At least for the ski season, that is.
In December, I scored an amazing opportunity to work at Big Sky Resort in Big Sky, Montana.
Packing up a few months worth of my life into one suitcase- before I knew it, I was on a one-way flight. Solo. From Florida to Montana.
As an employee for Big Sky, you get access to many perks. They hook you up with housing, bus passes, restaurant/amenity/retail discounts and a free pass to ski. So far, I’ve lived in Bozeman housing and Big Sky housing. Both very different, as one is near downtown and the other is literally on the mountain.
As an ultimate animal lover, my eyes are peeled regularly for a glance at some wildlife. So far I’ve seen a multitude of elk, some bison, big-horned sheep, bald eagles and two moose! I try to soak in everything that I see, because life back in Florida is just so different.
Skiing. People travel here from all over to experience some of the best skiing in America. I know plenty of people that would kill for my free ski pass. So what’s a Florida gal to do? She’s gotta learn to ski, of course. My wonderful friend, Lauren is ironically a ski instructor at Big Sky and was more than happy to teach me. While I’ve experienced many wipe-outs and embarrassing falls, I grown to understand the addiction to it all. There’s just something about gliding through the powder with the mountains around you that makes life feel so surreal.
These are some photographs of Ousel Falls! Around where I live, there are plenty of trails to be hiked. Some in which you will find mind-blowing views like these frozen waterfalls. There’s beauty around every corner, here.
Ultimately, I came out here with the intentions of change. I wanted to wake up and see something new every day- explore a fresh place. I was tempted by the idea of living alone. While it meant saying goodbye to many beautiful humans back home, I was ready for the challenge within myself. I love that I’m overcoming obstacles and am noticeably growing. I love spending my free time writing in my journal, reflecting on it all. If I want to go for a solo walk through my winter wonderland backyard in the morning, I can do it! Nothing’s stopping me.
I feel as though, in life, it’s so important to put ‘you’ first. To do things that might scare you or push you past your comfort zones- those things will always help you grow and understand it all.
I saw the adventure, and I took it.
And here I am. In Montana.
When your life centers around photography, it is important to have a camera on you at all times. Whether it be my iPhone, DSLR or in this case a disposable camera, I have learned to appreciate the art of capturing life through many different lenses. I’m drawn to the 35mm film of disposable cameras, because the photos tend to feel more nostalgic. I enjoy the excitement of getting a roll of film developed and seeing what memories I have in store. This year I’ve gone through 4 disposable cameras; here’s a few memories from spring – winter 2018.
To celebrate my 21st birthday, I was blessed enough to travel to California with my wonderful parents and my beautiful best friend, Kendall. We drank lots of wine while strolling through the magical vineyards, laughed until we cried (98% of the time), became olive oil experts, headed to the coast & San Fran, and even soared above the vineyards in a hot air balloon. Napa, you were one for the books.
Spontaneously packed up the Jeep and drove 7 hours North with my childhood best-friend, Kaylee. To start off our adventures, we explored the colorful, Earthy town of Asheville. It’s always refreshing to get lost in a different city.
Hours later we checked into our Airbnb- a modernized, glass house in the midst of thick forestry. The views were delightful, the sounds were peaceful. We fell asleep listening to crickets and awoke to birds chirping, greeting one another.
A notable part of this trip was our eating habits. Kaylee is a vegan and has been for quite some time now. I was willing to commit to this, not only to make life a bit easier for her, but to embrace a healthy, natural lifestyle while we connected with the Earth. We stopped at a local farmers market and stocked up on tons of fruits, veggies and proteins to help us make it through the trip.
The Blue Ridge Parkway/ Pisgah National Forest. My oh my, how I felt alive here. I can’t put into words the state of mind both Kaylee and I were in. However, it’s safe to say we were happy, blissful and at ease. We felt so connected with ourselves and the Earth. Around every corner was a beautiful adventure, and Earth patiently waiting to be explored. We encountered lush nature, ethereal views and breath-taking waterfalls. With no cellphone service and the great outdoors surrounding us, we used our experience to inspire us- to get back in touch with ourselves while leading a wholesome life of simplicity and spontaneous adventures.
A special thanks to Kaylee Davis, for being such a wonderful friend to me for more than a decade. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without you. I’m so grateful to have met you and to still have your beautiful soul be apart of my life. I love ya endlessly.