My heart is full. I am bursting with gratitude and disbelief as I reflect on the experiences I’ve had, places I’ve seen, and people I’ve met during my road trip through the Pacific Northwest. They have humbled me more than I will ever be able to explain. The natural beauty of this world is so breathtakingly overwhelming, but so easy to overlook as we are wrapped up in the minutia of every day life. I can confidently say that from the grand scenic landscapes to the subtlest of details, the rhythm and beauty of the natural world is the most convincing proof of a higher power. We truly are tiny little specks of life in a giant universe that would continue on with or without us.
However, with that said, I am equally as appreciative of the people in this world (many of whom I met on this trip) that, despite contextual size, have not underestimated their potential to make big impacts even through the smallest of acts. The ones that know that kindness, love, laughter and understanding are the only real solutions and the ultimate remedies. The ones that see what joins us more than what divides us, and the ones that consistently pay it forward even when no one is looking. The ones that take pain and find a way to turn it into beauty, and the ones that welcome strangers, unfamiliarity and risk with open arms. I am lucky to have family and friends – old and new – that live by these standards.
And to Joe – my best friend, my partner in all things adventure, my love and my pillow (physically, emotionally, and in any other way that one can offer gentle support), thank you for planning and experiencing this dream come true with me, for still loving me at the end of many days in cars and close quarters together, and for always completing tasks that require man-smarts, man-strength, man-skills and/or patience that I don’t always have. There is not a single other soul in the world that I would have wanted to share these precious memories with. I am so lucky to be your tiny sidekick.
Cheers to life’s past, present, and future adventures.