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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tread Lightly // Teva Spring Escape Sweepstakes




"Abroad" -- a simple word with many interpretations. A term synonymous with mystery, it draws up images of faraway lands, exotic customs, and diverse populations. Now more than ever the issues of travel, immigration and international relations are on the minds and hearts of many. For some, travel is not a choice but a necessity. For others, it is a chance to gain insight and broaden horizons. Spring is an incredible time to escape the cold months of winter and take a much needed holiday. But it's also important we acknowledge that this type of travel is a luxury, and the impact we make on the communities and environments we visit depends entirely on the intention we carry and the actions we take while abroad.

No matter where I travel, I always strive to tread lightly and engage the community. Whether you're a seasoned globetrotter or about to take your first trip, here's a few tips for how to be a conscious traveler and make the most of your trip abroad: 




  • Pack light - Someone once gave me that simple advice before my first trip and I'll never forget it. If everything we carry is an extension of ourselves, what does your pack say about you? I say bringing only the essentials keeps life simple, always including a warm layer (my Woolrich flannel comes with me everywhere!) music, a great book, and comfy shoes. A camera is key, and reusable water bottle/cutlery always comes in handy and reduces waste. Besides that, all you really need is a smile and heart full of gratitude and you'll be prepared for anything. 




  • Keep it in the Community - Treat where you go like where you're from. If you can't stay with a local, act like one. Is there a boutique hotel or eco lodge you can book rather than falling into a tourist trap? Can you shop at a farmer's market and use harvested ingredients rather than eating out every meal? Strive to get a local's perspective on a new destination and your impact will reflect the authenticity of your experience.

  • Disconnect from Social Media and Connect with the Elements - When traveling abroad, it all comes down to intention and presence. Before your trip, ask yourself one question: What is the purpose? If it's to explore and experience, then being present in each moment is a must. Slow down, turn off devices, look around and immerse yourself in nature. Surfing, hiking, and camping are some of my favorite ways to discover a new place. Through studying and absorbing the swell patterns and geographic details of an area, I feel a sense of responsibility to preserve and care for my temporary home. I also develop a strong sense of independence and self sufficiency. Follow this tip and you'll come out a stronger, more competent traveller and THAT is something to take pride in.  



  • Leave It Better Than You Found It -  I live and travel by the mentality "give more than you take." This can be accomplished in a number of ways from simple to serious commitments. Need some inspiration? How about smiling at strangers, practicing patience, sharing with the community, donating to a local cause, picking up trash when you see it, volunteering on a farm, or offering your skill sets to a local in need. There's countless ways to give back and no effort is too small. I love traveling with my polaroid for example, giving someone a physical photo as a memory to cherish has brought more smiles than I ever expected, and connections with strangers I'll never forget!

  • Be an Ambassador of Love - Acknowledge your power. We are walking representatives of our beliefs and our culture. Now more than ever it is imperative that we take responsibility for our actions and cross borders with love, compassion, humility and understanding. Be kind, use manners, respect elders and local customs, make an effort to learn "please" and "thank you" in the local language; take the small steps that make a huge difference. It's these actions that make travel a tool for healing misunderstanding, creating authentic connections, and sharing fresh perspectives with those back home. Take this tip seriously and you will find the rewards are limitless!
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Conscious Travel feat. The Palmwood Kauai



Dress | Amuse Society



Intentional.

That is the word I would use to describe every aspect of The Palmwood -- a gorgeous, family owned bed and breakfast nestled on a hilltop in the valley of Moloa'a on the island of Kaua'i. I was ecstatic to receive an invitation from Mychael, the manager of The Palmwood, after sharing a super fun surf at Pine Trees a few nights before. His warm welcome and guided tour left me speechless as he pointed out the hand crafted furniture, locally sourced amenities and consciously curated details that make The Palmwood exquisitely unique. Could anything be better than a stay at this tropical paradise? I think not.

The outdoor shower after a surf is nothing short of perfection.

Goooood Morning :)
Synthetic/Chemical free bedding by Parachute Home / Kale Luvr Tank / Amuse Society

Loved this curated corner featuring a chair by eco-friendly Pacific Green Furniture.

The views from the poolside are in the most literal sense -- breathtaking.
Hat | Brixton / Swim + Skirt | Amuse Society

Shadow play in quiet spaces.
Board bag / Sage Brush Bags

Dress / Amuse Society 
At the Palmwood, it's not just about providing a place to stay, it's about creating the ultimate authentic, curated, island experience. Mychael was not just a warm host who showed me to my room, he was the chef whipping up my tasty vegan breakfast, the travel agent creating my adventure itinerary for the day, my surf guide, as well as my teacher in local storytelling, wisdom and respect. He's not scared to tell you to stay away from a local surf spot or to not share pictures of a sacred Hawaiian hike on Instagram. This kind of authenticity is what I crave when traveling abroad and part of me wishes there was a Palmwood in every corner of the world.

Poolside sunset dance.
Hat | Brixton / Top + Skirt | Amuse Society

Swim | Amuse Society

This bath defines the word luxury. 

All natural soaps by local Kauai companies Utara and Kauai Kuana Dairy 

Towel + Swim | Amuse Society


It is so important to me to find accommodation that helps immerse me in the community and educate me as a respectful guest. Everything about my time at the Palmwood was aligned with my conscious efforts in travel. I am still dreaming of the fresh local cuisine, rad adventures, and serene sanctuary of this gorgeous homestay.

Mahalo for the memories xx

The Palmwood Kauai


Make sure to follow their exquisite social media account for plenty of Kauai wanderlusting:






Friday, December 16, 2016

3 x 3 // A year of disposables

3 countries...3 disposable cameras...
Australia, Mexico, California through the eyes of a van-hopping, star gazing surfista. 
Cheers 2016 for the memories.
























Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Home is Where Alofa Is


 "She knows that "home" is not a physical place in the outside world, but an inner quality of relaxation and acceptance. The stars, the rocks, the trees, the flowers, fish and birds -- all are our brothers and sisters in this dance of life." - Osho



The last year for me has been, in a word: unpredictable. A breakup, surgery, moving out and into a suitcase, traveling to 11 countries, tracing family history, reconnecting with long lost friends...the list goes on.


Living on the road comes with both the highs and the lows, and this year has felt mostly like an attempt to keep my head above water. 

But every time I close my eyes to escape that sinking feeling of instability, to find the solace and security I so desperately seek -- there's only one place I picture. One place who's spirit, who's aura has lingered in my heart since the moment I stepped foot on it's warm, sun drenched soil. One place where home lies within the gaze of it's locals who are eager to connect across cultural barriers, a place where I can breathe deeper and smile wider than any other place on Earth: 

- S A M O A - 


Towel / Abiichi | Swim Zippora

Swim / Rhythm

Invited for Hashtag Travel Society's maiden "Passport Posse" voyage, I joined 5 other women 
for an island immersion in the South Pacific. Our sanctuary abode, Sinalei Reef Resort, took my breath away from the moment we arrived. Boutique bungalows sprawled across acres of lush, tropical, terrain. Sky high palm trees swayed elegantly in the wind. Waterfront spas and sandy stepped villas seamlessly converged nature with structure. There was a peacefulness and a sacred honoring of the land at Sinalei that I had never experienced at a resort before. The warm staff quickly became family and for the first time in a long time, I felt truly at home.  



Towel / Abiichi
  
There is so much to do in Samoa I don't even know where to begin! Our sensational host (and one of my favorite humans ever) Tess Wilcox took us on countless adventures across the islands. We chased, waterfalls, swam in the Sua Ocean Trench, surfed crystal clear blue water, visited tree house abodes, and explored underground caves. We took the ferry to Western Samoa and drove in the back of a jeep around the entire island, wind blown hair and sunkissed skin leaving us giggling and begging for more. 






Sinalei is a family owned and operated resort, with beaming pride in the Samoan culture and a long history of community contribution. After having the resort demolished in the 2009 tsunami and again after the 2012 cyclone, the family rebuilt the entire resort by hand. They also have helped to rebuild and engage the community by supporting local farms in the food they serve, donating to the local college and hospital, initiating a local arts center, providing community sewing lessons, and establishing a ukulele school. Their efforts in green solutions range widely as they have fought to make the Poutasi Village a Marine Protected Area, utilize solar power, and retrieve water from a local reservoir located right under the resort, free of chemicals and as fresh as can be. There's so much to love about the initiatives of this resort and the care they take in serving their guests is only matched by the care they take for the planet. My experience in Samoa is synonymous with Sinalei, as I truly thrived in the rich traditions shared with me by the beautiful hosts.

  



I have relived the memories of this week-long adventure for months, drinking in every last scent of frangipani, every taste of fresh pineapple, every pristine, picturesque ocean view as though I were just there yesterday. And although the idea of a permanent "home" may be nowhere in sight for me anytime soon, with the sound of ukulele, the spirit of alofa comes alive, and I am transported to the Samoan sanctuary in my soul.  

photos: Pip Edwards / insta: @seagypsea_photography

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To my fellow bloggers, check out Hashtag Travel Society and become a part of the Passport Posse!

Thank you to Samoa Tourism for sharing with me the heart of Beautiful Samoa xx