July 24, 2019 3 min read

Hey OTBT wanderers!

This month we had the awesome opportunity to work once again with one of our favorite photographers, Madison Caston on a photography collaboration. And this one was particularly special – a couple’s photo shoot with Off the Beaten Track wanderers Kenley Stephens and Ty Young. These two travelers and soulmates were celebrating their one-year anniversary in true OTBT style, with a themed photo shoot that encapsulates their adventurous spirit and the love they have for each other.

We caught up with Kenley to ask few a few questions about her relationship and photo shoot with Ty, their travels together, and their future plans to travel and do aid work in Africa.

What first drew you to Ty? What do you love most about him?

His looks first drew me to him, but his persistence kept me interested. No matter the different ways life took each of us, we always had a feeling we would end up together at some point in our lives, and here we are now. After being with him for this long, I know that his heart is his best quality. He is the strongest, most humble guy I know.

You two have been friends for a while before you started dating. Would you say that friendship is especially important for a dating relationship?

Yes! Relationships are all about getting to know each other on a deeper level, and we believe friendship is the first level. Our friendship didn’t end when we started dating; it just became even stronger. Being friends for so long helped us get to know each other on a surface level but dating made us dig deeper and get to know each other beyond that. Now we are each other’s best friend.

You've mentioned that you take lots of trips together. Where are some of the places you've been?

We have been to music festivals in New Orleans and Gulf Shores, to the beach and Nashville several times, to a Red Sox game in Boston, and to the lake. We have been to so many concerts too! We just love getting away together.

Do you have an interesting travel story or fun off-the-beaten-track moment that you experienced together that you'd love to share?

Our first trip together was a spur of the moment decision with two of our best friends. We booked a hotel that definitely could have used some upgrades, and all four of us stayed in an especially small room. We spent the whole weekend at a music festival without a care in the world, just enjoying being in a fun place with our favorite people. I think the most interesting travel stories are the ones that really can’t be told in full, because words don’t do them justice. Planned vacations are always a blast, but to us, it’s more fun when the memories take a turn and go off the beaten track.

What was the inspiration behind your recent photo shoot?

Madison Caston Photography takes all the credit here. The inspiration was, in short, adventurous love. We honored the true emotion shared in our relationship while running around, laughing, hand in hand, creating new little memories together. Madison wanted a raw, organic look for our shoot, and I think she accomplished just that. She took “off-the-beaten track” and ran with it, really capturing the joy and love that our relationship holds, no matter what path we are on.

What do you think of the OTBT shoes you picked out for the shoot?

LOVE! As soon as we both saw the shoes, we were obsessed. They’re such comfortable shoes, and they really went with the theme we were going for.

You mentioned that you plan to travel to Africa together next summer. Can you tell us a little more about that?

We plan to go to Limuru, which is in Kenya. There’s an orphanage there where we will spend most of our time, helping out however we can to make their lives a little easier. We’ll also be helping at a feeding program for elderly and HIV-positive individuals and at a home for disabled girls. I have been to Africa twice, and I’m so eager to share this piece of my heart with Ty. I cannot wait to experience it through his eyes while also seeing it through my own. It’s like both parts of my heart will finally collide, and I couldn’t be more excited to witness all of it.

If you two could share any bit of advice for our readers, what would it be?

All in God’s perfect timing. For anything really, it’s about it happening at just the right time, and God’s timing isn’t just good; it’s perfect. Trust and wait for it.

All photographs for this article are credited to Madison Caston Photography.

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