Amy Soderlind is a great friend of the Free People family and personally she is a huge source of inspiration. She is beautiful on the inside and out, and the way that she writes and sees things is so refreshing and real. She also happens to be a stylist so it’s no surprise that she puts together the most inspiring outfits! Amy wrote me a little while back to tell me she was going to Bali to work on her own jewelry and accessories line, and will work with small groups of artisans globally to create unique one of a kind pieces, giving back 50% of the profits to community development. She sent along some photos from her trip, and she is wearing Free People so beautifully, as you’ll see below. I couldn’t wait to share them! Read on for some words from Amy and be sure to visit her blog Refuses To Label.
I leave every winter. Like some sort of half bird, I fly. Somewhere warmer…anywhere foreign. A place where old comforts are stripped and new ones introduced. Scapes of land that give my skin happy bumps. New strangers that soon become old family. Entire conversations with head nods and eye glances… where brows and lip corners become crucial… and where eyes still tell all. Is that not a universal human characteristic, an ability we all have? While it may be a bit lost here… behind computer screens, cell phones and anything INSTA…. there are stories to tell without words. In most outside your comfort journeys, you see its all that exists.
Look. See. Connect. Acknowledge.
For years, I thought my constant desire for far off places rested in my horror for cold weather… my appreciation for being “uncomfortable”… my bi-polar nature of needing constant change… new and different settings to spur my imagination and creativity for yet another year on home soil… but this last trip, I saw something clear and concise. While all of the previously mentioned are surely relevant, my real love of travel lies in my deep love and curiosity for people. Bali, and her exquisite people, have become my home away from home.
Honest faces. Unabashed smiles. Silent peace. Sincere love. Quiet living. Simple pleasures. The little things. Belief of doing what is right, of karma, of taking responsibility for your actions.The land outside of the hip bustling towns, where $2 meals make a family abundantly happy (even if your stomach hates you for the days to follow), You smile and swallow. Where cloth is still made on looms in back yards. Where women in their 70’s load bricks and boulders atop heads made soft with woven cloth… topless, skin leathered by the sun, flip flops… where they continue the trek up and down in their building pursuits. Where brightly batiked sarongs wrap man and woman, old and young. Where you rest with the sun’s disappearance and rise with it every morning. Where offerings are an essential part of being. Where we give thanks every moment for what we do have. Where man prays for keeping what he has, rather than pleading for what he has not.
Perceived expectations of “your trip” must be left at the door of the plane. It isn’t Yours. Let go. Give yourself to the unknown, search for the remains of tradition and culture… and the people will light the way.
What I always realize most after a trip, is how much I love my life here. “Here” being “Me”… wherever I am is home, and I’ve come to understand how to keep this home a happy and peaceful place, for both refuge and inexhaustible possibility. How lucky I am to be surrounded by beauty, inspiration, and opportunity every day. Bali in it’s truest nature, gave reflection and “me time”… I’ve never fallen in love so deep with a people and a way of life as I have the Balinese… both profoundly uplifting and wisely still. Wisdom for in the moment living and daily appreciation follow you with each step… it happens without even knowing it… in my mind, Bali’s greatest gift to all it’s visitors that keep their eyes open.
More style inspiration from the BLDG 25 Blog.