EASY DOES IT has been my mantra lately. I can’t think of a better place to practice this than outside.
The last time I stood in this spot, I was in a very different frame of mind. Not that we ever stop growing up, but the second half of my 20’s has been a special kind of beautiful mess.
The past few weeks, even though I have been on the road, I have felt so at home in myself. It’s felt like a big declaration of who I am (i.e., a work in progress), and a celebration of everything it has taken to get here so far. And without a doubt, over the years the answers have come in the silence, in the pauses, in the quiet moments.
Life is not a race, so remember to pause. There is no rush. When you take the time to listen, you will always be redirected to the right decision.
Photos by my friend @rachelroams.
This planet is pretttyyyyy spectacular.⠀
Here’s @rachelroams standing under a glow worm universe in New Zealand. I have been fascinated by these caves ever since I saw them in a documentary in college. To me bioluminescence is one of the miracles of Nature and it’s such a privilege to observe it in whatever capacity! 🌟⠀
One of my goals for this trip was to properly photograph glowworms–– on my last trip, I didn’t have a capable camera. I found that my best lenses for shooting them were a macro lens (see a few photos back in my feed) or a wide angle for shots like this one. Glow worms are not actually worms, but fly larvae using their bioluminescent tails to attract prey (or a mate sometimes).⠀
This image was shot on a tour with the fine folks @glowingadventures, who open their property to the public for adventurous & unique glowworm tours. If you can only do one glowworm experience in NZ and you don’t mind getting a bit muddy, go with them. Thoughts on this & my other shots from last week? Did you know these existed? Have you seen them in person?⠀
📷 settings for my photo people: @sonyalpha a7Riii with 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens • 16mm • f2.8 • 55sec • ISO 3200.
If there is anywhere that makes me feel right at home, it’s looking up at a dark & starry sky on a clear night. Feels like poetry. Feels like the way your heart sings when you think about the people you love.
There is nothing quite like stepping out under the cover of stars like this. This trip to New Zealand has been my first time doing the van thing–– thanks to @heroncampers for the wheels. The model we rented is the Heron 2+1, which we found to be the perfect size for our needs. Also… YES, I will have a blog post up about this trip in the next few weeks.
To be honest, I didn’t think I’d enjoy Hobbiton 🤭 Generally I’m not a huge fan of commercialized stuff. Never been to Disneyland, not really into amusement parks or novelty experiences.⠀
BUT I LOVED THIS. 😆⠀
I found myself amazed as I walked around the set in the morning fog. It was such an incredible display of human creativity. That this whole world was created out of people’s imaginations really blew me away. Big thanks to the team at @hobbitontours for giving me a new perspective!⠀
📷 @rachelroams with my edit.⠀
@hobbitontours 🌿 #hobbitontours#hobbiton
“How did you get where you are?”
Over the past few weeks this is something @rachelroams and I talked a lot about here in New Zealand. It’s not a question that can be answered briefly. My path has been long and windy. A rollercoaster, a rocket ship, a meandering trail. The journey from point A to B has definitely not been direct, but damn has it been scenic.
Trust me when I say I had no effing clue what I was doing for most of this thing so far. Now I think I have *slightly* more of a clue, but on most days, I’m still put in my place somehow, reminded of my humility and my humanity. Thank God for those reminders.
If there was a direct path to where I am in life, even if I could share the blueprint with you, I don’t think I would. Not because I’m into withholding information, but because I truly think each path is uniquely and divinely guided. Sometimes you find that arriving isn’t what you were interested in anyway. Often, it was the journey all along.
(PS - Swipe for my true colors 🤓)
Photos of me by the incredible @rachelroams with my edit. If you aren’t following this lady, do yourself a favor. She’ll brighten up your days. 🌞
Five years ago, I walked into a cave a few hours north of Auckland to see glow worms. My eyes adjusted to the dark and I found myself looking up at a galaxy of blue light. I told myself I’d come back and spend more time in this unique environment. 🐛
Glow worms are actually fly larvae. They build their homes in moist environments, caves being especially ideal. They have bioluminescence on their tails to attract prey, which gets caught in the sticky thread-like strings they build.
You can see the threads with the naked eye, but for more detail, I shot these on the @sonyalpha 90mm f2.8 macro lens, which was perfect for the abstract images I wanted to create.
There are plenty of places to see glow worms in New Zealand, you just have to know where to look! I’ve actually never been to Waitomo Cave, which is the most commercialized (and accessible, I think). Others are pretty easy to find with a quick Google, and I’d recommend doing your homework if you are interested in seeing this! 👀
Shot on a7Riii & 90mm f2.8 Macro lens. (Last photo was on the 16-35mm f2.8 GM).
Never lose your sense of humor or your wonder for this life. Remember that the BIG PICTURE is far greater than whatever you could plan or organize or worry about. It’s pretty miraculous that we are here. That we can feel things, create, communicate, enjoy, explore. 💫
Tomorrow is not a promise. Whatever now looks like, be there in full.
📷 @rachelroams with my edit