Summer of Love—and Travel

 In Creativity, Inspiration, Travel

I’m always excited for summer because the possibility of getting out of New York and heading somewhere new is so enticing to me. And despite the fact that Laura and I do a lot of trips in October and February historically, there’s something about those mid-year months that seem so wide open with the potential to travel.

This year we have a lot of tentative plans to move around over the summer. But our major trip—the one that’s most definitely locked in and has been two years in the making—starts next week. On Friday morning we fly out to Albuquerque, New Mexico and drive up to Santa Fe for a Sunday wedding. We’ve been to a lot of these things over the past few years and they’re always a lot of fun. This one will be different, though, because we are the ones tying the knot.

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Santa Fe is one of the first places Laura and I visited together as a couple. I’d been before when I made my trip across the country from Philadelphia to Seattle, and was totally in love with the southwest—Santa Fe specifically. It’s a very artful and energetic town with nothing but amazing scenery in every direction. And because Laura is a huge Georgia O’Keeffe fan, I knew she’d love it too. The artist spent a great deal of time in Santa Fe, and there’s an entire museum of her work there. Unfortunately, when we did visit, that museum was closed. This time we’re definitely getting inside!

Traveling to Santa Fe is an amazing trip in and of itself. But we’re not stopping there; we’re going on the road—something I love to do more than anything else. Heading out on Memorial Day, we’re making our way up north to Ghost Ranch, a spiritual retreat center and one-time home of O’Keeffe. We only have about half a day here, so I think the plan is to hike and explore. Like much of the southwest, it’s a lot of open desert and mesa to climb.

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From Ghost Ranch we head into Colorado for a stay in the Mesa Verde National Park.This is well known for the homes dug into the park’s cliff faces by Pueblo people from 600–1300 A.D. Like most of the stops on this honeymoon, I think it’s going to be rich with photo opportunities.

I’m really looking forward to exercising my photographic muscles on this trip.The landscape presents so many opportunities, and from what I remember of the towns we’ll be stopping in, the people are friendly, creative, and sometimes eccentric. The goal is for me to create a photo essay which Laura will accompany with her writing. It’s going to be amazing.

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This is a park-heavy trip, which is by design because Laura has fallen in love with the country’s National Parks recently. Me too. So we’re trying to get to as many as we can in the little time we have. After Mesa Verde we’re off to the Grand Canyon. I’ve been there before, but only spent a short amount of time admiring it from one of the overlooks. This time I’m hoping to get a little closer by hiking through it. A friend told me he did that and it was amazing, so I’m inspired to do the same. I believe we’ll have one day there before heading to the next destination: Scottsdale.

This one might not sound as exciting or romantic as the other stops on our southwest tour, but it’s going to be fun. A few members of Laura’s family will be in town, so we’re going to spend some time with them, fitting in a day trip to Sedona along the way.

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One of the most magical places I’ve ever been to in the U.S. is Sedona. It’s surrounded by dense red rocks and has a strong New Age vibe—probably because that’s the type of person who’s drawn there due to the town’s numerous energy vortexes. It’s such a relaxing and inspiring place. I’m looking forward to recharging there a bit before heading out to the next destination.

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The semi-final stop on our trip will be Palm Springs, the oasis in the California desert known for its mid-century design aesthetic, hot springs, and leisurely pace. We’ll spend nearly a week there decompressing from two years of wedding planning and a few days of travel (Laura more than me, because she planned many facets of this thing). The plan is to take a day trip to Joshua Tree National Park while we’re there, and if we can find the time—and I can convince Laura—visit the Integretron, an historical structure that “is a resonant tabernacle and energy machine sited on a powerful geomagnetic vortex in the magical Mojave Desert.” That might be a tough sell, though.

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After bumming around Palm Springs, we’re off to Los Angeles to visit some friends for a couple of days, and then it’s back here to New Jersey for the first time as husband and wife.

This trip is going to be amazing—maybe the best one I’ve ever taken. I’m super excited for the opportunities to make great photos and visit inspiring places. But most of all, I’m stoked that I get to share it with my new wife. These are the kinds of experiences we’ve always enjoyed having together. And while I did my fair share of traveling around the country before meeting Laura, I had no idea how much better they’d be down the road when she was doing them with me. It’s pretty great that this is the way I get to go through these kinds of things now.

I’m sure I’ll be posting shots to social media throughout our journey. Follow along here:

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