Can you imagine a more quintessentially “2020” roadtrip than one that starts with great expectations, only for things to go awry and end up a lot more circuitous than you could’ve imagined at the start? That’s exactly the story of photographer Nick Vaquerano, who made “the best” of it by documenting it.
It all started with a dream of living a fulfilling life — one that is grounded in creativity. I realized that I no longer wanted the typical 9-5 lifestyle, and that I had gained everything there was to gain from my time on the East Coast. My girlfriend Jasenia and I had sparked a random conversation about packing up and traveling across the country, Massachusetts to Oregon, and soon enough this idea turned into a reality. We packed most of our belongings and set our sights for over 18 different states and after 8000+ miles of driving.
For more roadtrip travel inspiration that’s the perfect dose of hope for 2020, check out #travelingfromhome with Joao Falcao. We’ve also got the dish on some of the most beautiful road trip routes in the world!
Here, I present some of these moments. We had planned to finish the trip in Oregon, and start a new life. But around 1 week into the trip, an unexpected delay severely changed our trajectory. Wildfires that began in California had devastated many North Western states, including Oregon, so we took a month detour and decided to experience Washington State. After Washington we finally were able to plant our roots in Oregon, which is where we are now trying to further discover ourselves and our creative paths.
The Story in Images
This was taken during a scenic sunset drive through Colorado, which proved to be a breath of fresh air for us. We had been going through some hard times and were not having the best day, but it appears that the mountains had brought us closer together. We pulled over, took some time to clear our minds and enjoy the view. ‘Onward and upward’ sums up our mindset after that drive.
This was taken on the same night in Colorado, laying on the sand face-up watching the skies. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spot any UFO’s.
Before we had left for this road trip, we made sure to include The Grand Canyon on our bucket list. This photo shows the aftermath of the West Coast wildfires and how largely impactful it was on the US. The entire Canyon was filled with thick smoke, and although It was not how we expected to see The Grand Canyon for the first time, it showed us the severity of the fires.
During our time in Washington State, we decided to hike the Naches Peak Loop trail in Mt. Rainier national park, for the first time. We could’ve chosen a better day to hike (weather-wise), however our excitement propelled us forward. These were taken sporadically along the trail, and towards the end of this very day we had gotten lost amongst the lack of trail signs. As the sun began to set we realized we had gotten too lost to make it back, so inevitably we had to stop and make our own shelter with our umbrella off the trail.
We were able to make the hike back in the morning but this day/night was one of the hardest I’ve ever experienced in my life considering the high winds and rain while being stranded deep in the forest in 40 degree weather. As intense as this was, I am grateful for this experience because it has shown how strong I am and how well we we work as a team.
The mountain view of Tipsoo Lake on Mount Rainier above was taken the day we got out of the loop trail. I guess this was our consolation prize for completing it!
These photos below were taken during our very first week in Oregon, when we finally settled. I was already starting to feel like this was the place we were meant to end up.
Did you take a roadtrip in 2020? How did it go? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!