Traveling alone to Bali awakened a wild spirit in me.
Before I booked the trip, I'd had several disappointments that had beat me down emotionally. Feeling raw and out of control of my life's circumstances, the last thing I wanted to do was be brave enough to travel alone to a country I'd never been before. But it seemed like just the push I needed to change my life. Sure enough, getting lost in a beautiful place, with no familiar pieces of home, was just what I needed to come back with a renewed sense of hope. I found these koi fish at a temple just outside of Ubud. You could walk on these beautiful cobble stoned steps above them almost following their snaky, smooth path. I felt a great sense of calm in Bali, I'd rarely tapped into at home. I brought a little bit of zen back with me. Here's to being brave and not questioning your gut, but flying with it and trusting the net will appear.
See more images from Remy's trip here:
I flew to a remote island for a week.
Rarotonga is part of the Cook Islands and is located in the middle of a vast ocean between Brazil and Australia. It's 26 square miles wide and most people get around on motorbikes. When my travel buddy picked me up at the airport on motorcycle, I knew I was in for a fun vacation. Riding the curvy coastline together, warm wind in my hair, I was stunned by the turquoise blue of the water. I had never seen oceans that color. I remember many things from that trip but one thing that has stayed with me to this day was a dinner we had with some locals. My friend had traveled extensively, unlike me, and was very outgoing. During our stay he had made friends with the hotel concierge. He invited us to dine with him and his family one Sunday night for a traditional Polynesian dinner. At first, I was nervous. These people were strangers. Could we trust them? Once I got over my fear of the unknown and embraced something new, I was humbled and my fears quickly turned to love. They welcomed us that night into their home, strangers is our own right, told us all about how the food was prepared, the traditions they followed. Explained the many tattoos we'd seen on everybody's body, women too that signified family and their heritage. When the best fish I'd ever had was passed around the circle (we sat on the ground on a traditional blanket) it was carefully wrapped in banana leaves, a typical way many Polynesians cook food, using natural resources to respect the earth and others. That trip changed me in many ways. I never travel to an area now without learning more about the people and the culture. I never knew what I'd been missing all those years, traveling to see places but never really getting to know the people who live there. I will be forever grateful for my travel buddy who invited me into his open hearted life for that brief week and for the strangers who welcomed us into their lives for one brief night.
See more of Remy's photographs from the Cook Islands here:
One reason I love traveling is learning how other people live and I usually return home with a great sense of gratitude for how easy my life is. My perspective changes on these trips I take to places I've never been. I remember one trip in particular to Costa Rica. Flying in on that tiny landing strip, in that tiny four seater plane, my heart rate rose. How do people live like this I thought? After a few days there, I realized they would probably be more accurate saying that about my life in LA. Things were smaller in Costa Rica, less complicated, less crowded and less involved, in a good way. They ate easily prepared, delicious meals from fresh veggies from their garden. They walked to work, rode their bikes or even rode horseback to visit friends. No traffic jams for them, just connection to nature and animals. Something about that existence resinated heavily with me. I did't trade my car in for a stallion when I got home, but I did seek out more opportunities to get dirty and cuddle with some furry friends and that has made all the difference in my life.
Check out more of Remy's horse photography here:
Greece had always been a place I wanted to go. Every photo I'd ever seen of Greece completely entranced me. The stark contrast of the white buildings against dark blue waters just seemed like something out of a dream. Finally getting to go there, I wasn't disappointed. It was even more stunning than the photos I'd seen. My 2 week stay there was remarkable, in many ways but one thing that captured my attention was the artistry of the people in Santorini. One day, walking down a cobbled stoned lane, I happened upon a small vendor selling his art. He was making slabs out of this bright blue agate crystal. He used heat and his 'special artistry' to merge the crystals together into these stunning walls of art. I wished I had a home I could install one in and a truck to drive it home, but I settled for a photograph of one of them instead. He obliged and I paid him for the souvenir of a beautiful trip.
See more photographs from Remy's trip to Greece here:
This is a California Wild Rose. It is native to California and some parts of Mexico. Growing up in California, we would see these flowers everywhere, but they had new meaning for me after my dad passed away a few years ago.
Shortly before he passed he had bought a place in Mexico with his wife, with thoughts of retiring. Because his new place was right across the boarder from San Diego, it was easy for me to drive across to visit him. We would watch the sunset together drinking our strong margarita's, playing some backgammon and spend the days exploring around the small town. I took a few photos during our visits but mainly just wanted to hang with my dad.
After he passed, I started seeing butterflies. I mean, I saw a lot of butterflies. Today, when I look back at some of the snaps I took during our walks in Mexico, I have to smile. The California Wild Flower and usually a butterfly seems to frequent them, in some way or another. It's been four years since my dad passed but whenever a butterfly flies by, I have to smile.