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Travel • India Lifestyle Photographers

Visiting India felt like coming home. Something about the land feels faintly familiar, as if i’ve lived here in a past life.

The bestie and I journeyed through 5 states, 6 cities in 10 days. We went from the mountains to the ocean and to seemingly everything in between; each city was more spectacular than the previous one. We made new friends and collected new stories. But most importantly, we started and ended the trip with family. And, oh, what a beautiful thing family is!

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” (Mother Theresa)

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Mumbai, Maharashtra

New Delhi, Delhi

Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Jaipur, Rajasthan

Alleppey, Kerala

Munnar, Kerala

In no particular order:

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Today is the last day of my 20’s and as I conclude this decade, I have compiled a handful of quotes from feminists whose words have resounded deeply within me. No matter your walk in life, I hope you can draw inspiration from their wisdom.

1. “Planning ahead is a function of class- The rich plan for future generations, while the poor can often plan only for Saturday night.” (Gloria Steinem)

From a corporate perspective, do not take your lot for granted; we are easily replaceable. From the executive in the corner office to the janitorial staff, there is always someone just as capable of doing your job- someone younger, smarter, more talented, and willing to do the job for less. Save diligently while  opportunities are lucrative but remember to occasionally indulge on things that give you joy. Learn to find balance using all the sound advice you can gather from successful veterans.

2. “Your art is not about how many people like your work. Your art is about if your heart likes your work, if your soul likes your work. It’s about how honest you are with yourself and you must never trade honesty for relatability” (Rupi Kaur)

Who likes sharing a piece of themselves on social media and garnering no audience reaction? Everything I’ve shared online has been to merit applause. Over the last decade, however, I’ve also come to realize what is just as important: I choose to create art that set my heart on fire.

3. “The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.” (Mohadesa Najumi)

As I grow older, I’m finding that the world reacts to me differently- almost impatiently and with more candor. Physical beauty is like the lilies of the field, here today and gone tomorrow. I am fortunate to have found deep security in being average. I’m not brilliant, but I’m smart enough to navigate troubling waters; not the prettiest, but perceptive enough to see beauty everywhere; not athletic, but physically fit enough to seek adventures everyday. And I find this average state of being incredibly liberating. I hope for many opportunities to speak truth to you so that you too may experience this state of freedom beyond ‘skin deep.’

I am thankful for you. And I am thankful that you are on the other side of my content.

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The 26 mile Inca Trail is a beast of a journey that physically taxed my body to its limit all while completely rejuvenating my spirit. Our Ketchuan guide was god sent, giving us a very unfiltered experience of the trail in all of its original glory. I found myself falling in love with Pachamama and the promise of brief rainbows that connects the earth to the spiritual realm.

All pride aside, the Inca Trail was extremely difficult. I went in obliviously confident that I did not need an additional porter and choose to strap 19 pounds of god forsaken weight onto my body. I won’t go into too much detail about the lingering altitude sickness, the unrelenting rain, or the fact that my period started on the first day of the trail (one that I wasn’t prepared for); these events do not paint a glorious, new world wonder image in anyone’s mind.

I dropped off my many demons on the trail as well- like the fresh heaps of steaming burro turds that lined the pathways. They became too heavy to carry. It was here where I decided to stop being such an angry person and to let go of things beyond my control. Every step I took was a testament to the fact that my will has finally matured to surpass my physical limitations.

So, you see? Physically and mentally taxing but spiritually renewed. And there wasn’t even a choir or a preacher necessary. Just me and Pachamama.

Company: InfoCusco

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Day 1:

alongside the south bank of the Urubamba River

pass the Incan ruins of Llactapata

alongside the Cusichaca river

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Day 2:

elevation gain of 4,000 feet

climbed Dead Woman’s pass

total altitude of 13,776 feet

alongside the Llullucha river

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Day 3:

2 mountainous passes

total altitudes of 12,470 feet & 11,742 feet

pass the Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, and Winay Wayna ruins

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Day 4:

through the sun gate into Machu Picchu

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Travel • Lima Lifestyle Photographers

   ·   Personal

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We had 2 extended layovers in Lima that sandwiched our time in Cusco. Both times were sweet, brief ones with just enough time to hire a skillful private driver and hit up the main city attractions. We got to explore a handful of sights such as the Convento de San Francisco (known for their intricate tile works and catacombs), Centro De Lima (Main Square), Miraflore (city by the sea), and the Magic Water Circuit.

Above all, my favorite moment in Lima was watching market vendors open their food stalls for the day. Our first layover got us into the city at 6am, just in time to see, smell, and experience the morning rush at the market. Sights of freshly caught seafood, freshly butchered meats, and tubs of spices made me quite envious of the connection Peruvians have with their food.

While we did not get a chance to taste Peru’s infamous ceviche or try a pisco sour, we will definitely do so next time we find ourselves here!

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Magic is not hard to find in the desert. In fact, any living organism able to survive desert hardships should be applauded with a standing ovation. But finding color in the desert- now that is an extreme rarity! With dusty yellow mountains as far as the eye can see, artist Ugo Rondinone broke the Sierra scape with seven of his own abstract Magic Mountains. The magic in this contrast is like water to the parched tongue. We might not have known how much we needed it, but these vibrant colors represent a reformed connection between us and the many dusty miles ahead.

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