L A N D S END

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

– WILLIAM S. B U R R O U G H S

I’ve always been one to journey to new places. At times it’s simply exploring a new street in a new part of town, other times it’s an escapade to another country. Maybe it’s the freshness in atmosphere or the mystery of who or what I will encounter. Whatever it may be, I’ve always been one who anticipates the excitement and knowledge that comes with lived experiences; in getting out of the comfort of the expected.

Something is so life giving in opening your eyes and heart to a new culture or way of life. I don’t know why but when I was little, I had a strong desire to be someone else. I even asked my mom to change my name. I know, silly to think about now as I truly love my name (and life for that matter). But at the time, I think this desire was the budding of something innate in me.  My adventurous spirit. Dressing up, role playing, finding common ground in the uncommon, exploring life outside of “home” — These are, and I think will always be, like air to me.

Wanting to understand others (and therefore myself) is something I have become passionate about since moving to the West Coast. I think maybe that’s why I attract such unique personalities and strangers into my life. I’m open to allowing chance encounters to happen, often impacting me in ways my inner circle cannot. I think part of the allure of such encounters is the impression they can leave within a small fraction of time. That encounter, that moment, is impermanent and therefore special. That essence is what I cherish more than anything else.

Wandering and exploring has been (hands-down) my best teacher. My recent trip to Mexico however brought me some peace of mind with the opportunity re-lay the tracks of learning through inaction. The Taoist concept of Wu-Wei, non-action or effortless doing. Basically I was reminded of my very essence that somehow I strayed from in the process of striving and action.

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Finding inspiration and serenity in my surroundings came rushing in again. The peace in ‘the lack’ of action also created a stillness amidst the clatter of spring breakers and weddings. I noticed I moved with more instinct, more purpose, then ever before. Enter the “End of the Earth,” better known as Cabo San Lucas.

One person I met on my Cabo journey was Alfredo, a silver jeweler who makes his living selling jewelry to tourists on the beaches. In his land, he has apparently made a decent name for himself as I learned from a returning customer as I got my henna tattoo. Despite not giving him service that day he still engaged with me and my family. I was drawn to his energy, confidence and white gloves. He was different. He was personable… and he was memorable.

Like all the other sellers, he was dressed in all white. Long pants, long sleeves, eyes shielded by dark sunglasses. His sombrero read “Alfredo” in acrylic red paint along the back rim. His hands were equally shielded by white gloves that notoriously earned him the nickname, “Alfredo White Gloves.” Rather I called him “The White Bandit.”

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He had a sort of mystery to him and I enjoyed talking with him, even when he was joking around trying to sell me. I giggled every time he referred to the men passing as “money bags.” I also admired his inability to hesitate at the opportunity to delight and sway anyone who showed the slightest interest to come chat with him. It was infectious, it got under your skin in the best way. Now I wish I took a photo with him…

Sure there were plenty of brilliant and movie like moments, which I captured. Not to mention amazing family time, which I cherish greatly and keep close to heart. However, when I reflect back on my time spent in Cabo, Alfredo was the most memorable hands down. I mean I can talk about all the things I saw but here I am,  writing about him. I find that amusing. Maybe it was the gloves, his humor, or the fact he took off his glasses after I made my one and only purchase on the island to reveal gentle and kind soft blue eyes.

Life and travel is about connection. It’s about the people. It’s about conversation and finding the common ground. I would be dismayed if I traveled all the way to ‘the end of the world’ and didn’t have a human connection with a local. Alfredo, thanks for reminding me of some simple truths. You are my fondest memory.

WISDOM OF CABO

  1. Life will reveal to you whatever you focus on
  2. Persistence pays off
  3. Worrying cuts you off from peace
  4. Music is the universal language
  5. Inaction is sometimes more productive than action

DO: Bring ear plugs and a high SPF

STAY: The Riu Palace

SAVOUR: The local flavor! Fried plantains and FRESH JUICE were staples in my daily routine. Of course a side of guacamole and chips for breakfast, because why the eff not? Then you gotta have all the seafood for lunch. Stuffed green chillis were a nice indulgence. One of my favorite part of the day was loading a plate of chips with guacamole, pico and washing it down with a Dos Equis on the beach 🙂

MUST TRY: The blended cocktails at the Rui Palace (the Costa Caribe and Passion Dream were my favorites)

FAVORITE MEMORY: (Besides Alfredo), I enjoyed morning workouts with my mom. Having someone to workout with and stay motivated with on vacation is always nice. Also feeling the chilling intensity of the Pacific ocean. Planting my feet firm into wet sand to brace myself for the pounding waves that rolled in and out around my legs. I did that everyday and hope to do it more in Los Angeles.

Where one land ends, another begins,

M

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| HAWAIIAN H E R I T A G E |

“From a small seed a mighty trunk may grow.” 

– A E S C H Y L U S

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Ever since I could remember, I’ve been visualizing. As a young girl in elementary school, I used to be the last person to finish reading. I blame my creative mind, which would wander to exciting places mid-sentence (side note: still happens). The only spot I truly loved was the art room – probably because it was the only place I felt I belonged. The time I spent daydreaming and visualizing was welcomed here.

With anything in life, I realize it’s not all daydreams (although I wish it was). It’s vision combined with hard work that brings what you want into being. Strangely enough, with any accomplishment I’ve made, it’s through a balance of activity and inactivity. Many times what appears to be inactivity, is in fact is very active after all. Taoist refer to this as Wu Wei, and in this case, I call it active visualization. Let me explain…

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Whenever I feel stuck, I pause, reflect and visualize. I’ve always been an advocate for vision boards. Not strictly for its artistic nature, but because it focuses energy and attention on the passion at hand. Love, fitness, career, whatever it may be, it helps the mind ‘go there,’ thus stimulating that dreamer we all have within.

In the midst of all the moving pieces of my career right now, which I’m extremely grateful for, I’ve had little time for inactivity. Feeling more pressure than before, I began to think, what’s next? As a result, I’ve negatively begun to doubt my creativity and the future. As dreamers, we should welcome if not anticipate the thought of what could be. In truth, I was running from the very person I am. When I slowed down to realize this, I knew I needed to take time some time out. I did just that in a rather unconventional way; when things picked up, I slowed down.

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There’s a method to my madness. When you’re speeding ahead, you fail to catch the glimpse of the pretty house along the street you’ve never explored. You overlook the excerpt in a book that will inspire your next project. In slowing down, you find everything you need. You’re re-inspired. Thus I found a way to combine my work with my passions.

As I prepped for my Mane Addicts Instastory Takeover (<- click for a highlight), I applied my new found knowledge to social media. The weeks leading up the gig, I used my account to play and test new ideas. Not only was this personally fulfilling, it also left me reassured I could do my best when it came time to take over their account. In fact this methodology helped me successfully accomplish my immediate goal (hitting over 9,000 impressions) while I created a road map for future ones. One of those destined ventures being Hawaii. The idea: reconnecting to the source.

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When I initially dug up information on the Awapuhi Farm and Nature Retreat, my ears were ringing, “ready, set, location, shoot!” For years now, I’ve had the reoccurring vision of being on a remote island, sourcing ingredients and creating botanical/herbal products. One thing many people don’t know about me is that I turn to natural remedies and concoct my own beauty products.

Ayurveda or life science, has always been a secret passion of mine. It became more prevalent in my life when I was diagnosed with ADHD. After years of taking medication, I desired a more long term and natural solution. Thus, I begun to self-educate myself on nutrition and natural means of healing. When I realized this ‘ailment’ made me special not slow, I began to use it creatively to my benefit. That’s when the holistic healer kicked in and I hope one day to help others heal and reach total wellness too.

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When I learned Awapuhi Wild Ginger was born and sourced in Pa’auilo, Hawaii, I saw the initial blending of my two worlds; the muse meets the the healer. I saw myself there, exploring the nature, science and culture of this area. I saw me hosting, traveling, educating, and most of all, learning through personal experiences. Clearly, the passion alarm went off.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of taking the first step in that direction. In attending the Paul Mitchell Innovation Center in Santa Clarita, I learned all about the Awapuhi line. It was invigorating to be educated on a product I use often and is rooted in Hawaiian culture. The herbalist in me enjoyed hearing about the ingredients and putting a face to the scientists in the lab. To see the work that goes into perfecting and delivering a product into the hands of the consumer was something special to experience.

Later that afternoon I left feeling all the hope in the world. In fact, I used the positive energy of the day as an opportunity to make my own slice of HI in CA. I made my way to Malibu and created an experience that one could equate to the Aloha State. The strange thing was, that weekend I truly believed a huge leap was made in the direction of that island. I felt one step closer towards actualizing that goal.

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I’ve always had this island dream and I always will. Who knows, maybe the dream is better than reality. What I do know is I will eventually realize this dream and find out one way or another for myself.

Aloha,

M