I love a good wall. As a photographer, I find myself seeking them out during each stop on my route. Their unique characteristics delight me, and my fingers instinctively reach for the nearest camera in order to share each find with the everyone else who has this thing with walls. I’m not alone. There are countless hashtags and scavengers hunts dedicated to this photographic trend.

Recently, I found myself struggling with walls of a metaphorical kind. Some days, you don’t just enjoy a wall in passing, rather, you run smack into it. And then you are simply stuck. Creatively, physically, spiritually. We feel like it comes out of nowhere, but if we look just a bit deeper, we can see the choices and circumstances that led to that proverbial dead end.

 

 

Along the route, I wanted to find a way to share a few highlights of my story with you– everything I saw, heard, touched, smelled, and all that I experienced– yet I was unable to push beyond this mental and emotional barrier. I attempted to break through, to scale its height, even to simply walk the length in search of a way around. I found myself bruised, scraped, and weary in the process.

The stones that made up this towering rampart are varied in depth and weight. Layers stack higher with each leg of the journey. One brick laid for car troubles, another for that photo opportunity or conversation that I missed. A row for loneliness. An imperfectly laid tier over concern for Quigley’s delicate health. That second story balcony with the granite gargoyle? We’ll just attribute that to the election drama. The mortar holding it all together was mixed with one part caffeine, 2 parts sheer will.

 

 

Please don’t get me wrong, this adventure was an absolute wonder and a joy to experience. That is evident as I look upon the wall. My friends etched encouraging messages into the mortar as it dried, and much of the graffiti was cleaned off by the kindness of strangers. Splashed across it are a multitude of colorful murals, each depicting magnificent landscapes or significant revelations. But the good, in all of its splendor, is still part of the wall. I would love to be able to list concrete examples, or give you an anecdote from the road. But those bits of concrete are piled up and hidden inside this massive structure standing in front of me. This journey as a whole is something that will take a significant time to process. Something I have only just begun to take on. I even avoided many literal walls lately, because they are looming reminders of the difficulties that come with such an undertaking. Come to think of it, this is likely why I obsessively shared plants for a time. Allow me to explain…

Breaking through is not as easy as one might believe. Even the loosened stones can be too heavy to pry away in a weakened state. If you hit them too hard, you likely wind up injured, and set back further than you were before. But what are we to do?

 

 

In times like these, I remind myself to simply turn my back on the wall, and notice the potential that is already within my grasp. Right where I stand, I can plant new ideas, pursue new creative outlets. When I stop obsessing over the wall, I began to take care of myself. During this time of processing, I have been able to see this trip with new eyes, and look well beyond what I originally imagined it could be. New opportunities within the project have already presented themselves. Right now, I’m simply letting my musings breathe. These ideas need the freedom to develop and flourish as they may.

The wall is still there, but it does not cast a shadow upon me any longer. I am confident that over time, these new seeds of possibility will grow lush and strong, taking root in the cracks and crevices of that once daunting barricade, and slowly tear it apart.

Beauty in the breakdown, indeed.

 

 

Thank you to everyone who has been by my side through this process. I’m excited to say that aside from the book (which is a large task), the kickstarter rewards are on track. I can’t wait to get these into your hands. 🙂

$10,682.00

133 Backers.

Countless hours, emails, texts, shares, tears and cheers.

We did it. Travels with Quigley is officially funded!

This experience has been so overwhelming.  Fundraising is both an exciting and maddening undertaking. Kickstarter, in particular, is an awkwardly thrilling ride.  I’ve learned so much through the process of running this campaign. Soon, I will be blogging about the technical side of crowdfunding, as well as the emotional component.

Until then, here is all I can say:

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. None of this would be possible without this brilliant community, and not just financially, but also because of the nature of this project. This is just the first chapter in a story that is exploring the hearts and minds of our modern culture. Because of you, we start this journey full of hope, delight, and enthusiasm. I’m honored to have you along for the ride.

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Cheers,

Briana & Quigley

I am very excited to be kicking off our Travels with Quigley: Pawtners Spotlight series. 🙂

In addition to all of the amazing backers for our Kickstarter, this trip would not be feasible without the enthusiastic support of a handful of brands and publications. Throughout the month, Quigley & I will be highlighting our pawtners and sharing with you what they bring to the table, why they mean so much to the project.

A quick note about all of our Pawtners: there is no money being exchanged purely for advertising. There are no rules or prompts included in our partnerships, and everything I say about them is from my own heart and experience. Each of these brands and publications became a part of this project through overlapping passions & goals. It is very important to me that any organization I work with is one that I believe in. I am completely honored by the natural way these relationships evolved, and I can’t wait to share with you how much I LOVE working with these incredible people!

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For those of you who are not familiar with Drizly, let’s take a moment to remedy that right now.  Drizly is basically the Uber of all thing alcohol. In a few simple steps on their mobile app or website, and voilà; your favorite beer, wine, and liquors can be delivered straight to your door (or any door, should you wish to send a loved one a booze themed gift).  Service is speedy, options are aplenty, and there is zero mark up on product! For more details, and to see if Drizly has reached your city, check out their About page.

I’m sure a few of you are asking the same question:  Why would a project involving a roadtrip be partnering with a company supplying alcohol?  That is a valid thought, and the answer is held on page 21 of my worn copy of Travels with Charley.

“Because I was self-contained, I thought it might be nice if I could invite people I met along the way to my home for a drink…. You never know what people will want to drink. I ordered bourbon, scotch, gin, vermouth, vodka, a medium good brandy, aged applejack, and a case of beer. It seemed to me that those might take care of most situations.”

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There will be many nights in campsites where Quigley and myself will be engaging with fellow travelers. I have the heart of a hostess, and am fully aware how easily the stories flow over a drink or two. Thanks to the fabulous team at Drizly, I will be stocked (and restocked) in 5 cities, with each delivery featuring locals brews and spirits from those cities. I look forward to toasting many of you in person, and will likely share a few newly created recipes from the road.

Sidenote: when Quigley came to the Drizly HQ here in Boston, he was smothered with love and gifted a kick-ass new collar. Not only does he look snazzy in it, but the leash loop also moonlights as a bottle opener. You can see his excitement below. 😉

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This partnership actually came together over one of my favorite combos: bourbon, BBQ, & baked goods. A few months back, I had the honor of joining my girl Katherine Hysmith of The Young Austinian, plus other local Boston bloggers, for a Drizly Date Night. After ample Sweet Cheeks biscuits and a Capone (or 3), I was joined on the couch by Erin Schuster, Drizly’s Community Manager/Ball of Pure Sunshine. Puppy photos turned to Travels talk, and our musings on alcohol & social media carried us to our mutual fervor on the topic of safety (both in drinking and in travel). By the end of our conversation, Drizly was committed to supplying product for our trip, Quigley had a new superfan, and I spent my T ride home feeling privileged to have encountered such a kindred spirit.

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We are so excited to publicly welcome Drizly to the team. I can’t wait to mix up a few of your unique recipes along the road. Parked for the night, of course. 😉

Cheers,

Briana (& Quigley)

Images ©Briana Moore Photography.  Thank you for taking an interest in my work and all of the wonderful people & places that it represents.  Please connect more on my website, Facebook, or scroll through daily updates on Instagram. To support our upcoming journey, please visit our kickstarter and make your donation today!

Quigley Argos Moore is no stranger to life on the road. As a rescue dog, he was saved from a high kill shelter outside of Chicago. It was only fitting that his journey to a forever home began with a roadtrip. His transport driver even arrived a day early, owing to the fact that Quigley was the perfect travel buddy. Never needing to be penned, Quigley spent his hours napping, playing gently with toys, and actively watching the world fly by his window. Since his arrival, he has happily traveled all over New England by means of car, bike, train, even boat. They say pets and owners begin to resemble one another, and his openness to travel is just another facet of his personality that makes him a Moore.

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In June of 2016, Quigley embarked on a series of new adventures, including his first plane ride, and his first trip to my home state of California. One fun fact about Quigley: he is an emotional support dog. When our dear friend Alison was diagnosed with cancer, we knew it was time to put those airline perks and sweet cuddles to good use.

 

A quick note on flying with pets: I would never fly with Quigley in the cargo. He thankfully avoided many of the personality issues that can come from being abandoned, but his separation anxiety is a very real hurdle that we work through. I believe traveling below us is a trauma he would never recover from, and is a decision that no pet owner should make lightly. Thankfully, his status as an emotional support dog allows him to fly with (and charm) the passengers. We chose to fly with Virgin America (our favorite domestic airline), because of their consistently excellent service. On the day of departure, we prepared with an exhausting frolic in the park, a good bath and plenty of baby carrots to chew during take off and landing. While I can’t say the experience brought him any great joy, Quigley was a natural on the flight. Despite what must have been an overwhelming amount of smells and sounds, he never whined or barked. He alternated peacefully between his little cave under the seat in front of me, and sitting on my lap. For our flight home, he was even allowed to sit on the empty sea beside me, with our row-mate and flight attendants showering him with kisses and treats. If you are a interested in learning more about flying with pets, please do reach out with questions!

 

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Our journey to Santa Barbara was a path of compassion and generosity.  At this stage in treatment, Alison was in dire need of a vacation. However, the physical and financial limitations involved with chemotherapy left her with few realistic options.  Enter the fabulous team at The Goodland.

 

When the Santa Barbara branch of Kimpton Hotels learned about Alison’s story, and her need for a dog-friendly retreat that was close enough to her doctors, they graciously offered our little crew a two night stay. This location has all of southern California charm, and none of the pretension.  We were treated with enthusiastic kindness from the moment we stepped onto the property.

 

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Most hotel chains that define themselves as “pet-friendly” would be better described as “pet-tolerant.”  One fact that makes Kimpton hotels stand high above the rest: they are pet enthusiasts.  If your pet can fit through the door, they will be welcomed with open arms and a handful of thoughtful amenities. Quigley was spoiled with hugs, treats, toys, and even a hand written note from the staff.

 

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Quigley executed his emotional support duties with great joy. 😉 He rarely wanted to leave Alison’s side. If we were relaxing on our patio while Alison soaked up sun poolside on the cushy cabana beds, he would scamper to the gate every few minutes to check on her well being. He sat right by our feet for meals, and preferred her lap during our s’mores bonfires. Wait, did I just say s’more bonfire? Yes. The kits were complimentary, along with our free wine each evening. Between that and the exquisite cocktails, tacos & guac from both GoodBar and Outpost, you could confidently assume that the whole group remained thoroughly satiated.

 

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In addition to much needed R&R, the aesthetics of The Goodland provided delightful backdrops for a portrait session. Alison bravely rocked the bald head early on, and we wanted to collection of images showing her beautiful new look, plus a few fun wigs. Because of their special bond, we included Quigley with each new setting.

 

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Thanks again to the AMAZING team at The Goodland for making our stay so magical. Alison returned home rejuvenated, and Quigley gave two paws up to his first big adventure. Alison will be joining us for a portion of the Travels with Quigley route, and I know these two will be thrilled to finally be reunited.

 

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Cheers,

Briana

 

Images ©Briana Moore Photography.  Thank you for taking an interest in my work and all of the wonderful people & places that it represents.  Please connect more on my website, Facebook, or scroll through daily updates on Instagram. To support our upcoming journey, please visit our kickstarter and make your donation today!

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For #nationalbookloversday, I thought I would take a minute to share why this particular novel inspired me to take such a huge risk, planning my upcoming project.
Over the years, I have wanted to pursue a passion project, but nothing was the right fit. Sure, there were ideas that would gain attention, or sound cool, or even manage to shine a light on worthy topics. The problem was, not one of those ideas truly lit a fire in me. None reached deeply enough into my heart to inspire REAL passion. Until now.
It shouldn’t surprise me that my source of inspiration would come from literature. Since the day I could read to myself, barely a day has gone by that I did not spend at least an hour lost in the pages of a novel. In fact, as a child, the most effect form of punishment was taking away my books, which may be why I ended up being a fairly obedient youth. 😉 Nothing inspires me more than a thoughtful, well-written book.
My favorite author of all time is John Steinbeck. His work is honest, brave, insightful, and inspiring. He was a human and compassionate writer. I have never read a book more profound than East of Eden, and I doubt I ever will.
When I picked up Travels with Charley, I read much of the story with my new rescue dog curled up beside me. The moment that the idea for this project came to me, everything else seemed to fade. A rush of imagery flashed through my mind, and then I could see the many layers of this piece coming together with great clarity. I’ve never looked back.

 

But why this story? Beyond Steinbeck’s brilliant way with words, what drives me to bring this particular narrative to life? First, it embodies all of my greatest passions; Photography, literature, travel, sociology, and community engagement. I am drawn to the way his revealing commentary on Americans still applies today, particularly when looking at our current issues in the media. The parallels are uncanny.
That is a quick look at my inspiration. I will delve deeper over the coming months. 🙂 For now, thank you for reading, and thank you for your support in making this project possible.
And now, for an important question: What book or author inspires YOU most? I’m dying to know! Please share your favorites in the comments! 🙂

Cheers,

Briana

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/brianamoore/travels-with-quigley-stories-of-a-great-american-r

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