Hello future friends. My name is Sophie. I post semi frequently on my "film" TikTok (the_chaotic_creative). I am working on mastering photography, but more specifically video/filmography. I've always had a love for storytelling in all forms. But lately I am finding myself leaning towards writing and film the most.
I recently moved from East Coast (Philadelphia suburbs!) to Colorado. However I spent nearly the first decade of my life in a small town called Alpine (TX), about an hour and a half away from Big Bend and the border of Mexico. I am very fortunate to have grown up in such different locations and to have that kind of contrast in my life!
This summer, inbetween jobs and moving from PA to CO, I took a couple months to chill and travel. Almost all of it was solo, which was new to me besides day trips. I was very nervous and overthought a LOT of it the first few weeks despite it being pretty mundane in that time slot. But I have learned a lot and figured out how and what to prioritize for my safety and comfort. I have sorted out what comes first and what kind of boundaries and also flexibilities I have when being alone in new unfamiliar places. During the bulk of my solo travel, I was 19. As a young female who despite growing up very independent... I was nervous to spread my wings and not only move to a new place thousands of miles away from my family... But to take designated time away from the norm and explore by myself.
With my not so trusty hand me down camera, I spent the bulk of July inbetween PA, VA, MD and WV. I visited Assateague National Seashore (and Chincoteague!) and had a beautiful time seeing the wildlife and exploring both the beach dunes and marsh. I also spent brief time in Shenedoah National Park as well as River Gorge National Park. This East Coast part of my travel was split up pretty evenly between times of isolation and times of seeing family and friends. It was my "goodbye tour" as I made my rounds before moving.
My drive to CO was brief and intense. I explored very little on the way due to my anxiety. I felt isolated and disconnected. I was intently aware of the slots of time where I wasn't close to anyone I knew as I drove through the midwest. I wish I could go back now and coach myself into enjoying it more.
Upon arriving to my new home in Colorado, I found myself antsy. Very impulsively about a week after my initial move in day... I planned and executed a 12 day roadtrip up through Wyoming, some of Idaho and Montana. I was terrified. I knew I wanted to travel, and I hadn't seen this part of the country before. However my fear of the unknown was nearly crippling as I sloppily created a timeline the night before I left. I would've canceled the whole thing, but I had a few airbnbs throughout the trip that I had booked that were not refundable (lol!).
I pushed myself out the door bright and early, realized my car was quite possibly leaking oil... Prayed to a higher power about that issue... Went to Walmart and bought multiple bottles of car oil and hopped in my car and hoped for the best. In hindsight? Questionable. Stupid if you take in my lack of car knowledge.
This 12 day trip was rough, I'm not going to lie. I hit up Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier. I had absolutely no thoughts in advance about the fact these are quite popular parks in the summer months! It was swamped and I was stressed the first few days. But I soon learned to go to bed early, wake up at 4 am and spend at least a couple solid hours in parks before the huge rushes came in. I found peace I the early mornings and the sunrises. I journaled alone by rivers and spent a lot of time kicking myself about forgetting to download my trail and road directions before I lost cell service.
12 days alone. Not many 19 year olds have experienced that. But that trip was necessary for my growth as a human. I found much confidence in my intuition and problem solving in those 2 weeks. I pushed myself very hard outside of my comfort zone, and the living I did through that left me feeling very fulfilled and inspired for the months to come in my next chapter of life.
Now? I am job hunting in my new home. Not excited about it, however I have goals and I am prepared to work hard to achieve then. I would love to save enough to do something similar next year- traveling 2-3 months without going broke. International travel is also something I'm trying my hardest to do more. I have a bold dream of going to Antarctica before 21. More realistically I am also hoping to spend a few weeks in Iceland. But no matter what, I am finding peace through solo day trips in my new home state. I am very privileged to be within 3 hours of a lot of things. Rocky Mountain National Park, Eldorado State Park, Pikes Peak, Loveland Pass, Colorado Springs and so much more. I will not let myself grow restless even if I'm grounded financially for a while.
I am continuing to work on my photography and filmography and can't wait to shoot in new places both in and out of state!
As I am a young person... What are some things that you wish you knew in your early twenties? What do you wish the important people in your life had told you?