Penny Cooper


On a recent trip to my hometown, I had a family member ask me what I was doing wandering around the world.  She told me that her and some other family members felt that I was just out there wandering around with no goals and they had no idea what I was doing.  I left my hometown five years ago after both of my parents passed away in search of an authentic life.  I didn’t just move to the next town.  I picked up and moved to Kenya, Africa.  I spent close to a year there and then went to New York City.  After that I moved to Montana.  Since then I have lived in Alaska, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado and I have also spent several months of my life traveling around the Western United States as well as some international travel.

I have a following on Facebook.  I can see where my life might seem confusing to some.  Especially to family members who have deep roots in a very traditional, mid-western culture.  I don’t have an 8-5 Monday through Friday job, and I don’t stay in any one place for very long.  Money is not my goal.  Neither is retirement.  My goal is to live as much of this life as possible while considering each day a precious gift from God.  I do not have children.  I have all the freedom in the world to roam and I intend to do so as long as I have the funds to buy the gas and the plane tickets.

I was grateful for the conversation with that family member.  At least she didn’t just wonder what my life was about or dismiss me as crazy and never speak to me again.  She had the guts to ask and we had a very frank discussion about the fact that I have numerous goals.  Many of which put me back in touch with the artistic talents I expressed as a child and was never really allowed to pursue.  When you are raised by a lower class family in the Midwest and you tell your parents you want to be an artist you are basically asking them to go into cardiac arrest right in front of you.  “It’s not practical.”  “You can’t make any money at that.”  “Ha!  Good luck with that!”  Those are the answers one will typically receive.  Sadly enough, I listened, and I never picked up another brush, pencil, piece of charcoal again.  NOTHING.  At least not until about 4 years ago.

Upon leaving my hometown I have rediscovered my passions.  My first passion is travel.  I am passionate about art, and the earth, and people.  I love people.  I love to make them happy with art.  And I love to see how people all over the world live their lives.  For several years I tried to be what everybody else wanted me to be.  I tried to be a wife – didn’t work out for me.  I tried to be a home owner – didn’t work out for me.  I tried to work a cubicle corporate job – didn’t work out for me.  I may not have goals that are similar to the people that I was raised by or with, but make no mistake – I do have goals.

Travel the world, make art, hike, and love people.

Those are my goals.  I’m successful at them too.  I lost out on twenty years of practicing my artistic skills so some of that is coming to me a little late, but I am also paying very close attention to all the other art mediums that I feel myself being drawn to.  My travel goals are unlimited.  Those goals outnumber the stars.  My artistic goals are nothing to shake a stick at either, but my main goal is to be freelance and support my travel addiction with that income.  My other goal is to meet and love as many people as possible. I don’t care where you come from, what your background is, what skin color you are, how old you are, or what religion you practice.  I just want to know you and love you.

I have other goals too.  Personal, professional, romantic, spiritual…  I am a list maker from hell.  I literally have an entire notebook full of lists that I have made for myself.

What am I doing out here?  Why am I wandering around with no goals?


No, no, my friends.  That is not the case.  Wandering around IS the goal.  Making art IS the goal.  Hiking everywhere IS the goal.  Loving people IS the goal.

I invite you to join me on my journeys.  Read what I have to say, look at the photos I feel are important to share, and above all, ask me questions.  Let me inspire you to live an authentic life.  Let me inspire you to get naked on occasion. (I’ll explain all of that later.)  Let me bring the world to you.

Learn to liberate yourself.