portland photographer

The Great Outdoors


When I graduated from college in May 2015, the plan was to move to Denver for a few months to start job hunting before coming back to Savannah in August for our wedding. My husband Zach and I were all set to head out west and even had my sister (who lives there now) looking at apartments for us.

Then the call came. 

It was our friends. They wanted to know if we wanted to take the fourth bedroom in their Brooklyn 4-bedroom apartment. We'd never thought about moving to New York before! It was always between either west coast or Denver, and the mountains won us over. But on a whim (a life-changing whim), we decided to take the fourth bedroom and move to New York. Rent would be way cheaper to take a bedroom in a shared apartment than to find a one-bedroom in Denver (oh how I miss spending only $416/month back in Savannah).

If you follow me on other social media platforms, you may know by now that New York has not been the kindest to me. We're in a very toxic love-hate relationship, and I often come home feeling bruised and battered by the harsh city streets. I had dreams of living out Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York," knowing that the lights would indeed be so bright but could never blind me (I was 22 so pls don't judge). Oh, New York, you are so different than what Alicia Keys told me.

So I have to find ways to cope with living in a city that I sometimes love and sometimes hate. To start with, you need a job you enjoy where you don't feel drained and miserable at 5pm every day, and you're not always "working for the weekend," (that's a bullshit mantra. I refuse to live happily only 2/7 days). You need a place to call your own- be it your apartment, your neighborhood, a local coffee joint. And you need a place to decompress and spread out.

And for me, that last place has become Maine. It's close enough for a weekend drive and my in-laws recently built a house up there, so it makes for a very convenient long weekend getaway. It has all of the things I love the most- mountains, rocks, water, and beer. So a few weekends ago, Zach and I loaded up the car (climbing gear in tow) and made the 6 hour drive north. (About 4 hours into the drive, we realized we forgot the Maine house key in New York, so there's that.) 


We hiked and drank beer and tried to climb rocks and shopped and watched movies and took baths until my skin was pruney all over. There are so many cute fishing towns with adorable diners, quaint post offices, and coastal churches (where people literally row their boats to Sunday Service). There are lighthouses for days and incredible scenic views from mountaintops. 


Oh and did I mention the beer? There are so many breweries. We only managed to hit the Maine Beer Company this time around (and only briefly), but we've also been to Allagash and a few smaller ones before. On our way back south, we drove through Portland to grab some vegan donuts for my sweet tooth and peeked out heads into a few small boutiques. There were so many cute shops, I didn't want to leave! But alas- New York was calling me home. Because as much as I hate this stupid city sometimes, I also don't know what I would do with myself if I didn't live here. Catch 22 I guess.