Seek growth. always.
you’ll reach the greatest of heights.
• valle de cócora, colombia.
i’m not sure anything will prepare you for the striking landscape of the cocora valley. the beauty of this natural cloud forest, dotted with the colombian national symbol, the wax palm, towering overhead. these palms are the worlds tallest. they can grow upwards of 60m/200ft and were almost wiped out, as people would cut them down for their palm fronds to use on palm sunday. luckily, in mid 80’s the area was designated as a national park and has been protected ever since. now, these general giants flourish, reaching upwards to touch the sky .
i could feel pachamama here, her spirit radiating from the andean topography.
one of those moments where i was truly overwhelmed by all the beauty this world holds.
The light of this universe, washes, glistens, glows
from y o u.
• st. george’s, grenada.
my favorite thing about my time adventuring & photographing with @thesailingcollective is hands down, all the wonderful celestial beings i meet on the boat. incredible souls with awe-inspiring stories to tell, that become like family.
which brings me to the goddess in frame ➳ @laurengerrie - chef, dancer, mermaid, boss babe, lover of life. she truly radiates love, light and happiness (and creates the most mouth watering dishes, as well as addicting cookies!). it was lovely to get to know her a bit during our week in paradise.
on our last evening, we anchored just outside of the harbor in st george’s. as we did, the sun set below the horizon and treated us to the most incredible after glow. which, combined with the glassiest water of the trip, made for this ethereal scene (you can see the pano of that post glow in image 2/3, as well of an alternate shot of lauren in image 4). a perfect ending to a trip of self realization & growth (more on that next post). forever grateful 🙏🏼✨♥️.
Feel just fine. then your face fills my mind.
i miss your soul, so divine.l.
• big sur, california.
living a 3g life on a boat in the middle of the caribbean, so this might be my only post this week... but, regardless ➳ big sur ➳ one of the classics. my favorite growing up, & my parents were married near here. ♥️
Though she be but little she is fierce.
• the world.
i always felt that line from shakespeare was about me ➳ little. fierce. unafraid.
but, it’s not always easy being a woman.
i’ve been harassed/assaulted both verbally and physically countless times. i’ve been overlooked, discounted, ignored, taken for granted, bullied, pushed aside, and have been called every derogatory word one can call a woman. my body size, shape, & height has been judged. my looks ridiculed. my intelligence questioned (a huge mistake to question that btw), and on and on.
in the end, none of it has prevented me from doing a single thing i’ve wanted to do, from pushing boundaries, from loving more, from knowing my worth. i believe in the power of women. i believe in the beauty of this world, and i will never settle for less than being equal to men. .
to celebrate international women’s day, here are a few photos of this fierce, woman (me), as well as the extraordinary women i’ve had the honor of photographing and befriending. here’s to them & all females out there; making strides, breaking barriers, lifting up other women, and refusing to settle. you are a light in this world. i am so thankful for each and every one of you. never forget, we are women. we are goddesses. we are a force. we make the world go round. .
1. me 📷: @noel.alva
2. @majamalnar 📷: me
3. @stephjianni 📷: me
4. @chelsea.ma 📷: me
5. @acupofjoan 📷: me
6. @rebeccahajekyoga 📷: me
7. @kellie_annmyrtle 📷: me
8. me 📷: @noel.alva
sometimes ice. 💎
• jökulsárlón, iceland.
when hiking across a glacier, you have to be aware of your surroundings. there are often crevasses and moulins/glacier mills (as seen here in the first image). this particular moulin reminded me of a geode. though this place, this glacier, is much more precious than a crystal. i could go into detail about how important glaciers are to this planet. how humans are creating an environment that is causing them to melt at a rapid pace... but you all know that. instead i ask you to take a moment to take stock of the impact you are making on this planet, and make a conscious effort, everyday, to do something to offset your carbon footprint (a google search will get you started). let’s give back to a planet that gives us so much. ✨
• shark fin cove, davenport, ca.
growing up in northern california i passed by this place more times than i can count. we’d often stop on the way to a surf session in sc (which was a drive truth be told, but... surf). it was our way of giving some love to the shark gods - aka, ask them not to mistake us for seals. it often gives me a chuckle when i see it pop up on my feed because so many memories come rushing back. memories of driving the 1, cold mornings spent in the pacific, wrapped in a hoodie clutching a cup of coffee post surf, so it would double as a portable heater.
years (and years) later, on this particular drive up from la i stopped to say hello to this old friend, all dressed up, surrounded by a super bloom 🌼.
I refuse to merely shine
i intend to illuminate the night.
• the louvre, paris, france.
paris is one of my favorite cities to walk around during the evening. places that are filled with tourists during the day are empty, but beautifully lit. it’s as if you have paris all to yourself & you’ve been transported to another time. i, at times, have felt as if i might run into hemingway during my evening strolls in the city of light. (which would be a dream). paris - where the nights are as beautiful as our days.
Break through to the sunshine from the rain.
• mount tamalpais, california.
california is known for its rolling hills of gold, especially those in mt. tam state park. though, occasionally, we get enough rain and those hills of gold become a vibrant green, and wildflowers bloom in abundance. it’s a beautiful site to behold.
You are my madrid.
you always feel like home, to me.
• madrid, spain.
i was going to write a lengthy story about how living in this gem of a city for 3 years changed my life & gave my soul so much... but, it’s a novel-esc story, and one best left to be told in person.
simply know that when you move, truly move, to a foreign country for 3 years, not knowing a soul, before instagram was a major thing (2011), where you truly have to survive on your own, meet people on your own... it changes you. it molds you. it strengthens you.
if you ever doubt that i know myself. if you ever accuse me of not being one with myself, or not knowing myself, who i want, or what i want... know that you are incorrect. there’s a beauty to being humbled, to being stripped down to your soul, to have to rely on yourself. it teaches you to love, to lift yourself up, to be full of light.
i was a 🐛 and morphed into a 🦋 here.
i patiently wait for you to join me & see what it’s like to flutter from above. .
first image is barrio (neighborhood) lavapies.
image 2/3 is parque retiró
I’m under your spell, can’t you see
i’d love to leave you with my memory
• sequoia national park.
📷📱: @noel.alva .
i’ve never needed grandiose gestures/gifts to be happy. i’ve always found immense joy in the little things. ➳
sunsets, exploring, witty banter, delightful-meaningful conversation, connecting with mother earth, road trips, day dreaming, a laugh, a smile, a touch, wandering around a city for hours, waves crashing, an empty beach, handwritten letters, a phone call, a solid music playlist, bookstores, crystals, creating art, vinyls, moments below the surface of the water, the sound of rain on a roof, a long run, a lengthy hike, staring at the night sky, giving to those i love, seeing those i love find their bliss...
but, nothing fills my heart with more joy than a beautiful view, and even more so if it’s shared with a divine human.
to celebrate the simple things, i thought a photo, #shotoniphone, would be appropriate. no 24, 30, 42 megapixels, no lengthy lightroom edits - simply a moment in time, that can be looked upon, infinitely.
p.s. - a goddess never has to chose between her adventure hat or her crown. ever. .
The sky lights up and i think of you
• santiago, chile
if you’re looking to visit south america and haven’t considered santiago... you might want to revise that list. it’s a beautiful, vibrant city, filled with amazing culture, food, sights and sounds. in addition, there are numerous day trips in and around santiago that will leave you awe struck.
and then, there are sunsets like these. which are best viewed from the roof of the @wsantiagohotel @whotels. having a pisco sour in hand is optional, but highly recommended.
I see right through to you.
• machu picchu, peru.
the world is a beautiful, magical, mystical place, and it's an honor to be able to explore her. it’s an honor to be able to visit places that are considered sacred to various cultures/people. we are truly being given a gift when you experience the land and culture of others. which is why i believe that the only way we are going to save and care for our planet is to treat it with the upmost respect, as if every experience, journey, adventure, is a gift. because the is exactly travel is - a precious, divine gift .
a prime example is this magical trail that is the camino del inka. it was an honor to be able to walk in the path of those who built this trail to the wonder that is machu picchu.
i never take any experience for granted. each one becomes a cherished memory. each adventure pushes me to grow, evolve and dream. forever grateful. forever filled with love.