Travel · Yosemite National Park · February 2017

Before I begin this blog post, I just wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Happy New Year! If you follow me on Instagram and happened to stumble upon this post from early January, you would know that I recently started a full-time job in a clinical lab. Things on my end have been great. Yes, I've been finding myself quite exhausted at times, but I'm truly grateful to have this opportunity and have already learned so much. Going into this job, I knew that my longer-term travels would have to go on pause for the time being, but it was a necessary move to make in further finding myself and taking that initial step in my professional career. Photography will always be there for me, and that's what's so great about it -- it's not going anywhere away from me. That said, after a good month and a half, it definitely felt good to pick up my camera again.

In the midst a busy, fast-paced lifestyle that the San Francisco Bay Area brings, it's always necessary to unwind and kick back, often times somewhere away from the bay. This brings me to my first mini-trip of 2017, in none-other than Yosemite National Park. With my new job taking up a good chunk of the first one-and-a-half months of 2017, it was only fitting.

As just mentioned, this was my first mini-trip of 2017. While that could also be said for the group I was with, it was also a trip of many other firsts. I went with two good friends, Kat and Lih, both whom had never been to Yosemite National Park before. On top of that, it had been years that Kat had seen fresh snow. I knew that they had seen my hundreds of photos posted to social media, but prior to entering the park, I told them that the awe and wonder of this place couldn't ever be summed up in the form of a still image or video -- there was a reason as to why people keep coming back over and over. 

Whenever in Yosemite, I can't help but believe that at least one prevailing idea comes to the minds to all who visit - the idea that we are small. In our normal, everyday lives, everything seems to revolve around us: where we are going for the day, what we are doing, what we will eat, who or what we will interact with. Coming to Yosemite brings me back home, in a sense where I am able to remember that there are much greater things out there that need to be cared for, and that these things are much bigger than any of us - poverty, starvation, racism, sexism, global warming, anything. It gives me the proper grounds to take in a breath of fresh air and simply reflect. 

One of my initial hopes during this Yosemite trip, for this time of the year, was to see the fabled "fire falls" in all of their glory. Unfortunately, due to weather conditions, the intermittent clouds ended up being way too thick for the sun's light to hit horsetail falls as it was setting. A bit of a bummer, given that there was nothing but sunny skies during the week (when we were all working), but there's always next time. All in all, despite us being there only for the weekend, I know that the memories made and conversations had were definitely some things I will hold with me for quite some time.