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Outward and Inward

In February I was parked outside a laundry mat in California waiting for my clothes to dry while I ate a bowl of cereal and simultaneously checked the e mail on my phone. The sweetest e mail was waiting in my inbox from a girl named Alexa who just happened to live in the San Francisco Bay area, fifty miles outside of my current curbside office. Her young family was visiting Savannah in April, and maybe I'd be back in Savannah in time to take photos of them while they were in town? 

As I got to know Alexa's heart for travel, adventure and authentic stories, I became enchanted with their rituals of traveling and photographing. Alexa and Ryan choose to travel with their young free-spirited and Beatles loving little girls. Narrow lanes and busy subways take them to off-the-beaten-path destinations with their girls in hand because traveling

"..brought me closer to who I am at my essence. I want my girls to watch me routinely get out of my comfort zone and grow through travel so that they see firsthand how transformative it can be. Throughout their lives, I want them know that they can go outward to go inward."

Later, I learned that Alexa and Ryan hire a local professional photographer in every city they visit as a family. They budget for the photographs because "curiosity, bravery and connection" are their families most important values, and they want to capture that through their memories in adventuring around the world. 

I asked Alexa if she wouldn't mind sharing their story and their photographs with you all on this space because I think what her and Ryan are doing is important and truly inspiring.

Why not put your camera phones down and truly be present with your family as you travel knowing that you are hiring a professional to really capture the essence of your trip?  

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A few hours into our cross-country flight I look across the aisle to my three year old. She is watching Cars on the iPad with her Minnie Mouse headphones perched crookedly on her head. She is unexpectedly still and content. Meanwhile, my one and a half year old is a total busy body all over her daddy's lap, having thrown every toy we brought on the floor below. Several times today my husband and I have looked at each other in moments of raw desperation, questioning our sanity for leaving home. But still, our plans to raise our girls to be at home in the wider world remain unchanged. No matter how hard it can be, I am determined to travel as a family as often as we can. We have dubbed such endeavors, “Talbot Family Adventures,” in the hopes that name in encapsulate the discoveries and mishaps that are certain to ensue. 

All of the following photos were taken of the Talbot family by Katie Donnelly Photography in Paris France last September

Every family has rituals that help to communicate their values to the next generation. Some families try to eat together every night. Some go to church on Sundays. Some gather large groups to celebrate every milestone. In our family, we have chosen to prioritize taking our girls on adventures around the world. Curiosity, bravery and connection are some of our family’s most important values. And when we travel we seek out a local photographer to capture these moments in time when we are living out our values. 

The following photos were taken by Lisa Woods Photography last March when the Talbot family visited Austin, Texas

Before my girls were born travel was a huge part of my life. It expanded my mind, my heart and most importantly, my spirit. It brought me closer to who I am at my essence. I want my girls to watch me routinely get out of my comfort zone and grow through travel so that they see firsthand how transformative it can be. Throughout their lives, I want them know that they can go outward to go inward.

Everyday life can be busy, monotonous and distracting. Getting out of our routines and away from our work allows us the opportunity to be fully present with each other. And while my girls may not remember much at their young ages, we are beginning to make special memories together. The pictures we take home from each trip will weave into the culture of our family and remind us of what is most important in our lives.

You can find more "Talbot Family Adventures"  on Instagram @alexalaurentalbot