Life is about the journey, not the destination. I have always believed this, but it's hard to apply when focused on academic or occupational success. At many points in my life, I've been so focused on where I'm going, I forget to stop and smell the roses. When I went on the Caribbean cruise with my sister, my perspective changed dramatically. Yes, we went to Jamaica and Haiti, but the experience was just being on a boat with no cell phone and no computer. No work to do, nowhere to go (unless you REALLY like to swim!) So I learned to slow down, to breathe, and just to be. What an amazing feeling that is! To enjoy the moment, not worrying about the future. If I wanted to be really cheesy, I'd bring up the quote I heard as a teenager. Ok, ok, here it is. "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift, that is why we call it the present." In trying to live this principle, I decided to take the 14 hour train ride back home from Denver to Salt Lake. Yes, an early morning and a later night with no where to go except the train car, the observation car, the dining car and the other train car... haha.
And I LOVED it. I met so many interesting people. An older woman who doesn't like to fly but travels the continent with her husband by motorcycle or train. A man who had 24 hours before entering a monastery. A man who sings for a band but hasn't had his big break yet, so he works in a restaurant until his musical career can take off. A girl born on February 29th so her dad wanted to celebrate with a trip - she was technically turning 5 years old, even though she'd been alive for 20 years :) A chef moving from Colorado to Washington to start at a new from-scratch kitchen. And a National Geographic photographer. Everyone traveling the same journey for a completely different reason. Absolutely fascinating to me. 14 hours of talking, eating, looking out the window, and taking pictures. I couldn't be happier!
And what amazing views we had! One of the cars, called the observation car, had big windows everywhere so you could sit and enjoy the landscape (not like those little airplane windows!)
It wasn't easy to shoot through the windows, but after the plane shoot, I had become a pro! (ok, not really. But I did have some practice. It was a challenge.)
The seasons seemed to change as we traveled, too. Started out in winter... then spring, and finally ended in summer. Then the sun went down and when I got off the train in Salt Lake there was a snow storm.
There were 5 or 6 stops along the way, but we had only 3-5 minutes at each stop. While some people hopped off to take a smoke break, I usually took a couple seconds for a photo break! On the left here is the other photographer I had the chance to shoot with. Learned a lot from him!
aaand.... back to my favorite views from the train. Last 30 minutes of sunlight. The way the rock got so orange with the sun going down was gorgeous.