International Women’s Day (IWD) is on the horizon, so it seems timely to pay homage to the wonderful creative women in the world who continue to inspire through their work. Photographers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, leaders and more: you absolutely inspire me.
To celebrate IWD, Tuesday 8 March, photos by female photographers have been released from the CEWE Photo Award, and some have been shared with us to showcase to you!
The CEWE Photo Award is one of the world’s largest photo competitions, and invites submissions in some of my favourite categories including travel, animals, architecture, landscapes and food.
Travel and culture category: three young children walk along a uniquely structured building in Myanmar, photographed by Laura Menesini
People category: A woman in traditional celebration festival attire admires her reflection in a mirror as the sun sets in Venice, by Mia Feres
The beautiful thing about this award is that an opportunity is open for all creatives at any level, from amateur to established professionals.
Entrants were asked to submit photos that celebrated the competition’s ‘Our World is Beautiful’ theme.
The images showcased here are some of the best from the wonderful creative women who submitted their work. It really makes me want to dust off my EOS and get back out there.
Animal category: a curious pup takes a closer look at a purple flower on its daily walk through the park in Austria, photographed by Corinna Kobliska
Food and cooking category: a selection of jam shortbread biscuits are ready to make the perfect afternoon snack, by Laura Amos in Heilbronn, Germany
Nature category: early morning dew graces a plant as the light of day shines through, by Viktoria Smid in Hungary
If you’re a creative woman like me, and an aspiring photographer, pop in your diary to keep an eye out for this year’s CEWE Photo Award opportunity. It will return for a fifth year in the UK’s springtime.
Feature image at top- Hobby and leisure category: in Krakow, a young girl dances with a pony in this magical fairytale-esque shot by Laura Domagata
For more information about the CEWE Photo Award visit: https://www.cewe.co.uk/cewe-photo-award.html
2019 is the year we truly start to take care of ourselves on our time off, which is why creative travel and wellness holidays are the thing of ‘now’ in the travel industry.
Once upon a time, a vacation meant drinks, lots of food, tours and shopping. But many of us are tiring a little, even on our trips.
Recently, there’s been a shift in the reasons many of us choose to get away – we want to switch off from the pressures of modern-day life.
Why creative travel and wellness holidays?
The new kind of break, the one that will continue to rise as one of the most sought-after in 2019, is the ‘wellness escape’. It’s an enriching life experience – a creative travel or wellness holiday – where we return home feeling great about ourselves.
Wellness has become a booming industry, evidenced by the fact Lonely Planet has just published a gorgeous hard-cover guide on the topic, Wellness Escapes.
Get creative booking your travel this year
The publication presents an inspiring breadth of offerings around the globe.
- Yoga retreats (we’ve published a story about a retreat in Turkey if you’re interested)
- Fitness and wellness festivals around the world
- Creativity workshops and personal growth opportunities
- Health spas and nutrition getaways
Akin to other collectable Lonely Planet guides like Culture Trails and Everyday Adventures (released in 2018, be inspired by those titles here), Wellness Escapes is an item any wanderluster will want on the coffee table.
Wellness Escapes features a worldwide guide on the best, coolest and most energising creative travel, wellness holidays, meditation centres, health spas, fitness events (including LoveFit in the UK) and much more.
It’s a whole lot of love in one delicious book. Be inspired, get creative and healthy now.
Inspired creative travel trends and holiday tips
For more on wellness trends and creative travel of 2019, have a read of my feature on the topic published in the January issue of Get it Magazine.
Often I just want to run away from a computer, overwhelmed by eight hours or more in front of one for work (perpetually in need of a Malta vacation, it seems).
Other times, when without apparatus to scribble down my thoughts, I long for anything that will enable me to record ideas.
Malta vacation – an exercise in mindfulness
Writing is an outlet and my love, and I never feel more inspired than when I’m travelling. If I’m constantly thinking and on sensory alert, am I being mindful on the road?
Despite the media craziness and the threats that would have us believe we are barely safe to leave our or homes, I am at peace when I’m exploring somewhere new.
It might sound odd that I suggest travel is the best opportunity to actually practice mindfulness – on the road we’re always looking around, getting involved with the senses and quite possibly on a device like a laptop or phone. The mind can be busy.
However, I think we can experience mindfulness in an almost pure form while travelling and feeling new things; experiences, sights, sounds, smells and tastes.
I feel blessed to be able to see the beauty in things too, without judgement. Difference is interesting, often charming.
I suppose awareness is the trick. And then, life is definitely beautiful.
I’m currently on a crowded bus in Malta that’s ferrying customers of all ages along the Sliema strip towards the capital Valletta, and then out towards where we are based in il Żurrieq.
I struggle to maintain balance, holding on for dear life up the front of the bus and scrambling to tap my thoughts down into my iPhone’s Notes app. It’s around 7pm and this particular August day’s sunset has begun it’s decent across the harbour. All I can think is:
How enchanting, I wish I could share this with my loved ones [who I wish could be here as I know they’d appreciate it].
It’s at this point it occurred to me – after Cooper and I spent hours today creating travel content (videos and photography) we are proud of – that while the likes of us are sometimes frowned upon for the time we spend staring at a screen, we might be the mindful ones.
Other digital nomads understand where we’re coming from, and if you don’t, consider for a moment that we are not just playing around on our phones and being entirely anti-social; we are consciously paying attention for the beautiful moments.
We are capturing them in the best way we know how: those landscapes, experiences, history, stories, that we can share to be inspiring, helpful, entertaining or informative (perhaps all of the above).
That’s what most travel bloggers intend.
We are consciously seeking the photo, video, words that might inform and educate your next decision or judgement on any given destination.
In this way, those of us being conscious about creating and capturing are being mindful.
And trust me, we are grateful for these moments because we are aware of just how precious they are.
We are also mindful to put the devices down and enjoy too.
There’s nothing that irritates me more than people wandering mindlessly about, noses in phones, not realising they are holding up a huge crowd behind them or missing out on something their friend is saying to them.
But, sometimes when inspiration strikes, you need to take advantage of a 40 minute bus ride and get those words onto paper (or into a phone, whatever is handy).
Next time you find yourself confused or irritated at someone with a camera who looks like they’re trying to capture ‘just another shot for Instagram’, have a little faith that maybe they are not just another selfie-obsessed tourist; maybe, just maybe, they’re on a mission to inspire, educate and inform, like we are.
Or perhaps they’re chasing a dog, as we do too. But that story for another time.
If you’re heading to Malta, discover our best places in Malta to visit here in a beautiful photo story
What do you think about this and how do you practice mindfulness on the road? Would love to know, drop me a line in the comments.