All posts by

Sarah Gerrity

Ah, Tulúm. The first time I visited, I was 22, and took a 60 peso “luxury” bus from my Airbnb in Puerto Morelos, and to be honest, I wasn’t even that interested in going. But once I got to the view from the cliffs at the ruins, I was hooked.

This was in 2012. Back then, the now-famed Hartwood had been open maybe 18 months (and I didn’t even go to that part of Tulum until my third trip). Only a few of the hard hitting hotels existed back then, and they weren’t even on my radar. That first time I went to Tulum, we walked from the ruins to Playa Paraíso, which was more than enough to make me fall in love with this seemingly undiscovered paradise. And for the record, even then, it was far from undiscovered.

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It had been a while since I fell absolutely head over heels for a city — since the first time I went to Oslo, I think!

I’ve made quite the habit of hopping on a red-eye flight out to Europe. Luckily, I have my flight drug situation teed up like a pro, and can reset my own body like an alarm clock. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well when I’m trying to get into the office by 9am, but hey, the vacation adrenaline rush is real.

Lisbon staked the beginning of what would be a mostly solo, two-week adventure in Portugal and Spain. Nickerson joined me for the first few days, and then on my 31st birthday, I sent him off to the states, and continued on my Spanish quest.

But first, Lisbon.  Read More…

Something I love about my job is that I get to explore cities in the US — and when it comes to personal travel, I’m typically focused on getting out of the country. A couple of weeks ago, we opened our first (and then second) restaurants in Austin, TX… so I got to spend a few days exploring the city, working from coffee shops, and hanging out with coworkers and friends.

Luckily, one of my favorite travel buddies lives in Dallas — so Nickerson drove out to Austin to hang out and splurge on a bougie weekend with me. Nothing beats alternating coffee with rosé and constantly hunting for air conditioning on a hot, summer Texas day. Here are some of my favorite bites (and sips) from my week in Austin!

 

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The summer solstice is behind us, so we’re gonna have to savor every moment of steamy, sweaty summer we have left.

Comin’ back around with some of my favorite not-turnt but not-too-chill beats. Happy fourth!

Having grown up in Los Angeles, and being one of those people whose parents rarely understood the need to leave California, I could count on one hand the number of times I had witnessed snow falling. That is, until I moved to DC, where I heard it “rarely snowed,” and in my first winter, we got about 48 inches of snow.

There’s no better introduction to snow than one of those rare, city-shut-down, break out your skis blizzards. And since I haven’t seen snow quite like that first East Coast winter, getting to Montreal just before a blizzard gave me that magical winter wonderland that I had been craving for the last nine years.

My travel partner, hailing from Montana by way of Spokane, was less entertained – but nevertheless, entertained me by trekking through Vieux Montreal amidst a white out.

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Bringing the monthly playlists back — March is almost half way through, but better late than never, right?

Those of you who know me have an inkling for how desperately passionate I am about curating playlists. I might not know the name of every artist I hear, but if that song incites an emotion that I want to carry around with me, you can bet I’ve subtly Shazammed it added it to one of my many, many mood, season, and trip-themed music mementos.

So here we are: March. I’ve traveled a bit already, and I’m ready for my next escape (Tulúm, again, next week). Enjoy these chill beats and let March take off. And if you want more… follow along on Spotify.

Photography can be a ridiculously expensive hobby — but it doesn’t need to be! Here’s what I tell people when they ask for advice.

Set a realistic photography goal.

Before purchasing anything, take some time to think about what you really want to accomplish in photography. Is your ultimate goal to quit your day job and become a professional photographer? Or are you more interested in learning more about the mechanics of photography and shooting on manual? Or… are you really just aiming to take better photos for sharing with friends and family, or on Instagram?

These are just some examples of photography goals — and very different ones, at that. Someone who’s aiming to go pro isn’t going to buy the same camera as someone who only really uses a camera on vacation. So… what kind of photographer do you see yourself being, realistically?

Set a budget.

When someone contacts me and says “I’d like to get a camera. What should I get?” — my first reaction is to ask how much money they’re willing to spend. Under $1,000, or over? Over $5,000? Photo gear adds up, so budgeting is mandatory.

Test equipment before you buy it.

I cannot emphasize this enough. If you’re planning on spending more than $600 on a camera, there’s a good chance you can rent that exact camera for a weekend. Or, if you have a good friend who’s willing to let you play around with a camera they own — do that! Carefully, of course 🙂

I swear by BorrowLenses.com for all camera rentals — whether I need a telephoto for just the weekend, or if I’m testing out an entirely new camera. In fact, every piece of equipment I now own was something I rented or borrowed early in my career!

If you’ve never used BorrowLenses before, use this link to get $20 off your first rental.

Buy used.

With some research, of course. Photography is a fairly old trade — cameras have been around for a long time! My first DSLR was a Nikon D80, which taught me how to be a photographer, and even carried me through a handful of professional jobs. That, in turn, helped me afford a full-frame, more modern DSLR. Going used is a great option, especially for someone on a budget who may or may not jump into photography full time. You’d be surprised how much a piece of gear gets discounted because of a few cosmetic scuffs.

But then again, buying used isn’t for everyone. I’ve personally had a lot of luck with used gear!

Now… on to the fun stuff! Here’s a roundup of photo gear — based on what I own and what I recommend!

Sony Alpha a5000, $450 // Panasonic LUMIX Active Lifestyle (waterproof!), $148

Panasonic DMC-GF7, $391 // Nikon D3300 kit, $447

 

Sony Alpha a5000 Panasonic Lumix Panasonic Waterproof Nikon D3300

Sony a6000, $748 // Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, $998 (waterproof bundle here)

Leica C, $789 // Fujifilm X-T20, $899

 

 

sony Cybershot Leica Fuji XT20 Sony A6000 kit

Nikon d610 // Nikon 14mm f/2.8
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 // Nikon 50mm f/1.8
ONA Capri // ONA Roma // Fujifilm x100F

Note: all links above are affiliate links. If you’re taking me up on my recommendations for purchasing camera gear, I would greatly appreciate it if you use the links above! 

Nikon d610 Nikon 24-70mm Nikon 14mm Nikon 50mm ONA Capri ONA Roma Fuji x100F
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