INSPIRATION

Be You Anyway

What Giving a TED Talk taught me >
Recovering From Burnout >
The Time I got Fired >
Now Trending:

Getting Started with Travel Photography

Get the guide

Download my free guide to learn 5 days to get started in travel photography today!

Hi, I'm Erin!

I am a photographer and writer passionate about the outdoors, meaningful travel, and living deliberately. I hope to use my platform online to show the beauty and complexity of the world we live in, and to encourage genuine connection to the outdoors, culture, people and wildlife.

The Photo Series that Went *Viral*

AS SEEN IN

GET ON THE LIST

Wanna keep in touch? Subscribe to get notes from me in your inbox. We send updates, images, encouragement, discounts, and other treats we think you’ll dig.

Add some wonder to your space

SHOP PRINTS

I struggled with what to call this blog post. The subject is so fundamental to who I am and what I do.

Most of the past year of my life has required me to Be Me Anyway. Anyway: as in, doing what I believe in regardless of hesitation. Regardless of my own self-doubt and regardless of what other people think or say– because it’ll always be something.

Sometimes, my articles are posted somewhere other than on this blog. When that happens, they rack up a handful of negative comments. I don’t respond because I don’t find it helpful. But in truth, I am really sensitive– it’s just my nature.

People are always going to have something to say about what you are doing. It can be because they are jealous, they think they know better, because they are threatened or because they are angry or upset with some part of their life. Maybe you stirred something up for them.

Not everyone is going to love everything you do. But staying lukewarm on a subject doesn’t make you better for this world or for anyone. Staying lukewarm is not a better option.

Your surroundings, your family, your professors, your friends, anyone who surrounds you does not always want you to Be You. The way we grow up informs the idea of what our lives “should” look like.

I never, ever thought my life would look the way it does right now. My life now doesn’t fit into the categories I thought “should” be possible for me. I remember thinking in high school that it would be incredible to be a National Geographic photographer, but that it was too high of a goal. Now I know a handful of people who do exactly that for work, and I realize that my doubts were within my control.

Live for you, and never for the people who want to sit on their asses and call you lucky. You don’t get anywhere in life on luck alone.

If you are a writer, write for you. If you make art, make art for you. Create for you. Do for you. Make for you.

It’s a fact that you are going to get hate from someone at some point no matter what you doespecially if you are pursuing your life with passion. The options are: keep going, and accept that there will always be those people, or stop and be quiet. The second one is not an option for me, and I hope it isn’t one for you either.

Your voice is yours and uniquely yours– fading it or trying to fix it for someone else will never be true to you.

If you do something long enough, if you do it well enough, and if you are consistent enough, someone will notice. You probably won’t get exactly where you thought you would. But when we commit to ourselves, whatever it is we are seeking and whatever it is we once sought– often it starts to look for us, too.

 


 

Photos in this post by Garrett King.

Please ignore this text box - Recoleta Font

+ show Comments

- Hide Comments

add a comment

  1. Megan says:

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to read today. Seriously, thank you.

    It can be really f-ing hard sometimes, but you’re right: stopping & being quiet is not an option for me, either.

  2. Diana says:

    Just what I needed to read today. You are an inspiration. <3

  3. Lily says:

    Exactly what I needed for post-grad life. Thanks Erin!!!

  4. Amy says:

    This is such an inspiring post. Thank you for your beautifully written words 🙂

  5. Gabby says:

    I needed this today, too! <3

  6. Indy says:

    I feel like for everyone who is negative there are a handful (if not more) people who are inspired and impressed by what you do, even if they don’t say so. At least this seems like what I tend to find in my life.

    Keep doing you, girl. You’re amazing.

    • So true! For me it only takes one person saying they are inspired to make it worth it. If one person reads it, if one person is moved, that’s why I do it and that’s why I always will. Thank you for the love!! xo

  7. Betsy says:

    Thank you so much for this! Its easy to let fear of what other people think stop us from expressing ourselves. You are never going to make everyone happy and some people are just big ol’ sticks in the mud! Its much better to focus on being your wonderful self and keep doing what make your heart sing.

  8. Amanda says:

    Hi, Erin!

    I’m still learning this lesson…and I’m sensitive, too! I hope all this positive feedback from others is helpful to you. I know I love being reminded that there are a ton of wanderlusted hearts out there. 🙂

    Amanda

  9. William says:

    So much heartfelt awesomeness in this, thank you!
    I love this line “If you are a writer, write for you. If you make art, make art for you. Create for you. Do for you. Make for you.”

    I might just make a little sign and inscribe it.

  10. Lesley says:

    I love this! I am quite a bit older than you, in fact, near retirement! But it has taken me SO LONG to find my own way. To realise that you have to do what you love, and do it with passion. I love the fact you have found this out at a much younger age than me, it means you can live your real life, not one of constantly stifling what your real feelings are to please someone else. I intend to start living my real life now and never stop!

  11. Thanks for the great post. I more or less read this as be authentic, be yourself and don’t worry about those who doubt you or raise an eyebrow as you don’t fit into the norm. Exactly where I am at now.

  12. Roxanne says:

    Ohhhh thank you again so much for what you write. This helps a lot during a time of self doubt and career questioning. Please never stop being you. xx

  13. Kerissa says:

    Word sista!

  14. Jodi says:

    I just found your blog, Erin. I’ve got a big darn smile on my face. I came across you on instagram and was captured by your thoughtful words and post. I needed more. Coming here this morning has been inspiring to say the least – and I’ve only read one post! Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s a beautiful things! x

  15. alyssa says:

    I loved this. Especially the part about luck. It drives me nuts when people tell me that I am so lucky to be doing what I am doing…I am not lucky in the slightest. I worked my ass off to be where I am and I am still working. Keep doing you!!

    • Totally hear you there. It’s hard for me to validate when folks tell me I am lucky. I’m lucky because of the body I was born into, which has many implications, but the rest has been choice. xo

  16. Dan says:

    Well said Erin, very inspirational.

  17. Heather says:

    This is a really great post! glad I found you.

  18. Simone says:

    Thank you for writing this (and perfect title). I think there are a lot of us out there searching for a way to create our lives rather than fit ourselves in someone else’s idea of what that looks like. I just discovered you on instagram today and I’m loving everything you’ve shared so far. Thank you for not being quiet about who you are!

  19. Ulla says:

    You’re an inspiration, love your thoughts! Ulla

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

load MORE >

load MORE >

Well don't stop there

Read My Fave Posts

I'm Erin, Your New Tour Guide

If you’re interested in travel, love spending time outdoors, or want to learn more about photography, you’re in the right place. I’m an adventure trip leader turned travel photographer, passionate about learning & sharing the real stories from the places I visit.

MORE ABOUT ME 

PHOTOGRAPHER, ADVENTURER, nature nerd

Curious What Gear I use?

see inside

The TED Talk

WATCH NOW

 Top Resources

Does photographing a moment steal the experience from you? Is it good to document so much of our lives? These questions (and more) were on my mind .. so much so, that they are the subjects of my TED Talk.

My tools for creating: cameras, lenses, travel gear, and more.

Getting Started in Travel Photography

So many people say they want to be a travel photographer, but have no idea where to start. This guide gives you five actionable ways to start TODAY!

FREE DOWNLOAD