How to travel + rest well - Our trip to Colorado | Part II

On our last day in Breckenridge, we climbed the highest mountain of our trip - Hoosier Pass on the Continental Divide in Summit County at 11,542 feet.

It was the most difficult hike/climb of the trip, but so worth it for the views!

_DSF2041.jpg

We definitely experienced "Type II Fun," which is an activity that you don't enjoy doing in the moment (like literally climbing a mountain!) but you look back and say, "That was fun!" 

Taking a little time to breathe at the Hoosier Pass trailhead.

Taking a little time to breathe at the Hoosier Pass trailhead.

We went on to Boulder for the next two days.

Whenever Hoyoung and I go on trips, we crave Asian food. We curbed our craving for it on our first night in Breckenridge with Korean instant ramen. 

Dishing out noodles and catching up on some Korean shows in our AirBnb cabin in Breckenridge.

Dishing out noodles and catching up on some Korean shows in our AirBnb cabin in Breckenridge.

For our first night in Boulder, we curbed our craving with Tibetan food at Tibet Kitchen. This unassuming little place had a constant flow of hungry customers in and out of the restaurant. We barely found a place to sit - we were resolved to eat standing at the counter if it came down to it. 

Gyathuk (Long Noodle Soup with Beef); Momos

Gyathuk (Long Noodle Soup with Beef); Momos

Chicken Curry with Potatoes

Chicken Curry with Potatoes

The bold flavors and hearty portions were amazing!  With our stomachs full and warm, we definitely had a good night's rest!

The next day, we had a chance to meet up with our new friend, John Dale. He is a very talented adventure photographer and filmmaker! You can check him out here: http://www.johndale.co.

He took us to Mount Sanitas Trail for a hike. Hoosier Pass was the most physically challenging hike and Mount Sanitas was the most mentally challenging! Looking down while walking across a large pile of boulders on a downward slope is not a good idea!

I had to take a deep breath and muster up courage to walk across these rocks! I never knew I was so afraid of heights until this trail.

I had to take a deep breath and muster up courage to walk across these rocks! I never knew I was so afraid of heights until this trail.

John, who loves to climb, showed us some of his moves!

_DSF2194.jpg
John climbed a tree for us and literally went out on a limb!

John climbed a tree for us and literally went out on a limb!

Thanks for hanging out with us, John!

 

 

Colorado taught Hoyoung and I a lot about what it means to travel and rest well. We didn't do anything particularly exciting or extraordinary while we were in Colorado but we did do a lot of stopping, looking, and enjoying. 

Although one of Hoyoung's ways of stopping, looking, and enjoying is to take photographs, I often find myself snapping away on my iPhone just for the sake of taking photos. I tell myself, "I'll look at these photos when I get back and draw from them then" - of course, this never happens. Also, I'm not really even seeing what's around me because I'm too busy trying to get the perfect Instagram post. This time, I decided that I needed to stop and actually use the sketchbook and pencil I brought with me instead of leaving it in my suitcase. It made such a difference - I wasn't standing around wishing I had something to draw the beauty in front of me but I actually could! Most importantly, it forced me to slow down. This was the first trip that I came back feeling refreshed instead of tired and knowing I had traveled well.

mundanetype-colorado-hwy91.jpg

Being able to slow down and take a step back to observe the beautiful scenery that surrounded us in Colorado also helped me to step back and observe the chaotic life Hoyoung and I had created for ourselves at home. Colorado taught me that our pace of life has been too fast, our schedules too tightly packed, and our plates too full. Whether we're traveling or going through our normal day-to-day, I saw that we had been over-stretching and over-extending ourselves with work, serving, and people around us. 

Since we've been back, Hoyoung and I have been actively taking steps to pare back the busyness and to be intentional with the people we love. We have made some practical changes. We are now eating more meals at home, just the two of us in the quiet of our dining room, instead of going out to restaurants. We marked our calendars for Saturday mornings we can go hiking locally because we both find it refreshing; our favorite trails are in Cedar Hill. We also reduced expenses in the areas where we were spending in excess. It is amazing how much financial stress this relieved, and it freed up our budget to invest monetarily in the areas that matter to us instead of spending money to spend it! These simple things have allowed us to truly rest after a long day of work or a long week, a long month, of work.

Colorado will always have a special place in my heart because it taught us how to truly travel and rest well. 

How do you travel and/or rest well? Leave a comment below and join in on the conversation!

All photos were taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera.


Missed our previous post? See OUR TRIP TO COLORADO | PART I

Our trip to Colorado | Part I

Last week, we went to Colorado for a wedding and stayed a little longer to rest. We had a wonderful time breathing in the fresh air, taking in all of the beautiful views, and enjoying the cooler weather.

We received the invitation for the wedding of our friends, Mark and Kira, at the beginning of this year. We had a hard time making the commitment to attend. In some ways, being a freelancer makes it easier for us to pack up and go out of town; in other ways, it makes it harder because if we don't work, we don't make money. I never thought of PTO as being a luxury until I gave it up. Two weeks before the wedding, we decided to go - Mark and Kira graciously let us RSVP last minute! - and we are so glad we did. This trip reminded us why we quit our 9-5 jobs to be freelance creatives, why we are freelance creatives together.

A selfie at the wedding.

A selfie at the wedding.

Hanging out with our new friends, Sean and Natalya, in downtown Golden. They were so generous for letting us stay with them Friday night for the Saturday morning wedding.

Hanging out with our new friends, Sean and Natalya, in downtown Golden. They were so generous for letting us stay with them Friday night for the Saturday morning wedding.

After the wedding, we drove on US Highway 6 from Golden, CO to Breckenridge. It was foggy during our drive, eerily beautiful - we could not help but stop on the side of the road. What should have taken us just under an hour from Golden to Breckenridge took us almost two because we took the time to look, stop, and soak it all in.

US Highway 6, on the way from Golden, CO to Breckenridge, along Clear Creek.

US Highway 6, on the way from Golden, CO to Breckenridge, along Clear Creek.

Our time in Breckenridge was spent hiking, eating, drinking good craft beer, and sleeping. It was so nice to get away from the noise of a big city - even the Airbnb cabin we stayed at was tucked away from the road, peaceful and surrounded by lots of big trees. 

The view from the window of our Airbnb cabin's den.

The view from the window of our Airbnb cabin's den.

Our first hike on our first full day in Breckenridge was at Carter Park. It was tough to breathe not being used to the high elevation, but the views were beautiful. Hoyoung took lots of photos of the scenery, we took portraits of each other, and we purposely made stops so that I could sit and draw.

mundanetype-colorado-carterpark.jpg
We set up Hoyoung's  Fuji X-T1  on a  GorillaPod , clinging to rocks, to take this. I look way more nervous in this photo than Hoyoung!

We set up Hoyoung's Fuji X-T1 on a GorillaPod, clinging to rocks, to take this. I look way more nervous in this photo than Hoyoung!

_DSF1784.jpg

After the hike and a quick shower, we explored Main Street and had some delicious burgers and brews.

Main Street in the town of Breckenridge, CO.

Main Street in the town of Breckenridge, CO.

Good eats and good beer at  Breckenridge Brewery & Pub .

Good eats and good beer at Breckenridge Brewery & Pub.

We went back to our cabin to take naps - yes, naps! Later, we drove out on to Highway 91. By mistake, we drove through the Copper Mountain Ski Resort, but we found our way back out to this gorgeous view. These shots Hoyoung got are my favorite from our trip.

A majestic view at the foot of Copper Mountain.

A majestic view at the foot of Copper Mountain.

_DSF1936.jpg
mundanetype-colorado-coppermountain.jpg
Another view of Copper Mountain from the highway.

Another view of Copper Mountain from the highway.

Breckenridge allowed us to slow down the fast-paced life we are used to living in the city of Dallas. The last couple of trips we've been on, most recently New Orleans, Chicago, and New York, have been to big cities. This trip reminded me that our lives are so short compared to eternity, that time can go by quickly and will move past us if we let it. I am so grateful to have had the time to re-learn how to slow down in Colorado.

All photos were taken with a Fuji X-T1 camera.


Baby Addison + My Faithfulness

I really didn’t know how to start this post. In my heart, this story has been written a thousand times over already. The story in my heart is so dear to me that I didn’t want to ruin it with words. 

Baby Addison was born with a heart condition and cancer cells in her body.  At first glance, you would never know she was going through any kind of treatment.  

I met Addison for the first time back in March - Sojung and I were in Houston for the weekend with our friends, Amy and Scott. After a night out, we came back to our hotel around midnight. As we crossed the parking garage to the hotel lobby doors, we ran into a young couple, Jose and Jennifer, with Addison seated in a stroller and several suitcases.  Their suitcases were fairly large and looked as if they were planning on staying at the hotel for weeks. I couldn’t help but ask if I could help, so Scott and I each grabbed what we could and helped them to the elevator.

We quickly learned that they were also from Dallas and that created an instant connection.  Expecting them to tell us they were vacationing or visiting family, we were shocked to hear that they were in Houston for Addison’s radiation therapy. My heart seemed to stop for a moment. Addison looked so normal - just minutes before, I had been joking about how Addison must be a night owl because she was bouncing around and smiling in her stroller.

By this time, we were in the elevator, going up. In that short moment, I didn’t know what to do. I felt very compelled to do something, and I found myself struggling to open my mouth. I wanted to say, “Will you allow me to tell your story?” I was mad at myself for whatever held my tongue. The elevator stopped on their floor and we said our goodbyes.  As the doors began to close, I heard God say, “GO! Be faithful!” and I stuck my hand out to stop the elevator and ran out to them.

“I am a portrait photographer and I feel very compelled to tell you this. Could I invite you into our studio and photograph Addison? I would love to tell your story.”

I was sweating; what if they thought I was being crazy, or worse, being rude? 

Fortunately, they were very excited and we exchanged information and promised to keep in touch.

A hope I have for my career is to tell meaningful stories. But honestly, offering up my photography in faith is hard - my brain takes over my heart and I wonder if I’m good enough, if my photos will tell their story well. However, I knew that it wasn’t just coincidence that we had met them in the elevator. Addison’s story is filled with their love and courage and I wanted to share it.

The rest of the trip, I couldn’t stop thinking about Addison. I set up an email reminder to follow up with the family on a weekly basis.  Even Sojung wanted me to make sure to keep in touch with them; Amy and Scott also wanted to help out in any way they could.  This young family had touched all of our hearts.  

A couple of weeks later, Jennifer emailed me:

"Would you be available on Saturday, April 12th? Addison's last day of radiation is the 8th and she starts chemo in a few weeks. If it's possible, I'd love to have pictures of her with her hair. It's been a long time since her hair was this long and she'll lose it with the chemo…”  

I was so excited to see them again.

The time we had with them in the studio was unique. There were smiles and tears from Addison. It was a very new and different environment for her in the studio. At the beginning of the photo shoot, Addison was afraid of me and my camera. Her main doctor is an Asian man; as I approached her with big black object she’d never seen before, she immediately associated me as being just another doctor that might hurt her in some way.  She burst out crying.

Thankfully, I have learned a lot about how to make young children comfortable so I can photograph them in their natural state. I put my camera aside for a little while and played with her. I quickly learned that her attention level is amazing. Amy had brought some bright colored boxes and confetti for Addison to play with - it was such a great idea! Addison loved playing with the little pieces of paper and was able to concentrate on one thing like I’ve never seen before.  I work with a lot of kids and this is unusual.  

Later, Jennifer told me that Addison has learned to play with limited toys and space for long periods of time because she often does extended stays in the hospital.  

For everything she’s been through, Addison is full of life and character, so much personality. She has this fake laugh. It’s so adorable and I can’t describe it with words - you just have to see her do it. And when she actually smiles at you, your heart will melt. I still smile just thinking about it.

Addison-Baby-Portrait-Faithful-Blog-Story-016.jpg

Addison loved playing with the confetti and the boxes...

Addison-Baby-Portrait-Faithful-Blog-Story-025.jpg

but had no interest in any of the toys we had brought for her. She literally threw them aside.

Addison-Baby-Portrait-Faithful-Blog-Story-026.jpg

Thank you for being such a great model, Addison!

Addison-Baby-Portrait-Faithful-Blog-Story-006.jpg

Keep up with Addison and how she is doing by liking their Facebook page, Pray for Addison Grace.

Floral Crown made by the talented Amy Kerstetter. Contact us if you would like to get in touch with Amy or learn more her work.