Saturday, February 8, 2014

Central American Photo Favourites

Granada, Nicaragua

The last of the surfers, Maderas, Nicaragua

Victoria, Maderas, Nicaragua

Playa Santa Theresa, Costa Rica

Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica

Surfers struggle, Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Steamy active Volcan Masaya, Masaya, Nicaragua

On top of Volcan Mombacho and view of Lake Nicaragua, Granada, Nicaragua

Paradise den at Maderas Village, Maderas, Nicaragua

ATV from Mal Pais to Montezuma, Costa Rica

Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Arenal, La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Kinda Fancy Surf Bikinis, Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

Kinda Fancy Surf Bikinis, Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

Class 4 white water rafting, Costa Rica

This little guy, Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Fresh! Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Playa Maderas, Nicaragua

Colours in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Panama hats in Bocas del Toro, Panama

Monday, February 3, 2014

Interiors via @jenbabic

Friday, January 31, 2014

Etro Spring 2014

I can't tell if Etro's Spring 2014 collection was created as a uniform to explore the spice markets of Morocco in or to channel my inner Jennifer Lawrence via American Hustle every night this summer. Regardless of its intentions, the mixed patters, metallic splashes and deconstructed silhouettes lend to one of the liveliest spring collections Etro has produced in a while. With its precise drapery, deliberate mix of both vibrant and pastel hues, the collection simultaneously evokes an ethereal summer whimsy and an adventurous party-girl punch.

PFW Street Style

(Central) American Hustle

Despite my troubling blogging hiatus, I've returned from a year away. A lot has happened to me in the past year, not all good, and certainly not all bad. I've decided to account my latest adventure, and explain why every woman should give travelling solo a fair shot.

I spent the past 10 weeks travelling Central America by myself. Deemed an "epic adventure" by everyone around me, I was inwardly nauseatingly anxious. My mind ran wild during the sleepless nights leading up to my departure. What if I was stranded in a foreign country where I couldn't speak a word of the language? What if I ran out of money? What if I really, truly got into trouble...?

My boyfriend encouraged me to relax and explained that this trip would actually help with my anxiety. My mother wouldn't speak to me she was so angry I'd decided to put myself at such a risk. I was conflicted; excited and worried. But most of all, the adventurous spirit within me poked its sleepy head out and  gave me the pluck to quit my job and start the trip of a lifetime. Here are the most important things I learned.

1) You're allowed to be afraid. People around you can often make you think that certain experiences have to "look" or "feel" a certain way. A traveller is often made out to be a carefree and wandering spirit. While most of the time I felt "free",  I had many moments where I was scared, anxious and wanted to come home. I felt guilty feeling that way when I was supposed to be having the time of my life. What I eventually learned was how to accept those feelings, allowing myself to feel them and then moving on. Being scared is part of the deal when it comes to brand new experiences, it's facing the fear that makes you better.

2) Not everything has to be planned. My life at home is planned. I like things to be certain and particular. My trip taught me that its okay to do things on the fly. It's ok to arrive in Nicaragua on a chicken bus by yourself and not have a map to get to point B. You will figure it out. You are smart. You are strong. As long as you feel safe, going without a plan can be exhilarating and lead you to beautiful things.

3) Don't worry so much about what you look like. Booking this trip on a whim made me realize that I was far from bikini-ready. I had been stuck in wintery layers for months prior. To put it bluntly, I was pale and soft. At first, being surrounded by beautiful surfer bods, I was self conscious in a bikini on the beach. After weeks in the sun, bike riding from beach to beach and getting my ass kicked learning how to surf, I knew what I looked like didn't actually matter. I was happy. I was having fun. I was staying active. That was quite completely all that I was concentrating on. And beachy-salt-water hair looks good on just about anyone.

4) The grass isn't always greener. At the start of my trip I knew I needed a break from Toronto. I wanted to get away from the cold, from the familiar and from my job. While I enjoyed and needed every minute of this getaway, I met more people than I knew existed that were running away from something. The truth is, although tropical grass really IS greener, I realized that I loved my life at home. I wasn't trying to run away from anything. I was indulging my wanderlust, but not trying to escape home. I knew that there were things I was eager to get back to, which made coming home that much more rewarding.

5) You can truly do anything. I came home knowing that if I could travel to Central America alone, meet and make lifelong friends, jump off cliffs, watch the sunrise, learn how to surf gigantic pacific waves, get sick, dislocate my finger, dance all night, hike multiple volcanos, ATV through the rainforest and come out alive....I can quite truly do just about anything.

Thursday, January 24, 2013