Travel Diary by Andi Sakowski

travel diary

Photos by Andi Sakowski

I started my journey on Instagram in August of 2014 and with that, I have been able to explore some of the most beautiful places and as well as make lifelong friends. I have combined my adventurous heart and love a photography to create what I hope becomes a career. Here are the top five places I have been lucky enough to visit within the last year.


5. Muir Woods National Monument

I recently took a trip to Muir Woods with my best friends from home while visiting UC Davis for one of their 21st birthdays. The weather was telling us not go as it had been raining all weekend and our trip to Point Reyes the day before was fog filled, but we decided to make the drive anyway. Thankfully we did. Although it was pouring, the trees provided a canopy and turned the rain into a drizzle. The Redwood trees smelled absolutely amazing and the rain gave the forest a Pacific Northwest vibe. If I could have bottled up the scent and taken it home with me, I would have. I didn’t get as many photos as I would have liked, but it was nice to just enjoy the trees and spend some time with friends I don’t get to see often. Muir Woods is great whether you want to take a nice stroll with your family or do some serious hiking on the back trails.

4. Big Sur

I have been able to go to Big Sur three times within the last year and a half, but I still have the urge to go back. Its beauty is unlike anything you will ever see, which makes a road trip on Highway 1 a bucket list item. I have driven both north and south on the famous road, but I recommend the south route as you are able to take in the stunning coastline much better. The key to Big Sur is taking your time and that is what I have done each time. My most recent trip was with my best friend on our way to UC Davis, the same trip where we went to Muir Woods, and we took every opportunity to explore the rugged coast. We stopped at every turn out and even found some hidden spots below the road. I will continue to make this drive over and over again, bringing new people along to experience the beauty of the California coast.

3. Yosemite National Park

My family used to visit Yosemite once a year around New Year’s Day, which means that I have only seen it in the snow and I would not mind keeping it that way. I believe that snow makes anything ten times more beautiful and although it may seem hard to make Yosemite any better than it is, the snow does the trick. Recently, I did a 24 hour road trip for an Instameet hosted by my friends @jaredsphotos and @anthaang and like Muir Woods, the weather didn’t look promising. The forecast called for a 100% chance of snow, but we decided to make the trek anyway. We packed up the car at 2 am with my friend, @cblightfoot, whom I met through Instagram, his daughter, and two new friends. Once we arrived at the park, after driving through some snow falling, the clouds began to break and blue skies were the new forecast. We spent every bit of daylight in the park exploring, taking photos, but not forgetting to take in the beauty as it looks like it is straight out of a postcard. Anyone you meet who has been to this park will recommend it over and over. It isn’t my number one as it is a bit touristy, but it is a must see in your lifetime kind of park.

2. Olympic National Park

The trip to Olympic National Park was a little last minute as I had just flown into Seattle two hours earlier, but there was no way I was going to turn down this opportunity. My friend, @andrewtkearns, had an extra spot in his car and offered to drive into the city to pick me up with the purpose of filming some footage for @mrtommyblades new promo video. Like most trips for Instagram, we were aiming for sunset at Hurricane Ridge. With that, the drive up the mountain was incredible as the warm summer sun began to hit the peaks and break through the trees in front of us. Deer were plentiful is this park and I got up close and personal with one for a photo op, which I assume was not within the legal limit. It was an easy going evening as we filmed and had the opportunity to meet some people I knew of from Instagram. The sunset was reminiscent of a Southern California one as the sky turned pink and orange, which the native Washingtonians claimed as one of the best they had seen in awhile.

1. North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades have been by far my favorite place I have visited. A few days after our trip to Olympic National Park, Andrew picked me up along with a few friends I was traveling with and we headed up a few hours north. This trip showed me the true generosity of most photographers you will meet on Instagram. Andrew had to drive south to downtown Seattle to pick us up, back up north, south again to drop us off, and then back north to where he lives. I still can’t even thank him enough for driving out of his way to show us a little piece of his beautiful state. While driving through this park, I was in awe of its beauty. The otherworldly green water of Diablo lake and the picturesque peaks of Liberty Bell made the three hour drive beyond worth it. I highly recommend this National Park as there aren’t many tourists and the park remains very untouched, yet accessible.

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