A look Back at my Post-Grad Trip to North Carolina

Travel Blog N°1 | I share this life with mountains

It was in my junior year of college when I realized that I REALLY loved making films. I had gone into college with the resolution to study psychology and write screenplays as a hobby. However, it was in junior year that I started skipping classes to edit films. I had realized that I didn’t want my passion to just be this thing I did on the side. I wanted my passion to be what I devoted the majority of my time to. I wanted to be able to wake up everyday, and be absolutely certain that it was something I was going to work on that day.

I had realized that I didn’t want my passion to just be this thing I did on the side.

In senior year of college, I had already started working as a Junior Video Producer in my university’s communications department and was being paid to do what I loved. But I still felt frustrated whenever I had to spend time studying or writing an essay for my classes and was eager to graduate so I could finally begin my full-on sprint into filmmaking!

However, that wasn’t what happened. Graduation came, and what was supposed to be this blast off into my “real life” kind of just fizzled out. Instead, I found myself feeling lost and stuck in still water as if realizing that this was it… this is going to be the rest of my life now.

That’s when my girlfriend, Cassie, and I decided that we should go on a trip to forget about our responsibilities for a while and celebrate our exiting of the educational system. We agreed on three goals for our trip.

  1. Travel by plane — because we wanted to gain some distance from our homes.
  2. See some big a** mountains — to help us with goal #3.
  3. Gain a sense of scale! — in order to help us realize that in the grand scheme of things, our worries and problems are fairly irrelevant. So we shouldn’t really be sweatin’ it.

And that’s how we decided to go to North Carolina — home to the Blue Ridge Mountains! (Also the fact that it was extremely affordable.)

Taking a flight down to Raleigh from JFK, we were lucky enough to be able to stay with Cassie’s Aunt and Uncle for the first leg of our trip and get ourselves organized. After staying the night with two very territorial Chihuahuas, we were off on a trek to our campsite on the other side of North Carolina! Behind the wheel of our rental car, packed with camping equipment from REI, we were already excited to see mountains on the horizon: a teaser of what was to come.

The view from our campsite!

Sunrise is my favorite time of day. I just get this feeling of awe as I literally watch the day start. So much is about to happen right after this single glorious starting line. With our first two days spent traveling to-and-across North Carolina, we were itching for adventure. So we had planned to jump right in with an early morning trip to Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi, to see the sunrise.

When you’re at such a high altitude in the morning, there is fog everywhere! It was almost impossible to see the road ahead of us as we drove up a winding road right on the edge of the mountain cliffs. Mount Mitchell State Park only opens at 7AM, so we found ourselves parked on the side of the foggy road right at the entrance to the park, which is still quite a ways up the mountain. It was FREEZING! I was wearing the shorts I had packed for the North Carolina summer heat, and remember pulling my socks as far up as they could go to try and compensate. But once the sun began to rise, it was all worth it! There’s something different about seeing the sunrise from the top of a mountain. It’s just simply.. EPIC!

After that sunrise, we continued to drive from mountain to mountain and I can hardly remember the specifics of each location! But I remember feeling surprised to my reaction of seeing all of these looming titans around me. There was this solitude I had found while being supported above the rest of the world and being able to see for miles around, where other mountains stood beside us along the horizons. I had gone on this trip to feel small. I wanted to feel insignificant so I wouldn’t worry about having to face the life that I would have to walk ahead of me. But that’s not the feeling I was left with at all. What I felt instead with this feeling of purpose.

A big misconception people have is that it’s the world against us and the odds are inevitably in favor of the world. But that’s just not true! There is so much to this world and we are very much a PART of it. We share this world with so many incredible things and have been given the chance to walk amongst the greats. And while it’s true that in the grand scheme of things, our lives are tiny, tiny, tiny fragments of the universe… we are still a part of that incomprehensibly giant thing! What we do can effect that, and no matter how small that may seem to be, that reverberation is GIANT!

A big misconception people have is that it’s the world against us and the odds are inevitably in favor of the world.

It’s foolish to ever think that “this is it… this is going to be the rest of my life now.” There is just too much out there. It’s impossible to know exactly what lies ahead, but I know that it will NEVER be just this. I took this trip one year ago after I graduated from college. Over that year I have worked full-time as a Video Producer for a Non-Profit Agency, self-produced a mini-documentary, and am currently trying to kick off an educational/inspirational YouTube series. But more importantly, I know that there is still always more to come and I can’t wait!

A Travel Film I made about my trip (2016)