Destination Wedding Photographers – Caroline's Collective » Destination Wedding Photographers with a passion for love, life and adventure.

Category Archives: Personal Travel

I have always had the desire to see and experience the world as much as I possibly can in this lifetime. I will always love my home base of Austin, TX but I will continue to seek new adventures with work and pleasure around the world. I am so lucky to be able to do what I love as a living but also believe that anyone can make it happen who really wants it. Feel free to follow my adventures on this travel blog with my posts about my experiences, food, as well as photos taken with whatever camera I had on me at that moment.

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”
― Jack Kerouac

Since I was a child I always had a desire to see the world and experience new things in life. I’m not sure what exactly I can attribute this desire to, maybe the 20 years worth of National Geographic magazines in the living room or the fact that my father was a military brat. Over the last 6 years of being a full time wedding photographer my tolerance for being home in Austin has grown to be less and less. (For the record, as I have mentioned in other places, Austin will always be my home base, my biased opinion says it’s the best city ever.) However, when I am home for more than a few weeks I have an undeniable urge to set forth on the road to experience new places. Initially we wanted to move to Amsterdam but the visas and working permits were more confusing and complicated than we had anticipated. So instead, I had planned to go on a pretty long road trip this coming summer, camping in some of the most beautiful & popular places in the U.S.; it was something on an equally grand & exciting scale but more feasible. One week ago, Jona & Jerry of Forever Photography approached me about setting forth on the road trip together & teaching along the way. It did not take much convincing. It felt right to take on an adventure with two people that I adore to teach and travel – two of my favorite things in this world with two of my favorite people. So here we are, just one week later with an itinerary, contacting models, setting up dinners, & planning on putting on one amazing traveling workshop for portrait & wedding photographers. Jona & Jerry will be purchasing a 5th wheel to accommodate the trip with intentions of traveling in it for a year. We know that this is going to be one hell of an intense, amazing, life-changing experience, and we could not be more exciting about the journey.

While Jerry will be organizing many of the logistics of the workshop, Jona & I will be working towards creating customized lessons for every location based on the personal needs of the students that sign up. We will teach the lesson at a local wedding venue, shoot a model, have dinner, then drive to utilize the beautiful near by scenery of the epic locations we are touring with a bride and groom model. You can read more information here. 

Sign up for the workshop by clicking on the location you’d like on the map below.

traveling photography workshop

I am writing this blog post a bit late, 9 months late, so excuse my brevity for this particular country – it deserves more words than I can give it at the moment.

I have now spent over a month in Florence alone, Italy is simply an enchanting country and often times the only country in Europe that people want to visit more than once. My personal opinion, in comparing European countries, it has more bang for your buck (unfortunately I do not mean that in the financial sense). It has a lot to offer, beautiful beaches, delicious food, amazing history, nice people, stylish fashion, scenic landscapes, and of course amazing and cheap wine! We mainly visited on this trip for a wedding in Sorrento but I’m glad that we were finally able to visit a different part of the country that we may have never visited otherwise. I’m not going to lie, my favorite part of Sorrento was the lemons and the tomatoes, beyond amazing.

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The caprese in Italy is simply amazing, I almost ordered it at every single meal.

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This is the best sandwich place in the world. Fresh ingredients, made to order, hidden behind the flea market on a side street in Florence. It does not get any better than this, we ate here 3 times in 5 days. Bondi Focaccine.

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My birthday dinner from Borgo Santi Apostoli in Florence.

 

We took a 2.5 hour train from Amsterdam to Paris. We had in an amazing time in France mainly due to being with good friends and eating good food. We spent a few days in Paris with an amazing photographer friend, Stacy Reeves, and her husband. She showed us some of the best spots in town to eat which is really my favorite thing to do in another country. It was surprisingly hot in Paris while we were there, it never gets as hot as Texas can but without AC every where it starts to feel as hot as Texas! After Paris, we took the 5 hour train down to Nice where us and some other friends from Texas spent 6 days relaxing on the sunny, rocky, topless beaches. We drank wine, ate dried sausage, and took a side trip to Monaco. With the exception of the first 3, all of these were shot with my iphone:)

 

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Monaco

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Monaco

au petit sud oest duck dinner and dessert

Duck dinner from au petit sud oest with a sampling of creme brulee. The best duck we have ever had, it fell right off the bone.cafe de musees dinner

Dinner from cafe de musees.

french desserts

Ahhh the desserts of France!! The French know their desserts! To the left is something I never would have ordered but I’m so glad Stacy did. It is a ____, like a fluffy whipped milk in a sweet cream. The top right is the popular grenata, similar to a slushy but without the artificial flavor. Last but not least, macaroons. The best flavors and combinations, so amazing, definitely one of my favorite desserts.

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Dinner from L’ecole de Nice.

na yucca dinner in nice france

Our last dinner in France from Ma Yucca. There seem to be a lot of restaurants in Nice with a Japanese influence. Ma Yucca seemed to have the best ratings on Trip Advisor and it did not disappoint!

I walked off the plane on July 1st lost, tired, and delirious from the 8 hour red eye flight from Houston to Amsterdam. I have not traveled alone since Ben & I have been together (February 2009 to be exact). I put my 40 lbs gear bag above the seat myself and I tried not to lean my head on the shoulder of snoring stranger next to me. I found my way to my new apartment where I would be living in Amsterdam for 11 days sans husband; only after standing in the airport for 30 minutes soaking up the wifi to feel connected to people again. It was unusual to feel so alone at first. After arriving to my tiny Amsterdam apartment above a cheese and deli shop around 9am the bed was screaming my name. It’s one thing to adjust to jet lag and to a new time zone with people influencing you to get out of the house but when you’re alone, it’s a lost battle, so I succumbed to a three hour nap.

I could needlessly walk this blog post through every event of my trip but have found the idea of that to be boring; since most of what I experienced on my trip was internal and indescribable in many senses. In short. I met new people, my mind has been opened and has grown, my brain was tested and tried, I gained my identity back, & I found myself amongst a sea of locals and tourists in one of the craziest and best cities in the world, Amsterdam.

Bikes, cheese, green light district, red light district, dykes, apple pie, Heineken, herring, pea soup, bitterbolen, french fries with mayo, koffie & the color orange. An amazing culture and one that is truly unique and its’ own.

I spent 18 days total in the city and would be content if I never had to leave. Most of this time was spent traveling alone although 8 of those days I was busy taking a Dutch language intensive course in an attempt to be able to speak the language some day. Learning another language has helped me understand my heritage and has massaged my brain. My brain was forced to work in ways that it has, dare I say, never worked before. I appreciate learning something not photography related for once after being out of school for 5 years.

I cannot recommend traveling by yourself enough, especially to someone who hasn’t quite figured everything out yet. In that time I have also fallen in love with the country that my grandparents were born in and I have grown to love my independence as well as my husband more than ever.

During our recent travels we have had a lot of people tell us how lucky we are to be doing what we do and how they only wish they could do the same. Yes, we are blessed, truly, but if you want to go see the world there are many ways to make it happen. So my best advice is to just DO IT!

Here are some random outtakes from our trip with descriptions below them. I did not take many photos so some of these were taken with my iphone. “The best camera you have is the one you have on you.”

If you’d like to read about the food we ate on our trip head on over to this blog post on our new Amsterdam centric blog.

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Zaanse Schans
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Zaanse Schans
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Zaanse Schans
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Conor Oberst at the Paradiso
photos-of-amsterdam (7 of 10) Rijksmuseum

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View from the Hilton Sky Lounge
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photos-of-amsterdam (5 of 10) My dutch language classmates.