In Need of Inspiration

After an extremely long week here in the city, I found myself in need of inspiration instead of offering it up this weekend. There’s nothing like a long walk in the village to clear your head. The street art, incredible stores, people out and about, and proximity to my favorite view of the city (Brooklyn Bridge park) makes me smile every time. Here are a few photos from my village exploration and Brooklyn Bridge area:

Hope you had an amazing weekend.

xox,

{Valleys of Venus}

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From the Smokies to the Big Apple

I finally took the plunge and moved to NYC with 3 roommates (Maria being one, of course), next months rent, a college degree, and a whole lot of hope. Thus far my experience has been an uncanny mix of awe and panic. The potential beauty of life here in the city is limitless, but getting there is definitely stressful. For now all I can do is email, email, email and apply, apply, apply while hoping this Hail Mary doesn’t place me in a premature grave. I already find myself looking forward to future times when I can reminisce on the days my gypsy soul encouraged me to take tremendous risks and stretch my boundaries. I have no doubt that things will fall into place–after all, I am a persistent person with the belief that all good things come in time–but patience has never really been my virtue. Being the first in your family to graduate college and leave your home state makes for an interesting tale, and I hope to have an amazing story and enough experiences to last a lifetime by the end of this crazy journey. As my first week as a New Yorker comes to a close, I’m excited to see what adventures are in store!

 Granny and Zane 

xox,

Amber

{Valleys of Venus}

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On the Road

My first cross country road trip was, of course, nothing like I expected.  While I was hoping to reach an epiphany about my impending leap into the real world or maybe come to understand the cosmic meaning of it all, nothing of such epic proportion happened.  BUT, being on the road for 2 weeks provides you a whole lot of time to clear your mind or fill it with aimless wonder, and I must proclaim, I have gained new perspective and appreciation for how beautiful life really is (super cheesy and cliche, I know, but seriously).

Meriden, KansasImage

My friend Matt and I started our adventure in St.Louis and drove through Missouri to middle-of-nowhere Kansas. Here, in Meriden (pop. approx. 800), I was introduced to the most welcoming family I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  The Jernbergs, having known us for a brief period, invited us to stay in their home and fed us a home cooked meal.  They even hauled out their ATVs and their vintage John Deere tractor just so I could experience the country life before moving to the big city.  That evening, Matt and I got out a guitar and sang some tunes for the most blissful bunch of people. Mr. Jernberg stayed up all night to listen to us sing and play, with an expression of absolute elation that never left his face.  In Kansas, I witnessed raw happiness that is rare and often lost. This family doesn’t live lavishly, but they hold an indispensable truth that people spend fortunes to never obtain.  Here, I was inspired to find the joy in my life.

 Moab and Zion, UtahImage

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The landscapes in Utah are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.  Massive sandstone structures erected like islands in the sky.  Some of the hikes we attempted were excruciating but every view was worth the precipitous climb.  The top photo was taken at sunset in Canyonlands National Park. It was the end of the day and we were lucky to be the only ones left on the trail.  Sitting on the edge of the cliff, peering out into the vast infinite canyons was staggering.  Complete silence permeated and in that moment, I felt so insignificant to the world.  Honestly, it was such a comforting thought.  Here, I was amidst a view so eternal and boundless and suddenly my problems felt so frivolous.  In Utah, I gained a new perspective and lost the weight of the world on my shoulders.  At night, we camped out and stargazed for hours.  I can’t remember the last time I could appreciate a clear sky with a plethora of stars.  Staring at the innumerable twinkling lights and unable to fathom the immensity of the universe, I felt my existence shrink once again. When I contemplated the relationship of earth to the universe, then my relationship to earth, I felt so small.  On this part of our trip, I realized, in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.”  

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Las Vegas was as far west as we traveled. We only planned to stay for a night but that quickly turned into three.  After camping out in 100 degree weather for a week, an air conditioned room and cold shower felt like heaven.  This was the first time either of us had been to Vegas and at first, we felt like a fish out of water strolling the strip.  gambling was foreign to me and watching the tourists with such austere expressions at the poker tables was quite intimidating. After being there for a day, we both learned to love Vegas. We loved it so much we extended our stay.  It really is grownup Disney World.  I found the youthfulness of the city to be so endearing.  Vegas was a breath of fresh air. Being there helped me realize that life doesn’t have to be so serious.  Everyone needs to lose their inhibitions sometimes. 

After leaving Las Vegas, We made made a short stop to the coast of Alabama, then booked it home. We stayed just long enough to soak our toes in the ocean and so we can say we ventured across all the differing landscapes.  I leave for New York City in three days to start a new journey and I’ve never felt more anxious, excited and fearful at the same time.  It’s a necessary fear though, one I hope will motivate me to reach my dreams.

If ever you feel the air is stale, go on a journey, gain a new perspective 🙂

xox,

Maria

{Valleys of Venus}

Getting Lost Along the Way

With the foreboding demise of our college career and inevitable plunge into antiquity that comes with turning 23 in the rearview mirror (or almost for me-May 28th), we decided to make our last summer as “college students” one that helps heal our post graduate malaise through an abundance of adventure. My summer was initiated with a week long road trip through Washington, British Columbia, and Idaho. Mother nature was at her finest, and I enjoyed every moment of exploring the city streets of Seattle and Vancouver and getting lost in the back woods of the west coast. Unlike most college graduates who move so quickly to find a job and figure out what’s next, I hope to use the next couple months not only to figure out what I’m meant to do with my life, but also to get lost a few times along the way. Sometimes it takes risk to find your true calling, and before I set myself on a solid path, I aim to ensure I’ve explored my options-In the end we will only regret the chances we didn’t take!

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Where will your Summer adventures take you?

xox,

Amber

{Valleys of Venus}

Here’s To New Beginnings

The moment we part ways with the “imaginary” world of college and become newbies of the real world is imminent. In a recent nostalgic spill, we asked ourselves, where have the last 5 years gone?!!! and none of us could come up with a solid answer. Yes, everyone says it but really, its BIZZARE how time flys. With this revelation (which we’re clearly behind on), we decided, what better way to chronicle our impending explorations and thoughts than with a blog?! We want to retrospect some day and commemorate the good times or laugh at our fashion faux pas. Either way, as life pulls us in unexpected directions in the years to come, this will be the perfect place to seal our memories. Being three girls (soon to be) roaming three cities, there’s sure to be an abundance to share! stay tuned friends!!

xox,

Maria & Amber

{Valleys of Venus}