It's been two months since we returned from our voyage! It hasn't been the easiest adjustment to return back home, but Rosie is now working and Andrea is volunteering / preparing for a residency in Germany coming up this January. As some of you remember (or not) Andrea's laptop broke 1/4 way into the trip and FINALLY WE HAVE A LAPTOP! So we just got to editing the footage, a little bit more of a delay than expected, but we made a promise and are keeping it! Hopefully we'll have it done by December but we will definitely keep ya'll updated. We are planning to have a screening of the movie and also have a book published with pictures of our journey, sketchbooks, text messages, and other random memorabilia we feel help visually define what we experienced. Since Andrea will be leaving, everything is going to have to get done before January 1 (when she leaves) so expect something SOON to happen, or in July 2015 upon her return from Europa.
Time for some reflection- this might get philosophical and heart felt, so if that's not your type of thing, you can scroll your facebook feed or something.
Looking back on this experience is truly something that I can't even put into words. When I came back, most of my conversations went as follow:
"How was it?" "What was your favorite place?" "What was the weirdest thing that happened to you?" "Are you and Rosie still friends?"
The answer to these questions don't matter, I would just reply saying "You just gotta do it". Because... YOU GOTTA. Whatever I describe and explain will give no justice to the journey. This trip taught me so many things. It taught me to be independent, it taught me to be resourceful, it taught me to trust in people, it taught me to let myself feel and express the feels. I danced with strangers, I said hello to people my elders have taught me to be afraid of, I touched land that's been around for ages, and for the first time felt proud to be from this country.
Not many people (especially from the tri-state area) understand how OLD and ANCIENT this land is. It's not just in the history books, it's in the rock formations, it's in the dirt, the way the mountains are shaped. You can see the way the water that once submerged this continent flowed in the cliffs. I don't think I ever really felt sublime until I traveled the south west and through South Dakota and Montana. Growing up in New Jersey, I don't see any of that, all I see are houses, cement, and the way the highways take over the land. That's not what it's like everywhere else... I opened my eyes to living with the land, not on it. I grew in touch with my inspirations, the colors of the sky that draw me in, the shapes of shadows casted on open fields from the clouds, the animals who roam, and the air that helps us breathe and live. Not the air that contaminates our lungs and minds.
Not once did I ever feel in danger or harm by another human being, I welcomed any one who walked along my path and found nothing but warm, good, people... maybe I was lucky... but I honestly don't believe in luck. I believe in karma and trust.(Doesn't mean Rosie and I didn't have our car completely guarded with pocket knives and pepper spray just in case.) Humanity is beautiful, we are all together in this thing called life.
I could not have done this trip with anyone else either. Rosie and I learned a lot about each other, and saw the same things but each got our own story out of it. It's a bond that really can't be made any other way. I learned how to deal with her ups and downs, as she did mine, know when to not talk, or to talk, and when to put "Hide away by Keizsa" on to lighten up any situation, also how to feed each other while driving... yeah, things got a little weird. But it was all worth it.
Now, the topic.... ART & CULTURE. Art is everywhere. And I was educated in a system that told me to put "art" up on a pedestal... high brow, what museum worthy is... etc. Well, REALITY, LIFE, THIS TRIP has taught me otherwise. I always knew it deep down, but meeting all these artists and talking to them about art, creation, expression, music and dance, just confirmed the fact that all we need to do is express! So many artists create, they don't know why.... they cook to cook, they paint to paint, there's no reason, there's no value, there's no justification except that it makes them happy. And because these artists follow their passion, they will forever feel fulfilled. Life isn't about making the money. It's about finding what makes you happy. And following that path will lead you no where but to success.
When I finished this trip I promised myself I would never go back to being a waitress again, because as a server I gained nothing, I learned nothing, I felt no fulfillment except for my pocket growing from tips. I came back wanting to make myself stronger as not only an artist but as a person. I want to do what makes me happy. I returned and searched on job sites for about a month until I finally got the job of my dreams. I am doing a work exchange with a studio in Brooklyn called Weaving Hand. There, I am a weaving instructor, teaching adults with mental and physical disabilities how to weave. In exchange for the work I am allowed to take classes at the studio. I may not be getting paid, but I never left a restaurant job feeling as good as I do today! THANK YOU to all those artists who inspired me to truly follow my heart and not think about the fact that I'm thousands and thousands of dollars in student loan debt. And THANK YOU to all of you guys who supported us from the beginning, at home, through Kickstarter, friends, and most of all, family. You are all my rock and I am so grateful. Peace, goodnight, hallelujah!
I've lived in a couple states and moved around my fair share but all of those past experiences can't hold a candle to the ones I had this summer. Going into this Andrea and I both knew it was going to be very hard and that our comfort zones would be left behind in New Jersey but, the one thing I think we didn't see coming was how much we enjoyed life of the road. The friendly and sketchy strangers, the amazing art from small towns to big cities, the food and drinks, the sunrises and sunsets, the changing scenery, the constant moving, it all seemed OH SO RIGHT! When you're traveling and seeing all of these beautiful sights this world has to offer, I believe, that you start to subconsciously open up your mind and realize that you don't really need too much to just be happy and content. I began to see everything for what it was and because I was far from home I couldn't be that skeptical, tough Jersey girl with the intense resting bitch face that people were afraid to talk to. Well, I could still be tough but I had to be open to everything to fully enjoy this trip. I had to put a little bit of trust and respect into every person I met and I'm glad I did. It's too easy to judge someone and keep going... one of my favorite memories from this summer was when we stopped at a McDonalds in between Tennessee and Georgia to use the bathroom. On the way in I noticed two "homeless" travelers sitting on the ground outside the door with a puppy. As we walked in they said nothing but on the way out one of them told me to have a nice day. I said "you too" and kept walking. Then the younger guy yelled to me asking if I wanted to trade fanny packs. Without looking back I immediately turned around and walked back to see what his looked like. Mine was a lot cooler so I said no thanks and before I could turn around he asked if I had any shinys to trade (shinys are rocks, beads, metal.. anything shiny). That's when I knew this guy was just a guy. He wasn't asking me for anything, he wasn't begging for food or money he was just being a nice guy. When I lived in San Francisco I was always told to never talk to the homeless and to never look them in the eyes or give them the time of day because they were "scum". Yes, maybe a couple were but I honestly think that I was just not open enough and I followed what others told me because I was in a new place, timid and shy. I let others influence me without even experiencing any of it for myself and I feel cheated. This trip helped me find out for myself and made me a better person in a way. It's hard for me to put my thoughts down on paper and tell you all how this summer changed my life because I don't think anyone (except for Andrea) can really relate and understand what something like this can do for the mind, body, and soul. So I guess what I'm saying is that everyone should take a cross country trip. Don't let self doubt stop you because anyone can do what we did and hopefully this movie can give you all a better understanding of how crazy cool and wonderful the world is. Stay positive my friends and you will only receive that back. Peace out cub scouts <3
- Two girls making somethings out of nothings with their hands. This summer we hope to embark on an epic cross country road trip, interviewing all kinds of artist along the way in order to make a documentary about art and culture in America today. OUR KICKSTARTER IS UP AND RUNNING! follow us and stay informed! Instagram: @soapskeptics Facebook.com/soapskeptics.1