Please welcome our new ModernJeeper contributor/author and grand traveler Kristen and her beautiful traveling pal, Winter.
HI! WE ARE KRISTEN & WINTER!
“Winter” is a sweet Siberian Husky pup and I’m a lifestyle/commercial photographer. Together we are @waywardexplorers.
Wayward is defined as headstrong, unpredictable, erratic, or conforming to no fixed rule or pattern. The word is deeply meaningful to us and perfectly represents the true heart behind what we do.
Roamers at heart, we’ve been “Jeepin” for almost two years now in our 2015 JKU Rubicon. Last Spring we lived out of the Jeep for an entire month while wheeling all over Utah and Colorado.
Most of our adventures include off-roading, overlanding and exploring places off the beaten path. Hiking has truly become such a form of therapy for us both. The mountains and desert are our happy places and we love encouraging others to get outside and find special places of their own.
Our story isn’t the typical “Instagram photographer” narrative. I didn’t join social media to become an influencer or to gain any following. Honestly this all happened because an anxious pup met an anxious human and somehow that makes us both wildly fearless.
I’ve dealt with anxiety most of my life and nothing ever seemed to help… that was until I met Winter. She was a ball of nerves the day I picked her up. I wondered if she would ever trust me or let me in. I didn’t know how to bond with her or break down the barriers she built. She’s come such a long way since then and even though I socialized her extremely well, still her fear of humans lingers occasionally in our daily lives.
I think the most unique thing about our relationship is that we compensate where the other is lacking. Winter has championed a courage in me that I never even knew existed. I’m constantly in awe of how we mutually challenge each other to push our own comfort zones.
She teaches me to be brave, I teach her that it’s OK to be tender. Our mutual worries are still to this day incredibly ironic to even me. Winter, or “Winnie” as we call her, will literally scale a mountains edge without hesitation, yet hide from a tall man at a coffee shop. I can travel across the country entirely by myself with zero fear, yet sometimes the thought of leaving my house is enough to spur a full on panic attack.
I guess my point is that we are all such complex beings. I think where we find solace most is in those who make us feel less alone, understood and allow us to be completely ourselves.
That’s Winnie and I: no false pretenses and nothing to hide from each other. It’s just her and I miraculously existing at the same moment in time and space, exploring together as divergent souls who have somehow found each other in all this chaos.
Let me just say, I feel incredibly thankful to be on this forum and writing for such incredible folks. The significance is not lost on me. I want to make this a positive and encouraging space to share our unique experiences with each other. I truly can’t wait to learn more from you all and follow your individual Jeeping journeys!
FOLLOW US AT: https://www.instagram.com/waywardexplorers/