Travel Tips

Antarctica - The Continent of Peace and Science

Happy Earth Day! 🌎 Today, the Woodchuck team is in DC and is kicking off their launch to plant 10 million trees in the next two years! 🌳This is quite exciting as they have planted 1 million trees over the past two years. I feel grateful that I’ve been able to be a part of Ben’s personal mission to help reforest and rescue trees in Ushuaia, Argentina and create a video that shows what he has done throughout the planet. This past month, we took an expedition to Antarctica through the Explorer’s Passage with renowned climate change activist, Robert Swan, and his captivating son, Barney. 🇦🇶For two weeks, Ben and I were surrounded by an inspiring group of climate change activists and are personally changed for the better. I could see Ben throughout the trip becoming exponentially more inspired to take his tree planting and reforestation efforts to the next level. He wrote the script for the video and we recorded it on the ship. It was important to him to do this portion while in the moment on the expedition. Ben wanted an epic video, so I did my best to do just that :) I’ve known Ben for around 5 years now, and I can safely say, he is someone who makes it happen. He has a very can-do attitude, extremely resilient and he’s always lived a bit beyond his edges in his personal and business endeavors. A big part of Ben’s motivation is his future kids and grandkids. He has a lot of pride when it comes to family and a huge amount of respect for the environment. He’s committed to doing everything he can to make a difference and has built up the physical and financial means to do so.

Barney, Rob, Jeff and Ben all have these similar qualities of living outside the borders of their edges. They have goals so big that they could fail hard and possibly in a very embarrassing way, and that’s exciting. Because in the throes of past failure, they’ve had an even greater comeback. I love surrounding myself with people who like what they do and find passion and purpose in their job. If I can use my skills and give my work more meaning and help businesses further a task that is much more important than just my life, I’m all in.

I had about 40 hours of travel to get to Ushuaia, Argentina where we departed on the ship. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires while in college, but I never got the chance to go to Ushuaia. The architecture seemed like a blend between Iceland and Switzerland, except not as tidy. The structures were also eclectic and quirky due to a lack of previous building codes. I was quite charmed by Ushuaia and hope that I can go back someday when it's winter.  I did both photo and video for this entire trip which was quite the task, but I got through it. Below are some of my favorite photos and candids from the trip. All photos are stills from the camera. Video stills are lame. 

I had a 22 hour layover in Buenos Aires, and so did a handful of other people on the trip. This was so great because I got to hang out with people on the trip that I didn't get a chance to hang out with during the time spent in Antarctica. I only had a few hours in the city and suggested a few tourist sites to go to including La Boca - originally a very impoverished neighborhood where people live in corrugated tin shacks. Now it's become a main tourist attraction. It's very lively, colorful and you can watch Tango dancers from almost any restaurant you choose to sit at. It was exciting to be in Buenos Aires again because this was the city that where I decided to become a photographer. I was really eager to speak Spanish again while down there. I remembered more than I thought I would. When I was 20 and studying abroad there, I was too bashful to practice talking to people, so I spoke little to no Spanish the entire 4 months. Now that I'm older, I had much more confidence. I immediately feel in love with BA all over again and it made me realize how much I want to try living in another country for a while. I'll do it one of these days when the timing is right. 




When visiting Japan, I highly recommend the J-rail pass! For a couple hundred dollars, you can take the bullet train for 7 days. During my week, I went from Tokyo to Nagano to Kyoto. It was efficient and FAST! The train stations were a little confusing in Tokyo, but other than that, it was a breeze to get around. While in Tokyo, we made our rounds to all the quirky cafes: Robot Cafe, Kawaii Monster Cafe, Hello Kitty Cafe, and the Owl Cafe. We stayed in Shibuya in the middle of everything and air bnb'ed our accommodations.   


Japan has a magic and romance to it. Even in the crowded urban areas, the air feels dreamy. We spent all day walking around the Fushimi Inari Torii gates. These red shrines are a network of 10,000 red arches that extend through the forrest behind the main buildings. Although fairly touristy, the higher you go, the less crowded it is. We then explored Higashiyama District, which is a really well preserved historic part of the city. There are tons of small shops, cafes and restaurants. We spent the evening  meandering through the quaint little alleyways and stopping for Hello Kitty pancakes ^__^


No trip to Japan is complete without going north to the snow monkey park! I spent all day there and then at night, stayed in historic Shibu Onsen. I dressed up in the complimentary kimono at the ryokan (traditional Japanese hotel) and made my rounds to the 9 onsens (bath houses) along the main road. The onsesn are nude and separated by men's and women's. If you are going there for a romantic get away, it's best to book a hotel with your own private onsen as opposed to the public ones that I did. The hotel included a traditional Japanese breakfast and dinner. You can't go wrong with this experience. I got a lot of my information from this site when deciding where to book:

Thailand // My SE Asia Adventure


Going to Phang Nga Bay was the most typical touristy thing we did on the trip, but I was happy to do so. It gave us a chance to get out of the city's pollution and into clean air and nature. The entire boat ride were non stop views. We made a few stops at some of the islands including the famous "James Bond Island." Other stops included swimming, going into a cave and kayaking through the eroded cliffs. 


We spend just a couple days in Bangkok in a hostel on Khao San Road. The whole area is very vibrant and lively with many restaurants, bars and foot massage places. We took advantage of the $5.00 massages everywhere we went in SE Asia!  We spent a few hours at the temples of Wat Phra Kaew. Remember there is a dress code at most temples, so wear long pants and sleeves. In Cambodia, I bought some $3.00 pants and shirt that was airy. These types of clothes also help with mosquitoes. During our time in Thailand, we saw many mourners for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. There were hundreds of people dressed black holding framed photographs of him sitting in the temples mourning. Every government building had white and black memorial decorations. There were giant portraits and memorials at every traffic circle in the cities. The airports had kiosks where you could pay your condolances. It was incredible to see this level of mourning.