The other day I was telling some folks stories from my travels last year, the ones I was able to get in before everything changed. And while I was talking I realized two things: how I could talk endlessly about travel with anyone who will listen and how deeply I miss it.
These days my travels consist of small road trips, local explorations and living through my photos (luckily there are more than enough of them to occupy my time). This picture shows the path I was wandering down with my best friend five years ago today, through the endless torii gates of the Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto. I felt immense gratitude for the chance to see this place then, and even more now. Though nothing compares to actually being in a place and taking it in with all of the senses, I hope that these photos transport you to that moment with me.
Come along with me for this walk and other wanderings on my website

Fushimi Inari-taisha, Kyoto, Japan
August 31, 2021
Look up.
Look out.
And stick around.
No matter what time and no matter where.
There is so much more meaning and beauty to each and every experience than what is first seen and felt.

California
May 29, 2021
Firefall Friday - Progression of a Firefall
The first day we went out to capture the firefall, we were in high spirits and hopes. We set out hours before the sunset to look for a good spot. Trecking into the forest and away from the crowds, we found the perfect little clearing with enough space for just one camera. We immediately declared it our campsite and waited anxiously for the golden glow. An hour before sunset, however, a large, ominous cloud floated over El Capitan and blocked the sun. It swirled around and despite some rays peaking through here and there, it was not looking good. We anxiously waited counting down the minutes. We sang and danced to call the sun out. We cheered with the rest of the folks in the valley who were also there for this. And then, at the last minute, just enough of the sun emerged to transform the waterfall. It started slow and soft, with some yellows just in one spot. And then it got brighter and more vibrant. Water became lava. It glowed and trickled up and down the mountain. And with every moment, with every thought that this was it and it couldn't get any better, it just got more magnificent. We watched in awe, silent and cheering, not really believing what we were seeing. Nature never ceases to amaze.
Yosemite National Park, California
5 March 2021​​​​​​​
The moments in my explorations that stand out to me most are the ones where I witness so many different elements of nature coming together to create something extraordinary. I look at them as rewards for those who wander and seek and learn and persist. Most recent of these experiences was the firefall for me. It's a phenomenon that happens only a few weeks out of a year, where the angle of the sun setting, the weather, the point of observation and other factors all align just so, so that a regular waterfall turns into a glowing stream of lava or liquid sunlight (all up to your own interpretation 🌞).
And what I felt in this moment was a true sense of awe and gratitude and community with all the other seekers around me. How amazing and rewarding these explorations are - no matter how small or big, near or far.
Yosemite National Park, California
3 March 2021

I was taking in this view exactly a year ago today. I remember feeling awe and gratitude for being able to explore this amazing place and to share the experience with a couple of the best people in my life. That and a complete sense of freedom and control. I've since learned that this sense of control isn't all it's made out to be - that each person's journey is filled with twists and turns and directions that take them on the path to their best, truest self. And we may not know it in the moment. What's more important here than a sense of control is trust and flow. Remembering those make this journey a lot smoother.
So here I am, trusting that I will see these and more amazing places and humans in the future, and flowing with the gifts of the present moment.
More photos and stories from my explorations of South America to come...

Patagonia, Argentina

7 February 2021

A year ago I pursued what seemed to me to be a dream adventure - exploring the world and finding my place in it. I had said goodbye to jobs and places that did not suit me. I was ready to go, in full discovery mode. And I had an incredible adventure around South America. I met amazing people and gained amazing experiences. And while I felt the reward of making decisions based on my own desires, I still felt pangs of doubt about whether what I was doing was "right", coming from an old, prescribed voice of fear. And then COVID happened, shutting the world down and sending me back into all that I was escaping. The doubts grew louder, making me question my decision to leave in the first place.
But what I slowly learned over the course of this year was that the version of myself that I was a year ago, when I decided to go on this trip was not one who was fully ready for this journey. She did not know herself as well as she thought. And I learned that with finding your place in the world you must know and trust your own self first. I also learned that you may have several pieces to play, several parts to find your place in at different points in time and space. I gained the capacity to allow for different realities at the same time, and from this new place of deeper knowing I believe more possibilities are becoming available to me. So it turned out to be a year of reflection and seeing my need and worth in every present moment. The journey I hope for is still ahead of me, and the reflection of the past year is all part of it. All this to say, if you've ever found your plans and dreams not quite working out as you hoped, believe that there's meaning in that too and know that all these experiences are meant to grow you into the person of your dreams. This is what I try to do everyday.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

31 January 2021 

There are times to let go of everything and jump without knowing what, where, who, why.... And then there are times to step back and reflect - to consider if this is your time and space to jump, or if a little more knowledge, patience and trust are required. I've experienced both this past year - I've jumped and I've reflected. I feel I now know more of myself than ever before and have gained the ability to jump with the capacity for reflection at each moment. With gratitude for everything I've gained and lost in 2020, I'm so open and ready for 2021. Happy New Year - may it bring magic 🎆

Highway 1, California

4 January 2021

"Strength isn't necessarily defined as our ability to get up when we're knocked down. Nor is resilience found in our ability to continue getting up-over and over again. That's just sheer willpower; that's called being stubborn as fuck. True resilience is different. True resilience is found in our ability to get up, to create space for a message we may not want to hear, to listen like we've never listened before, and then to act on that message-even if that means changing the way we've been hurtling down our path in life for decades. I didn't know that then, but I do now."
-Steph Jagger
🍁
Happiest of birthdays to a woman who has taught me about journeys and about choosing one's own, trusting the inner knowing and wisdom that comes with it

Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA

27 December 2020

A winter solstice, a great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, a changing of elements from Earth to Air...
A time of reflection and nourishment, of becoming still and looking up, of letting go of the former and calling in the new. Give yourself the permission, the release, the dare to dream bigger and wilder than ever before. You never know what it may bring about... just trust that it will be magic 

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

21 December 2020

Taking a moment to notice the cyclical patterns of nature... colors change, different qualities are revealed that maybe weren't seen before. Things shedding and dying off. Then comes a period of darkness, which on the surface may seem cold and uninspiring but is really a birthplace giving time and space for new light and life to eventually emerge. Each is important - light and darkness - and one cannot exist without the other. All this is reminding me to fully take in all the periods of life and to look forward to those ahead - those which bring both the beautiful new and the leaving behind of the old. They're all there with intention and purpose.
Seattle, Washington, USA
9 November 2020
​​​​​​​I've had this image of myself standing on a long swinging bridge in my mind lately. The bridge extends between two mountain ranges, there's fog all around, and I'm somewhere in the middle, grasping the rope railings. I look behind me and the place I came from - the familiar - is already starting to fade into the fog. Before me there is nothing but white above and dark below. This seems so telling of where we find ourselves now in world - we walk with all of our experiences, emotions and knowledge in tow. But now we find ourselves having stepped into the unknown, where past experience and reactions seem neither relevant nor reliable. While we're paused in the middle here, let's reflect on how every bit of our past has shaped us and helped us on our journey thus far. Then let's decide what it is that's really important for us to bring with us into this unknown. What will be the most crucial in shaping that which we envision for our future selves and our worlds? Bring along what our dreams need and leave the rest behind. Then step forward with trust.
Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA
30 October 2020

“We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.”
-Louise Glück


Visiting Greece felt like returning to a home I did not know existed until I was actually there. Have you ever experienced that? You've never been to this place before but feel a calling to it, like from a distant memory, and once you're there, you find it oddly familiar. It's like a soft landing, a welcome return, a belonging on a soul level. Greece was that for me. And there are so many places I long to visit still, but this is the one I would return to again and again given the opportunity. It may be difficult to imagine now, but I believe opportunities are coming, just wait a little bit longer.

Paros, Greece

9 October 2020


When I went to Greece last year, I was in the midst of discovering who I was and who I wanted to be, and making a decision of where to go next. What brought me on Erin Outdoors and Dimitris's trip was a series of coincidences that all told me to go. I went with no idea what to expect, just told myself to be open and honest no matter what. Sitting on a rooftop in Athens, meeting the people I'd be travelling with for that next week I realized how incredibly similar we all were, despite coming from such different places and backgrounds - all in a sort of crossroads and a search for and of ourselves, all so willing to be open with each other, even though we met only a few minutes prior. It's been a year since that trip and I am still amazed at how people can find each other, share in this human experience and connect so deeply at exactly the right time when it's needed most. And the thing is, there isn't actually that much effort involved. That conscious willingness to come with an open mind and perspective and a little compassion is really all it takes. I'm lucky to have experienced this on several occasions, but each is unique and amazing. Each is a reminder that we are all doing the best we can with what we have, and when we are brought together somewhere in the thick of it all we can give each other so much, just through that presence.

Naxos, Greece

23 September 2020

Exploring Japanese shrines and temples, what struck me most was their connection to nature. Every sacred place I visited was interwoven so seamlessly and beautifully with its environment, one complementing the other. Nihonji Temple in the Bōsō Peninsula was perhaps one of the most amazing. Climbing up Mount Nokogiriyama to reach the temple, I was then immersed in a lush forest with pathways, walls and statues built throughout in a graceful harmony with the trees and plants and the mountain itself. I spent the day wandering around the place in deep appreciation of the balance of it all.

Nihonji Temple, Chiba, Japan

6 September 2020

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