It’s important to not take yourself too seriously. We have learned that lesson to the point of illness this week.
April and I are beginning our journey back to health after two weeks of working on the set of a feature film. We have learned so much in such a short and overwhelming period of time. It was not the experience that we drove across the country for, to say the least, but the lessons learned will certainly make for an interesting article in the near future.
In the meantime, please enjoy another ‘ridiculous film’ by April Beresford. (Not to be confused by our more professional, informative, educational or at least inspiring travel film. Found here –> Films
“I’m glad I did it. I’m glad it’s over.” ~ April Beresford
There are few places in the world that consistently score very high on everyone’s ‘must see’ list. This kind of hype can create slippery slopes of disappointment when the site doesn’t live up to the craze. Thankfully, this is in no way applicable to the splendor of Yellowstone National Park. This extraordinary place is beyond the words and photographs you may have seen before. It has easily shot to the top of my list of truthfully shocking and impressive natural wonders.
Proclaimed the very first national park in the world, this enormous geographical phenomenon in the Northwestern area of the United States protects remarkable natural and geothermal features as well as abundant wildlife. It is a fully living ecosystem in full colour resplendence that bubbles and explodes.
It is an experience for all your senses.
Beyond the alien landscape shooting smoke stack and high pressured geysers into the sky, Yellowstone needs to be heard. The powers of the earth working here bubble gently. Others explode like a jetliner. The rumbling resonates in your chest and at your feet. The scents of the forests and the sulfuric emissions continually remind you of the versatility of this planet. Despite the temptations of thick curdling mud pots, crystal clear ponds, and rainbow colored streams, please do resist the urge to test the waters. At more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it could the last thing you ever feel.
There’s this game that we play. It started on our very first road trip when we drove across Canada. 10,000km is a long way you see. *(We are at 20,000km across and back in the U.S!) So the way it goes is that every time you see an animal crossing sign you have to put up one of the corresponding charades signs that we made up. It’s our superstitious way of protecting ourselves (& the wildlife)- our explanation is that as long as we always do it then we eliminate the chance of a collision. It’s really just a silly game, like all the other stupid things we do when engaging on these long distance adventures and so far, it has worked like a charm.
Not for a second has it taken away from our wildlife viewing experience though. Without ever leaving the safety of our Tank, we have seen:
Elk Target, Redwood State Park, California, USA – Karina Noriega
The contest deadline has come and gone. Our submission is now being reviewed by the travel journalism experts at World Nomads. We are going up against hundreds (if not thousands) aspiring filmmakers from around the whole globe.
The pressure has now shifted to the judges and mentors who can select only a single submission for one of the best prizes out there: A chance to attend, film and share Mexico’s cultural mega-festival, Dia de los Muertos. More than a chance to travel, this is the learning opportunity of a lifetime. April and I are beyond eager to receive mentoring and feedback by seasoned travel journalists. Plus, I have not so secretly always wanted to experience this event.
It has been a crazy week for us. First, if you read the latest blog, we received an invitation to come to New York City to help film a movie! Coolio 😀 So we have a very tight deadline and one of the largest countries in the world to drive across. *Stress* Of course we do not simply want to drive all the time. We are trying to do and see as much as we can because this is a “Road Trip” not a 25,000km “Car Ride”.
Our lives as we now know them, are dependent on opportunity and the willingness to chase our dreams at all costs. So despite the rush, we have buried ourselves into our computers for the last week to create the MOST extraordinary film (about our road trip so far) to enter into the World Nomads Film Scholarship competition. Our week has consisted of 16 hours a day in a diner (and a LOT of coffee) in the little known town of Caldwell, Idaho (home to many of the kindest people on earth).
We don’t want to sabotage our chances by posting the film on the blog. Normally these things require ‘an exclusive look’. The submissions were done through YouTube so if you want the sneak peak, please go to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/KNExtraordinaryLife Please make sure you LIKE it and leave all your COMMENTS of support and encouragement below the video to show World Nomads that we got what it takes!
In the meantime, here’s a bonus film for this week:
Manifesting Magic 2013 was an inaugural music, art and healing festival held near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I was invited to give a workshop based on my first blog (www.thirteensquared13.blogspot.com). It was a massive personal challenge for me and truthfully an overwhelming success. In appreciation for the opportunity, April helped create a promotional video for future Manifesting Magic projects.
~An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega~
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It has been exactly 123 days, 25 states and 14,486km (9000m) since I crossed the southern border for an extraordinary road trip across the United States of America. My travel partners April and Tank, (my Toyota 4runner) have been strong and steady by my side. Our little travel blog is getting some attention and even inspiring a few new friends and readers to see travel differently and hit the road.
All along our journey I have called out to anyone who would like to meet, host or join us. I have reached out to old travel friends I’ve met across continents as I carve across their states and hometowns. I have encouraged friends and family who we dearly miss to come visit us wherever we may be.
I’m so excited that both of these situations have finally come to fruition.
I reached out to my friend Eric while in the Southern USA. Facebook, (a powerful tool keeping my travel circle together) told me he was living in Salt Lake City, Utah; a state that would no doubt take us far into the wilds of colourful deserts, towering formations, unimaginable canyons and wilderness. Eric and I hadn’t seen each other at all since our fateful meeting in Malaysia a few years ago. I had just hopped out of a truck near a village in the Cameron Highlands. I was hitchhiking from the coastal city of Georgetown to see the famed tea plantations and rejoice in the cooler weather. I needed one more ride to reach my destination so as I walked towards the intersection, gathering the courage necessary to stick my thumb out to passing motorists, I made a joking remark to the two white guys on scooters.
In small town in Northern Arkansas, we stumbled upon an entire religious theme park is dedicated to the life and death of Jesus Christ. The volunteers here not only took us in as we journeyed through, but they shared their time and passion with us.
This is an outsider’s look at the place and people of ‘Christ of the Ozarks’.
Music by Keith Symanowitz
Camping with Jesus, Christ of the Ozarks, Arkansas, USA – Karina Noriega
Two weeks ago, April opened up a very personal page in her travel journey. As a ‘newbie’ traveler, she is discovering how different real travel is from taking a vacation. The hardships of life as a nomad are only just beginning on this journey and they will continue twist and reshape themselves with our environment and changing cultural landscape.
As a responsible journalist, she has followed up her article with a series of interviews with more experienced long-term travelers in search of answers. With every intention of creating a healthy and sustainable method of travel, April seeks out the secrets to maintaining balance between self and world.
Morning yoga at Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah, USA – Karina Noriega
The sun is barely carving slivers of orange and red into the early morning sky when I first peer up from my backseat pedestal. It’s not even 6 in the morning and the thought of crawling out of my stuffy warm sleeping bag into the desert chill is less than appetizing. I move slowly, contemplating how the rising sun would light up the towering spires and famously photographed Mitten Buttes of Monument Valley. Continue reading →
For three months April and I have been desperately trying to balance the demands of our journey with our blogging ‘responsibilities’. While it is a labour of love, there is no doubt that creating our articles and films on the road is strenuous and exhausting. Often, finding a way (and a conducive environment) to stop our travels is much harder than continuously moving forward. Thankfully, we are able to share this responsibility as we commit to weekly updates. Thus far, April’s films have gained her numerous new fans and brought thousands more viewers to the site. Let’s face it, not everyone likes to read. 😛
This week, April is revealing a much more personal side of herself and how this journey has made an impact on her life. I am so excited and privileged to introduce her very first article.
I hope this new travelers’ confession shines a light on the truth and hardships of becoming a citizen of the World.
April’s Lookout, Great Sand Dunes, Colorado, USA
Achieving a sense of balance in this constantly changing environment feels like an impossible feat. Not for a second do I regret the choice I’ve made to pursue this nomadic lifestyle but there is no question, it is taking its toll on me emotionally. Continue reading →
In the heart of the Ozarks in northern Arkansas, the secrets of the underground reveal themselves. The massive cavern system at Blanchard Springs is a living cave, constantly changing, carving and shaping itself. The delicate and enormous formations, some taking thousands or even millions of years, are created by the minerals deposited by the tiny raindrops and ancient rivers within the cave. Continue reading →
This time, we find ourselves in the Southern state of Georgia exploring two very different kinds of destinations: Driftwood Beach on the coastal park of Jekyll Island and the deep south swamp of Okefenokee. We highly recommend that you check out the detailed article about experience in the swamp, to view spectacular photos and gather important insight regarding this amazing environment which is not included in the film.
Article Link: https://karinasextraordinarylife.com/2014/06/24/okefenokee-national-wildlife-refuge/
Music by: Ray Charles
~ An Extraordinary Story by Karina Noriega ~
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The intrepid road trippers at Angel Oak, St. John’s, Charleston, South Carolina, USA – Karina Noriega
It’s not often that a single tree warrants the creation of an entire park, but the Angel Oak is no regular vegetable. This venerable giant sprouted before Columbus arrived to this New World. The City of Charleston in South Carolina acquired the property in 1991 and has since been protecting it through it’s public park. Continue reading →