At the end of June, myself, my sister, and a friend of ours hopped in a car and drove down to LA for the 4th of July. Our friend, Sam, is doing an internship there for the summer, and a bunch of us met up in Los Feliz to share a lil summer adventure. On the way down, we stopped in Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, and we saw big blue skies and Oregonian coastlines and Californian redwoods. It was gorgeous (although very sweaty), and here’s my proof.
After my dad died, my mom decided we should all go on a family vacation to somewhere hot and beautiful to make ourselves feel better, so in late May myself, my sister, my mother, my stepdad, my uncle, and our family friend Lindsay wound up in Veradero, Cuba. In classic Sarah fashion, it took me a month to post my travel vlog and photos, but hey, they’re finally here!
My friends and I went to Alberta for a week in April to kick off the summertime. We spent a day in Edmonton (at the Fantasyland Hotel in the West Edmonton Mall) and the rest of our week in Banff (surrounded on all four sides by the absurdly beautiful Canadian Rockies). It was my first time spending more than just a layover in Alberta, and being in the most artificial place in the world for a day and then the most naturally gorgeous place I’ve ever seen in my life for a week was a strange and wonderful juxtaposition. I’m so happy to have done it with such a fun trio by my side– my friends really made this trip the kind of thing I’ll remember forever and tell my future children about when they ask for tales from my rambunctious youth. Spending a week exploring/hiking during the days and dancing/laughing during the nights was such a privilege and just what I needed at the time to get me out of a weird funk I had been in.
I had been sort of, vaguely, kinda, half-assed getting back into photography (something I grew up loving, and had always been into but not taken particularly seriously) since January of this year, but after my father died at the end of March I’ve been really delving into it, mostly just by carrying my camera around with me all the time and snapping portraits of my friends. Art has always been what pulls me through rough times, and I have this constant need to ~*~make stuff~*~ so photography has been offering me that immediate tangibility that I seek, plus it gets me out of the house. I’ve been posting a lot on my Instagram, but I can’t post all the outtakes and extra photos from the past couple months on there, so here they are:
Film from February/March 2017.
The opposite of dissociation is connection. Late February and March have been a time for connection— or maybe for re-connection— in my life. Re-connecting with myself, re-connecting with my loved ones, re-connecting with my art. I’ve discovered that sometimes, giving up is the only way to make yourself want to keep going. Here are some photos (and above, some footage) from this strange/good time, and the songs I’ve been playing a lot throughout it.
The very last week of my five week trip to Europe in December and January was spent in Paris. The plan was to continue travelling until mid-March, but– and I should really expect this by now– things didn’t go according to plan. I touched on it briefly in an Instagram post, and maybe I’ll talk specifically about it in the near future, but throughout the entirety of my travels I was increasingly overwhelmingly depressed and anxious. It was in Dublin that I made up my mind about going home early to take care of myself, rather than continuing to travel when it was obviously exacerbating pre-existing issues. I found myself both eagerly counting down the days until my flight home, while also trying desperately to get out of my head and just enjoy whatever was right in front of me.
It’s kind of fitting then, I think, that my journey ended (or paused, I suppose) in Paris. It’s overwhelming. It’s gorgeous and lively and full of people and history and art and ridiculous extravagance. “No one does ridiculous extravagance like the French,” became a near-daily comment I made to my sister. On our first full day in the city we explored the Musée d’Orsay, and while it was already a beautiful building filled with beautiful art, we didn’t really expect to turn a nondescript corner and walk into an ornate, gilded ballroom. All my sister and I could do was turn to each other and ask, “what?” It seemed absurd, and unreal.
So my sister and I spent a few days in Manchester over Christmastime, and then spent three days there in January a couple weeks later. Three of our very good friends– Cosette, Ilja, and Phoebe– live there, making it a convenient little stopover between cities so that we could take a breather from being constantly surrounded by NEW PLACES and NEW PEOPLE and NEW THINGS.
While we were there the first time I didn’t film or photograph much (my video diary covers Manchester Trip #2) but we did spend one night all hanging out together in a café, and I dressed the boys up in the vintage clothing sold there, and we took model pictures of them and laughed about it for ages.
I spent the first week of 2017 exploring Dublin, Ireland with my sister. Here are all the things we did:
- Jan. 1st: We flew into Dublin from Glasgow, Scotland, on about 30 minutes of sleep. If you want to read about my ridiculous New Year’s Eve experience you can do so here… Needless to say, we didn’t do much for our first night in Dublin.
- Jan. 2nd: We walked over to Kilmainham Gaol– which unfortunately was SOLD OUT FOR THE WHOLE WEEK, like HOW DO YOU SELL OUT A JAIL– but we got to take a look at their museum and see the main jail area, which softened the blow. We then walked around Phoenix Park, and wound up accidentally walking 12km in total that day…
- Jan. 3rd: We spent the whole day looking at various museums downtown.
- Jan. 4th: We woke up at 6am to hop on a day tour to Galway and the Cliffs of Moher– it was absurdly beautiful and probably my favourite thing we did while in Ireland. So much greenery, so gorgeous even with dreary weather, it reminded me of home in that way. It’s crazy to me that you can just drive across and see the entire country in a few hours.
- Jan. 5th: We visited the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the Little Museum (an aptly-named small museum all about the history of Dublin).
- Jan. 6th: For our last full day, we just wandered around aimlessly around the city and along the River Liffey, and checked out a couple museums.
From December 28th until January 1st, my sister and I were in Scotland. To be specific we were in Glasgow from the 28th to 31st, then we spent New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh at their world famous Hogmanay festival. Hogmanay is the Scottish NYE, and they like to go ham with the fireworks. Our night kind of went haywire, but before I get into that, here’s a rundown of the stuff we did:
- Dec. 28: Meandered along the River Clyde to the People’s Palace, a museum about Glaswegian history.
- Dec. 29: Went to the Glasgow Necropolis and felt very much like Hamlet (I have this thing with cemeteries… There’s a cemetery by my house that I spend a lot of time at), saw the medieval beauty of the Glasgow Cathedral, and went to the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
- Dec. 30: Wandered the University of Glasgow grounds (um… Hogwarts is that you?), went to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery
- Dec. 31: Had a TIME AND A HALF at Edinburgh Hogmanay.