Sunday, July 10, 2016

2016 Photography Challenge: Monthly Themes. June = Travel

June is the only month in which there will be a departure from the theme of Molly & Steve Adventures. The reason being that I was in Ireland and Steve was home in Santa Monica. And there's no way I'm not sharing a photo from Ireland!

When we chose our themes for each month, I knew that June would be a photo from my annual trip to Ireland. If you haven't read about my trip and want to, my part one recap is up here. I'm working on part standby for that. And if you want to know all about how I met Gene. You can read about that here. And then if you're still not sick of my Irish adventures, you can read more about my shenanigans with Gene over the years here.

So yeah. Ireland. Picking just one photo has been really, really hard. Which is why we're 10 days into the month and I'm just now doing this blog post. I saw so many beautiful things and took hundreds and hundreds of photos while I was back home in Ireland. But the photo I've chosen represents a lot to me.

First. Here's the photo:

It's taken from the top of Croagh Patrick. An insanely challenging hike I did by myself on my fourth day in Ireland. I had every intention of doing this hike with my friend Brittany, but she had to work. And while part of me figured "Eh. I don't have to still do this." I'm so glad I persevered and went ahead and did it regardless. I shared this in my first trip recap, but I tried to do this hike in 2008 and I turned around after 10 minutes. To know that I'm stronger physically and mentally eight years later is something I'm so, so proud of. And to be rewarded with such a beautiful view of Clew Bay with all the blues and greens of the ocean and the fields was such a cherry on top.

To me this photo equates to determination, strength and progress. And not only does it make me smile when I look at it, but I feel accomplished.

Now. I couldn't just pick just one photo. The second photo is also really representative of my trip to Ireland. It was the first time that I wasn't meeting someone over there or traveling over to Ireland with someone. I had plans to meet up with my friend Robin (hi Robin!) who lives in Galway. And that was wonderful- as always. And as mentioned earlier, I met up with my friend Brittany (who is living in Austin but working in Ireland temporarily). But other than that, my trip was my own.

I spent a LOT of time by myself. It's not something I do when I'm home in Santa Monica. I replenish my energy by being around other people and since I work from home alone (well, Clancy's there but...), I tend to crave being in the company of people whenever I can. But it was a really good experience for me to be more comfortable being on my own. I found that I loved not having a set plan and while there were places I wanted to explore far away from Gene's, I opted to chill and stick close to home vs. travel all over Ireland. Because I was on my own, I felt no pressure to do anything other than what I felt like each day. This photo is taken on my eighth or ninth day in Ireland when I went to do a hike I did during my New Year's Eve trip back in 2013.

To me this photo represents the solitude of a lot of my time in Ireland. Yet it also shows how beautiful it was and how you never know what's around the corner. I needed that reminder while I was there and I loved not having every inch of my trip planned. It opened me up to a lot of unexpected adventures that unfolded each day naturally.

And then I couldn't resist including this photo I took on the hike to Carrowkeel. It shows how totally happy I was in that moment with the wind whipping about, on my own, surrounded by so much beauty in a place that truly feels like another home to me.

Check out Cyrena and Sarah's photos!


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