As we grow older our priorities change. We start looking at reality face first. We acknowledge that the responsibilities we’ve pushed aside start to creep up on us and realize life outside of the box. Likewise we mature and learn a little more about balance in life. With that being said, before we dive into this feature, this will be my last post for FL this year. No worries. It was more of a personal choice by giving myself a break from the overall scene, just some time for reflection, and we’ll leave it at that. Besides, from the way I see it, I fancy being a reader as they have the best seat in the house. You get to peek into our lives, live the moments line by line, and embrace it all without all the extra baggage. How convenient is that?
Anyways, FL will still be active though this will be my final article for now. I owe it to the most dedicated staff ever. A staff fueled first and foremost by passion. Without you all, this once dream of mine would’ve never been a reality. I thank you for that. So chin up everyone and let’s enjoy one more round on the house.
This was my first time ever heading out to Walnut Creek and it is such a beautiful place. It reminded me of a prestigious getaway tucked in the beautiful Bay Area. As a traveler, this was a journey in its own. The architecture, the vibe, and the people added a bit more life to this jewel. However I had to cut my tour short as I had to head over to my last assignment TD Garage.
It has been months since I’ve met up with Kia, so it was refreshing to catch up on life and talk shop. One thing I’ve always enjoyed talking about here on FL is the people. It’s great to chat about cars, but what’s even better is talking about life outside the scene. I found it interesting that Kia himself is an artist in his own respect. Along the walls of TD Garage, you can find some of Kia’s artwork such as this flock of birds. Likewise, looking through the work tables you can spot his stencil works from a variety of artistic backgrounds.
The shop space is roomy and can accommodate plenty of work. Pushed to the furthest part of the garage is Kia’s daily driver, a drift spec Subaru WRX. For those of you who headed out to the Sonoma drift event, you probably spotted this fresh car swinging it. Aside from this drift spec WRX, Kia also has a time attack spec Subie adding a well rounded crew of track cars. With the amount of dedication and work placed on each build, it shows how well crafted Kia is in building sophisticated pieces of machinery. As some people say, Kia is your go to guy for Subaru specialty.
Lately, Kia has expanded his sticker collection. His Subie is filled with stickers covering his whole rear windshield and the car itself. It is pretty intense if you ask me. And just like my “used to be” sticker collection on my S14, each sticker has a story. Years ago, Kia used to frequent the Tokyo Auto Salon tours where he collected plenty of rare stickers. Each sticker with importance, a memory retained close to home.
Though the stickers are overwhelming, the car still retains a clean appearance, a clean interior, and stirs up attention on the street. I had about 30 minutes before I needed to leave so we did a photoshoot for old times’ sake. Besides, this would be my last auto photo shoot, so it was a request kindly accepted.
As we drove around Walnut Creek, all I could see were restaurants, lounges, shopping districts, and then repeat. Cheers. Sounds like a lovely place to getaway and spill some cash. The vibe was spot on. Plus as I later found out, this place is home to some fortunate and wealthy citizens. Tons of swag spilling in this neck of the woods. We even spotted a Ferrari 458 Italia curb side parked with no worries at all. As Kia says, he spots it there on a day to day basis.
Now see that. I respect the owner of the Ferrari 458 Italia. He actually drives and uses his car. He doesn’t just have it to show off, but he actually puts purpose behind the wheel. If you’re going to own a supercar, then at least make the most of it. Sure, it’s great for looks, but put it to good use.
After driving about 20 minutes around town, we found a nice hill with a nice view where we did the shoot. It’s a great feeling to be a photographer and just shoot for the fun of it. Not worrying one bit about anything at all. As I did this final shoot, it brought me back one year ago when I first started this all. Fresh. I didn’t know a single person in the scene, I just got into drifting on track, and as ignorant as I sounded back then, I was content.
But in no ways I regret this experience from then to now. It was nice to meet new people, learn acceptance, learn more about confidence and delivery, and really it opened my eyes to how I can better myself in the future. So for those of you interested in starting a blog, just do it. Look at us. I never expected we’d even go international or even get this far, but we did. I never expected my staff to find opportunities out of this, but we did. You never know what will come out of this, but I’ve always believed in the importance of journey. Get out of your shell, see what works well for you, and just seize it. Know your priorities and continue to push your passion forward.
So to all our readers and friends, thank you for the experience. Also a shout out to our affiliates for the help we’ve received in the past. Most importantly a big thanks to my staff, cheers mates. Whether we be in Australia, the United States, or even the United Kingdom, we will keep it proper and classy always.
:. Michael Cabuco