3/23/14

mexico, on film






















I just arrived home from a week long yoga retreat in Zihuatenejo, Mexico.  It was by far the best trip I have ever taken and a memory that I will hold dear to me for the rest of my life.  I'm still sort of in awe of the courage it took for me to go.  It meant leaving my family for 7 straight days and not knowing how we would all handle the change.  I'm happy to report that Nick and Edwin did just wonderful together for the week, which allowed me time to relax, recharge, and grow.

Before I share a bit about my trip, I want to mention that I bought a film camera one week before I left.  I was really feeling like I wanted a change of pace with my photography and with a little hunt, I found a used Canon AE-1 to call my very own.  I shot 4 rolls of film and crossed my fingers that I would get a few good photos.  My first roll turned out to be blank, I must not have loaded the film correctly, but my remaining 3 rolls did not disappoint.  I am so happy that I decided to experiment with film on this vacation and here are a few of my favorites.  I love how vibrant the photos look without any editing.  I think I made the right choice!
Back in December my good friend and yoga teacher, Robin, told me about the yoga retreat through Alignment Yoga with Scott Anderson in Blue Mounds, WI.  It happened to fall over my spring break from work and just seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get away and reconnect with my love of yoga, something I've struggled to make time for since becoming a mother.  I will always be grateful that Robin encouraged me to go.  She is a role model of mine and it was so fun to spend the week with her.  What started as a yoga retreat quickly turned into a fabulous "girls week" that reminded me of being back in college!
We stayed at the Catalina Resort on La Ropa beach.  It was the perfect beach for walking, running, and diving into the ocean.  It's lined with resorts but still felt peaceful and not too busy. 
We spent 3 hours a day from 3:00-6:00pm doing yoga and meditation in an open air studio on La Ropa beach that over looked the pacific ocean!  After a long winter spent indoors, it was so nice to be moving my body again and I was so inspired by the in depth yoga knowledge.  I've considered getting my 200 hour yoga teacher certification someday, and this retreat confirmed for me that I would really enjoy that experience.

One morning, Robin and I decided to take a sailing excursion to a nearby beach, Las Gatas.  We tried a little snorkeling, drank coconut water (at least one a day!), and soaked up the glorious sunshine.





















We also headed out of town one day to explore an archaeological site in La Chole, a 3,000 year old pyramid built by pre Columbian tribes.  On our way back, we stopped for lunch and got to watch an expert make her delicious corn tortillas!

One of the trickiest parts of taking a film camera was using the manual focus.  I have many blurry photos, but I love them anyway.  I took 3 different kinds of film with me to try, but because my first roll didn't work out, you are only seeing two types in this post.  Below are the two examples of film to compare.  The one on the left is Lomography 100 film, perfect for bright sun!  The one on the right is Kodak Porta 160 film, perfect for skin tones and portraits.  If you would like to see a few more of my film photos from Mexico head over to my flickr album.  This trip wasn't about getting "perfect" photos.  I just wanted to experiment and have fun!
I tried very hard to savor every second of my time in Mexico.  Being in such a beautiful place with so much sunshine really lifted my spirits.  I feel very lucky for the opportunity to have gone and for the support in my life that allowed me to do so.   It had been 8 years since I last left the country, and I now have a renewed sense of confidence in my travel ability.  I can't wait to go to Mexico again, someday with Nick and Edwin.  I wished they were with me at times, but for a lot of reasons, it just made more sense for me to take this trip alone.  And I am so glad I did. 

6 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you had such a re-energizing adventure! I love hearing about your experimentation with other types of film, too. Good luck back at work this week. I hope the inner calm remains as you return back to the daily grind. :)

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    1. Thanks Tiffany! It was a great trip, but I think it's going to take me all week to adjust to normal life again. I miss the beach. :)

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  2. Sally, what a beautiful post of a clearly amazing trip! I feel refreshed just reading about your adventure and seeing your photos. What a great challenge to take only film with you too- you rocked it!! I hope your transition back to reality is a smooth one, I'm so proud of you for taking this trip for yourself!!

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    1. Thank you Amanda! It was a total success, and I am so glad I went.

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  3. There are some great photos here - I can't stop staring at the first one! Looks like you had a great trip and got to grips with your new camera quite well :)

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    1. Thank you Amy! I love that we are both experimenting with film photography!

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