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| HAPPY UP HERE |

I’ve been away for awhile. But now I’m back.

Last time we spoke, I was just getting back from London and telling you about my love affair with the city. To say the least, much has changed (except the fact that I’m still madly in love with London).

Now, I’m sitting in my bed in Kennebunk, Maine. My hometown. My comfort zone.

I love being back in my small town, I love seeing faces I recognize on the street, I love driving by the beach every-single-day. I’ve made a few new friends in town, but I love being so close to my high school friends. They have become such an important part of my life, and I can’t imagine a world without them. Although, now having been away from Halifax for a year and a half, I can say I miss it dearly and all the amazing people I created memories with in that city, that country. You all will hold a special place in my heart and it saddens me that that part of our lives is over. But, you can’t hang out to the past (unfortunately, on this occasion).

However, if we never let go of the past, new and wonderful things would never present themselves to us. That is why, as of right now, in this very moment . . . I’m letting go . . . I’m letting go of my past. Of feelings that are still here, good and bad. I don’t mean to say I am going to forget them. I don’t want to erase the past, but I need to, somehow, keep moving on. And I’m almost positive the only way for me to do this is to write. Which is why I opened up the blog, dusted off my keys, and started typing.

And now, I’ll sum up the past six months.

I never got around to writing about four more of my trips before I moved home. I spent a wonderful 4 days with Ryan & his family in Barcelona. After venturing to the coast for another time, I was reminded of how much I needed the ocean in my life. I wish I had been placed for a work-term in any coastal city, but the positive given to me by Madrid is now knowing for sure that I could never live far from the water.

I also did a 24-hour venture to Valencia for Las Fallas. A city-wide ceremony to celebrate the Easter holidays. Google it. I can’t even begin to describe what it was like — maybe some other time when I’m feeling nostalgic.

One weekend, Ryan & I took the train through the countryside to Salamanca. It was a much smaller town than I had expected, but it was just what I had needed. It was also where I was when the US killed Osama Bin Laden. It was confusing. It was a proud moment. It was a terrifying thought about what might come. I felt so removed being in a foreign country. But it happened, and I took it in as a fact. For that is what it was.

My last trip before my year in Spain ended was to Mallorca. An island off the East coast of the country — a.k.a. Cancun for the Germans. I’ve never been to Germany but I feel as if I have now after spending 3 days on the island. It was an experience like no other, and again — maybe another time when I’m feeling nostalgic will I write in detail about my trip to this strange place.

And after experiencing a year abroad filled with ups and downs, it certainly ended with a crash. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me. And despite sensing it coming, just a week before he put it into words, I tried to deny it. But it still happened.

I rode an emotional roller coaster for my last three weeks in Spain before deciding the pack up my things and move back to Maine. I didn’t want anything to do with Madrid or any other part of the country. I didn’t want to travel because doing it alone would simply remind me that he didn’t want to be with me anymore. So I moved home, I moved back to my friends and family, to a place I felt loved and could recover from heart break.

I didn’t find a job right away. I took the summer off for the first time since I was 16 years old. It was an amazing experience. I bought a surf board. I got to the beach every day — even if it was just to drive by it. I played the guitar more. I took lots of photos. And I started my own photography business. Before I even flew home from Madrid I had a wedding scheduled for August 20th. A friend of mine got me the gig. She knew the bride and recommended my work. These were the results (which are going to be published in the January 2012 issue of Real Maine Weddings Magazine):

The rest can be seen @ http://www.moodysandsphoto.com under weddings.
After the Aug. 20th wedding I was able to assist Brendan Bullock photograph a wedding a week later. I captured some special moments and the bride was thrilled with my results. I sent her the a disc with all her photos along with business cards for her to pass around. Fingers crossed I’ll get some business through her in the near future. Next summer I have a wedding scheduled for August that I’m looking forward to shooting.

Throughout the summer I also reached out to two photographers in the Portland area. One a commercial photographer & the other a portrait photog. Both taught me a lot in the time in spent with them. It was a great learning experience and really helped me dive into the business. I can only hope to be as successful in the future.

As for this fall, I have been capturing my friends and using them as guinea pigs as much as possible to build my portfolio. Between shooting and reading and playing the guitar I picked up a job at a local restaurant where I’ve met some pretty awesome people. I hostess and bus and hopefully will get behind the bar. But it’s pretty decent money so far and it’s allowed me to do some travelling to Canada to visit some special people.

In September I was blessed to receive an e-mail from Porter airlines announcing half-priced tickets. DONE. I flew round-trip from Boston to Toronto for $240. I was reunited with three of my close friends from university and I had an absolutely amazing time. A year and a half, and it was like nothing had changed.

In November I took a few days off of work to drive up to New Brunswick to see the special Canadian men in my life. I’m lucky to have made friends with mostly people from the Saint John area in NB — that way getting together is quite easy since home is the same place for so many of them. We were all in the area for the long weekend (Remembrance Day — which is the equivalent to Veterans Day down here in the states). It was really nice to be together again, even though it was sad to realize that part of my life is over and that I’ll only ever visit these guys and never live down the street from them is something I have to accept. I never thought it’d be so hard to move on from that part of my life. But, I guess it’s understandable when it was such a great place with such amazing people.

Now, it’s mid-December and looking back on it all, I can’t believe six months has flown by. I’ve grown as a person and I’ve done a lot these past six months, but it seems like just yesterday I was stepping off that plane, hugging my brother and letting the tears run down my cheeks. Soon, I’ll be back at the airport saying farewell for three months to head off on the Euro trip I had to cancel last summer. But to be perfectly honest, I’m happy it’s worked out this way. I’ve learned so much about myself and can be a better person for it. I know where I want to be in the world and I’ve strengthened relationships that hadn’t been as strong before. And I know I’ll never give up travelling.

I’m extremely excited to jump on a plane again and create new memories and meet new people. I have three months to see the Europe I want. And I’ll have no one to answer to since I’m travelling alone. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens! And of course, I’ll write about it ALL.

But travelling in January isn’t the only reason that this month is going to be AMAZING. First of all, I’m going to be featured on jdperformancephoto.com — I’ll share the link once it’s published; second, I’m going to be published in the Real Maine Weddings Magazine (as I said above); third, I’m going to be featured in Monument Square for the First Friday Art Walk in Portland, Maine! And a fourth, I’ll be 24 — but that’s not as cool.

I’ve also decided I need to start writing again. I need to find a way to bring writing into my work. I want to be able to share my observations with others in writing as well as in picture. Once I’m back from my travels I’ll look into working for a travel magazine. Who knows, maybe I can do a feature on some of the travels I’ve done!

Until I write again, which won’t be as long of a time as last — Cheers.

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This entry was posted in: Travel

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I'm a native of Maine, currently living and working in Portland where I write about my favorite travels and new experiences. I have been published on various travel blogs as well as have collaborated on writing projects with companies such as the travel search engine Hipmunk and Spanish hotel chain Bahia Principe. When I'm not writing, I enjoy being on the ocean, sipping tasty wines, waking up to strong coffee, and sharing all these things with my friends. You can follow my writing at www.nativeofthenorth.me

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