Quite honestly the most manic month I believe I have ever encountered, and also the best! 4 countries in 4 weeks – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. During the month of September the first place I travelled to was California for Phoot Camp – an experience which is near and dear to my heart and one which I will blog more about in the coming months…
Phoot Camp this year was held in Joshua Tree, California. But before heading away to Phoot I took a road trip to Yosemite with some lovely lady friends, and my 3 weeks in California closed out in Palm Springs, celebrating the birthday of another friend. I was spoiled by sunshine and blue skies and swimming pools and copious amounts of Tecate. Heaven.
Just two days after returning to London, Chris and I were off to Ireland on commission from Tourism Ireland. We explored Dublin, the Wild Atlantic way, Shannon and Limerick. After 8 years in the UK I finally got a taste of Ireland, and it did not disappoint! We even stayed in the hotel owned by Bono and The Edge. If that’s not properly Irish, I don’t know what is…
Just one day after returning from Ireland I was on another plane, this one bound for Australia. I headed to the beautiful region of Queensland for 9 days with Tourism Queensland, and it was the sunniest, happiest most magical time. I was able to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, take a dawn hot air balloon ride, stay in beautiful places and meet up with my friend Zach, sharing the amazing experience of swimming with turtles together.
My arm was pretty much black and blue from all the times I pinched myself. And it was a true affirmation that I had made the right decision in leaving the security of my full-time job in exchange for a life I had always wanted… Colour me happy.
Above: Palm Springs aka a summer lover’s dream come true, and Garrett‘s beauty.
Above: Camping in Yosemite – another dream scratched off the bucket list! Kristina and Britt in the river behind our campsite at Housekeeping Camp.
Above: No visit to Dublin would be complete without a visit to the famous Guinness Storehouse
Above: Goodbye winter, helloooooooo Queensland! More to come on this trip soon!
Above: The Sailaway Cruise to the Low Isles with my good friend Zach was the highlight of a lifetime – not pictured here are all the turtles we swam with on the reef… (!)
I’ll be honest, after so much travelling in September, it was time to unwind a little. There’s no doubt that I love my job and travel is my favourite thing in the world, but 4 weeks of being on the go meant I was ready to sit down and relax for a few days, you know?
Autumn had well and truly arrived when I got back from Australia, so Chris and I decided to finally make good on our promise that this would be the year that we went to the Lake District. After shooting a wedding together the day before, we jumped in our hire care and headed up to Windermere and our very sweet little B&B.
Sadly the rain stayed with us the entire time, so our dreams of hiking up big hills and getting some epic views were dashed – but you know what? In the end, our days spent toodling around the little villages of the Lakes in the car, jumping in and out in between the rain and wind, and cosy evenings watching LOST for the second time around were just what we needed…
Continuing the theme of staying put, I spent most of the month of November running around photographing London for two of my most favourite organisations. I created a London Guide for my friends at ONA, and was honoured to be interviewed by Passion Passport (you can see Part 1 and Part 2 here) about my adopted home, and the images I make here…
Above: Leila Peterson had the unenviable task of taking photographs of me with my ONA bag – of course, she did wonderfully, and we got a chance to run around town and drink coffee together – kind of wonderful.
Above: Coffee at Ozone, the best way to start a day. One of those red boxes that are all over the city.
There’s only one word for this month, and that word is Home.
This year, I was lucky. I got to return home and see my family twice. We spent 6 weeks at home, mainly staying with my parents in Tauranga but with side adventures to Auckland, Piha, Raglan, and the Coromandel; as well as a decent amount of time spent with my brother and his family in Hamilton. I cuddled my niece like there was no tomorrow, and learnt all the ways to make her smile. I held my grandmother’s hand and whispered to her that I love her. I argued with my Dad and watched movies with my Mum. We took the dog on many sunset walks, and I revelled in the sound of the cicadas at dusk.
Home is truly where my heart is.
And that, my friends, is (finally?) the end of 2014! I’m excited to get posting more for you guys, and am cooking up some fun stuff behind the scenes… If there’s anything you’d love to see on here, or know about, please feel free to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you 🙂