When photographer Jacob Moon and his spouse, Natasha, went on their first date, they climbed a mountain collectively. With snowshoes on and ice axes in hand, they tagged the snowy summit of Mount Superior, exterior of Salt Lake Metropolis. The Moons found they’re the very best and happiest variations of themselves after they spend plenty of time exterior, in order that’s what they did. Since then, their life collectively has been infused with journey and far-flung journeys.
Their values didn’t change when their daughter, Zoey, was born six years in the past. After years of working as a journey nurse, with ample stints of time without work between gigs, Moon took a job as full-time nurse at a hospital. However he shortly realized the job wasn’t a match as a result of it didn’t permit for his nonnegotiable: the flexibility to be exterior along with his household as a lot as doable. He stop the job and leaned into images.
The primary yr of Zoey’s life on planet Earth was epic—a tenting journey to Jade Lake in Washington at three weeks outdated, a backpacking journey in Montana, a street journey down the West Coast, and a van journey in New Zealand. She noticed the redwoods, the ocean, and tall jagged peaks. Getting on the market was much less about beautiful vistas and picture-perfect landscapes—although these actually didn’t harm—and extra about prioritizing spending time collectively in nature, away from life’s distractions.
“We wished to offer her the very best life that we knew how,” says Moon. “That’s a life open air.” Moon didn’t get hooked on the outside himself till he was 26. Though he’d lengthy stared on the Wasatch Entrance and wished to hike a mountain, none of his pals did outdoorsy issues, so he by no means felt like he had the prospect. At some point, he determined to go for it. Moon grabbed his dad’s digital camera and hiked to the highest of Utah’s Mount Timpanogos by himself. “From there, it looks as if all the things completely did a 180,” he says. He began spending all his time exterior studying new issues—mountain climbing, mountaineering, backcountry snowboarding—and liked each minute of it.
Right now, the Moon household spends eight months a yr on the street. Zoey loves when the household drives the van right down to Baja, the place they spend their days splashing within the water, studying to swim, and paddleboarding. She additionally has a delicate spot for slot canyons and the otherworldly sandstone towers in Utah’s Goblin Valley State Park.
Zoey realized to crawl in New Zealand. She took her first step in Dying Valley. Her first bike trip was on a dry lake mattress in Utah. There have been plenty of firsts alongside the best way for Moon, too. “You get to expertise issues once more for the primary time via her eyes,” he says. “Once we took her to the Washington coast, we had been like, ‘Listed below are clouds, listed here are wildflowers, right here’s a tree, right here’s moss.’ It’s actually cool to expertise issues for the primary time and share them with anyone you actually love.”
Whereas Moon takes the idea of “journey dad” to the acute, he believes anybody can faucet into the enjoyment he’s discovered—and he hopes they do. He encourages people to begin small like he did. When he and Natasha took Zoey tenting at three weeks outdated, they introduced a “gigantic 12-person tent, large cots, and large chairs.” All that gear helped them really feel secure and comfy. It additionally helped them notice tenting wasn’t that scary they usually in all probability didn’t want all that stuff the following time they went. “You don’t must go that far to have a brand new expertise open air,” Moon says. “Get away from electronics and distractions, and give attention to time collectively.”
Moon generally worries that sharing his grand adventures may make different mother and father really feel like they might by no means do it, however that’s not true. “You simply must construct as much as it. Begin easy, go forward and take all the things however the kitchen sink with you, discover ways to deal with a child open air, after which transfer as much as larger adventures,” Moon says. “The tip purpose is simply spending uninterrupted time collectively in no matter trend.”
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