Archive for the ‘inspirations’ Category
We’ve moved back down to Southern California and are loving the “winter” weather here! We’ll still be covering San Francisco and our favorite international destinations (of course!), as well as more Southern California goodness. Best of all, our new HQ, just outside Los Angeles, has got it all: opulent chandeliers, leopard skin carpets, computer controlled smart home features galore, and a secret garden filled with roses, meandering paths, citrus fruit, and climbing vines filled with flowers! More photos to come once we get everything organized and designed out. But for now, this tiny garden snippet. Have a great weekend Culture Vixens!
2015 marks our 8th year here at CultureVixen, and it’s been one big adventure! In 2008 we started out as a small culture blog highlighting art and design. A couple years later we expanded into an online magazine highlighting travel, culture, food, art, and design—in other words, la dolce vita. From there things spiraled and we were eventually able to quit our day jobs and embark on an around the world journey—which we affectionately dubbed “Operation Nomad”—finally realizing a lifelong dream of exploring the world on our own terms, without having to squeeze our growing wanderlust into the customary 2 week window. Donating most of our possessions and living out of a suitcase, we made our way across 6 continents and over 50 countries, selling our writing and photography to offset our travel costs and using our savings to cover the rest. It was both one of the most challenging and most liberating experiences of my life—hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done—which I would highly recommend to anyone even considering this path.
As you may have noticed recently, we’ve shifted gears from a focus on writing to a focus on photography to showcase our adventures and our passion for travel and culture. We’ll be highlighting our favorite destinations mainly in this way from here out, drawing from our massive photo library which now includes around 100,000 photographs (and counting!). Coming from a fine art and photography background, this is something we’ve always wanted to focus on, but it was previously logistically impossible to do from the road for so many reasons, including severe time limitations, limited storage space, lack of time spent at the computer (or even in one place for that matter), painfully slow upload speeds, moving on to the next destination on a daily or weekly basis, and flaky, unpredictable internet connections from region to region, just to name a few. We’re now finally able to focus more on imagery, and we hope you enjoy these little snippets from the road!
On a more personal note, near the end of Operation Nomad opportunity came knocking, and we relocated to San Francisco, which was perfect timing since we wanted to start a family. The change in pace and focus on the website over the last year also reflects our second big journey—the arrival of our son, Storm, who is now one year old.
I wanted to take a minute to share what a momentous and life changing experience becoming a mother has been for me. One year later, I’m still just as in love as I was the moment I laid eyes on my little son for the first time. I never would have guessed how strong this feeling would be…it’s truly a gift to feel your heart swell and overflow with so much love. If I were to try to describe what motherhood is like to my curious pre-baby self who was always a little uncertain about the whole thing, I would say it’s the chance to experience the greatest, most encompassing love you will probably ever know. It’s feeling connected to the core of the human experience that pulses throughout art, music, philosophy, literature, science, history and all the driving forces that make our world spin. It’s finding the love of your life, and falling in love over and over again. It’s growing as a person in leaps and bounds. It’s a beautiful mess, but gazing at your baby’s face will make you feel that you are looking upon an angel—a pure and innocent being who is the most beautiful creature you’ve ever seen in your life. When you look at your child you’ll often be overwhelmed with emotion and your heart will melt when they smile or laugh—you’ll never have seen anything as perfect. You’ll get an idea of what miracles are made of and you’ll constantly feel blessed. Everything is awesome and some days the world seems to be overlaid with diamond-encrusted rainbows. That’s a little slice of what it’s like, or at least that’s the best I can do to convey it in words.
So readers, we hope your year is off to a fantastic start and will be filled with incredible journeys. We want to thank you for sticking with us over the years! We hope you’ll continue to enjoy watching our wanderings unfold, and as always we love to hear from you—get in touch anytime!
Happy Travels Culture Vixens!
Iceland is beautiful and ethereal and harsh and just, well, spellbinding. These aerial photographs of the “land of fire and ice” shot by photographer Sarah Martinet capture a bit of that isolated wonder. Have a look:
What do you get when you give street art a cozy knit twist? That would be yarn bombing, aka yarnstorming, graffiti knitting, or grandma graffiti. Found here and there around the globe in the most random places, this knitted graffiti art softens the most urban of concrete jungles and just makes everything cozier. First spotted in the Netherlands, the idea has since spread across the globe, as witnessed in the following striking images.
Fashionable dresses made of paper? How fun is that? These adorable creations were designed by one talented little 4 year old girl and her mother. Created out of construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, and gift bags as well as silk scarves, tulle, aluminum foil and whatever else is lying around the house, the dresses are then put together with clear packing tape or glue. This mini fashion designer, who goes by the name “Mayhem,” also likes to re-create red carpet dresses, giving them her own unique paper spin.
Attending a performance of the Nutcracker is one of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit. The San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker is extra special since this is one of the best dance troupes in the country and the show takes place at the War Memorial Opera House, a gorgeous beaux-arts historical theater featuring plenty of gold embellishments and old-world charm. The American premier of Nutcracker first took place here on Christmas Eve in 1944, and has continued to be a San Francisco holiday tradition ever since.
As if Mana Island wasn’t beautiful enough, we island hopped to neighboring Castaway Island next, just a 20-minute easy journey. Known in Fijian as Qalito, this island is said to be sacred, and is one of the only ones owned by a local chief.
From the cruise ship, we boarded a smaller boat with the smiling locals. Castaway Island sparkled in the emerald sea, with just a tiny mound of lush greenery sloping into a cluster of thatched roofs ringed by powdery sand. The sand jutted out into the sea in a white halo, framed by rings of bright turquoise punctuated by formations of dark green from the reef below, before dissipating into a deep blue that stretched out in all directions endlessly. It was the most beautiful setting I’d seen in Fiji, and the sight of it left me awestruck.
Your life in cheese? What does your favorite cheese say about you? Mine is Gorgonzola, which according to an article in the Huffington Post indicates the following about my personality:
Sometimes you think everyone at the party is talking too quietly and you wish they’d speak up to match your volume. You love karaoke, swing dancing and shouting, “WOO HOO” when you’re having fun.
I have to agree, this seems quite spot on. (I actually do frequently shout “Woo Hoo!”)
Photo editor Tyson Wintibaugh’s is definitely Feta, which indicates:
You are an unexpected daredevil. People probably say, “I didn’t think you had it in you” to you a lot. But you knew you did. You knew it the whole time.
Again, spot on.
I recently had the chance to catch Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, “Amaluna” under the blue and gold striped big top next to San Francisco’s AT&T Park. Unlike the big Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil productions held in huge, glossy theaters, this traveling show embodied the casual atmosphere of a circus while providing a magical theatrical gathering. The scent of freshly-popped popcorn wafted through the air, and the theater was intimate, with stadium seating radiating outwards from a central stage. Best of all, due to the small scale, there really wasn’t a bad seat in the house.
Fiji is simply unlike any other island nation in the world. If you’re seeking tropical beaches and white powdered sand, you’ll definitely find that here. World-class diving—check. Spectacular surfing—check. Pampering & spas, eco-tours, and luxury resorts? Check, check, and check. But there’s something about Fiji that sets it apart from all the world’s other splendid tropical destinations: the Fijian people.
Once you step off the plane, you’ll most definitely be greeted by a hearty “bula!” (pronounced boo-lah). Like the Hawaiian word aloha, bula has a variety of meanings. It means hello, and also welcome. “Bula bula” means hello and welcome. Literally bula means “life,” but when used as a greeting it’s a blessing of happiness and good health. Most importantly, it must be said with an invisible exclamation mark at the end of it.