When the Road Disappears.
"It's scary to turn down an unfamiliar road, with nothing more than two tracks just wide enough for each tire. However, if you go slow, in low gear and take your time, with each mile one finds inner strength, courage, confidence, and beauty." - Jennifer Langille / Photographer + Writer
Jennifer traveled over 20,000 miles collecting stories of those impacted by cancer and documenting the experiences of traveling around, through and over unique landscapes of America - as a solo female traveler. She began the journey from her home state of Vermont, criss-crossed the country over eight months, and encountered quite a few challenges along the way.
The decision-making process and physical experiences associated with navigating challenging and often scary natural terrain is extremely comparable to what a person must face when encountering a cancer diagnosis. When first presented, it's all surreal, scary and the mind can almost shutdown for a moment, while trying to process what they've been told, what they see, and how they feel.
There are many variables to consider. There are emotions to manage. There's a moment where one has to "take stock" of what they can handle, and what is too much, too risky, too scary.
On this journey, Jennifer documented her own experiences as they pertain to navigating the physical landscapes she had cross, to meet with those impacted by cancer. In addition, she collected the stories of those she met along the way impacted by cancer. Investigated the themes and parallels between their personal experiences to those of her own, and completed a manuscript in March of 2019.
The book was inspired by how cancer impacted her own life's course, and its influence on her decision-making over the past two decades of life.
This is not a book about Cancer. Cancer is the "muse" though not the staring role. It's about love, passion, determination, and overcoming fears of the unknown. The individuals featured have all been impacted by cancer, however, none are defined by cancer. Cancer has been that "mountain" or “desert" they were required to navigate. It's that time they got "stuck in the mud" and figured out a way to become "unstuck."
Jennifer is currently tucked away on a farm in Upstate New York editing the manuscript to Navigating Challenging Landscapes.