Modest, Impossible Dreams

Volume II: Chapter I 

After crash landing back in Vancouver, unable to get back into the US because of our immigration status, we were unsure of what to do with ourselves. We knew we either had to make a plan, fast, or we would find ourselves settling in right back where we started. I imagined myself updating my resume, handing it out, how the interview would go. I could see myself in some beige office being asked about the six month gap in employment, then immediately wanting to jump out of the closest open window before I could even open my mouth to speak. Maybe it seems entitled of me but I did not want to resign myself to a desk job again. I didn’t want just two weeks a year to myself. We had built something here, we just didn’t know what to do with it, how to keep it alive. We were massaging the heart when what we needed was a defibrillator. 

That’s when we got our first job as travel photographers.

Up to this point the most exciting emails we had received were for free product, nice stuff too. We wondered if we could sell it, we needed to eat. But THIS email was more than that, this was the first time someone had seen the value in what we were creating with our cameras. They wanted us to do what we do, but for them. This was the tipping point; we just had to keep the momentum going while earning enough money to pay our bills. If we were going to do that, we would have to be able to work in America. 

The obstacles in the way of us getting back on the road seemed insurmountable, especially when it came to immigration. It was great that we were getting jobs offers but we couldn’t take them. We wanted to live and work on the road, in America. We researched our options endlessly. I got back in touch with every single and available male friend I had stateside, marriage was an avenue we entertained. We even talked about immigrating to a more lenient country first so we could apply for the green card lottery from there. That seemed easier than the visa route. We knew which visa we needed but they weren’t easy to get. It’s the same visa Nobel prize winners apply for, it’s the one Justin Bieber has. We eventually decided we had nothing to lose and used the money from our first few jobs to get a lawyer, a really really good lawyer. He said we had a fighting chance and that’s what we needed to hear.


Words by: Kyla Trethewey


Start reading from our first day on the road or see all of our travel posts.