Create: Finding The Work You Want To Be Doing

A ramblegood infinity scarf

For travelers and creatives alike, the comparison game can be a real ambition killer. 

With my newly acquired in-my-thirties attitude and simplify as my one little word for 2015, I'm taking a step back and coming at this game from a new, more productive, angle. 

Instead of comparing my creative projects to others, I'm focusing down on the important question behind it all.

What's the work I want to be doing?

This question allows me to take a different approach to the whole comparison game. Instead of comparing my work to others, I'm instead looking for examples of great work and creators which I can strive to join. This approach also allows me to cut down on the noise and bypass comparing myself with successful creators whose work I have no interest in doing myself.

So I've started a list on my Notes app in my phone, broken down by creative medium, and here's who I'm striving to join right now.

Videography & Filmmaking

While my interested in videography and filmmaking goes back to "throwing my college career away" in high school to take film instead of english class, there was one video in particular which pushed me over the edge to get into travel videography and filmmaking; a story for tomorrow by Gnary Bay.

My equally creative husband found the Expedition Overland series and I was hooked. This is the kind of work I want to be doing, because it's the kind I enjoy watching. Give me an episode of this over any major TV show, any day.

And then this month, we both found Welcome to Union Glacier from StudioCanoe and started planning out how to purchase a few more key pieces of equipment.

Multimedia Websites

What websites do I find myself eagerly returning to for almost every new post? On the frequent content side, I totally dig Adventure Journal's varied combination of outdoor content - from the video of the day to essays on current issues facing the outdoors.

I'm not much of an e-mail subscriber, but I make one exception for the awesome family behind Our Open Road. They don't post to their website often and when they do it's a whopper of a post filled with amazing photography and down to earth stories. Whenever I get a new post from them in my e-mail, my day has been made.


In a world full of over saturated and staged photography, I very much admire Lisette Wolter-McKinney's travel photography. It's simple, crisp, and it comes across incredibly real.

On the more in your face side, I really dig Chris Burkard's work. Every photo gives an epic vibe of adventure and I particularly enjoy his style of incorporating individuals into his landscape work.


To put it bluntly, I'm having a tough time finding travel writers out there whose work I really enjoy reading. I'm not so big on travel narratives or top 10 lists, but I do enjoy the short front of book pieces, One Great Block and Roads Less Traveled, in AFAR - as well as their Spin The Globe feature.

In terms of style, I absolutely love reading everything Jennifer Snyder posts on the Journal - her voice comes through smoothly and friendly in written words both on her own site and elsewhere.

Small Business

I'm about a year and half into wrapping the idea of being a small business owner around my head, but I find myself fascinated by the work of Ethnotek, preserving culture while helping people travel well; Moorea Seal, showcasing small designers and giving back; and Our Open Road's 24 Bazaar.`

Do you have any creators are you striving to join? I'd love to see what work is motivating you!

Travel, You're NOT Doing It Wrong

Travel, You're NOT Doing It Wrong - Hiking in Kauai - Photo by Fugue Photo

Let's not bother beating around the bush, there is no "wrong" way to travel.

It's a topic which sometimes leaves me considering unfollowing most travel writers and bloggers around the web altogether. I'm so tired of the prescriptive travel advice out there which tells you that you must "travel like a local" or "travel solo" because otherwise you're "just a tourist." Don't get me started on the traveler versus tourist debate. 

No, You Don't Have To Go Solo

As a woman who travels solo at least once a month, the whole "solo female travel" movement has never resonated with me. In fact it often annoys me, (I'll let this meme speak for how I feel about the use of the word "female" in the movement) due to it's prescriptive sounding nature - making it seem it must be the only way to travel. I personally find that instead of coming across as empowering, the movement often comes off as negative towards anyone who prefers or enjoys traveling with a partner or in a group. I travel both by myself and with my husband because I enjoy traveling with him. If you like to travel with a partner and prefer it to traveling solo, do it. Traveling solo is not the only way to travel. And no, your experience will not be negatively impacted because you're not traveling solo.

No, You Don't Have To Go Solo - Hiking in Lake Tahoe, California - PHOTO BY FUGUE PHOTO

Just Check It

For awhile I considered writing a post called "Confessions Of A Chronic Over-Packer," and then I turned 30 and decided I didn't care any longer. As someone who writes a lot about travel and travels frequently, I often get asked for tips on how to pack light. The truth is, I don't pack light - I pack smart and 100% of the time that means I check a bag when I fly. There is a strong belief out there, that checking a bag is a travel "don't" - but really who cares! 

I hate dragging bags around the airport and could care less about waiting to pick up my bag after the flight - I'm not in a rush. I have no desire to purchase 3oz versions of my shampoo or to be that person struggling to fit their overpacked roller bag into the overhead bin. I'm a frequent traveler and I'd rather check a bag. Yes, I've had my luggage lost and you know what - I'm still here and everything is okay. 

I say, do what works best for you and your trip.

Local Schmocal

One of the other travel "do's" out there is to travel like a local - a dangerous thought if you think about it more deeply. As a Seattle local, I tend to frequent the same places over and over as opposed to trying new things. That's most certainly not my goal while traveling. Another definition suggests that you should do home stays or rent an AirBnB as opposed to staying in a hotel or resort - to up your chances of getting to know some locals. While I personally tend to lean toward the AirBnB route, I've also enjoyed stays at resorts and hotels. Do what feels right for you and your trip. Whether you choose to stay in an all-inclusive resort or do a home stay with a local family you probably won't have a miserable time. Just a different one depending on your choice.

Seek Solitude

Whenever I see a post or article written about why someone travels, it's inevitably all about the people. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but if I were to write a why I travel post - it would be all about the natural features our earth has to offer. I don't seek out people when I travel, it's just not about the people for me. When I read how-to articles about great travel writing, it's always about the dialogue and the people you meet along the way. Perhaps that's why I struggle to write once in awhile, since I seek solitude when I travel and my most meaningful travel moments involve the lack of dialogue.

So if you're like me and seeking something other than people in your travels - just know you're not alone and it's okay. 

Seek Solitude - Enjoying Peninha in Portugal - PHOTO BY FUGUE PHOTO

To Count Or Not To Count

There's nothing like country counting to make a traveler feel inadequate. Spencer Spellman recently wrote a great post about not caring which I think captures the gist of why I'm including this debate here. I could care less about going to every place in the world. I simply have no interest in visiting every country. Like I mentioned previously, I travel for natural wonders and that's what drives my choice in destination. It's perfectly acceptable to be a traveler with no desire to go to every country in the world and the number of countries you visit only matters if you want it to.

The Measurements

Did you visit Portugal for two weeks and not set foot in Lisbon or Porto? Have multiple people told you that you're doing it wrong? I bet they have - and in my case they've certainly told me.

Measurements such as how far away you travel, how long you spent there, where you went, and how often you travel - only get in the way of appreciating whatever travel you can do. For the U.S. based folks out there, if you're taking your two weeks of the year to visit family for the holidays - well done, you've traveled. You should never have to refer to your travels preceded with the word "just." Your travels are not insufficient, they are your travels.

The One "Right"

Are you traveling?



Travel, you're doing it RIGHT!

The One "Right" - Enjoying Polihale in Kauai

A Year In Travel | 2014

From Washington State to Portugal and many places in between, we've had a fantastic year of traveling and filming in 2014. I hope you enjoy this compilation of some of our favorite places and outtakes which didn't quite make the cut into our formal trip videos throughout the year. It's a much more personal video than we've shared in the past - filled with plenty of quirk and silly.

So here's to 2015 and cheers to another year of adventures!

Trip Video: Portugal | Part Two

Wrapping up our trip videos for the year is Portugal - Part Two. If you haven't yet seen Part One, I recommend watching it first so you can get a feel for the first half of our trip. The second week of our trip was much more active than the first. I was feeling significantly better and itching to get some real good hiking and exploring in. In this video, we'll start off in Santa Comba de Seia, explore Serra da Estrela Natural Park, enjoy the the Algarve, walk the Rota Vincentina, and relax in Carvalhal. 

Trip Video: Tofino, British Columbia

Trip Video: Tofino, British Columbia

Located on the isolated west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is one of those places that's never going to leave me. There's just something special about it - it may be that it makes me think of Neverland or that it's a surf town. Either way, I can safely say I left part of my heart in Tofino and I know I'll be going back as soon as I can.

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Stay: Ocean Village Resort in Tofino, British Columbia

Stay: Ocean Village Resort in Tofino, British Columbia

When I began talking about taking a trip to Tofino for my 30th birthday, the one question I always got was how I had heard of it and to be honest I couldn't remember. It felt like one of those places I've always known about. However, after thinking about it more I recalled a resort, found in my wanderings around the web maybe six years ago, called Ocean Village. 

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Trip Video: Port Townsend, Washington

Trip Video: Port Townsend, Washington

I've heard fantastic things about Port Townsend ever since moving to Seattle almost five years ago. Everything from the cute town to the great adventures to be had at Fort Worden State Park - where An Officer and A Gentleman was filmed. Now, having visited, I can say it was absolutely lovely - although, frankly I think that had a whole lot to do with where we stayed. 

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Stay: Chevy Chase Beach Cabins in Port Townsend, Washington

Stay: Chevy Chase Beach Cabins in Port Townsend, Washington

Welcoming guests since 1897, Chevy Chase Beach Cabins (CCBC) offers a combination of welcoming proprietors, fascinating history, and a comfortable laid back vibe. Creating just the right spot for a peaceful break as opposed to feeling like it's just temporary escape. Of all the cabins I've stayed in around the Pacific Northwest, CCBC felt the most like coming home for a much needed rest. 

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3 Days in Tofino Via Instagram

3 Days in Tofino Via Instagram

If you haven't heard of Tofino and love beautiful places with overwhelming amounts of awesome things to see and do, you're in luck. Located on British Columbia's Vancouver Island, Tofino is a dream - well actually, it's exactly what I've always pictured in my head when I think of Peter Pan's Neverland.

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Visiting Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal

Visiting Praia do Norte in Nazaré, Portugal

For any surfer, a pilgrimage to Praia do Norte - just north of Nazaré is a must if you find yourself visiting Portugal. Not only is the site of Garrett McNamara's ridiculously epic ride down an estimated 100 foot wave (I'm sure even the non-surfers among you have seen the pictures) - it's also just the most beautiful beach I've maybe ever been to. 

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