I’ve been a bit depressed the last month. It’s probably partially to do with the fact that I have summertime seasonal affective disorder (that never affected me until I moved to hot locations like LA and NYC), and it’s also probably a bit influenced by the fact my new apartment has left me dealing with bed bugs and an unresponsive landlord. I think part of it even might be that I miss my family, familiarity of life and the temperate weather of the Pacific Northwest that I grew up in. But a huge part of what is making me down right now is the fact that I am just itching so much to go out and travel more.
I might come off as sounding privileged in this post, but seriously, I can’t wrap my mind around how some people literally hate traveling. I’ve come across people who just really have no desire to ever leave their hometown or don’t feel the need to even go on a vacation further than just the closest beach. I know travel is seen as a luxury these days, but there’s no reason it needs to be and it truly baffles me when someone doesn’t have that lust for seeing the world like I do.
Before commercial flights became more available to the middle-class and tourism became the industry it is today, I guess I can understand a lack in interest to go outside of your comfort zone. It was expensive and difficult to go new places. Society taught that you went to college (probably somewhere near home), got married, had kids, bought a house and stayed put until you die. Or in a lot of cases, for many people of color, traveling was impossible for most of their existence while in America. From slavery to poverty to segregation and racism in many parts of the world, it didn’t become possible for many PoC to go anywhere until the last 20 years or so.
And because of all this, I feel that there’s no excuse now not to travel. As a black woman, this wouldn’t have been possible for me to do if I hadn’t been born into the generation that I was, so I consider myself privileged and lucky that I wasn’t born 200 years earlier and have access to the ability to go most places without an issue. Obviously it’s still not 100% safe for women to travel, especially alone, but I figure that a dangerous situation could happen while I’m walking home at night here in New York, so I’m not going to let the fear of that stop me from going abroad.
My soul was made to travel. My essence gets turned on by the sight of new things, people and places. My body gets antsy when I haven’t gone anywhere new for awhile. My eyes open wider when I am surrounded by unfamiliarity. My senses get heightened and become a new person for a day. When I settle into routine, I gain a weight upon me of discomfort and it ails me until I go somewhere else. My thoughts are constantly filled with far off lands and what plane ticket I’m going to buy next. In a way, I guess this makes my life more complicated than the average person, but I don’t mind.
I’ve never understood traditional lifestyles. I get that the world survives on a basic family structure and the way things work with the average life path makes sense for a lot of people, but for us folk with wanderlust on the mind and breaking the mold, we often get chided for our choices. We’re told we’re crazy, that we’ll grow out of it and we need to just settle down. We won’t though. You can’t shut down that part of us. We go to the beat of a different drum and it’s not even a ridiculous beat to follow. We’re not harming anyone by wanting to travel, we’re not ruining anyone’s life by not buying a house and not having kids. We just see the possibilities of a world much bigger than ourselves and want to experience it.
I don’t get why people without wanderlust think that it would ever be easy for us to just fall into a routine of a job and save up money our whole life so we can travel once we retire at 70. There is no guarantee that you get 70 years on Earth, and there’s no surety that by the time you retire you’ll even be healthy enough to travel. I want to go now while I’m young and have energy. I don’t want to spend my whole life putting away money for a trip I’ll take in 50 years. That sounds absolutely ridiculous to me.
Basically what I’m saying is that while I fully get that traveling is not a passion for everyone, the thing that irks me the most about people without wanderlust is their need to judge us with it. This isn’t just individuals, but society in general. The judgment placed on people who chose to live untraditionally is constantly thrown in our faces by the media, older people, and even strangers who endow you with the assumption you have kids or are going to stay at the same job for the rest of your life.
All I know is that the thing that makes me the happiest in the world is spending time in new places and gaining a knowledge of other parts of the world and meeting people and learning about their cultures and capturing the world through my lens. We think the world is a scary place because that’s all the media wants to show us, but going to these places and seeing it for yourself is the best way to push away ignorance and see all the good there is in diversity and different lifestyles. This is why I have wanderlust, and this is why my goal is to see as much of the world as I can before I die.
It literally does not make sense to me how Iceland can be so amazingly beautiful. This island, at the top of the world, continues to amaze me with how it can be so varied in its landscape. On my trip, I booked a tour of the South coast of the island, and it proved to be worth every cent. In 10 hours of absolute gorgeous sunlight, I saw beaches, mountains, volcanos, glaciers and waterfalls that made me feel like I was in Middle Earth. I wanted to share my photographs of the tour and hopefully encourage you to go to Iceland someday.
For a considerable amount of time, Fashion Week attendees only paid attention to the garments that were draped on the models, unfazed by the shoes accompanying the ensembles unless they were unconventionally shaped or had eye-catching embellishments. But as years passed, the coveted seasonal shows grew to be more than just about the clothes, especially NYFW which has been dubbed as an explosion of accessories, constantly creating ‘must have’ lists for the succeeding months.
The importance of styling has given way to shoes and accessories to shine brighter than the clothes they’re paired with. Your car wash pleats may have an interesting silhouette, but it’s the autonomous and structural quality of footwear that has led us to fully appreciate a head-to-toe look rather than merely eyeing the clothing trends on display. As Lyst iterates while briefing online shoppers on the latest shoe collections, there are a myriad of styles to suit all tastes and occasions, whether you’re looking for timeless classics or runway-worthy creations. However for now, we’re narrowing our focus on the footwear trends that are set to dominate this season:
The Block Heel
Leave your stilettos at home and opt for the block heel for a change. While these shoes may not have the same amount of sex appeal as the stick-thin, sky-high Louboutins that you’ve grown attached to, these heels are a great trade off in terms of wearability and comfort.
#LoveWins as numerous brands showcase rainbow-hued shoes to add some extra pizzazz to your collection. From sandals to heels as shown on Pop Sugar, this summer is all about being fun and experimental with the colors of your footwear.
The athleisure trend remains strong as designers like Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger reimagine the classic shape of sneakers and add their own touch to sports gear. This shoe trend is a must for those looking to elevate their casual street style.
Shoe designers look to the future with a wide range of silver heels as seen on Harper’s Bazaar—a nice contrast from all the modernized ‘70s fads that we’ve seen over the last few seasons.
This is a contributed post.
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In September of 2014, I landed in Reykjavik for the first time. I was on a layover for about 10 hours on my way to grad school in London and I had purposefully chosen to be able to have a day in Iceland. Due to starting a low carb diet just days before and the fact that my camera for some reason decided to inexplicably break on me after about 20 minutes on the ground, I was in a bad and very grumpy mood for the entire day and resigned to just sitting in the bus station for hours before heading back to the airport. I am not proud of this and wished my mood hadn’t been so influenced by what had happened. I pledged to make sure that didn’t happen again when I returned to Iceland.
Cut to May 2016, and finally being prepared for taking some time in Iceland’s capitol. On my way over to Europe, I had another 10 hour layover that I took advantage of by going on a free CityWalk tour. The guide took us around different parts of the city and gave us some history lessons about parliament and the fact that he saw Kim Kardashian buying a hot dog a couple weeks before. It was a splendid 2 hour walk that gave me some insight into Reykjavik as an actually really great place.
The city virtually has no crime, their police force spends most of their time updating the Instagram account with photos of them helping citizens rather than enforcing law on them. Also, because Iceland is so small and the population isn’t huge, it’s very likely that accidental incestuous relationships take place. They have an online database to allow them to look up how closely related they are to someone else, and it’s apparently led to some very awkward morning afters.
On my way back to New York, I took a much longer layover so I could better explore Iceland, rather than just Reykjavik. I arrived back into the country in the late afternoon and made my way to my hostel so I could rest up before my tour the next day. Of course, with my amazing luck, when I went to the bathroom and tried to get back into my room, the room key had fallen off the chain and I was locked out. I had no desire to pay the $25 fee to get a new key, and I was in no position to walk 5 minutes outside to the main building (as I was in shorts and had no shoes on), so I figured I’d just sit in the main lounge and hope to God someone with a key to my room would walk in. Thankfully I only had to wait about 15 minutes before a girl came in and I followed her into the room.
Now, here’s where I might sound like a bit of an unsociable, grumpy monster, but to be honest, I had a lot of reasons to be. So this girl and I bonded a bit. She’s from Germany and works in media so we talked about that a bit, and then after an hour or so, another hostel guest arrived. He’s from Portugal and we all sort of started to talk. I had a tour the next morning that I had to be up for by 7am, so I was hoping to go to bed early (especially since I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the past week from traveling). But as many people who stay in hostels do, they wanted to stay up late and go out, so they had on music and we’re talking quite loudly. I didn’t want to be a complete bummer, so I tried to engage, but I was getting really hungry and needed food, so I went out to get some and just walk around a little. Since it was approaching summer in Iceland, that meant that the sun was out almost 24/7, which was psyching me out and making me think it was earlier than it actually was.
I came back to the room, ate my food, and tried to make it clear that I wanted to take a shower and go to bed. But the girl kept getting on my case and wanted me to come out clubbing with her and the other guy. I am not against the idea of going out for drinks, but Iceland is notoriously expensive and also known for their “stay out until 5 in the morning” culture, which I can not do anymore. But she kept bothering me and I didn’t know how to get her off my case, so I told them I was going to take a shower, thinking that might give her a hint, but she told me they’d wait to leave until I got back. I took the longest shower ever on purpose (also because the water pressure was on point), but still when I got back to the room, she was badgering me to go. The guy got up to go to the bathroom and she pulled me aside and begged me to go with her since she didn’t want to go alone with him. I felt bad, but I also felt that it wasn’t my responsibility to be her awkward third wheel.
She told me that I was “exotic” and that I needed to be there so people would be interested because she was just white and blonde like every other Icelandic person (which seemed like a humblebrag of herself and insult to me at the same time). I still was not convinced, so I climbed up into my bed and tried to make it super obvious this time that I was going to go to sleep now. During this, she got ready to go and asked me if I had any hairspray, which of course I don’t, and then continued to humblebrag and talk about how she was worried she looked too much like Barbie. I think they finally got the hint though, because they left around midnight and I was finally able to fall asleep in peace, although because it was still bright out, my brain was really not letting me drift off for another hour. Of course, they rolled in at 5 in the morning, and I was not surprised, but I had my early tour that day and I wasn’t going to get anything ruin my mood for this trip.
I’ll post more about my tour later, but on my final morning in Iceland, I took a nice relaxing few hours at the Blue Lagoon. Some say it’s not worth the money, and while it is a bit expensive, I feel like the experience is quite unique and such a relaxing thing to do before getting on a plane. I had originally signed up for the basic package, which was just a drive to the lagoon and the entrance fee, but upon arrival, I figured I’d upgrade a little bit and get the towel and drink add on so I wouldn’t have to air dry after my visit.
I met up with my friend Susie at the lagoon and just let myself enjoy my final few hours abroad. I had heard all these rumors about the Blue Lagoon and how you had to shower naked in front of everyone and there were only a couple private showers that the line was long for, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There were plenty of private showers and it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. They do warn that the water can damage your hair, so they provide conditioner for you to coat your hair with. I did this and it was like the perfect hair treatment. I think the mixture of the conditioner and the heat from the water gave my hair some moisture that it was in desperate need for.
After getting in my time, I got ready to leave, bid my friend goodbye, and got on the bus to the airport. It was a lovely last day in Iceland, and I know I will be back as soon as I can to this otherworldly place.
Can I marry a city? As much as London is my favorite city to live in, Paris is my favorite city to look at. I can’t get enough of it. It has it’s quirks and unfortunate parts, but overall, it’s the place I love to explore the most. I think I could go back to Paris and live there for the rest of my life and still not know everything about it. My recent trip there made me remember how much I enjoy it and how easy it is to capture beauty there on my camera.
I guess it’s pretty obvious by now that I LOVE Paris. It’s a city that I’ve taken quite a liking to, and it was so lovely to be able to go back and spend a couple days there in May. This time around, I made a point to spend as much time as possible up on Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement, and I’m glad I did, because I got some beautiful shots of this small part of the city.