2013 | A year of shifting and growing

This has been a different January for me. It doesn't necessarily feel like the end of something and the beginning of another. I think I've been in a transition zone for the past year, during which I have felt out of balance and slightly out of alignment with who I am and what I want. The real shift began in the Fall and has been an ebbing and flowing of energy and emotion since. Somewhere along the way I found my footing. This time rooted in something different, a new path with a stronger foundation. Part of this shift has been about entering into a different phase in my life. Part of it has been about really understanding what I want to do and how to do it. And the last part is about getting to know and understand the woman I have become, and the woman I want to be. It's been a big year of growth... and like most good things, it hasn't come easy.

I am so thankful for the experiences and challenges that instigated this shift, for the people that have supported me along the way, and the clarity and strength I now feel because of it.

I feel a deep-rooted strength in this new foundation. I have a new clarity of what truly brings me joy, a better understanding of what lights me up, what is important and what I want to create. Life looks different. I feel different.

I'm excited to see how this shift changes what I capture... and what I create. In images. In art. In love. In life.

Here are a few moments along the way of 2013. Although I had my challenges, I was also blessed with incredible experiences of travel and family and friends and love.


recent snaps.

In the last 4 months I have been on 10 planes, flying over the North Pacific Ocean, the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. I have been on 2 buses, both of which would not pass air care and were way over capacity. I rode on the back of a motor-bike through the Vietnamese countryside and on the front of a Asian cyclo through one of the busiest cities in the world. I floated on a boat down the Mekong Delta and wandered through temples over 1000 years old. I took a road trip to LA, I shot a wedding in Jamaica. And now I am home. With a bit of the wanderlust out of my system, I am happy to be in my own bed for awhile.

I have returned to trees overflowing with cherry blossoms and a sun that shines a bit warmer than when I left. I am excited for the summer ahead!

Here are a few iphone snaps from my more recent travels...


Lumps & bumps & a really hard lesson

Recently I was sent this link called The 3 A's of Awesome, if you haven't seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. In this inspirational talk, one thing Neil Pasricha touches upon is life as having lumps and bumps along the way. Since watching it,  I have used the phrase quite regularly. Especially so on this last adventure to Vietnam and Cambodia. Let's see... here are just a few of the "lumps and bumps" I experienced along the way...

-getting hit by a motor-bike driven by a Russian tourist when his brakes failed (or so his story goes)

-having a full body heat rash for the first week (at least it wasn't fungus, which was my first fear)

-losing my favorite anklet I got on a trip to Indonesia with my brother

-getting food poisoning (imagine sleeping on the floor of a moldy bathroom getting sick for 2 days- not cool)

-having my battery charger blow up in the electrical socket and couldn't charge my camera batteries for the rest of the trip

-falling on some rocks by the ocean, hurting my knee and wrist and bouncing my head off the rocks

-ruining 2 favorite pairs of sunglasses

And finally... having my laptop stolen with 2 days left on the trip.

Most of them are little things that happen in life (well, sometimes my life feels a bit more troublesome than most, especially when I travel!). Anklets, sunglasses and battery chargers can be replaced, my body will always heal itself (and luckily there were no broken bones), but it's the stolen laptop that's really hard to swallow.

I didn't back up my laptop. There, I said it.

I lost all my travel photos from the trip, but more importantly were the photos taken by the children in the orphanages we visited. I am so angry with myself for not being more responsible... I had every intention of backing up... I even had a portable hard drive with me! The photos were for a project... a foundation I am starting that is centered around supplying cameras to orphanages around the world, giving these children a voice to share their vision, to learn, to be empowered... to have fun! Luckily, the video footage is still intact, and I will share that as soon as I have something put together.

So the point of all of this... there will always be lumps and bumps along the way, but if there are things you have been putting off (like updating your software so you can use icloud) or other precautions you could take so the big lessons will instead just be little bumps... then do it!

The few photos I didn't lose were from my iphone... here are some of the incredible children we had the pleasure of meeting.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh)

Saigon. The “Pearl of the Orient”.  With over 6 million people, Saigon is one of the densest urban areas in the World. And it feels like it. Never have I experienced so many motorbikes, mixed with the honking of horns and rattling engines, it overwhelms the senses. And yet… you could close your eyes and walk across the street with hundreds of bikes whizzing by you, but NEVER get hit. What first appears to be chaos is actually a somewhat organized fluid weaving of bikes.

I enjoyed Saigon. It has an air of a French provincial town with a Vietnamese twist. The markets and food stalls, the architecture and textures, the diversity and history. It has a story I will never fully know- only one that has lived through it… within it… could possibly understand the turmoils that plagued this city over time. And yet… it feels alive. There is an energy and a mystery to these streets. From winding alleys to dimly lit stairways, from temples to massage parlors, from the very wealthy to the very poor. This city has everything. I was always excited to see what lay around the corner, and, more often than not, it was a sight that held me in awe.  

Photos: streets of Saigon from a tuk tuk, dragon fruit, war memorabilia market, window in my hotel room, Vietnamese pop art, street checkers, opium pipes, red hallway leading to one of the coolest stores I've ever been in, coconut stand, photos from the Vietnam war, addresses painted on wall, best bowl of pho I've yet to have, Chinatown market.

death valley snaps


I haven't owned a point and shoot camera for at least 10 years. I bought an expensive underwater version a few years ago with visions of taking it surfing with my family... but it was the quality of images above water that I couldn't handle. So I returned it. 2 days later. But I don't always want to haul my professional camera around. Try getting a candid shot at a dinner party with a huge lens in someone's face. It's not going to happen. It's those random moments... like a wall mural that inspires you, or the way your puppy has fallen asleep.

Enter the iphone and all its wonderful apps. Right now I am loving instagram. I can take great photos... spontaneous, fun, IMPERFECT photos... and create a life diary of images that better represent how I live, versus what I do for a living. My professional camera has its place, and I cherish it like no other, but sometimes I just want to have the freedom to take random, carefree shots... and this allows me to do that.

Thank you instagram.

Here is a few from my recent trip to Death Valley...