my kind of posse

I can never leave the house without some exotic reminder that the world I live in, is much larger than my local radius. Some days, it's in the form of a Balinese pendant I dug up at an Indonesian market, or perhaps, my most prized possession: a beautiful Kenyan Masai necklace which was given to me as a heartfelt Christmas gift. And sometimes, I can't resist but to mix it up: a colorful Guatemalan belt that screams color from my hips, as a turquoise Native American bracelet circles my wrist. I am truly happiest when I feel a lure from faraway lands that are not always within reach.

So it was only natural, that when my mother came back from France one summer, wearing all sorts of intricate jewelry adorned with gorgeous antique ethnic pendants, I went sort of mad for it all. Not only were the necklaces and bracelets and earrings she was newly sporting absolutely my style, but none other than my aunt had been stringing them together, as a side project to her busy interior design and architecture firm. Turns out that a combo of : an ongoing passion for jewelry, 6 years in Ecuador during her twenties, a love affair with North and Western Africa, and a constant need to travel due to business (from Jordan and Saudi to London and Honk Kong) had made her quite the expert in nomadic-like treasures. And so, though it could have been predicted, but quite unexpectedly, she started making jewelry based on a certain instinct - mixing modern city-like elements, with antique pendants reminiscent of the old-world charm of destinations such as Morocco.
As anticipated, the worldly results dazzled us all.

Each piece seemed to retain some sort of ancient magic from all of the civilizations she had deeply admired, which in turn, you couldn't help but admire- and ultimately, that was what made you fall in love with her designs. The pendants which captivated me most, and still do so to this day, were crafted by the Kuchi Tribe.

The Kuchi Tribe are a nomadic people, whose original traveling grounds were the mountains of Afghanistan. Due to the ongoing war in their country and the many natural disasters, such as floods, that have stricken their land, the nomads have almost all been displaced greatly reducing their numbers. A people that typically raises goats and sheeps as to exchange their dairy products for fruits and vegetables, the Kuchi nomads are not only impressive farmers, but also incredibly talented at the craftswork I was introduced to, all those years ago, dangling from one of my aunt's exquisite creations.

But not one more descriptive word from me, as I think the ethnic art speaks for itself:



raise the roof

There is an army of at least twenty individuals on the roof of my childhood Florida home. When I say an army, I couldn't be using the term less lightly. The sounds coming from above my head, are literally the sounds of a war. These men VS my South Florida roof. Thankfully, being somewhat of an early bird, I was able to anticipate the thunderous noise of these twenty relentless construction workers, as they battle the hurricane damages of a decade. Yet, all around me, every artifact my parents have ever picked up on one of their travels is holding on for dear life.

I, on the other hand, am holding on for dear sanity. In the past ten minutes, my idealized view on roofs has shattered as violently as the very tiles these men are destroying. At the moment, that silly, romantic childhood fantasy of sitting up on that terracotta slant, with a first love, passing a sneaky cigarette back and forth while staring longingly at Gemini's constellation, has been crushed to pieces.

All I can think is this: If only I didn't have a roof. At this very moment, my ears would ring peacefully with the sound of the Atlantic, and this abundant Florida sunshine would turn the marble floors into art.

A roof. Who needs a roof? Or even walls, for that matter.

It's not as wacky, or childish a thought as you may think, either. Funnily enough, Conde Nast Traveler's August 2010 spread was a direct extension of these fresh thoughts of mine. The spread, entitled Sleeping With the... Stars, documents the notion which has swept elite tourism around the globe: that roofs, in certain optimal places, are an unfortunate barricade to the beauty all around us.

These very pricey but star-lit dwellings have done away with both of my current archenemies. The "hotel rooms" prove that in some cases, less really can be more, and with their lack of a a roof or walls, recreate an intimate bond between the luxury traveler and stunning nature.

I have highlighted my favorite four, in the hopes that though there may not be the sounds of an apocalypse as a side to your eggs and toast this morning; maybe you too, will see the absolute excellence in sometimes raising the roof.



in no straight line

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Barely unpacked from my escapade to France this winter, and I'm already on to warmer territories. Panama is calling my name, thanks to long-time excellent friend Sacha. Having never ventured to Central America, I can hardly sleep at night due to constant excitement at the thought of being somewhere completely virgin to me.

Fittingly, whilst perusing through one of my most favorite vintage shops yesterday, I encountered a very Life Aquatic looking underwater camera. Not digital, but film, it has officially been chosen as my ultimate sidekick for Friday's upcoming trip.

My summer wardrobe is rejoicing; my feet are already dancing onwards; I feel the utter thrill of a new adventure coming my way. A familiar thrill, which reminds me that "travel for travel's sake" (as Robertson so aptly wrote,) is the very fuel to my happiest days.

Hasta luego, amigos.