I am in AWE in the most truest form whenever I find myself in these surroundings. This emotion is rare. I have my parents to thank for raising me to enjoy the great outdoors at such a young age. And for teaching me how to adapt with less and find comfort in the unconventional.
During our monthly camping trips, the streams & lakes became my go-to playground, the trees became my shelters, the mountains my home away from home. At the age of 8, I earned my own mini-me size tent and with that, I felt like I was the king of the world. I kid you not, I would seek out rabbits & deer as my royal family and bugged my Mom to make me a leaf crown to pair with my regal wooden hiking stick (#sorrynotsorry#extra ). Everything was new and continuously awesome. I remember asking myself, how do I make this last? As I grew up, my brain naturally adapted to routines. I've learned to throw it off by switching things up, getting out of my comfort zone, or trying something wild, just to revitalize it again. Fortunately, whenever I return to an area in nature, regardless if it's my 2nd, 3rd, or 54th time at that exact location, I ALWAYS feel like it's my very first time. My brain is awakened repeatedly, and it takes me back to when I was a kid, full of joy, discovery, and unrestricted emotion.
This is me in my mid-30s, exuberant in childlike wonder and feeling like that 8-year old kid all over again. 👦🏻 #philupadventures 📸: @gandid.camera
📝☕️ If you're tagged in this (and there's more of you out there) - this is a heads up that I'm coming for your soul soon 😉 JK...but for real. In addition to a goal of more writing & journaling, I committed myself to a small passion project this year. I'm sharing this to hold myself accountable. I like projects. Something about taking an idea, transitioning it from a thought to a plan, and eventually working to see it materialize fuels my senses. My previous projects have typically included humans, so as a bonus, I get to reconnect with faces I may not see as often. For now, I'm calling this one my "SOUL CUP" project. I'll be traveling to people from all over the map who have personally enriched, inspired, or impacted my soul in their own unique way. The game plan couldn't be more simpler: meet up for a cup of coffee (tea, preferably for me), engage in some rich, soulful conversations, shoot a portrait, and then write about each one. I'm creating an online portfolio site and may share some of these moments on here because I believe the people I want to write about are worth introducing to the world. This project isn't a new idea, but this is my own twist on it. It hits a lot of new goals for me in one setting: penmanship improvement (because I'll be taking handwritten notes), lessening my digital contact use and upping my interpersonal communication, portraiture practice, and lastly, exercising my brain mentally through writing, which I want to be more consistent in. After realizing how much unnecessary energy gets put into Instagram sometimes, I want to work on utilizing it in my own purposeful way. As Benjamin Franklin once said "Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." So here's to more words & stories. About this image: I spent some quality time with my goal buddy @genghisgan, sauntering through the Monrovia woods during golden hour capturing portraits for his new series. He's growing steadily through his journey of portrait photography and I couldn't be more proud of him. Thanks Matt for the adventure and for capturing me in my element! 📸:@gandid.camera 🎨:🙋🏻♂️
HOME is where the heart is, and I've realized I've left my heart in several of them this year. To all the places I've called home, and to all the special people I've shared them with - THANK YOU. I can't wait to come back home again & again with you in 2018. Sending off 2017 with these unforgettable experiences that have made us better. Have a happy, healthy, and blessed new year ahead everyone 🙏🏼 (full link in bio) #philupadventures#philipislosttour2017#ourlosttribe
Missing this place, these moments, these challenges, and these faces just a little. #Havasupai is simply one of those soulful experiences that stay with you for a while.💧#philupadventures#ourlosttribe 🎧: @the_mura_masa
I waited 2 years to reunite with this place, and on November 30th, 2017, I made my way back down and left with a hiking mileage of 30 miles, a new squad, and a new perspective. This particular trip reinvigorated, empowered, and re-inspired. It took a lot of us to another level. Would I return again, and do the full experience of hiking in and out with my pack? Absolutely. Would I return as soon as next year? Most likely not. Personally, #Havasupai is something I needed to digest over time. It is unlike any other and I realized that it's too special of a place for me to do all over again right away, without allowing my recent experience to fully sink in. I want to savor, and let the abundance of new stories replay in my mind for a while. Replay the faces that joined in on this unforgettable journey, pushing each other to conquer our obstacles, fears, and doubts. After my second helping, I've realized that my appreciation for the magic and the soul of this place has been amplified ten-fold. If you plan to go for your first time, feel free to message me and I'll share my personal tips on how to prepare a safe, respectful, and fulfilling journey to Havasupai. 🙏🏼 *Check our trip's visual story, now featured on my bio's highlights* #philupadventures#philipislosttour2017
I look at time as if it is made up of waves, crashing upon the shore. It may take some things away, but it will always bring something new in return. Currently reflecting on my 2017, ready to let some things go, excited for more newness and growth 🌱
Our world is colossal, but our time in it is so limited. Stimulate those senses with newness, accumulate stories & laughs, and share these experiences with your loved ones often. When you find other souls that you can laugh with as much as laugh at, you know they're for keeps. Grateful for these hooligans. 🏞 #ourlosttribe 📸:@christopherkhoitran
At the end of the day and as you get older, you really just want to be surrounded by good people. People that are good for you, good to you, and good for your soul. Grateful to be in one of my favorite places on Earth, celebrating a year shared with adventurous friends from all over the country who are consistently down to explore a piece of this beautiful world we live in. Here's to our wild hearts and to those who couldn't be here. Happy holidays from Ho Ho Hosemite! 🎅🏼🎄😘 #ourlosttribe#hosemite2017 📸:@christopherkhoitran | edited by yours truly
Just a sample of #havasupai sending it with my wild boys. No matter how many times you visit, it's undeniably hard to get this magical place out of your heart, and easy to keep replaying the experience in your mind, over & over again. 💦💦💦 @maxjanderson @parkerjonez @evkev
30 MILES of MAGIC 👣 Every time I explore what this Earth has to offer, the more i'm reminded of how valuable time is, and how imperative it is to pursue the people and the moments that change our lives for the better. This place is what dreams are made of and my second helping was the most adventurous yet. I leave extremely humbled by you #Havasupai ! Thank you for keeping our squad safe during our challenging, soulful journey. And thanks to my buddy Max for getting us to jump in these magical waters in the middle of our final moonlit night to capture this moment we'll never forget. 📸:@maxjanderson #philupadventures#philipislosttour2017#ourlosttribe