Stories from the Road

Feb | Mission Statements + Airplane Windows

A year ago, over skype calls + coffee with Atlas Addict’s EIC//one of my best friends, Alysha, the idea of a mission statement for the publication arose. At the time, the idea of a magazine was in infancy stages, something tossed around + bounced back in emails from Massachusetts to Arizona. It seemed so far away, so distant.

I volunteered to write the statement, because I was headed to Atlanta for two days and thought that there was no better time to be inspired than, well, actually traveling. And so, I found myself sitting next to my sister 30,000 feet up in the air, sun shining through the oval window, scribbling furiously in a notebook.

I may have studied journalism in college, but words have never come easily to me–not in the way visuals do, anyways. Nothing ever seems good enough. The ideas that float in my head, a complicated, tangled, net of images, tones, textures, snippets of text, fleeting emotions, never seem to translate onto the page as eloquently, and it’s intensely frustrating.

Writing this statement was no exception, and I struggled to find a way to say what Atlas Addict meant to me, what travel meant to me, and Alysha, and Kate, and Barbara, and everyone who dedicated hours to sharing their stories and images here.

It took me the flight to Atlanta, and the flight back, but I finally came up with something that was halfway decent, and I was happy with it. I ripped it out of the notebook, tucked it into something else, and–

I lost it.

Yes, I flipping lost the mission statement, and, for ten months, any attempts to recover it were futile. As the months went by, I toyed with writing another, but I was so busy with school, and then work–and, well, I was intent that someday, I’d find it. Which I did. It was in a drawer in my nightstand, and when I found it, packing up my bedroom, I sat down, stunned, and then laughed for a good two minutes. When I reread it, I found that, while the site has grown and stretched in recent sites, the statement is still much the same.

Creating a magazine takes a lot more work than I had ever anticipated, and it takes much longer, too. We all have full time jobs, meaning that the sending emails, editing copy and laying out pages happens on days off and after long days, when our eyes are tired and the siren call of Netflix is stronger than ever. It’s hard–but every time I hear back from a collaborator, see the images and the sweet words, I am reminded of why we’re doing this.

Finding the mission statement has been a kick in the butt. It’s a “we haven’t found what we’re looking for, so we’re making our own,” a “we have important stories to tell,” it’s a “we’ve got to keep working.” And I can’t wait to share our first publication with you.

Oh, and the mission statement? Well, here it is:

“Travel is an exhilarating, glorious, messy affair, and we’re head over heels with it. We travel in pursuit–of knowledge, understanding, authenticity, stories, and heartachingly beautiful moments. Down side streets, past landmarks, and through hallways; in parks, and bars, and plazas, we search for these things, always. 

Atlas Addict is a place for young creatives to share, and learn, and experience. We love beautiful visuals, honest words, and raw, frank, discussion. Through curated travel guides, stories, and interviews, we aim to inspire and connect as the world gets smaller. Whether across the ocean or across the street, we’re constantly chasing the unfamiliar. Today is a great day for an adventure–come join us.” 

Yeah, still true.


Shannon is the managing + web editor for Atlas Addict.