The Kochi or Kuchi tribe is easily of my favorite tribes aesthetically. Kochi/Kuchi is a Persian word meaning migration. They are a nomadic tribe of Afghanistan traveling by camel usually grazing sheep or goats. It wasn’t until I started migrating myself that I came across their beautiful handmade jewelry. Draped with intricate bead work, heavy metal cuffs, vintage coins and beautiful embroidery. Their population is quickly diminishing and their way of life is becoming harder due to natural disasters, wars and political unrest between the borders of the middle east. Today their traditional and wearable art still has many stories to tell and many miles left to travel. We’re excited to treasure them in our shop!
India has some incredible buildings, temples, mosques, and ashrams. Above are snippets of India’s well known Taj Mahal, also known for it’s symbol of love. Incredible inspiration found on all four walls, down enchanting hallways, and immaculate ceilings that are even more incredible than any photos could convey.
I write this from an ashram in a small village of Ropa nestled in a valley of the Himalayans. I’m two weeks into my ashram life of schedule and discipline, a world most foreign to me than any place I have ever visited. A journey in itself, but one I knew I needed. I’m so used to lots of reflection time, self guided discovery, and choosing to spend every minute of my day exactly how I want, working on projects that inspire me, clients whom I adore, and waking up when I want, eating however much, whenever I want. I knew my biggest struggle would be a rigorous schedule in harmony with a community of women.
My ashram life starts each day before sunrise to a meeting in our mediation room for a sating (“to be in company of truth”) in other words to gather with others who are also on their journey of truth. We focus on raising the vibrations of the room with singing and yes dancing =) followed by a guided meditation. The rest of the day is a whirlwind consisting of yoga, teaching postures, spiritual and anatomical studies of the mind, body, and soul. Next thing I know it is lights out, as me and my 3 other roommates fall asleep with our headlamps on reading our yoga manuals.
I have never felt so connected and disconnected at the same time. Wifi is many villages away, this is the first time I have felt “far enough away” to be homesick. I never realized how something as simple as hearing a familiar voice can bring you back home, until I couldn’t.
The struggle also comes with so much growth. Everyday I work on my intention of non-attachment. My disconnection with the internet has brought me more connection with the life that surrounds me. There is so much existence and stillness. The cows that I pass along the way who’s milk calms my stomach overnight, the mountain spring that fills my water bottle with an ice cold flow of life energy. The village children who run up for hugs or give you flowers with their contagious smiles =) I have realized that just because I can’t physically tell someone I love them, doesn’t mean I can’t send them my love. So from my small little village life.. I send you my love <3
Every place we’ve been, we’ve made it our intention to listen locals perform their music. My ears fluttered to Cambodia’s music as I listened to an incredible songbird belt out traditional Khmer tunes. Danced to a reggae version of Thai music from a band in Chiang Mai, and their band name was “ChiangMaica” hahah get it? =P Now we’re in India, where their music has such a spiritual soul and traditional beats and I’m gravitated into this beautiful vortex of music and it has become the soundtrack of life lately. Hope you enjoy <3
*Photo above is a Thai man and his didgeridoo
Discovered this beautifully and ornately decorated Dropka tribe on Before They Pass Away blog. They dwell in the the villages between India and Pakistan in the Valley of Ladakh, also known as “The Land of High Passes.” Though I will be in the Himalayans, I wish I had more time to explore India. The colors of the people in the cities, in the rural countrysides, and the tribes tucked away in their mountain villages. Their indigenous style is playful and very expressive. From the floral headpieces to the intricate jewelry, just stunning!
“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.”
― Keith Bellows
As we were above the clouds flying over Sri Lanka, I couldn’t help but wake up to the brightness flowing through the window. I was a bit delirious from the long transit, and admittedly hung over from celebrating Songkran Festival in Thailand just hours before we had to board our flight early that morning. Only now was it really sinking in that we were about to be in a whole new rabbit hole. This quote has become a daily mantra for me in moments of homesickness, or nostalgia. Because only with an open mind can we achieve an open heart. Being porous during moments can be a vulnerable feeling, often times scary, yet, it is these moments that will teach you how to fly.
Some more wildness to bring you a dose of tropical from our lookbook Run Deep Run Wild! This day really was a hot sweaty one and especially fun. This location had so many exotic plants, one of them being our favorite; Bird of Paradise or sometimes called the crane flower is indigenous to South Africa. Doesn’t it’s vibrant orange flowers remind you of a tropical bird’s beak?
Photographer: Cynthia Barbachano
Makeup artist: Khao Kwankao
Styling: New Crop
April 15th marks the Pink Full Moon and lunar eclipse! The lunar eclipse will begin at 2am with the moon glowing a vibrant pink/reddish hue. So keep your gaze to the starry sky for this cosmic display. This is also the day we will be on a plane to India, maybe we’ll get an even closer glimpse =) Until then, here are some beautiful art collages by Jesse Treece of moons that will take you on a different trip!
As I pack up the knick knacks and the little boxes of memories that we have collected along the way, I realize how much I am going to miss Aaron and the nest we have made here in Chiang Mai. It was always his birthday wish to wake up a year older in a new city, well San Francisco. We always daydreamed about the culture shock it would be to us compared to Austin, and the hustle it would ingrain in us to not only make it there, but to thrive there. Little did we know that we would both be waking up in New Delhi, India! Wow, life surprises you sometimes in the most interesting ways.
In 3 days, we start our transit to India where I will be spending my days amidst the spirit of the Himalayans to deepen my yoga and spiritual practice as I get certified to be a yoga teacher. I couldn’t be more excited about unplugging from it all for a month and gathering with a sisterhood of yogis doing yoga and meditation from sun up to sundown. I know I will often daydream of what Aaron is experiencing and what stories he will have when we meet back up about his explorations in the cities and the rural countrysides of Northern India. I’ve really gotten accustomed to always having him by my side, but embracing the upcoming alone time and understanding that the togetherness and being apart is after all a beautiful balance.