UBUD, Bali | Indonesia

All Rights Reserved I’m just going to say it. I love Ubud. It’s true. I’m not sure you can do anything but love it. There is a real sense of spirituality that you don’t find anywhere else. It’s full of artists, creativity, and spirituality. I was particularly interested in the handicrafts. While there is a large market in the center of town with several stalls, nearby streets also are chock full of amazing finds. Put on your bargaining hat.

And if you are staying in Ubud, or just visiting for the day, there are plenty of activities to fill your time. Looking for the perfect place to stay in Bali? Check out these amazing listings on Luxe Nomad. All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_3 UBUD_CITY_4 All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_6 All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_8 UBUD_CITY_9 UBUD_CITY_10 All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_12 All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_14 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_25 All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_27 What does after school pick up look like? There no minivans in sight. Only scooters. All Rights Reserved UBUD_CITY_17 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved

Dear Ubud, I can’t wait to see you again.

THE ONION COLLECTIVE | UBUD, BALI

All Rights Reserved My stay in Ubud was incredible, in part because I was staying at The Onion Collective in their ‘Love Shack.’ While I was there on my own, I was romancing the self and loving every moment of it. The Onion Collective is currently comprised of 3 rooms that can be booked via airbnb. There is also a restaurant and workspace with the fastest internet I had found to date in Indonesia. Mark, the host, was fantastic, attentive, and he really caters to a creative vibe.

The Love Shack as you can see below is super cute. It’s a two story stone cottage meets tree house. The downstairs is the bathroom and upstairs is the bedroom and balcony. Dreamy! ONION_2 ONION_3 All Rights Reserved ONION_5 ONION_6 All Rights Reserved ONION_8 The restaurant not only has tasty items on the menu, but caters to a great space should you need to hop on your laptop and get some work done. ONION_9 All Rights Reserved ONION_12 There are also certain nights with live music and other special events depending on the week. Lots of great creativity happening here!

And beyond all that, The Onion Collective is the perfect location within Ubud. It’s just down the street from the famous Yoga Barn should you want to take a class, or snag a bite at the popular Taco Casa or Bebek Bengil. Also within walking distance is Monkey Forest and all the other great shops and restaurants in Ubud proper.

With a price tag of $25 USD/night for the Love Shack, you can’t go wrong at The Onion Collective. All Rights Reserved Follow them on facebook and instagram (@theonionco).

UBUD, INDONESIA | CYCLE TOUR + KECAK

All Rights Reserved After braving the monkey forest, it was time to do some exploring and a little bit of exercising. Insert cycle tour. The beginning of the tour started with a stop at a spice garden for a coffee and tea tasting. All signs pointed to delicious. UBUD_2 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved UBUD_6
After sipping on some delicious refreshments, we stopped for breakfast complete with amazing view of Mount Batur which is an active volcano. It was important we get some energy in us because I had no idea we were about to embark on a such a serious mountain biking tour. 12 miles to be exact. All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved UBUD_9
The tour started all downhill. Easy, breezy. We stopped at a local family home to experience Balinese living. UBUD_10 UBUD_11 UBUD_12 UBUD_13
Now this is where things start to get challenging. Uphill, downhill, narrow paths, gear changes etc. I was sweating like a mad woman but gladly tearing into the exercise. All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved
We stop at an area where they are cleaning up from a cremation ceremony from days past. We hike down into the mountainside where there are ancient ruins covered in earth and moss. A lovely sight.

The clean up is still smoldering as decorations are being dismantled. UBUD_16 UBUD_17 All Rights Reserved UBUD_19 All Rights Reserved UBUD_21
After a lot of gear changing, the landscape began to even out as we cycled through rice paddies. We stopped along the way to get up close and personal to those working the fields. UBUD_22 UBUD_23 All Rights Reserved UBUD_25 All Rights Reserved UBUD_27 All Rights Reserved UBUD_29 All Rights Reserved
The tour ended with lunch where after having worked up a good sweat, I happily threw back another es campur dessert drink. All Rights Reserved
As if the day wasn’t already filled with amazing adventure and experiences, the day ended with heading over to see a live performance of the Kecak. All Rights Reserved UBUD_33 All Rights Reserved UBUD_35 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved

Basically this was one of the most amazing days.

UBUD, Indonesia | Monkey Forest

All Rights Reserved As a child, I feared the Monkey Forest in Ubud. I have memories of monkeys jumping on my mom, crying out of fear that they might attack me, and nightmares that they would sink their teeth into me. So let’s just say, I was a little hesitant to enter the monkey kingdom. Would they jump on me? Take my camera? Rifle through my bag? Help!

Let’s just say, none of those things happened. Phew. The five year old in me grew up and while I had tense moments, overall the experience had me feeling like I had conquered a childhood fear. Yes! monkeyforest_2 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved monkeyforest_5 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved monkeyforest_9 All Rights Reserved monkeyforest_11 All Rights Reserved monkeyforest_13 monkeyforest_14 All Rights Reserved monkeyforest_16 monkeyforest_17 monkeyforest_18 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved
Now if you like monkeys all over you, bring bananas.

Boat Magazine | LA ISSUE

Many of you know that I am a huge fan of Boat Magazine. Their latest issue is near and dear to my heart as it is an LA issue and I was lucky enough to be a contributor!

I photographed a story about people who sleep in their cars in Venice Beach as it has been controversial as of late and I also photographed and wrote a piece on the amazing Matthew Biancaniello (bartender extraordinaire). I had the chance to go foraging for local cocktail ingredients with Matthew in Malibu this summer.

Purchase the latest issue either online or find out which local spots carry Boat! Find the stock list here.  A special thanks to Erin Spens, editor of Boat for making this possible! Check out a few spreads below!

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Bali, Indonesia | Part 1 | Tanah Lot

All Rights Reserved While Bali is touristy and certain tourist spots are often met with crowds, there is always still a magic quality about them when it comes to Bali. Here we visit Tanah Lot, a beautiful temple which I have visited several times as a child. Even as an adult, I am always impressed by it. Should you choose to take the stairs on the rock formation, you must wait in line and be blessed with holy water before entering. Watch out for the poisonous snakes that live at the base of the temple. All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved TANAHLOT_5 TANAHLOT_6 TANAHLOT_7 All Rights Reserved TANAHLOT_9 All Rights Reserved Don’t forget to check out the local outdoor market at the temple entrance to find some good bargains as well as good local eats.

Speaking of local eats, what is my favorite Indonesian treat? Es Campur.

Es campur literally means ‘mixed ice’ and although you may expect an ice cream cone or a sorbet, the ice in this sweet little dish stands for ice cubes. The ice cubes float in a mangkok (bowl) filled with milk, coconut shavings, avocado, nangka (jackfruit) and several kinds of jelly. All Rights Reserved After Tanah Lot, a drink at the W Hotel in Seminyak was the perfect ending. All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved

GILI TRAWANGAN | PART 2

The Gili Islands win for my first turtle snorkel spotting. The four of us hired a boat for a day, which took us to nearby waters around Gili Air and Gili Meno. The coral was fantastic and there was plenty of fish (plus a couple turtles) to appease the eyes.

While we explored the ocean, my sister and I also explored the land. While most of the excitement is on the coast of the island, my sister and I decided to cut across the island to get to the other side instead of following the shoreline. We had a map that was of little use because the roads mapped out were near impossible to find. Instead, we found the island covered in dirt, unmarked paths. So we got lost. Happily lost. We passed through a small village, beautiful palm tree groves, and eventually found our way to the ocean again. Amazing.

GILI_17 GILI_18 GILI_19 GILI_20 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved GILI_23 GILI_24 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved GILI_27 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved GILI_31 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved We opted for the speedboat back to Bali which was a smoother ride, though the boarding process looked like this… GILI_39

Next up? The magic of Bali.

Gili Trawangan | Part 1

All Rights Reserved After lounging around Lombok, we headed over to Gili Trawangan. We booked a boat from a local agent in Lombok and the transportation was as follows:

1. Van to a restaurant. (Huh?)

2. Horse carriage from the restaurant to the ferry landing.

3. Local boat that was near tipping over. (See below)

Conclusion? Splurge for the speedboat.

Tip: Wear shorts and sandals as you will be likely boarding and disembarking in shallow waters.

There are no cars or motorbikes on the island, only horse carriages, so take this into consideration when booking accommodations. You will either have to walk or hail down a horse. There is a definite backpacker feel around the pier landing which makes it feel a little less authentic but with a backpacker culture usually comes a proper coffee, so in this instance, I was okay with it. However, it seems like there are way more tourists than locals. I was missing the wild, untouched nature of Lombok.

The island is small enough that you only need a few days. We rented bikes and circled the island no problem. There are several restaurants and bars right on the sand and the beaches are pretty decent for snorkeling. Also, if you are into scuba, this is your jam.

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Lombok, Indonesia | Part 2

As we continued our quest to find the perfect beach in Lombok, we got on our scooters and headed east to Tanjung Aan Beach. It was fantastic. I couldn’t decide if I preferred Mawun or Tanjung Aan. They are both pretty spectacular. While the water was clear and perfect for swimming, there was also an abandoned building nearby and if you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you probably already know that I love beauty and decay. We spent the day brother/sister bonding with little crowds on the beach which made for a serene day.

Also, as you can tell from below, we also made some friends on the beach.
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LOMBOK, INDONESIA | PART 1

All Rights Reserved After Tasikmalaya, my sister and I flew to Bali to meet her boyfriend and his brother. Brother/sister adventure! We spent just a few days there before we flew to Lombok. Since we returned to Bali after some island hopping, I’m going to do all Bali posts together and dive right into Lombok. First of all, Lombok is much less developed than Bali. We stayed in the south in Kuta and I was immediately drawn to the wild feel of Lombok. It lacked the dense tourism of Bali and proved to have the most amazing beaches! What’s the best way to see Lombok? Scooter of course. We rented two scooters to explore the southern beaches and survived without a scratch. Phew. Here’s day 1!

All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_5 We headed to Mawun Beach which was about a 30 minute ride. The drive proved to be fantastic! Hilly, empty, and all together beautiful. Once arriving, we found only a few tourists on the beach and crystal clear waters. It was incredible. I walked to one end of the beach where there was a tiny fishing village and lucky me, I caught them as they were just arriving back from sea, nets full of fish. All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_8 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_14 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_19 After spending the morning in near paradise, we went further west to check out Selong Blanak Beach. Beware, the roads to this beach are a bit more treacherous, so scooter riders beware! Though dusty and bumpy, the ride is 100% worth it. All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_25 All Rights Reserved LOMBOK_27 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved So the day ended with buffalo on the beach, a sore bum from bumpy roads, and a glowing tan. Day 1 in Lombok was absolutely incredible and I couldn’t wait to do a little more exploring.

LATAM AIRLINES | ATACAMA SWEEPSTAKES COUNTDOWN

Did you know that even when you are traveling, it’s possible to suffer from wanderlust? This happens to me all the time.

Take for example the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Let’s talk about how it’s the driest place on Earth boasting amazing views, the geysers del Tatio, the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon—known for its sunsets), Cejar Lagoon, a sanctuary for Flamingos, and the list goes on. Did I mention you can sandboard there? What? I want in on this. Don’t you?

Facebook_10 The good news is LATAM Airlines Group is sponsoring a sweepstakes to experience the magic of the Atacama.

You can win a trip for two people to the Atacama Desert in Chile from the US!

ENTER TO WIN!

HURRY, SWEEPSTAKES ENDS OCT 3, 2014

Winner receives:

• round-trip tickets on LAN Airlines

• four days/three nights in Atacama Desert

• luxurious accommodations at Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa

• all meals

• guided daily excursions into the desert

• all transfers

The Tierra Atacama Hotel & Spa is modern and luxurious. It offers guests an ideal jumping-off point for exploring the Atacama Desert. It provides guided excursions to many of the desert’s attractions. Located in the quaint village of San Pedro de Atacama, enjoy the authenticity of the Atacama.

Enter to win here.

Sweepstakes ends at 11:59 pm (EST), October 3, 2014.

Tasikmalaya | Part 3

So now you know that Tasikmalaya is colorful during the day. Well the night is just as robust with color and character. My family was feeding my sister and I until our clothes grew tight and this particular night was no exception. I started wearing the least form fitting outfits in anticipation of what felt like double the amount of meals I was used to. After eating two dinners, we headed to a street food cart that served up a delicious ginger dessert and promptly continued to stuff our faces. Why not?

All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_2 All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_4 All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_6 All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_8 Tasik-night_9 All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_11 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_15 All Rights Reserved Tasik-night_17 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved What’s next? Time to island hop! Lombok, Gili Islands, & Bali!

Tasikmalaya | Part 2

Sorry it’s been a little quiet recently. I was island hopping with my sister with poor internet! Now I’m back in Bali solo and exploring Ubud!

If you missed it, I recently did an instagram takeover for Mosey and I am currently in the middle of taking over Fathom’s instagram. Follow the adventure!

Now let’s get caught up!

Vising my family in Tasikmalaya was fantastic. As mentioned, Tasikmalaya is quite a a great place for photographs. There is so much life and character to take in. Below is just about the coolest 80+ year old woman who is the mother of my cousin’s wife. She raised 8 kids on her own, was an entrepreneur, woman ahead of her time who drove a jeep, and my favorite part is that she still rocks jeans at 82 years old.

She took us out for lunch and I of course brought my camera along.

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Tasikmalaya, Indonesia | Part 1

All Rights Reserved After a few days in Jakarta, my sister joined me in Jakarta and we traveled to my dad’s hometown Tasikmalaya to visit the family! It’s been seven years since the last time I visited so I was eager to return! Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 9.24.26 PM We were both excited about seeing our family and eating our way into food comas. Which by the way, we did successfully. Tasikmalaya is full of color as well as tasty food. I’m pretty sure we both gained a few pounds as we downed what felt like about 10k meals.

TASIK_2 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved TASIK_5 All Rights Reserved As I continued on my mission to take photos of my family across the world, I enjoyed shooting the following faces to add to the collection. How amazing are my aunts? Those faces! TASIK_7 All Rights Reserved TASIK_9 All Rights Reserved The city is alive and always full of photographic moments. There are so many moments that I’m posting about Tasikmalaya over the course of several posts. The people are as bright as the colors around them and on them. All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved TASIK_13 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved TASIK_19 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved TASIK_25 TASIK_26 Did I tell you that Indonesians have the best smiles?

 

KOTA TUA | Jakarta, Indonesia

After exploring Petak 9 Market and chowing down on some street noodles, we headed to Kota Tua, also known as Old Jakarta. You can surely see the Dutch influence in the architecture in the area. The artist that she is, Fransisca brought me to the local post office where there is an art gallery upstairs. She tells me that art galleries are not so prominent in the area and Kota Tua is rapidly changing and pioneering the resurgence of the art community.

KOTATUA_1 KOTATUA_2 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved After seeing the “new” Kota Tua, it was time to stroll around and see remnants of history. The area is full of old buildings. Some in disrepair, some in the middle of reconstruction, and all really photographically interesting. Upon seeing a building that is literally falling apart and noticing that four families share the space, Fransisca asks if we can enter to take pictures. The families welcome us in and I am again reminded of the openness and kindness of Indonesian people.

All Rights Reserved KOTATUA_8 KOTATUA_9 KOTATUA_10 All Rights Reserved KOTATUA_12 KOTATUA_13 KOTATUA_14 After snapping a few photos of these beautiful people, we headed to another abandoned building that had tones of Angkor Wat. Since I am obsessed with beauty and decay, this was right up my alley.

KOTATUA_15 KOTATUA_16 KOTATUA_17 KOTATUA_18 Across the way was another building that was just as impressive. Abandoned and beautiful.

All Rights Reserved KOTATUA_20 All Rights Reserved KOTATUA_22 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved KOTATUA_25 KOTATUA_26 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved After Kota Tua, we headed to another shopping strip called Pasar Baru where we hit up a thrift store where I scored a dress, a skirt, and a top! Yes!

When I ask Fransisca where people go to hang out, she tells me everyone goes to the mall. Apparently malls are THE place to go. I couldn’t help myself. We ended the day at Grand Indonesia Mall where we ate ice cream at the Magnum Cafe that boasted a view of the city.

All Rights Reserved Upon reflecting on the day, I am so grateful for the randomness of the internet. It’s only through the web that Fransisca found me and I am reminded how being open to people will grant you amazing experiences. Fransisca is a twenty-one year old wise beyond her years. I especially loved asking her cultural questions and exchanging world views. I’m leaving you with a recording where I ask her about the challenges of being a woman in Indonesia as well as what it means to be Indonesian. Take a listen. Thanks Fransisca, you are amazing!

Jakarta – Petak 9 Market

All Rights Reserved The morning I was leaving for Jakarta I woke to an email from Fransisca Angela. She had stumbled across my interview on Need Supply and saw that I was coming to Indonesia. As a freelance photographer, she offered up her tour guide services to show me around Jakarta. I happily obliged. After viewing her website and portfolio, I knew I was in good hands. Jakarta has always been a city in passing when I’ve previously visited Indonesia and I really felt like I didn’t know Jakarta. I was eager for the grand tour.

She picks me up at 7:30am and we end up spending the entire day together. I’m splitting up the adventure into two posts because there are just too many amazing photos from the day. She said after reviewing my blog, she thought I’d love Petak 9 Market which is sort of like the Chinatown. of Jakarta. Upon arriving, I knew this was a girl after my own heart. My camera was in pure bliss. The narrow alleys were ripe with photo opportunities and lovely, lovely people.

PETANG9_2 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_4 PETANG9_5 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_7 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_9 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_11 PETANG9_12 PETANG9_13 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_15 PETANG9_16 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_18 PETANG9_19 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved PETANG9_22 PETANG9_23 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved PETANG9_26 PETANG9_27 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_29 PETANG9_30 PETANG9_31 PETANG9_32 PETANG9_34 PETANG9_35 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved PETANG9_38 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved PETANG9_43 PETANG9_44 PETANG9_45 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_47 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_49 PETANG9_50 PETANG9_51 PETANG9_52 All Rights Reserved PETANG9_54 PETANG9_55 All Rights Reserved All Rights Reserved It was for the first time, that I felt like I was really getting to know Jakarta and the locals. Fransisca brought me through the alleys with ease, connecting with people along the way. She took me to Bakmi Gang Kemenangan, known for the best noodles in the area and I was loving hanging out at the table with the locals. I was moved by the honesty and warm nature of the people. Having traveled extensively with camera in hand, I was more than pleased to find the people so willing and excited to have their picture taken. Petak 9 was only the first stop of the day. Just wait until you see where else we went!

Photo below by Fransisca Angela.

fransisca_mari Boy it feels good to be back on the road!

Worrier to Warrior

Today I’m heading back into the world to embrace my nomadic habit! I am finishing off the trip I had started back in 2013. The last few months have been a personal journey of transformation and I’m excited to get back on the road with my new found strength. When I came home in April I had stumbled upon an old poem that I wrote a few years ago called Worrier To Warrior. It was an evolution that I had craved but not yet tasted. Upon reading it I realized I had finally made the transformation. I was inhabiting the poem. I was no longer the worrier, I had become the warrior. I had to personify the poem, I had to be the poem. And so, I did just that.

This is a self portrait series of self transformation. Poetry personified.


Worrier To Warrior

I wish it so.
I wish it a go.
I wish it would flow.

Feathers in my hair, bare,
Stare.

Passive persona buried in desert dunes,
Like a phoenix rising,
Wing span of the moon.

Mud upon my feet, my face— this place.
Oh this glorious space to feel, to be,
With everything I am
With everything I see.

I am covered in earth.

Like a cactus in the rain,
Parched but oh so quenched,

Drenched.


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Shot on location in Joshua Tree

Warrior outfit and jewelry provided by Fuggiamo

And so, I’m heading out into the world feeling like I can conquer it.

I am standing tall.

First stop? Indonesia.

 

Where We Sleep

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ve seen the amazing places I’ve been so fortunate to visit. I get a lot of people asking, how did you travel for so long? How could you afford it? The places I’ve visited have been pretty unreal. I’ve snapped some incredible photos. Long term travel can easily be romanticized by way of wanderlust worthy photos. They key to afford long term travel (for me anyways) is prioritizing budget over luxury and putting experience over comfort. Upon realizing that world experience is a luxury, budget travel becomes second nature. Except when you are just dying for a hot shower or a comfortable bed.

The following is a series of portraits of beds that I took while traveling. I find sleeping spaces to be so intimate and there were quite a few that left an impression on me while I’d leave my impression on the ‘mattress,’ (or wooden board).  As you can see, there were varying degrees of comfort when it came to lodging. Rooms averaged around $25-35 USD/night dependent on the country.

I’d also like to point out that while some of these images look like decent rooms, looks can be deceiving. Probably about half of these either did not have a bathroom or shower (thanks Mongolia) or did not have hot water or water pressure (thanks India + Thailand). I guess you get what you pay for.

 

 

NYC

I said adieu to NYC last May of 2013 when I ventured off on my international year long journey around the world. It was my home for seven years and I wasn’t sure how our reunion would feel having not stepped, smelled, or tasted the big apple in over a year. When I left, I was more than ready to say goodbye. The city does that whole wear you down thing and I was near skeletal remains. But just like any good abusive relationship, it felt so good to be back in the arms of the great seductress. I love you. I hate you. I love you. I hate you. I love to hate you and hate to love you.

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What did I learn in this relapse? New York has a way of welcoming you back as if it knew of your return. Some things never change, like the women who is still handing out pamphlets with a smile at the same subway entrance in the morning. Or the street performers that you recognize and love. Everything felt as if I had never left and New York pulled at my heart strings and the bagels at my stomach strings.

To make matters even better, I had the opportunity to finally meet my co-founder of El Camino Travel. Yes, we had never met and started a business together via google hangouts and yes we both showed up in hats for our first official co-founding date. #soulmates.

While in NYC, we had the opportunity to scheme with the incredibly creative travel minds of Fathom and Mosey and couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come!

One week felt like a New York minute. Where did the time go??? Check out NYC via my iPhone.

I also learned that Citi Bike is amazing, Über is way cheaper than a taxi, and Mister Sunday in Brooklyn is just about the best dance party I’ve ever been to.

Until next time NYC!

 

Mexico

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I was lucky enough to head down to Mexico just outside of Cancun for some work and BorrowLenses hooked it up! I rented two lenses (1 & 2)and this underwater housing for all my photography needs. It was my first time using BorrowLenses and found the process and pick up/drop off super easy!

Work had me running around but here are a few favorites…

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Equipment provided by BorrowLenses.com – The premiere online rental house where still photographers and videographers can rent virtually everything.

BOAT MAGAZINE ISSUE NO. 8 / LA

When I got to LA I had reached out to Boat Magazine because I fell in love with their aesthetic, nomadic nature, and content. Each issue is dedicated to a different city around the world and as the universe would have it, their next issue was to be an LA issue. Enter happenstance. I didn’t want to miss the boat so to speak. I’m currently working on two stories due out in September and I couldn’t be more excited to be among such amazing collaborators within the pages of the most ridiculously beautiful designed magazine. PRE-ORDER NOW!! Available here.

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And in case you missed it, Boat had previously featured me on their website a few months ago.

Check it.

 

JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA

JOSHUA_TREE_1 Since being back in California, I had to visit my beloved Joshua Tree National Park.

The landscape is unreal and the stars are glorious.

This camping trip was featured on Ardent Magazine in a two part series. Here is Part I and Part II.

Stay at Hidden Valley Campground if you want to be nestled among amazing boulders.

Below are some images that you might not see in the Ardent feature. Watch out for coyotes!

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EL CAMINO TRAVEL

After leaving Vietnam in April and feeling like my life was in disarray (the jist) I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had just left a major trip, a relationship, and was coming back to my hometown to take care of a sick parent. The transition was bumpy. Everything felt foreign coming from foreign lands and I wasn’t sure where life would take me. As time passed the bumps started to smooth out, I started regaining my footing, and the stars started to align. I mean really align. So much so that I’ve become co-founder of an amazing travel company.

After an exchange of serendipitous emails between DC and LA, a few google hangouts, a shared love of socially responsible travel, and an appreciation for creativity and innovation, El CAMINO was born.

I am so excited to officially announce the launch of EL CAMINO alongside my amazing co-founder Katalina Mayorga.

two_nom What is EL CAMINO?

+ Authentic and well curated travel experiences for groups of 10-12 people to unique locations.

+ Travel experience includes a professional and creative photographer that accompanies the group the whole time. You can live in the moment and not worry about capturing the moment. (I will be the resident photographer for the first few trips!)

+ 10% of profits goes towards the efforts of a local social entrepreneur who is radically changing their country and who will also lead a dinner one night so you get that unique and intimate perspective into the country.

Where are we going?

We are currently planning a sold out trip to Nicaragua in November, but have no fear, 2015 will bring 3 more trips to Nicaragua and trips to Colombia and Guatemala. We are just getting started!

But we can’t wait to get the party started so Katalina is planning a midweek pop up vacay in the DC area to a nearby swimming hole. Yes, please! Details below on where to rock your oversized inflatables.

POPUP_NH What is a Pop Up Vacay? It is an excuse to take a vacation, relax, and #yolo the hell out of life in the middle of the week. It keeps with the spontaneous and adventurous vibe of El Camino and is a preview of the atmosphere that El Camino is committed to providing on all of its trips, in whatever part of the world we may be.

Where: A quarry turned swimming hole on the outskirts of Baltimore aka Beaver Dam Swim Club. This includes a rope swing, diving board, and several floating docks. This place is magical.

When: August 6th from 10AM to 5PM

Price: $85 if you sign up before 7/28 and $95 thereafter.

Includes: Oversized inflatable swans and inflatable half eaten donuts, the sweet sweet sounds of DJ Ayescold (our official El Camino Music Curator), creative photographer extraordinare Emma McAlary (you will get access to these photos soon after the event), delicious food, table settings that you might freak out about, transportation there and back, a copy of the beautifully designed and wanderlust filled Boat Mag, and a special appearance by #yolo and #vacay.

Sign up here!

shop_nh El Camino has launched ‘LA TIENDA’ a store filled with eclectic and beautiful items from our trips abroad. We are currently selling a limited amount of hand picked and brightly colored frazadas (blankets or rugs) from the markets of Cochabamba, Bolivia. You will fall in frazada love. Guaranteed.


So there you have it.

Life is nuts, crazy, amazing, and everything in between.

Come along for the ride.

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BE A TRAVELER, NOT A TOURIST.

#elcaminotravel


Trans-Siberian Railway meets Artillery Lane

Back in December of 2013, photographer Valentina Eleanora Costa of Halo Communication got in touch with me about using some of my Trans-Siberian Railway images as backdrops to her latest project.

The result? An amazing scarf campaign for Artillery Lane with projected Siberian images.

I’m thrilled to finally share the final product! See the whole campaign here.

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BACKPACKING 101

BACKPACKING 101

So you are ready to take on the world. You’ve quit that soul sucking job where you wanderlusted on your company computer. You’ve pinterested in between meetings and instagramed during meetings and now it’s time to pack your bags.

What are you taking? What do you really need? Here are a few of my fav’s.

BACKPACK // How hard is it to find a front loading backpack? Really hard. Top loading packs make it hard to reach those items you’ve stuffed at the bottom. I loved this backpack because it made everything in my pack accessible without all the bells & whistles.

SHOES // Remember my post before I left about how hiking boots are not sexy? Guess what? They are still not sexy. Not much has changed in the women’s hiking boot world in the past year. Since I bought these boots and traded out the laces for some bold red ones, they’ve seen the Arctic Circle, Trans-Siberian Railway, and Gobi Desert to name a few. They are still in great condition a year later and currently use them for California hikes.

RAIN COVER // Oh hey downpour. Caught in monsoon season? Don’t get caught without a backpack cover. This one saved my pack from several downpours and from all that ferry sludge in Thailand.

UMBRELLA // So you have your rain cover and your pack is safe but what about you? I am so glad I brought an umbrella because I can’t tell you how many times the clouds unexpectedly opened up.

TOWEL // Budget travel doesn’t allow for those plush 5 star towels. Take your own. They double as pillows.

FIRST AID KIT // Blisters, cuts, gashes, etc. You will get them all. Be prepared.

ELECTRICAL TAPE  // Saved me in a pinch for a lot of random needs. Also used this to tape my shampoo and conditioner tops down when in transit.

NYLON CORD // Remember that bunk rail on the Trans-Siberian Train that was broken? Rigging it with nylon cord was the perfect solution. Also, all those times I was hand washing my laundry in the shower, I used this to hang my undies to dry!

SUNSCREEN // You will burn. It will hurt.

WET WIPES // Clutch for that 8 day trip to the Gobi Desert.

BUG REPELLANT // I’m allergic to mosquito bites. Enough said.

FLASHLIGHT // I’m not afraid of the dark, but I’m afraid of the dark when I have no idea where I am.

SCARF // Style, warmth, and that perfect thing to tie around your waste if you need to squat in the middle of Mongolia with a little discretion.

Women + Solo Traveling

GOSOLO Traveling hardly seems like an option to me anymore. It’s such an integral part of me that it has become a lifestyle. I live to travel and I travel to live.

Before my year long trip I was a timid traveler. I hadn’t faced the world alone and feared traveling solo as a woman would be both dangerous and intimidating.

As the trip progressed I thought, ‘I can do this.’ All the things I feared slowly started melting away. Could I handle all the logistics? The physicality? The complications? Yes, yes, and yes. I grew more confident and ‘I can do this’ evolved into ‘I will do this.’

I’m currently gearing up to embark on my first solo trip to Indonesia and Australia in August. I am anxious to dive into the experience.

As I was doing my research on Yahoo Travel, it turns out many women are boarding planes alone. As I perused the site, I found THIS fantastic article about the rise of women who travel solo. According to the article, 72% of American women will travel solo this year. Go women! The article also tells of inspiring women who have done bold things like climb Mt. Kilimanjaro alone as a 40th birthday celebration. There are so many courageous woman who are willing to take a chance on the world.

I challenge all you women out there to be brave and make the leap into the world. Even if it’s just a short trip. For all the women who have done solo trips, what were the challenges? What was the beauty of it? Lastly, any tips?

Find more travel tips and articles at Yahoo Travel.

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