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Adventures with Allee Graziano!

Allee Graziano
Location: Banff National Park - Alberta, Canada

I met this gem of a lady at a festival last August. One week later Brittney and I were hitting the road, complete strangers, me, her and everything I owned crammed into my Jetta, which would be our home for the next four weeks.

This was taken on our first day in Canada, about three weeks into our trip. We had maybe slept in a bed one night since leaving, living off coffee and whatever we scrounged up from our “food box.” It was the most sleep deprived and blissfully happy I’d ever been...

Our journey commenced in Los Angeles, heading north through California, Oregon, and Washington, eventually arriving in Alberta, Canada where we spent four chilly but wonderful days exploring Banff National Park.

I could tell you about all the beautiful places in these photos, but the piece of all this I will remember most are the friendships and good conversations that occured between the shots.

With thousands of miles of open road both ahead, and behind us, we had a lot of time to pass. When we weren’t jamming to our favorite songs with the sunroof open and the music blasting, we talked. We talked a lot about how we’d arrived at this point in our lives, both driven by adventure, travel, and exploring the wonders of nature. And we discovered that we both attributed our constant desire, our insatiable need, to be in nature to a concept we termed "re-wilding."

Turns out a lot of people are talking about "re-wilding," "earthing" or otherwise the process of reconnecting to the Earth, the energy of the Earth, and on a greater scale, our Universe. Getting back to our roots. The way we used to exist, with an instinctual connection to the life around us.

Whether we were backpacking 20 miles into the Enchantments wilderness in Washington, or kayaking Bow Lake through a sunrise snowfall, we were feeling it. The life all around us, unimpeded by cell phone service, crowds or any distraction. Just pure existence.

I genuinely believe that this is where we are meant to be, and that the root of the dissatisfaction we see all around us comes from a lack of connection. We are organic, biological beings, we are mass and energy. We are light, and we are of the Earth. So when did we forget all of this and begin believing that we somehow exist separately from it? Somewhere in the development of homes, doors and windows, electricity, and the internet, we sectioned off our lives from the living world around us.

But no phone, no job, no amount of money, no perfect apartment, or perfect view from behind any window has ever or will ever give me the joy I’ve felt from being in places like these. And no matter how new or un-explored a place I arrive at, it always feels like coming home.

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