Nicole Schmitt - Collecting Rocks
I’ve made an EXTREME hobby of travel, some might even say it takes precedent over owning my business. I grew up in a household where travel was valued above almost anything else. As a young child I spent months at a time backpacking abroad with my parents: a summer in India, adventures in Egypt, Greece, France...the list goes on. And as a family tradition it continues to this day, now coordinating my own journeys to intersect with my Father’s in Southeast Asia, and Mexico.
You may be thinking “well if you are from New Orleans, don’t you already have an abundance of culture and diversity at your doorstep?” and the answer is yes. But travel was a way for my family to elevate and expand those concepts. And so while I do feel fortunate to live in what is truly one of the most influential cities in the world, and by far the most unique in this country, I’ll always want more. I long to be around people unlike myself. I want to struggle to make conversation with my limited foreign language skills and hilarious miming abilities. I like the excitement of being thrusted into a new, complicated, and mysterious place. For me, the challenge of travel, of navigating in and around cultures I’ve never seen before is what exhilarates me.
I respect that some people are more comfortable closer to home, I don’t understand it, but I respect it. I personally feel that traveling is the most invaluable experience you can give to yourself. It makes me more patient, more creative, more thoughtful, more zen. Without it I know I’d be lost both personally and professionally. I feel that life would lack shine.
I’ve looked through my photos to maybe find a common theme or statement to share. It’s actually way more difficult than I thought. Of course, I have food photos, and landscape photos and animal photos, but the more I looked at all my pictures from faraway lands the more I was reminded of what it is that I seem to always be looking at. It may not be apparent to anyone else but me, but so often I am enamored with the sky. I love how clouds look different in different places, sometimes they are fluffy, sometimes gray, sometimes non existent. I’m comforted by the thought that I’m looking up at the same sky I always do, but I’m able to see it in a different light cast by where in this big world I am.
Below are some of my sky photos and I'm excited to share these perspectives with you!
Photo 1: Wat at Sunset: There is no shortage of ornate, hand built, beautiful Wats in Chiang Mai. This photo was taken at the one closest to our hotel just before sunset. This sky reminds me so much of New Orleans sunsets, it was comforting being on the other side of the globe and seeing something so familiar.
Photo 2: View outside the Plan: Clearly i love clouds, as exhibited by this seemingly nondescript picture of them, taken over the atlantic ocean near the UK.
Photo 3: Palm Trees: No one seems to know that Barcelona is not just home to incredible architecture, culture and food. What makes this city perfect is that it also has a beautiful beach in the city!
Photo 4: Horses: This is my most recent shot taken in the Atcama desert of Chile. We had taken an old Inca trail up the side of this mountain and arrived on this plateau after about an hour. The view was of endless desert, it was very humbling.
Photo 5: Single Sign: Taken in Santorini, Greece, one of my favorite places in the whole world. This photo was shot on our 2 hour hike between the towns of Imerovigli and Oia on a precarious "walking" trail on the side of this narrow island.