Last year, I went on a road trip with my love from Los Angeles to Portland. We’ve been planning this trip for years but the timing was never right…until this past winter. This trip was one of my favorites and past road trips have taught me to leave room for surprises and not plan every hour on an itinerary.
A few days in Portland, we experienced all the amazing things everyone has said about this city. My boyfriend is Vegan and I eat mostly plant based. So this was Vegan food heaven for us both. Not to mention, there was an abundance of nature, tea, creative shops, and culture. I couldn’t help but sing “She’s making jewelry now, She’s making jewelry now” from Portlandia. If you’ve been wanting to visit Portland, I’ve curated a list of must-visit nature, tea, shopping and wellness spots.
PORTLAND JAPANESE GARDEN
Nothing more magical than roaming around a beautiful zen garden while it’s raining.
NOURISH | SHOP | NATURE
Lisi of other amazing food, shopping, and wellness spots in Portland.
Loyly Portland - affordable day sauna with multiple locations around the city.
Virtous Pie - the most delicious vegan pizzas!
Off the Griddle Portland - all vegan breakfasts
Fatsquatch PDX - The most delicious vegan ‘chicken’
Qi Fine Teas - traditional Chinese tea shop and gorgeous teaware
Monograph Bookwerks - limited edition art and contemporary book shop
Spartan Shop - beautiful products for elevated minimal living
Frances May - take advantage of Portland’s no sales tax at this beautifully curated boutique
Mt Tabor Park - beautiful park and view of the city
Immerse in more of my travel diaries to inspire your next elevated experience.
Capture from a lovely day @kayumanisresort 🌴Also on this day, I got confirmation from a Balinese local that heightened intuitive and spiritual experiences in Ubud are common. Cherishing the moments communing with nature and receiving the gift of elevated experiences. 🙏🏼🌿✨
Every visit to Bali since my first has presented opportunities to meet all my internal challenges with compassion. Travel has always been a form of spiritual self care. The journey is more than the 20+ hours transit and ever changing itinerary. The journey is removing from your comfortable surroundings and routines, navigating expectations, and then seeing all the experiences as opportunities to center back to the present and self compassion.
The images I capture and share are just moments that tell 0.0001% of the journey. I write to share more in depth what it means to have a meaningful experience outside of the pretty, curated Instagram posts.
I am grateful for this platform and the opportunity to share my conscious perspective. You don’t need to travel 20+ hours to experience something meaningful. Being in nature 🌴. Turning your phone to ✈️ mode. Knowing who you are even if your external surroundings change. 🧘🏻♀️These are simple practices I’ve done to align and live more in my authenticity. My intention is and always to share my experiences to inspire living more in your true nature and consciously seeing your experiences have profound meaning in your life. 🙏🏼🌿✨
I first visited Bali in 2016 and it continues to inspire me as my favorite dream destination to connect with nature, spirit, and nourish my wellness. This recent visit was amazing and the experience reflected to me how much I’ve grown since then.
Just like the western expats that live in Bali, I’ve created a life that is consciously driven and spiritual. A few years ago, I would have never dreamed that I would manifest this life and redefine my version of success finding purpose as a digital nomad living an intentional life immersing in meaningful experiences.
After several weeks of saying I’d share this diary, but have prioritized lots of other projects and client shoots this year, I finally have carved out the time to write and share this short but sweet visit to Bali. My journey started way before the 20+ hour flight from LAX. You can read this experience on How I Made it To Bali without a Passport 10 hours Before My Flight.
One of the reasons for this trip to Bali was to attend our friends Martine and Cliff’s wedding. It was the most magical and perfect wedding set in the stunning Alila Villas Uluwatu Resort. The resort sits atop limestone cliffs overlooking a beautiful vast blue ocean. Literally the perfect backdrop for a destination wedding. The resort was impeccably designed with stunning hallways leading to the main infinity pool to each private villa with a personal pool. You can reach a private beach down a thousand step path. Before the very exhausting hike back up, I spent time soaking up the sun. It was definitely worth it for the views and knowing there was a spa session waiting for me also helped.
My spa session included a lemon grass herbal steam, followed by an oil massage. It was the perfect treat after what felt like the thousand steps of death for me. Also before we departed, I took a private yoga class in the most stunning outdoor studio space overlooking the ocean. This was one of my favorite yoga experiences!
I’ve always wanted to explore the southern Balinese beaches since I didn’t make it to this region during my first trip. I found this little slice of heaven called Bingin Beach, a dream destination for surfers and dreamers. I worked with a California based swim brand, SEGARA SWIM, shooting their look book in this dreamy escape.
Perfectly framed palm leaves is my kind of paradise, but besides the picture perfect views, our room was only steps away from the pool. I have a gift of finding perfect boutique hotels and curating experiences which I’m finally excited to offer.
This beach location, boutique hotel, and my travel tips are listed in my BALI TRAVEL GUIDE available on 12/12.
I traveled with my sister on this trip, so this was the perfect opportunity for some sister time. I wanted to share my way of traveling which is very mindful and wellness-oriented. So I planned most of the itinerary of this trip and booked us an authentic Ayurvedic wellness experience at Sukhavati Bali.
The property is located just outside of Ubud and beautifully integrated the natural surroundings. Upon check-in, we were greeted with a warm welcome by the staff and given our scheduled itinerary. We stayed in a beautiful villa with an outdoor shower and private pool.
Our itinerary included:
Ayurvedic Doctor Consultation
Lifestyle recommendations post-retreat
Ayurvedic facial & foot massage
Ayurvedic Session (Abhyanga and Shirodhara)
Customized Ayurvedic Session
I’ve been integrating a deeper sense of wellness and holistic approach to living for a few years now. Ayurveda is an ancient science rooted in India which has always resonated with me. I wanted a deeper experience and this trip was an opportunity to immerse in Ayurvedic healing.
We received an individualized consultation from the resident Ayurvedic doctor. The doctor reviewed my overall health background and used pulse reading. From this one session he was able to diagnose a health condition I’ve had for over two years! It was amazing and more than I can ever expect from a Western doctor. With an individualized recommendation of dinacharya (daily routine), pranayama (breathing exercises), and custom herbs, I’ve seen a shift in my condition and overall health for the better. Unlike my first trip, I did not get sick towards the end of my travels.
The first treatment we received was a full Abhyanga oil massage and Shirodhara treatment with two therapists. In the afternoon we received simultaneous Ayurvedic facial and foot massage which was pure heaven. It was really amazing being so taken cared of at Sukhavati. Felt a deep inner peace and happiness that can only translate with experience.
MOVEMENT + NOURISHMENT
In the morning, we participated in a gentle yoga class. The property is situated in multiple levels with lots of steps. You’re forced to get some exercise, but you won’t mind it too much in such a beautiful sacred natural setting. We had breakfast in the common area and met another retreat guest doing a full Panchakarma. She was the owner of Spring Spa and generously invited us to get a treatment while we were in Bali.
NATURE + HEALING
I believe there is so much nourishing medicine when you are immersed in nature. Each treatment room overlooked a river and jungle. The natural soundtrack during my session elevated my healing and sensory experience. I’ve been fortunate to receive so many healing sessions in my adult life, but the most nourishing ones last weeks after the session. This was one of those experiences.
Sukhavati is really a slice of Ayurvedic heaven in the middle of Bali. The beauty of Ayurveda is that it is an individualized holistic approach to health and healing which includes nourishing your mind, body, and spirit. It’s not a one pill, quick fix-all that many wellness brands and products promise, but an integrated lifestyle. So grateful for the opportunity to receive such an elevated experience from the warm staff at Sukhavati Bali. Highly recommend you experience for yourself.
Book your Sukhavati Bali Ayurvedic Wellness experience here.
I ended the trip in UBUD which was where I previously spent the most time during my last visit. On my last full day to explore Bali, I hired a guide and learned a lot more about the culture, customs, and history. Visited Pura Tirta Temple, a sacred holy water spring where people come with the intention to purify themselves. Community and ceremony plays a huge role in Balinese people’s daily lives. A majority of the native Balinese people are Hindu and gift daily offerings to their gods. Their practices are so beautiful and cultivate a sense of purpose and connection to nature and the divine daily.
I’ve been on a deep spiritual journey and it was fitting to perform this for myself as a ceremony for washing away hindrances. I am in no way perfect or fully ‘healed’, but am much closer to an awakened consciousness than I’ve ever been since this trip. There is so much significance when you visit a place you’ve visited previously. You can reflect back on how much you’ve changed and grown. It was less about going to all the cool spots to check-off and humble brag on social media. It was about learning, nourishing, healing, connecting, and trusting in the divine.
On my way to the airport, I received a download to step into leadership and finally offer curated experiences for people to nourish within. This is an intention that has evolved from the first time I announced I want to offer more than superficial influence in 2016. I’ve produced a lot of beautiful offline gatherings and retreats in the past few years and honored to be of service and gift you an experience you deserve.
SHOP MY CONSCIOUS TRAVEL WARDROBE
Before I share my BALI WELLNESS DIARY, I wanted to share How I Made it To Bali without a Passport just 10 hours Before My Flight.Read More
A full Bali 2018 Guide and Travel Wellness Diary coming soon.
Magical evening spent touring a local biodynamic farm, harvesting herbs w/ @jessicamenda, and dining in nature eating the most delicious organic dinner by @honeyhi made with ingredients from the very soil it grew from 😭🙏🏼🌿✨Thanks @samshendow for letting me know about this event and grateful to @freepeople x @girlsinc for creating this elevated #fpescapetomalibu experience!
Original post via Instagram @kristine.lo
It's been a few months of staying grounded in LA. By grounded, I mean no international travel since my solo spiritual retreat to Taiwan in January. Not traveling feels pretty strange this year considering I've traveled outside of California every month for the past 2.5 years since leaving my last 9-6 pm agency job in 2016 to pursue this very fulfilling sometimes challenging career as a conscious photographer and consultant. After over two years of traveling to dreamy destinations, I've learned this year to chill and save those airline miles for more intentional trips. Also, living in the golden state offers diverse landscapes and day trip destinations that doesn't require the hassle of checking-in a luggage and flying uncomfortably for several hours. So, I was excited when my best friend invited me to escape to the desert for a weekend of wellness at Two Bunch Palms.
I first visited Two Bunch Palms over 4 years ago. Since my first visit, they have expanded to include beautiful mineral pools and wellness offerings.
We arrived in Desert Hot Springs around dusk. Since we arrived in the evening, we decided to take a nighttime dip in one of the many mineral pools. Looking up above the star-filled sky while floating was pure magic.
The next day we had a quiet tea ceremony before breakfast listening to the soundtrack of birds chirping and mineral waters running. The property includes several accommodation options, wellness spa, Essence restaurant, hiking trails, a pond with small rabbits running around and different mineral pools. As part of our stay, we could sign-up to any of the wellness activities available. We took the 'Art of Creating Abundance' class which was held in the Glass House. It involved intuitive art and wine tasting. Highly recommend to anyone who might be interested in something like this. In the evening, we attended a sound bath which was a really amazing. I slept like a baby that night.
I've been very fortunate enough to experience a lot of different wellness modalities. From Ayurvedic and Holistic sessions to wellness massage in Tulum and to experiencing this amazing luxury wellness day in Taiwan. I share these trips to inspire investing in experiences that nourish your physical and spiritual.
Two Bunch Palms Spa offerings include Ayurvedic sessions, facials, energy healing, water and massage therapy. I opted for the Desert Detox massage which left my skin and hair feeling very nourished while I floated on a calm cloud the rest of the day.
What I really loved about my experience at Two Bunch Palms is how you feel very much taken cared of at the resort. The service provided by the staff is above and beyond. We didn't even leave the resort from check-in to check-out to maximize our wellness reset.
As I've mentioned many times over, being in nature practicing self care is always the best medicine. If you are seeking a reset, I highly recommend visiting Two Bunch Palms. I've linked a few of my travel essentials for this trip below.
SHOP WHAT I PACKED FOR THIS DESERT ESCAPE:
SOUTHWEST TRAVEL DIARYRead More
After a beautiful ten day tea + zen retreat in Taiwan, I gifted myself a luxurious wellness experience to gently integrate back to the real world. As I've mentioned in my Tulum Wellness Travel Diary, gifting myself with the experience of travel is the ultimate act of self care. Traveling solo has become my annual ritual. Being able to create space for myself has been a beautiful expansive journey to strengthen my intuition, deepen my connection within and nourish my creative spirit. My intention is to share how I create this sacred space through my recent wellness experience in Taiwan.
After researching several enticing destinations in Taiwan, I decided to explore Wulai Hot Springs for its close proximity to Taipei. I made my 24-hour adventure in Wulai worthwhile with a visit to one of the most beautiful resorts, VOLANDO URAI SPRING & SPA RESORT. I had afternoon tea and a light lunch the day I arrived and got to experience a beautiful sound ceremony by the river. Two artists performed on a platform elevated above the pool that overlooked the lush mountain side backdrop. The ceremony was performed in harmony with nature with the visual elements in synchronicity with the natural sounds of water, wind and rain. Across the river echoed sounds that also became part of the drumming ceremony. It was magical. Coming from a spiritual retreat with heightened sensitivity and a year-long journey connecting with nature, this visual art + sound experience resonated so much with my creative spirit.
The next day I indulged in a wellness session at Volando's Dasha Spa. I booked a massage with a hot spring bath. The spa room was so dreamy with a stunning view of Wulai river. Helen, my lovely practitioner, gave me an intro to Chinese medicine's 5 element theory (Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal). I picked an essential oil based on my 'intuitive choice' (eyes closed) which my inner LA Hippie appreciated. I started with a foot soak, then relaxed in the most luxurious bath that drew water from springs. I definitely felt a little extra during this self-care session but I always practice gratitude for these special experiences I receive. I could have stayed in that room forever but I had a 14-hour flight back to Los Angeles the next day.
If you are traveling in Taiwan, I highly recommend visiting Volando resort in Wulai. As mentioned on my previous post, I will be consistently sharing my work, travel and wellness journey on this VISUAL DIARY with the intention to inspire conscious expansion through travel, wellness and experiences.
SHOP MY CONSCIOUS WARDROBE
I have done a lot of things in the past few years that I’ve labeled as 'spiritual' but nothing in my life has been more divine than this day on a tea + zen retreat in Taiwan. This was the view as we hiked up and down a thousand steps to gather water from a temple while practicing noble silence.
It became a practice of meditation as I carried the water jug, trying not to complain and possibly tainting the purity of the water. I recited the mantra 'my mind is pure, my mind is pure' with each step down. My body and spirit was so aware. In tune with everything. It opened me up. It got me feeling all sorts of feelings. Positive and negative. I cried into my bowl at a tea ceremony and had waves of uncomfortable, beautiful, pleasant, imperfect and emotional moments during the remainder of the retreat. Reflecting back, the lesson is that every moment difficult or pleasant is a chance to practice mindfulness. This experience has profoundly given me deeper meaning in my personal life.
There are so many sacred moments I prefer not to share publicly online because I believe in honoring some of our most precious moments to be experienced privately. I felt called to share this experience because I don’t want to paint a picture of my journey as all positive. The visuals are only slices of my real life. My life is far from perfect and not always positive - in case that is what it may seem. I create content and passionately document my work, travel, spiritual and wellness journey. Sometimes it feels so vulnerable to share moments of my life. However, I've seen the beautiful ripple effects that sharing my personal journey has translated into meaningful connections in real life. My intention will always be rooted in what I consciously create and do that lead to genuine, meaningful contribution for the collective good. As part of my practice, I have set the intention this year to be more consistent sharing on my VISUAL DIARY- to deepen this connection to myself and to my community. I am in deep gratitude if you have felt any ounce of inspiration from my creative work or experience.
So honored to share a slice of my life + perspective to Japanese skincare brand, DAM DAM. Opened up about my background, love for Los Angeles, creative purpose, sacred rituals, favorite travel destinations and living consciously.
View full feature + interview here.