What’s in a name?


In August of 2013, our friends Sarah and Emily were visiting us in San Diego and we decided to take them to one of our favorite places, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, to watch the sun set over the Pacific. It’s a gorgeous park that claims a couple miles of clifftop real estate along the Pacific Coast. As we were waiting for the sun to get lower in the sky, we noticed¬†a small section of the cliffs that is about 5 feet below the rim that juts out like a small platform. A person could jump down there, sit, and watch the sun set while the waves crashed just a few feet below you.

1493337_10153651123255576_1593336181_oWhile Adam was contemplating jumping down there, we noticed that someone had etched the words “DEPART TO ARRIVE” into the rock platform. The phrase just kind of leaped out at us – the perfect motto for our trip (and our lives). To us, it’s a reminder that life is full of risks and goodbyes, but it’s also full of rewards and hellos and the excitement of a new place; that you can’t go somewhere new without leaving where you are.

We got home that day and immediately started googling the phrase to determine where it came from. We had our theories: song lyrics? Book title? Band name? As it turns out, the phrase is the creation of Kevin Miles, a traveler and musician based in Stuttgart, Germany. He had been to San Diego as part of his travels a few weeks earlier, and had carved his signature phrase into the rock.

Since we got married in September 2011, we had been looking for inspiration for matching tattoos and had been coming up empty. Now that we had made the decision to pursue this year long trip, we ended up deciding that very night that we would each get “depart to arrive” tattoos. We emailed Kevin to tell him about our serendipitous find, and were thrilled to see his enthusiastic response, he loved the idea that we would be getting tattoos inspired by his work. With the decision made, we set up appointments with a tattoo artist for the next weekend.

Danielle already had one tattoo, so she had a vague idea of what to expect pain- and time-wise. Adam, on the other hand, had no idea what to expect so he just assumed it would hurt like hell and take forever. He was pleasantly surprised that it only hurt a little and took less than 5 minutes. There’s video of the ridiculous faces Adam made while trying to remain still while wincing in pain, but we’ll have to post that at a later date. At least he didn’t cry like a child.

Before - our virgin forearms

Before – our virgin forearms

After - inked forever

After – inked forever

When it came time to name the blog, the choice was clear. Hell, it’s a permanent part of us now. We’d like to sincerely thank Kevin Miles for providing the inspiration behind the name and we hope you’ll check out his work at www.departtoarrive.com.

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