Expectations VS. Reality

Let's be honest. We all have (or have had) a person online that can be both inspiring and jealousy-inducing. I could name at least five Instagram accounts off the top of my head that give me those feels. Like.... why am I not in some exotic country shooting a perfect sunset elopement on top of a mountain every night? What am I doing wrong? How can I be just like ___ ?

That's basically all I could think about as we drove around Yosemite last week.

I went into Yosemite with so many famous photos in mind that I wanted to have my chance at recreating. How can you walk through Yosemite as a photographer and not feel the weight of Ansel Adams on your shoulders?! Not to mention that Instagram has shown me all the right views, locations and angles to get all the shots.

Guess what? I didn't get the shot. And that's okay.
Yosemite taught me a little something: It's not all about the photos. Crazy, right?

Photography is something that certainly dictates the majority of my travel decisions, and thats okay. It isn't okay, however, for me to feel bad or upset about the fact that I didn't make it to the right place at the right time. 

We are so ingrained in this Instagram world that it's easy to feel inadequate if you don't walk away from an experience with the most exciting, innovative and unique photos. I certainly felt defeated driving around Yosemite knowing that I didn't have enough time to take all the photos I wanted. Or to hike all the trails I dreamt about. Yet after sitting at Glacier Point for sunset, and seeing everyone else photographing the same view, I had a moment to really reflect on the fact that it didn't really matter if I got the shot. Everyone got their own version of the shot
What mattered was that I was sitting in a breathtaking place, with some of my most favorite humans, watching the sun go down on my husband's golden birthday. 

Sometimes travel plans don't really go as smoothly as we want them to. Our Yosemite plans changed about five times as we started running out of daylight to do everything on our list. Earlier that week, our plans changed a handful of times, too, because of money and bad directions and spontaneous adventure ideas. I'm constantly reminding myself not to be so stressed out by this. (I am very easily stressed out by this.) One thing that's been helping me stay grounded when these things happen, is to remind myself that not everything will go as expected. Reality has it's own plans. And that's really what the adventure is all about. 

For now, I'm satisfied with the photos I made. Not because they're perfect or Instagram worthy, but because they remind me of an amazing vacation with amazing friends in one of the most beautiful places in the country. When I started making photos at a young age, it was to document the things and people I loved. This year, I'm going back to my roots. 

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Places pictured above:
- Devil's Postpile National Monument
- Hilltop Hotspring
- Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park