There once was a time in my life when I wanted to be a vagabond. I wanted to see the world and experience everything there was to experience. Then, I'd think about finances. How would I fund this adventure? Then I'd think about safety. How would I protect myself? Then I'd think about family. How could I be so far from them? All these thoughts (which were actually fears) held me back from really experiencing what I wanted.
So today instead of introducing you to a show to watch, I want to introduce you to two people to watch: Alex and Shelby. For starters, Alex is my energetic, hilarious younger brother and Shelby is his bright, talented fiance. They have set out to make their dreams of adventure and exploration reality and have moved across the country to start their lives together. Alex and Shelby got engaged last year and they are set to be married this summer. However, their adventure and life together has begun long before they say "I do." I asked Shelby for a guest post today. So please enjoy her thoughts on life, love and taking chances.
And before you leave this post, do yourself a favor and go follow them on Instagram as they document their journey. You'll be encouraged by their adventurous spirits as well as enjoy their breathtaking images: Our Oregon Trail
Alex and I met each other at the perfect time in our lives. We were both unsure of who we were and what we wanted out of life. We had dreams that got pushed aside because they seemed next to impossible, or not worth the risk. I personally had mistakes from my past that were preventing me from growing and becoming the best version of myself. One year before meeting Alex I finally made the bold move of leaving the farm community I grew up in for the big city. Little did I know that was my first step to becoming the person I had always dreamed of being and meeting the person I never thought I’d find.
We met a Royals watch party right before the World Series in 2014. After a few dates we quickly learned that our goals and dreams lined up almost seamlessly. One year later, the Royals had made it to the World Series again and we had finally built up the courage to move to Oregon. A place we had visited a couple times since we had started dating and where Alex asked me to marry him during the summer of 2015. We loved being out there. The idea of being next to the ocean, next to rocks we could climb, mountains we could ski, and the most beautiful scenery we could ask for. We quit our jobs, fit everything we could into our van, and moved by the end of the year. Just like that. With no plans other than we wanted to be together and we wanted to experience living life in an area where we could follow our dreams.
Of course it was and is challenging, and things haven’t exactly worked in our favor. We question whether we did the right thing all the time. But one thing I know for certain, I am becoming the strong person I never thought I could be. I can feel myself growing and understanding how to face the challenges that come my way. I found this quote recently and it helps me anytime I question our decision to move out here and the chance we took to make a better future for ourselves.
“If you’re feeling frightened about what comes next, don’t be. Embrace the uncertainty. Allow it to lead you places. Be brave as it challenges you to exercise both your heart and your mind as you create your own path toward happiness; don’t waste time with regret. Spin wildly into your next action. Enjoy the present, each moment, as it comes, because you’ll never get another one quite like it. And if you should ever look up and find yourself lost, simply take a breath and start over. Retrace your steps and go back to the purest place in your heart…where your hope lives. You’ll find your way again.”
— EverwoodS H E L B Y H U G H E S