a sign from the universe

Story time!

A few months back, I decided I wanted to buy a scooter. No, not the kind you stand on and push around with your foot because duh, I’m not six years old. 😂 I wanted one of those vintage-looking, Vespa style scooters that come in pretty colors. You know, those cute little mopeds that Italian ladies wearing polka-dotted scarves drive. (I’ve never been to Italy, but this is what I imagine. I’m probably wrong. Anyway, moving on.) 

So, I’m sitting in our bus house (we live in a bus that we converted into an RV!) and I decide to search the area we’re in to see if anybody is selling any scooters nearby. We’re in a small town in Washington state, so I’m not expecting to find much, but within seconds, I FIND THE PERFECT FREAKIN’ SCOOTER. It’s a baby pink, vintage style Stella and it is adorable. 

I message the seller to see if it’s still available and it is. 

I go see it in person it’s so cute and so perfect, I literally want to hug it.

I have a photo shoot scheduled for later that night in that same small town, so I tell the owner if I make enough money from that shoot to buy it, I’ll be back the next day with cash. He wishes me luck and says that he’ll hold it for me.

My shoot goes great and at the end of the ordering session, when I add up the total amount due, I almost can’t even believe it. 

$1700. The exact amount I need to buy my scooter.

What are the odds, you guys?! What are the odds I would find the exact scooter I want, in the exact color I want, for the exact amount of money I just made, in a tiny town I’d never even heard of before that week?! 

After three years of struggling and barely getting by, THE UNIVERSE WAS FINALLY ON MY SIDE! “I totally manifested this,” I thought! I put my wishes out into the universe, and the universe listened! ALL I HAD TO DO WAS BELIEVE IN MYSELF! All those books I read and rolled my eyes at were right! It’s the law of attraction! SO MANY EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!

The stars had aligned and it was a sign.

The sign I had been waiting for.

A sign that told me everything was going to work out. That the universe had my back. 

We’d been traveling full time for almost four years at this point, and as much as I absolutely loved our lives on the road, it was difficult. Until I raised my prices in 2018, we were barely making enough to get from city to city. Sometimes we’d be parked for days, waiting for a payment to come in before we could get gas and get back on the road. We were living our dream lives as full time travelers, adventuring with our kids to all the most beautiful places, but being broke was a constant stress that kept us second guessing all our decisions. 

Finding this scooter and then making the exact amount of money I needed to buy it from just one portrait session? THIS was my sign that I was doing things right. Finally.

Then my adorable scooter FELL OFF THE FUCKING BUS.

How’s that for a sign?! 😂

We were sitting at a red light when Henry said “what’s that sound?!” Just then, people started honking at us and trying to get our attention. I looked out my driver’s side window and a man yelled “YOU’RE DRAGGING YOUR SCOOTER!”

Fuuuuuuuuuuuck. 😭

Apparently when we left our camp spot, we didn’t secure it good enough, so a mile down the road when we hit a bump, it flipped itself upside down and was hanging on by one measly strap. Without realizing it, we were dragging my $1700 sign from the universe down the damn street, leaving it completely undriveable and not nearly as adorable. 

And that’s when I realized …

THE UNIVERSE DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ME. 

Or you. 

Or anybody else.

Shit happens. Good shit. Bad shit. Hilariously ironic shit. Frustrating shit. Life is full of all kinds of shit and all you can really do is roll with it. 

Having enough money to buy that scooter wasn’t a sign from the universe. It was the result of me busting my ass for four years to build a clientele all over the US and raising my prices high enough to afford it. The scooter falling off the bus wasn’t a sign that I was doing anything wrong. (Except maybe tightening those damn straps.) It was just a shitty accident. 

So, friends, if you’re waiting for a sign, STOP. 

If you’re waiting for the stars to align, STOPPP IT.

Feel like the universe is working against you? IT’S NOT. But it’s also not going to work FOR you. 

If you want things to change, YOU have to make that happen. Sometimes it’ll be great. Sometimes it’ll suck. And when shit goes wrong, shrug it off and keep on going. 

As for me, I’m gonna buy a new scooter. Screw you, universe!

genuine Stella pink scooter

no comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Hecho en Mexico

After three years of full-time traveling and living in tiny spaces, we’ve gotten used to skipping the souvenirs. Every once in a while, though, we stumble onto something so special, we just can’t live without it. Want to see what we brought home from our four-month trip to Mexico?

I’ll give you a hint : it’s bigger than a plate of tacos, but smaller than a coconut. (At least for now!) 😂

Friends and family, I’d like to introduce you to baby Fitz , due just one week before Christmas! I’m currently 18 weeks pregnant, feeling great and so excited to meet our newest little adventurer.

To answer the questions you’re probably thinking : YES! We do plan to keep on traveling! We figure we’ve made it work with three kids, why would it be any different with four? We’ll be in Texas until the baby is born, but plan to get right back on the road in February of 2019. And YES, the kiddos are super excited, too. They’ve actually been begging for a baby brother or sister for years, but I don’t think they ever expected to actually get one. Ray is really looking forward to wearing the baby carrier on hikes, Kai says he won’t hold him because babies are way too fragile and Marley says she’s gonna teach him how to swim. We’ll see about all three of those things soon enough. 😂

Can’t wait to share more! Be sure to follow me on my @sarahQ Instagram account for belly updates, maternity pictures that’ll be taken by my awesome friend Lisa Woods, and probably about a million baby photos come December. Until then, here’s the first ever portrait of our family of six, drawn by Marley, age 8. ❤

Thanks for your love and support, friends!

The Q Family (OF SIX!)

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Not lost, just wandering.

On June 5, 2015, we drove out of Austin with a couple hundred dollars in the bank, an SUV full of camping equipment and exactly zero jobs lined up. We had no backup plan, no reservations. Hell, we had never even tried setting up our tent. (The tent we were planning to live in for six months!) Looking back now, I realize what a huge risk we were taking. But at the time, it just felt right.

Have you ever reached your breaking point? You know, the point where you just can’t take it anymore. Where you can’t handle your shitty job, your broken relationship or your boredom with life for another second. I can tell you the exact moment I reached that point. I was in the bathtub, of all places, reading a book. I loved long baths and would sometimes soak for so long, I’d have to drain and refill the tub because the water had gotten cold. That night I was reading a book about how to grow your business by taking bold risks. I’d been running a successful wedding photography business for almost ten years at that point, but was more than a little bit burned out. I was making a decent amount of money and had a flexible schedule. Our kids had all the toys and clothes and snacks they wanted. We took vacations a couple of times a year and everybody was generally happy and healthy. But I was so bored. If you had asked me what my biggest goal was that day, I would have said “to lose weight.” Not to climb a mountain. Not to see glaciers in Alaska or whale sharks in Mexico. Not to become a published author or famous actress. Not to run a marathon or become a millionaire. MY BIGGEST GOAL WAS TO LOSE WEIGHT. That’s how boring my life had become.

So, I was in the tub, reading this book about taking risks and for whatever reason, one line almost moved me to tears. Not because it was so profound or beautifully written. No. To be honest, this line is cliché as fuck. You could go to Pinterest right now, search for it and find a hundred inspirational posters with these exact words. But these words found me at the exact moment I needed to read them :

Fortune favors the bold.

If you had asked me to describe myself at 21, I would have said bold. When I was younger, I had such a grand vision for my life. But 14 years later, I was a 35 year old fat lady soaking in a tub of room temperature water, crying at how boring my life had become. That was my breaking point. Something had to change.

Less than a year later, I woke up early and looked out the window. There was a line of people from our doorstep, all the way down the sidewalk past the neighbor’s house. A few days before, I had put an ad in the Craigslist’s yard sale section that said we were opening doors at 8:00am and everything we had left was free to whoever grabbed it first. We’d already had three huge yard sales that month, but our living room was still full of clothes, shoes, books, toys and picture frames. When we opened the door, people flooded in like Walmart on Black Friday and within 15 minutes, everything was gone. We had sold or given away nearly everything we owned and were making plans to be a traveling family of five, living and working from the road for as long as we could make it work.

How’s that for bold?

Driving out of Austin that day in June wasn’t scary. It was exciting. I knew it was the beginning of something big, something bold. Most people don’t realize they’re in the best years of their lives until after they’ve lived them. One day they look back and think “those were the good ol’ days.” It’s very rare to recognize those moments as they’re happening. I recognized it that day. I felt it. We were finally living the stories we would tell our grandkids one day.

At the end of 2015, after six months of camping, we bought an old school bus and turned it into an RV, complete with water tanks, solar electricity and a very high tech composting toilet made from a bucket and a toilet seat. (JEALOUS?!) For the next two years, we lived and traveled the country in our big, blue bus, criss-crossing the United States from California to Alaska, all the way across Canada to Maine, back down to Florida and Texas, passing through and meeting families in just about every single state. In June of 2018, we celebrated three years of full-time travel. Three years of hiking, swimming and exploring with our kids. Three years of campfires, beach days, mountain lakes, big cities and small towns. Three years of experiences and adventures. Three years of being bold. And three blissful years of not giving a single fuck about weight loss.

In 2018, we sold the bus, bought an old Volkswagen van and headed south into Mexico. After four months of blue-green water and cheap margaritas, we came back with a few souvenirs : some Mexican coins, a few small toys … oh, and baby number four, due in December. Fortune really does favor the bold.

Living and working from the road is not always easy. Both our minds and our vehicles have had their fair share of breakdowns. We’ve gotten stuck. We’ve run out of money. We’ve “camped” in more Walmart parking lots than I’d like to admit. The kids still complain.

My life isn’t perfect these days, but it’s far from boring.

This website was created for me to share these stories with you, along with the stories of all the families I meet and photograph along the way, and I’m so excited to start doing just that. Please be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you’re notified whenever I post something new. I absolutely love meeting new people and would love to meet you, too. So book a family session, leave me a comment, drop me an email or just say hello if you happen to bump into us on the road.

And if you’re getting close to your breaking point, don’t be afraid. Sometimes breaking is exactly what we need.

 

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

FOLLOW ME @SARAHQ ON INSTAGRAM

Unknown Grid Type Exported

Submit

Menu Menu