Lately I've found myself busier than ever before. Running from job to job my days overflow with 35 - 40 hours of work each week. I spend every day in a variety of environments doing art; beneath a canopy of trees beside a creek I instruct students at Carlsbad Art Farm, in classrooms and studios I teach for Lux Art Institute, and as an intern at San Diego Art InstituteI spend weekends in Balboa Park in a magnificent museum.
Work is a great way to find fulfillment in life. Art is my passion and I am so grateful to the people who both believe in me and support me as an artist. I personally find that work is a great way to fuel my mind because I’m constantly presented with challenges that allow me to think critically and pragmatically.
“Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
What I want to discuss today, however, is how to find fulfillment through adventure. Over the past year or two I have embraced my spontaneous side. I have gained a deep appreciation for road trips, exploring my surroundings, and observing nature everywhere I go.
Adventures have the power to fuel your soul unlike anything else. In the same way we exercise to fuel our bodies, or meditate to take care of our minds, it is important to set aside time to nourish our souls.
“But these are the days we dream about when the sunlight paints us gold”
Adventures don’t have to be elaborate for you to feel the benefits. Things as simple as getting outside for a hike, climbing a tree, or making your way to the beach before sunrise are all fantastic ways to help you lead a more purposeful life.
The reason I chose the video above, “Insist On Tiny Adventures,” was because Cam + Nina do a fabulous job of explaining how adventuring might take a little sacrifice - but it is WORTH IT.
Between blogging, my 3 jobs, and setting aside time for friends and family, I understand what it means to be busy, and I understand just how easy it is to fall into bed after a long day.
Insisting on adventures takes a lot of determination. It is far too easy to hit “snooze,” yet, setting an intention to adventure can improve your life significantly.
Research has proven that adventures have actual health and mental benefits. Being active through adventuring can do incredible things such as lowering risk of heart disease, raising tolerance for uncertainty, and fostering introspection.
In addition, Melanie Rudd of Stanford University concluded that being in nature and viewing things that instill a sense of admiration actually triggers a release of endorphins offering a mental boost which not only lowers stress temporarily but can have long lasting positive shifts for your overall temperament, meaning the more time you take to adventure the happier you can be.
“The best journeys answer questions that in the beginning you didn’t even think to ask.” - 180 Degrees South
This past week I was incredibly busy but I intended to insist on adventure. I woke up with the sun and headed for the beach. As mist accumulated on my windshield, I watched the temperature drop degree by degree on my dashboard. As I drove along the coast I thought about heading home and simply sleeping until work. I arrived at the sea and walked down the flights of stairs until I reached the sand. I set down my towel and headed towards the grey silent waters. Diving under foaming waves with sand and rocks beneath my feet I felt a sense of calm wash over me. Having just woken up, I was able to stay in tune with my subconscious and process my dreams and intentions for the day. Insisting on this small adventure allowed me to be introspective which set me up for a more productive day where I was in touch with who I am and what I want.
The privilege of traveling from bed to beach in 10 minutes fills me with so much gratitude. I have an everlasting appreciation for the Pacific and love starting my day being reminded to take advantage of the beauty of the sea and dive in.
“She was free in her wildness. She was a wanderess, a drop of free water. She belonged to no man and to no city.” - Roman Payne
Wherever you live in this world, find a special place you can travel to easily and frequently. I implore everyone to take advantage of the beauty that surrounds them through hiking, walking, swimming, driving, and experiencing a place local to you!! I encourage you to not only explore a destination - but to explore yourself. Check in with 'you' and give yourself whatever you need; love, forgiveness, adventure. Happy Wandering. Love. Annie.
I think inspiration runs in a circular motion so here’s to hoping I can inspire all the incredible gals as much as they all inspire me. Badass Women is a series about capturing that positive energy and spreading it. Wanna help? Read about these cool girls and share their features with the women that inspire you!!
Olivia + I recently collaborated on a photo shoot. Keep on reading to learn more about the girl behind the lens and view exclusive photos from our afternoon at Beacon's.
What is your relationship with beauty? To me, beauty is so many things. When someone is beautiful, it is NOT because of their hair, clothes, social media following, or their sex-appeal. It is the way they see the world and appreciate it as it has been given to them… It is the way they exude confidence and love themselves no matter what their dress size. I live in the same messed up world as you do, and struggle with this subject myself. Taking photos of these so called “perfect” people on a daily basis can get to your head. But at the end of the day, we all have our own stories, our own strengths and weaknesses… our own kind of beauty. Trying to emulate another’s beauty, is nowhere near as radiant as your own. You are the only you there is and will ever be. It would be a shame to throw that away, don’t you think? What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Check my phone. Where did you grow up? Leucadia, CA. It’s a small, funky beach town in Northern San Diego County. How old are you? I am fourteen years old. (Turning fifteen on July 4th!) Talk about one of your happiest memories of all time: Shooting at Honolulu Bay on Maui last fall… Met some amazing locals with awesome stories and officially fell in love this the island. What are you passionate about?
Other than photography, I am passionate about life in general. Appreciating every moment of everyday. Having gratitude is key to having a happy life. I am passionate about learning about other cultures and seeing the world's beauty. How did you first start working with brands such as ACACIA and Splendid? Were you intimidated by working amongst adults in a professional setting, or did you feel confident in your craft from the start?
I started my portfolio on Instagram, and started reaching out to small local companies. Not a day went by where I wasn’t shooting, and before I knew it I had some of my favorite companies reaching out to me. A lot of it is getting out there and letting people know who you are and what you do. As far as working with adults, I have never really given it much thought. Being in that environment has always felt very natural to me. I have never felt out of place or insecure because of my age comparatively. The companies I’ve worked for have respected me for what I do and treat me no differently than they would another professional.
What advice would you give to other young photographers pursuing freelance work? Go for it. Be confident in your work, and never be afraid to reach out to anyone you want to work with. Keep shooting and learn along the way. You don’t need top-of-the-line equipment to get an amazing photo. The quality is not what is going to make a photo stand out, it is the way you look at your subject and capture it through your eyes. Living in California has had a big influence on your style, could you discuss what it is about surf culture that inspires you? The people. Everyone is so real and down to earth. They take time to appreciate the little things that Mother Nature so freely provides. Being in the ocean and feeling its power helps you realize that you can only control so much. The ocean provides an ever changing canvas, you can never get the same shot twice. There is a special spirituality about the ocean that keeps you coming back… It’s addicting. If you could choose any company to shoot for which would you choose and why? I would be stoked to work for any of the major surf companies. Billabong would be my first choice, I love their style and shoot locations. Free People is another company I would love to work with. I just want to see the world, so anyone that needs a photographer on any upcoming trips… let me know! Are there any specific models you would love to work with in the future? I have had the opportunity to shoot with some amazing people already, but a few people I would love to work with are Mahina Garcia, Rocky Barnes, Mimi Elashiry, Malia Murphey, and so many others. I would also love to get in the water and shoot some surfers such as John John Florence, Mick Fanning, Carissa Moore, Courtney Conlogue, and all the other insane surfers on the WSL tour. As someone who has been homeschooled for the majority of their life, what is your stance on education?
Being homeschooled has impacted my life in all of the best ways. I started homeschooling in 4th grade and am now going into my sophomore year of high school. Before I started homeschooling, I went to a private Catholic school in Encinitas. The reason I initially started homeschooling was because of my rigorous schedule as a high-level gymnast, but unfortunately I had to stop in 2015 due to a back injury. Shortly after and with more time on my hands, I got more and more into photography and everything went from there.
I believe that giving yourself enough time to figure out who you are and what you want to make of yourself is so important in a kids/teens life. The flexibility of homeschooling has given me that opportunity. Do you learn best from research or from experience? Experience for sure. I would think that would be the case for most people. I could read my camera manual for months, but until I actually pick up my camera and start shooting, I wouldn’t know what the heck I was doing. For me, “doing” is learning. What quote inspires you the most? How do you relate to it? “People are capable, at anytime in their lives, of doing what they dream of”. I believe that age is just a number, and does not define anyone's capabilities. This generation of kids and teenagers have full power of changing the world, more than anyone. I say we start now.
This delicious smoothie makes the perfect snack or breakfast for on-the-go. As a chocolate connoisseur, I always try to add cacao nibs + powder to every smoothie recipe. I wanted to take this a step further and pair chocolate with healthy ingredients that would enhance the flavor to create a yummy blend that was both filling and energizing. Like most smoothie recipes, you can use this as a base and add any other ingredients you’d like ((I think things like dates,almond butter, or coconut oil could be good additions)).
If you recreate this smoothie - post a picture and tag me @anniemeitchik
((this recipe makes ((1)) 16 oz. serving))
- 1 ripe avocado - 1 banana - 1 cup of plant based milk - 1 heaped teaspoon of maca powder - 1 heaped teaspoon of cacao nibs - 1 heaped teaspoon of cacao powder - LOTS of cinnamon - Ice
- Peel banana and remove pip from avocado - Put all ingredients in blender and smooth to creamy perfection - Enjoy (:
Benefits of Ingredients
Avocado: healthy fats, potassium, fiber, and vitamins ((such as K and C))
Banana: potassium, vitamins ((such as C and B-6)), manganese ((which is good for bone health)), fiber
Almond Milk: healthy fats, high in vitamin E ((for healthy skin))
Maca: energy enhancer, hormone balancer, high nutrient content