Beyond the Road

Note: Some of these pictures of the GoPro and us we give credit to Charlie Evans!

Day 61 - Emily’s Entry - June 12 – 3:42pm – The Somerset at Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

It’s funny how Home takes on meaning. Home becomes the place you belong when the world is tough. The most comforting thought at the end of a long, weary day is, “Let’s go Home.”

It’s strange on this journey to have so many places we call Home, because when we pack up and prepare to leave, suddenly this Holy place almost feels foreign. It feels that way for us when the tent is rolled up and the car is packed.  You may know every light switch, corner, and quirk of a place, but on move out day when your stuff is gone and the place is quiet, this place most familiar to you may as well be a deserted land.

It’s not the walls, location, and things that make Home. For me, Home can be a tent, camp stove, and anywhere. It’s the noises, the feeling of belonging, the people, and what you make of it that gives anything meaning.

Day 64 - Corey’s Entry – June 16 – 8:05pm – Jacksonville, Florida

Critser family vacations are always interesting. There were eleven of us including a sweet baby girl. We stayed on Grace Bay where the water is ever clear and crystal blue. We were on a boat in water 60 feet deep and could still see the coral reef below. It was incredible.

Emily and I played with the idea of moving down to the Caribbean for a while and opening a photo hut on the beach. How great would that be?! Island life is relaxed and easy going. When you’re thirsty, just knock down a coconut and have a glass of coconut rum. Hungry? Dive in the ocean, grab a conch, and make cerviche.

During this trip, we spent time with our nieces and nephew. I watched Sylvester (12) catch a barracuda, taught Ebba (7) how to ride a skim board, and glimpsed into the future watching Emily hold baby Silvia (1), and I wasn’t scared.

A bit of sad news: I shaved the beard. I really enjoyed having that beard. I think more people disliked it, but that’s not why I shaved it. Our trip is taking us to some very warm places soon. It was nice to have my beard in the cooler climates, but it will feel much better without it in the hot weather.

I laid on the beach and finally tried to read my book that I’ve carried this entire trip, and I realized I really have a hard time relaxing and doing nothing. I like to always keep busy by doing something constructive. Eventually, I put my mind at ease and took stock of life.

Turks and Caicos was just what we needed. We had time to stop working on the company, the trip, and thinking where we’re going to live. After fifty straight days of shooting and being on the road, it’s nice to have a break.

Back on Signal Mountain, we packed up the car. Like turning on a switch, I was back in traveling mode. We hugged and kissed my parents goodbye and watched my mother wave from the side porch (her perch) as my black lab Boudreaux (who lives at my parents’ house / it’s a long story) barked and chased our car down the driveway. My mom always watches us leave. Soon we would be in Jacksonville, FL then fly to Henderson, KY for more family and good times!

Together with a culture of work, there must be a culture of leisure as gratification. To put it another way: people who work must take the time to relax, to be with their families, to enjoy themselves, read, listen to music, play a sport.
— Pope Francis