These photos are from about three weeks ago on the tail end of our last seven week trip in New York City. For some strange reason, Porter and I have found it's a lot easier for us to adjust to being back in the States by starting and ending trips in New York.
I think the fast pace and familiarity of our own country is just a good way for us to start to feel more at home before actually arriving at home (kind of like how you walk on a treadmill after running but before getting off). We spent some time at WestHouse New York before heading back to Boston, and we're so grateful we did. Like a lot of twenty-somethings we have a whole lot of friends (and a sister!) who live in NYC, and the quantity of food choices doesn't stink either (although we usually end up spending the first few hours of every day working at our favorite Joe & The Juice). So tomorrow we're heading back there before taking off again.
If you follow along with us on Instagram, you already know that in just a couple of days Port and I are flying (for nearly 23 hours!) from New York to Bali. Because our packing area looks a bit like a war zone right now, and Porter and I seem to be on opposite productivity schedules the past couple of days (I'm busy in the mornings and he's taking things slow then vice-versa in the afternoon) I've been putting off writing this post. If I'm being completely honest - I wasn't actually going to post about this upcoming travel leg until the day we flew out, but there's a window of opportunity this morning, so I'm taking it!
For the past two trips we've taken, Porter and I have had sit-down discussions (we call them "think tanks") about a half dozen or so places in a certain section of the world we really want to see. From there, Porter dives off into researching everything from where we would want to photograph, to the local political climate, to monsoon and hurricane seasons, to sustainability projects that are underway and the distances between each country. For some reason, I find sifting through all that info overwhelming, but he loves it, so fortunately he almost never asks for my help.
From there, we iron out the order we should go to each place, the length of time we should spend in each, and the best routes in-country so we can explore with some level of efficiency (although in Sri Lanka it kind of felt like no matter how hard we tried, every drive from one spot to the next ended up being 4+ hours).
So, about six or so weeks ago, when we started thinking about where we wanted to head next, we threw a few places out to each other and started to try to mesh things together...and then we realized something we really don't know how we've gone this long in life without fully absorbing, Asia is HUGE.
Let's take that a step further, even, and say Southeast Asia is HUGE.
Neither of us are geography wizards, but judging from the amount of places we've travelled to, I felt like our guess-timations until now of the flight distances between two given places were usually at least somewhat accurate. Not this time. So our original plan of hopping over to Southeast Asia and seeing Bali first, then heading to Vietnam on a reasonable 3 hour flight (it's actually 7 hours), then maybe checking out Japan (another 6 to 7 hours) or heading over to Sydney (9 and a half hours) seemed like a whole lot of time in the air for a trip that (to us) isn't extremely long. Granted - we do like to be in a country we've looked forward to visiting for at least three weeks to really feel like we saw it, so even though we could in six weeks technically see all of these places, it would be at a pace that neither of us love.
Our original plans just weren't going to happen.
So we went back to the drawing board and decided we wanted this next leg to be about slowing down. We wanted to see a couple of places that have been very high on our list, but spend less time in airports and more time sinking into the culture of a new place, finding opportunities to delve deeper into the conscious and sustainability movements in the countries we were heading to, and (if we're being honest) wait out until summer in our favorite photographic climate - the tropics. We're both better people when we're by the water, and the stress levels we experienced during our twelve weeks bouncing across Europe this fall were at least 10x higher than how we felt in Sri Lanka this winter. For me, humidity is nature's tranquilizer, and I will take as much of it as I can get.
For the next 4 and a half weeks we'll be staying put in Bali, before spending a week in Sydney and a week in San Francisco en route back to Boston.
I'm going to do another post in the next couple of weeks talking about why we're excited to be spending a good portion of this summer in our home city that's going to cover the financial trajectory, for lack of a better way to say it, we've experienced as full-time bloggers and photographers. But for now, we're just excited to be heading somewhere new for a long time, and to get to know an island and culture that was number two only to the Maldives on our bucket list for this year.
We're working incredibly hard to make sure we photograph and share the experiences of this next leg in a way that's simultaneously original and informative,
and we're grateful for the opportunity to go more in depth than ever on the ins and outs of the conscious fashion movement and to continue to share why this movement matters to us and the positive global effects it's already having.
The Sydney and San Francisco portion of our trip still feels so far away, but we're already super grateful that we happen to have a small handful of friends in both those cities, which for some strange reason always makes a place feel less foreign (even if you've never been). We're well aware that these "intros" to Aus and California are just that - and if you could see my bedroom floor right now you'd realize that they're the prelude to much longer and more expansive trips we'll be taking in the next eight months....but for now, we're onto Indonesia.
Thank you for being here, for following along, for your constant messages of support and interest and inquiries on sustainability and how to do your part. No paycheck or flight tickets have ever felt as good as knowing that someone has stumbled upon our account and is suddenly committed to upping their involvement in preserving our planet & reducing the negative impacts of the fashion industry.
We'll check in soon from Bali! Recommendations welcome.
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to The WestHouse Hotel for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts & opinions remain our own.