Shades of FallOctober 23, 2017
Camden is the type of town you can fall in love with, especially during the fall. Known as the “Jewel of the Coast,” this little seaside community is the embodiment of Maine quaintness, complete with century-old cottages, picture-perfect cliffsides, and New England’s famous foliage.
Still, most tourists dutifully move on after a weekend of sightseeing—but then again, Elana Jadallah and Aaron Haynes aren’t most tourists. After visiting the area each autumn, the smitten couple decided to expand their definition of “home” to include Camden, settling into an apartment at the base of hiking haven Mt. Battie.
“We thought, why settle on one home? Why just keep visiting?” remembers Aaron, 32.
It was just the latest move in their nomadic lifestyle. The pair lived in Utah for five years before changing scenery to start their company, Dérive Collective, together in Hawaii.
“We needed to do something big, something different,” says Elana, 25, of their decision to uproot. “We had each other and a great group of friends in Utah, but we needed a challenge. So we thought, what’s bigger? How can we enjoy life’s day-to-days?”
Today, that means spending half the year on the Pacific in Kona, Hawaii, and the other half along Camden’s rocky shores.
Despite its sleepy appearance, each day in Camden brings something new, whether it’s traversing Maiden’s Cliff to overlook the pristine water of Megunticook lake or setting up shop in Zoot Coffee to jot down ideas for their next adventure.
“We love to hike or go to the Lincolnville or Lucia beach in the middle of the day, then settle down for work in the evening,” says Elana. “The late afternoon is great for nature here, but I’m naturally a morning person—that’s when I write and when at my most creative.”
You don’t have to look far for inspiration in Camden. “We both love art and photography,” explains Aaron. “We love doing the same activities and going to the same places, but our perspectives are different.”
“It’s great working together because our creativity doesn’t overlap,” Elana adds. “We’ll both shoot a photo of something and it’ll turn out looking totally different, so we’re able to camp and hike around Camden with distinct creative voices.”
Because she spends as much time as possible soaking up Camden’s picturesque fall, Elana is always prepared for the town’s fickle weather and has mastered the art of layering. “Nothing bulky,” she says, “Only things you can peel off, like lightly lined jackets or a thin tee hidden under a warm cardigan.”
“Fall is so fun to dress for, but everyone needs a good pair lightweight, all-weather boots,” she adds. Aaron laughs and agrees, noting that everyone in Camden has a pair close at hand—young and old, whether going to the office or the gym. “You just never know when it’s going to rain here,” he says.
As the sun sets over Maine, Elana and Aaron relax by the ocean. “These days, we try to just dive right in—literally and metaphorically,” Elana says. “We allow ourselves the joy that comes with living by the sea.”
Aaron adds, “We’re trying to make each day really count and be memorable.”
And though they’ll soon be back on the tropical beaches of Kona, they look forward to returning to Camden next fall. “You just feel it here: the history, the slower pace,” says Elana. “It’s not bustling, but it’s filled with easygoing, kind, and intelligent people and there’s breathtaking scenery for miles. We love it.”
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Read more about the couple’s adventures here.