Traveling photographer strikes again!
It felt so good to pack my bags and head out on an adventure again this time my whole world had changed since the last time I had hit the road, now I was traveling with my little girl.
I had some reservations about traveling with an infant. Not only was I concerned about her acting ballistic on the planes, trying my hand at feeding her in public, people being rude but in the end I learned that my fears were unfounded. I learned quite the opposite actually.
People were very friendly, accepting and helpful. Three things I was very surprised to learn. As I was flying out of Twin Falls the attendant who was checking me in rearranged my seats to ensure I wasn’t going to have any issues with my luggage and waved the fee to check my bags. As I was flying through Salt Lake City and Chicago every time Harmony and I got on and off the plane the people around me offered to help me carry my backpack off the plane as I was juggling holding Harmony. Then as I arrived in Memphis there was a mix-up with my car rental where I had to go up to each and every single rental agency desk attempting to find my rental and hauling my luggage from desk to desk all while still carrying Harmony. Finally one of the ladies at the desk offered to hold my bags till I found my rental, when I finally did one of the ladies from the front desk carried my bags up to the car level, pulled the car around, installed the car seat and ensured my paperwork was taken care of so all I had to do was just drive away!
The kindness of strangers always seems to blow me away.
As we were flying across the country I couldn’t help but feel a swell of excitement. The song “Fly Over States” always feeds my wondering spirit, and here we were doing exactly that and I got to share that moment with my daughter…who never seemed to be awake to see it. For all of the places I have traveled to and all the things I have seen I thought to myself as I looked out of that small plastic window…I can’t wait to share these things with Harmony. With her ease of travel at such a young age I am willing to take that as a sign that she has her mommy’s spirit for travel.
We landed in Memphis I looked forward to seeing some very important and influential people in my life from my military career, these people were my mentors, my roll models and in turn became my family. I have said it a million times, “small world our Navy” and that statement rang true again over this weekend. Even after my discharge from the Navy, nearly two years ago, it doesn’t matter how long time goes by when Sailors are reunited it is like no time has passed. When I was invited to CMD Curry’s retirement ceremony I was also asked to be the photographer for his ceremony as well! I have to admit I was nervous about being an “MC” again and this wasn’t just any retirement ceremony this was a ceremony for the man who defined my career. Who gave me every chance in the world to follow my dreams, even when “big Navy” was telling me that I couldn’t.
But to be back in my “MC” shoes, it was like I had never left. I felt the rush that I always got when I was out on assignment, whether it was a routine assignment or covering a high profile story. It was about once again being a small part in a single chapter in the long story that is the Navy. It was like being reunited with a piece of myself that I only found during my time in the Navy, a piece that I still long for everyday.
Sadly this was a short trip, shorter than I had wanted it to be but it was what it had to be. It was enough of a trip to wet my appetite and remind me how much I miss my Navy life as well as how much I miss being the “traveling photographer”. Since moving to Idaho I have noticed how my photography has become limited to work and school related items only (other than selected times) and in a way I feel like I am not quite myself because of that.
Soon though I will be free from the ties of school and be able to once again spread my wings but this time to be joined on my adventures with my family instead of being solo.