Made in the Shade

I've spent half my life in the trees and half my life in the ocean breeze. Growing up in Northern California taught me how to be an outdoorsman and graduating from San Diego State with a degree in Recreation Management taught me how to prioritize work and play. After graduating college in 2004, I started to live exactly how I wanted to live. Work would always be something that would be there because everyone needs money to survive, but I would focus on my passions, staying active, traveling and documenting the lifestyle as a photographer and writer. Making money isn't rocket science but figuring out how to live exactly how you want to live takes more effort than most people imagine. It's so much easier to just settle on something that is comfortable. I told myself that I wouldn't feel content until I created a lifestyle situation that was made in the shade. 

 Elizabeth Stuart making sure she gets her daily medicine atop Table Mountain - California

Elizabeth Stuart making sure she gets her daily medicine atop Table Mountain - California

Here are a few things I've learned about working towards a lifestyle that is ideal to you.

1. Get a college degree in a lifestyle that you would live rather than a career goal. 

2. Don't let friends or family talk you out of going for it and living the way you want to live. There are no dress rehearsals in life.

3. Be willing to take huge risks and give them a chance. Not physical risks, but things that can easily be reversed such as moving somewhere for a job or pursuing opportunities that pull you away from your comfort zone. 

4. STAY PASSIONATE! Passion trumps experience in most cases. Solid experience is earned the longer you stay passionate. 

5. Surround yourself with people that are more established and experienced than you. I always seem to say this but I've learned so much by not being afraid to be the least experienced person in the room.

6. Be a minimalist. Having less means less to worry about. Most of my opportunities have come from being able to pick up and go on short notice.