Somewhere between early summer and I'm ready for it all to fall together in a foreign way.

My summer plans were simple, really. I had a busy first quarter of the year, mostly in the 2 week venture of sanding every square inch of the car you see in the photos here. Putting the Saab together in my uncle's Oklahoma body shop was like a rite of passage that I earned beyond my own expectations, let-alone the other guys at the shop. I honestly didn't realize how much I had learned over the years in there over the summers, and how my attention to detail mentality could come together to make a car so pretty and unique. It's less about the car - more about the labor and virtue.

After all that, my intention was to hustle, hustle, hustle until September when I take off for Kenya for the #pinkflamingotour. Unexpectedly, I took a random message in May from an associate in Florida who I've discussed a large production session with off and on over the last few years. We almost made it happen last fall, but the hurricane season got the best of her circumstances so it resulted on the intended #sunnyDtour being cancelled. Well, we planned it again for late July. I knew I was making a big move at a precarious time - my everyday focus being on this around the world takeoff date that I've been saving for since the the start of the year. Disaster struck from day one of the 3 weeks I took off from my time clock gig when my client texted to cancel. My mind was set on this time away, I was in a bit of dis-belief, and I took off on the highway anyway..

With a pit-stop for some quick work in St. Louis, I was in Memphis within 24 hours. I had a free room lined up just south of the city on the northern tip of Mississippi, so it was a time to enjoy Memphis as I had intended while working on my backup plan - which highway I would be on when it came time to leave Tennessee? It's funny to me, because most people get excited about the prospect of heading to Dallas, Texas. Me, on the other hand, I'm kicking the dirt in mind like a kid... "I don't wanna go to Dallas." The tour was centered on my Florida client and I was supplementing my income on any free time with Postmates deliveries. Dallas was my best bet to scrap together some funds.

The #sunnyDtour went from an ambitious creative tour with a cool prospective profit to an unplanned creative vacation mixed with scraping up whatever funds were to be had. All that's on my mind through all of this is my finances for Kenya being sabotaged. Whoa, the freelance world.... Thankfully, I look for and do my best to embrace the lesson in everything. I've given you the cake up to now - so we'll finish with icing and tea. Just a few hours south of Kansas City, almost home a week and a half early, I find myself tired from the road around 1 am - a common feeling for me nowadays when I travel with my stomach condition. I stop in a southern Missouri town to catch a nap, bathroom break, and some milk with donuts from my favorite childhood gas station chain. To make an unfortunate scenario short, I was woken by the local police who were responding to the store manager's complaint about my nap session occurring in her empty parking lot. Within 10 minutes I'm arrested and heading to jail for a weed scent - treated like a ghetto cowboy on the run.

My last week and a half had been a disaster held together by my creativity and adaptation to circumstances, my Crohn's disease has been flaring for the last 4 days, and I just don't feel too close to 100 percent. I don't believe in yin without yang, so I'm biting my tongue and taking the lumps.

My year has been so good. The dynamics of my car venture, buying motor club membership for the first time in my life, finding my dad and my real last name, booking a ticket to Kenya on my own funds, breaking in the blog a lot more, tapping into my photography in new ways. buying a second car as a personal business investment, and I could continue. Don't expect all that good without some bad. A journey without lumps, a road with no bumps. I knew that, but learning is forever and reminders are helpful.

As I write this a few weeks removed from the worst of the #sunnyDtour, I can even smile at my success rate, really. I've had other problems on the road before, but not so many in a short time span. Regardless, I've been on the road enough for comparison, and can say the vast majority of my travel has been mostly smooth, sometimes seamless. Of all places New York last year may be the most seamless of all. And finally... I'm blessed just to be finding these ways and opportunities to travel. This isn't the norm for a small town kid like myself. This trip found numerous ways to remind me that I'm not that small town kid anymore, and I have a lovelier horizon ahead of me. I can't wait for more.... the #pinkflamingotour got next! In nearly 10 years of my creative career I've never utilized crowd-funding before. I decided this tour is worth the requests for a few hands up, so click the hashtag hyper link if you'd like to contribute. I also have these fresh tour t-shirts on pre-sale!

Email for order inquiries.

Life is good, our potential is grand, and I hope you're living the best you can. Be blessed. Matt D

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