My name is Jaymie Shearer and I love California. This state is my home and I have fallen in love with its coastlines, mountain ranges and deserts. I am also a huge fan of photography as well as using a little iPhone app called Instagram to share my pictures and to be inspired by others. I follow some rad people whose photos are kindling to the embers of my restless spirit. Their adventures keep me inspired and fuel the longing to get out there and have an adventure of my own.
I am thankful for the tool that Instagram is for this reason—to inspire and encourage me to go out and explore. There are countless National and State Parks that we have access to which are worth spending time in. This summer, Big Sur came up on my Instagram feed often. This led to a few glorious trips north to spend time along that beautiful shore. Only being an hour or two north of me, it makes for a great day or weekend trip.
The summer started out with a day trip to Salmon Creek with some friends and ended with a solo camping trip to Plaskett Creek. Those trips were definitely highlights of my summer and I wouldn’t trade those experiences and memories for anything. I think John Burroughs said it best, “I go to nature to be soothed and healed, to have my senses put in order.” The conversations had, experiences shared, and the time spent in nature helps shift life back into perspective and serves as a reset button when I need it most.
Instagram should be used to inspire you to take the step and go on an adventure of your own, being careful not to make the trip only about Instagram. Pull the phone out once and awhile for pictures and to make sure you aren’t lost but if that phone is in your hands most of the time, you’re doing something wrong.
Even as I write this, I am convicted by my own words. I know how easy it is to tune out, edit a photo or two, upload them to Instagram and tune back in. But what was missed during those moments? If I am in the presence of nature’s beauty, this rare sight deserves my full attention—not half of it. Something I am holding myself to and want to challenge you to do as well is to practice being authentic to where you are and who you are with.
Be present where you are, not wrapped up on whats on your screen. You can edit those photos on the car ride home and share them with the world once you find service again if you need to. But if you can, hold off on that until you are back home long after the trip is over. Make the memories you have from your next adventure be based on shared experiences with good friends and what you learned together during your trip.
Once you are home, don’t forget to share about your trip. Who knows, maybe the photos you post or stories you tell will inspire someone you know to go out and have an adventure of their own! If you read this and are on Instagram, stop on by and introduce yourself. I’d love to hear about how you are inspired by Instagram to go outside and explore.