Live More Happy
Living Loving and Traveling the World
residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence fortune 421

The more I see of the world the more I fall in love with it.

Each time I fall a little more in love with the places I see, the people I meet and the tastes and smells of someplace new.

To truly love something is to let it be as it is, without trying to keep it or change it.

How could I truly love the world if I said to it “I want to keep you all to myself. I want you to spin only for me. I want you to stay exactly as you are. I want you to be what I need you to be.”

How could the world ever do that for me?

How could someone ask that of anyone?

So I just continue to love the world exactly how it choses to be.

I will close these thoughts with my favorite Osho quote from a book I reference a lot, Love Freedom & Aloneness I think EVERYONE should read and my favorite travel video of all time.

Happy Travels.

-Lindsiana Jones

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residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

I arrived at Residencia Gorila in Tulum, by following a pin on a map a friend had sent me with the message “You will find people like you there.”

They were right, I instantly felt right at home. 

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

I arrived just in time for acoustic guitar and brunch and was greeted with a piece of vegan chocolate birthday cake. Karen, one of the Gorila’s residents is managing the vegan cafe and is apparently a wiz with coconut oil and bananas. As a cake connoisseur myself, I was impressed.

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

I then met Alfonso Garrido, or “Poncho,” the coordinator and director of all things Gorila. What started as a film studio, has evolved into a community and living space for musicians, artists, film makers, photographers, creatives and activists. The motto of the Residencia Gorila is crecer, crear, compartir, (create grow and share) and they follow this ethos in their art, their activism and their daily lives.

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

“While you are creating, you are healing yourself and growing. Both in a spiritual and personal way. The growth also happens when you share knowledge and ideas. Sharing is key. “ -Alfonso Garrido

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

Alfonso showed me videos of the recent projects they completed in the last year, including a mural series by local street artists of nature, marine life, as well as Mayan culture. Their art also addresses social issues, like endangered species, environmental sustainability and the threat non-native species, like lion fish, are creating for the Caribbean.

 Anna Fishkin / everystring.com tulum art project residencia gorila

Photo by Anna Fishkin / everystring.com

 Anna Fishkin / everystring.com tulum art project residencia gorila

Photo by Anna Fishkin / everystring.com

 Anna Fishkin / everystring.com tulum art project residencia gorila

Anna Fishkin / everystring.com

 Anna Fishkin / everystring.com tulum art project residencia gorila

Photo by Anna Fishkin / everystring.com

I love the way they leveraged the tourism and the local businesses, as well as art and video, to create awareness and solutions to the lion fish issue. By educating the local dive tours and shops, they are promoting the sport of hunting lion fish and collaborating with local chefs and restaurants to create culinary experiences with the delicious white fish. This is helping to reduce the rapidly growing population and restore balance to the delicate eco system of the Caribbean.

Lionfish Project (Episode 01) from Residencia Gorila on Vimeo.

Its a wonderful example of using creativity and community to create positive change.

The coolest campaign to come out of Gorila in my opinion, is the Finding Infinity project.

With the collaboration of Ross Harding, Gorila hosted “Solar Parties” around the world, raising funds to provide renewable energy for under developed communities in Mexico.

Finding Infinity Residencia Gorila Mexico

Ross is now living in Australia, growing the project by consulting and developing important sustainable projects worldwide.
See the clever and informative animation the Gorila Films created for Finding Infinity below:

Like Residencia Gorila, I was powered by sunshine, feeling energized from the sea breeze and integrated with the nature all around me. We rode bikes around Tulum, swam in cenotes and lakes and  the warm, turquoise Caribbean water.

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence fortune 421

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

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After just a few days at Residencia Gorila, I felt more inspired and excited about my own projects with Givebackpackers and all the possibilities for creating an impact through art, culture, travel and experiences. 

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

That is what Residencia Gorila is: an experience. From the food, the music, the conversations, the art and the expression of ideas, in the middle of paradise, Gorila provides the setting to connect with nature, experience culture and collaborate with creatives.

residencia gorila tulum mexico maya riviera mexican volunteer art community culture tourism artists collaborative residence

I personally see a lot of opportunity to grow our projects for Givebackpackers but also see Gorila as a place for all creatives to find new inspiration, expand your heart and mind and receive the support from the global community, while collaborating with other “people like you.”

If you are interested in staying or bringing projects to Residencia Gorila, they are currently accepting inquiries and are happy to discuss options for lodging and offer a variety of creative services and promotion for your project. I know I cant wait to get back soon for my own creative retreat. Who’s coming with me?

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WOW! What an honor! I was on a 48 hour wifi detox relaxing on the tiny island of Gili Meno in Indonesia when I tracked down some internet to Skype my grandma on Thanksgiving and Krissy had sent me this link: www.mappingmegan.com/sexiest-female-travelers-alive

I was listed in the Sexiest Female Travelers Alive list with some pretty amazing  world traveling women.

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The word “sexy” is used in many ways, obviously with its root word being sex, it usually implies exactly that, however when I see this list of women I see it as an empowering term and one that I am proud to be called. So what is sexy to me?

Sexy is not being afraid to head out on a journey into the unknown, with just a backpack and no cell phone service, relying on common sense, street smarts and a love of the adventure to navigate your way.

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Sexy is adapting and appreciating a foreign culture, learning to play the cajon in a drum circle at sunset, climbing a mountain or to the top of a temple to watch the sunrise.

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Sexy is having only a few functional items in your backpack but still pulling off a fashionable look for a night out for drinks in Bangkok and trekking through a jungle in Chiang Mai the next day.  Sexy isn’t just looking good in a bikini and nailing that perfect instagram shot, sexy is living a life full of passion and meaning and following your purpose. 

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That is why Krissy and I created Givebackpackers. We want our travel experiences to be more than exotic parties, photo opps and souvenir collecting. We want to make an impact with our travels, to inspire others to just book the ticket and go. We want to create a difference with the money we spend, the tours we book and the handmade cultural goods we purchase. 

whatissexy?

We want to give back to the NGO’s and community groups working every day to create sustainable change and alleviating poverty in the world’s most beautiful places. We want our journey to be one that makes us better people as well as improves the world we are so in love with seeing.

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This to me is sexy traveling. What is sexy to you?

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In 31 days I have seen nine countries and each time I have left a bit of my heart behind.

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Every time the plane lifts off the runway, my heart feels heavy, like a piece of me is still somewhere far off in the distance in the streets, jungles and beaches I have learned to love.

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With two weeks left on this trip, I am sad to see this adventure end, but excited for what is ahead for our company, Givebackpackers and my future travel plans.

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Traveling like this is a lesson in loving unconditionally and without attachment. Like a romance, you enter a foreign place with an idea of what you want, but are given so much more through excitement, mystery, adventure and also, the challenges. You throw yourself into the culture, wander the streets lost and open to discoveries of yourself and the city.

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Like a new lover, you clumsily learn your way around, marvel at the beauty of the new sights and allow your breath to be taken, unexpectedly. Your heart expands as you learn the pain in their history, feeling compassion and inspired by their resilience.

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Although you know it will not last, you spend each day with your new place, soaking it all up and wanting to learn as much as you can before parting ways. Your time together is short but you make it as sweet as possible, loving without knowing when you will visit again and leaving without holding on. 

lake como italy italia travel wanderlust adventure  Like with all love, you cannot keep it or own but the memories and the photos.

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Travel is my lover.

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Since kindergarten, when I wanted to be an impressionist painter, I have wanted to visit Paris. I dreamed of being Lynette in Monet’s garden, eating foremage, pain au chocolat, endless croissants while painting and reading in cafés all day. I love the language and the culture and have seen Midnight in Paris, Amelie and Moulin Rouge more times than I can count. I have always wanted to visit but have never had the chance.
Then I snagged the priceline glitch around the world ticket for $300 and it included Prague to Bangkok with an 18 hour layover in Paris!
With 20 years of anticipation, I wanted to get the most of my time in the city, so I split from my group I have been traveling with for a bit of adventure on my own.
While most of the Parisians were pretty unhelpful, I was so grateful to finally find my friend Sophie, one of the only friendly, warm Parisians I have ever met. We met back in 2012 while backpacking through the Yucatan with our not-so-significant others and spent a magical Valentine’s day weekend in Tulum all together.
tulum bikini girls
I promised her I would come visit her in Paris so it was such a nice turn of events to reunite, both free of our unhealthy relationships and having a blast running around town and catching up over amazing food and a bottle of the best red wine I have ever had.
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We even found the Cafe de 2 Moulins, where they filmed Amelie and had delicious dessert late night! I could have only been happier if Amelie brought me the creme brule herself.
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I was delighted by the city, the lights at night illuminating the brilliance of the architecture, even bridges lit up beautifully. I loved walking the artsy streets of Montmarte, the outdoor cafés and courtyards of painters with their easels under the trees, making pictures of the city. It’s charm lives up to it’s reputation and the warm weather today exceeded mine. I was pleased to find a nice bench to rest and disrobe my peacoat. It looked so lovely draped on the bench, surrounded by trees and the sun shining threw I wanted to paint it. I obviously didn’t need it for this sunny day of walking, or in Southeast Asia tomorrow, so I left my coat at the bottom of the hill at the Sacré Coer Basilica in Montmarte. I am sure it will enjoy it’s new home in Paris.
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Seeing the Notre Dame, Louvre, Arc De triumph, Eiffel Tower sparkling at midnight, Moulin Rouge, Montemarte, pan au chocolat for breakfast overlooking the Eiffel Tower and a walk through Montmarte all in 16 hours was a feat, but navigating the metro and train system by myself was the real victory here in Paris.
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As I ride the train to the airport, finishing this though, a man with a violin is playing a beautiful happy song as the sun shines through the window and the golden yellow trees wave goodbye. I can’t help but smile. Ahhhh mercì Paris! Au revoir!
On to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the lantern festival!

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