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Christmas Light Shows

Guiding Light…

December 7, 2015 5 min read No Comments

This post is going to have a lot of photos so bare with me…

Over the last several days I have been thinking a lot about roads, sounds like that would be the simplest thing to think about but hear me out:

I have traveled to five continents, dozens of countries and nearly all 50 states. And I have traveled some roads. But during my time traveling I have always heard “it isn’t about the destination it is the journey” but for the last several days I have felt kind of lost. I have questioned what am I doing out here? And if I lost my way?

But don’t people all lose their way eventually? I have seen so many people lose their way because something or somewhere has distracted them from what they originally set their minds too. So at some point don’t we all lose our way?

After leaving the Rocky Mount area we made our way across to Outer Banks. I was excited to be back in an area I knew a little, now I haven’t spend a huge amount of time here but it was rather familiar to me. The best part was I knew I was close to home..


Now that the world is in full holiday swing I wanted to go and find something more holiday related. So once we got settled in for the night I went to find a Christmas light show that was being held at the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo.PAH_6948

I used to walk around the Norfolk Botanical Gardens nearly every year I was there. I would take my camera, put my headphones in and just enjoy spending time around all the lights winding through the gardens. Well this garden might not be a “million bulb walk” like Norfolk but I was amazed by the gardens themselves! I felt like I was walking around the gardens of Versailles but this one is decked out in beautiful holiday lights!


This was the first time in what felt like forever I was able to just walk around and take pictures, to be the artistic nerd! It was such a liberating feeling and honestly it was the first time I felt like I was at peace. So many moments in my day-to-day life I feel like I all my nerves are on hyper sensitive overload but walking around the gardens and reconnecting with my true artistic side I felt like I was me again.


Once I re-accustomed myself to being me again I started really flowing with my ideas and that is when I really started to produce pictures that I can proudly say are some astounding images and they are all mine.


As I walked through the gardens feeling more like myself, I realized that I was lost. I didn’t know what direction I had already explored in the gardens and where I wanted to go next…”not all who wonder are lost” that is when I really discovered a different aspect of that saying. It was because I was lost that I found so many more beautiful things to photograph. Angles I never would have seen had I not been lost. What a moment of clarity!


Following the winding paths, taking in every detail, I found myself continually distracted by the night sky. I sat on the edge of the fountain (featured above) and looking back through my photos I saw that I went from shoot at ground level to slowly but surly angling my photos more towards the sky. The stars were shining nearly as brightly as the Christmas lights!


That got me thinking about roads again. This time not roads that you can drive upon but roads that you would sail. Using the stars to find your way is one of the oldest means of navigation. All of these things all seemed to relate back to the same theme…wondering but not lost.


I think it was just a reminder to me that sometimes it is okay to feel lost, because if you aren’t lost you may not find something about yourself…something you never knew before. Maybe it is good that people lose their way. Because when they do find their way again they will have so much more to offer, advice, experience, skills, stories, adventures and life lessons.


This area of the garden was really entrancing to me. It was like a scene out of a fairy tale, with the detailed iron work of the table and chairs. Or how the lights set the mood or maybe it was how you had to once again get completely lost to find this hidden enchanting scene. PAH_6979

Once again my eyes were turn towards the sky. To anyone who knew me as a child would know I have always had a deep love for two things (outside of photography) Astronomy and marine biology. My mom used to make a joke when it came time for us to start our annual science fair projects because she knew that I would choose a subject within those two categories. Two extreme depths, to the seemingly bottomless, undiscovered ocean. To the endless universe, where scientists are continually finding more and more hidden universes and galaxies.  Both of these areas were fascinating to me as a child and I am thankful that I still carry those same fascinations with me in my adult life.  PAH_7013

Because a combination of both of those fascinations, along with my theme of “not all those who wonder are lost” with my love of compasses and lighthouses tying everything together brought me here…PAH_7118

On my way back to the hotel from the light show I decided to take a photographic adventure to see what I could find. And what I discovered was…awe inspiring! This image of Bodie Island Lighthouse maybe one of the best pictures of my photographic career but how it completely encompasses everything I was thinking and feeling, metaphorically and symbolically, showed me that I am exactly where I am supposed to be…I am here.

Traveling Photographer Out!


The things I love the most...Wine, traveling, and photography! Join me on my adventures as I travel the world and share my experiences as I travel with my daughter, top places to visit and how to travel on a budget!

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The Backpacker Mom

Hey there! I'm Phylicia, but you probably know me as "The Backpacker Mom." As a passionate wine educator and travel blogger, my daughter and I embark on exciting adventures around the world, sipping wine and creating unforgettable memories together. Join us on our wonderful adventures around the globe! Read More Here

Phylicia & Harmony

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