Tag Archives: trip

Casa Palopo

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Carved into the side of a mountain, high atop Guatemala’s Lake Atitlan, sits the tranquil yet stylish Casa Palopo. The boutique luxury resort consists of only 7 rooms with the crown jewel being the villa on the highest perch, a perfect home to share with girlfriends or a small traveling group. The picturesque pool, the outdoor fireplaces, and the one-of-a-kind decor, with many items imported from Africa, make this a total fantasy of living. From veranda to veranda it’s impossible to feel stress here when all your eyes gaze upon is a view of nature’s spectacular show.

I wish I could have spent a thousand nights here, tucked away into the side of the hill, spending my days painting the ever changing colors of the sky and feeling the beauty of life discovered in Guatemala.

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Kelly wears a dress by Jonathan Cohen, belt purchased from a local Guatemalan market

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Snapshots from Guatemala

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I love that moment on a plane when  you begin your final descent into a new country and you catch that first glance down onto foreign soil. What are the colors? How is the light? What does the landscape look like? I’ll never forget watching the sunrise over the flat dusty plains as I touched down in Africa, or seeing the Patagonian glaciers of Chile streaked in time. Looking at Guatemala from that little frame, I was enchanted with the layers of volcanoes dancing along the horizon line of a setting sun.

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It was just a weekend getaway, a short stop through Antigua, one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever seen. We didn’t have time to wander around, but I swore I would come back someday to photograph it and stay at the heartbreakingly beautiful Meson Panza Verde. We had a late dinner there on our last night in Guatemala where I discovered its enchantment. From there, we ventured around the lakeside town of Panajachel where the fashion accessory brand Mercado Global‘s design offices are located. The purpose of this trip was to discover the craftsmanship behind these artisanal bags. We spent a little time in Santiago Atitlan and in the hillside town of Santa Catarina Palapo where we slept in a dream villa.

I have many takeaways from Guatemala. The fruit is incredible. The people, so petite, have beautiful traditions they keep despite the reach of globalization. I loved comparing their dress to how the Peruvian women dress, each in their specific way. The colors in their clothing are mimicked in the textiles of the market and in the lush landscape, bursting with flowers in hues of sherbet orange and hot fuchsia. As we wandered through the old colonial built towns, there was the distinctive sound of women’s hands patting out corn tortillas. I’ll never forget the way they tasted hot off the griddle. I loved how drivers would honk as a courtesy, a way to say thank you. Perhaps my favorite feature of this beautiful country though are her volcanoes. It had not been since Bali that I found myself gazing upon such a scene. Every day brought a new view: sometimes we spotted smoke billowing from the top of a volcano, sometimes we admired their silhouettes against a setting sun. I found them a constant reminder that the earth is alive beneath our feet, and as I stood in Guatemala, I was reminded of how alive I am, too.

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Snapshots of a weekend in Paris

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It’s hard not to fall in love with Paris. Her architectural streets, her dancing light, her chalky tonality bathing  you in softness and drowned in French accents. It was a weekend away, short but everlasting in my memories, swept up in a hotel suite from a dream and made simple with long afternoon walks with nowhere in particular to go… just the way I love to see Paris.

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“Fly the ocean in a silver plane…”

An old propeller plane seen from the ground in South Africa. “…see the jungle when it’s wet with rain…”

As I write this, I am somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and the United States. I always request a window seat because you never know when you’re going to get that perfect shot of the sun rising over South America or see a distant thunderstorm illuminate the horizon on your descent into Singapore. I was just lost in thought gazing out the window and thinking about how flying’s magic is not lost on me. The fact that you can close your eyes in New York and wake up in a world you’ve only dreamed of in what seems like minutes still leaves me in childlike wonder.

I ponder sometimes if the pace of our distances allows us more or less? What would Darwin have accomplished in the era of air travel? Part of being a freelancer is never knowing which way the current will take you nor how hard the undertow will be but I feel so incredibly lucky to have seen so much of the world through my lens. I haven’t yet figured out what the ultimate influence will be on my life’s work of all the lands I’ve seen, and to be honest I am still exploring…it’s true what they say: “The more I travel, the less I know.”

A view of New York City from above the clouds. Cover image originally from HERE

Second image is flying out from New York

 



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