Anyone that spends more than a few hours with me knows I may have a slight obsession with taking photographs. So when Chris emailed me to share his story I knew it would be perfect for Meraki Inspiration. We hope that he inspires you to take the time to live in each moment whether on your travels, at home, taking photographs or just enjoying the view in front of you.
The Story behind the Stories
I was meeting with my Superintendent and I was pitching some communication ideas to him as a way to improve communication in our school district, where I am a teacher. I pitched the idea of a weekly email he would send out to motivate and inspire his staff. I started to think of how the email would affect not only his staff, but also him, and his understanding of who he was as a leader.
At the same time, I was working on pitching the ideas, I read a photography article that said that the photographs you take, are “you.” I guess the two ideas crossed paths and I started to want to figure out who I was, through the images I took. I had also just had a Daughter and I started to think about how she would know who I really was, and what legacy I might leave. All of these factors were the genesis of storybehindthephotos.com.
This process of writing these stories and taking pictures has changed the way I see everyday things in my life. I will illustrate this with an example:
Every day I pass a small bowling alley on my way to drop my daughter off at daycare which also happens to serve breakfast. Each morning through big wooden blinds I watch 4 seniors eat breakfast, laugh, and joke and the entire scene looks like it’s out of the movies. I know there is a story there. Maybe the story is a photograph from across the busy street of the hurried workers in cars rushing to work while the retired folks sit and enjoy. Maybe the story is a story of the juxtaposition of the pace of our lives at various points. I’m not sure yet. But without writing these stories for 52 weeks I might have missed that simple little detail. I guess writing stories has made me aware of the stories all around us.
The Story Behind The Photo’s
My favourite stories that I have written usually revolve around travelling with my family or the hidden mist that is all around us called culture, but I will include one from this summer below:
Week 40: Story behind the photos: “We made it.”
She plugged in my phone and the car demons made the GPS voice go especially silent. This was going to be the rough patch of the adventure, no doubt. I was tense enough driving that little, white economy car in big city traffic, but we needed help. Driving without GPS in a city like Seattle was my worst nightmare; without some guidance, we were lost. I missed a few turns, and I got quite a few honks, but after about 30 minutes we made our way out east to Fall City. She didn’t like navigating, but she did a fine job. We had been down this road before. The road gradually got smoother, the honking subsided, and the views got much better, mile by mile. We made it.
Months before she had gotten up early and worked hard to book us an unforgettable adventure for our yearly tradition. Online before the crack of dawn, she secured- in secret- a treehouse, from the show that we religiously watched together. She went big with her year to plan our secret getaway since this year we reached and passed so many milestones.
What many people didn’t know, was in the time since we were married, we got sued, lost our entire savings, and then when the conditions were at the very bleakest, we finally got pregnant. I was asked to start a CAS just as the baby was born, to really test our relationship’s resolve. Nobody knows the stress I shared with my wife because she never let it show. In a few short years, our worlds turned upside down. The people we were in 2012 when we got married, was still who we were, but it was just harder to peel away our responsibilities to see it.
Here is a picture of my beautiful wife on the day we arrived at our little treehouse. We made it, and the best part of our 4th-anniversary trip is, we made it together.
Want to know the stories behind these images? Head over to Story Behind The Photos
Chris is a man of many hats from teaching to owning his own Property Services company. His biggest dream is to lead photography tours to amazing destinations around the world as well as the ordinary ones too. Showing people how they can step out of the rat race. Find out more on his site.
Want to discover more inspiring stories? Head over to our Meraki Inspiration. Or how about beginning your own amazing adventures?
Do you have a story on how you bring Meraki into your life and travels? We love sharing amazing stories like Chris’s to inspire others to make more out of adventures at home and overseas. Get in touch to share yours.