I was overlooking the North Pacific Ocean in Hawaii when it suddenly struck me: shouldn’t going somewhere new really be about connecting with nature and discovering everything our Earth has to offer?
At the time, this fleeting thought was situational — I had been living in Los Angeles and was awestruck by metropolises; big cities inspired me and crowds energised me. I had always felt an appreciation for nature, but never enough to actively seek it in the world. Travel was always about heading to the next big city and conquering it.
The funny thing about our relationship with nature is that we think ‘loving it’ is the ultimate bond, as though we are the observer and nature the performer. When in reality, we’ve been connected all along.
I never forgot the sensation of feeling in tune with the ocean in Hawaii. I’ve let this intuition guide me in my travels and it has given me a strong sense of identity and purpose.
Everyone has their own journey on how they experience the world, and these are some special moments that are foundational in my experience so far. I hope they inspire your travels.
The moving painting in Tuscany, ItalyI vividly remember this one particular night that we spent at a friend’s house on the coast of Tuscany. We danced on the beach under the moonlight, carefree and anchored in the present moment. That night was the first time I felt the crack of dawn. I’m sure I’d experienced daybreak before, but that night was electric.
I felt everything: I watched every inch of the moon retreating into the light of the sun, the subtle hues of midnight violet turning into deep amber, the tides of the Tyrrhenian sea moving back, the sand under my hands getting moist and, out of the light a brighter sun emerging. It was like a moving painting and at that moment, I went from loving nature to becoming one with it.
Ecological awakening in Tulum, MexicoI visited Tulum during the off-season (it becomes a party hub in January). I was staying at Habitas, a sustainable sanctuary nestled between the jungle and the Caribbean sea, famous among bohemian and nomadic travelers to the island. The eco-credentials of Habitas and the wellness program — from daily yoga to Mayan clay and cacao ceremonies — made me realise that we are happiest when we live in harmony with the planet, especially when nature takes over.
This sanctuary had minimal construction, everything was locally sourced, and its soothing vibration facilitated my awakening and connection with the environment. The overall vibe of the community and the values they discussed — from waste to wellness— stirred my interest in eco-living. Now, I’m always finding ways to reduce my ecological footprint and it has become my lifestyle.
Cosmic connections in Cuzco, PeruI stayed at a spiritual center in the Sacred Valley region in Peru and met a fascinating man from a lineage of healers. We spoke about the spiritual practices of the Inca civilization (circa. 1545). One of the practices I learnt was about protecting my energy from negativity. I felt this was very applicable to my reality because a lot of people confide their problems and anxieties in me. Over time, I feel this can burden you and eat away at your own energy, so it’s very important to protect yourself.
I learned that according to the Incas, movement of the body and of the breath can help unburden this load and replenish your energy. The healer was chanting in Quechua and told me to take fast breaths; suddenly, there came a time when I felt transcendent and all my buried emotions and burdens came pouring through me. I felt lighter, happier and in alignment with the cosmos as he explained. That feeling of lightness was unlike anything I’d experienced.
Intuition is a feeling that emerges outside logical reasoning. In Hawaii, it started as a connection to the ocean and now it is integral in my decision making. This intuition has helped me rediscover the earth and myself — as well as the Amazon rainforest, which was a challenging solo experience I'll write about next.