• Kara Swenson

A Rest Area, A Photoshoot, And A Shift In Perspective



One of my favorite things about being an avid hiker is working hard for an epic view that few get to see without putting in the proper quad and glute work first.


And if you follow me on instagram (kara_wandering) 99% of the mountain pics I share came as a result of an amazing climb.


The funny thing is… in order to snag a vast desert shot like the photo you see below, with the most perfect evening light… all I had to do was walk a whole 50 yds behind a rest area building!



Yet this scene was just as beautiful as if I had hiked miles and miles to see it.


I love being reminded that beauty can be found anywhere – it’s just all about perspective, and a willingness to see things differently.


I watched dozens of travelers come and go from this rest area, yet no one seemed to notice the incredible sunset happening right on the other side of the building.


There are a million reasons this could be, namely that we were at a rest area that most people are in and out of as quickly as possible. I can dig it.


My point is that…


Beauty Can Be Found Everywhere.


I actually took quite a few pictures at this rest area, and surprisingly they became some of my favorites from our whole road trip!


As other travelers were entering the restroom, I was darting around with my camera taking photos of the purple cacti, sunset, & videoing things, while asking my husband to capture some of the excitement on his phone as well.


Maybe I’m nuts. Maybe this was because we were almost 15 hours in the car at this point and I was delusional.


But I don’t think it is.


It’s All About Perspective.



Beauty can be found at rest areas & in our everyday lives just as easily as it can be found on the tallest of peaks… if we choose to see it.


I believe how we choose to see the world around us – moment to moment – will become our reality.


Our lives are composed of minuscule moments. They happen in the blink of an eye.


The good, bad, the embarrassing, the victorious, and everything in between.


This collection of moments, compiled year after year, make up our entire lives!


Often when we say things like, “I’ve had a really bad day” we’re talking about a singular moment in our day that didn’t go according to plan.


Maybe 6,000 moments went well, but the one that didn’t is usually the quickest to stand out.


This is why…


A Healthy Perspective Is Vital To Living In Harmony With Ourselves As Humans.


We all have heard the phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”


But more than likely have never pondered the actual (& epically freeing) idea for more than a fleeting moment!


It seems like a “duh” concept, but…


Beauty is completely subjective.



What you find jaw-droppingly gorgeous, I may not… and that’s okay!


So why do we compare our experiences and what we deem as beautiful to our neighbor’s standards?


No two people will believe the exact aspects of the same things are equally beautiful!


I believe that is what’s fascinating and that is what makes the world truly unique.


To me…


Beauty Is Nature.

Beauty is a grateful heart. Beauty is confidence. Beauty is whatever puts your soul at ease & causes you to dream a little bigger. Beauty is felt.

Beauty can’t be defined, but it is absolutely everywhere if we choose to see it.


Where could you find beauty in unexpected places today? How could a shift in perspective make things just a little brighter for you, and those around you?


This is something I continually ask myself, and practice seeing everyday.


Thank you so much for reading, and may your day be filled with beauty!


Be bold. Be inspired. Be you. With love, Kara

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