We arrived in New Delhi last night and the past 24 hours has been sensory overload. As me and Aaron sat in a dark restaurant where the power was out, we couldn’t help but thrive off India’s loudness. The people were loud, the colors are loud, the flavors are loud, the smells are loud, and the honking is even louder. It’s exactly the culture shock we were looking for, the kind of shock where you can’t help but do a double take. Where cows cross the traffic, past the holy men, all in the midst of women in bright saris balancing baskets on their heads.
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?
I’ve come to understand that truths behind words such as family, love, happiness, home and freedom are all based on a feeling versus a tangible place or object. During our travels people ask me where is home and it always takes me a minute to respond. There are so many places that are home to me, from the mountains of East Tennessee where I grew up, to the Philippines where I spent my childhood, or Chiang Mai where we have called home for the past few months. This past week we spent it on the island of Koh Lanta. It’s always a surreal feeling when you see familiar faces in completely foreign place. Aaron’s childhood friend Patrick came to visit, and though it has been years since we’ve seen him, our conversations felt like it hasn’t skipped a beat. Last time we saw Patrick was in our college apartment, bonding over cheap 40’s while him and Aaron played video games. Today we are here watching the sunset on an island in Thailand, (still drinking cheap beer), and catching up. The way he chain smokes and laughs is like deja vu, and seeing him felt like he brought a piece of our other home to us. While here, we stayed with our friends who were our neighbors in the same zen compound we once called home in the fall of last year. They invited us down to the island to catch up, so we invited Patrick to join us and for the first time since we left home, we are with familiar faces in a completely different place. I can’t pin why it felt like home, maybe it’s the island vibe that we connect to, it could be reuniting with Patrick after all these years, or sharing a small space with close friends again. Home is such a beautiful feeling, and its what keeps us traveling. We have found our pieces of home, friends, love, and freedom sprinkled in different places all along our journey.
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.
The artwork and design that blossomed in the 60’s expresses the experimentation and the color of the era’s counterculture landscape. The psychedelic movement and it’s harmonious presence in both art,music, literature and philosophy takes us on a visual trip. These amazing vinyl artwork emerged in the 60’s and has us feeling the vibration decades later.
The month we spent in Cambodia, we spent some time visiting Aaron’s cousin in Battambang. Cambodia’s 2nd largest city, yet small enough where everyone seemed to know everyone. Tourism can really change a place and we were happy to see the lack there of in Battambang felt as if we were seeing it in it’s essence. We were enchanted by the feeling as if we have stepped back in time. Old French buildings still standing amongst dusty roads, small outdoor markets and with a short ride up to the mountain you can view the entire city. With each trip we always try to see something new, but Cambodia intrigued us so much we’re planning another visit in a couple weeks!
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!