On The Road With Kristen of @HelloAmerica: A Diary

This post comes from Kristen Blanton of Hello America. Get inspired as she recounts her recent adventure across America with two of her best friends and a van in tow. 

May 18, 2015

We pick up Raven at San Francisco’s airport around 4:30 PM. Natalie and I emerge from the Redwoods after 5 days of intense sisterhood camping with 500 women we don’t know. It was real groovy and real beautiful. We learned how to make leather journals. We gave thanks to Mama Gaia. We ate a plant-based diet. So it goes.



Get the look: End Of Surf School Party Dress, Embossed Leather Hat, Luka Lace Up Gladiator Sandals

After battling San Francisco’s traffic for hours, we were tired. Tired because the weather was gloomy and cold and we were in California for pete sake and our picture of a sunny month along the coast was jolted. But then Raven hopped in the Jeep with her Willie Nelson tee and I thought to myself, well alright. So we drove to Half Moon Bay and stayed at a real quaint AirBNB that had a tiny shower and lots of heat. We walked to the beach and drank wine from the bottle and played chicken with the waves and I could smell the ocean and we were pleased.



Get The Look: Rolled Sleeves Pocket Tunic

May 19, 2015

We drive to Big Sur because it’s beautiful and you don’t need any other reason for going to Big Sur. We pay a silly fee to go to Pfeiffer Beach. It’s too windy to stay long. We don’t mind because like I said, Big Sur is beautiful and you can’t really be upset in Big Sur. Natalie makes a fire and we talk about the past and where we’d like to end up.




May 20, 2015

We stumble upon a yoga class that waits for us to change and get barefoot. After, we go to another beach and take our clothes off because why not and also who cares? We drink more wine and have sister talk and fall asleep three deep in our two-person tent. I wake because it’s below 40 degrees and I can’t feel my toes or my fingers or my face. This also makes me happy because it reminds me I’m not inside and that California isn’t meeting my expectations because it’s exceeding them.


May 21, 2015

We drive six hours down the coast to meet up with Cameron, an old road friend in Malibu. He brings a bus of other buds and Raven has a friend-couple who are rad and precious and own an old Westfalia. They bring their two dogs so we’re packed to the brim with motorcycles, Coors beer and pups. A few boys go down to surf so we follow with jackets and blankets. We sit on a rock that overlooks the waves. That night we (and by we, I mean not me) eat bratwurst on buns and drink whiskey. There’s a fire and new friend banter. It’s a warm night and not because the temperature. The energy is delicious so we gobble up each other’s life stories without hesitation.



Get the look: Weekender Dress, Sexy Back Blues TunicEmbossed Leather Hat, Luka Lace Up Gladiator Sandals, Antique Leather Crossbody


May 22, 2015

We wake up with the sunrise. I brew a large batch of coffee and we all glide down towards the beach to welcome water. Or maybe it’s the water that welcomes us. Goodbye comes too soon and we’re off again in the car on the road listening to our anthem, Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” and singing out of tune.

May 23, 2015

We meet Raven’s sister-friend Evanne in Los Angeles and she takes us in like the angel she is. It’s a whirlwind and a strange place. I do best in the wild, untouched by the city. But here she eases us into the hustle and I drink too many cups of coffee and decide that LA is a place I just might come back and see again, in the very-far-off-I’m-already-taking-back-this-statement future.



May 24, 2015

We make it to the motherland. Joshua Tree is a place of comfort and relief. We stay at “The Ranch” which is dirty and messy, but it tries, so we enjoyed it. We listened to Lord Huron. We learned about crystals and have our tarot read. We cooked a meal together and fell asleep to the howling desert wind.



May 25, 2015

We drive to Joshua Tree National Forest and I’m faking my calm because my heart is about to explode from anticipation. This is the place the man of my dreams was born, the place where I greeted the desert for the first time, the place I want to call home one day. We go to the sound bath and take in the echoes of crystal bowls that are so loud they hurt my ears. It’s weird and refreshing and totally consuming. We watched the sun set on the Joshua’s and I swear to God they were dancing for us.



May 26, 2015

Natalie and I say goodbye to Raven and Evanne. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Truly.

Nat and I drive 25 hours straight through the desert and the west. We stop 7 miles north of Mexico to see the cacti in Organ Pipe National Monument. The ranger suggests we go to Mexico. We’re in. Natalie doesn’t have her passport. The plan’s a bust so we head back east. We figure it’s for the best and that our parents will be happy to not have known we wanted to go to Mexico. It’s 4:19 in the morning. I’m singing along to Cotton Jones while eating Cheerios just to stay awake. The stars in Texas are larger than any I’ve ever seen.


May 27, 2015

We make it to Austin at 11 AM. I am a zombie but I am happy because I’ve learned parts of myself I didn’t know existed. I see the lengths I’ll go to create. I watch the genius of Raven’s talent first hand and become humbled by it. I see the light in Natalie when she talks about everything and it makes me want to be better. I realize that in these moments I had the unique opportunity to grow and to change and to do it beside two fantastic women whom I admire.


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Clocking over 6,000 miles in three weeks with my wolf pack of sisters was exhausting and fantastic. It was hard. It was enlightening. It was that clam before the storm, the madness of the chaos and the brilliant light after the fall. It was good and raw. It was dirty. It was kind. It wasn’t glamor and it wasn’t easy but we really felt it and that was alright with us.

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Get the look: End Of Surf School Party Dress, Embossed Leather Hat, Luka Lace Up Gladiator Sandals

Follow along with Kristen on Instagram and check out her work here!

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8 years ago

What a beautiful photo diary! She literally has the goals of my life.

8 years ago

Fascinating photos. Thank you for sharing them!

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8 years ago

Loved this so much! Sounds amazing & I hope I can do something like that one day!! xx