A significant part of the trip I’m now on was buying a vehicle (van!) which me and my wife could call home for 3 months. In this task we were helped very greatly by some Australian friends who were nice enough to leave their van behind for us to purchase when they went home, and, a Californian friend who was able to store it for us in the interval. Owing to their kindness, both myself and my wife felt we should do something to show our gratitude for our friends’ hard work and effort on our behalf.
Of course, we had said our thanks in person, but another way to demonstrate gratitude would be to make a more public acknowledgement of the support we received vi our social media portals. I decided that my Facebook wall would be a good place to do this as a familiar audience (i.e friends and family) use this platform. The post would also let friends and family know that me and my wife were away enjoying our honeymoon.
An integral part of making this post would be taking a nice photograph of me, Kumi and the van with some nice scenery in the background. The first one came out like this:
The photo is us holding the van’s title just after getting it transferred into our name at the DMV. It’s a good photo although, the selfie angle seemed to focus a little too much on us rather than the scene as a whole (i.e. the van, and our trip in America) and I decided to try again.
For the second shot I realised that we’d probably need somebody else to take the photo in order to fit the girth of the van and some background in. Thus, we needed to find somewhere picturesque but also with some people around to hit the shutter for us. It took 2 days for a suitable place to present itself but driving down the highway I spied a scenic vista point with a few cars scattered around and decided to pull over. We asked a passerby to take a shot of us in front of the view, and then one with us and the van. This here:
Unfortunately, these second shots weren’t quite right either. Kumi and I were a little shadowed, and the scenery, compared to the rest of what we had been driving through, seemed lacklustre. At this point we had been in the van several days and hadn’t yet communicated to our friends that we were enjoying the trip and that everything was going good*. It was then crucial to get something up and out about that. We would have to try again, and this time, not trust a stranger to deliver the shot I imagined. Just down the way a rest area with a nice view presented itself. We pulled over, propped up my camera on my backpack and took a shot together with the van and mountains in the background.
There was no phone signal at this place, but, after reviewing the photo and deciding it was ok, it was promptly uploaded to my Facebook wall once we entered the next town. Putting the shot up was fairly significant in terms of my Facebook avatar as I don’t post publicaly very regularly, and doing so usually indicates some kind of milestone. While there was some commentary from friends relating to the post, the area in which we stayed that night had no connection and I did not respond. The next day we got up with the mission to drive into LA (I was full of trepidation about the traffic!) and another day passed without response. From then were staying with friends who took us out and around LA and Facebook seemed a far and distant concern. I still haven’t replied to those comments wishing us well and feel somewhat guilty about this, yet, at the same time, I think it is important to soak up experiences in a new place. Usually I try and reply to people’s comments on my social media portals and I wonder if it is rude to take leave of this kind of socialising (especially casual communication with friends) while on the road?
* It was worth noting here that I had exchanged several hurried Facebook messages with one of the previous owners a few days earlier as we were changing the registration and I hadn’t yet updated him of the result..