A few months ago I took a family vacation to the Pacific Northwest. We stayed near Port Townsend (a couple hours out of Seattle) and explored the entire area over about a week. My favorite part was exploring the Bloedel Reserve, which nurtures the most beautiful and rarest features of the lush native landscape, from mushrooms to hundreds of types of moss. They also have a beautiful Japanese garden and French style manor where the founders of the Reserve once lived. The day we visited was overcast and slightly drizzly – the perfect type of weather for this kind of environment.
The South of France is like a fairy tale come to life. On my solo trip to Avignon, I had the chance to visit Gordes on a small-group tour, but since it was the very last stop of the day, I only had 40 minutes to photograph this enchanting place! Fortunately, the center of Gordes is very compact so it didn’t take much time to explore the entire hilltop.
Last summer I spent a beautiful couple of hours photographing the Musée Rodin. The rose garden was in bloom and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. I arrived at mid-day when the sun was at its height, so the lighting wasn’t ideal – or so I thought. I spent most of my time in the garden taking endless photos of the roses, trying to get the perfect angles, and even though direct sunlight can be difficult to work with, it can yield amazing results if you work a little harder.
For a while I’d been considering the idea of traveling alone. I’ve read many articles about females safely exploring the world solo, and I don’t think there’s any reason why a woman shouldn’t be able to go places by herself, just like a man would. The majority of travel destinations are completely safe and you won’t be seen as a target just because you’re a lady – In fact, my friend who visited me for a week was shocked that she didn’t get a single cat-call or lewd glance when she went for a morning jog in Paris, because stuff like that happens to her regularly when she goes for jogs through her city in Southern California.
I was never nervous about safety when it came to traveling alone, and I never felt like my gender was barring me from having awesome travel experiences, but I suppose what kept me from doing it was the fear that I’d get stranded, lost, or my bank card would suddenly stop working and I’d have no money. But those are all things that you can take steps to prevent.
On a recent trip to London, my friend Natalie and I decided to take a day trip to Brighton beach. If we’re being honest, one of the biggest reasons we decided on Brighton (as opposed to Bath or Oxford, for example), was because of a certain YouTube sensation that we both casually follow. Her online name is Zoella and she’s one of the biggest beauty-lifestyle YouTubers out there, and she just so happens to live in Brighton. We had seen glimpses of the town in her vlogs, and it looked pretty adorable from the snippets we were able to catch.
Funnily enough, one of the first things we saw was a giant photo of Zoe and her friend Marc in the window of a photobooth boutique. Natalie spotted it first and said, “Oh hey, there’s Zoe!”
On my recent trip to Avignon in the south of France, I had the opportunity to spend 1 hour in the charming village of Roussillon nearby – that’s right, just 60 minutes in one of Provence’s most beautiful villages. Thankfully the village itself is tiny, so I was able to see lots of it during my short visit, but of course I could have spent an entire day there.
I took advantage of every single second I had in Roussillon, running around with hearts in my eyes at every turn. Everything I saw was so beautiful, so charming, so richly colorful! I flitted from here to there like a hummingbird, trying to get as many pictures as possible while still taking it all in.
The reason I had so little time in Roussillon was because my trip to Avignon only lasted 48 hours, which meant the only way I could see some of the beautiful sites outside the city was by booking a tour. I went with a half-day minivan tour that took me to three different sites in the Luberon region of Provence: the Lavender Museum, Roussillon, and Gordes.