Category Archives: Personal

So it’s finally here. My blog post about Paris. Everyone I’ve bumped into over the last 6 months has asked me about these photos and I’m so happy to finally blog them after so many months.

I have dreamed about going to Paris for as long as I remember. So when my cousins told me they were going in September of 2016 and they wanted to me come along, I honestly had no choice. This was it. My opportunity to finally see the city of lights. At the time,  I honestly didn’t even have the money. But 2 days after the invite, I found myself texting my cousins saying “I’m in.” and  buying a roundtrip ticket.

Fast forward to September 2016. I’m riding in an uber from the airport driving down the busy streets of Paris, trying to fully grasp that I’m finally, actually here but still wrapped up in the craziness of traveling alone in foreign country. My uber driver (who was genuinely the nicest person I might have met the entire trip since he barely knew any English but managed to help out to the poor American stuck at the airport, alone with no cell service, who didn’t even attempt to learn any french besides ‘Merci’ and ‘Bonjour’) dropped me off at my Air BnB, helped me get out my luggage, and then sped off. I was left standing in the middle of a quiet Parisian street, hands full of luggage staring down the street at the Eiffel Tower towering over the Parisian city blocks. It was then, that I just let out a huge sigh and just smiled. I was here. Finally.

I could go on and on about moments so similar to the one I just described. But it wouldn’t make a difference. You can’t describe the charm of Paris. Moment’s that are honestly so perfect and pure that it felt like they had been carefully plotted out by some brilliant Hollywood writer. I’d constantly have to remind myself “This isn’t planned. This is really, truly happening and you need to take this moment in.” The intimate moments you see happening on every street, on ever bench, in every cafe. The smells, the sounds, the general feeling of Paris, is truly indescribable. I found myself stopping so many times to just stop and enjoy the moment I was in. Something I rarely do on a normal, daily basis.

This trip was truly life changing for me. I truly never felt more inspired by a place more than Paris. It’s been 6 months and I’m still trying to truly process all of the memories, the small moments, all of the emotions I felt on this trip.

But enough talk, below is just a glimpse of some of the things I saw and experienced in Paris. I tried to do it in the best way I know how, through my camera lens. I hope you enjoy:)

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2015 was a BUSY year for me and after I was done, I was in much need of a vacation. So I decided to retreat to Palm Springs and take a few days to relax, explore and unwind. I went to Palm Springs for the 1st time earlier in 2015 for work, but I didn’t stay very long and didn’t have time to take in the full amazingness of the city and surrounding area.

My 1st must go to spot I visited as soon as I got there was Elvis and Priscilla Presley’s home. They only lived there a year, but it’s where they lived right after they got married and where they had their wedding reception after their famous elopement in Las Vegas. It was amid century lovers dream, so I was in vintage heaven.

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Afterwards, I spent some time exploring the neighborhoods of Palm Springs as well as the infamous hotels of Palm Springs.

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The next day, I explored the Botanical gardens as well as the desert around the Palm Springs area.

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My 3rd day, I decided to travel down to the Salton Sea and explore this weird place I had heard and read so much about.

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Well it’s finally here, the last part of my trip to the Great Down Under! After my trip to Australia, I flew over to New Zealand and met up with my cousin Ben. Ben is form LA, but while I was booking my trip a few months before the trip, I nonchalantly suggested he come with me. Before I knew it, he was looking at flights to New Zealand, booking said flights, and then all the sudden I had a travel buddy for my stay in New Zealand!

There are many similarities in culture with Australia and New Zealand and the differences were big and small at the same time (to me at least). To get an idea of the difference, I would say Australia is like Los Angeles and New Zealand is more like Seattle. Our 1st stop was Auckland, the bustling metropolis of the small island nation. It’s big city with a small town feel. Everyone we talked to was so kind and welcoming to us as we wandered the hilly streets. There are TONS of park where you hike up ancient volcanic cones (small volcanic cones but still challenging) where you can get great views of the city. After a few days in Auckland, we made our way to the middle of the north island to a place called Rotorua. Rotorua is FULL of volcanic activity. So much in fact there are giant sulfur pits in the public parks. Pillars of steam and the constant smell of eggs emit 24 hours a day. After being there for 24 hours, we got used to smell of egg and the small city on the edge of a giant lake was ours to explore. There were A TON of outdoor activities to do in Rotorua. We went to Hobbiton (where they filmed The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings), went Zorbing (being rolled down a big green hill in a GIANT inflatable hamster ball full of water), went zip lining through the rainforest where we learned all about the wildlife and animals of New Zealand (maybe one of the best things we did on the trip), and hiked the Tarawera trail to Hot Water Beach (where the hot springs pour in to Lake Taraweara). Again, I could go on and on about all the adventures and things we saw and experienced, but showing you is way easier. Enjoy a glimpse of the STUNNING little island country known as New Zealand!

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So it’s now time for part two of my trip to Australia: My stay in Sydney. Sydney was such a lively and vibrant city. It was the perfect balance of historic and modern. I loved just wondering up and down the streets and just taking in all the amazing architecture and beauty Sydney had to offer. Just a short train ride and then a quick bus ride away was Bondi Beach. The closest thing I could compare it to something stateside would be Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk except no rides, super clean, more surfers. Muralists have painted all the walls along the beach and they had THE COOLEST swimming pool right next ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. After a full few days of exploring Sydney, I hopped on a train and went to meet my new friend Elise, a local aussie, who wanted to show me something most tourist who visit Sydney don’t know about: The Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains are about an hour and half train ride from downtown Sydney out in the Australian “Bush” (aka: the wilderness). Elise was THE BEST tour guide and told me SO many amazing things about her country’s history, all about the native floral and fauna, and took me to all her favorite spots which of course were off the beaten path so we literally had KILOMETERS all to ourselves. They are called the Blue Mountains because of the blue gum trees that cover all the mountains. As you look out in the distance, the blue gum leaves reflect the light of the sun, making the mountains off in the distance appear blue. Cool, right? After we explored all the mountains had to offer, Elise made sure I got to try a proper Aussie pie at her favorite Bakery. Aussie Pie is very different from American pie. For one, they fill their pies with mince meat and a sauce I would describe as a barbeque sauce, but more tomato cased and not as smokey flavored. Elise told me I had to add Tomato Sauce (aka: Ketchup) to my pie which did make it quite delicious. I could literally go on and on about all my adventures and the beauty of New South Wales, but it’s better to show you a glimpse of what I experienced. Enjoy!IMG_0844IMG_4219 copyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0788OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_4412IMG_0824IMG_0832IMG_4270 copyIMG_4268 copyIMG_4255 copyIMG_4305 copyIMG_4346 copyUntitled 15Untitled 8Untitled 23IMG_4402 copyIMG_4434 copyIMG_4446 copyIMG_4467 copyIMG_4479 copyIMG_4555 copyUntitled 5Untitled 7Untitled 11Untitled 14Untitled 24IMG_0867IMG_0920IMG_4589 copyIMG_4731 copyIMG_4790 copyIMG_4796 copyIMG_4820 copyIMG_4836 copyIMG_4867 copyIMG_4871 copyIMG_4877 copyIMG_4897IMG_4902 copyIMG_4925 copyIMG_4976 copyIMG_4962 copyIMG_4981 copyIMG_4992 copyIMG_5003 copyIMG_5005 copyIMG_5013 copyUntitled 25Untitled 26IMG_5033 copyIMG_5053 copyIMG_5066 copyIMG_5076 copyIMG_5084 copyIMG_5101 copyIMG_5105 copyIMG_5111 copyIMG_0925

So after I shot Daniel and Jennifer Destination Wedding, I had the opportunity to explore the amazing little town Port Douglas and surrounding area. Imagine the quaintest little beach town you can imagine and put it right on the edge of a dense rainforest and you’ll get an idea of what Port Douglas looks like. It was one of the more unique areas I’ve ever been to full of amazing floral and dangerous fauna. The mangroves, basically a salt water swamp, were home to salt water Crocodiles and giant jellyfish.  The rainforest was FULL of plenty exotic animals and birds. We got to the Cairnes Wildlife Zoo and got to see all the Australian animals including dingos, salter water crocodiles, parrots, snakes, and my 2 favorites, Koalas and Kangaroos.

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After exploring the local land animals, it was time to head out to ocean and see one of the natural wonders of the natural world, The Great Barrier Reef. Now why I’m quite happy with these photos, they are merely A GLIMPSE of what I actually saw while snorkeling. There’s no real way to describe visually what I saw. The closest thing I could say it was like was flying over an alien world. Just seeing all the different types of coral was a experience, much less their surreal colors. But again, instead of describing, I’ll just show you.

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