thoughts

Riding solo by Shana Berenzweig

Horsebend Bend, Arizona | August 2018

Horsebend Bend, Arizona | August 2018

“So is it just you and your dog?”

“Where’s your husband?”

“Are you meeting up with friends?”

“Wait, you’re out here all by yourself?”

“I could never do that, don’t you get scared?”

These are just a few of the questions I get asked pretty much every single solo trip I take. Both from well-meaning friends at home and strangers I encounter on the road.

Somewhere in western New Mexico, September 2018

Somewhere in western New Mexico, September 2018

I realize that the vast majority of these people are asking from a place of love and concern. And it is always nice to know people care about you and are interested in your life.

But.

(There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?)

Sometimes it feels like they are projecting their fears, insecurities, and judgements on me.

I’ve written about traveling solo before (here and here), but it feels like society gives women only three options for travel: with a significant other, usually a man; for work; or with friends or family. The notion of solo female travel, even in 2018, still feels radical somehow. Or at least based on the responses I’ve experienced.

Not nearly often enough does someone lead with “Wow, that’s awesome, I’m jealous!” or share their own solo adventures, or something similarly positive. This generally applies to acquaintances and strangers, but either way I wish more folks would start with this sentiment, rather than one that is fear-based.

West Texas | September 2018

West Texas | September 2018

“Do you have a gun?”

“Do you wear a fake wedding ring so people won’t think you are alone?”

“How can you trust strangers?”

These are a few more of the types of questions I get asked all the time as if I don’t take any precautions when I set out alone. Just because I don’t want fear to control my life, doesn’t mean I don’t take steps to stay safe. For example, I always tell someone my itinerary and check in when I get somewhere. I also always trust my gut and if a stranger’s demeanor is shady or their questions too invasive, I’ll lie about my travel plans and details. Even though I’m a proud independent woman doesn’t mean I am stupid.

But.

(Y’all knew there’d be another “but.”)

I wonder how often a solo man on the road gets asked any of these questions?

Grand Canyon National Park North Rim, Arizona | August 2018

Grand Canyon National Park North Rim, Arizona | August 2018

Back soon with more photos from this summer’s epic seven state roadtrip!

XO

Hiding out by Shana Berenzweig

"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

Brene Brown

Self-portrait with my girl | Austin, TX | Jan 2018

Self-portrait with my girl | Austin, TX | Jan 2018

Last April, I wrote about how I was gonna show up and be seen.

Inspired by the quote above, I promised myself I'd do better by setting some intentions for 2017. 

More blogging. 

More self-portraits. 

More vulnerability.

I thought about writing more blog posts and taking more self-portraits. 

I thought about showing up and being seen.

But instead.

I hid out.

Self-portrait in my new home | Austin, TX | Oct 2017

Self-portrait in my new home | Austin, TX | Oct 2017

Well, here we are.  Another new year.

Another attempt at intentions.

At doing better.

And more blogging and self-portraits and showing up and being seen.

So, here I am.  Again.

I can only go up from here.

Right?

 

XO

 

P.S. At the time, I hated it, but this self-portrait has really grown on me.  I almost love it now.  Maybe in a year, I'll feel the same way about the one here.

P.P.S. Dear sweet and loyal clients.  I really am planning and hoping to find time to do more client blog posts.  Y'all are all so lovely and deserve a moment to shine.

Showing up by Shana Berenzweig

 

 

 

"Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen."

Brene Brown

Self-portrait with my squad | Austin, TX | April 2017

Self-portrait with my squad | Austin, TX | April 2017

I wrote about this on Instagram yesterday, but since I'm trying this whole blogging thing now, figured I should share here, too.  Right?

So, I'm not really big on resolutions, but at the start of the year, I was inspired by the quote above to set some intentions for 2017.  Not really big on self-portraits either, but since growing as a photographer was also on the intentions wish list, here I am, showing up and letting myself be seen.

Confessions: I only took this photo because of a workshop I've been taking and should be posting it simply because I like it, not because of the teacher's positive feedback (and confidence it gave me). I also took an embarrassing amount of shots to get this halfway decent one that I only kinda sorta like. That nice gallery wall is the only wall decorated in that room.

While only a baby step, gonna keep trying this whole showing up and letting myself be seen in all its good, bad, and ugliness. 👊🏻

XO

 

Promises I don't intend to keep by Shana Berenzweig

Blogging.  A journal.  Whatever y'all want to call it, I'm givin' it a-go. 

Again.

I tried once upon a time, but it quickly fizzled out. 

And that may happen again.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This time around, though, I'm only giving myself one rule.

And that'll be that there will be no rules. 

Daily or weekly posts?

No, thanks.

Gonna post when I feel like it.  No more, no less.

I might write some words along with posting pictures. 

Or I might not.

I'll definitely be sharing more of my client work.

And I'll definitely be sharing other things, too. 

But that's it. That's all I really know for sure.

'Cause simply said, not gonna make any promises that I don't intend to keep.

Other than being myself.

Oh, and sharing more photos of my dog than y'all probably care to see.

Sweet Frankie | Big Sur, CA | July 2016

If y'all are new to me and my work, learn a little more about me here.

I don't expect there to be lots of readers.  But to those who do follow along, thanks, I'm very grateful for y'alls support. 

Now go have a happy weekend, friends!  See y'all when I see y'all.

XO