Road Trip Resolutions

Last year Jeff and I went out west on a roadtrip. We flew into Denver, Colorado, rented a car, and drove across Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. We traveled over 3,200 miles. We had no set schedule. We just drove, stopping whenever and wherever we pleased. That trip was one of the absolute best weeks of my life.

Last week we started serious planning on our next trip – as in plane tickets have been purchased and we leave in less than a month! Ahhh! Commence freakout! I’m trying to to think of ways to make this one even better than the last. It’s stressful, honestly.  Looking back I have no idea how I was able to so calmly embark on a trip without any real plans. Jeff and I had only known each other for around three months at the time, it blows my mind that we never once fought about where to stop. Even after getting home from that trip there was only one thing we missed that I regret (not that it really matters because we’ll be hitting it on this next trip!)

I feel anxious about our upcoming trip because I’m terrified of not making the most of it. I need to learn to sit back and relax because I know it’s going to be fun no matter what. I love traveling with Jeff, there’s no one else I’d rather spend a week in the car with, and I’m sure we’ll find tons of amazing places to explore and photograph. That being said, I wanted to share my road trip resolutions. These are just a few things that have been floating around my head lately, I thought that writing them down and sharing them would keep me accountable.

On all trips here on out I plan to… 

β–΄ Take more photos of people and stop being weird about getting my own photo taken! I think it was the photos of a stranger’s safari that really got me thinking about this. I barely have any photos of us from our last trip. Part of it was that we were sleeping in the car, and not showering. Honestly, I loved that part. Hair, make-up, and cute clothes were not my priority in the least but I didn’t want photos of myself like that. Looking back now, I wish I had photos of myself in the desert, in front of giant dinosaurs, and at the Grand Canyon. Who cares if my hair was greasy, and I was sunburnt?! I want those photos for myself. Nothing wrong with some cheesy tourist photos, even if you think you look dirty!

One of the only photos of us from the trip. Taken by Jeff.

β–΄ Speaking of photos, I want to shoot more than just pretty landscapes. I LOVE a good landscape photo, and I know I’ll be taking my fair share of them on this trip but I also want to shoot more “behind the scenes” type of photos. Pictures of our meals, pictures of where we sleep, just all the little details that make the trip what it is.

Our last trip was insane, we seriously saw so darn much. We packed so much stuff into that week that it’s easy to forget certain things. The other day I randomly remembered a little diner we ate at while waiting on Mesa Verde National Park to open. It was some strange smiley face themed place with great food plus they actually had chocolate milk instead of having it on the menu and then saying “oh, we don’t have that”. Anyway, it was special because we had just had one of the worst nights sleep of the whole trip and this was one of the only real meals we ate. It was so nice to just sit down and enjoy food. I, of course, didn’t take any photos – because why would I? But I wish I had even just one photo from that place. That’s the kind of photos I’m talking about with this goal.

β–΄ Share more stories. I want to document my trips better. There are lots of things from 2014’s trip that I wish I had talked more about. Story telling isn’t really my strong point. I rely on my photos to tell stories but looking back I feel like maybe I glossed over a lot of parts of the trip on accident. It was all just so fresh and overwhelming to look back upon that I didn’t think to write down a lot.

This year I might take a notebook and just jot down little things as well as where we are, and what day it is. I’ve never been great at journaling but I think I’d like to give it a shot.

 β–΄ Get photos printed! Recently I started putting everything I had printed from the last few years in albums. It feels so good to have them out of boxes and somewhere that they can actually be looked at. The thing is those are only my film photos. I can’t even remember the last time I got digital photos printed. While I don’t see myself printing out everyday photos, I do want to print photos of trips.

A while back Chatbooks sent me a book of some of my instagram photos printed and my first thought was “roadtrip photos!” I think when we get back from this trip I’d like to get a book or two made from my digital photos so I have a keepsake of sorts from the trip, maybe even with excerpts from my travel journal as the captions. You can find photos of the book they printed me in this post. The books are only $6 and they have free shipping PLUS you can use the
code “theda146” to get your first book when you subscribe to your Instagram Series.

Basically it just all boils down to the fact I want to be able to remember these trips better! I know I’ve briefly mentioned before how I don’t feel like my memory is the best and I want to soak up everything little thing I can from road trips. Traveling is when I’m the happiest.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I love this! I never feel like I get enough photos when I travel. I'm about to do a trip to Yellowstone for the first time. This gives me things to think about.

  • First of all, your first trip sounds awesome and I hope you have even more fun this time! I look forward to hearing more about it. πŸ™‚
    Second… you said you were sleeping in the car. Did you guys forgo a hotel/other sleeping arrangements the whole trip? I hope that isn't too forward to ask! I'm just curious, because my husband and I love going on road trips – for the weekend or much longer, and we are always tempted to just sleep in our car! No matter how much money we have, there is always something we would rather spend it on than a bed. We camp where we can, but even then, it feels silly pulling into a site for less than 8 hours sometimes!

    • We slept in a hotel two nights, and a wigwam another night. The others we slept in the car. Money and the fact that we wanted to just keep moving played a part. Sleeping in the car for me was seriously half the fun! It made it feel so much like an adventure. And it obviously really really really cuts down on expenses.

      This year we'll basically be doing the same thing but also be taking out hammocks so if possible we don't have to sleep in the car and can hammock instead.

    • That's awesome! The hammocks especially. We're heading to the Keys in two weeks and I am definitely going to rethink our lodging plans, since like you guys, we want to keep moving around quite a bit. And yeah… cutting down on expenses is always good too! Thanks for getting back to me. πŸ™‚

  • You DEFINITELY need to get The Adventure Log!! It's by Bradley Mountain! It's the size of a small Field Notes (3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches) and it's amazing! In my opinion, it's perfect for the person who isn't that great at journaling, or someone who doesn't like it that much but still wants the memories. It's a quick and easy way to keep track of your memories while out exploring. It has a little place to write your location, then the date, the conditions, your companions and then a notes section where you could go into more detail about your adventure. But it's all on one page and you don't feel the pressure to write page after page in a journal. It's so much less formal but doesn't lose any magic of journaling. You should definitely check it out for you and Jeff! You could also start taking them along on your urban explorations and just jotting down a few things here or there that might not get captured by camera! πŸ™‚ And Field Notes makes a wooden box that fits these little guys when you're filling them up and want to keep them stored in one place to look back on! πŸ™‚

  • I can completely relate to this! My boyfriend and I just went on our second road trip together, and already I've learned so much from setting similar goals. I brought along a journal this time, and I documented each night what we did and where we went that day – it helps a TON. We tend to pack as much as possible in our trips, and by the end it can all blend together.

    My biggest problem is that I feel most comfortable taking photos in nature, and I end up with only a small handful of city photos. I know you mentioned you've been getting more comfortable with city photography, but if you have any advice I'd love to hear it!

    Are you going on the West Coast trip? I've started posting some photos and info about our two-week trip from Seattle to San Francisco if you're interested in talking more πŸ™‚

    • I think my only advice would just be to push yourself to do it. You can only get better and in the habit of it if you try! πŸ™‚

      We're doing the west coast but actually stopping at San Francisco. Hopefully sometime soon we'll do above that though!

    • Thanks!
      Oh wow, that sounds fantastic. I went down to Big Sur along Highway 1 on my trip, and it might be one of my favorite parts. California is such an incredible state. I can't wait to see your photos πŸ™‚

  • It's funny you consider yourself not great at journalling while you're so good at blogging! It's kind off the same thing for me πŸ˜‰

    And is it just my point of view, but does the tree in the picture of the two of you really stands almost parallel with the arrow?? It looks like even Jeff wants to blend in with the surroundings πŸ˜€

    Thumbs up for achieving your goals!

    • Oh, it's so totally different for me!

      Haha, it kind of is but only because it was taken with a wide angle lens that distorted the tree a bit.

  • I am so excited to hear about your next trip! My favorite kind of trips are the ones with minimal planning, just going where the winds blows you, haha. I'm not shy about photographing things but I am definitely shy about photos taken OF me in public. After trips I am constantly wishing I had been brave and photographed myself and whoever I was with. I am hoping to get over that as well!

    • Exactly. As much as I want to share what are plans are, and get more suggestions. I don't want to be overwhelmed with suggestions. I'm looking forward to just stumbling on places that look fun and doing whatever!

  • we go on lots of trips and i always have a little notebook to write down things throughout the day. some times when i go over it at the end i find things i completely forgot about by the end! i also have been trying to make a blurb book of each of our trips. i've done it once, and have lots more photos to go through, but i LOVE the one I made! i look through it all the time!

    • Yeah, most of the roadtrips are so hectic (in a good way) that I'm sure I immediately forget tons of little things that were wonderful! I bought a pack of those Adventure Logs someone above recommended. I'm looking forward to using them.

  • If you happen to be coming back to the area you visited last time, you should check out Galleto Meadows in Borrego Springs. I'm the one who told you last time to check out Noah Purifoy in Joshua Tree. Happy travels…. I look forward to seeing and reading about your new road trip.

    • Yesss! That looks awesome! We'll be kind of in the same area so if we're close we'll definitely be swinging by there. Thank you so much for the awesome suggestions!

  • So excited to hear about your trip!! I am actually planning one for September from Alabama through Texas to New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. I've been through these places before and saw a few things but didn't really get to explore them! I know you probably get this a lot but do you have any recommendations for anything to see/do in that region?