Hey friends! So happy to announce that the shop is live! After lots of coffee, hard work and quite a bit of fun, we finally hit the go button. Still many more miles on to go, more treasures to hunt, more photos to shoot and edit, so keep checking in. Starting small with items we would love to sell equally as much as we would love to keep. We’re focusing on tribal, handmade items that bring an indigenous story to your home or wardrobe. Check out the shop <3
Misty mornings by the boat dock
Small villages amongst breathtaking mountain landscapes of Laos
Incredible layers of mountainsides made for a scenic ride
A temple within a cave
Through film: Temples along the river
Through film: At the boat dock
Through film: Monks accompanied our long boat ride. It was interesting to see them meditating while on the boat!
Through film: Temp rooftops over the Mekong
Sundown on the Mekong
One of the biggest realizations we’ve had on the road is the reality of being rich with time. All of a sudden I am happily hand washing our clothes, when it used to be such a chore sticking them in the washing machine and pressing a button. It’s an incredible feeling to get up early, to listen to bird songs, watch the sunrise and write in my journal. Quite a contrast to the days where I’m frantically running out the door and listening to beating horns of early morning traffic. Now I slowly sip my coffee throughout the day for the aroma and bold flavors, not to “have to get through the day”. The more I see different walks of life, the more I realize that the unmarked paths are there for you to create your own. Knowing that has been such a freeing feeling, and I don’t think it’s anything I would have understood without seeing it for myself.
We decided to take a “slow’ trip to Laos. We had nowhere we had to be at any time and creating an itinerary just seemed unnecessary. The slow boat took two days slowly riding the current of the Mekong river. There’s something so therapeutic about sitting still for hours as the wind blows your hair, and views of the majestic mountain regions of Laos pass by. We live in such an “instant’ society where you’re expected to do more with less time. We can answer 10 emails in one hour, but it’s hard to establish any true connections that way. It’s getting harder and harder to sit still, because it’s seen as lazy or unproductive but reflection is imperative in clearing your mind and centering your priorities.
As the sun started set, the boat came to stop at a small riverside village for you to sleep and find some local food. We came with no expectations therefore everything became a discovery. Some good, some so-so. I’ll have to save our story of when we played pin the tail on the map of Laos and ended up in a village where we felt stranded. Or that guesthouse where all you could smell was cat pee. We laugh about it every time, and can honestly say these moments color our travels.
If you’re feed is anything like mine, you can almost drown in a never ending feed of images. In our day and age of selfies and “what I ate today” image frenzy, there are those images that make you stop, look, and listen to their story. My favorite instagrams is my version of highly addicting TV shows (since I don’t have a TV) These wandering folks have taken my imagination to some far away places, somewhere I’ve been or where I’d like to go and I’m always curious to see where their perspective will lead me next.
@ourwildabandon: They were scheduled to be back in Canada by Novemeber 1st, but they’re not even halfway through with their US road trip. These girls and their camper named Bobby Jean makes you lust for camp vibes, big skies, desert trips, and the freedom of the open road.
@BrooklynHawaii: Hailing in Hawaii, Brooklyn is a talented photographer and one badass surfer chick, yes she exists. Be warned, her photos might have you green with envy for big waves, tan lines, and mahalo vibes.
@Circa_1983 From misty mornings to high altitudes, his shots capture Mama Earth’s majestic silhouettes and make us want to get lost deep into the wild.
A quick snapshot from my phone looking out the window of a bus swerving down the mountainside of Laos may not make for a great photo per se, but I couldn’t think of a better image that can translate my thoughts. A bit out of it from a long 10 hour bus ride through the mountainsides of northern Laos, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise. We were so high up that the mountains rose above the clouds and laid like snow. We passed by small villages and I couldn’t help but smile at the children waving as the bus drove by. What a radical change this Friday morning is compared to my Friday mornings prior to leaving. I used to wake up to a screeching alarm clock, sit in morning traffic with other anxiety ridden, overworked, road raged people and I was no different. As each day of higher sales quotas, and tighter deadlines drained every bit of me I kept asking myself, so this is it? This is what the “real world” that I prepared so diligently for throughout college is like? This illusion was sort of depressing. I found myself at a crossroad and I wanted to run the exact opposite direction. So I did.
You always hear people say “follow your bliss” ‘live like there’s no tomorrow” like a broken record of cliches. I settled for a one way flight and trusted the unknowingness of tomorrow. I admit, it gave me goosebumps, but in the best way possible. The journey of creating yourself didn’t go off like a lightbulb, but it was a mashup of moments such this sunrise on the bus where you feel a slow yet permanent change. It humbled my perspective, and shook my understanding. I finally understood the feeling of being rich with time, knocking out a to-do list that’s all yours, and getting up in the morning excited of what might come about today. Working with dream clients and collaborating with friends, and past colleagues to produce work that we’re passionate about and proud of is truly rewarding.
Someone once told me the difference between fear and danger is that danger is very real, and fear is something we have made up. Made up of a misuse of our imagination to create anxiety of what might happen. Live in the present and trust yourself enough to know that you’re on the right path and that you’ll know when you need to veer off. Trust that you are not in control and if you let the current of life take you, things will unfold as it should. Don’t just work hard, work passionately. If you’re decent at performing at a job you don’t like, imagine the meaningful work you can produce doing something you’re truly passionate about.
I had to write this to express my perpetual gratitude and hope that this energy manifests into whoever is reading this. If missed most of my ramblings, just remember this: Whatever it may be, follow your bliss.
As I’m stocking up for the shop, I have been receiving pre-orders for traditional ethnic textiles hand stitched and hand-dyed by surrounding tribes as a source of sustaining their culture. I have fallen in love with these magical forms of art translated into vibrant fabrics. These textiles connect us with disappearing cultures in the developing world as fast as old-growth forests. Fabrics of the Indigenous people are silent storytellers of traditions, and art. I’m attached to each piece I send off boundaries away, and happy to know they are to be appreciated for their aesthetic significance. If you are interested in pre-ordering tribal textiles please email me at email@example.com.
To better spend my time here in Thailand, I joined an The Christopher Robert Project which is an organization that visits Thailand’s hill-tribe communities on the weekends and offer in-village tutoring classes for the kids. Many of the hill-tribes reside far distances from schools, therefore making it difficult for the children to attend school. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of working with the Karen Hilltribe in Baan Mae Jok Village. The children stole my heart on the first day. I was shocked at how enthusiastic they were about school. They eagerly arrived to class an hour before we were supposed to start, and were so well-mannered. The most special part about this weekend visit was spending all day with the children in their village and seeing how they lived. Each morning the adults would set off to tend/gather crops, men would head out with their handmade rifle to hunt, and the children spent the day swimming in river and playing in the sun. Everyone had an important role in the village, and even the kids learned early how to cook, hunt, and be an asset to the tribe. It’s always reviving to be surrounded by such simplicity. No excess, no waste. I also had the pleasure of doing day to day activities with the families such as going to church, helping with dinner, and kicking it over fresh grown tobacco rolled in banana leaves!
We truly were enchanted with our stay in Santa Fe. Above is some shots on the road and in our hostel. We spent two nights in Santa Fe International hostel and it was a gem of a find. The outdoor courtyard was charming, our room was a sunny sanctuary, and the feeling of community was welcoming. We enjoyed the details that surrounded us in the city. Every bridge we passed displayed artwork, wooden doors carved with intricate designs, and eclectic shops that boasts influence from Native American arts to artisan pieces from all over the world. I met an inspiring local named Ian who runs Peaceful Wind Gallery. Every piece selectively collected during his travels through India, Nepal, Tibet and Southeast Asia. I was in awe with his finds. There were original scrolls from Tibet, intricate furniture, and beautiful Buddhist statues. We also chatted with his son who has embraced his dad’s gallery by branching into the up and coming art scene of Tibet. They both travel and meet with different artists to showcase their work. The most amazing part of our visit to this gallery is seeing how passionate they were about each piece and the story behind the artist. It was a great karmic encounter, and grateful for people like Ian who walk into your lives, even if just for a short visit to open your eyes with wonder.
Happy Halloween everyone! I admit, I do miss toasting pumpkin ales, roasting pumpkin seeds, and having an excuse to bust out in costume with friends. However I am very grateful to experience something as beautiful and eye opening as our couple weeks spent in Cambodia. They recently just started welcoming tourists into Cambodia the past decade or so after their suffering through the Khmer Rouge. Still today, the struggle remains in this poverty stricken country as they battle corruption in their government.
Understanding this, we were more aware of the darkness found in their past which showed through their music and artwork. If you ask the locals they will share their stories of death, starvation, and survival. When visiting galleries during our time in Battambang, we noticed the essence of darkness expressed in the majority of the artwork that I, as an outsider can never fully comprehend.
Walking through the alleyways of Battambang I was in awe to see the French architecture still remained here. I also noticed many women on their sewing machines on the bottom floor of their house which opened to the outside like garage doors. The vibrancy of fabrics I felt represented the Cambodian spirit. Through a dark past, the survivors, and those to follow express their hope through their smile, willingness to reach out, enthusiasm to work, and in their craftsmanship. I especially was drawn to these colorful kaftans with playful patterns which danced in the wind. We brought them to the rooftop of our hostel and let the sun and wind bring the kaftans to life.
These will soon be available in the shop.
This past Saturday we found ourselves people watching at a bar in Bangkok when this video came on. Just had to share it’s radness with you! Our trip to Banaue Philippines remain to be one of our most favorite visit. The rice terraces of Banaue is dubbed the eighth wonder of the world, yet it still doesn’t bring in as much tourism as other parts of Southeast Asia. Spending some time in Thailand, I was happy to see amount of tourism they bring in, and amazed to see how well it helps their economy. I realized that there are far more tourists walking this street of bars, than there is to trek the mountain regions of Banaue. I always wished for more tourism in the Philippines to help fuel their economy, but I also love the fact that the lack there of in certain spots allow it to have the sense of being “untouched”, less western influence and a more rooted connection with their past. Spend a few days here and you are overcome with surrealism. Aside from the western clothing which started in the 80’s and the trails created for jeepneys to carve around the mountainsides, you realize not much have changed over the past thousands of years.
All Roads Design consists of artisan duo Robert Dougherty and Janelle Pietrzak. Janelle first met Robert when she apprenticed for him at a motorcycle repair shop. It was only natural that their projects outside of the garage would be the best of both worlds. Robert was a jack of all trades, from welding to carpentry, and Janelle was well seasoned in fabric sourcing for the apparel industry including retailers such as Anthropology. Today their work is curated by numerous specialty stores that see the uniqueness and beauty in all of their dream weavings. I’m specially gravitated towards the mix of texture and the abstract patterns in each design. Their designs epitomize everything I love about artisan pieces; artist expressions translated by their hands.