Well hello there. Sharing some travel pics from a trip across the lake. This is the little village of Yvoire. A quick 20 minute ferry crossing from Nyon on the Swiss border of Lake Geneva. Why I love it? So so darling!! An easy escape for lunch and coffee and to pick up a new Panama woven hat for summer. xo
Hello Everyone. Hope the start of your new year is going ok despite all of the change and uncertainty happening all around the world. This blog is not a place to discuss politics at all but I feel compelled to acknowledge things at least before I can even write another word or snap another picture.
Along with a few of my personal favourite 2017 new year resolutions, like carrying my camera with me everywhere, I am excited to make a fresh start for my blog, my creative journal, my behind the scenes, where I hope to continue to share my photography journey with you. So here goes...
Thought I'd start sharing more pics of where I live in Switzerland. Some of you have asked what's it like and I would love to show you the views and share what I've been up to out here. But wait, first here's a bit of background for those who may be just joining me on here. Originally from California, I have been living abroad now for 17 years!! Oh wow... when I say that out loud, I just can't believe it but it's true : / I think the term is called "expatriate" as we are not immigrants nor migrants. We have not given up our home citizenship or passports with intent to seek another citizenship nor are we fleeing war or economic hardships. We follow employment with visas through my husbands career in advertising and we have lived and worked in South East Asia and Europe for most of this time. I am American and my husband is British and we have raised three children moving around like this. I think the term for my children is "third culture kids" as they were born from two different cultures in addition to growing up in a third different culture. Confused yet? I'm not sure how to explain it, our life just worked out like this. It's been up and down and amazing and difficult just like any other life. The photographs above are from in and around our current little rented house in a small town on Lake Geneva in the French speaking part of Switzerland. We are surrounded by forest, lake and mountains, it's super lovely and quiet and I feel very lucky to be here. Hope you enjoy the pictures.
Happy January everyone. Stay smart and hopeful and hang tough! x
Here is what I found in Hawaii..... retro! I used to live on the island of Oahu for a while when I was a kid. I went to King Kamehameha elementary school and lived the charmed life of a disheveled little beach kid with tangled salty hair, tanned and barefoot. I made a short visit back a couple of weeks ago and my memories floored me. Mostly as a special place with my family but also that unique Hawaiian style, the vintage flair, the island life and that insane pacific ocean beauty, I was overcome with emotion and nostalgia. It had been 19 years since I was last here and it's a place that welcomes you home like an old friend. Have you been? You should go! It's magical. I didn't have a chance to take as many photos as I would have liked but here's a few and perhaps you can see that retro vibe I'm talking about. Waikiki's 1950s beach front hotels, surf culture and kitsch tiki bars.... take me back! Aloha.
Hello there. Here is part 2 of our road trip to Southern France last summer. (Find part 1 here in case you missed it). Also sharing some of my pictures above of little details that I found along the way. Now as summer approaches again, I am again thinking up new and brilliant ways to travel in style on a budget for a family vacation. Deciding on a location is the first task in planning and choosing somewhere that is not too far away makes everything so much easier and more accessible. There is always something to explore and enjoy wherever you are and many times we don't need to travel very far at all. Lucky us, France is close by nowadays and for this trip we chose destinations that were off the beaten track and not the main touring areas. We drove to France from Switzerland and reached the Provence region in about 6 hours. After spending a few days in Nimes, we then continued on to the coast stopping in Nice for a few nights. There we spent our days at a beautiful coved beach, called Cap d'Ail, located just south of Nice near to the border with Monaco. It's like a secret little beach with a steep access from the village above, where you can swim all day in the turquoise water of the Med, have lunch at the beach club, rent a boat or paddle boards. It's very naturally idyllic and super fun for the kids. The only thing we did in the actual city of Nice was visit the Matisse and Chagall museums. Located right near to each other within walking distance and a must for art lovers. That would be me! Two of my favourite painters in one go, I could not pass it up. I sort of dragged the family up there for a couple of hours and although not as keen on museums as me they really did enjoy it too. The art is undeniably dazzling and the cafe at the Chagall museum is super cute and a good place to grab a bite at the end of your visit.
From Nice we headed back up North stopping in the mountain region above Provence for a few days before driving home. We stayed in a tiny village nestled into the rocky slopes of Roquesteron. This place was amazingly charming and remote. Again we scored on airbnb accommodation with a beautifully restored traditional stone maison. The house had a rooftop terrace which overlooked the valley and we would have our dinners up there each night and watch the sunset. This place was seriously chilled out. There was a really great river that we could walk down to and swim and lay in the sun. It was stunning and very outdoorsy like a national park all to ourselves. The village was very quaint with one bakery and one little market and a tobac or cafe where you could get a beer, a coffee or an ice cream. We hit the bakery each morning for fresh warm baguettes and bought our groceries from the little shop and did all our own cooking with fresh local produce and ingredients. We hardly spent anything and yet it all felt super luxurious. There was no television and we were pretty much switched off digitally. At first we thought that that might bum the kids out, especially the 'teenagers' but they didn't mind at all. They enjoyed being outside at the river all day and in the evenings we listened to music, played cards and actually did the most challenging jigsaw puzzle ever, things we just rarely get to do together anymore, it was cool family fare. Even had a chance to read a book! Hope you enjoy my little travelogue and that you might get some ideas for your next family vacay. Happy trails!
(Photography by Tanya Moss)
Summer break is right around the corner and we're dreaming up our next getaway. Maybe you are too? Let's face it, travelling with kids gets expensive quickly and it's easy to lose the style and leisure you might have imagined for your holiday in favour of keeping costs low end and subsequently lack luster. An affordable family holiday takes some strategy to organise but with careful planning, attention to detail and a bit of creativity, style need not be compromised. Ok, ok! Yes, of course, living in Europe right now we feel super lucky to be so close to so many amazing destinations and we are determined to see as much as we can. However, like anywhere else, planning a trip is still a challenge and a cost. I like to keep our trips simple but classy, staying off the beaten track and making sure that there is something for everyone. Whether it's a long weekend or a two week vacation, shoestring, camping, road trip or boutique hotel- family travel can be done with plenty of panache! Here are some pics from our road trip last summer to the South of France. We took our Jeep, piled in with pillows, snacks and a thermos of coffee and drove from Switzerland about 6 hours to Provence region in Southern France. Pay attention to details when choosing where to stay. We booked cool, interesting and reasonable lodging through Airbnb. Renting an apartment instead of a hotel worked really well for us as a family of 5 and cuts cost as you are able to shop locally and cook some meals from a proper kitchen. I scoured the Airbnb listings in search of properties with good design and practicality within our budget. We lucked out with two beautiful rentals on this trip. Our first stop was the Roman town of Nimes, with it's charming old town, markets and the best preserved Roman amphitheatre. From Nimes we took day trips through Provence to Avingnon and the Pont du Gard, where we swam in the river beneath the amazing ancient aqueduct. Just hanging at the river all day was a highlight for my kids which cost nothing. We brought our own picnic, swam, climbed olive trees and soaked up the sunshine and the views. We checked out a load of ancient Roman ruins in the region and visited the small town of Saint Remy, famed for Vincent Van Gogh's stay there and where two of his important paintings are from: 'A Starry Night' and 'Self Portrait'. Most of the sights were free or cost very little to enter being heritage sites. Cafes, ice cream and wine as well as shopping at the local markets for our amazing picnics were all inexpensive and less than what we would have been spending at home. As a photographer, making photo albums of our trips is one of my favourite creative outlets. It's true that my camera is one of the first things I pack! I love to photograph and document our travels in a way that conveys all the design and details that we observed. Looking back on our photo albums instantly takes you back to the place emotionally. How about you? What is your travel style? Do you have any favourite destinations or tips for traveling with the family? Stay tuned for Part 2 of this travel post where we make our way to the Cote d'Azur and then back up to the mountain village of Roquesteron above the Mediterranean sea.
(Photography by Tanya Moss)