Hi! I’m Talor Stone, also known as the Redheaded Nomad. While travel has always been a passion for me, it hasn’t always been my lifestyle. Once upon a time, I was just a girl determined to pursue a typical career path (though in a not-so-typical job) and climb the social ladder. The journey that transformed me from just another cog in the wheel into the Redheaded Nomad is long and winding.
After college I joined the military with high hopes of merging my desire to travel with a career. While my time in the military was invaluable in countless ways – from learning independence and self-reliance to basic survival and leadership – I found myself constantly feeling constrained by the boundaries military service requires. For a myriad of reasons (maybe one day I’ll write about them) I left the military without much of a plan or direction. In the two and a half years that followed I was married, moved states, lost my mother, then divorced. As a privileged, overachieving, white female with a middle-class upbringing I was, for the first time in my life, confronted with the fact that life often does not go as planned.
This kind of turmoil resulted in some serious soul searching, so I decided to go back to the basics. What did I love as a child? My childhood dream was all that remained untainted by overbearing social expectations and the many questionable choices I had made in my life. I grew up intrigued by the world around me. When other children watched cartoons, the only channels I was interested in were Animal Planet and National Geographic. My mother, who scoffed at convention, taught me how to read using Childcraft Encyclopedias about animals and the cultures of far-away places. When other children said they wanted to be Firemen or Astronauts, I grew up adamant that I wanted to be a National Geographic Photographer. A rather strange wish for a 4 year-old.
But, as is common, my childhood dream faded into a distant memory as I became more focused on trying to fit in (which was a constant struggle for me as an outspoken redheaded girl). My desire to be a photographer was replaced by a love for horses before I was old enough to operate a real camera. My love of culture briefly reappeared in college when I left a practical Engineering program in favor of Sociology, but was quickly dampened again by my choice to pursue the military. But, a few years ago when I sat stunned with my life disintegrating around me, I asked myself what my childhood dream was and decided I would refocus every effort to revive it. The next day I bought my very first camera, a Fujifilm X-T10, and taught myself how to use it. While I’m under no illusion that I will actually become a National Geographic Photographer one day, I am fully satisfied to explore my world and create images I can be proud of. These captured moments bring me joy and I can only hope that they do the same for you. Check out my available prints to see which images are your favorites!
Today my travels are equal parts local immersion and pursuit of photography. I travel on an extreme budget which typically includes cooking all of my own meals, sleeping in unconventional places, relying on the unending kindness of strangers, and camping and hiking in a never ending pursuit of the perfect light. Oh yeah. . . and nearly all of it is solo (bless my poor father’s heart!). All of this combined has resulted in some truly extraordinary travel experiences, some near misses, and some “you’d have to see it to believe it” stories. It’s no surprise my friends and family began referring to me as the Redheaded Nomad! Check out my blog to find out more and use the icons below to connect with me through Instagram and Facebook!