Currently Viewing Posts about : travel

Dreams of Sheep
Reves de Moutons and Dreaming BIG

“If the life you dream of living is one you know you can accomplish, then you need to dream bigger.” I don’t know where I got this quote or who said it, but I wrote it on the whiteboard in our studio last week after coming home from a trip to Paso Robles. This past November, our friends, Evan and Kristy, sold or stored everything they owned and moved from San Diego to a teeny apartment in Paso Robles. Soon after, they purchased a ten acre farm, moved into their new home, painted and furnished every single room, bought a…

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A Brand New Happy Place + Photos at Versailles

Remember our trip to Paris? The poetry? The red awning? The Ray Charles cassette tapes? I do. I deeply do. It was one of those ‘life moments’ – one that rises to the top of the memories pile. Like when the doctor asks you to go to your happy place to keep you calm while he sticks a needle in your arm. Between riding bikes through Lucca in Italy, waking up in a mountain range in New Zealand, and reading poetry in Paris, I have a few happy places to pull from whenever necessary. “No sweat doc,” I say as I figuratively…

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Poetry, Ray Charles, and the Bastille
The Youngrens in Paris

I plopped down on the couch in the living room while our friend David sat on the floor next to the fireplace and his buddy Alex gazed out the window overlooking the Place de la Bastille and slowly sipped his red wine, one hand in his pocket. Jeff and David’s wife Nancy sat on the futon. Our half full wine glasses were either in our hands or sitting on a coffeetable near us. All of them reflected the warm rosy light that spilled from the table lamp in the corner that was covered in a red lampshade. It washed the…

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Helipad Engagement plus the City of Lights
Sneak Peeks

Today just couldn’t get here fast enough because there’s so much goodness coming up on the bloggy-blog over the next few weeks. Over the weekend, I couldn’t help but think, “You know, this Superbowl is pretty rad, but I just can’t wait for Monday to get here!” The joys of running your own business – Monday is the best day of the week. In fact, when the alarm went off this morning (yes, even though I work from home, the alarm is still VERY necessary) I threw myself sideways out of bed, scrubbed my teeth, threw on my favorite jeggings (jeans…

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Facials, Antarctica, and Sheep, Sheep, Sheep
New Zealand Adventures, Part Two

I have been sitting on pins and needles in excitement to share these images from the second half of our trip to New Zealand because they are not the kinds of images that I expected to come home with from such a beautiful mountainous country. Most of these images today are from the Catlins, the southern-most portion of the south island where the vast majority of the sheep farmers live and work. This area is normally passed up by tourists because it’s a little out of the way from the typical sights (and if you’re not into sheep you definitely…

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Friendship, Oatmeal Packets, & Roadtrips
New Zealand Adventures, Part One

New Zealand was the perfect mix of old and new for me. It was beautiful and mystical and romantical and unbelievable. It was Jeff, myself, and four of our close friends sleeping and living in an RV together for two weeks as we drove around the south island which was the perfect recipe for friendship disaster, but it was also the perfect circumstance to learn that us six friends all fit together seamlessly. There was absolutely no hint of drama, no negative vibes, nothing. Our two weeks of vacationing in our confined mobile space was smoother than The Doobie Brothers….

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One Last Adventure for 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that 2012 has been a wonderful and blessed year for you and that 2013 is everything you could ever imagine and more. For us, 2012 was the year that we chose to do it all. We chose to teach workshops, travel the globe, grow our business and launch new ones. In fact, I would describe this year as our ‘now or never’ year. This was our opportunity to act on those dreams that had been dancing in our minds but never had the chance to grow. So we did. We acted on them. And it…

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Adventures: El Salvador, New Zealand, and …?

Oh my goodness dear bloggy-blog, our adventures have been a bit unbelievable as of lates. These past five months have been one long stream of flights, hotels, rental cars, on-the-go food and quick stops home to take a breath and dive right back into the next airport. We’ve been traveling hard since August, but since the end of October, we’ve been in Vancouver, Seattle, El Salvador, and New Zealand with a grand total of one week to be home in San Diego in the midst of all of that madness. And you know what has been sooooo great about this most…

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More Images from Nicaragua

Jeff and I arrived home from our week in Nicaragua at 2:00am on Monday morning and didn’t wake up until noon. At about ten in the morning, I woke up bleary-eyed and drooling with Gracie sprawled across my chest, pinning me down with her shocking ability to multiply her body weight to keep me from disturbing her comfy perch. She opened one lazy eye at me and then went back to snoring. I looked over at Jeff and asked, “Wear our pajamas to work day?” He grunted and nodded. And then we fell back asleep. Eventually we pulled ourselves out…

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The TOMs Tan Club

I used to be SO PROUD of my flip-flop tan lines on my feet – two white lines cutting through my super dark feet from wearing my Rainbow sandals everyday in the California heat. Those tans lines are the mark of a true San Diegan – always in the sun, never with closed toe shoes. And if you know anything about me by now, my mission in life is to actually fit in and not be that freakishly tall farm chick fearfully scanning the room from her perch in the corner. I’m still working on that… After the first day of wearing…

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Strikes, Gridlock, Chickens, and Tacos
Welcome to Nicaragua

Jeff and I landed in the capital of Nicaragua on Tuesday at noon after a sleepless red eye flight to Atlanta on Monday night. Blurry-eyed and hungry, we were greeted by our driver from the non-profit we’re working for with the news that the highway to Matagalpa (our final destination) had been shut down due to worker strikes. “We may or may not get through, but we’ll see.” We ran into the strikers’ roadblock about an hour into the should-be-two-hour drive. A policeman casually pointed to a dirt road off to the left and noted that the detour should only…

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We’re Off to Nicaragua PLUS a Giveaway Winner!

I was packing our suitcases yesterday when I suddenly realized that it’s been a year since our last international trip. Over the course of 2010 and 2011, we traveled a ton and got to visit 12 different countries for incredible destination weddings, non-profit shoots, and pure personal fun. We flew 100,000 beautiful miles around the globe to places like Thailand, Cambodia, Italy, Costa Rica, Australia, and beyond. But the last trip we took across borders was to St. Lucia last spring. We’ve been hopping around domestically on a regular basis, but I realized as I was stuffing Jeff’s socks into his favorite pair…

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Henri Nowen on The Greatest Trap in Our Lives

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left…

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They Steal Your Leather Boots Don’t They?

I’m a nester. A mole. I love to burrow into my comfortable, safe spaces that I create around me, knowing that I’m in control. Because when I’m in control, things will always be the same. And same is safe. But Jeff … well… Jeff has the confidence of a Honey Badger. He just don’t care. He has this relentless ocean of self-assurance that makes what little confidence I have look like one of those smelly puddles on the street next to the sidewalk – everybody avoids it and nobody wants to talk about what’s in it. We got these free…

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I’m a Bit Spoiled

Jeff and I were walking past Union Square in San Francisco the other day and I was checking my Instagram feed only to see a photo of our past bride and groom, Lizzy and Ipp, flying off to Manhattan to live for two months. I blurted out, “I wish we could live in New York for two months! That would be so cool…” Jeff stopped, gave me his “seriously?” look, and hopped on the cable car next to us so we could spend the day working from a Starbucks down in Fisherman’s Wharf. We’re in San Francisco for two weeks…

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I Always Wanted to be a Safety Monitor

Jeff and I are in San Francisco for two weeks. Why? To dream. Well, and to work our butts off. We’re not shooting much in the next few months, so we’re taking two weeks during our wedding off-season (January to March) to work on those projects that have taken a serious back burner status during the rest of the year. The kinds of projects that will be instrumental in moving our business toward that ‘this is what I want my life to look like someday’ dream. Right now, that point is just a hazy cloud, but these two weeks will…

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Lessons From Salt Fish and Fried Bananas

It was a plate mounded with beans and brown rice, a fried banana, a scoop of what looked like potato salad but turned out to be salt fish, two thin chicken drumsticks, and some sort of fruit that had the consistency of bread and tasted like a crumbly, half-cooked yam. I didn’t eat it.  Actually, I took one bite and slowly spit it back into my napkin when the shop owner wasn’t looking. I love traveling. There’s nothing like showing up hot and sweaty at a random roadside building that looks like it’s supposed to be a restaurant, asking for…

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Faces of St. Lucia

I’m not gonna lie – our week in St. Lucia was hot, humid, and exhausting. I haven’t sweat through so many t-shirts since working maintenance at summer camp with a group of lumberjacks. Chopping down trees baby. Oh yeah. But all of the heat and long hours while working with the Do Something World organization this last week in St. Lucia was totally worth it when it came to encountering new places and new people. So between jobs with the production team, Jeff decided to create some portraits of the people that we got to interact with during the week…

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One of My Favorites

Last week we were in St. Lucia with the production team for Do Something World, a non-profit organization that partners with local churches, businesses, and governments around the world to provide sustainable solutions to community issues. Basically, it empowers local churches and businesses to get out and do something for their community. It’s a pretty rad vision, and Jeff and I love that we can use our photography skills to help out a pretty amazing organization. You can find stories and images from the latest projects in St. Lucia on their Facebook page, and I posted a lot more images…

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What We Love: TOMS Shoes

I wrote about my first pair of TOMS shoes a few years ago here on the blog when they were shiny and new (and the polka dots were still purple), but after a few years of taking these things around the world, they’ve lost just a little bit of their, um, luster. In other words, they’re gross. And I need a new pair. Stat.   TOMS are my favorite kind of shoes to travel with. They weigh nothing, you can squish them into any suitcase or bag without worrying about ruining their shape, and they’re the perfect closed-toe option for…

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What We Love: Noise Canceling Headphones

Jeff and I are in San Francisco this week to hang out with some of our amazing couples for their engagement sessions, and being able to spend some time in one of our favorite cities reminds me just how much we love to travel. And since we do our fair share of traveling, one of our favorite travel accessories that we just can’t live without is our noise cancelling headphones. Jeff has the Bose Quiet Comfort and I have a pair of Sony MDR-NC60. Both are great, but I would say that the Bose are totally worth the investment. Both…

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Lessons from The Photog Retreat

What I learned on our seven day cruise to the Mexican Riviera while teaching and speaking to a small group of rad photographer on The Photog Retreat: I learned how to navigate a flight of stairs while riding a very large rocking ship on rough winter seas. I also learned that the rough seas can land you at the bottom of the stairs in a restaurant line of old ladies at a moment’s notice. I learned how to pose with an empty picture frame for a couple’s portrait. Well, to be more precise, THROUGH an empty picture frame. I learned…

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Mentor Sessions with The Youngrens

I simply cannot express how much fun we had on The Photog Retreat – since there were only 30 of us hanging out on a cruise ship for seven days, there were a whole lot of intimate and candid conversations that happened around lunches, dinners, fourth meals, and midnight snacks (we basically ate our way through the boat for a week. Just ask my bathroom scale). But the best part for Jeff and me was grabbing a cup of coffee and hanging out one on one during our mentor sessions with attendees. We get such a thrill out of hearing…

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Dates with Starbucks
(and why I smell like Coffee)

There has been a lot of emotional work happening around here at Casa de Youngren. I’ve been telling friends that this is the time of year when we get to dig into the very heart of our business and turn it upside down, reconfigure it over and over again, and put it all back together. But in this kind of business, I feel like I’m turning myself upside down, reconfiguring my insides, and putting everything back together again. It’s really intense, kind of painful, and crazy exciting. To help me process all of this intense introspective business work, I’ve been…

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We’re Off on The Photog Retreat!

You didn’t think The Youngrens could go THAT long without some travel did you?? After a few months of kickin’ it homebody style, Jeff and I are off on yet another travel adventure. For the next week, we’ll be on a Norwegian Cruise to the Mexican Riviera speaking at The Photog Retreat, a small photography workshop with ten speakers, twenty photographers, and whole lotta sunshine! WOO-to-the-HOO!! If you’re on the cruise with us, feel free to belly up next to the pool with me, slather on some SPF, and soak up some Mexico sun while Jeff hits up the shuffleboard…

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I Know What You’re Thinking

At the time of this posting, Jeff and I will be hootin’ and hollerin’ at this year’s WPPI. For those of you that don’t know what WPPI is, it’s an enormous conference in Las Vegas for wedding and portrait photographers. I totally know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking, ‘Seriously? They have a conference for everything these days!’ And you’re SO RIGHT. I was googling the other day for writing and blogging conferences, and I found a conference for people who blog about wine and cheese. Which would be the week after the conference for people who blog about…

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Kisses on the Grand Canal

In 2009, we celebrated in Venice. In 2010, we were traveling Southeast Asia. This year, we’re riding scooters around our neighborhood in San Diego. It never seems to matter where we are or what we’re doing. Valentine’s Day has always made me fall in love all over again. Hugs, Erin

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Jeff and Erin
Pebbly Beach, Australia

Well folks, we’re back! And we’ve got the second half of one of the coolest – if not most unique – engagement sessions straight out of the Land Down Under. If you had told me on the flight to Australia that I would not only see about twenty kangaroos on my trip but that I would get to sit and pet a bunch of them and then take engagement photos with them, I would have bet you my little bag of peanuts that you were crazy in the head. And you would have won. I have to say that when…

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Jeff and Erin
Sydney, Australia

It’s walks around the block or flights around the world. It’s trying that new Korean restaurant or enjoying the same old tacos at home that you love. It’s picking up Thai food from a stall in Bangkok, or grabbing a burger from around the corner. It’s driving along washed out dirt roads for an eternity just to watch the starry night in the middle of the Australian outback. And it’s about doing it together. Life is not just about falling madly in love, it’s about falling madly in love with your best friend. The person that totally gets you. That…

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Just Like I Had Planned

Does anyone remember when Jeff and I were late to our very own dinner party? That was at our house? With guests we invited? Well folks, I think I’ve officially topped that one. I was actually late to my husband’s birthday party a few weeks ago and I was the one throwing it. Here’s the story: When Jeff asked if I could throw him a birthday party for his 29th birthday, I was DELIGHTED. Immediately, the over-achieving hostess in me got out my checklist and started gleefully writing down all of the things that I was going to be able…

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