*PHOTO PRINTS now available!!!*

Over the past few years, many of you have reached out to me about buying prints of my photographs. I’m excited to announce that you can now buy photo prints on our website:

⭐️  www.AshLivin.com/prints  ⭐️

Prints are available in a variety of materials, sizes, mounting options, etc and they will ship anywhere in the world! Feel free to share this post with anyone you think might be interested.

Thank you for your continued support!!!

🌋

This photo is of Volcan Fuego in Guatemala, 3/16/16 (our latest Chilean volcano experience reminded me of this one from Central America - one of my favorite photos!)

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Hyperreal Music Video

Months of anticipation and hours of work have culminated in our most exciting and complex video yet! Check out Olivia’s amazing dance skills in one of the most insane and inspiring places we’ve ever been.

This is hyperreal.

 

 

Music: Hyperreal (feat. Kučka) - Flume

Dance: Olivia Sparkuhl

Video: Ashwin Atre

Concept: Ashwin Atre and Olivia Sparkuhl

Location: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

REAL TALK: Poco a Poco (Little by Little)

Ashwin and I recently summited our second glacier of this trip in Peru - it's called Pisco and peaks at 18,870ft! To be honest, given that the first glacier we summited (17,100ft) wasn't like SO hard, I figured, "What's another 1,800ft?" 😂 It was so hard.

Summit day started with a 12:00am wake-up call followed by a bread-and-butter breakfast, and by 1:00am we were on the trail (backpacks fully loaded w boots, water, and gear). The sky was completely clear and the moon was nearly full. It was absolutely beautiful.

By 4:00am, we reached the border of the glacier and Julio, our amazing guide, spent the next 45 min helping me put on my crampons. (Pretty sure those crampons were from Sir Shackleton's voyage across Antarctica)

5:00am and we were finally making our way up the glacier. By 5:05am, though, things slowed down for me. The weight and awkwardness of the boots (think ski boots w spikes) made it feel like I was lifting my knee up to my ear every time I took a step. Plus my crampons still wouldn't behave so Julio had to keep readjusting them.

Poco a poco.

By 7:00am the sun was just starting to peek over the mountains. Little did I know we were still 5hrs from the summit. The glacier was so massive. It just kept stretching and expanding and brightening as the sun rose. Every time I thought we were approaching the last climb there would be another mountain just around the corner. By the time we were halfway up, I was taking 50 steps for every 10 [very snotty] breaths. And by the time we were a few hundred feet from the summit, I couldn't go more than 10 steps for every 10 breaths. I sat. I cried. I actually thought I wouldn't make it.

Poco a poco.

I made it. I arrived at the summit dragging my heavy feet, face covered in snot, my sunglasses slipping down the bridge of my nose, my helmet crooked, and I had almost none of my 3 liters of water left.

But WOW. It was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen. It was like the shit you see in movies, but better! 360 degrees of glaciated mountains upon glaciated mountains - some taller than the one we were standing on. It felt like a fairytale. And we had this beauty all to ourselves.

So I sat. I cried. And I thanked my body for bringing me to one of the most beautiful places on earth. 

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Summit  

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Sunrise  

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Our patient, thorough, and all-around amazing guide, Julio. (He summited his first mountain when he was 15. Now he's 27!) 

REAL TALK: Mexicana the Horse

I got thrown off a horse two days ago. And, no, I didn't just like "slip" off. I was launched.

What I thought would be a leisurely trail ride up to an extinct volcano quickly turned into Shit-AshLivin-Was-Not-Prepared-For. Given that the *entire* 6-mile trail up the mountain was covered in 1-2 feet of thick, juicy mud mixed with cow poop, Ashwin and I opted for taking horses rather than trudging through that [literal] shit on our own. But five minutes in we realized there would be nothing leisurely about it. The conditions were actually so bad that Ashwin had to put away his GO PRO (the Hulk of cameras) to focus.

We had a guide with us but my dope riding skillz must have fooled him because he didn't seem to care that Mexicana and I were leading the pack, which meant I had to keep shouting "Izquierda?! Derecha?!" back at him to figure out which way to go.

And just as my skillz were going from dope to baller I doubted myself and Mexicana and I found ourselves perched on a grassy berm teetering between two choices: a small but intimidating drop-off to the left or a *very* steep hill to the right. Mexicana gave me a few courteous seconds to make up my mind but I must have taken too long - she turned to the right.

One step off the berm and the momentum set her into a full-blown gallop down the hill. I pulled back on the reins but it was too late. She couldn't stop herself. I held on tight and leaned back as much as I could but at some point there was another drop-off in the hill and it was all over. My body flew forward. Her head whipped backward. My face smashed into the top of her spine right as my feet were catapulted straight out of the stirrups. I was airborne for a split second before I made a desperate attempt to break my fall by wrapping my arms around her neck. The momentum was too powerful, though, and I hit the ground and tumbled down the hill, trying to keep my hands in front of my face in case Mexicana was coming down behind me. (Thankfully, it seems she stopped dead in her tracks the moment she felt me take flight)

After a few somersaults (according to Ashwin), I landed sitting upright and totally confused. My face hurt but that was it. I turned around and saw Mexicana just standing there looking down at me. Neither of us wanted to say it but it was obvious we were both wishing I had chosen to hike instead.

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Proof

REAL TALK: TIME SUX

I woke up this morning feeling mad at time. (Happy New Year!) It was probably the one too many episodes of Man in the High Castle last night or time-traveling with Kurt Vonnegut this morning, but I woke up feeling pissed that you, Time, will never, ever stop. Can't you give me another minute so I can eat just one more of these delicious vegan blueberry banana pancakes I just made?

After we had coffee and packed up our home on wheels, Ashwin and I headed out to see yet another beautiful product of Mother Nature, but halfway there my anger turned to sadness and I just started sobbing. I cried because, one day, our trip will be over. I cried because our parents are getting older and we're only getting further from them. I cried because our world is changing so fast. And those magical yet real wonders of our planet that we once saw in children's books - like forests and glaciers (...and fairies) - are vanishing quicker than I can comprehend.

Ashwin stopped the car, reached for my hand, and asked me what was wrong. I told him what was going on (except for the part about the fairies, of course) and together we acknowledged, yet again, the importance of appreciating the many moments and the many people in our brief but wondrous lives.

We are *always* losing time and one day there won't be any left. So here's to letting go of the trivial he-said-she-said bullshit and making room for more magic, more love, and more bubble baths.

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AshLivin Video #13: Nicaragua

And we're back! It's been a long time since our last video, but we're excited to be back with the latest AshLivin video update - this one's all about Nicaragua! From the cool, coffee-rich mountains of the North to the sweltering colonial cities and touristy beaches of the South, Nicaragua has a little of everything. Check out our month exploring Central America's largest country:

https://youtu.be/qunQHH8O0is

 

 

And for a short teaser of the action, check out our Nicaragua highlights reel here:

REAL TALK: the beauty of discomfort

Ashwin and I just returned from an incredible 5-day adventure deep into the desert of northern Colombia. It was one of the most spectacular landscapes I've ever seen in one of the most remote places I've ever been, but there was this one thought that kept floating around in my mind: "Man, I'm f***ing uncomfortable." It was 95 degrees out, no shade, relentless flies *everywhere*, the roads were terrible, the boat ride (out to the northern-most point in South America) was horrific, my back was really bothering me, and, meanwhile, there are a couple hundred extremely impoverished indigenous Wayuu people actually *living* in these conditions. My senses were overloaded.

As Ashwin and I approach our one-year anniversary (tomorrow!) of traveling and living out of this beast we call "El Chapulín," I'm realizing just how f***ing uncomfortable we've been on this trip. From sleeping on the ground in a new place with no privacy almost every night to communicating daily with someone who doesn't speak your language, and sometimes doesn't even speak Spanish, I would say we are, in fact, uncomfortable 99% of the time.

Letting go of comfort was hard in the beginning. Parts of me just wanted to flee whenever the discomfort grew too strong. But now I'm learning the importance of that feeling - the importance of being totally knocked over and never actually finding your footing again - the importance of being pushed past the arbitrary limits you've set for yourself - the importance of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time - the importance of being completely stuck in a situation you worked so hard to try and avoid...and not being to talk your way out of it - the importance of not being able to go inside where it's comfortable and cool and lock yourself away from the world.

Comfort is the enemy of progress. So stay with the icky-ness for just a little longer, stay with the confusion and the fury and the sadness, stay with the pain. Don't flee.

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AshLivin Video #12: Honduras

Filled with beautiful national parks and even more amazing people, Honduras was nothing like what you hear about in the news. We absolutely loved our month in this amazing country, and it quickly became one of our favorites that we've visited on this trip. Hope you enjoy our latest video update!

https://youtu.be/0fWw7o2Q_CA

 

And if you have less time, here's a highlight reel!

 

(Again, if the videos don't work on your phone, please try using your computer - sorry for the inconvenience!)

 One of our favorite campsites (on the farm of the amazing Velasquez family) in one of our favorite countries so far: Honduras! 

One of our favorite campsites (on the farm of the amazing Velasquez family) in one of our favorite countries so far: Honduras! 

AshLivin Video #11: El Salvador

Back in May, after a brief stint at home in California, we returned to Central America and met back up with Taisa and Ernesto and traveled through El Salvador, hopping between beaches, volcanos, and cloud forests! Hope you enjoy our latest travelogue!

https://youtu.be/TCrXg5li8l8

(Depending on where you are in the world, you might have to watch it on a computer instead of a mobile phone - my apologies!)