Life Through My Lens: Back in New York City

I’m pretty sure I had Hawaii withdrawal for at least a few weeks after coming back. I gained a new understanding as to why wave noise-makers are a thing and contemplated whether or not I could create a lifestyle for myself where I could work remotely… from Hawaii. But New York City in the summer is not a bad reality to come home to – at least those days that it’s not 90 degrees with 100% humidity. But first, a reminder of some cooler times. Remember March – the tale end of a winter that would not go away? Yup – neither do I. I’ve since blocked it out.

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Life Through My Lens – Hawaiian Wedding

A bit of fun employment and nice weather has allowed me to take some lovely photos over the last few months. I also have someone very special to thank for fixing my 50mm 1.4 lens. Seriously, there’s nothing more annoying than being a photographer in a very photogenic environment without a lens that works. A Youtube video, a few tools and lots of patience on his part saved me a few hundred dollars and my creative sanity.

So I’ll be posting my life of the last few months through my lens.

First, a trip down a very green, gorgeous memory lane. I went to Hawaii’s Oahu a few months ago for my friend’s wedding. The talk of Hawaii’s beauty is not just hype. The island is green and lush, reminding you of a pre-historic oasis – perhaps because Jurassic Park was filmed there? Despite technically being in the United States, you feel like you’re in a different country, surrounded by Polynesians who come from the other side of the world – or at least the other side from New York City. We stayed in the Turtle Bay Resort on the North shore. There is something priceless about being able to stroll from the beach to the pool, to your hotel room, and then back to the beach for a wedding. It’s hard to decide what I loved more – the pristine, uncrowded beaches of Tulum or hearing the loud waves lull us to sleep in our Hawaii hotel room. I split a room with a couple which worked out fine because the rooms were huge and we all got along perfectly. Plus it helped that my friends and I have the same traveling desires – mainly those that revolve around food, relaxation, water and minor exploration.

Oh. So I caught the bouquet. I’ve never caught the bouquet before. Usually I duck in horror like a typical single, career woman living in New York City. But this time I was surrounded by single, career women living in New York City who all ducked and consequently, the bouquet went flying into my face. I caught it perfectly, in self defense. My roommate took a picture to document the moment. Truth be told she had to take about five photos because I had trouble mustering a genuine smile when shock and anxiety were my first emotions. But months of the bouquet drying nicely in my apartment has helped me happily embrace this possibility.

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The New Imperialism

US-PassportcoverOver the last few years, I’ve seen a huge trend in quitting ones job and traveling around the world. This was first fueled by the economic crisis. We all heard not so woful tales about bankers being laid off only to use their presumably hefty severance checks to travel the world and find themselves. Next came the photographer, writer or website designer, inspired by Chris Guillebeau to hack their credit card airline miles and consider a laptop with wifi connection their office. Those of us stuck in our windowless offices could momentarily live vicariously through travel blogs with the occasional pang of envy hitting us, as new photos appeared on our Facebook feed. We clicked through photos of our friends or even an engaging stranger as they bussed their way through Asia – brave enough to navigate a language barrier and foreign country for the promise of deliciously inexpensive food and the experience of local culture. In between our slight jealousy – we learned something. They opened our eyes to how other people lived. We silently thanked them for being ambassadors, making the world just a little bit smaller.

But after the major landmarks were visited, and famous, Asian street food consumed, there was a new frontier to be had. Enter our current day. In favor of reflective blog posts, used as an alternative to a travel journal – we have the more immediate – Instagram. In place of self-reflection, we have the outward attention grabbing hashtag. And with it, a move to newer journeys – venturing into Africa. A stunning, envy-inducing vacation within a vacation at a Travel & Leisure-worthy resort smack in the middle of a war-torn, third world country. Gone are the photos of local culture and attempting to experience the world that 99% of a country’s population experiences. Instead, we have Americans from a first world country, wealthy even for American standards – taking advantage of their power and status in a country where few have any. What is fueling this new behavior? Is it narcissism? The impulse to self-promote? The last decade has shown an increase in the desire for experiences over the accumulation of stuff. Is this the Berkin bag of experiences?

Whatever it is – with great power comes great responsibility.


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