ever imagined if?

Ever imagined how your life would be if…?

Exploring

“Have you ever imagined…?” The first step to any change, new thing, possibility or chance starts in our minds, in our imagination. Do you think that’s true? “But what if…?”

I’ve written before about the importance I think imagination has, but let’s touch on that one more time. Why? Because it is really the tool I use the most in my life. 

Welcome to your creative life

Humans are creative creatures. We look for solutions to problems using creativity and imagination, helped by previous experience and common sense, as well as shared knowledge. There’s always someone who says “well, I’m not creative”. Well, probably you actually are, just in an area of your life you don’t think of as a creative field. We don’t need to know how to draw to be creative, nor be makers or designers. We are creative every time we try to find a new way to get or achieve something (be it a “thing”, a goal…). When we’ve tried the easy and proved paths and we keep looking for another one, we are being creative. Be it by trying to make a dish out of the leftovers, stretching our money this month or creating a loving space at home by rearranging our furniture.

But imagination does so much more for us

How do you discover your dreams? How do you know if you want to spend more time with a person? How do you know if you can be happy in your workplace? How do you know where to travel? 

You imagine it. And learn what you like, what you want and what you don’t by going over it in your mind. We imagine the future and we imagine alternative presents. It’s the fastest way to build an opinion on something and decide if that pursuit deserves our time and energy. It may not always be accurate to reality, as many thoughts, mindsets and fear can interfere in our perspective, but it’s our least-invested way of learning and trying things. It’s the first step for change. And let’s not fool ourselves, life is ever-changing even when we try not to think about it. 

If you love it, you’ll hold it softly 

I’m starting to believe that if imagination is not valued as it should it’s because it can confuse us more than terms like “creativity” and “innovation”.  We can’t pin it down and identify it as easily, we can’t list it in our resumé, there is no tangible proof of it. But it is certainly a transferable skill.

Still, because imagination can easily take us to wishful-thinking and irrational possibilities, there’s an aspect of it that gives it a bad reputation. We are here to solve problems, not to create new ones. This, though, should not get in the way of starting that fire.

Imagination is the first step

As a designer, there’s nothing I use as much as my imagination.

Whenever I have to create something, a graphic image, for example, I first imagine how I would like it to look. What do I wanna say and how? Then I may get help from mood boards and inspiration images as well as references for similar things. After that, when actually designing (creating a layout, choosing the font, the composition, the colours and photos) I don’t go on just moving everything all the time and adding and taking it out… I firstly do it mentally, imagining how I could change or move that to better capture the image in my head, the desired final result.

In life, we may do similarly. We can imagine how we would like it to look, to feel like. Then, we think about what we’d need to change and how that would work out. We imagine the possibilities and do some internal tests to see if it’s worth the investment of our energy and if we could get those desired results.

The thing about imagination is that it is a door to a world of possibilities but not certainties. It’s a tool for exploration.

And we are all explorers. But only once we take that first step.

WARNING: Action is still required.

SYS

Lena*

ode to my beach

You little beach! ~ Ode to my beach

Exploring

Oh these little beaches! White sand (at least before the winds blow and the sea rises) and blue, green and purple waters. Fluffy foam and funny waves… The beach is where I go when I just want to go somewhere. Where I go on my mind to think, dream and relax. I love where I am when I’m not at the beach and I love going to the seashore at the same time.

 

 

It is the place where I go on Summer to … just go.

It is where I go on Winter to walk the dog and breath the salty air when it’s flat. And surfing whenever the stars align.

Let me fly away underwater and listen to the sounds down there.

 

I dream of going to the desert and look at those endless mountains of sand, soft under the feet, slipping between the toes, too hot to step over for long.

 

In the water the world morphs, it’s more flexible, open… It seems reality isn’t as stiff as it often seems to be. I see more glimpses of freedom in the water, may it be because I get to play and be myself as we used to do when we were kids.

 

I like to remind myself that this is what can be home. I don’t need a place to call my own, I am home and the sea (and nature) is where I like to hang out. Not much else I need.

The shapes of on the water make me crazy (in a good sense). I find it so fascinating to look at the changing shapes, the movement and colours. It’s like a kaleidoscope. I always love waiting for the swell to come while I enjoy the peaceful landscape, the changing colours, the lights and skies, the surface of the sea… I’ve seen so many wonderful skies thanks to being chasing waves.

 

Most of these pics are courtesy of my twin sis. As well as this nice butt %$s Sorry, I meant legs 🤪. You can see (read) her stuff here. You should take a look (and not just because I helped with the brand-web-graphics).

 

beach style

My sis, you’ll see lots of pics of her on my insta. Don’t think that’s too bad, we are twins xp

PS. This post may have been published like some months after it was actually photographed and written. It may just be that I like to fake I live in Australia or that I’ve been busy with other business.

Have it all ~ Sea and Mountains

Exploring

Winter calls and we answer.

I made a commitment to myself to not be so angry about it being winter. I chose to enjoy it like any other time of the year. I think I’m doing fine. Though, winter is really just starting. As it will not end officially until the twenty-something of March, I still have three months to put my new attitude to the test. I’m feeling positive, though!

Does it feel less cold and comfortable now? Indeed. But I’m at peace with myself, I make sure I don’t feel the cold that much and that I still do things I love. Even if it means going less and less to surf some waves. As you’ll see below, that doesn’t mean I stop going to the beach!

 

When mountains call

 

Does it feel like winter in the pics above?  It surely feels cooler and the sun was almost gone when I took the pictures, so you can bet it doesn’t feel like summer. But it is wonderful as well, as always. Also, wherever you go, if you are in good company, there’s not much to complain about. And here we brought our dog and cat with us, while E. climbed and I entertained myself running around trying to keep the cat on sight. We even found some (lots of) mushrooms to take home for dinner. Win-win!

When the sea calls

I could stare at the ripples of the sea endlessly. Remember, you won’t see them ever again, not the same, not in all eternity.

 

And how wonderful is the beach? Much more enjoyable than in summer, where people are lying all around. We can bring our dog and have some fun while she runs and plays with all the other pups. I get to enjoy the salty air, enjoy the beach views and even watch some wild shrimps.

 

Don’t cry for Summer, cry for waves

Exploring

Summer doesn’t want you to be sad.
She is not going that far, and she’s coming back in 9 months. She’s just going on a trip, and you could even join her.
But the sea… ahhh the sea. She is not so kind. She’s that kind of girl who likes to play with your feelings. You never know when she’ll be ready to move forward or when she is leaving. She won’t give you waves when you are ready and will bring the best swell when you’re on duty. We forever chase her, like trying to catch the moon on the mirroring waters of a peaceful black lake. And she always slips away from our fingers and wetsuits.
She likes our salty tears as much as we like her salty foam. But she doesn’t want you to be sad, not specifically. You can cry with excitement and fun too. She’d be satisfied too, but who really knows with Sea?
However, we should cry with excitement indeed. We are lucky to be able to play where Summer and Sea hang out. Don’t you think? Will you join us?

 

coastal view
crystal clear water wave

There’s a special feeling when you get to the sea for a quick swim, with nearly no one on the beach, when the water’s still warm and the sun is strong on the skin.

water rainbows legs
wavy surface underneath

Who else loves to swim close to the bottom sand? It looks like there’s another sea behind, with its sand dunes (or waves) and all the reflections playing around…

waves under waves
blue landscapes

And what about the light rainbows? And the light shining on all the white shells looking like diamonds underneath your bare feet?

rainbow underwater sand waves

I have so much fun in the water, even when it’s for a short amount of time, even if it’s occasional and not a daily thing. It’s dreamy as well, and a very precious time I’ll recall for a long time.

underwater the face of happiness Not picture perfect, but surely filled with joy[/caption]

My 7 favourite things to do in Siargao (for non surfers)

Exploring

Oh my girl! Did I forget to mention that I was away for a month? I can be such a bad person at times…

Well, the thing is we (my bf and I) went on a holiday to the Philippines!! So exciting. Had never been on a travel like that: to Indonesia, different culture, tropical climate and coconuts and palm trees everywhere! We visited Cebu, went to Bohol and stayed most of the time to the beautiful island of Siargao. I could write about the travel for hours, but I just want to explain you the things I loved the most that weren’t the main touristic activities of Siargao.

So, let’s deep in!

1- First of all, what we did first.Visiting a big city 

(Please, forgive me! This is not something you’re gonna do in Siargao, but you may need to in order to get there). Which was Cebu. We arrived at the Mactan-Cebu airport and found our way (thanks to many nice filipinos) to our guesthouse in the center of Cebu, taking many jeepney’s and seeing the afternoon get darker and darker. We stayed two days and came for another one before leaving. Did we love the city? No. Did we enjoy it? Not so much. What was undeniable is that it’s something worth to experience for a day at least. Bohol and Siargao are beautiful islands, plenty of little villages and a couple of small cities, but they look not much alike. It’s a different world. Cebu is crowded, the traffic is insane, the electric cables can’t say if look crazy or they are art… There is poverty and there are also the commodities and shops that we see in Europe. A place of contrasts. Eating out can be very cheap if you do so in local streets.

street cebu

A main road in Mactan Cebu. It was more peaceful and closer to the airport, so we stayed there before taking our flight home.

2- Next thing you’ll love to do is to find a paradisiac spot.

Yeah, something like this.

Lena in paradise

Who haven’t dreamed about some palm-trees like that, by a white sand beach and crystal clear waters? Dream *completed*!

As we stayed over 20 days in Siargao, we had to spend quite some time in the beach, so this one was always first on the list. I think its name was Paradise Beach 😛 For those who surf, G-spot and Magic spot are pretty close, but far enough so we hadn’t to share a piece of beach with anyone!

peaceful palm trees girl

3- A similar one, but not the same: explore *your* beach!

As you can imagine, there are many beaches in an island. Though Siargao is small, you still can try and find one nobody talked to you about. We did spent days going into little trips to new places with our motorbike and find some really nice places. Where we could relax, see a special village, an island or just snorkeling. Also bathing into rockpools. (There is a main attraction in Siargao called Magpupunko, which is a very beautiful rock-pool, but you may find some other beaches full of little rock-pools as well). We enjoyed one like this, and it was wonderful. Hot water, peace, silence and crashing waves on the horizon. Have in mind that they usually are rock-pools only when the tide is low. So it’s always good to know the tide times, as even paradisiac beaches doesn’t look  the same in low tide than in high tide (you can ask a surfer to help you 😉 ).

rock formation in the beach siargao

small rock pools siargao

diving in siargao

looking for a desert island in siargao

sandy island siargao

You may even find your desert island. (My take though? I don’t ever want to be left in a desert island without a boat to get back).

4- Something tasty!

Go to a bakery and shop and try everything! (Ok, almost everything.) Pastries are very unexpensive and quite good. When we discovered them we couldn’t stop taking some for breakfast, afternoon snack… until we get bored. They are different to what I’m used to, quite fluffy. I loved the ones with something purple. They usually seemed to have chocolate and then we would find out that it was actually this purple thing (called “ube”). What’s typical in Siargao is “pan de surf” (surf’s bread), called like this because the shape of this small bread resembles a surfboard. You can find women baking them by the roads, burning coconuts. Also, they make “pan de coco” too, which is very good and tasty when still warm.

pastry ube siargao

 pan de coco siargao

5 – Watching fireflies.

It came almost a surprise. I knew there were fireflies on the island but never thought about it. Then, in the way back to the cottage after a walk by the sea at sunset, we spotted them for the first time. It was already dark and looking to the side of palm-trees and gardens you could see very bright points moving in the dark. I’ve seen fireflies before, but never so bright. At the first moment I thought it was a spark or something similar. Then, other nights cruising on the motorbike we would spot more of them flying into the jungle.

6 – Step out of the beaten road.

Siargao is mainly an island with a big road that goes all along the coast, in a circular circuit and also crosses in the middle. A part from this, you may found some smaller roads and paths that will take you to villages, rural homes or just palm-trees. But who knows what can be hidden into the jungle?

We followed some small roads off the way to get to beautiful villages and also into the jungle. It’s not like the great imaginary tropical jungle we usually have in mind. Not so many colourful animals and rare plants. But you’ll surely spot some wonderful butterflies, small flowers and big leafs.

in the jungle siargao

big leafs siargao

tall palmtrees

7- Be sure to know and go do some activities that you enjoy.

There may be days when it rains, or you have nothing to see or just want to not sit on the motorbike for two hours. So it will be helpful to know some activities you’ll enjoy doing. In my case, I had very good times taking pictures (what you see here is the top of the iceberg), we also enjoyed very much snorkelling and looking for shells and submarine life (so many starfish!!!). We “even” surfed! (That was on the list for sure). We also had some books with us, went to bars and the like, played and trained in the common area of our accommodation, etc.


beach resort siargao

drawing in the sand siargao

I spent a month away from my pencil and watercolors. Hard for my hand

art photography splash

jump into the sea siargao

8- *Bonus point!*  Bring good company (or find it along the way)

happy couple

What else I wouldn’t like to miss

Visiting Bohol. I loved seeing the tarsiers, the Chocolate Hills and getting all over the island with the motorbike.

tarsier official sanctuary bohol

chocolate hills bohol

Spending some time with locals was also great. Kids were always happy to meet us and in most villages people were also very friendly. And getting to far villages always offered a new wonderful scenery.

Facts and tips about Siargao

  • It’s getting more popular and you may need to book your hotel previously or be able to change plans.
  • Because it’s more of a touristic place, prices get a bit more expensive than in others places of the Philippines.
  • Most tourists stay in General Luna. You won’t find so many foreigners while exploring the island. It’s also where you’ll find more accommodation options.
  • If you have questions, I can answer them (from my experience)… Because there are too many things that could be said.

 

 

You may want to check out the prints, clothing and homeware I designed inspired by this travel called the Tropical Fantasy Collection in the Shop.