The changing times of camera and pen
Dawn Wilson's travels across North America
I budgeted enough money, time, effort and travel for six months to tackle photography, writing and exploring at a blazing pace. In that six months plus the previous six while working an office job I put more than 45,000 miles on my car. I flew more than 65,000 miles across North America - from southern Florida to northern Alaska. I saw 11 national parks and visited 11 national wildlife refuges. I filled up 8 GB of hard drive space with photo files. I captured more than 200,0000 pictures. I met some amazing people over those twelve months. I climbed my first 14,000 foot + mountain (three actually) and a 13,000 foot + mountain. And I spent a lot of time with some of the most beautiful wild animals of North America - bald eagles, fox, polar bears, brown bears, black bears, bison, prairie chickens, sage grouse, humpback whales, orcas, countless birds, numerous different raptors, bighorn sheep, moose, caribou, muskox, sandhill cranes, snow geese, mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, osprey, wolves, coyotes, sea otters, river otters, badgers, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, beavers, muskrats, turtles, alligators, rock ptarmigan, white-tailed ptarmigan, chipmunks, ground squirrels, wild turkeys, prairie dogs, Dall's sheep, snowshoe hares, weasels, mountain goats, marmots, harbor seals, sea lions, Dall's porpoises, porcupine, great horned owls, burrowing owls, wild burros, raccoons, javelinas, and pikas.
Although pursuing photography, writing and exploring at this pace may be coming to an end, I will continue with my photography and writing as it prospers, grows, expands and fulfills my greatest passions and dreams in life. I will continue to take pictures every day if I can, albeit in between the hours of work and other responsibilities. And I will continue to write and publish about those adventures - from the past and future ones still to come. (I will reschedule my trip to Africa, and I am looking forward to amazing photography of snowy owls, great gray owls and Northern Lights in a few months. I also still have a very lengthy list of destinations around the world to spend more time with the amazing critters - South Georgia Island and Galapagos Islands anyone???)
These six months were designed to reinforce a hard lesson - that life is short and we should live every moment to the fullest. Living to the fullest is different for each of us. For me it was about seeing more of this beautiful world and truly finding myself. I needed to discover what my true likes and dislikes were, what drives me, what brings tears to my eyes and what makes me angry enough to take action.
I lost two people in the last year who meant the world to me. They were my rocks - albeit different perspectives on that rock - and my guidance. The world feels very lonely without them but I now know more about myself because of these wonderful travels that these two men prepared me for over the course of my life.
I now hope to take the experiences, knowledge and wisdom I have developed in these 12 months and put it towards helping this world. Although I haven't quite figured out that specific plan just yet I have a few ideas in the works.
Stay tuned for more to come - more photos, more stories, more presentations, more books, and much more wisdom about how to live in balance with life, the world, our families, our friends and our dreams.
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