How to be Alone Pt.2

Welcome back to the my writings. I’m currently in Boise, Idaho. After over two years of not posting to this blog, I hope to find the consistency to share my thoughts in writing as I continue to grow up and figure out what it means to be and adult in this world. Hopefully these public writings will also serve as a community space and more selfishly a public record that I was here. I am alive. 

Having wrapped up my job in Oregon almost a month ago, I have hit the stretch of my summer plans where outside of a few pre-planned trips I will be spending many of my travel days alone. And as someone who thrives inside of the communities that I’ve built around me, this definitely isn’t the easiest thing for me to do. And yet, for some reason, I keep being drawn to the road and the places it leads. 

I’ve learned that while living out of my car, a  2002 Toyota Prius, life can feel very free.

The build out

The full ride

Sometimes too free. Should I do this hike or that one? Drive all the way to this next town, but at what cost of gas? Oh also and I need to eat food at some point today what should that be? All of the freedoms this provides gets me into a type of decision paralysis that at my worst I’ve  coped with by mindlessly reading the news, staring out the window wishing for a future or past date to come to me, or just “planning” without any actual results. When I was working and able to explore with coworkers on the weekends, the travels were enjoyable.



Ilan + Meghan


Otherwise I realized I was having a hard time being alone. I began to spend a lot of time thinking on how I could be better at being alone. I started journaling my ideas and reading blogs from other travelers but wasn’t finding any true answers that felt tangible in their results. Continuing my search for answers, I started to reread some of my old writings and to my surprise, I realized that I had written on this topic before.

The answers I needed were lost knowledge. 

Connect with your community. Find your Routine. Express your emotions. Embrace being alone.

Having revisited my writings, I’d like to add more of observations into their meaning.

Connect with your community - This used to be solely focused on those that I had traveled away from, keeping up with the many people I love back in my various homes. It should be added that this also means the community that is around you in each new place you visit. Each city, local brewery/coffee shop, and especially campgrounds. Yes, we want to stay connected with many people in our life, but the reality is, it is harder to do that when you don’t see people. So don’t neglect the people that are right there around you. People in coffee shops have given me great recommendations for places to visit. People in parking lots have been a great conversation while we share a mango. And people at campgrounds have shared food, drinks and many laughs. Talk to people and connect with the many sides of humanity. Sure we may never meet some of these people again, but I believe that in someway we will see some of them down the road of life. So call a friend. Text a friend. Heck, run into a friend that just happens to be in the same town you are in. Anything that reminds you that while you are out here “alone” you have a large community around you. 

Sharing a Mango

Hans :)

Campsite Homies

Find your Routine - The wisdom of my friend Hannah still rings true. Build a routine that allows for flexibility to weave itself in. My routine looks a lot different now that I’m not based out of a house but at it’s heart there are a few key components to my routine that allow me to be as close to my best self. 

Exercise - A trail run, a hike, a workout in the local park, trying the local climbing gym. Do something that moves my body and usually do this first thing in the morning after breakfast. It isn’t overly hot in the day yet and will set me up with good momentum to get moving in the day.

Learning/Try Something New- Currently I’m working on improving my Spanish. Reading, Writing, Listening, and hardest of all speaking the new language is a struggle. But each new word and phrase helps me feel like today I was able to accomplish something good. Also look at the local community event board and do something different. Go to a concert, a art gathering, a dance party. Just do something that will get you out into a new environment. 

Connection to Community - (See above)

Fuel Yourself- While I’m on the road I can often forget to eat the amount I need to. Taking time each day to actually make a meal and not just snack means I am set up to perform in all the above activities at a high level. 

Rest - When you live out of your car and are trying new things each day you must know when you have to just sit and rest and recharge. For me this could be finding a place to nap outside listening to some of my favorite music, reading a book, or swimming in some water. Yes there are many fun things to see and do in the world, but if you don’t have the energy, just rest. Otherwise, your body will make you rest at some other inconvenient time. 

Create/Express - (see below)

Remember - Taking the time to journal is important to staying in the moment. Each night writing something small helps me ground myself in this experience and all that it has to offer me. Otherwise these memories will all fade into the montage of our life without any specificity saved to the memories the emotions and experiences that made each of these moments special. 

Not all of these things will happen each day. But combining a few into the day can help me find a direction of where to take the day. Leading to many unexpected meetings with people and serendipitous joys around unknown corners. 

Express your emotions - I think it is well known that withholding your emotions can cause you pressurize like a shaken soda bottle. We might think that all has been okay, but eventually, the cap will burst and soak not only us, but probably the people around us. So we need to express the highs the lows and all the in-betweens. Most of the time this is done for me in my photography, but as I continue to learn the guitar I find I also can express my thoughts musically. I have finally written a complete song and I hope to continue to do more. I also am starting to appreciate all the friends that are available when I just need to talk it out. Your attention and listening are appreciated. 

A lovely stranger took this photo for me

Embrace being alone - Lastly I want to share a poem I came across recently in a video while trying to teach myself how to be alone. I’ll copy it here to read, but I recommend that you watch a lovely video put together by it’s author. 

HOW TO BE ALONE by Tanya Davis

 If you are at first lonely, be patient. If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find it’s fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We could start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library. Where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books. You’re not supposed to talk much anyway so it’s safe there. 

 There’s also the gym. If you’re shy you could hang out with yourself in mirrors, you could put headphones in (guitar stroke). 

 And there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places. 

 And there’s prayer and meditation. No one will think less if you’re hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

 Start simple. Things you may have previously (electric guitar plucking) based on your avoid being alone principals.

 The lunch counter. Where you will be surrounded by chow-downers. Employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town and so they – like you – will be alone. 

 Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

 When you are comfortable with eat lunch and run, take yourself out for dinner. A restaurant with linen and silverware. You’re no less intriguing a person when you’re eating solo dessert to cleaning the whipped cream from the dish with your finger. In fact some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it is dark and soothing. Alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.
And then, take yourself out dancing to a club where no one knows you. Stand on the outside of the floor till the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no one’s watching…because, they’re probably not. And, if they are, assume it is with best of human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats is, after all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating, and beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things, down your back like a brook of blessings. 

Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you.
Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there’re always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might’ve never happened had you not been there by yourself 

Society is afraid of alonedom, like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements, like people must have problems if, after a while, nobody is dating them. but lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless and lonely is healing if you make it. You could stand, swathed by groups and mobs or hold hands with your partner, look both further and farther for the endless quest for company. But no one’s in your head and by the time you translate your thoughts, some essence of them may be lost or perhaps it is just kept. 

Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from preschool over to high school’s groaning were tokens for holding the lonely at bay. Cuz if you’re happy in your head than solitude is blessed and alone is okay. 

It’s okay if no one believes like you. All experience is unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be releived, keeps things interesting lifes magic things in reach. 

And it doesn’t mean you’re not connected, that communitie’s not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it. take silence and respect it. if you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it. if your family doesn’t get you, or religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it. 

you could be in an instant surrounded if you needed it
If your heart is bleeding make the best of it
There is heat in freezing, be a testament.

Thanks for reading. I hope you have gotten something out of this. If you have anything you want to share or add I’d love it if you emailed me here. You can also sign up to my email list at the bottom of this page here.

I also will be updating my print store so It would mean the world to me if you took a look and possibly bought a print supporting me and my art. It’s also just lovely seeing my work out in print in the world. As a thanks for reading this use the code: ALONE for 10% off your order :)

This final image was taken just yesterday. One of the first times in a long time I have felt at peace alone out in the wide world. 

Alone, not lonely :)

Take care and love fiercely and without reservation mi amigos.



Ohio, it’s almost Ohana

I think I should start this off by saying Ohio is my 48th favorite state in the union. It’s few redeeming qualities of its sunsets and afternoon thunderstorms can’t make up for the fact that it is flat, in the way of me reaching home if I were to drive, and well, it just looks plain funny.  So when I was off to Ohio this last week, I didn’t have high hopes for the trip but I knew one thing was there. Family. 

I was travelling to Ohio because this past weekend my cousin Tim got married to his wonderful bride, now husband, Zac. (Note, you have to spell Zac the cute way. So don’t you even think about putting a ‘k’ at the end of that beautiful name). It had been a while since I had seen Tim. The memories that persist are of all the times he would destroy me in bout after bout of Super Smash Brothers Melee with Dr. Mario. Memories that also coincide with being like 15 years old. Needless to say, it had been a while since we last saw each other. Thanks to social media however I have been able to watch him from afar as he documents stunning moments and personal stories of the many people that he is blessed to photograph. Social media gave me this window into his life and that of the many other family members that I would see for the first time in years at this wedding but I could tell  you that it did not prepare me for the Tennessee drawl that Aunt Katie greeted us with upon arrival to the venue. And this is one of the wonderful wonders of weddings. We are reminder of our roots and all those that have played a small role in to loving us into being. We are reminded of family.

Welcome Family

A simple first evening of hangouts was filled with burgers, hugs, and a rousing rendition of 4 corners - big kid version. We talked about the basics of life to get caught up as well as made friends with those of who we did not meet. Stories of old were shared and new memories forged as the weekend just began to get started. But after a long day of travel rest was needed. And as I closed my eyes and tried to block out the sounds of my fathers snoring, it felt good to be surrounded by family.




The next morning we awoke with the schedule at hand. Breakfast. Golf. Rehearsal (,) Dinner. *I put this implied comma (,) here because it was told to me by a good friend Averi, promptly after my awful joke that I had to go rehearse eating that night, that the rehearsal dinner was not a time to practice eating, but two separate ideas. Rehearsal (comma) Dinner. But this punctuation looks weird so we leave it out as an implied comma which if dictated, she decided would look like this. (,)* Okay, now that that is taken care of. I must add one more off topic thought. After our breakfast , we found some racoons in our garbage can. I like to think that after our previous meal the night before we supplied them with a glorious feast for their family.

Home is where the food is

Oh and I can’t forget the sunrise from that morning. Was nice to wake up before the family.


Morning Light

 Next on the list: Golfing. Luckily for me, we were playing in a scramble. And I was paired up with my Uncle Steve, Daryl, and Alex. All who had better golfing experience than I brought to the tee. For the record, this would be my third time golfing in my life a full 18 holes and the last time I did I shot a 168. That was over twice the amount for par… So let’s just say that things were playing right out on que when on my first attempted drive the ball flew in a otherworldly right slice into what my uncle called “the shit.” I decided right then and there we were going to take one club and get better at that one club. Club of choice. 5 Iron. I like to think this plan worked out. By the end of the front nine I had gotten a consistent swing out of the club and was able to put it about 125 yards out. I was proud. I only lost 6 balls in the process. By the end of the round we had even used a few of my shots to help contribute to my teams dominating win at -4. Much thanks to Alex for draining 3 birdie putts on the final 3 holes. All and all, It was a spectacular start to the day and I’m looking forward to the next time I’ll get to play with family. 





The rest of the day we got to enjoy some time out by the lake. Swimming, relaxing, and the overly reckless and boundlessly fun activity of tubing. Or after some review with Michael of his experience tubing next to me, body skipping. I recall how fast the tubing experience went from one of, “Well this is a nice ride.” to “Dear lord water can be feel exactly like concrete.” Thanks Family.

So now it was time to rehearse eating right? Well, it was looking that way. We arrived, mingled, and enjoyed the company of many people. There were games to pass the time; One was quite surprised as Presley held her own in cornhole. Growing ever better as time went on. Then as the festivities were just getting lively, we look to the west and see some darkness setting far earlier than expected. Soon wind drafts begin to come in through the open doors and we realize what’s happening. A storm is a brewing. But that was no stop to the fun. Tim and Zac went out for a photo session in the pouring rain!

You and the Rain

Tim then came back in and proceeded to chase Grandma around the table. It was beautiful chaos! No time is ever straightforward around family.


Come on over

The following morning, more sunrises. More chaos with family.

Sunrise pt.2


Family Mornings

Through which I was able to find some time to show my joy of photography for Presley. With some simple instructions she began firing away taking picture after picture.

Presley’s Captures

Presley’s Captures

 It was a good thing that I had a big SD card. But too bad I didn’t charge my camera up fully the night before. I even got her to sit for a few portraits. Don’t forget to document your family.

Presley Kay

Presley Kay

Now finally the big moment. The wedding. I must say I didn’t expect to cry so much. There was a simplicity and a genuine peace to the atmosphere of the venue that day. To sit there in with all the people around Tim and Zac, it was evident how many people love us into being. All the people that we get to call family.

And then came the party. Loud. Festive. Just right for this group of people. Well… until some got tired. Sorry Fam.

Play Time




During this time I got to pull my Grandmother, and a few others aside for some portraits. Photograph your family.

Grandma Mary

The Ladies of the Fam

Mom and Grandma

Then I had to just step away for a moment. Enjoy the atmosphere from afar. Remind myself how wonderful it has been that of all the people in the cosmos, these people are my family.

Wedding Nights

Big Dip


If my recollection by the end of this has become shorter, well that’s because I’m getting more tired of trying to write all of this out. To avoid having to write of all this is after all of the reasons why I bring a camera. To document these moments. To document my family. Whether it is blood relations, friends we have picked up along the way, or just the larger part of humankind I want to show my love for them by how I document them. Dear Family, I love you. 

See you down the Road

P.S. - I love how short my mother is.

Love ya

Top 10: Week of October 19th, 2020

This week was a good week for me. Artistically and Emotionally I was able to find a lot of joy in the work I was creating. Maybe this was partly due to having a better week of communication with people…

Whatever it is, I spent a lot of time trying to see things differently. Trying to see pictures and scenes as beautiful for what they are. “Not every image needs a person” was a mantra for the week. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t still people watching as I do, but I found the time to just appreciate all the visual beauty around me. Photography after all is just light drawing and the light was making itself available in many beautiful ways this week.

So from portraits, to street, to still life and more, I hope you enjoy this weeks top 10. It was a lot of fun to create over this past week.

Daniel Regalado - 10/23/2020


Light Reflect

Reflect your Vote

Shark Boy

The Edge

Pumpkins :)

Walk Home

Pick up your trash…

Kevin and Venus Carlsen - 10/25/2020

Oh and one last note about the last photo. One of my old houses that I used to live in had a little book for people to sign as a little guest log when they visited. I’ve  taken a love to that idea and put a spin on it so that I’ll take a portrait of those that visit. With a special visit from Kevin as he treks back east, this project is just beginning to unfold. :)



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