Life with a view

living life on the road

Today, we live in the small town of Farmville, Virginia. Population: 8000 on a good day, and I'm willing to bet at least 2/3 of that is college students from the two colleges here.

Running a photography business in a town such as this certainly has it's hurdles... mainly, we don't *actually* work here. There's just not enough people here who are looking for the services we offer.

The solution? We work everywhere else. I like to joke that half our job is driving to and from clients. We do sessions as far away as people will have us go - we actually just had one this weekend a bit over 2 hours away in North Carolina, which is becoming more and more like a daily commute rather than a road trip.

The unintended effect of this is that we spend a lot of time in hotels. Like, a LOT of time. In some places, like Salisbury, MD, we have favorite hotels, favorite hotel staff members, and even favorite rooms because we spend so much time there (shout-out to La Quinta Salisbury!).

Minnie, our Miniature Pinscher, loves hotels. She gets SO excited when we arrive and she gets to go sniff out all the nooks and crannies of the new space. Her favorite is when we get two beds, and she spends the first hour leaping from one bed to another.

Traveling around with a puppy and two humans definitely makes things interesting at times. We obviously have to find the hotels that even let our pup stay there, sometimes at a moment's notice after a shoot has run long or technical difficulties have kept us from getting home.

Last winter, we met a client 4 hours away for a wedding consultation, and on our way home, tragedy struck. It was snowing, and coming down fast, and we still had a mountain to get over. It was dark, cold, and the snow was sticking. We made the call to find a hotel for the night. There was only one within 20 miles that would accept dogs, and so we headed towards the Historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel. Now, we'd stayed in a lot of hotels... but this one was SUPER fancy. From the marble floors that echoed each step, to the chandeliers on the ceiling, the lobby made me feel like I had somehow accidentally booked a room at The Ritz.

Unfortunately, there was an unintended effect of getting a hotel room because of snow that we really didn't think about... the next morning, instead of being able to leave and continue home... we were snowed in. Whoops. I guess we should have saw that coming, but alas, we did not. We were not prepared for this. We had to stay another night, and find food to survive the day. There was nothing open around, so our only choice was room service. Oh, the tragedy! 😉 We are not frivolous spenders, and I had never even considered such a luxury service before, but we were starving, and even worse, our poor pup was getting hangry. So we treated ourselves to some fancy food delivered to our room! And Minnie even got her own little plate of eggs!

Some stays aren't as pleasant. Once, I fell ill on our trip home after a session in Maryland, and even though we were only 2 hours from home, I couldn't make it the rest of the way and we had to stop in what was, possibly, the worst area to do so. Our hotel choices were a $400-a-night luxury hotel, or a $30-a-night hotel. I was sick, but I wasn't freaking delirious, and so we chose the $30-a-night hotel. I will spare the details, but I will just say, the room had not been cleaned properly from the last guest... or probably the one before that, either. 😷 The three of us survived, but I am convinced we narrowly missed a grisly death that the next 3 guests would find (because I'm sure that wouldn't be cleaned either).

So, there are good bits and bad bits to traveling to shoot, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. The traveling is one of my favorite parts of the job - the long trips where we aren't on our phones, or on our computers, or connected to anything but each other and the road. I'm convinced I was born to be a wandering nomad. Migration is in my blood.

This is why we decided to buy an RV, and soon, our house will be traveling with us! We will be on the road full-time, traveling to our shoots and around the country. We are so excited for this new chapter of our life and our business! No longer will we have to gamble on hotels, or worry about our pup in a foreign place for the day, barking at strangers walking down the hall! We will be like snails, or hermit crabs, taking our home with us on all our adventures, bringing our little corner of the world with us to explore the rest of it.

Some have asked me if it gets tiring spending so much time away from home. Is it tiring to be on the move all the time? Sure. But I don't see it as spending so much time away from home. Home is where the heart is, right? So home comes with me. His name is Michael. ❤️