle was that i was patient and pretty tolerant of the ego energy i was sensing and hearing from the sales reps who were standing right near where i was sitting the whole time (and i was actually able to work on programming somewhat complex code at the time and it didn’t end up being as much of an overhaul as i was thinking). at one point, i quietly sent blessings and light to everyone at the dealer (and felt a little energized after doing so). the last part of today’s miracle was that i had enough gas to make it back home (after the range dropped quickly and had indicated 0 for a few miles) and i was later able to start the car back up and get to the gas station to fill it up — i didn’t think it was going to be this low and thought there’d be plenty to make it home (as i had forgotten the gas gift card i wanted to use up) though i had to turn around and go back to the dealer after i discovered the mishap when i stopped a few miles down the road from the dealer (which was 30+ miles from my home). i’d prefer not having to make a couple trips all the way back out to the dealer again next week to drop off my car to get the paint touched up and new door handles installed, though i’ll make an adventure of it and perhaps go to some local parks or spots in nature in the area. i’m wanting to make it through editing all these videos quickly though i know it’s all in divine order.. they’re going to get done and i don’t have to worry so much about the deadline i’ve placed on myself to complete them in the coming weeks. if anyone reading this is interested in checking out the videos, here’s a link to where i’m posting them: markmarano.com/what/truckcamperfilms

…and i just noticed repeating numbers in the url of the date and this post # on my website: /2016/08/11/17111/

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

a little miracle i experienced is in that the past few weeks, mostly after accepting myself and where i’m at, i’ve felt motivated to go through 144,000 photos (exactly) to put together a lot of time-lapse videos that i hadn’t gotten around to for quite a while. and i was inspired to create a way that i may be able to simplify the long process of finishing the life on the road films i shot back in 2012 and 2013 (or will at least be able to make some future video/film projects much simpler).

another miracle is that i’ve been able to open up a bit and connect more easily with others after the satsang at the flowering heart center in clearwater. in the past i was usually very quiet though tonight found myself naturally speaking a little and engaging a bit in the conversations. i feel the subtle growth in letting go, allowing, and accepting is beginning to make more of a difference in my life and is opening new doors for me. i’m grateful for my journey and for allowing my heart to open once again.

sounds of the evening rain at home

(gotta love the repeating numbers… i started recording this at 21:12:27 on 7.31)

facing the frustrations. so, where to even begin? i was feeling a lot of different things earlier today. some things such as not wanting to deal with having to figure out a new phone carrier as my friend is cancelling the plan i was a part of.. and things like that trigger other emotions related to him and others, such as feeling that i’ve been taken advantage of by not getting paid fairly for all the work i’ve done for […]

sounds mid-day at brooker creek preserve

(using a real camera would’ve helped this look much better!)

it’s nice that the last couple years when i’ve gone up to chicagoland in november, that i’ve felt like seeing snow and have had the first snow of the season show up during the week or so i’ve been in town. as you can see in the video, the morning commute in and evening commute out of the city weren’t exactly the most pleasant. it’s hard to fathom why so many people put themselves through that every single day, especially with the long winters up there. i was a bit upset that my friend didn’t pay me for the time i was up there evaluating a new business opportunity for him (and he never got me any work out of it), though i’m grateful i don’t have to be dealing with that sort of traffic on an everyday basis. i enjoy the long commute i have from one bedroom to the other :) i’m also grateful that i got invited to multiple thanksgiving dinners while i was in town. it was really nice to spend time with different friends while i was in town in the cold winter.

here are the details (and order) of the cameras and exposure settings used for the star-lapse shots in this video:

2014.10.25 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.10.27 R.E. Olds Park, Oldsmar
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 5 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
(followed by walking + driving at same 5 second exposure)

2014.11.02 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 3200
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.03 Indian Rocks Beach
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 1600, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.04 Trinity (car on unfinished street)
– Canon 5D with Sigma 12-24mm Lens, 30 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 1600, zoom at 12mm
– Canon 5D with Sigma 8mm Circular Fisheye Lens, 30 sec @ f/3.5, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Sony 16mm Pancake Lens with VCL-ECU1 Ultra Wide 0.75x Converter, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 400
– GoPro Hero4 Silver, 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.07 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 800
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 400
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 800

2014.11.09 Crystal Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 1600
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 3200

2014.11.10 Clearwater Beach
– Canon 5D with Canon 35/2 Lens, 30 sec @ f/2, ISO 800
– Sony NEX-5N with Nikon 20/2.8 Lens (via LensBaby Tilt Transformer adapter), 30 sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1600

i shot these over a year and a half ago so i don’t remember all the exact details.. (and i didn’t include details above for all of the few frames / quick shots between the longer starlapse shots.. this isn’t meant to be the most scientific test as i have made some quick adjustments to the images in lightroom too) i think i first started these tests to explore how well the new gopro camera would perform with its nightlapse mode compared to my then current setup for ultra-wide angle night shots with the 12-24mm lens. (all the gopro shots have been ‘defished’ in lightroom as this is how i would process them and this could possibly replace the 12-24mm setup) i think i was thinking that when i travel, it’d be neat to be able to shoot everything with the gopro camera rather than have to bring multiple camera systems (especially as the gopro can be charged and run off of usb power, and the life on the road videos i was working on back then were taking a very long time to edit having been shot with multiple cameras). then i probably became curious as to how the 5d setup would compare to the nex-5n for night shots, and also tried the 5d with the 8mm lens as depending on how that looked, i could sell the 12-24mm and begin to reduce the amount of gear i had if i were to defish the circular fisheye image (which i didn’t do in this video) and effectively use that as an ultra-wide angle lens. after doing these tests, i decided to compare the 35/2 and the 20/2.8 with both cameras as these would give a similar field of view with the full frame vs cropped aps-c size sensor.

a few weeks later, after seeing that i don’t necessarily need all of this gear that i had to make certain shots, i sold most of my canon gear except i kept one 5d body with the 8mm lens as i could still use this with a custom rig i had to create little planet images and time-lapses (i had the first ricoh theta camera back then though the quality was nowhere near what my custom setup could do and it couldn’t shoot at night). nearly a year later, toward the end of the summer of 2015, i ended up selling the whole 360 degree rig, including the camera, lens, motor, custom head, and tripod mounting components. it was nice to get rid of so much extra weight that was just sitting here taking up space. i can’t remember the last time i had used the rig and shot something before that. the last time i used the 8mm was to shoot these tests and i only used the 5d one other time after the tests to shoot a few pinhole images. shortly after selling the gear for the 360 degree rig, ricoh announced the latest theta s camera that would be able to shoot night shots. gotta love divine guidance! :) perfect timing on selling the gear. the theta s camera is so, so much simpler to use than my old setup. my old setup could’ve gotten some more detail but the tradeoff for being able to use a camera that weighs next to nothing and fits in my pocket versus having to lug around many pounds of gear plus large and heavy tripods or stands to mount it is definitely worth it. i can shoot so many more images having less gear to carry, and i can go much further with less and mount a smaller camera in many more unique places. to be able to shoot a single elevated 360×180 degree image, i’d be looking at 45-50 lbs of gear i’d have to carry with the old rig compared to less than 2 lbs with the new setup (and i can hold the new pole i use above my head for a higher vantage point than the large light stand i used to lug around). simplify your gear. (and your life) it takes away the burden so you can focus your time and energy on creating images and embracing the moment rather than carrying and keeping track of things.

#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #road #park #fourwheelcampers #f150 #sunset #bay #water #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #rv #rvlife #stayandwander #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #discovertheroad #adventuremobile #adventureculture #roadtrippin #liveoutdoors
four years ago today [2012.09.23]

i left the campground and headed south a bit, exploring some spots along the water and stopping at some parks i found.  one park had some nice trails and an overlook of the nearby area.  after that one, i went down a winding road on a cliff by the water where i found a spot to stop for a nice view of the islands in the distance.  a little later, i drove by some houses that had a great view of one of the bays.

i think i ended up pretty close to the campground i was going to stay at the following day and spent the night on the side of the road a couple miles away.  if this is the night i'm thinking, it was part of an indian reservation (as was the campground), and i had a strange dream that woke me up in the middle of the night.  if i remember, i think i thought that someone or something had come into my camper through the tent material to attack me.. i may have felt this as i was slipping between the dream world and physical world, and that's how i was interpreting the feelings in this reality.  perhaps i was picking up on some of the energy nearby or something.  a couple times like this (and times when i would sleep in places where bears or other large animals might be) led me to think i might be better off in a hard-top camper or van so i wouldn't have to worry about the possibility of anything getting in easily.  it did feel pretty vulnerable spending the night asleep in random places where people or animals might find me.  i often would invoke the divine and surround the truck and camper in white light or blessings before drifting off to sleep, and never had any actual issues during my journey.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #nature #exploremore #getoutside #camper #camping #roadtrippin #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #rvlife #adventurelife #liveyouradventure #rv #campground #river #optoutside #freedomvessel #fourwheelcampers #fordf150 #ford #f150
four years ago today [2012.09.20]

i spent the day at a campground not too far from north cascades national park where i was exploring the day before.  i did some laundry there and probably worked on the computer most of the day.. around this time of the trip i unexpectedly had to do a lot of work for a client who decided they wanted much more than they had originally specified for the web application i had built for them.  it was quite frustrating to have this affect my trip and make me feel rushed while exploring places, though it was really nice to be able to work from almost anywhere i wanted.  i spent a couple nights at this campground.. it certainly was much easier to get work done without having to go looking for somewhere to park that had a usable phone or internet connection.  there were plenty of beautiful, quiet places i could've stayed for a while, though many, if not most, were without a signal.  at the campground, i stayed at a nice spot in the shade under tall, thick trees.  in the afternoon, i went for a walk and explored the creek that ran through the back.. i think this was the campground where i saw a yurt in person for the first time (i'd been told about them years earlier when i became interested in alternative homes or living options).
,f150,fordf150,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,camper,optoutside,ford,liveyouradventure,journey,freedomvessel,roadtrippin,campground,exploremore,rvlife,blog,rv,homeonwheels,camping,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,lifeontheroad,river,fourwheelcampers,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.17]

i spent this day at the campground i arrived at the day before.  i most likely worked on the computer or took it easy and rested in the camper.  around dusk, i went for a walk down the path to the river.  i probably cooked soup or pasta or something simple.  living life on the road, i often ate cereal for breakfast (or sometimes oatmeal), and veggie wraps for lunch.  as mini-meals, i would snack on bars, bean chips with salsa, apples with peanut butter, or something else i could easily eat between wanderings.  i occasionally would stop for a sub with eggs and veggies or a veggie taco somewhere.  i don't recall cooking too often, though it was nice to have the burners in the camper and be able to cook something simple when i did do so.

i'm looking back at what i wrote on this day, and it looks like i was realizing how much stuff i had brought with me.  i do recall this first journey of life on the road being a bit ridiculous in the amounts of stuff i had with me.  i honestly didn't know if i was coming back or for how long i'd be gone, so i had pretty much everything with me.  i remember having to step over things or move multiple things around just to find what i was looking for.  the journey the following year was much simpler as i didn't carry as much.  minimalism in life, especially life on the road, is an enormous help.  besides making it easier to find things, it frees up mental space of things you need to think about or take care of.

i know if i were to do life on the road again, it'd be much simpler this time around.. in the technological improvements alone, i'd need much less gear to be able to create the same kind of images and videos i did on this trip.  when thinking about acquiring something new or keeping something old, have a look at how much you'll actually use it and consider if you really need it.  if you're barely gonna use it, it's probably not worth getting or keeping around.  it's also helpful to only keep something that's versatile with multiple uses.  i used to have gear that was only for very specific types of shots that would take up so much space and just sit there for weeks, months, or longer.
,homeonwheels,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,trail,journey,freedomvessel,roadtrippin,stayandwander,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,hike,travel,adventurelife,vlog,lava,roadtrip,blog,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,hyperlapse,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.14]

i woke up on the side of the road somewhere in idaho.  i was on my way to the moon.. i would always joke with my mom and say i was going to the moon when she'd ask where i went or was going.  this time i could really say it on my way to craters of the moon national monument.  when planning the route west, i think as soon as i saw it on the map, i decided i had to go there just because of the name.  i didn't look up anything about the park.. it just sounded interesting so i picked it.  in fact, i think that's how i picked most of the places i went to.. they sounded interesting or were a green spot on the map somewhere in the general direction i was going, so i decided to check them out.  i'm sure many people do a lot of research, planning, and reading up on reviews or tour guides, though it's often more fun to just go with what sounds or feels good.. it's more spontaneous, and is trusting the divine guidance that's been taking us all along this journey we call life anyhow.

just outside the national monument and preserve, i started to see some of the dark landscapes and it was unlike anything i'd seen before.  it was neat to see how diverse the land is.  the main loop of the park was closed as they were paving it or something so i started exploring a path near one of the parking areas that was open.  it ended up being a couple hour hike by the time i made it up, down, and around the craters and back around the loop to the parking area.

i left and headed west toward oregon.  i stopped at a rest area just over the border about 45 minutes before the sun went down and decided to spend the evening there.  it was nice to just stay wherever i wanted rather than have to plan out or go looking for a campground or hotel.  there was no need to check in, check out, carry or unpack a suitcase, make sure nothing was forgotten when packing back up, etc.  at some points in my truck camper journeys it did take quite a while to get out to a rural area where i felt i wouldn't be disturbed, though it was a tradeoff for staying someplace free and being able to get up and go.  my home was always with me wherever i went (or just down a trail).
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #park #land #rocks #canyon #river #exploremore #getoutside #wanderlust #ontheroad #optoutside #roadtrippin #exploretocreate #liveoutdoors #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #liveyouradventure #rvlife #nomadiclife
four years ago today [2012.09.11]

i checked out bighorn canyon national recreation area on my way back into wyoming.  near one of the bends in the river, i tried to fly my kite to take some aerial photos, though the winds were too rough and threw the kite all around and onto the rocky ground.  stubbornly, thinking the wind would change, i kept trying and ended up breaking a spar.  i spent the night east of yellowstone near the buffalo bill dam.  i never knew there was a dam or reservoir there.. it was nice discovering interesting places and memorable people along the journey.  i remember the guy who worked at the visitor center being friendly and telling me about the buffalo in yellowstone when i said i was on my way there.

the detour to zig-zag from devil's tower to yellowstone via north dakota ended up taking an extra day and just about a whole tank of gas.  this trip was back when gas was hovering close to or well over $4 a gallon depending where you were.  some may wonder if it's worth spending a whole day driving and nearly $100 in gas just to briefly see an extra state when you don't know what you'll find, though it's all part of the adventure.. yes, perhaps some parts of the trip may not have been as exciting as others, though it's really how we're perceiving it.  one could find beauty anywhere should one allow oneself to.
badlands,bison,blog,buffalo,camper,camping,driving,f150,ford,fordf150,fourwheelcamper,fourwheelcampers,fwc,homeiswhereyouparkit,hyperlapse,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,nationalpark,nature,park,roadtrip,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wildlife,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.08]

parked on the side of a road somewhere in a national grassland, i woke up in the middle of the pitch dark night hearing strange animal noises and feeling weird energy, and it looked like the rear window of my camper was broken.  it was pretty cold and i didn't want to get out of bed to look nor to write down the insights i felt.  at some point, i awoke with an understanding of perception.. early that morning i had written "I woke up a couple hours ago with an understanding about the reflection through which we see ourselves being the same transparent mirror through which we’re seeing the world, though can’t quite remember the exact words right now." when daylight came, i saw the rear window of my camper door was intact and the only signs of animals were some cattle up on a hill across the road.

i recall it appearing like a lot of the national grassland was fenced off or being used for agriculture rather than a park or preserve, so i headed west toward the badlands instead of explore longer.  after seeing a lot of the rock formations there, i drove down a dirt road surrounded by hundreds of bison.  i then headed over to another little part further out on the map, sheep mountain table.  it was a bumpy dirt road that led me to a much more desolate area where i only saw a couple other vehicles.  i got out to take some photos and was standing near the edge of the cliff when the wind stopped.  all of a sudden there was no sound at all, no sound of nature or man.. all that was left was complete, perfect silence, the voice of god.  it was a truly amazing and beautiful experience that words cannot begin to describe.  it was only my second full day on the trip and i had already discovered and felt the presence of god.  i looked forward to whatever other peaceful places i might find on this journey.

nearby there was a high clearance vehicle road that went further into the park.  i took it to the end where i set up a couple cameras for time-lapse shots of the sun fading across the badlands formations and the stars passing by.  it was nice to be able to spend the night sleeping under the stars in what felt like such a remote place.

miracles and gratitude.. i wanted to write this the other day so let’s see if i can remember it. a miracle that i’m grateful for is that i made it through the rest of the 2012 life on the road films. i somehow made it! it was a long process to do the 45-46 films that took just under a month of me working pretty much non-stop on it from the time i’d get up to the time i’d go […]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

sounds at honeymoon island a few minutes after sunset

sounds at lansbrook park in the morning

sounds of nature in the morning at john chestnut park

,f150,exploremore,truckcamper,journal,park,water,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,campground,flowers,border,rvlife,wanderlust,rv,camping,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,fourwheelcampers,bay,vlog,roadtrip,blog,stayandwander,getoutside,sunset,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,travel,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.22]

it was the first day of autumn.. summer was officially over and i still had a lot more to explore before it got too cold.  i went north toward the peace arch monument at the canadian border this day.  i parked nearby and rode my bike to the park and monument.  i technically walked into canada when i walked around to the other side of the monument.  there were lots of flowers and landscaping at the monument and park, and it was interesting to see that that there was no fence, gate, or anything between the united states and canada at the park.. one could just walk across the field and leave the country if one wanted to.  this was quite different than i'd later see at the mexican border.  it’s funny i went to peace arch this day as the day before was the international day of peace.  i’m not sure that i realized it when i decided to make my way towards peace arch.. it probably just was a “random” coincidence that i ended up on my way there at the time.

i biked back toward where i had parked and explored that area a little bit before heading to a nearby campground.  it was nice to be near campgrounds that were part of the package i had purchased.. in populated areas it certainly was easier than driving far to find a discreet spot to stay the night (especially as days grew shorter). after setting up my camper, i went for a bike ride to the nearby bay to see the sun set.  some days were less exciting than others, though it was interesting to get to see different places in the country.  and being on a trip with no return date and on my own schedule, it didn't really matter if i wasted a vacation day that one might typically try to squeeze a lot of activity in to before having to head home.  my home was wherever i was.
,mountains,exploremore,nature,truckcamper,journal,park,trees,liveyouradventure,journey,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,cascades,starlapse,getoutside,wanderlust,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,timelapse,vlog,roadtrip,stayandwander,waterfall,liveoutdoors,stars,discovertheroad,lifeontheroad,road,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.19]

sleeping under the stars, i woke up at ross lake national recreation area, and began exploring the area.  i found another nice overlook nearby and a waterfall further up the road.  this was a beautiful area that i never knew existed until i got there.  near the visitor center at north cascades national park, i went on a short walk to a spot where there was a view of the picket range.  i read the sign there that said the range was a number of miles away, a trek through complete wilderness.  i stood there in awe for a few moments as i felt a strong, chilling sense of the vast expanse of land and wilderness between where i was and the mountain range that looked like it was just right there.  the peaks didn't appear that far or large at first glance, and what looked like could've been small parts of one larger mountain were really the most rugged peaks in the contiguous united states, miles apart from each other.  this was another striking moment in realizing the vastness of nature and how small we are as humans.  i imagined what it must've been like just to get out to some place so remote without roads (and to the further peaks even deeper into the wilderness that i couldn't see).

afterwards, i headed west a bit and went up a dirt road to a trail.  i hoped to find a clear view of the mountain peaks to photograph, though from a girl i met who was working on the trail, it sounded like this wouldn't be the best spot for a clear shot.  going back down the windy dirt/rock road, my truck read slope angles of at least 11 degrees, or a 22% grade!  from the video clips, i may not have done it this time, though on some of these similar steep declines, i would put the truck in 4x4 low, which really helped to maintain a low speed without having to use or wear down the brakes on the descent.

this day marks a year of owning my truck.  it was nice to be on adventure out west with the truck and camper i had ordered the year before.  i had looked forward to this journey for some time.
#lifeontheroad #homeiswhereyouparkit #truckcamper #journey #travel #roadtrip #journal #vlog #blog #driving #nature #exploremore #getoutside #camper #camping #roadtrippin #stayandwander #camplife #homeonwheels #rv #rvlife #adventurelife #liveyouradventure #adventuremobile #campground #river #fourwheelcampers #fordf150 #ford #f150
four years ago today [2012.09.16]

i woke up on the side of the road in washington and took a short drive toward the campground i'd be staying at for a couple nights.  i got there early so i stopped at an overlook above the river where the campground was.  after checking in at the campground, picking a spot, and setting up my camper, i took out my folding bike and went for a ride to explore the area down the road.

back at the campground, i went for a walk down the trail to the river, and later in the afternoon i watched the sun set behind the nearby mountains or hills.  it was nice to take a little break from driving so much.. it'd been 3300 miles since i left my friend's place the first day.  after pretty much just cleaning myself with baby wipes the previous 9 days, it was also really nice to be able to take a shower and feel clean.  i don't recall what else i did that day.. i probably cooked soup or pasta for dinner, and most likely worked on the computer.
,camplife,nature,truckcamper,journal,ontheroad,park,liveyouradventure,journey,yellowstone,homeonwheels,nationalpark,blog,tetons,exploremore,rvlife,wanderlust,optoutside,exploretocreate,driving,homeiswhereyouparkit,travel,adventurelife,vlog,roadtrippin,roadtrip,stayandwander,getoutside,liveoutdoors,lifeontheroad,grandtetons,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.13]

having run out of propane in the middle of the night, with temperatures in the low 20’s, i worried about the water pipes freezing in the camper.  i got up at dawn and quickly headed down to a lower elevation where it'd be warmer.  there were no issues.. the inside temperature of the camper was probably over freezing from having had the heat on part of the night.  on my way out of yellowstone, i saw the sun rising and stopped to explore at a spot where i heard strange animal sounds/calls i had never heard before.  leaving yellowstone, i crossed the continental divide and was most of the way to the west coast.

i headed towards the grand tetons and saw it was pretty hazy due to recent fires.  i had breakfast when i got there, and went to the visitor center where i talked to a young park ranger about some of the areas to explore.  when she told me about one of the trails she’d recently been on, i remember her asking if i knew what to do if i saw a bear.. i think i said “don’t run?” and she gave me other suggestions.  i wandered about the park and found some nice lakes with views of the mountains.  it was nice to be in warmer temperatures than the night before.  it was crazy how much the temperature could change in the mountains.  it was in the low 20’s on this morning, when just 2-3 days prior it was 90 degrees, and the following day it’d be 85.  i saw more wildlife and on my way out of the park, went looking for the spot where ansel adams created his famous photograph from.  i met someone else there who said he thought it was just down a little bit from the overlook where we were.

after leaving the park, i crossed teton pass, a 10% grade climb up to a nearly 1.6 mile elevation.. i only got 5.1 mpg driving up it.  i dropped down to 2nd and then 1st gear on the descent, which my truck read as 6 degrees, or a 12% grade.. the engine was loud but i didn’t have to wear down the brakes nor experience the 4 tons of truck and camper quickly accelerating out of control down the winding road.  it was good to know my rig could handle the mountain roads, and fun to encounter drives i didn’t know would be part of the adventure.
blog,camper,camping,devilstower,driving,exploremore,f150,fields,fordf150,fourwheelcampers,getoutside,hike,homeiswhereyouparkit,instagram,journal,journey,land,lifeontheroad,nature,park,roadtrip,rocks,rv,starlapse,stars,timelapse,trail,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wanderlust,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.10]

on this day i woke up just outside of devil's tower national monument.  i think i had seen a photo or something of it not that long before this trip and thought it'd be neat to go out there.  it was awesome to be exploring and seeing these places i wanted to visit.  i went into the park and explored some of the trails in the morning and then headed back into south dakota on the not so direct route to montana via north dakota.  i stopped at a green spot on the map there, just outside of theodore roosevelt national park, where i saw some interesting landscapes.

in a lot of places i visited or drove through, i felt i could've stayed longer and explored more, though i wanted to keep on heading west to stay on track to make it to the west coast before it got colder (as i had begun the journey much later than i originally wanted to). in the future i'd eliminate as many constraints as possible to being open for spontaneity.  i faced a few limitations, like non-existent phone service when a web application client decided they want much more than they originally asked for, having paid a lot for a campground membership that was running out with locations only on the west coast states, and having left when it was already starting to get cold in some places in my journey.  next time, i wouldn't drive as much each day and would see how i feel during the journey rather than sticking to a pretty rigid plan.

i did this a little later for part of the trip and would enjoy doing it the whole time.  life is so much nicer when we're relaxed and in the present moment rather than thinking we need to follow a certain plan.

allowing ourselves to be more flexible and spontaneous opens us up to new opportunities.  the day before this when i was at the tour at wind’s cave national park (which going there wasn’t part of my plan), i recall i was in the elevator with the young park ranger who gave the tour, and i think after everyone else had gotten out, she said something about being hungry (wanting pizza or something).. had i been more flexible and spontaneous, i could’ve asked if she wanted to join me for dinner and perhaps made a new friend.
adventureculture,adventuremobile,blog,camper,camping,cornfields,driving,exploremore,freedomthinkers,getoutside,goingwest,headingwest,homeiswhereyouparkit,homeonwheels,instagram,journal,journey,lifeontheroad,liveyouradventure,ontheroad,optoutside,road,roadtrip,roadtrippin,rv,rvlife,travel,truckcamper,vlog,wanderlust,westward,writing
four years ago today [2012.09.07]

on this morning i woke up on a dirt road surrounded by corn fields.

it felt like it was my destiny to be on this trip.

several years earlier, before i moved to chicago for four years, i had thought of going.  it was almost like a plan on the back burner.. if i hadn't moved up to chicago with friends, i was going to go on a trip west.  a friend ended up getting accepted at a program up there and a few of us moved up to join another friend who had already been there a year.  when i moved out of chicago, i almost made the trip and move out west with my girlfriend at the time.  it never happened as neither of us had the funds to get there, though i started thinking about rv's shortly after that.  nearly two years later, i had gotten my truck and camper.

it wasn’t a simple process, as i had found myself caught up in much research, and looking for ways to get an rv that wouldn’t cost much.. i was completely out of money when i left chicago and had no income due to struggling to start a business the couple years prior.  while having gone through a breakup, business failure, bankruptcy, having no money or income, and living back with family, i was at a low point in life.  i embarked on a journey of personal and spiritual growth that i had begun while in chicago.  less than a year after leaving chicago, i found myself at a powerful course that would change my life.  this workshop would take me through the awakening, transformation, and growth i needed in order to manifest a large client that would bring me much more income than i had ever earned in a year.  most importantly, it would change how i felt and perceived life.  not long after starting the big project, i began looking at the rv options again.  i narrowed down my choices, drove across the country to different dealers, decided on my camper, and placed the order for it to be built.  shortly after, i decided on the truck to carry it and ordered it.  it took the whole summer for the camper and truck to be ready, though it was worth the wait.

going on this journey west almost a year after getting the truck and camper was certainly an adventure i had looked forward to.

an interesting experience i had recently while working on the life on the road films was that i started to lose my sense of time and place.. after staring at the screen practically all day and watching the video clips of my trip out west, i almost began to forget what time of day or day of week it was.. perhaps even what time of year it was, i don’t recall. it began to feel a bit like i was out there on the trip, re-living it. i could somewhat tell what time of day it was as i could see how the light looked out the window in my office, though i think at some points i lost track of how long i was there at the computer working on it. it was nice to begin to live more in the present moment and let go of the human constructs of defining time and location. everything is happening in the now, though when we are thinking of stuff that happened to us in the past or things we’ve gotta do in the future, it takes us away from fully experiencing the present moment. the present moment, no matter what it is or where we are, can be bliss. the more we tune into whatever this present moment is bringing us, the more aware we can become not only of everything that is happening all at once and all the miracles that this moment is bringing, but also of our true nature. we can choose to live from this heightened awareness at all times should we so desire. we’ve simply got to surrender our attachments that are preventing us from doing so. as our consciousness expands, it becomes effortless and natural to do so. living from this deepened awareness will allow us to fully embrace the beauty of the world and experience it with wonder and awe. do things that help you alter your perception of how you’re seeing the world and you’ll begin to step outside of your currently limited paradigms. there is so much to this life, even in the ordinary human experience itself. just look at how many people live vastly different lives. observe the subtle details of how others perceive and experience life.. see what paradigms and perspectives they are living from, and notice how some of these may be quite different than your own. if most people you know have similar ways of seeing the world, go find others who see the world very differently and observe them.. see what you can learn about life simply from observing how differently they see the world. learn to do so with out judgment of what is right and wrong. stepping outside of this judgmentalism will help you transcend duality. there is no right or wrong. these are human constructs of the ego mind. as we learn to accept and embrace it all, we’ll begin to see everything is simply one being expressing itself in different ways. our uniqueness is what allows us to perceive the world through a new lens, though do not let it set us apart or make us any better than anyone else. we each are here to learn, perceive, and experience in different ways so the one being that we really are can understand itself in ways that were not possible had it not decided to show up like it has. anyhow, i’m starting to think too much about this now.. simply allow yourself to dissolve in the presence. whether that’s through meditation, yoga, chanting, a walk in nature, whatever it might be.. do what allows you to feel more present, and embrace the presence.

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[from california to florida]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[in california]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

[a.k.a. life on the road]

sounds of the waves at honeymoon island in the early evening

sounds of nature at the entrance of friends trail in brooker creek preserve in the afternoon

i took a little nap after writing what i did in the previous post and it ended up being a couple hours. so i want to continue to explore more aspects of what i was examining before, about why i want what i want. i think the whole traveling idea comes down to freedom. i want to feel like going somewhere and be able to do so easily. in a van or with my truck camper, i’d be able to […]

looks like its time to dive into whatever it is i’m feeling again. i was laying in bed for quite a while, it was another night i didn’t sleep that well. i’ve been sleeping pretty well most of this month, though a few weeks ago i did have some times of not sleeping that i wrote about. it was related to wanting to ask a girl out and failing to do so. i saw her again last night and didn’t get to connect with her. i ended up talking with another friend whom i hadn’t seen in a while which was nice. though i didn’t really get to talk to the girl i wanted to talk to. she was talking with a couple others in conversation and i didn’t make my way over there as i was talking with a few others. i did hug her and say it was nice to see her as she was leaving, and i did feel a little of her energy and a connection earlier. as i was just laying in bed, a few things were coming to me of what i was facing and going through. these were things related to the issues i’ve experienced in connecting with others. it’s been easy for me to connect with someone whom i already know, or know is unavailable, or someone i’m not interested in. though when it’s a nice girl in her 20s or 30s, some resistance shows up. or i don’t even feel the resistance and i just don’t know what to say. or i’m in the midst of whatever i was in and she shows up unexpectedly and i don’t really engage or connect with her as i was focused on whatever it was that i was doing (like grocery shopping if i run into someone there.. i think i also have some sort of resistance about connecting with a girl while she’s working as i don’t want to bother her or be the guy hitting on the waitress so to speak). mostly i see this all comes down to vulnerability. there’s a part of me that’s resisting connecting with a girl, a part of me that’s afraid, as i know if i do, my life could change quite drastically. it’s not that i don’t want change, as i’ve been wanting to have an amazing relationship with a girl for a long time. though perhaps part of me does enjoy certain aspects of my life now. though that’s not really it either. it feels like it’s that i know i could easily fall in love if i open my heart to someone. and although i do want to fall in love and have a great relationship with a girlfriend, there’s something there blocking it. it feels like perhaps its not being able to decide exactly who it is that i want, or not being able to decide all the aspects of what i want in a relationship or what it’ll look like. though that’s not really it. what it feels like it really is, that all of these struggles with connecting with others is, is that i’ve been hurt in the past when i’ve opened my heart. and in different ways. part of me wants to have a beautiful community and feel like family, and i had a group of friends that i really had a lot of fun with a long time ago though there was an issue/drama between a couple of them and that ended up splitting up the group. i was also going in my own direction at the time and saw that a lot of them were not the best influence. and when i went to the avatar course, i felt really close to a lot of my friends there and we felt like family, especially when a number of us were staying together for a couple weeks at a timeshare condo for the wizard course. when we got close to the end of the course i began to feel the pain and hurt knowing we were all leaving soon and going to different parts of the country and world, and might not see each other for a long time (or in some cases ever again). it really hurt to get to feel so close to others and then to have that all of a sudden gone. i guess this must be what it feels like when someone loses someone they love when they transition at death. it must be a similar feeling. something else is coming up in this moment.. i’ve never really felt that sort of loss with someone passing as those that i’ve known that have passed i haven’t been that close to. but i’ve felt these deep losses with losing friends or girlfriends when relationships have ended. and i’ve never known what really to say to someone else when they’ve experienced someone they’ve loved passing away. there were a couple other things i want to say though they’re not there at this moment… ah, yes, another part of it that i was remember was that when i had an amazing transformational experience at the avatar course several years ago, i remember more easily connecting with others and feeling in a higher place than i feel i’ve been the past couple years.. i remember feeling really connected to others i’d meet, and like i would easily fall in love with girls i’d meet as i’d have an open heart. i think this also relates to the decision aspect. perhaps i feel or think i need to decide what i want in a relationship first so i can use some discernment ahead of time. otherwise, if i have an open heart, i may just fall in love with the first person i meet and connect with when my heart is open. looking at that, that might not be a bad thing, as the divine could be placing the exact person i need to meet and connect with and fall in love with right there for me. perhaps i don’t need to be thinking about this so much and just open my heart. though i remember a few years back, a friend i met at the avatar course told me not to fall in love so easily when he saw how i felt about the girls i would meet. i remember hugging a friend goodbye at the end of the wizard course who didn’t stay with the group/family at the condo, though we or i saw her fairly often during the courses and when i knew she was leaving to go overseas, i really felt the pain/hurt/upset as i was hugging her when she was leaving, and she felt it too as i think i was shaking a bit as i was embracing her. i feel for a lot of or most of my life i’ve been really sensitive, and when i’ve been hurt or felt i’ve needed to control or avoid the possibility of being hurt, i would close up (and this is in other ways too, like in needing to make sure i don’t be too spontaneous and spend lots of money when i only have a limited amount coming in, as i know i can easily be sponatenous and spend a lot when i fall in love with someone or am living with an open heart). i feel these issues are related to trust. as i’ve been hurt in the past, i feel that i’ve had to live from the mind or not open my heart up as i can’t trust it’s going to work out.. it’s like i’ve got to make absolutely sure everything is going to work out as i want it to in order for it to. so now as i face issues such as having to pay for a condo and car and all the related expenses (and not wanting to lose everything i’ve put into it so far), and i haven’t been getting paid as much as i was before, i end up in a struggle and feel i can’t fully enjoy life until i know all of this is taken care of and there’s nothing to worry about. as i find myself sitting here for so long and not doing the things i want to be doing in life, or even if i’m doing some things i enjoy like going to parks and photographing, as i find myself not fully embracing the moment and really enjoying or experiencing life or simply relaxing, i start to look for external solutions to fix this, as the things i’m not liking are in the external world. so for example, i see that living in this condo isn’t perfect.. yes there are some aspects that are good about it, though there are some things i’d prefer different.. as such, i start to look for other options. i start to chase after solutions that don’t exist. like finding inexpensive land to build a home or live out of an rv or camper around here. and in the areas i want to be, land is pretty expensive. then the thought of traveling or living out of a van comes to mind. which could be fun, though would this simply be a distraction to try to solve the real issue of opening my heart.. sometimes i feel these external things could solve the issue, as i know i could relax if i had less to worry about or if the things in the external world were going the way i wanted them to. and if i could relax, i could naturally open my heart. but then i wonder if this whole cycle would simply repeat itself in a different way. when i earned a good amount of money the year after i took the avatar course, i got a truck camper and didn’t really think it all out. i was looking for an inexpensive rv option and was leaning towards the truck camper for the versatility and it was the least expensive way to get into an rv. though when i traveled the country in it, i sometimes or often found it difficult to find places to park at night where i wouldn’t be seen or disturbed, especially when i wasn’t out in the middle of nowhere or in a national park or forest or something. after looking at some options, the one i picked felt right and i went with it. perhaps it was right for what i needed to experience, but was it really right.. if that’s the feeling i trusted and went with and it didn’t all go exactly as i planned, how do or can we trust feelings.. i know things change and can change quite quickly after embarking on a spiritual journey, and i enjoy some change, though i also would like some degree of permanance. like in a home, i’d like a place i can always come back to and know it’s there, and not have to go through all the effort of figuring out where to live nor having to throw money away on renting something, etc, etc. but now that i have my own home and i have to struggle to pay for it and i don’t even like it fully, i wonder if that even matters. anyhow, that’s another tangent. going back to trust, i can see many years ago, before this whole spiritual journey, or at least before choosing to go on it and learning more about spirituality, i lived more wrecklessly, following my feelings, and i got hurt in different ways. i suppose i wasn’t really that wreckless, though i’m not sure exactly what it is about it.. perhaps i felt that i wasn’t really going anywhere in life and i was just having fun and now i need to be more responsible to have my own home and such… i know i had my heart broken multiple times, and i think i’ve been feeling that i need to take care of all of the things in my life that had previously led to a failed relationship so i can make it work this time. and i feel there’s so much to do. as i take care of some things, i see it getting easier and the space opening up, though perhaps i’m seeking perfection too much. i know it’s been amazing when i’ve fallen in love and have felt like its just been a long honeymoon, though when something didn’t work out, like we didn’t have money or didn’t fully open up to share what we were feeling or struggling with, or whatnot, things fell apart. i think another thing i’m facing is that i know i want to continue to grow and expand on this spiritual journey, and continue to increase my awareness, though i don’t know if i would want to once in i’m a relationship or if i’d be able to do both. i know i could find someone else on a similar journey or someone who’s open to this, though i see so many people out there that are in much different places in their lives, and interested in very different things. i think to a degree this all comes back to the decision aspect, and not knowing what to decide. perhaps its also thinking i need to decide, that i can’t have both. this reminds me that i can have both. i can create a life that has everything i desire. though i mustn’t get too caught up in the seeking perfection aspect of it and just allow it. though at the same time, i think i would be quite happy just having a loving relationship and not feel the need to expand my awareness as far. part of me just wants to enjoy life. perhaps i just need to surrender and open my heart. though i also feel in this need to surrender, that as i let go of different aspects of who i am, then i find myself not knowing who i am. and it becomes more difficult to relate to or connect with others, as i feel it’s already been difficult as i don’t have a lot of the same interests or experiences in life as a lot of other people. perhaps it’s only as i’m looking at the shallow aspects of what each of us like, and i ought to connect with someone more deeply. but then that goes back to opening my heart and being vulnerable. so i’m not sure where i’m going with all this. it seems to be going in a loop. i guess this is what it’s like to be stuck. i’ve seen this before with various aspects of life. i suppose i could just choose an exit point and leave this loop. i can change whatever it is i want, though must decide what to change. i feel as i free up space by exploring this and getting this out there, it becomes easier to naturally feel what it is i do want. as i let go of what no longer serves me, it gets easier to open my heart and allow what can serve me. i always feel i need to end on a positive note like that. like i need to find a way out. it doesn’t always have to be like that. this is really just me exploring some of the issues i’m facing. i may find solutions though i need not force them. i know i’m on the right path, though still don’t have all the answers. i suppose i just gotta ask for divine grace to guide me and naturally open my heart, and if that involves healing and letting go, then to open me up to fully experience those feelings and fully release them. i simply want to enjoy my life and have meaningful relationships/friendships with others and have a deep connection with a girl in a loving, committed relationship. i want to feel alive and love my life and let my light shine brilliantly.

today’s miracles

today i experienced a few nice miracles.. after trying to sell my old laptop for over half a year, i finally got an offer i accepted a few days ago. i hadn’t received payment and was still a little skeptical i would actually sell it, though i got a message late this morning that he’d be sending payment soon. it was perfect timing as i had a few other things i had sold that i was about ready to ship and was going to be meeting my sister shortly at my parent’s house to work on her computer that i was helping her sell. i wasn’t sure if i was going to make it in time though to the local ups store as the mail pickup was going to be right around the time i’d be receiving payment if i waited too long. i went over to my folks’ house and brought the boxes with me. after experiencing some issues with the cheap packing tape not working properly in the tape holder (and breaking into small pieces) as i attempted to seal the boxes, i got everything packed up and ready to go. i went online to check if i had received payment for my computer and saw the funds had arrived. as i was on the computer i heard my mom or sister say that the mailman had just passed by. i grabbed the boxes and ran outside to see if i could catch him to give him the packages. carrying a few boxes, i didn’t want to run and as i was halfway towards him i figured i might not catch up (or it’d be a good ways until i did), so i turned back and headed towards the house and waited a few minutes for him to come back down the other side of the street. i gave him the boxes and didn’t have to worry about missing the pick-up time at the ups store or making a longer trip over to the post office.

back at the computer, i prepared the package for my old laptop that had sold and worked on my sister’s computer. i also saw that i had received an unexpected offer for something else. i don’t recall if this was before i ran out to give the boxes to the mailman or after. i had written back asking to split the difference between the offer and what i was asking, and didn’t necessarily expect it to sell at that price as most times i’ve done that, i haven’t heard back or have received another lower offer. though when i first noticed i had an offer, i figured i should respond to it then rather than wait so i could print out the label for it if it did sell. i also saw that i had gotten another payment for one of the small things that i was waiting payment for. this morning when i woke up i hadn’t received most of the payments and figured i’d have to be making multiple trips to drop everything off as i got paid. shortly after i sent the offer back, i noticed a new message and saw that it said i had received payment for what i had just sent the offer back for. it was exciting to see all of these things selling and funds coming my way. i’m now only waiting on one more small payment (and payment for whatever else unexpectedly sells). the pile i have of stuff to sell is so much smaller now than it was not long ago. i had sold a few smaller things not long ago after i got back from chicago and hadn’t transferred those funds over yet. i was waiting for a little more to sell before doing so. it was nice to unexpectedly get the offer today as i was working on preparing the things that had sold, so i could transfer all of those funds at once rather than wait until i sold more a little later. between what i just sold this weekend and the bit i had sold in recent weeks, i received more than i have most months this year working for my friend. now by no means is this a lot of money (as i’ve been paid very little by my friend this year), though i’m very grateful for the abundance that does flow into my life (especially when it’s a nice unexpected surprise). the most exciting part of this is that as soon as the funds transfer i will have met the first part of a financial goal i’ve had for a long time. i’ll now have enough in my accounts to be able to pay back all of my debts if i want to. though i won’t do so just yet as i don’t want to be left with nothing in my accounts. i’ll keep a backup and as i continue to receive extra funds that i could save, i can now put those funds towards paying down the debts and then towards my next adventure, whatever that might be.

i did end up having to make a trip to the post office to drop off the unexpected package that had sold, though didn’t mind doing so. i saw dark clouds on the way there and on the way back, though i made it into my condo just before the rain started. i saw a few drops on my windshield as i was almost home and i think i felt one drop as i was walking in. when i got inside, i went to the bathroom for a minute or two, and then i looked out the window and saw that the rain was coming down. and i had a couple obstacles that delayed me a little bit too. i was behind someone for a little bit who’s car must’ve been having issues as she got out to look under the hood or at something in the front. i had thought for a brief moment if i should stop and help or ask if she was okay or needed a push though i was on a business call at the time. less than a minute later as cars were going around me, i saw the lady getting back in the car and driving off. a few minutes later when i got over to the ups store to drop off the computer, i was going to park right in front of the store though saw a sherrif’s office vehicle parked a couple stores up and figured i probably shouldn’t stop in the fire lane even if for less than a minute, so i took a little extra time to go into a parking spot and turn off the car and run into the store. in the store, the first computer the guy was on wasn’t working. and when he went over to another one, it seemed like that was also having an issue or perhaps he was expecting an issue. i quietly changed my energy slightly to be at peace and the computer was working seconds later. i got the receipt and headed home before the rain.

i had woken up earlier than usual this morning as i had gone to sleep early last night while waiting for some parts of a time-lapse video i’m working on to render. i didn’t feel like working on it when i woke up after passing out last night so only checked on it briefly and then went back to sleep. i had had issues with some of the files not rendering properly due to some bug in photoshop. i was a bit frustrated and didn’t want to deal with checking all the frames one at a time when i had woken up in the middle of the night. this morning when i woke up, i found that every single frame had rendered correctly overnight. (and this was after all of them except three rendered incorrectly yesterday) being up early, i was hearing a little noise from the neighbor so i thought i’d put something on to listen to. i had seem some long meditation mantra recordings on my screen, and decided to pick one of those. the one i picked was a powerful wealth mantra. i listened to it for the entire 3 hours and 3 minutes. i even had it on really low in the background as i was making a call to the car insurance company to see if i could get a discount as my renewal was coming up. they didn’t offer my anything right then though told me about a program that could give me a nice discount later on. and i also got some quotes that were quite reasonable for a truck or van i’d been considering. perhaps listening to this mantra helped that unexpected sale come in and helped the payment of my laptop arrive too. i’m grateful and excited for all the abundance that flows into my life and for new doors that are opening for me. and for letting go of what no longer serves me and seeing these old things disappear (be it the things i’m selling, the old emotions or thinking or stories i’m accepting or letting go of, or these old videos that i’m very quickly working through this month). i look forward for what continues to unfold as i continue to let go and learn to surrender to the moment and flow with life.