It's a frosty autumn morning and I'm thinking about authenticity and what that means for this blog. In the age of social media where everyone has the ability to curate their lives to appear interesting and perpetually fun, it's easy to become discouraged and feel insecure about your own life. However, we must remember that behind the seemingly perfect moments are ordinary people living ordinary lives. We must remember that the human experience isn't always pretty. This is why I try not to shy away from discussing the heavier things. I believe that by keeping those things hidden and trying to make my life look flashier and more interesting than it really is, I'm doing a disservice to myself, to this blog, and to those of you who are reading it. Humans connect through vulnerability, honesty, and shared experiences. And when we start comparing ourselves and feeling insecure about not leading a life that's "cool enough," we lose our ability to connect with one another. 

I started Without Roots so that I could share a little bit of myself with the world. I continued this project because it encouraged me to actively see and capture the beauty of my world and experience it with intention. However, in between the road trips and the majestic sunsets and those perfect moments, I'm an ordinary little human. I work a lot, I cry a lot, I overthink a lot. I also laugh a lot and get to share my life with amazing people. And with so many monumental changes happening in my life right now, I promise to keep this blog as honest and authentic as possible. I promise to be as real as I can with you, even if it isn't always pretty.

That being said, let me speak honestly with you about the photos in this post. I spent a couple of nights in Bar Harbor, ME in September. On my first night there, I witnessed the most amazing sunset I think I've ever seen. It was cool and humid and there were little patches of fog floating through the harbor. The sky was pale orange at the horizon and faded from orange to red to purple to indigo and I couldn't have imagined a better moment. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me and I was rather upset about it. "Upset" might be a bit of an understatement – I was devastated. So much so that I had to pause, give myself an internal pep talk, and force myself to sit down on a concrete ledge and simply appreciate the beauty before me. And I did.

The photos you're seeing here are from my last night in Bar Harbor. Honestly, I barely remember taking these photos. In fact, I forgot I even had them until I found them on my memory card a couple of weeks ago. All I remember was being cold and not having a jacket and watching this big schooner float through the harbor. I didn't remember the smells or the sounds because I was too busy photographing it to even bother to notice. But that first night? I can close my eyes and take myself there again because I intentionally noticed everything. Photography can be a useful tool for remembering moments like these. But as always, we can get carried away and lose ourselves in pursuit of the perfect shot. I hope that in my future travels and adventures, I am more intentional in the way I notice things. And I hope that I can remember not to lose myself behind my lens.

TravelHannah ZelaznyComment