Transcendence: My Fayettechill Experience

A little over two years ago, I attended my first music festival. During my explorations of the grounds, I stumbled upon a beautiful airstream camper with a big sticker on the outside that read, Fayettechill. Drawn to the aura of the camp scene, I took a snap which I captioned, “Can I camp with you?”

As fate would have it, only a short couple of years later, I have found myself intertwining paths with the very individuals that inhabited that camp at the festival. Via adventures, creative shoots, conversations, and (as hoped for) camping trips, I have absorbed inspiration and enlightenment by getting to know the unique folks involved in this Ozark Mountain company. Little did I know when I took that photo that the name labeled across that camper would grow to mean so much to me.

Late fall has always brought such enchanted experiences into my life, so it’s fitting that my first encounter with the Fayettechill crew was during my birthday week. Through mutual friends I was able to link up with their media crew as they traveled by train through New York City, which is where I lived at the time. I had been dwelling in the city for about a year at this point. I had moved there spontaneously from Arkansas, right out of high school, seeking the thrill of the great unknown that any big city has to offer.

At first I had flourished in the hustle of Manhattan and ate up every bizarre or unforeseen experience that the concrete jungle offered. However, there became a point in time where discontentment crept in and left me feeling stagnant and longing, even in a city with such a plethora of opportunities. Suffering from an ailment I could not place my finger on, I fervently searched for something to turn around the funk I had fallen into. After many failed attempts to manifest something incredible into reality, November brought inspiration in the form of a handful of strangers from Fayettechill.

Sneaking onto Brooklyn rooftops, sharing riddles with random people on the trains, holding conversations where listening and speaking is equal sided, making lifelong friends out of complete strangers, all while capturing the moments in photographs – this was a normal afternoon with these adventurous allies.

All in a matter of a days, I was able to revitalize my spirit through stimulating conversations and unexpected escapades. Even though I had formerly known of Fayettechill, I was introduced to their mission and vision in a whole new light.

The “Big East Train Trip” that they were on during our encounter in New York was intended to spread the idea that the allure of the Nature is everywhere, not only in the deepest mountains. That the world is full of fascination that can be found anywhere-- from the biggest city in the world to the most secluded spot on the globe. I was deeply in need of this reminder.

Thousands of miles from the comfort of the Natural State I called home, I had forgotten. My wings had become tangled in webs of Manhattan. But as fate would have it, all I needed was a simple reminder that Nature is everywhere to set myself free.

Fayettechill planted a seed of inspiration with me that reminded me to grow in my own being, stay grounded, and nourish my roots while still reaching out towards the sun in attempt to absorb every experience and connection possible. Since that introduction, I have relocated back to the Natural State where my happiness levels are higher than ever. Upon my arrival I had the privilege to attend a creative retreat with the crew where the energy levels were just as copious and delightful as when we first met. Making new friends, having conversations so captivating one could drink them, and sharing serene moments at sunrise or sunset when the earth is enveloped in the beauty of a half lit sky will never get old. Due to occasions such as those, I renewed my sense of wonder, and I intend to embrace that to the fullest. Passion, curiosity, and gratitude are the traits most prevalent in my life currently and I have the Fayettechill family to partially accredit for that.

words by Taryn Gaston | photos by Danielle Green of L A Y E R S Photography & Heno Head

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