Tag Archives: nature

Cuyana + Bali Nature

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So, why did we go all the way to Bali to shoot the summer campaign? The answer is simple if you look at the product. Cuyana is a fashion brand producing a limited, curated collection that aims to be timeless. They source manufacturers from all over the world – not because they want to find a way to be less expensive, but because they want to hire the best of the best. If you want to make a cashmere sweater, why not have the experts in Scotland, with their knowledge going back hundreds of years, create it? Or the perfect leather tote…who is amazing with leather? The artisans of Argentina.

Cuyana searches the world to find and support the creators, cutting out the middle man and selling the designs themselves in order to keep costs down and quality high. So to answer the question above – why did you go all the way to Bali to shoot this summer Cuyana campaign? Because all their new gold jewelry is handmade in Bali and what a place to be!

Yesterday we unlocked the key to Bali culture but that is only a fraction of the story…arguably many people come here for the awe of the island’s nature scene which is as lush and beautiful as the people themselves. I was awestruck by the endless vistas of rice paddies wrapping around the island’s mainland. The air is damp and thick, and in the early evening light, the view fills with mysterious blueish smoke from farmers’ fires, turning the look into a cinematic movie scene. It’s serene and beautiful and it’s only the beginning of Bali’s natural wonder…

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Of course Bali has amazing resorts (remember the dreamy Amandari & serene Como Shambala?!…because I do!) but you can also rent awesome Bali homes like we did with the team from Cuyana. Just around the house, we found perfect rice fields and coconut trees. Our first morning there all we could do was wander around in awe of the early morning light.

Below: Anastasia wears Cuyana’s classic white oxford dress.

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Brazil Nature

A 15 second journey through Brazil, from Iguazu Falls to the Amazon, exotic birds and playful monkeys.

More travel videos….

Brazil City in 15 seconds /  Paris in 15 seconds / Patagonia in 15 seconds / Atacama in 15 seconds / Cumberland Island in 15 seconds

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Jungle Walk

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Of all the activities Juma Lodge provides, my favorite was the jungle walk, a serious hike through the Amazon Rainforest. The breathtaking flora and fauna, the steamy nature of the air around you, the wild views of dense tropical rainforest reaching stories high above your head to the fallen leaves under your feet. It was – in one word – BEAUTIFUL. Leaving the lodge by boat, we ventured to a new part of this dense forest. I loved when our boat would enter into the tree canopies; it was like entering a magical world full of natural secrets. We started by clearing the path through the jungle with a machete, then learned how to climb Acai Trees like the natives by making rope out of leaves, how to communicate far distances with a stick and a tree, that Babasu Gongoin (beetle larvae) tastes just like coconuts (and according to our guide, Bill Gates loved them on his walking tour!), and how to separate palm leaves in order to fold them into forest crowns. Not your typical Monday activities in Manhattan!

After a refreshing swim at the end of our hike (remember it’s like 100000% humidity) we had lunch cooked over an open flame and took a dip to cool off. That evening we went fishing for piranhas which later became part of our family style meal. The journey to get here, the monkeys, and being forced to disconnect from the rest of the world will put this place, deep in the heart of the Amazon, forever deep in mine.

and FYI- Manaus is only a 5 hour flight from Miami, what adventure you take from there is up to you!

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Monkey Love

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One of the coolest unexpected experiences of the Amazon and our stay at Juma Lodge was meeting these guys. While touring the resort, the guide told us that two monkeys lived in the area, and when they jump on you, it’s important to not be startled, to stay calm and not scream because you wouldn’t want to frighten the monkey. They also told us to keep our doors locked whenever we left the rooms, because the monkeys liked to ‘help themselves’ to your belongings and make a huge mess of it. He also warned that if we hear a “knock” on our door to not open it all the way, to crack it first and make sure it’s not a monkey trying to get in. We all chatted in excitement about all these little tips over dinner and tucked ourselves in for the night hoping we would get to see one of these little guys the next day.

Well… see these monkeys we did. Around 6:30 am the knocks on the door started coming! Just as the guide had warned us, it was monkey time. Up and down the resort they went, waking everybody up. They crawled on us, they cuddled in our arms, they swung from our bodies with their tails, they napped on us in hammocks, and they stole the limes from our cocktails. It was amazing. I’ll never forget napping in the hammock, hearing the pitter-patter of little monkey feet coming and then seeing his head popping over the hammock edge…and in he came to  join me. It was a blast.

Monkey love – The female monkey was absolutely 100% head-over-heels in love with our travel companion Zach. Any time he was outside his room she was in his arms. As the trip progressed, the deeper she felt and even started swatting Kelly away to keep him all to herself! He couldn’t move without her attached to him and if he was in his room she’d knock and try the door knob repeatedly!

I love when life gives you these memories you can never plan for, an experience you didn’t know was possible. Such an adventure… just monkeying around.

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