Summer Adventures!

I like country music. A lot. Speaking of country music, haha, Lady Antebellum has a song called “Compass” and I’ve been quite in love with that song recently. The chorus says, “Let your heart, sweet heart, be your compass when you’re lost, and you should follow it wherever it may go.” I’m not lost, but I try to be open to new opportunities and adventures, so I decided to let be my heart be my compass and to follow it. Where am I following it to? Exactly where the compass in this photo is pointing toward… and yes, I took this photo simply for this post. I am heading NORTHWEST! :)

Leah Hope Photography | Adventures


I spent last summer in Los Angeles. I had been wanting to move to LA for as long as I could remember, mostly because of a dream I’ve always had. Growing up, I wanted to be an actress. I love being on stage and entertaining others, it is something I am passionate about doing. Because of that dream, I decided Los Angeles was where I needed to be to make that dream a reality. I planned to move there for years and yet nothing ever happened… because I never MADE it happen. Last summer, I decided to change that. Why didn’t I just get up and make the move years ago? Well, I always blamed it on money but the truth is, it seemed there was more reasons to stay than reason to go . I love my family and my friends and my job… and I was comfortable here. I was comfortable being in the same place that I am use to. But I don’t think people who are comfortable grow. I think you grow when you are stretched and try new opportunities and explore new places and experience new things… even when those things are difficult. Actually, especially when those things are difficult. I think you grow the most when growing is your only option over giving up.

I realized that I’d never make the move unless I experienced life there and could see myself living there for a long period of time. So I decided to “test drive” LA out for the summer, to try living there temporarily before I lived there permanently. I LOVED my summer there. It was enjoyable and exciting and I could absolutely picture living life there. But when I came home and thought about my summer, I realized that I had a new dream, a dream that overpowered my dream to be an actress… and that dream is to travel and see new places. And especially to take photos of people in those new places. I don’t think my dream of wanting to be an actress will ever go away completely, and I don’t want it to, but right now I’m chasing a new dream that I’ve become passionate about. I’m not giving up on my old dream but I’ve accepted that my life is heading in a different direction. I’ve decided to explore a dream that is more pressing on my heart. A dream that I believe is going to be good for my soul.

I loved the whole living somewhere temporarily thing. And I want to do it again! Moving for the summer is one of the best idea I’ve had, considering I don’t want to be doing photo shoots in 115 degree weather here in Phoenix anyway. ;) Where exactly in the Northwest am I going?! … PORTLAND! I will be spending my summer in the beautiful city of Portland! When telling my friends and family about this I’ve been hearing a lot of “Have you ever been?” and “Who do you know there?” My answers are “Never.” and “No one.” For me, it’s as simple as the song lyric I shared above. As silly as it may sound, my heart seemed to think Portland sounded like a good idea, it seemed right, so I went with it! :) In LA last summer, I knew a handful of people, had visited the city numerous times and lived with 3 other girls. In Portland, I will know nobody, have never been to the city and will be living alone. It will be a brand new experience and I am THRILLED and anxious and nervous all at the same time. I’m so excited to meet new people, see places I’ve never seen and experience living by myself. Even with the nervousness… I still feel peace. :)

The second part of the chorus of the song “Compass” says, “When it’s all said and done, you can walk instead of run, cause no matter what you’ll never be alone. Never be alone.” I’m not entirely sure what Lady Antebellum meant by saying you’ll never be alone, but as someone who has a relationship with Jesus, I know what it means to me. And that’s why I’m able to have peace. Joshua 1:9 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” It really is that simple. I’m able to be (a little bit) brave with my life, because He is with me at all times. :)

I’m SO looking forward to this new and exciting journey of summering in Portland. And since this is my second time leaving for the summer, I’m excited that I can now officially use “summer” as a verb, haha.  If you live in Portland or know anyone in Portland, I would love to hear from you! I will be offering discounted rates the ENTIRE time I am there. Why would I do that?! Because I love taking photos and I’ve been dreaming about taking photos in this beautiful city ever since I decided to make this move! Contact me to talk about booking a session in Portland this summer! Or if you live in or around Portland and just want to be my friend, I would love to have a friend there, haha. And don’t worry Phoenicians, I’ll be back in the fall! :)

May 12, 2014

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