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.
We couldn’t be more excited to work and collaborate with Bangkok’s dream team on our first lookbook! The location was lush and beautiful in contrast of the big bustling city that it was in. The vibrant colors of our clothing line, and indigenous fabrics and patterns just radiated amongst all the greenery.
I’ve had a chance to get connected with Mihaela Noroc of Beauty Around the World Project, and though we were not able to organize a date we could both be in Bangkok, I still have to share her amazing project! The Beauty Around the World project combines her passion for fashion photography with her passion for travel. Her intentions are to travel to 35 countries in 16 months and capture the diverse beauty of local women in all the places she discovers. Such cultural beauties fill her tumblr, and it’s such an inspiring space to appreciate and celebrate our cultural differences and similarities.
We’re scheduled to return back to the U.S. in August and I’m already bracing myself for the transition. I am however looking forward to being able to grow my book collection again. The images above are by Neil Krug one of our all time favorite photographers. His photography book is something we always had on our coffee table. His images has so much depth, you almost, always see something different each time you look at them.
Danmala designer Kathy creates inspiring art with nature’s abundance of life and beauty. Her process is purely therapeutic for both the creator and the receiver of her art. She transcends into a meditative state as she collects the natural elements around her.
“Her inspiration is given from the golden sound residing within perfect silence. They are reflections of the inexpressible, a gesture which points towards life’s abundance, an unspoken verse of Love. The danmalas remind us all to listen to the unheard voice of nature, creation, and the eternal mystery.”
We consider ourselves slow travelers, only after a couple weeks in a place do we really feel that we begin to crack its shell. This is when we start to know the personality behind faces, the story behind the past, and know which dusty roads leads to surrounding villages. I write this during our revisit to Cambodia, as we walk to the sandy coastline of Kampot and as we board a tiny boat to the small island of Koh Tonsay. This charming island inhabited by only 7 families, had no electricity but rather generators that ran a few hours a day. No clocks or wifi and all the food consumed is the food caught from the sea and eaten from the land. No matter how slow we go, there’s something about island life that flows even slower, steadier, and in the most content pace. Our days here felt like a constant state of meditation. The walls of our huts were only halfway connected to its straw roof allowing the breeze to follows us indoors. When I hear noises in the night that move about on our roof, or right outside our thin layers of leafy walls, I clinch our sheets and wonder why us humans have found ways to separate ourselves so far from nature. Why do these noises from other inhabitants of this earth sound so alien to me? Have I gotten so used to the chaotic sounds of the city, that I fall fast asleep during honking horns and drunken rambles of the street, yet lie awake at night to sounds of night creatures? Every step of this journey has been a rewiring of balance. I realize this worlds vastness, as I look up I almost get dizzy with the starry display of an even bigger cosmic world that reflects on the serene ocean. As it washes ashore against my feet, smile as I reflect myself to be a dust-like particle in this vast space and I couldn’t feel any smaller.
I hope you intend to do something that scares you, gives you chills down your spine, and makes your heart race. I hope you question your truths, dare greatly and ask yourself, What other way is there to live? I have found my mini victories sitting right outside of my comfort zone and realized the more you step out of it, the more gravitational it becomes. Let it pull you, let it have you saying “hell yes” to something you never in a million years thought you would do. There’s no safe way to be wholehearted. Bulletproof and perfect don’t exist. Being vulnerable and being real is scary but it’s not half as scary as standing on the outside looking back on your life saying what if? I hope you dare greatly.
This is the longest we’ve sat still in the past year and we’ve gotten to know the four walls of our apartment very well these few months. We love how the sun shines in through all our open windows and the noisy street noises remind us of the chaos that sits right outside of our balcony. We had found our groove, found our work and life routine, and even made some neighborhood friends. And then it hits us. We’re antsy to leave, antsy to pack and ready to hit the road, the sky or the sea. Not that Thailand is any less exciting since we got here, but our cameras has had time to collect some dust, and blank pages of our journals are still left blank awaiting more stories to be told. Wanderlust, you fickle thing. It’s time to go once more, so we booked a train and it’s leaving Tuesday.
During our stay here in Thailand, we’ve experienced some unique and inspiring handmade homes and it has spurred our imagination into thinking about our way of living and how the space you surround yourself can really stimulate and create a beautiful energy that nurtures your soul. From simple huts made out of leaves in the midst of a mountain landscape, to concrete domes with glass ceilings under the most starry sky, to traditional Thai barns converted into artsy homes. All perfectly imperfect and passionately built, they have created an a new found appreciation in us for building your home beautifully and sustainably. What a dream it would be to have one to keep the road our home, and one in a far away desert somewhere, or tucked in the mountains with air so fresh, just breathing in revives you like morning coffee!
There’s something so beautifully organic about traditionally handmade threads, where each stitch creates a pattern, and each pattern holds a meaning. If we take a minute to pay attention to their details, we would unearth stories of the culture behind them. The faster this world spins perpetually into a technological age, I find myself aesthetically gravitating to pieces that I feel are quickly disappearing, techniques no longer widely practiced, and things that take translation. Maybe it’s my way of holding on and treasuring what was here and what is now. We’re all changing, the earth, our place in it, our lives, the people in it, and us. Whether we witness it or not, as we evolve we learn, unlearn, and relearn our way. Tonight we spend it here, under this glass dome to star-gaze and slow time down even if just for a night. Happy Friday everyone, hope you have an amazing weekend!
Find the tribal textiles and pillows in our shop here.