Have you ever felt your hips move up on the left, up on the right, back to the left, back to the right? Feels like a dance, right? To me, it’s the feeling that I place distinctly in my mind to being on the water in a kayak. I remember the very first time I sat in a kayak and realized that there we A LOT to see from thatÂ perspective. When I say this, I am speaking from many angles. You can see visually, a different perspective. You can take in time slowly and at a pace that rivals that of a baby learning to crawl. You can creep into small secret places of the world that are rarely accessible any other way. It opened my eyes in a big way. Very specifically stated… Kayaking changed my life.
The day I walked through a dark wood of live oaks, came out to soft expansive dunes with a wild horse off in the distance with it’s mane moving softly in the wind… I was hooked. Completely. I had paddled there with a tent and food and friends. From that point on I never looked back. It changed the course of my life. I transferred schools and academic majors from Music at East Carolina University to Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education at Brevard College. I spent the next 2 years digging intoÂ outdoorÂ pursuits, always with a heart for sea kayaking. The first job I had when I graduated as an outdoor professional sent me straight into Dan’s path. We met at a staff training event and that was that.
“You’re a kayaker?”
And that was that. God had put a man in my life who was not only in line with all the things that I believed, but he was an AVID kayaker. Dan had spent all his free time growing up in a kayak. I had met my match, or even better… my inspiration. Dan loves kayaking more than mostÂ peopleÂ could even wrapÂ theirÂ minds around. Obsession is a good word to describe it. He is crazy good at it too… just sayin’. We spent the next year an a half falling deeply in love, often from the seat of our kayaks. Â Our first kiss was on the beach under a blanket of bright white stars on the same island where my life had changed 3 years before. It had served to changed it once again.
We married, (at the beach) and within four months from our wedding day, we were back in our kayaks. This time was for much longer. Dan and I spent over 8 months kayaking the entire eastern seaboard of the United States. We paddled, in our kayaks, from Lubec, Maine to Key West Florida. It was along that trip that we realized that we wanted to become full-time wedding photographers. We never wanted to be apart. We wanted to be able to kayak. We wanted freedom, each other, a valuable career that helped people, and we didn’t ever want to have to ask someone else permission to live our lives. Photography has enabled us to do just that and I would go so far as to credit kayaking with that.
No matter how old I get or what different pursuits I go after, kayaking will forever be a part of my heart.
So there’s that.