Category Archives: Travel

Obsessed: Gray Malin Photography

I have recently become completely obsessed with the photographer, Gray Malin.  At the rate I am going, I will be his largest collector, which, as I’m typing this, might need to be my new goal.  Prior to my obsession, I have never been that interested in purchasing photographs, because in my head, I think I can take photos just as well (hah!).  Gray is an amazing photographer though, with such a quirky spirit and a unique vision.  All his pictures are just so light and upbeat and happy.  Exhibit A:

I mean, come on.  Hilarious.  I in fact own this llama picture below.  I felt pretty ridiculous when I ordered it, but as soon as I got it, my life was happier and I think it might be the best purchase ever.  I have named him Lolo.  Lolo the Llama.   We’re getting him framed tomorrow and I couldn’t be more stoked to have something so awesome and silly adorning my wall.  How could you not love Lolo?

Lolo is from Bolivia.  This series was taken in the salt flats, Salar de Uyuni, which has single handedly inspired my need to go to Bolivia, stat.  I also own both of these.  I have a problem.

I should probably next branch out at least into another series.  I love the Dolce Vita series and it always make me want to jet off to the Italian coast.  Really, he feeds my travel bug.  I follow him on Instagram and he’s got this amazing, glamorous jet-set life.  Can we be friends, Gray??




In love with the Prada Marfa series too (ok really, I’m obviously in love with every single photo he’s done).  If you’re not familiar, Marfa, as you can see, is a little Texas town in the middle of nowhere that has become quite the artist haven.  The Prada Marfa is a storefront installation that, well, looks like a Prada store.  It’s on my list to make pilgrimage out there one weekend.  I hear it feeds the soul.



I’m really loving his latest series in Antarctica.  Blow up flamingos and beach umbrellas??  I mean, seriously.

Swan_Ice_Arch_5 (1)


See more here – all photos are from Gray Malin.  I’ll just be here plotting my next purchase.


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Filed under Art, Travel

Cartagena – es la verdad.

Don’t worry, we made it back (against all odds, all of us made it back to this country)!

One of the first things that people have asked me upon my return (aside from if I did any good drugs – seriously, coworkers/bosses asked me this) was whether I felt safe in Cartagena.  I never once felt like we were hanging out somewhere scary or dangerous.  People are people everywhere, and I think that it something to keep in mind when wandering the world.  If there was anything to be concerned about, it was the stupid things that my own friends were doing!  In the interest of balanced journalism (hah! just kidding – I don’t kid myself that I’d be a journalist, I just rant to my 5 followers), I will discuss a little bit of the flip side of the coin … Things that happened in Cartagena that perpetuate the stereotype of what Americans think about Colombia:

1.  People do try to sell you drugs on the street.  Though, to  be fair, it was kind of a tourist-heavy area.  It’s kind of like Amsterdam – milk it when you’re known for something I guess?  [Don’t worry Mom and Granny – I don’t do drugs.]

2.  In what might be slightly less than “first world” … rolling blackouts.  We are sitting at a very nice non-cheap restaurant, enjoying amazing food and wine… and then the power goes out.   For thirty minutes.  And it seems that no one else but the drunk Americans noticed.  It’s standard apparently.

3.  Our friend (who was, by the way, the least likely of our group to do anything at all illegal or scandalous) was inexplicably held and not allowed to board the plane back to the U.S. for quite some time.  And they made her husband leave her and get on the plane.  Fear not, at the very last minute, after the plane was held, they let her on and we peaced out, but I have to say, I was a bit nervous.

Things that (a lot of people) (I assume) do not know about Colombia:

1.  It looks like this:


2.  And THIS:


3.  And THIS:

P1000135 Actually none of this was a surprise to me.  It was exactly as I pictured it.

Anyways, executive summary: we had a completely awesome time.  The food was amazing – we ate freshly caught lobster while sitting in the Caribbean in about 4 feet of water.  We explored amazingly clear water with a coral floor, with no other souls in sight (this has to go up there as one of the most fun days of my life. ever).  Our amazing host took us to delicious dinners at very nice restaurants and clubs.  The people are very friendly and nice.  The old city looks European and colonial and is completely and utterly charming.

Some mo fotos for y’all:


The view from our apartment – could get used to that.


There are lots of fortresses and castles up in there.


The Old City.


Check out Heather’s much more detailed and photographed posts here, here, and here!

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Americans are scared of everywhere

I repeat, Americans are scared of everywhere.  Next Friday, I will be headed to Cartagena, Colombia for vacation with some friends to stay with another friend who lives there.  No, he is not a drug lord (I don’t think … I reserve the right to amend this post after vacation).  Everyone is all “yeah, Colombia is nice, minus the massive cocaine trade and gang presence”, or “Cartagena, like in Romancing the Stone? (and the jungle and scary and death)”, or “Colombia … South Carolina?”  (No, Boston, Texas.)

Or better, “Haven’t you heard of Pablo Escobar???” (Yeah, he died.  I read Killing Pablo, thanks.  And I also have a general familiarity with the history of the world.) Or best, “WHAT?!?! YOU’RE GOING TO GET KIDNAPPED AND DIE”.

If we’re going to die on this trip, it will be because we’re flying Spirit Airlines there.

This is what Colombia looks like (look, not a drug lord in sight!):

This is not the first time I’ve encountered this.  People were horrified that I was going to Vietnam. (Yes, the war there ended quite some time ago.)  Croatia??? Isn’t that like, the Middle East??  (Let me grab you a map.)  Cambodia?? WHERE IS THAT, it sounds scary, are there poor people there?!?!

I guess it’s a fear of the unknown?  Maybe I’m wrong, but it just feels that this is sort of a uniquely American thing.  This unwillingness to go anywhere that is not all roses and butterflies.  An unwillingness to educate themselves and look beyond stereotypes and what basically amounts to propaganda.  Is it the movies?  (Probably.  I feel like you can blame the movies for most things.)  A general lack of eduction?

Whatever it is, this attitude is such a waste.  There are SO many amazing places in the world.  Just because there used to be a drug problem, or a genocide (hello, people go to Germany!  Why not Cambodia?), or there was once a war there doesn’t mean that nothing changes.    Also, I feel like it’s just as easy to get mugged in New York or DC as it is anywhere else in the world.  Terrible freak things happen everywhere, in every town.  I know someone that was  mugged in the grocery store in Dallas, in a safe neighborhood.  Does that mean you shouldn’t go to the grocery store anymore?  Should we just never leave the house??  I think people just need to be careful and aware of your surroundings, no matter where are you.  Don’t be stupid.  And then hope for the best and enjoy the adventure!  Because you’re missing out on some freaking amazing things if you don’t.

All this said, if I do get kidnapped by a narco-terrorist, you can tell me you told me so.


Filed under Travel