Kindred Hearts

This is a story of two cousins that grew up together and undoubtedly became best friends; two very different but inseparable spirits.


They had found their soul’s mate. But time marched on and the todays quickly turned into tomorrows. Weeks rolled into months, and months into years. The two got older and drifted apart — a story all too familiar. Now, twenty years later, the two are back together to reconnect on a road trip across five states. I’d like to introduce you to Kate and Alli.

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

We have always been close. Ever since we were little, we were the cousins that were attached at the hip regardless of the fact that our personalities were very much opposite. I was the extroverted one that would come up with crazy ideas and Alli was the shy, introverted one that would go along with them. There were times, though, that my outgoing personality would be overshadowed by my tendency to catastrophize everything and Alli would step forward and lead the way.

When she was not spending the night at my house, I was at hers. We stayed up much too late laughing until we were crying. I was always documenting everything we did with the family camcorder and we would spend hours making home videos — dancing to Tone Loc, rapping to the Beastie Boys, or interviewing each other about our latest crushes. I idolized Alli. She was the epitome of a ’90s child. When we got older she wore an eyebrow ring and had smoky eyes — a cross between Rayanne Graff and Angela Chase from My So Called Life. We were both into alternative music, but I had a flare of country in me. There were times when I’d teach her how to line dance and she’d introduce me to a new hardcore band.

In the summer of 1999, we took a road trip out west with her parents. We were both in a phase where we were still hyper and loud teenage girls, but were also experiencing teenage angst. For me, being a teenager was hard. It felt like a really exciting and fun time, but it was also a very confusing and strange one. We spent much of that trip on the hunt for boys, staying up ’til the wee hours of the night watching the stars, and sleeping until noon. A lot happened on that trip and we pledged to take another journey  just like it when we got older.

As we aged and eventually went through college, our time spent together became less and less. After college, I started traveling and eventually moved to Los Angeles. Alli remained back home in Ohio and we’d only really talk or see each other when I’d come home for visits. But those visits were always short-lived and we never got to be the Kate and Alli we once were. Deep down I always longed for our relationship to remain the same even though we lived in two different states and lived very different lives. I never knew if we’d really have an opportunity when it would be just the two of us again — I wanted time where we could just laugh and be our old selves.

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

An opportunity finally did present itself when I found a pop-up trailer for sale back in Ohio. Alli and I were chatting when I mentioned the trailer and reminded her of our pledge to do another road trip. At the time, Alli was feeling stuck and alone and was wanting some sort of change in her life. Taking a road trip would be the perfect solution. For months we texted and emailed about the trip. We were both excited to be doing it together. Being the planner and more active one, I researched and mapped out our route constantly. Alli was more laid back about the planning and was up for anything. Finally, the day had come and we were ready to take off. We left Ohio, making our way across the plains and into Colorado. We spent much of those first few days driving long hours and talking about old memories. Once we reached the mountains we were met by lots of storms, both rain and snow, but remained positive. This was our special time together regardless of the weather and we were going to make the best of it. We drove up mountain roads, explored sacred canyons, chased countless waterfalls, soaked in hot springs, kayaked the Colorado River, and watched the sun set at the top of Horseshoe Bend. Some of our best moments were shared just before bed when one of us would start laughing and the other would join in until our bellies hurt. We realized that even though our personalities were still the same, we have also grown to be more like the other in ways we never knew we would.

And at the end of our trip, we both got what we wanted. Alli felt more free and hopeful about her future and my wish for our reconnection was solidified by our time spent together. I realized that when you have a special bond with someone, time and space can never really separate you. There will always be that love and adoration for each other that will continue to grow over the years.

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

Get the look: Bonnie Dress

kateandalli

kateandalli

kateandalli

Get the look: Oh Valencia CaftanAfter the Storm Maxi, Round Top Ranger Hat

kateandalli

Words and photography by Kate Rentz. Check out her website and follow her on Instagram!

You can find Alli on Instagram here!

+ Is there anyone in your life that you want to reconnect with? I encourage you to reach out!

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Comments

  1. Oh I can so relate to this… I had a best friend that I spent SO much time with and had SO many great adventures with when we were younger. But then life happened and we drifted apart. I really miss those times. Sometimes I wish I could go back to that time and get things back to the way they were.

  2. This is beautiful, the story and the photos. I hope y’all keep more in touch now! It’s funny because I saw my best friend since I was 11 over the weekend, and it hit me. We’ve never been on a road trip together. It blew both of our minds, so I think now we are going to have to amend that! Thanks for sharing. <3

  3. This is such an awesome story. I often relive the times I had with my best friend when we were younger..we met in 3rd grade and did everything together, we even lived a few houses away from each other which made it easier to sneak out at night and just sit at the park and chat. Then at the beginning of our freshman year she moved back to Texas and it was the worst day ever (I currently live in Kansas). We kept in touch, but then life got in the way. A few years ago I found her on Facebook and we reconnected..We have yet to hang out, but keep in touch more now than ever.

  4. Beautiful relationship! I believe that this will happen to me and a friend of mine when we go to college. I don’t want our friendship to break apart permanently. She really is a keeper.

  5. this story really has such a huge hold on my heart… what beautiful words. the photo of them holding hands while the incredible scenery surrounds them is just breathtaking. love how they documented their time… such special memories. as a photographer, this is something that would be a dream to photograph!

    IG:@aandfphotos
    Website: http://www.aandfphotos.com

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