The trip that was so much more than just a trip.
October of 2017, I was on the same flight as Julia. I've had my share in flying, and I can say with full confidence that it's not everyday that you meet a life long friend on an airplane. Fun Fact: I didn't even sit next to Julia. My mom did. I sat in front of her. And unlike any other flight I've ever had (sadly) I was actually sleeping the majority of the time. But luckily, my mom and Julia were not. And they got to chatting, my mom realized that we were basically the same person- both being the same age, being wedding photographers, and loved Jesus- and by the end of the flight we were introduced and swapped Instagram accounts. Then we realized we had mutual friends. WHAT.
Now for a million reasons, this whole story was such a God story. Never in a million years could we have planned to meet. But I never could have imagined 5 months ago how that flight to Phenix would really change my coming year.
Julia was brave enough to invite a stranger she barely met on a plane to her cute little house in Kauai. I was brave enough to go to a strangers house 12 hours of flights away. And there wasn't one single doubt in either of our minds. And when I got there, it was like we had known each other our whole lives. I really hope we can live in a world more like this.
This is such a sweet, unique part of my life I am so lucky to call mine. This trip was so much more than just going to a destination island to vacation. This was about more than just laying on a beach. This trip gave me the opportunity to experience for myself a beautiful way the body of Christ works- in hospitality, in love, in courage, in trust, in genuine connection. Not only did I get to see another BEAUTIFUL sliver of this profoundly big world, but I made a best friend. A true sister. And NONE of it had anything to do with me. This trip spoke volumes to me about how our Father wants GOOD things for us. He likes to bless us. He calls us to co-create with Him- the creator of every rock and waterfall and ocean that terrifies me to fly over. He has planned, plans, and will continue to plan blessings for His children. He is giving, and he is so creative in the way he does it.
Also, can I just take a moment to say HOW MUCH FUN IT WAS TO TRAVEL WITH ANOTHER PHOTOGRAPHER? Usually at some point in every trip I take with people, someone gets annoyed with me for wanting to stop everywhere and take a picture or video. But here, we both had FULL FREEDOM to shoot as much as our little hearts desired and it was so life-giving. We both had several moments where we just had a giddy smile on our faces while we were shooting and said "THIS GIVES ME SO MUCH LIFE". In a way, this trip was so refreshing for me as a photographer- to be in God's pure creation of ocean and rock and cliffs and trees and jungles and photograph new things in a new environment. To get away from the normal things and places of life and shoot something completely different gave me inspiration and made me love photography even more- in a deeper way. Even to be around another young photographer and just feed off each other's creativity and thoughts was so refreshing. Reason 500 why I am oh so thankful for Julia (Check out her work, she is AMAZING. Go elope in Kauai and hire her. Now.)
One of my favorite moments I won't ever forget was when Julia looked over at me and said "it makes sense why we would be adventure buddies since we met on an airplane".
I can't wait to tell my kids one day about this trip.