I’ve always struggled with the concept of settling. I couldn’t understand why a person wouldn’t always strive to be their best. It took changing my whole life to understand that I hadn’t even touched the surface of knowing what my best might look like. Honestly, I still don’t think I know exactly what it looks like. I guess for me it means making an effort to try to reach for things that I want.  It means challenging my self-image and trying not to get lost in a fog of arrogance and entitlement.

I know it might sound a little goofy, but I’ve been trying a new thing lately. I’m sure that there is a fancy word for it, but basically, it’s just being the person that I want to be. Instead of trying to change I just tell myself that today I will act a certain way and I will accomplish whatever that day’s goals might be. It doesn’t alway work, but it’s incredibly satisfying when it does.

I’ve never really understood that phrase settle down until recently, it seemed to me like people were just giving up when they decided to settle. By definition, it means to sink to the bottom. I’m beginning to understand that my restlessness is my own and something much deeper. I don’t judge anyone for the way they decide to navigate the river. In a strange way, I feel like I’ve been trying to settle down myself lately. I’m trying to spend my days in the moment to see what will come out of it.

Lately, I think a lot about slowing my life down. I’m trying to focus on what is directly in front of me, rather than the things that I hope to reach in my future. A lot of time I feel like am running full speed towards everything that I want without taking the time to see that I may be passing the things that I will need to reach my destination.

I’m trying to figure out who I am in all of the flurry of the thing that I call Roadlyfe. I truly enjoy sharing my thoughts and images with this ever deepening void of the internet. I just put this out with the hopes that some of you will pick it up and enjoy looking at it. I’ve been spending days and weeks just out in the woods lately, trying to find peace and watching the wildlife wander by. This must be my favorite time of year because honestly, every day seems like paradise.

Sticking to the small back roads of Western America and Central Canada for the last month has allowed my mind to open up to the vast expanse of beauty that is at my fingertips. Taking chances on where I stay at night, by following forestry roads further and further back has improved my outdoor experience ten fold.

I want to find balance in my ambition and the enjoyment that I get out of the part of my life. I want to find balance between pushing myself to take that next better photo to share with you and laying in my hammock next to the lake and enjoying the breeze. I want to find balance between the person that I am today the person that I want to become.

All the photos in this post were taken in Yosemite National Park, I spent ten days there recently. I drove out every night and camped for free in the National Forest, it was paradise. The photo above is of National Park Ranger Shelton Johnson, he was mesmerizing a crowd with a bear talk when I took this picture. He and every other national park ranger are American heroes in my opinion. Our national parks system is the backbone of what makes America truly amazing.








And lastly, a couple of pictures of my sweet little house, looking beautiful. Onward and upward.



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Please remember to reach out! I would love to hear from you. If there’s a spot you think I should check out, you’d like to spend an afternoon shooting photos or just want to chat, post a comment here or send me a message on Facebook. Oh, and please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @roadlyfe to stay in the loop! You can also email me at adam@roadlyfe.com.

Just wanted to note that every image I post on this blog is available for print under the same pricing guidelines as everything else in my store! Please just email me or leave a comment below if you have any questions!

All words and images © Adam Smith 2016.

Author Adam Smith

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • I love following your travels on Instagram! And your photos are awesome. I see ‘settling’ and ‘settling down’ as separate things. Settling down is not better or worse than any other way of being, just different. And opens up different possibilities. Different challenges and rewards. I am a happily settled person at the moment, but I must say a little jealous of your nomadic wanderings through magnificent nature. I hope, health be with me, to be a bit more nomadic again some day.

  • jim says:

    Lovely post Adam. I agree – it’s hard to know when we should keep chasing and when we are running past it.

  • Chris says:

    Great stuff brother! I love being with you on these adventures as you share. Its a great thing to be able to connect with the wild world and one’s own soul in the way that you do. The messages are heartwarming. Tons of individuals which walk this earth are separated from it…sad state. They can’t hear the call or feel the divine in the manner in which you do. It’s a blessing to be able to ‘just live’ and to do so amongst the magnificent is a gift from Heaven. Enjoy yourself brother as I know you have been. Your’e right where you need to be.

    I totally get it– the wild spaces call me by name. There’s an ever present peace and such a depth in many of these beautiful landscapes and wild corners. I feel like I just belong. Just sitting and soaking it all in….is all I could ask for. To know you’re chasing it everyday…has certainly put you at a level that many of us can’t fathom. Keep living your dream brother. Appreciate you.

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