inspiration

A Playlist for Travel II

figs_yogurts_jam.jpgSavouring my mornings at home, I fig-ured that there is always thyme to enjoy the simple things 🙂

Hello from 40,000 feet up in the air.

I have to say that there nothing better than having no wifi for a few hours and you finally get to sit down and work on the post or finish that chapter you’ve been wanting to finish.

A big part of my inspiration comes from music, the discipline from musicians and the beauty of how they create different realities and weave stories through notes, emotion and words. It is a dream to achieve the same through photographs and writing. Like the way a great film makes you feel long after you leave the theatre.

figs-3.jpgfigs-2.jpgI always imagined that Ella Fitzgerald and Norah Jones would be the kind of musician that would enjoy morning walks by the river and fresh figs on their toast and yogurt.

Here is another playlist for travel, for another city and another adventure to find photographs that fit my words like lyrics to a song.

1. Elderbrook – Could A great mellow song for editing and you have to admit that Europeans know their pop.

2. John Legend – Penthouse Floor ft. Chance the Rapper  I am probably most impressed with John Legend’s appearance on La La Land but there is something so soothing about his vocals. Can we all agree that Chance the Rapper is the best thing ever?

3. Norah Jones – Don’t Know Why I recently found out that Norah and Anoushka Shankar are half sisters and I don’t know why but that makes me very happy.

4. Balmorhea – Bow Spirit A band I discovered thanks to my yoga instructor. The acoustics are quiet and beautiful and I love their use of strings.

5. The Brilliance – Brother The Brilliance is a band I have followed through different seasons in my life and I am so happy to see their music evolve while staying true to their music. I read all their interviews like Harry Potter books and am glad to say they are a band I love from the inside out. The new album Brother is a delight of modern pop and uplifting acoustics. Because what better way is there to inspire imagination than through beautiful music?

Happy listening and stay posted for photos from Toronto!

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Three Things I learned from Travelling in India

munnar_tea_fields_india.jpgThe beautiful, misty green hills of Munnar, Kerala. If you listen closely, you can hear the click-clacking of a thousand tea scissors and the tiny buzz of chatter from the tea women in Mailalym.

I have always dreamed about India.

So a little over a month ago I booked tickets and found myself there.

I can’t put a finger on what it was that drew me there but never have I travelled so hard in my life and never have I had stranger experiences than the ones I have had there. I shall credit mom and dad for creating me with a large dose of curiosity, a love for rule breaking and a reckless lust for photogenic places.

As I sit home on my comfy couch editing photos and reflecting from my trip, here is a list of things that I learned from travelling in India.

1. Embrace the mystery/creativity
Life is mysterious. I left looking for answers but realized I didn’t need to know them after all. You don’t have the answers and you never will.  A friendly tip to people looking forward to visiting India: prepare to be surprised out of your socks. Mostly in unpleasant smelly ways. Haha kidding. I learned to leave room for creativity and surprise and I found that I have gained more in the process.

2. Contentment
I have found myself looking at things in a different way that I didn’t use to. A different way that I hope never goes away. I realized that I live a very blessed life and live in a wonderful, wonderful city. I love work with the ups and downs, people I have in my life and never have I cherished more the freedom to wear anything I want, take long hot showers(in a clean bathroom!) and eat ice cream from my freezer at night. Thank you India.

3. People
It sounds ridiculous to compare a person living in North America to someone living in the slums in India. But it’s true! At the end of the day, people are people. We need love, food, shelter, a job, a purpose, friends, encouragement, fun things etc. Those things don’t change and you can be a good or bad person anywhere in the world and still be a good or bad person. The world needs more good people so let’s all be good to each other.

Other than that, I rode on a 30 hour train (the longest I’ve been my entire life), met a bunch of amazing people I will not soon forget, obtained some scars from being in scary pottys, had the best Indian food of my life, cried and laughed during the weird and sentimental bits, got my first food poisoning, left bits of my heart in a Children’s Home to many tiny souls and left quite aware that I became a better person because of this trip.

If you are reading this and curious about travelling to India. I will say yes. Ten thousand times yes.

munnar_tea_fields_india_2To adventure xx

Gratitude

FullSizeRenderSunset at Lions Bay – moments before I jumped off a 50 feet cliff and got covered in barnacles scratches and a heart filled with adrenaline. We stayed out till midnight and watched the water light up with bioluminescent plankton. It was one of those moments where you feel really alive and actually want to tuck away your camera to enjoy the moment.

Tonight as I’m typing out this post I’ve just moved into a new apartment, picked up my visa for India, sent off prints to the print shop and I’m eating fresh mochi from a friend that dropped me off to my new home. It’s beautiful, bright and everything I ever imagined in one of the nicest places in the world.

I can look back on this week and think of all the friends that I have around me, people I got to meet, events I attended and the satisfaction I have everyday from working for something I’m passionate about and believe in.

I’m so excited thinking of the next few months of travel. Places I go and things I see that break my heart a little and make me appreciate how human I am. I can’t wait to see the photos I’m going to take, people that will leave footprints in my life and pieces of history that’s bound to make me small and powerful at the same time.

At the end of the day, I am just thankful—for work, an education, things that kick my bum and motivate to learn and be a better human, opportunities to be more authentic and fearless and days to look forward to. I don’t know where I’ll be without my community. And of course the little things that make the days sweet and beautiful.

Here is to the next season of exploring the unknown and moving onward. 38 days till India!

A Hedgehog Story II

A few of you may know my current obsession with hedgehogs and you’ll be pleased to know that there’s more photos to follow.

After saying goodbye to a splendid month in Taiwan, I was presented with a gift at the airport… Amelia Hedgehog 2!

I’m really loving coming up with new concepts and themes for my projects so here is a little impromptu shoot I did featuring her travelling from Taipei-Beijing-Vancouver.

Hedgehogs after all, are born to travel.

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Amelia dreams of travel + on the plane

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Beijing airport and hedgehog spa

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Matching seats + Amelia in a bed of flowers

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Home at last and meeting the real Amelia Hedgehog

You can find follow Amelia’s adventures on Instagram and get prints here. I mean, we can all use a little more seriousness in our life.

A hedgehog story

hedgehog with tulips

@ameliahedgehog

I’m sure you all know the famously cute @darcytheflyinghedgehog. Inspired by all this cute hedgehog action – I made a trip to the pet store last Christmas and came home with Amelia.

It’s been so much fun working with her and trying to figure out this little creature. Here is a little record I made of our daily interaction:

7:00am – rise and whine. grouch around. sleep.

8:30am– mom leaves. grouch around. sleep

4pm – mom comes home. eat. participate in mom’s art project. sleep

5pm– chill in kitchen while mom cooks. Try everything on the counter( ginger, garlic, apple, coconut, rosemary..tablecloth)

5pm-10pm – sleep.

10pm – race around pen, escape pen, race under furniture. destroys carpet. comes out for vegetable treats

11pm – start to wake up. eat. the hedgehog day begins

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Chillin like a hedgehog

It’s great fun photographing her little face. I never knew that a hedgehog could have so much personality and much sass.

Someone on the street recognized me last week as ” The girl with the porcupine.”

Lol.

I leave you with these photos and hope they bring you as many laughs as they do for me – No spikes attached.

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Find more photos on Amelia’s Instagram here.

On photography

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Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy―meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8, 9 NKJV)

I hope my approach to photography will always be coming from these verses. To have my breath taken away by sunsets and to be endlessly enraptured by something so simple and yet profound.

Being new to Vancouver – I just wanna soak up these moments where I stare at cherry blossoms and seagulls and just be overwhelmed by how beautiful this world is like, till the very end.

If my camera is a time machine then I want photography to be the platform where I share this world I capture with you.

That’s all.