Returning from a trip always feels a little odd. For me, at least. I think it’s because… while I’m away I enter a parallel life of sorts, where I’m the same person but in a different place, doing and seeing different things. I mean, I wouldn’t usually get up at 5:45am and watch the sunrise after only about an hour and a half of sleep. I become immersed in a different version of myself and my life for a few days and that becomes the new normal, and then upon return I’m reminded of what normal actually is. I find it quite easy to forget everything I was in the middle of, and then I return to everything exactly as it was, and the next day I’m back to work and back to thinking everything I usually think, which I sort of… forgot to think about while away. It almost doesn’t even feel real that I was away because I’m suddenly just back as if it never happened. As if I fell asleep into a very vivid dream and awoke feeling disoriented. Especially this time because I went away in the middle of the week. I was at home on Monday, then away, then back at home on Saturday, so a slice from the centre of my normal week was displaced by this escape into a parallel life.

This one felt even more so like a parallel life than usually, because it was an experience like none I’ve ever had before. I was staying with my boyfriend and a bunch of his friends, and I’ve never stayed in close proximity to that many people before. Especially people I didn’t really know. I was apprehensive about it, especially because this was my first time meeting some people, and most of them I don’t know that well. But after the first day, meeting everyone for the first time and being super overwhelmed, I felt much more comfortable than I expected to. One of the highlights for me was a bunch of us sitting around the fire pit outside deep into the night, just talking and laughing, and at one point, crying. I always relish those particular moments. Moments of connection without distraction. More so than playing drinking games or party games, which, while fun, never feel as meaningful as those moments of sharing with each other, learning about each other, and being present with one another. I think those moments are really precious and I always hold such memories fondly. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just one person or multiple, just sitting and talking with people you feel comfortable sitting and talking with is quite a beautiful experience.

Something I was really excited about for this trip was, of course, the opportunity to take photos of a new place. I don’t go away very often. I just don’t think of it. Maybe it’s because my family never went away much as a kid so it’s just not something I often consider or think of as a possibility. I’m someone who spends a lot of time thinking about the things I want to create and what I want to create next and what my next project is. So I don’t tend to think about when I’m next going to take a break from it or allow myself to forget about it or be away. Even while I’m away, I may stop thinking about the things I’m working on at home, but a new environment is, as aforementioned, an opportunity. An opportunity to find inspiration in someplace new. Especially when creativity is something that comes from within myself, I always find it enriching to experience new things and new environments to broaden my outlook and provide new perspectives.

This was my first time getting up early specifically to see the sunrise. I was extremely sleep deprived and honestly, barely awake stumbling down the street. But the cool morning air was refreshing and the sunrise was beautiful. I took some really nice photos that I’m super happy about, and I’d love to do it again on a day when I’ve had perhaps a more reasonable amount of sleep.

It’s interesting to me how much being a creative person involves observation of self. Writing involves observing and noticing and analysing my thoughts and feelings and trying to make sense of them enough that I can make them make sense to other people. Through drawing I am again observing my thoughts and taking them through the process of turning a thought into a tangible idea. In photography I am not just observing the world around me but observing within myself what I find interesting enough to photograph. And through all of it I am always observing my own technical skill and trying to figure out what I’m doing well and how I can be better. However conscious or subconscious this all is, it’s always happening. And through this observation of self I also find it interesting to see how I evolve. To see how I evolve to find different things interesting, or how I am drawn to different things, take photos differently, write differently. I feel that I compose some things differently than I once would have. And I really enjoy that process, and noticing my evolution.

Coming home has left me feeling like I needed more time. I mean, I was definitely ready to come home and be back in my own significantly more comfortable bed, but maybe I just wish the two days I had were longer. So I had more time to take pictures or more time to get comfortable to fully settle in and enjoy it properly. More time to bond with people. But I don’t necessarily see this as a feeling that the time I did spend was lacking, but simply that there is opportunity for more in the future. And that gives me something to look forward to.

Posted by:Lauren Kathleen

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