While Eunique Deeann of the blog Stranded On Land is not used to talking about herself, her story is exactly the kind that inspires us to break out of our routine. Feeling trapped by her daily grind in Miami, Eunique wondered what motivated others to make a life change.
In those moments, all I wanted to do was be on the boat and out away from everything. But what I discovered was that it wasn’t really the running away from land that I was seeking, but to feel alive, inspired and challenged.
Eunique left behind life as she knew it for a three month solo journey across the US, before settling in her new home of San Diego. Driven by her genuine curiosity, Eunique created Stranded On Land to inspire outdoor connections and to profile the everyday people she meets who find the courage to break out of their comfort zones and pursue their dreams.
Learn more about Eunique in our interview below, and go to Stranded On Land to get inspired!
Tell us about yourself!
I grew up in west Texas with my dad, step mom and brothers. I guess I’ve always had an itch for traveling and road trips. My best friend and I would hop in the car on Friday night and drive to nearby small towns or take an overnight trip to Dallas, and we’d be back home before my curfew.
I didn’t really discover my necessity for the outdoors until I moved to Miami in my 20’s where there was easy access to so many activities and beautiful vegetation I had never seen. I started with gardening and escaping to Oleta State Park with friends to kayak, paddleboard and mountain bike on the trails.
A turning point was visiting Costa Rica and living in a rainforest treehouse community for a week, which gave me bravery to travel and to encounter things that exist in nature. This experience gave me courage and awoke my necessity to see and do more and revolve my exploration around being outside.
What inspired you to create Stranded On Land?
I was stuck. My life was and for the most part has always been really great. I was living in Miami and had lots of friends, a great job that paid well and the opportunity to do really awesome things pretty much anytime I wanted. I liked my life and loved my home, but I didn’t feel inspired. I wasn’t excited by the way I was living life any longer. Everyday I found myself waking up feeling trapped, literally stranded by the necessities of day to day living.
At the time, I had been spending a good deal of time on the waters in Miami and was contemplating sailing and blogging which is how the name came to origin. In those moments, all I wanted to do was be on the boat and out away from everything. But what I discovered was that it wasn’t really the running away from land that I was seeking, but to feel alive, inspired and challenged.
I found this inspiration through discovering others out there who shared the same feeling and decided to do something about it. I’d find someone new and say to myself, “She did it” or “He’s doing it” and “Wow look what they did!” I realized that I wanted to know why and how and what they were doing before and now. What inspired and motivated them? I felt like these stories and the realness of knowing that this person took a leap and is doing awesome things and is making their own way doing things that they love, whether it’s living in a van or escaping every weekend to explore, is inspiring. For me personally, it motivated me to take action. I want to inspire others to do the same.
What do you love most about living in San Diego?
As cheesy as it might sound, I knew San Diego was home from the very first moment I arrived. There’s just something about this place that is welcoming. It’s beautiful. Everyone here has a great energy, and there’s so much to see and do everyday that it hasn’t gotten old. There’s an abundance of neighborhoods to explore and so much good eats and drinks. The location offers mountains, ocean and short drives to be in the desert, snowy mountains or LA on any given day. It’s pretty dope that you have the option at anytime you want to do pretty much anything you can imagine.
When life gets busy, how do you find time for adventures?
I got into a habit a while back to force time to push my boundaries. It’s really easy to get comfortable in the daily routines, especially since it seems so hard to take a road trip or plan an escape when you only have 2 days off. I leave my camping bag packed and often in the back of my car. I have gotten into the habit of working non-stop for days, hopping into my car and heading off to pitch my tent for a night and then heading back to work. I skip out on a lot of the basics like putting my laundry away and grocery shopping weekly, but I never liked doing those things anyways.
How does your background in the food industry play into your outdoor adventures?
I haven’t really figured that part out fully yet. I have always really enjoyed and supported locally sourced and small farms whenever I can and have attempted more than once to have a garden. For me, even when I am on the road, I don’t like to sacrifice my nutrition for the sake of convenience. I indulge in junk food with the best of them, but I am really about consumption of real food versus packaged or processed. I am exploring the food and beverage industry more and looking for ways to educate and incorporate wiser, healthier and tastier convenient options on-the-go.
What is your favorite piece of gear to bring on the trail?
My camera. I am newly beginning my relationship with it, but I have always enjoyed capturing moments. I think being able to do this really elevates my experience personally because I am forced to not only pay attention to the trail, but I discover so many details that I don’t take the time to see when I leave my camera behind. I am able to turn off my brain and just zone into that moment.
Where to next?
The desert. I know some people think it’s crazy, but I love to escape to the desert for a day or two. There’s a mystery and resilience that you don’t find really anywhere else there. It’s quiet, peaceful and there’s lots of room for solitude. It’s a place that I connect to as much as I do the ocean. It’s beautiful.
The perfect s’more:
Sea salt dark chocolate, extra burnt marshmallow smashed between 2 honey grahams.
Photos © 2016 Stranded On Land