PHOTO JOURNAL

MY LATEST IMAGES & STORIES

Photo Friday – Hello

Chris and I recently returned from an incredibly relaxing trip to Roatán, Honduras and while I’m still sorting through the photos and video clips, I thought I’d post this little gem. I had this image idea in my head ever since I saw a photo of the beach outside our rental villa. I purchased a donut floatie to bring with us, and one morning we arranged the shot and I sent the drone overhead to capture our message to the world. Lots more photos and stories from our time in Honduras coming soon!

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Moving Pictures: The Maldives

When Chris and I visited The Maldives last year, I didn’t intend to put together a little video of our trip and therefore I didn’t film much, and I certainly didn’t put a lot of effort into the clips I did take. But this past weekend I was reminiscing about the trip and looking through photos, and I realized I had a few decent shots that I could string together in a very short montage. So without further ado, here it is!

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Packing for Adventure: What I Packed for Peru

I’m going to let you in on a little secret with this post on what I packed for Peru in July. Not only do I make regular packing lists before I travel, I also make a visual packing list of my clothing. Behold:

I know. So dorky, right?! And I know what some of you are probably thinking: this takes more time than normal people are willing to spend on a packing list. Though I usually whip these up in about 15 minutes or less. What can I say? I’m a visual person, and this is the perfect way for me to see if I’m going to have everything I need before I drag it all out of the closet and dresser.

My visual packing list also shows me if there’s anything repetitive, if I’ll be able to mix-and-match, or if I planned more than I need to take. To make the visual packing list, I simply right-click and copy the images of my clothes from online stores, and then I paste the copied images onto a blank document in Photoshop. I scoot the picture layers around to fit, and add/delete as needed. Easy breezy!

For this trip to Peru, Chris and I spent a couple of days each in Lima and Peru, but the majority of time we were trekking through the Sacred Valley on the Lares Adventure with Mountain Lodges of Peru. So I mainly needed hiking-appropriate outfits, and a few things I could wear around the lodges in the evenings. And also mountain-themed socks, of course.

Because we had some early mornings, we needed to be prepared for the low temperatures as well as the highs. The range for our trip mostly ended up being between 35-75 degrees F. We lucked out with a long string of sunny or partly cloudy days, and even though I bought a cute new rain jacket, I never needed it. So in addition to the visual list above, here’s the checklist of what I packed for fifteen days in July:

  • 3 quick-drying short-sleeve shirts
  • 3 casual short-sleeve shirts
  • 2 long-sleeve shirts
  • 1 1/4-zip technical fleece
  • 1 pullover hoodie
  • 1 tank top (not pictured; for sleeping)
  • 2 pairs of lightweight hiking pants
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • casual jacket
  • waterproof rain jacket
  • waterproof hiking shoes
  • Vans casual shoes
  • bras, undies, and socks (I love Exofficio for travel – they dry quickly after washing!)
  • baseball cap
  • knit beanie
  • small Ona camera bag to hold my SLR and a point-and-shoot
  • swimsuit (not pictured above)

My hiking outfits were the hardest part for me to decide on because my pre-trip research found photos of people hiking the Sacred Valley trails in tank tops and shorts, but also in puffy jackets, gloves, and scarves (same people on the same trip). Elevations on our trek ranged from 6,232’/1,900 m to 14,646’/4,464m. Most of our days we needed long sleeves and layers that we could peel off as the day got warmer, but I never ended up in short-sleeves except for at Machu Picchu where it felt much warmer than the rest of the trip.

All of our stuff was neatly organized into our trusty Eagle Creek packing cubes and into our suitcases. It’s worth mentioning that while Chris and I tend to only bring one carry-on suitcase each (plus a personal item/backpack), our plan was foiled this time around because of my hiking poles.

I bought a really great new pair of poles to use on the trip specifically because they folded down into a compact size, only to find out that hiking poles are not allowed in the airplane main cabin and we had to check our bags! Womp womp. MLP provided poles, too, so I probably didn’t even need to bring mine. Oh well.

I ended up wearing everything I brought except for the rain jacket and the knit beanie. Generally I don’t think anything was missing from what I packed, although I did feel like I kept repeating my warmest hoodie every night around the lodge. I easily could have bought an extra sweater though. We had plenty of opportunities to buy beautiful alpaca sweaters at almost every turn!

So that’s my packing list for two weeks of mainly doing outdoors-y stuff in Peru. I hope it helps you prepare for your own adventure! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about packing for either of these places.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of my links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you so much for reading and for your support!

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2017 in Review

And just like that, we’re over half-way into the first month of 2018. I don’t know about you, but my days are flying by faster and faster as of late! 2017 was a big year for Chris and me in the travel goals department. We crossed off two more continents! Oddly enough we had yet to visit Asia, and we also set foot in South America for the first time. We tallied three new countries – UAE, the Maldives, and Peru. Instead of another overseas adventure, we spent the fall stateside by heading to New York to see Hamilton and to eat everything we could find. And earlier in the year, I flew out to Colorado to surprise my dad for a milestone birthday celebration.

When we weren’t traveling, we filled our free time with concerts (twelve of them!) including 311, Foo Fighters, and my all-time favorite, Depeche Mode. I also jumped into the world of unmanned aerial systems this year and delighted in the technical challenge and wonder that comes from taking pictures with a drone. Speaking of hobbies, I finally picked up my guitar again and started to make some progress after feeling intimidated by it over the past couple of years. I won’t be playing any gigs anytime soon (or ever), but I have added several chords to my repertoire and I’m enjoying the learning process.

In this-is-real-life fashion, I can’t report the good without also reporting the bad. My beloved car of eleven years finally started to give out on me in the spring. I survived a terrifying incident driving on the highway, driving at 65 mph when my steering wheel locked up and my brakes started shuddering. I couldn’t change lanes, and the brakes weren’t responding normally. Thankfully I was able to take my foot off the gas and pull over without getting into an accident. It turned out to be a faulty alternator (so all of my electrical functions like power steering and ABS brakes were going haywire).

I ended up getting a new car just to be on the safe side and I absolutely LOVE it, but oddly enough, I keep cracking the windshield! I took a big rock to the window three times, including once just days after I had to have the whole windshield was replaced. It was not my year for vehicles.

2017 also ended on a bit of a down note with Marty getting sick and having to go in for an emergency vet visit, but as of this post he’s fully recovered! So on the whole, still not too bad. I recognize that I am privileged to be able to replace my car, and we lucked out with catching Marty’s illness early enough to treat it. Happy 2018 to you all, and I hope your year ahead is filled with health and joy!

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Photo Friday – First Snow

A few weeks ago we had our first snow of the winter season, and I immediately knew I had to fly the drone and see what my neck of the woods (literally) looked like from the sky. Peaceful.

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