The art of storytelling.
The rise of social media was exciting; like never before were we able to connect with like-minded people all around the world with whom we could instantaneously create a life-long bond. I will say, however, that I am grateful to have experienced a childhood free of smartphones, with which the pressures of a digital world of likes and comments follows suit.
The art of slowing down is a theme I often explore through both my work and teachings as a photographer.
Through exploring this concept, I yearn to reconnect with the reason I started blogging nearly seven years ago...
The fondest memories of my childhood are tied up in bookshelves full of family photo albums filled to the brim. Each image is accompanied by a handwritten note to marry the visual with the details that may otherwise be forgotten.
I started travelling from a young age with my mother, the most loving and compassionate woman, who took me on holidays to experience the world. These long-gone moments ultimately defined the type of travel I do now and fuelled my burning desire to want to make a difference with my art.
Together, we visited developing countries and animal sanctuaries around SE Asia and Oceania. I remember well over a decade ago being at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Sabah, Malaysia with a 35mm camera (and no real clue how to use it) attempting to capture both the incredibly cheeky Orangutans and the indescribable feeling I held in my 16-year-old heart.
Coming home, I made a photo album with mum and we wrote down the stories behind each image next to them.
This is essentially what I do now (as a travel photographer), albeit in a more modern way. My blog replaces those hefty photo albums, allowing me to share an array of stories from the world on a grander scale.
Through my work, I aim to capture and share each uniquely beautiful, and oftentimes indescribable, moment, through both a photograph and a string of carefully selective, descriptive words. I am incredibly fortunate that through my learned art I am able to see the world, to capture its beauty and to share those stories with you here.
A girl, now a woman, with a romanticised view of the world attempting to capture those emotions and share them with the wider world.
When Parker Pens originally approached me about their Sonnet Special Edition Pens (a unique collection of 4 exclusive finishes: Atlas, Metro, Stratum and Impression), which are inspired by all things travel, we discussed the expressions of elegance and beauty of putting pen to paper—the conversation left me nostalgically inspired. I knew it aligned perfectly with not only my personal ethos, but with my business philosophies, as well.
I live a life led by an unrelenting curiosity and desire to explore the unknown; to discover new places, both externally and internally. For all the global travel I do, I truly cherish moments of stillness in nature and make sure to take the time to let the creativity flow.
I am big on advocating that “travel” can be just down the road, across the state or country and even over the seas, but each journey is a chance to learn something new, to discover and uncover the unknown.
Putting the world into words.
The setting: A biodynamic Farm in Bellingen NSW.
WeilHouse Living offers four exquisite true farmstay experiences, which all embody a love of nature, beauty and simplicity; a perfect escape from a busy, modern world.
The first few days of my recharge and reconnect after a very full-on and demanding year was situated between the mountains and the breeze of the sea. Surrounded by farm orchards and a veggie garden, this farmstay in Bellingen NSW is a luxury country getaway, which blurs the boundaries of the outside and inside worlds. Immersed in the beauty of the natural surrounds by nights under the stars on an outdoor bed on the veranda or an outdoor bath/ shower overlooking the rolling hills, how quickly you slip into a simpler lifestyle.
A home designed to merge effortlessly with the surrounding environment and to take full advantage of natural beauty. It’s as if the kitchen is plucked straight from my dreams; adorned with seasonal, fresh farm produce (gifted by the lovely owner Susan), made up entirely of repurposed materials and filled with natural light that streams through large multipaneled windows from all directions and areas of the house. Each nook and cranny is carefully curated and furnished by a collection of Australian vintage and country collectables, providing the most tranquil space to let go of the what lies without and to dive within.
Outside, the chickens roam freely, all of which have their own quirky personalities, three beautiful horses (Megsy and her foals Cosmo and Prince) frolic in the paddock down the back, the goats (Lucy Lou, Betty Boop and her baby Rosie) come to great you each time you pass by, while the sheep (Lizzie and Lucky) mosey along happily in grasses out front. As a guest to the farm you can enjoy everything it has to offer from relaxing on the veranda, to interacting with the farm animals and collecting the chicken’s eggs in the afternoon.
At WeilHouse, I had found myself absorbed in the location of my dreams. An absolutely idyllic setting to rest, restore, recharge. A place where I was able to take everything back to basics – just me, a beautiful pen, handmade paper, and my camera - alone with my thoughts, exploring both the emotional experience and the essence of travel and a life lived on the road.
Here, I was able to breathe and to find my creative light again. When you intertwine your passion and hobbies with your career, although amazing, it can be challenging to be “on” all of the time. All of life is cyclical: the moon, the stars, the very universe. Life inhales and then exhales again. I am truly grateful for the incredible experiences I've had, the places my camera has taken me, and the eyes through which I've been able to see the world. As grateful as I am for the slow mornings at home in Australia, pouring my creative energy into writing, walking in nature, spending hours by the ocean, and heartfelt time with my dear friends is what truly fuels me.
Storytelling is an important part of what I do and, for as long as I can remember, I have journaled, every place I have visited: from the Himalaya to a small town in Uganda bordering the Congo, my journal has been my ultimate travel companion. I spend a lot of time alone, which can oftentimes be quite isolating and lonely, until I practice a moment of mindfulness and gratitude.
What do I:
see, feel, hear, smell, taste?
I ground into those senses and then, I let the creativity flow from my heart, to my hand, through my pen and camera, to your screen. It is an integral part of the creative process, as each pen stroke evokes a specific emotional stage that we experience when we travel. For this reason, the Sonnet Special Edition is an ode to every journey we take. Journaling captures the essence of what we experience through travel and allows me to express the many accompanying emotions in their truest and rawest form.
Quality down-time surrounded by nature and wildlife offers the opportunity to really slow down, switch off and escape the busy world outside.
I left feeling lighter, inspired and rejuvenated. I think about this blog as a space to share my experiences. One day, I hope to pour over the images here, alongside their words, with my future children and grandchildren in the same way I used to with my own mother. I’m grateful for the outlet, to grow and explore, and I thank you for being my travel companions and enjoying this journey with me.
I would like to personally thank Susan, WeilHouse living for her open heart, for sharing such a divine creative space; the backdrop and setting of my dreams to create.
*please check out the other properties here:
I cannot recommend enough.
And Parker Pens for allowing me the creative freedom to explore these moments with a fine writing instrument to emotionally bond experiences and feelings and put them into words.