I never imagined I would get to type those words, 'New York City', or post photos from the city this soon. Visiting New York has been one of my biggest lifelong dreams and last October, the opportunity popped up and I said a very quick Yes. I only got to spend 24 hours there but it was magic. She swept me off my feet, as I know she has done many. She is quite the looker and quite the charmer. I'll be back, New York, don't worry about it.
Hey, world! It's been a while, huh. I am fully aware. Life has been a whirlwind of everything wonderful and this space took a backseat in the meantime. With a little more time on my hands now, the plan is to swing some attention and love back this way. So to begin with, here is a sneak peek of my trip to Northern Ireland in February this year.
The funny thing about living away from Auckland for the better part of two years is that I've lost count of the number of times my introducing myself as a Kiwi has lead to a conversation about the breathtaking beauty of this land, The Lord of the Rings, coffee and the hugely disproportionate human to sheep ratio.
This trip back I've found myself with fresh, wide-eyed wonder for the places I've seen a thousand times over. Having sheep at the park five minutes up the road from home is now all at once ridiculous, funny and so quintessentially Kiwi all over again. I'm a tourist back in my own city, armed with my camera and trigger-happy finger.
Having my lips chapped, fingers frozen and hair blown in a thousand directions up on the summit of One Tree Hill was worth it for this view. More to come.
Last month over 1700 BSSM students travelled around the world to more than 40 nations on more than 80 missions trips over the course of two weeks. Last year I was part of the very first media missions team and we had our adventure in Tijuana, Mexico where we filmed the first season of the docuseries What Does Love Look Like?
This year my adventure took me to stunning Scotland. Again I was part of the media team but this time got to function both as primary camera operator and photojournalist. The trip was more than I could have dreamt up in so many ways. I hadn't heard much about Scotland prior to heading there and now that I'm back, I don't understand why! We landed in Edinburgh and got to explore that first day - needless to say it didn't take much time at all for all of us to fall madly in love with the culture, beauty and history of the place. It felt like there were secrets hidden in the streets and buildings, stories to tell of people who lived in time long gone by.
It was also surreal to me as we strolled up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle to realise that I was walking the same streets and looking at many of the same buildings that my grandfather, who passed away before I was born, would have walked and seen when he was an Engineering student at the University of Edinburgh. That thought definitely made the experience all the more special to me. There are many more photos to share here from Edinburgh as well as Glasgow and the Isle of Lewis, so stay tuned! x
A few weeks ago I got to tick a dream off my bucket list that had been there for as long as I can remember - go to Europe. I spent a week in Frankfurt, Germany with a team of nine others from BSSM and returned, life-changed. What a place. It was more than I could imagine to walk those narrow cobblestone streets and visit landmarks in Heidelberg built centuries ago by visionaries who designed their work to outlast the generations they could physically see at the time. We met the loveliest, most hospitable of people who very quickly felt like family. Many jet-lagged giggles were shared and copious amounts of coffee was had. I also have never eaten so much bread in such a short amount of time. Also let's just say that this city-slicker was beyond relieved to be back in a big city with tall buildings, public transport, minimal personal space, old favourites - Zara, H&M, and new ones - Primark. The majority of our trip was spent loving on the people there and they made it so easy. One of my favourite parts was the lack of urgency I felt - I never felt like I had to get this shot or had to try and see everything, because I know I'll be back.
Scotland is next up so expect some rolling hills to make an appearance, perhaps even some bagpipes and kilts too.
Sitting here freezing in Auckland (thank you, winter) - think scarf, multiple layers and a fluffy blanket aka fluffy cape with snowmen on it, thinking of wonderful San Francisco. So I thought I'd finally get round to editing some of the snaps from the few days I got to spend there last August. Someone fly me back right now? Please and thank you!