Leigh Righton, Photography


For as long as I can remember I have had dreams that my life would be full of travel and ongoing exploration, adventures and experiences that would fill pages of countless journals. I’ve wanted this with every fiber of my being, and while I’ve squeezed in some noteworthy trips over the years, it hasn’t been enough to satisfy my extreme case of wanderlust. I managed to blame my lack of travel on money, circumstance, timing, jobs, relationships.. it couldn’t possibly be my own fault. It couldn’t be, until I realized that it couldn’t possibly be anything else, but my own damn fault.

Sure, I could use those excuses forever and no one would be the wiser, but why silence a lifelong desire when the pull is so persistent? Why look longingly at images of beautiful places and faces, when I could be out there experiencing them an capturing them for myself? My list of excuses worked for so long because they all seemed so very important at the time, and they must have been, because rarely did travel win over this list.

Last winter I was feeling my discontent mount as I saw endless flight deals come thru my email or pass by on social media, and my cursor would always hesitate over them. Sometimes I’d hit the buy/book button, going thru the motions of choosing dates and reading the fine print, just to give myself the feeling of heading off on an adventure, but at the end of my daydream I’d always hit “cancel” before the last step.

Travel is one of those things that I know makes me a better person, it broadens my perspective and makes me feel more connected to this beautiful world I get to live in and have the privilege of photographing. Whether a trip is good or challenging, I always gain something important from the experience. So I finally stopped with the excuses and started looking for ways to make it happen… and those ways had me returning just a few days ago from two back-to-back trips of a lifetime.

The first adventure was a road trip with a fellow photographer, Shannyn Higgins, who I had only just met months before at a group show we were both exhibiting in. A few months later I came across her post on Facebook, I responded, and miraculously it came together (although with some adjustments to her initial plans as seen below)

shannyn post


We flew to New Orleans, rented a car from there, and drove 4000 miles and crossed four states in 2.5 weeks – Luisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Utah. It was one heck of a hustle, but Mother Nature made it worth our while tenfold.


My second adventure was an incredible 10 days in Hawaii with my favourite person (my boyfriend), visiting my awesome friend Jenn Hee, a trail runner and vegan baker.


We got to explore an extraordinary part of the world and enjoy some truly magical moments, some with my camera, some without. We planted Taro, visited goats, hiked some crazy hikes, checked out some waterfalls, swam in tide pools, snorkelled with a huge pod of dolphins… it’s hard to believe that place is real.


We became pseudo island instagram famous, becoming known as “the Canadians” thanks to Hee’s updates. We were even spotted on the Koko Head trail on our sunrise hike.

When we landed back in Vancouver the captain of the flight hopped on the loud speaker and wanted to personally welcome the passengers “back to reality”  For me, reality isn’t so bad after you’ve accomplished some great adventuring and have a lovely home and work to return to. Happy to be back in reality, and excited for some local summer exploring, until the next travel adventure!


3 thoughts on “Wanderlust

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