Saturday, August 29, 2015

Travel is transformative. Seeing the world, and discovering new cultures and ways of life, has been the greatest privilege I have ever known. It is when my spirit feels most alive and when I feel most inspired to create my art. I have learned so much about myself by traveling outside my comfort zone. And though I have observed many differences in the way we live around the world, from South America to North Africa, Southeast Asia to the Middle East, I can confidently attest that human kindness and compassion is deeply universal. More often it is the people, not the places, that have made my journeys across the globe.

That is why when American Express Travel approached me this Summer to partner with them on their Journeymakers campaign, I leapt at the opportunity to contribute. I want nothing more than to honor the people who made my journeys so life changing and who irrevocably touched my heart. In the words of Maya Angelou "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." The exact words and actions, the chronology and order of events, might get a little muddled in memory, but the way these following individuals made me feel still stays with me today:

Jeenah Mari-Rose - Thailand, Laos, & Cambodia (March 2015)

My journey to Southeast Asia this past March was a big undertaking. I joined a 14 day live tour across Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to discreetly cover the experience through Travel Write Draw. It was my fourth time touring with this company but my first time being hired to do it as an influencer. And as I quickly came to know, there are some things in life you can never quite be prepared for. Southeast Asia is a feast for the eyes but often draws people who are undergoing personal transitions. It is a region marked by many hardships but a great deal of hope too.

When I met my guide Jeenah in the hallway of our hotel in Bangkok, I was immediately impressed by her calm, collectedness. She struck me as someone who had seen a lot in her young life. She was vivacious and bold, having recently returned from a surfing trip to Morocco on her own. I felt a natural ease with her from the get go and our bond was quickly formed with her being the only person on the tour who knew I was there as a member of press. She was eager for me to see and experience the best, making sure I had the right art supplies and best views, to illustrate my journey.

Postcard from Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Helloooooooo World!!!!

How have you all been?! I can't believe we are already at the end of August!! Where is the time going?! I haven't posted in such a while, though I'm constantly checking for new comments on the blog. Life has been quite chaotic lately. I was back home in Toronto last week participating in a talk series called FASHION 2.0 hosted by Textstyles & The Drake Hotel. BUT this post is devoted to my ridiculously fabulous trip to Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve a few weeks ago.

In case there was ever any doubt whether you should visit this hotel, I can assure you, this is an absolute slice of PARADISE!! It is easily one of my favorite trips I've ever done. We were so well looked after. The staff treated us with such care and consideration. Everywhere you walked they knew you by name. I had the most incredible spa experience and mouth watering meals. I went snorkelling with the ambassadors of the environment crew and drew all my inspirations. Just see for yourself below...

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