Windswept and happy.


Don’t mind me, casually blowing away. This is the most accurate image of me enjoying the great outdoors. Being crushed by the wind. Hair in my face (and mouth). Bent over laughing. Attempting to capture the moment. This is my life, folks.

Recently, someone told me to wear tighter or fewer clothes and my social media followers would INSTANTLY increase. Another simply requested more photos of me, less of nature. Please refrain from being either of these people.

You all, I am not here simply to grab followers and watch a number rise. To be completely honest, I love the level of genuine connection living in my social media corners. Family members sending hugs and kisses from afar, while keeping tabs on me. Friends I have known a lifetime enjoying views of places they have never seen in person. Individuals preparing to build out the van of their dreams, with a handful of questions about my experience with Dandy. Kind people who have found me through a hashtag or location, letting me know the ins and outs of the area or sharing a childhood memory from where I was just standing. Linking up with lovely folks I met in person, while cruising around North America. This is why I share on social media. Genuine connection.

Nearly my entire life, I have been capturing photos. Mostly of people I love and the great outdoors. With the rise of social media, sharing images from exploring on foot felt natural. Eventually, I began traveling and hiking enough to post regularly, from all over the country. Sharing the goodness, if you will. Maybe inspiring a hike or road trip, now and then.

Occasionally I appear in photos. Almost always captured to share with my family. Sometimes I want a digital memory of being somewhere specific, too. And, occasionally, capturing a candid moment (see above) aligns perfectly with a journal entry. Despite having the gear, skillset and time to capture self portraits every beautiful place I visit, this simply is not my priority. Nor do I want a feed filled with photos of me recreating a moment.

I am certainly not against feeds filled with beautiful self portraits, of ladies exploring and loving the great outdoors. Quite the opposite, in fact. There’s a beauty in capturing an image, exactly as you see yourself. And further having the confidence to share these moments with the rest of the world.

A friend recently reached out to say they enjoy my view of the world. A huge smile grew across my face while reading their note. I see no need to obstruct the view with me awkwardly standing in the middle. Wearing clothing I would never actually hike in. Simply to boost a number.

Alaina AnnComment