We kicked off a new series in January featuring traveling photographers from around the world (most recent feature here; to date, the list includes Italy, Canada, United States, Vanuatu and Australia). We make no secret of the fact that we love travel. We love learning about other cultures. We love contributing to a smaller, more interactive space. With this in mind, we are going to be sharing local stories by local photographers from around the world throughout our posts this year.
This month takes you to North Carolina (with a couple of extra places included - just for good measure)! Lovely Kailyn has some fabulous local recommendations for ice cream & coffee and some thoughful musings from her international travels. It has been a pleasure to get to know her through the dialogue that is inevitable when coordinating these features. Kailyn, would love to take you up on your invitation to reach out if we find ourselves in your beautiful neighbourhood. Thank you for joining in and for sharing stories from your part of the world (and world travels) with us! Enjoy!
Hey there! My name is Kailyn. I am a creative who thrives on adventure. I seek out emotion and the ever-present hum of humans experiencing this amazing life journey. Thank you so much for giving me a bit of your day to read about one of my favorite things - TRAVEL!
For the last few years, I have been hanging out in Charlotte, North Carolina. My fiancé and I are a photography + videography team specializing in birth, love, and life in between. We have a pup that is part-coyote (don’t tell anyone) and a cat who is 100% attitude.
If I am being really honest, I am a mountain girl. I moved here from Colorado, and that is home to me. We will be back home before long, but for now Charlotte is so good to us. One thing I love about this city is that it is so entrepreneur-driven. Everywhere you look, someone owns a business, which means there is someone you can learn from. This community is so supportive—definitely community over competition—and we love to lift up our small and local businesses.
I have traveled quite a bit, but the United States has always been my home base. One thing that amazes me is how diverse this country is. You can get a COMPLETELY different experience based on where you go and who you interact with. I love the outdoors, so if you make it to the states, I definitely recommend the Rockies. Colorado’s back-country has soooo much to offer and is plastered with beauty. If you’re on the west coast, Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park are my two favorite NPs. Yosemite was the only time that I have ever entered a national park and was immediately speechless. The rock faces are old with wisdom. Regal and breathtaking, yet unforgiving. They are something everyone should experience.
If we’re talking world-wide, one of my favorite recent trips would have to be to Australia. I was blessed with the incredible experience to photograph a wedding at the Whitsunday Islands, and it was AMAZING. There are plenty of reasons to go to Australia—the friendly people, the free city tours that dive into incredible history, getting punched by a kangaroo or eaten by a spider in one bite—but what I loved was the coral reefs. We got the opportunity to snorkel in The Great Barrier Reef, and the colors were spectacular. The most vibrant, neon colors occur naturally in the coral and the fish. That said, the reefs are dying due to a whole slew of man-made causes. I think if more of us take time to really appreciate this beauty, we will put more energy into protecting it. Whether it is in your own back yard or all the way across the globe, we can help nature and we can help each other, so don’t be afraid to do just that—help.
If you ever find yourself in the states and we happen to be in the same area code, I would love to meet and hear about your journey! You can also follow along with our adventures (we will be in Ireland soon!) at www.instagram.com/the.girl.and.her.dog or www.summitandcophoto.com/blog. In the meantime, if you make it to CLT, here are a few great local pit stops:
Everyone loves coffee, right? Actually not me. I don’t drink coffee at all, but I know my fellow travelers do! If you are ever in The Queen City (Charlotte, that is), we have a handful of coffee shops called Not Just Coffee. I can’t speak for the taste or quality of the coffee because, well, I don’t drink it… but every one of these shops is so Instagram-worthy. From a photographer’s standpoint, the lighting is awesome and the energy in the shops is so chill. If anything, stop in for a photo.
We also have the MOST AMAZING ICE CREAM. Listen, I don’t like ice cream. I know, I know: it’s amazing that you’re still listening to me. However, we have a few shops called Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and, let me tell you, they know what they are doing! They have super fun flavors like wildberry lavender and sweet cream biscuits with peach jam. They also have options for my fellow vegans, like dairy-free Texas sheet cake. Our CLT locations have great murals right by the shop. Get a scoop, snap a pic.
I hope that you get to travel. I hope that you get to experience culture. I hope that you get a chance to embody a new perspective, and understand life from the eyes of another. More than that, I hope you get the opportunity (and take the opportunity) to help another person—to lift them up. I’ll close it with my girl Mother Teresa, “Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one come to you without leaving better or happier”.
Summit + Co.