On the precipice of unknown adventure, like a landmark rising from the horizon at first glimpse to migrants, or pirates, I hold a handmade roadmap of tomorrows’ sunrises.
It may alter as I saunter east, here and there, but the guide is clear. What began as a vague notion of extended travel east of the Mississippi, evolved into a full-fledged plan complete with every date in my iPhone calendar filled with addresses or landmarks, all over 6 states and 12 cities, noting travel instructions, train stations, airports, shoot times, contact numbers, wardrobe, hair and makeup requests, shoot rate, plus if a deposit was paid, and how much. At first, it was nothing but a pipe dream, a ploy to get around paying rent anywhere for a while, a method to skip the madness and beat the perpetual LA parade, but a work vacation quickly became the favourable option at the time and was magically born into reality. From travel notices and penciled in date ranges, a solidly booked itinerary, of now 33 shoots in 6 weeks, rapidly took form. So far, over 1/3 of my working days are multiple shoot days. Added to early mornings and rare days off, I have my work cut out for me!
I’ve never done anything like this, and all on my own, too.
I’ve always been this spontaneous, making permanent, last-minute moves across the United States on two occasions, and several other more temporary ones, although my hitchhiking days, for example, are over. Well-lived, they culminated with my post-college, 3-week trip hitchhiking with a girl friend across Canada to Maine from Washington State, crossing the border after backpacking through Montana’s Glacier National Park, getting our first ride into Canada from a border crossing guard after he confiscated our keychain pepper-spray, but gave us an out-of-date can of bear spray in case of encounter with the mama grizzly bear one mile up the road, the same leaky pepper-spray that I accidentally got in my eye after trying to sleep in the woods of a kinda sketchy city park in the middle of Montreal, prepared to spray anyone away, including the unabashed raccoons.
But, I digress. That story is for a different blog, or perhaps a book, as I happen to have the chronicles of that trip written in love letter form.
This is a different adventure, more modern, and wiser, set up to save and make bank, planned as much as possible, but not by any means risk-free. A challenge that I’ve somehow succeeded in setting before myself, nonchalantly, because apparently I had nothing better to do. But in my many extended-stays away from whatever town or city in which I was storing my stuff, I’ve discovered that while nothing really changes too much in a few months, a season or two, or in smaller towns even a few years, home really is where the heart is.
It is appropriate, then, to spend my first week away from Los Angeles at my childhood home, with family, relaxing and getting organized mentally, physically, and emotionally. This place, where I learned to understand what the world is, that formed the topography of my heart and mind, is where I came to ground myself and connect to my roots before embarking on this unknown adventure.
So, east coast, here I come. Where I’ll not only find the sunrises much earlier, and undoubtedly both migrants and pirates along the way, but also an unforgettable trip that will shape the next chapter of my life, and that I won’t regret.
Images by Jon Behlke, Downtown LA