Klean Voices: September Journal

The world is full of artists and conservationists, business owners and adventure-seekers, people like us who desire something different in life. We are Nick and Laura Ocean, a couple of artist-adventure seekers driving our truck and pop-up camper off the beaten path, down those forest service roads that lead into the woods, up the mountains and next to rivers.

In May, we left our life in the city of Los Angeles in search of a new path. Our day to day had become the grind and as much as we love our community we felt a call to drive out and seek a new place to put down roots and to follow a dormant career path. As a photographer, Nick has a desire to show life through the lens of adventure and story telling. So it made sense to use our savings, pile our things into a small storage unit and move our life into a camper in order to drive throughout the Northwest taking pictures and telling stories along the way. What we hope to portray in our photography and online journal is inspiration and authenticity, how taking chances in life is sometimes messy and full of unknowns and to talk about our journey that is full of lessons and the often humorous path to learning them.

On the road we have been met with hardships and fun, things breaking and things working themselves out and we have found ourselves constantly surrounded by beauty. It can be distracting on driving days or when pulling a bee's stinger out of the mouth of your dog instead of focusing on that life question that drew us out of our comfort zone all those months ago.

We started the trek with a question in mind and it took some time to boil it down into a single run-on sentence that we are working to answer: How do we live with purpose, and choose what to do with our lives, while simultaneously giving the most back to the world? Often, the people that we meet while traveling are asking a similar question of themselves. It's a natural and easy conversation to have around camp meals and next to tents, scaring one another with road stories and encouraging each other with moments of hope.

Though the looming question of where we may find ourselves in a few months hangs unanswered, the knowledge that we are so privileged to be out in the shadow of mountains morning after morning is helping change our perspective of where we belong. In the city, we were saving our shower water in buckets instead of using sprinklers for the grass, changed our lightbulbs to long lasting LED and put low-flow heads on our faucets. We did our best to conserve and re-use everything we could. We hugged our trees and had an urban garden. Out here we use as little as possible, conserve water, use solar power and leave no trace.

Who we are is the same no matter where we are located. Where we belong is the same as well – in a place of conservation and care, aware that we can have a positive impact on the earth and the people that we meet in life. And they, just as much in turn, leave an impact on us.

Nick and Laura Ocean, are a couple of artist-adventure seekers driving their truck and pop-up camper off the beaten path, down those forest service roads that lead into the woods, up the mountains and next to rivers. You can read their blog, The Longest Hello, here