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The Non-Traveler’s Guide To Nowhere

I must admit something a bit shameful — I have not traveled from the east coast.

That’s right, I have never been far from the east coast. I have never been up past New York and haven’t been lower than Atlanta since I was 3. The farthest west I have been is Chicago, but I was 10 and only visited for a day or two. I’m 40 now… I’ll be 41 in December.

This post came to mind because I recently have friends and family traveling all over the place. A friend who traveled from Texas to Oklahoma for a day. Friends traveling from the DC area to Toronto. My little brother was in Miami last weekend and is — who knows where…? San Antonio or California or somewhere. I have new model friends who seem to live on airplanes. Since I started really taking photography more seriously, I have run into or worked with people from all over the place. I am drooling over corset designs and steampunk gear from the UK. I hope to one day work with a lingerie company in Spain.

But me? I have had my feet planted firmly between the Washington DC area and Pittsburgh, PA (I know Pittsburgh is considered mid-west, but I still consider it east coast). Why? Because it hasn’t been a priority. Because I just brushed aside — until pretty recently — the concept of how important getting away really is. I know the world is a big place. I am not oblivious. I have had friends and family who I have lived vicariously through their travel. Being a bit of a Japanophile, I know that there are many cultures and many more people who live very differently from me, and I love them all. I believe it is now time to actively explore.

While I still don’t necessarily have the budget to travel to Monaco to cross off my bucket list item of watching the F1 race, I WILL make the budget to travel to Vegas in January to attend the bucket list AVN show. That’ll be the first time leaving the coast and venturing westward. It’ll be only the second time on an airplane.

Knowing myself the way I do, that trip will open up a whole new set of obsessions and must-do’s. I am excited for the possibilities, but I also know things must change in my life. The current comfort zone I have will be shattered, and that part scares a little something out of me. Just a little…

I was recently asked by a designer what my dream project was? I mentioned I wanted to shoot somewhere with large machinery in a steampunk setting. After the conversation, I thought about it a bit more and realized that is most likely not my dream project. Definitely a project I want to add to the list, but not a dream project. The dream gig would probably be something along the lines of traveling to some remote, exotic location with a castle or stone fortress and having a harem of models and some of the best designers on the planet converge for a weeks-long visual project. Something like creating a catalog or look book, complete with photography, video, graphic design, and illustration. We’d shoot and create during the day and have art gallery shows in the evenings. I wanna be a fuckin’ rockstar. I just need to figure out how to get there.

Now, where’s my fold-out map and compass…