▲ THERE'S MORE THAN JUST A "PAGE" ▲
Not until my mid-20's did a traveling lifestyle ever occur to me. I was content in my predictable Midwest city. Never did I think to myself "I need to explore and discover the world" because, quite frankly, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything. It's not like I never went anywhere. I visited other states, occasionally vacationing on the beaches of Florida...that's enough change of scenery, right? Then one day the opportunity to travel abroad presented itself when I was cast on a television show visiting countries in Europe, Central America and South America. While my new cast-mates were jumping up and down at the locations that awaited us and our film crew abroad, admittedly, I wasn't excited in the least. Looking back, my disinterest was rooted mostly in fear of the unknown. I wasn't sure what to expect from places where I didn't know the language or customs. How can feeling out of place be fun?
The truth is, however, that I had more than fun on my travels. I had an unforgettable time and gained a whole new perspective on life. My mind expanded in what seemed like an instant. I fell in love with cities I had never heard of, cities that I thought only existed in fairy tales. I saw the stars of our galaxy in all their glory from a remote South American desert. The immense awe and wonder I felt upon seeing what appeared to be a million diamonds glistening in the night sky brought me to tears. I ate delicious food I couldn't pronounce and befriended people who I could only communicate with via broken language, facial expressions and hand gestures. I got lost on foot on several occasions. One night in the Old Town section of Edinburgh, I stumbled upon the most beautiful buildings I had ever seen just as the fluffiest, whitest snowflakes broke from the heavens above. I vividly recall stretching out my arms and lifting my face to the night sky underneath the orange glow of a lonely lamp post. These and so many other experiences transformed me in ways I'm still discovering to this day.
My international travels taught me that there is a vast world out there. A world outside of me that is unfamiliar but equally, if not more enjoyable, than where I call home. Traveling is much like dreaming, but in a tangible world. You don't know exactly what you'll see (or who you'll meet) at any given moment. There's a childlike wonder in not knowing where you are exactly, where you're going, or what anything means. It's one of the best ways to step out of the known and into the unknown...to push the limits of your mind just a little bit further...to find some of the most valuable parts of who you really are.
The images I capture on my excursions are my homage to everything travel has given me. It's also the means through which I aim to inspire all who have read but a page, so to speak, in his or her book of life. It's my greatest hope that through my pictures and stories, you'll see there's a captivating, dreamlike world just waiting to take your breath away...a world and a version of you that, I assure you, you don't want to miss!