true life: "traveling" as a blogger

the fact that i get to travel as a part of my job will forever be surreal to me. i get the opportunities to experience incredible sights and places because of my blogging and photography that i otherwise would not have seen - and many times, i have my best friends right by my side. but more often than not, followers just see the final photo that many times takes hours and hours of preparation and post-production giving the illusion that traveling as a blogger is glamorous. and don’t get me wrong, i would not be doing this if i didn’t have fun and love it 110% but i think people often forget that this is a job and when i’m traveling, i am working. i will say, i too sometimes will scroll through instagram and come across the perfect photo with the best lighting, location, and corresponding outfit that sometimes i assume it was all by coincidence. and granted sometimes that does happen, but more often than not, photos and posts have so much more care and attention involved in them that the final image will never be able to show. with that in mind, i wanted to go a little more in-depth and share what went into this shoot and the crazy packed day that followed.

preparations for this shoot started about a week or so before amanda and i left for los angeles a few months ago. we remotely scouted locations through instagram and pinterest and sent them back and forth to each other until we agreed on a final list. because our trip coincidentally coincided with california’s poppy super bloom, we knew that these were going to be a must-see while we were there (while also being respectful of the poppies and the land so please don’t @ me). the entire morning before this shoot, we spent our time planning out logistics. we googled how long it would take to drive out there, where we should park, what the crowds were going to be like, what time we should get there, etc. and because we were adventuring elsewhere for the rest of the day, we had to plan our route for those other locations.

after extensive research, we finally had a plan together. because the sun was set to rise at around 6:45am, we decided to leave at 4:30am. yeah, that was not fun. we then drove an hour and a half to where the trail began. we thankfully were able to get a parking spot relatively close but even when we arrived at 6:15, there were still quite a few people there! with my camera gear in tow, amanda and i then spent the next few hours hiking. yes, pure hiking. thankfully i had the foresight to bring comfy clothes for the hiking portion but because this dress was linen, i literally carried my dress like a baby for the duration to avoid any wrinkling..all while carrying 30 pounds of camera gear on my back. i was hot, tired, and definitely not wearing the right shoes. but i honestly would say that it was worth it! and the pictures truly don’t even do it justice!

so most people probably would have gotten in their car, gone home, and had a leisurely lunch at this point, right? well our day was just getting started. after hopping in the car, we began the hour drive over to palm springs, because, duh! we were starving by the time we got to the area (neither of us had an breakfast) so we went and had lunch at the ace hotel before changing looks and heading out from there. after we literally inhaled our food, i headed to the bathroom to change and re-straighten my hair because let’s be honest, hiking for 4 hours while wearing a hat isn’t really an ideal situation for my hair. women were coming in and out of this public restroom thinking that i was crazy but i had to do what i had to do… #content amirite!??

amanda and i shot a few looks in palm springs while we were there: her’s at the ace hotel, and mine at the saguaro (post to come later) because we have verrrrry different aesthetics. we also drove around a bit to stalk the incredible mid-century architecture and snap some photos. and it was at that moment i decided that i need to have a house there at some point in my life. still think we are done at this point? nope!

from palm springs, we trekked to joshua tree and spent the remainder of the day there. we drove around the massive national park and were just in awe of the landscape! we stayed to watch the sun set (and to this day it was one of the most breathtaking sunsets i’ve ever seen) and i quickly brought myself down to reality and realized we still had to drive all the way back to los angeles…send help. it was probably the most exhausted i have ever been - and yes, i’m going to include that one time i pulled an all nighter in college for my econ exam. it was the longest 3-hour drive i have ever made but we made in back right before 11pm.

so to quickly recap, amanda and i worked from 4am to 11pm that day and when i say work, i truly mean work. and we still hadn’t even uploaded or edited any of the photos. i obviously was going to save all post-production for another day as i could barely keep my eyes open when we got home (i don’t even think i instastoried that day) but it was all worth it in the end. i’m just thankful amanda was also a huge trooper that day! so just remember, traveling is not vacationing. and even though the final image on instagram looks simple and pretty, behind that photo is hours of planning, hard work, and a really tired blogger and her friend.

dress: gal meets glam collection
shoes: loeffler randall
hat: gucci
earrings: oscar de la renta
bracelets: cartier
bag: mango
sunglasses: dolce & gabbana