Disappearing Social Media

When I was in high school I discovered AOL chat rooms. I found it fascinating I was able to talk to strangers and be unknown. My friends and I would spend hours in chatrooms causing trouble like any normal teenager would. In the early 2000′ the internet was the wild west. No one used their real photos or name. The moment we signed off, we were back to normal life.

My friend had this cool cousin, who told us about Myspace. We created profiles and sent friend request to each other. We were now part of a secret internet club adults didn’t know about. We would say, “What happen’s on Myspace, stays on myspace.”

When I moved to Sydney, I was extremely home sick. My new friends were annoyed at me, “You’re not in California anymore, you’re here.” Having a hard time transitioning, I decided to deleted my account. Then, deactivation wasn’t a thing; contacts, messages, photos – everything would be deleted with one click. When I did it, I remember feeling brave. I was leaving the comforts of friends behind, I was deleting my status of how many friends I have. My friend’s back home was mad at me, but I was now able to invest in the people around me. Deleting myspace took me to a new season in my life. I was able to see the world around me and embrace where God was taking me. I was able to focus on where I was.

When I moved back to California, Facebook opened their network to anyone who wanted to sign up. It was now my Australian life I couldn’t seem to let go. It wasn’t until a visit back to Sydney did I decide I had to more on. I stood there at the Darling Harbour, looking at the Opera House and said good bye out loud. When I returned I left Facebook for a while.

Today, social media is everywhere! Everyone has an account, even the distant aunt or the business down the street. We can no longer escape each other. I can now click through my profile photos and see my life happen in front of me. I see myself aging, changing, and becoming someone different – and I am also witnessing my friend transform. The dynamic of relationships dramatically change over a course of a time. I can’t leave snippy comments anymore to a friend to be funny, their wife is probably watching or their grandma.

2016-07-30-17-31-23Recently, Gus asked me, where was I when a certain part of history happened.. I answered, “Probably on Facebook,” The truth was, I probably was on Facebook, and if I’m not careful, I could spend the next ten years on social media, missing life happening in front of me. I didn’t like the truthful answer that came out of me. I began to think what if I left social media for a year. The answer to that question got me excited for the unknown. I don’t know what would happen. Maybe it would cause me to develop some deep meaningful friendships, and stop lying to myself about some of my friendships that, “we’re still close.” This time, leaving social media is about time-  a time in my life that I am holding on to.

The next day I deactivated Facebook, Snapchat, and Instragram .. I’m still on Twitter since that’s easy more about information. The first day without social media, I found myself alone with my thoughts. I recorded an audio recording and what came out surprised me. My soul was speaking, and my heart was starting to pour out. I hadn’t expressed this much personal feelings in a long time, I knew I would never share it publicly, this recording was for me.

As the week went on I notice I am paying more attention to people – I was hungry for social interaction. As I walked around at the mall or church, I noticed I was receiving fresh insight on life that I haven’t had in years. I’m also enjoying listening to my husband talk, and give him my full attention. I can feel myself changing already. I want to use my time here on earth to do something other than scroll looking at photos of people who I don’t know.

I am 33, the age Jesus went to the cross, this was his last year on earth. He spent that time with people, and miracles were preformed. If I want a life of adventure, it requires sacrifice. I want to reconnect with myself, and the people around me.

Can you believe we are a few days away from 2017.

Time — the most valuable thing on Earth.

Exploring the City with Aussie Friends

One of the greatest benefit about living in California is Los Angeles is close by. The first time I went there I was probably around 17 years old. I remember hearing about LA from movies and seeing it on my freeway signs – west to go to Los Angeles and east Palm Springs but I never really gave it much thought.

For the first time this summer, I was able to spend a week in LA. I had a good friend from Australia come visit and I decided to send time in the city with him and hang out with my friend Annette. In college I had met a good group of people in Australia and they became my really good friends, almost like family when I was living there. They took care of me in so many ways and looked after me.

To pay the favor back and to spend time with them, we spent the week together and we did so many cool Los Angeles things. I wanted to share those things with you here. So if you ever travel down, you can do some of the cool things we did.

Griffen Observatory

Carters Restaurant 

Amoeba Music, Sunset / 101 Cafe

Photo Jun 15, 9 03 20 AM

Downtown Burbank

Oceanside, Ca

Mosaic Church, Hollywood

Australian Pie Kitchen, Santa Monica

Warner Brothers Lot, Burbank

Arch light Movie Theaters, Sunset / Counterpoints Records, Franklin Ave.

Sunset Media Building, Australia Channel 9 / Alcove Cafe & Bakery, Hillhurst Ave

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It was nice to get out into the city, to get reminded of the people who are so different than I. We did Urber, which drove us all over the city, we didn’t have to worry about parking. This summer, try to do something fun, even if its local near by. Put the extra money away so you can stay there and not have to worry about driving. Driving can be one of the most stressful parts of traveling.

I was inspired and came back refreshed, which is the point of traveling as a creative. You differently need to get out of your zone, your circle, have conversations and listen and gather up those stories. I had a good time hanging out with my friends from college, they will always be my best friends no matter how much we’ve changed – its always good to reconnect.

The Wanderer Generation

I’m not sure what it is, maybe its the age group I’m a part of or the times we live in. For some reason it seems my peers are wondering around life with no real direction. I myself am tempted to live this life style of “whatever happens, happens”. I see photos of fellow college mates all over the world snapping shots of themselves in front of landmarks, using up their favors with friends to help them out while they figure it all out, in other words, it seems like they are in search of home.

It is a tempting lifestyle, one in which I tried myself but I knew I had a destiny to get to, work had to be done and the cost of living to pay. Whatever decision I made, I had to make it fast before I burnt bridges.

As I am working toward my goals, I want to stop half way. I tell myself, “This is good enough.” But I know it won’t be good enough in a few weeks when I become restless again. I must admit, I don’t know specifically where I am going, but as I navigate through each hour I try to be intentional with my decisions. To read instead of watch a movie, to create instead of be entertained, to think instead of zone out, to save instead of spend, which I don’t always make the better choice. It’s the little decisions that matter.

What I appreciated from traveling and school was that it required me to think and gave me time to figure it out. Now that I am in the middle of a full time career, I have to make it a priority, to keep on thinking, looking ahead, and setting new goals. If you ever got in the car and drove with no place to go, you’ll realize it gets you no where. It leaves you lost and with an empty gas tank.

Proverbs 22:3-5
Sensible people foresee trouble and hide from it,but gullible people go ahead and suffer the consequence.
The plans of a hard-working person lead to prosperity,but everyone who is always in a hurry ends up in poverty.

Day Off

When James asked me if I wanted to go Kayaking on my day off, it sounded more like work to me. I’ve never been the out door person but he kept instigating it would be fun.

coffee The beginning of any good trip start with coffee. There’s this little place in Newport called Alta, probably the best coffee in town. Newport is always very chill and no one seems to be working. This is the best place for a workaholic to relax.

Kayaking  When we made our way to kayak I was a little worried it would be a lot of physical work. The guys joked that Gus would be the one doing all the work but I knew I could keep up if I tried. I found being out in the water was very relaxing, looking at the blue sky, hearing the birds.

food After, we cleaned up and asked the owners of the kayaking company where there is a good place to eat, they recommended Eat Chow. We figured we would try something new and check out this new place.

the beach  After we drove around town to  Huntington Beach and walked around. It seemed like everyone in town was outside enjoying the sun too.

shopping  Since we live about 40 miles away from the beach we knew that traffic was going to be bad. We hung out and shopped a little at The Lab. They have cute vintage stores and of course an Urban.

Days off – they’re the greatest! Now back to work 🙂

The Buzz of the City

The buzz of the city filled the air with endless possibilities. From the moment we saw the bay bridge we knew we were in for an adventure. I imagined young people working in their studio offices making creative decisions that would influence our culture.

The first stop we made was a hidden coffee shop. When I walked in the doors, I saw tables full of people talking and visiting with one another. I was tempted to ask them what they did for a living so I too could be in a coffee shop on a Tuesday morning at 10am hanging out with friends.  We ordered our lattes and pretend we were one of them.


We later made our way to watch the sun set at the beach. The people of the city seemed to be searching for a connection with nature, the parks were full of runners and the beach with surfers. I saw business people in their cars, looking in to the sunlight and an older couple standing at the edge of the sand taking in the moment. Then there was us, talking about hopes for the future.

The drive down the city streets made me forget about what was happening on-line and enjoy the present moment. We kept telling one another to stop taking photos, to look out the window and see what was all around us. 

Once we got inside a pub for dinner, I was glad to see there were no big TV screens on. We told one another to place our phones in the middle of the table and enjoy hanging out with one another. Conversations about business and dreams of making money seemed to light up the room.

We tried to imagine the lives of those who call San Francisco home. Its here that the city encourages individuality.

My favorite part of the trip was when we visited a fancy coffee shop that sold toast and coffee for $10. I figured I was paying for the experience of living a life style I’ve only dreamt of. I was inspired by the big groups of people exchanging ideas. I imaged staff from twitter, or from a new high tech company meeting at these very tables, planning on the next big thing. It made me want to create an encouraging community like this back where I live.

We gave ourself the afternoon to be tourist and to visit some well known locations.

A friend told us to visit the Golden Gate Bridge from a different location. I enjoyed hanging out by the water, listening to the birds pass by, laughing and making jokes with one another.

On our final night we left the car behind, and took public transport. We wanted to blend in and feel what it was like to live in such a thriving city. One thing is for sure, living in the city there is very little room for personal space.

I thought the city was beautiful at night, but at sunrise, it glows with hope.

I’ve been to San Francisco many times, but this time I finally captured the heart of what San Fran is all about.

Be yourself…no matter how weird you are. 

Get Up or Give Up

It’s so easy to live in a small world on cruse control. We see and talk to the same people, the routine of life makes everyday easy.  The moment there is a challenge, it can feel like the world is ending.

Today, I met up with the girls who volunteer with the video department. I lie to myself and say I plan it for them, but every time I leave our meet ups, I am encouraged by hearing their journey. Many of them are new to church, and hearing the battles they faced remind me that whatever I am going through, it too will have a purpose greater than myself.

I am encouraged to keep pressing forward by the transformation and growth I see in them.

When I was a teenager, I knew my purpose was to impact my generation for God. I have always been a small girl with a big dream. Hearing about the fight others faced, helps me see I can’t give up the fight of faith. Just this morning I felt so exhausted a part of me wondered why am I trying so hard? Why not just give up?

Giving up the fight and pulling the covers over my head is the easy thing to do. Getting up and doing something about it, is a lot harder. This morning I cast my worries to Him, I prayed for the people who are in my life, team, and world. We all have battles to face in our life, no matter how put together we think we are, the differences from failure and success is the decision to get up or give up.

The vision God has placed on your heart, when challenges appear, you can overcome them because in our weakness, He is made strong.

Go get Inspired

There are seasons in life where work feels like that is all we do. When that takes place for me, I usually am in need of a day out. I know when I return home, I have some fresh inspiration. Getting out spending time with people in the real world can bring so much healing to the soul.

Last weekend, I took a day off from work. It was hard to turn off my work brain. I found myself thinking about what was taking place in the office but I had to tell myself my team is doing a great job without me, to enjoy my day out with friends.

When looking for something to eat, we found some food trucks. Next to it, there was this big wall of art. When we moved in closer we realized it was parts of the Berlin Wall. It was hard to believe this is the wall that kept so many people away from their loved ones in Germany.

We made our way to the LACMA to check out some art.  On our drive over we were listening to 90’s music, it was only fitting that we pose for our own 90’s album.

To my luck, the exhibit featured Germany artist and groundbreaking film makers.

It was funny to see everyone on their phones Immediately after. A coffee break was needed, we made our way to Beverly Hills to Urth Coffee.

For dinner we went to one of my favorite Thai restaurants in Los Angeles. Toi. The atmosphere is great and the food and service is amazing.

Before we made out way home I talked everyone in to one more stop…

Amoeba. Here I found some of my favorite albums. Albums I wanted when I was in 7th grade but couldn’t afford. Now they were 3 dollars. haha..

I know I had a good day when I come home full of creative ideas. Now I’m inspired. 🙂

What type of places inspire you?

Dear Social Media

Dear Social Media,

I want my life back. My moments, my relationships and privacy. I no longer want the pressure to brag and show off where I am at, what I am eating and who I am with. I know you mean well, but when I instantly give these precious life moments to share, I lose them as I try to upload, tag, and write a caption.

Thanks for what you do, connecting me with people but I also need to connect with the people in front of me. I’m putting my phone down and forgetting about it when I don’t need it. When I snap a photo, I’ll look at it later. The world can wait and so can I.

Wednesday morning before work I heard an interview with the creators of Instagram. I was pulled in by their witty personalities and big dreams. I listened with closeness as I heard their heart behind Instagram. They spoke about capturing those special moments; children learning how to walk, a mom spending time with their child, graduations, weddings, birthdays and how people can share images as they happen.

I began to think about all the big events in my life to my everyday routine. I thought to myself, “Those are mine, I don’t want to give them away by snapping a photo, writing a caption and uploading it.” I’ve learned through the years about the sacrifice a photo can cost. Live life or take a photo of it? I have to make a decision between enjoy what is taking place or pulling out my camera and capturing it. And now because of instant publishing more time is lost to experience life.

The question is how do I solve this dilemma? If I’m not careful, I can end up experiencing life though a screen, missing out on the beauty that no camera can capture.

This 4th of July weekend I did an experiment. Take a photo and look at it later. I was anxious to share immediately but instead told myself to enjoy my time with the people I love most.

Looking back on the photos, I can appreciate them even more because I got to live them.

Doing LA right

Having an authentic LA experience is no easy task. If you ever find yourself in this city, you will see there is too much to do in one day. With bumper to bumper traffic you have to do LA right otherwise it can put you in a bad mood. You must be prepared to have no plan. The trick is letting the city come alive to you.

I usually have an idea of some things I want to do. With my friend in town from Puerto Rico, it was my job to make the city feel like an old friend to him. Over time I have gathered up a few places I like visiting in LA.  I packed my new ipad mini to test out the camera, my gps and we were on our way.

First stop, Griffith Observatory. This is one of the best spots to see the city of Los Angeles. There is lots to do inside but being outside is the most rewarding.

Next we made out way to pick up a friend. She was staying in an area where there was a cool cafe and record store I knew of. We parked by her place and took a walk down the street. This gave us all a break from being in the car and a chance to relax.

For dinner, I recommended pizza. If shared, its cheaper for everyone. I knew of this place in Silverlake that made Chicago deep dish. As we waited to be seated, we placed our order so our food can cook while we wait. We ended up having a good time outside the restaurant, laughing and telling stories.

Later that night we went for a drive downtown to see the old buildings. During the day this would be a mistake, driving across town could take hours, but since it was pass 10pm, it was safe to make the drive. We got there in a few minutes.

After, Joanna mentioned her love for ice cream, lucky there was a place in Silverlake that was open pass midnight. We drove back to where we came from and made out final stop for the day.

As the driver of this trip I wanted everyone to have a good time without worrying about what to do next. It was my opportunity to share some of my favorite spots in LA. Its a city that can stress an outsider out but once you make friends and spend the day with them, the city will no longer feel like a stranger.

Blog: Advice to a College Grad

(Bianca, the third from the left)

I met Brooke, Briana and Bianca at church when I was 11. Bianca was only 5 years old, Briana 7 and Brooke 9. Its funny to even think we stayed friends since there is a large age gap. I remember Brooke fighting with the two youngest, “She is my friend!” Little did we know we would all grow up together.

Bianca asked me a great question when we were hanging out at the cabin this weekend, “What advice can you give me, a 22 year old? What do you know now at 29?”

Bianca just graduated from a college in Los Angeles, and yet the question still haunts her, “What is it that I want to do?”

Your gift is your guide – When I was 18 I was going through a dark time. I was in the mist of figuring out who I was. I began to draw in the old software Paint and soon creativity became my best friend. I went to college wanting to be a graphic designer but came out a video editor.

Stay Focused on what you want – When I graduated I began to hear of stories of classmates not being able to find a job in their field. I told myself I would never give up, I will get paid to be creative. I had so many random editing jobs, I was discovering what I wanted to do by learning what I hated doing. For the first 5 years after high school, I had a new job every year. No job is forever. Make each job matter. Build your experience, learn what type of work you want to do and go towards that.

Stay Humble, Work hard – When I first graduated college, I came out with great pride. I knew my value and worth. But the real world could careless, I was just another email. I had to prove myself. I volunteered, interned and just kept showing up.

Trust in God, not your ability – After applying for hundreds of jobs you can only do so much. Can you believe that my first job in the creative field was at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank! I knew that was GOD. He opened a door that prove to me, “I can really do all things.” He was opening the right doors for me, something I couldn’t do.

Ask God for guidance – Everyone and everybody will start asking those annoying questions that you have been asking yourself. The solution – Let God be your guide. Even those who don’t know Him can hear from God. “Listen to your heart.” He knows you best, and knows what type of job you’ll love. And yes, it may be hard to find a job these days but from my memory, it’s always been hard to find a job you REALLY want.

The Lord says,
    “I will instruct you.
    I will teach you the way that you should go.
    I will advise you as my eyes watch over you.” – Psalm 32:8

Ask yourself the deep questions – At the end of the day, its not even about a job, its about your life purpose. What do you want to pour your life into? This is why no matter how great the job or pay is, if you find no purpose behind it, it will drain you.

Working together – It would be dumb to do nothing and expect things to happen. “Faith without works is dead.” Looking back at my early 20’s, I can see that God was working things out as I was working hard to develop my skill. Each conflict was for my good, it was sharping me. Now my twenties make perfect sense. He has brought me to my dream job. The cool thing is that He is always putting new dreams in my heart so I know even where I am at now, won’t be forever. And though I have no idea what the future holds, I know its Him who holds it.

Live your Destiny Now –  He takes our heart on a journey in order to reach the right destination through out life. We want to go from a to z but need to reach each letters at the right time.

If I could talk to my 22 year old self, I would say, “Don’t worry, God is at work.”

Q&A: My Interview with You

The past few years I’ve blogged to an audience of two. I would mainly create posts for my high school best friend. She would text me asking me when I was going to write something new. I began to write about everything I was in to; Photography, editing, film making, books, traveling, God. Soon other friends and co-workers were reading, they would stop me in the halls and want to talk about what I wrote last night.
This alarmed me, “Who else is reading?” My first reaction was to close up but I knew it was honesty that was drawing more readers.
I started to receive emails from young girls who wanted to become film makers, guys who wanted me to check out their videos to critique, people who were searching for hope, others who just wanted to be inspired.. Two blog readers became one thousand. 

I often wonder about you. I wonder who you are, how did you find me but most of all I wonder about your creative journey.



I’ve learned that sharing where you come from can help others. So here is my interview with you –
What is your hometown like?

What are you most passionate about?

What inspires you?

What subject can you talk hours about?

What is your dream job?

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

What was your first positive creative experience?

What do you blog about?

What is your message to the world?

music

I look forward to hearing from you 🙂

Blog: Monica Opener

Growing up I always felt different from my friends. When the show Felicity first aired I was a freshman in high school. Hearing her thoughts and watching her journey through college I knew it was her life that I wanted. She was meeting new people, making new friends and discovering a new city. Her admiration for Ben and friendship with Noel made me dream of a time when I too would be a grown up. She was a girl who had deep thoughts, was honest to the world she lived in and desired to grow as a person.

I often look at my own life as a TV show. I the protagonist desire to reach a goal but am faced with conflict, it is up to me to make the right decisions to achieve a happy ending. What I’ve learned over the past few months is that the ending is just the beginning. A good story takes the main character on a journey they never thought of, a story that is full of surprises and twist, we relate to this because its how life works. We think we know where its going but in a few months we ask our self, how did we get here?

February I left my job to discover something new. I set out on my journey with the blessings of those in my world and set off to find the answer to my question: “Where do I belong?”

Felicity followed a boy to New York and found herself instead. I left my job to answer a question and now I have to trust God more than ever before with that answer. I admit I have no idea where He is taking me. I just know the next season of my life is going to be full of surprise and I’m glad I have such good friends to share it with.

This week, I start a new chapter. Its going to be strange to go back to work but I’m excited for the new challenges ahead.

Felicity Season 1 Opener:

 

Road Trip: Seattle

The most rememberable thing about a road trip are moments of insanity. When talking about nothing produces the most random jokes or replaying a George Michael song and making it in to a game. Five hours and a speeding ticket later we decided it was time to stop driving, Portland and Seattle could wait. We came across this beautiful little green town, stayed the night and tried not to think about how much the ticket would cost.

The next morning I tried to snap out of my bad mood, after all money is replenishable. Gus did what he does best, make me laugh. We discovered with his new hipster glasses he looked like Clark Kent.

At one of the rest stops we saw this large American monument in front of a Casino. It was a perfect photo op.

The moment we drove in to Portland we knew this place was different, after all everyone was letting us in their lane during rush hour.  We stayed in Portland for a day and fell in love with the city! (more on Portland later)

We arrived in Seattle in two hours. We met up with Briana and Mario who are also from California. Meeting up felt like we were a few cities away from home.

The cool thing about a city like Seattle, is that you can walk upon a concert at any given moment. As we were walking to dinner there was a show taking place in an All Saints store.

The next morning we woke up to rain. As California kids we all said, “Well there goes the day, shutting down…” But then we saw the city moving forward. I suggested we go see Batman… but then.. we went down stairs to eat breakfast and all over the news.. the horrible tragedy  . The Aurora massacre. I sat there numb. I’ve visited Aurora many years ago, my best friend from high school use to live there. Going to a theater was the last time we all wanted to do.

It soon stopped raining and the sun began to peck out. We made our way to one of Washington’s Parks.

For lunch I took my friends to Capital Hill, a place I discovered last time I was here. As we walked around I began to daydream about last year, walking these very streets, how much life has changed since then. A lot of questions that were running my head then were now answered.

Just before leaving, I met up with a couple who I did a Creativelive workshop with. I remember how easy they were to be around. They shared the story of how they met, about their new dog, having a missionary father in Africa and so many random adventures they had together. It was exciting to see them again, they made Seattle feel like home.

I looked at my watch and knew my time in Seattle was over. Time for Portland.

Event: Around The World Party

Two of my best friends, who are more like sisters, graduated from college. Brooke graduated from Law School and Bianca with a Marketing degree. To celebrate they threw a costume party. My first reaction was not to dress up but Anabel talked me in to it, “You traveled all around the world, be one of the culture you saw.” I’ve always wanted to pretend to be french.. 🙂
When I arrived the girls all thought my fake cigarette was real, I then pretend to not care. I smiled when I saw everyone’s outfit and broke character. It was nice to see the world getting along.

I later grabbed my SLR. I wanted to test out my fisheye lens with my new flash. A social event is the best place to practice, making mistakes are forgivable, making mistakes are encouraged. For some reason the fisheye lens capture the party perfectly.

It was nice to see world peace, even if it was for a night. 🙂

A Day with Friends

Let the day unfold before you, enjoy the company that surrounds you. Don’t worry about the details but appreciate them. Make up things to do in a new city, have a cup of coffee, take a walk, but more than anything remember to have fun. Life changes fast, delight in the people around you.

Alta Coffee, Newport

Huntington beach

Sgt Pepper’s Dueling Pianos

Travel: Rediscovering San Francisco

I’ve always seen you as a busy city but over looked
the smiles that you gave me.
The woman who made my coffee,
The man who answered my question,
made me think of a poem,
“live up north once but move before it makes you too soft.”

As I walked your crowded streets
a man that had nothing to call his own
made eye contact with me and said
“You’re beautiful”.
Maybe he was crazy
or maybe just bold enough
to say what he was thinking.
Either way he made me smile.

Now as I sit waiting for my ferry I think about how I miss judged a place I thought I knew.
I didn’t think a large city like you
Would care for a stranger like me.
But I guess that’s why so people still
migrate to your green parks and call it home.

The last time I visited,
I thought I made new friend but instead lost one.
Two years later, My life is completely different.
What was safe and predictable is now
alive and fully aware of life’s greatest adventure:
love.

Thank you San Francisco for reminding me the beauty of kindness.

My Week in London

A transformation happens when you open yourself to traveling. It can feel like time traveling in to a whole different world, and when you think about it, that is exactly what it is.

My friend who is living in London invited me for a week to see the city. He also planned a trip to Paris for us to enjoy. I find it amazing how a week somewhere different can impact transformation.

Day 1:

A nine hour flight couldn’t keep me down. The first day I landed I wanted to see the city. Sam picked me up from the airport and took me to Chelsea where we would be staying. He works at a five star hotel in the fancy part of town and was able to get us a room for a few days. He tells me The Beatles once stayed there.

I was excited to see what London was all about for my self. It was actually better than I imagined. The streets were full of people, the sun was peaking through the clouds and there was so much to see. We walked around the city streets and made our way to dinner. Sam wanted to give me a real English dinner – potato and meat – before we made our way to see, “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Day 2:

I had a list of things to do that I received from a good friend who use to live in London. Since her and I are similar in taste and style, I knew she would recommend me some fun things to do in the city. Sam and I made our way to Notting Hill for breakfast and to check out the out door markets. I was in heaven when I saw the amount of small tea houses. We found this cute little place called, Charlie’s that was hidden. It made me realized how lucky I was to enjoy a cup of tea in England, something I always dreamt of.

The Portabello Markets was an adventure of its own. I loved looking at how everyone was dressed. I kept melting at the site of an English child. When shopping, I tried not to let anyone hear me talk so they wouldn’t hear my American accent and charge me more for ideas. I had Sam ask for me so I could get some good deals. Sam bought me this amazing vintage camera but to this day we don’t know how to open it.

After shopping we stopped at Hammingbird Cafe for a cupcake. The smell of the cupcakes are so amazing I tried to take a photo to capture it, but it didn’t seem to work. 🙂

Since it was Sam’s Birthday I told him we should eat our cupcake at the Buckingham Palace. We walked through the Hyde Park and made our way to the Queen’s house. After he showed me the Westminster Cathedral where Prince William got married.

The best time to see London is at night. The city lights up with all its glory.

The best part of traveling is meeting new people and making new friends. At Sam’s Birthday dinner I was taken by everyone’s story and their friendliness. Everyone seemed to be away from their families and yet here at dinner a new one was created. I loved hearing their journey and learning what brought them to this amazing city. When I was talking to one of the girls she asked me what I do for a living, I said something that stuck with me the rest of the night, “I didn’t mean to become a contract editor, sometimes life’s accidents are part of God’s greatest plans.”

Day 3 & 4: Paris Trip 

Day 4: I love the fact I can travel anywhere in the world and visit my Hillsong family. Hillsong Church in London made me feel at home. It reminded me of all the amazing things God did in my life while I lived in Sydney. This trip was beginning to speak to into my life.

To never lose hope, never give up on your dream, you never know where they will take you.

After church a bunch of us walked to Chinatown for dinner. The cool thing is that everyone ordered food and shared it. The jokes filled the room and my laugh could be heard for miles.

Day 5:

Finally, a day to sleep in. We went back to where Sam lives, a few mile away from the city and rested. We grab a fast coffee and went to Camden Town – where the hipsters shop.

I couldn’t help but check out what everyone was wearing.

Suddenly I was more intrigued by the people than the buildings. They were far more interesting.

We made our way down to the fancy part of the city Jermyn Street and had high tea! It was great drinking our lovely drinks and talking about life, love and God. We encouraged one another and shared what God was doing in both of our lives. Sam and I went to Bible College together in 2006 and both studied TV and Media. We laughed and talked about how the next time we see each other both of us would probably be married with children.

As we made our way to meet up with another college friend, we stop by an alley full of great bookshops. When I saw my college friend Sarah, I was over joyed. I felt like we were in Sydney. I never got a chance to really hear her story because we were so busy with college life so it was great to sit down and finally get to know each other.

Day 6:

My last full day in London. We took it easy and visited the beautiful London Observatory. The large green lawn was so beautiful, taking a photo didn’t do it justice.You could see the full city from the top view. It was relaxing to watch the city stand still.

When we were waiting for the subway we were told that our train would be delay since someone was on the train tracks. I guess its a common thing for people to kill themselves by jumping in front of a train.

I couldn’t help but wonder who it was and why did they want to end it. This is such a great place to live, but I guess even in the greatest city in the world, we can feel lonely. We took a taxi instead.

At Soho there were record stores on every corner, cafe’s, and vintage stores. This city was made for me!

Day 7: Airport – Home.

I used every hour and minute to listen to see what this adventure was saying to me. Sam is working at a five star hotel, living in London, Sarah is working hard at her job and volunteering at church, the people I sat and talked with are in the middle of pursuing their dreams. It made me realized that no one has it all figured out. In this season of mine where I am taking a step of faith, traveling and spending time with people. I realized how blessed I am to do this.

While in the hotel we watched, “Dan in Real Life” and the ending line of the movie sum it up for me, “Don’t plan life, plan to be surprise.”

May Film Live On

So for the past month, I’ve been doing this independent thing. I do a few photoshoots here and there and with free time I go outside and play.

I was in disparate need to shoot film. I hadn’t done it in a while. My friend Hector and I went across the field by his house to take some photos. When we were walking I couldn’t help but feel peaceful. I told him the feeling of being outside at the end of the day reminded me of my childhood. “When I was a little girl I played with the neighbor boy in his grandpa’s junk yard, this kinda feels like this. ” I told him to stand still so I can take some pictures, but as any boy, he kept moving. haha.

There is something pure about film, it capture the purity of life.