thankful in vancouver | on film

there is something very healing to me about traveling. it offers a reprieve from the regular, a refresh for your mind. when things get hard, i often have this urge to flee to the coast or a new city for a few days to think it out. 

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this urge came to me last november -- it actually comes to me every november, usually around the time of thanksgiving. on the night before thanksgiving in 2010, i lost my grandmother. i was 14 at the time and she felt like my entire world. i was a freshman at a new high school and only just beginning to understand what was happening inside my mind, what i was learning was anxiety and depression. this loss affected my mental state profoundly and i got worse. eight years on, the thanksgiving holiday still feels wrong.

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elliott and i never know what to do for thanksgiving. we don't have any family in the pacific northwest, and flights home are expensive. we truly don't need much to have a good holiday -- we're pretty satisfied with some good pasta and each other's company. but last year we decided to do something different, and take a little trip to a place that, we forgot to realize, doesn't even celebrate thanksgiving. 

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we found the cutest airbnb with a sweet family and cute cat, and drove up to vancouver, bc for a few days. for me, there's nothing not to love about vancouver; between gastown, granville island, and stanley park, there's more than enough to wander through -- with more than enough for your next visit. 

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for this trip, i decided against bringing my 6D and opted instead for one of my film cameras and a roll of portra 400. it helped with the healing i was looking for on this trip -- it kept me squarely in the moment, not allowing me to criticize a shot or edit it immediately. i certainly wouldn't say i'm the most adept with film, but over the years i have found great satisfaction in playing with the medium and developing my own photos, and i try to bring at least one roll when i travel.

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among the myriad things i have to be grateful for, elliott counts for about 25 of them. he went along with my entire itinerary, probably knowing that i'd give up on half of it. he hunted for foreign junk food with me -- ketchup chips are our weakness, and you better believe we stocked up before the drive home. 

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it was on this drive home that we talked about + picked my engagement ring from an artist online, which i got to wear six months later :-) this trip meant and still means the world to me, and i'm beyond grateful to have these film photos to look back on. as this november approaches i can feel that urge to get away start to bubble up again, but i'm not quite sure where that feeling will take us yet.